A Disney Anniversary - Halloween Time at DLR, UOR and WDW - Sept/Oct 2019 - COMPLETED 01/09/2020

RachelleBeaney

PrincessShelle
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Day 12 - Part 6 - The food and drink of Batuu

Back on Planet Batuu we had more exploring and photographing to do before our 11:30am appointment to build a droid.









We decided to stop for a morning snack in the form of the much applauded Ronto Wrap.







I enjoyed the Ronto Wrap a lot, the flavours were really fantastic. Still it had slightly too much spice for me, and thought it was good I didn't find myself falling over it. We did enjoy taking a break and enjoying good food though and I will admit, the Ronto Wrap heads and shoulders above a lot of the other "quick service" type options at the resort.



Since we were now in the mood to sample some of the delicacies of Batuu we decided to go in search of some blue milk. From the description of the blue and green milk flavours it sounded to me like the blue version would be more my thing.

On our way we ran into some droids - their chirping distracted us momentarily though of course we had no idea what they were saying.









We finally came upon the milk stand.





And we got our cup of blue milk.













After much fanfare (aka many many photos) we finally took our first sip. After hearing some bad reviews of the milk I had decided not to get too excited however I found myself loving this tasty beverage! It was sweet (which I enjoyed) but refreshing and I fell in love with the fruity flavours. I would put it up there with butterbeer (which I also love) and Le Frou's Brew, both of which are very sweet and should only be drunk in small quantities. I can see how drinking a lot of this stuff would be overpowering, but in moderated amounts it was completely delightful. It was also beautifully cold, like an icy crossed with a smoothie.

We had an appointment to keep with some droid spare parts, so we headed in the direction we believe the Droid Depot was (we weren't entirely sure where to find it at first). We ran into more troopers on the way.





Continued in Next Post....
 
Last edited:

RachelleBeaney

PrincessShelle
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Day 12 - Part 7 - He's Alive....the creation of BB86

We finally found the Droid Depot and headed in to create my newest baby. I was ready to christen him BB86.

The Droid Depot is a site to behold! It looks like just like a junk/parts shop for droid builders should, the themeing and details in the place is crazy. In particular I loved the moving droid "parts" that circled their way around the ceiling. There was no nook or cranny of the place that didn't look like it was being used for parts storage and the jumble of droids and industrial looking work stations was so well put together.




I paid for my BB unit droid with a resistance personality chip and moved towards the conveyor belt of "parts" I could choose from. I'd been given a guide outlining everything I'd need.











These droids, having been used for scrap, looked very sad.





I knew exactly what colour I wanted BB86 to be, and of course it was purple to match my lightsaber.



Having picked up everything I needed to create my new friend I headed over to a work station.



The instructions for building BB86 were fairly straight forward, and in no time I had put him together. This was me doing the funnest part, screwing on the head!





I was so very pleased with him. He was so cute! BB8's design is one of my favourite things about the new Star Wars movies, and to be able to create my own version was really amazing.

Once he had been created he was moved to his "activation" chamber.





And then I got to press a really large and fun looking red button.....and he came to life!! I had given him life, and was so very proud! I believe you'll hear me telling him I'm his mummy in the video below (I know, I'm weird, but hey I did "give him life" after all :rotfl2: :rotfl2: ).










Once he was alive I got a quick tutorial on his controls, and then I watched him move around a little. He was then boxed up and I was told not to take him out of the box once outside. This was advice I planned to disregard, especially since I wanted to take photos of him and I knew there were places where he would interact with the other droids. I honestly had no plans to roll him around on the ground tripping storm troopers and Chewy up though.


So outside I disregarded the "rules" and bought him out of his box for a photo shoot.









He was just so adorable, and he started chirping away and whirling his head when we got near the park droids. As a resistance droid his chirp was a little higher and matched his purple personality well. These droids are so realistic too, in their movements and their interacts, I was really starting to think of them like one of my beloved pets (which of course meant I talked to him and cooed over him and generally acted love-struck in his presence).

Continued in Next Post....
 
Last edited:

RachelleBeaney

PrincessShelle
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Day 12 - Part 8 - Making Memories with Droids and Photopass

We now had both a lightsaber and a droid to show off so we figured it was the perfect time to get some Photopass photos in front of the Millennium Falcon.

We waited briefly in line and soon we were enjoying a fun photo shoot with all of the things I'd created on Batuu.





I absolutely love these "using the force" photo poses - they are just so much fun!













Since BB86 had become such a real little personality to me since I had "created him", I asked the Photopass photographer if he would take some photos of just BB86. The photographer agreed without hesitation, even going so far as lying down on the ground to get the best angles of him sitting under the Falcon.





While chatting with the photographer we asked him if there was anywhere safe within Batuu where we could let BB86 "run around" for a little. We expected to be told no but to our surprise he advised us that a few of the CMs had some droids from the Droid Depot out and were moving them around in the area under the falcon that was fenced off from the guests. He told us we should ask if we could let BB86 down with the other droids so we could let him roll about. We headed over to the Falcon and asked a CM, who did have to check with her supervisor, but in a few minutes they'd given us permission to let BB86 have a roll around with the two R2 units already moving about.

BB86 had a fantastic time on his play date with his R2 friends. At one point one of the kids along the fence who'd been controlling the R2 units asked one of the CMs if he could control BB86. They asked us and of course we said yes, and the look of joy on the little boys face was priceless and we were pleased to add to the magic of his day. I think he thought controlling a BB unit looked more of a challenge than the R2 units. And it was! He actually did a much better job of controlling him than Jared and I did (we were still learning how to move him at that point).

This was my attempt to get him moving at the beginning.


Once the kid took over the controls though he moved much better!
















We had so much fun watching BB86 do his thing under the falcon. There was something so special about getting to see him moving about on Batuu (the home of his creation) and we were ever so grateful to the CMs for letting us move him about, as it's something that's normally allowed. We were also grateful for our timing, as if the CMs hadn't already been controlling a few of the shop R2 units we probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to ask if BB86 could join them. Watching the droid we'd build roll around under the Millenium Falcon was one the highlights of our time in Galaxy's Edge.

Though we were done visiting Batuu for the day we definitely weren't done with the planet for the trip, we'd be back. We were grateful for that too as we had had such an amazing time in Galaxy's Edge. We were really disappointed not to be able to experience Rise of the Resistance but even without that attraction Galaxy's Edge had quickly become one of my favourite lands of all time (just slightly behind the Wizarding World lands, mostly because I have more of a connection to those stories). It is factually true that (currently) the land only consists of quick service food, one attraction and a lot of expensive shopping opportunities but I feel to label it like that is not really accurate to the essence of Galaxy's Edge. I really do feel that Disney have created a place where the every day person can create their own Star Wars story and we felt like we'd done just that. There was so much more to the experience of creating a lightsaber and droid beyond "making a souvenir". The food and drink was so fantastic, flavoursome and different, and really made us feel like we were in an exotic planet on the other side of a vast galaxy. The character and CM interactions we had we some of the best we've ever expereinced. Not to mention the place is so beautiful, we could have just looked at it for hours. In a way (a small way, but a way none-the-less) I'm a little glad Rise of the Resistance wasn't open when we visited. Of course I'm super sad we missed out on what sounds like it will be one of Disney best rides ever. And I can't wait to ride it one day. But because we didn't have to wait for multiple headliner attractions each day we visited Batuu, we chose to take in all the details and fully experience everything Galaxy's Edge had to offer. And without doing that I don't think we would have enjoyed or appreciated the land anywhere near as much as we did. For as thrilling and fantastic as attractions are the best memories are often made in the small moments in the parks, like getting to watch the droid you just created zoom about under the Falcon. Those memories of our Star Wars story, created within Galaxy's Edge, are stories we will recount and memories we will have for years to come. And that, is priceless.

And so we left Batuu, droid and saber in hand. I'll just say, the over the shoulder sling you are given to carry your lightsaber in is fantastic! It makes it so easy to carry around. The same can't really be said for the box for the droids. Ours looked like it might fall apart by the time we got back to the room, and we left the park not long after leaving Galaxy's Edge.



We said farewell Batuu for now, excited that we'd be back to make more memories there soon.



Continued in Next Post...
 
Last edited:
  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 12 - Part 9 - Main Street Magic

    Our last stop, before we headed back to our room to rest, was lunch at Carnation Cafe at 12:30pm. On our way out of Batuu we saw the Dancing with the Stars cameras again, setting up where we had earlier, for a shot of Big Thunder Mountain. We figured it was likely a B-roll type shot but we were really excited to see the cameras in the park (not entirely sure why this guy was wearing a World of Dance t-shirt though, which is another show I love).



    We arrived a little early and were led pretty much straight to a table. We were outside which, given that it was a nice day, was perfect as we could enjoy the music and ambient sounds floating in from Main Street USA.

    We were both feeling completely joyous and satisfied with the experiences we'd had that morning. I had so much energy (probably thanks to the endorphins floating around in my head, or dolphins as I call them). So I got up and wandered around photographing Carnation Cafe. I love it's timeless turn of the century quality. It feels like a Victorian era version of a corner cafe, a place in your neighbourhood where you go to catch up with friends and enjoy quality food.



    [













    I had eaten a lot of gluten the last few days so I opted for the salad, a non-gluten and healthier option. It was really good to eat some vegetables. Jared ordered the turkey sandwich. Both were great, with non-fussy flavours and good sized portions.







    We had the friendliest server too. He had worked at the resort for about 30 years I believe, and he wanted to chat to us all about our Galaxy's Edge experience (he saw our saber and droid). He was also amazed by the fact we would be visiting for 10 days, and how we were able to access 10 day passes in Australia. He told us he hoped he'd see us again, and wished us a Happy Anniversary too. He reminded me of another reason I love Disney so much, because of CMs like him, who go out of their way to make you feel welcomed. Disneyland CMs are better at this than any other resort I feel.

    We got to enjoy listening to the Disneyland band, and a rousing version of Happy Birthday while we ate.

    When we were finished we made our way out of the park slowly. It was the perfect day for a calm stroll down Main Street.













    We really had had a perfect first day at Disneyland, and it wasn't over yet as we'd be returning in the evening for more fun!

    Continued in Next Post....
     
    Last edited:

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 12 - Part 10 - A tale of two firsts ... a DIS Meet and Lighting Carsland

    I forgot to mention in my last post, we had bought 2 x 5 day tickets to the ART (Anaheim Resort Transit Bus line). This was mostly for our afternoon returns to our room, when our feet were too sore to deal with a 20 minute walk. We had waited about 25 minutes for the bus we needed (the Katella Line) and we were waiting in the sun, so we could have already been back at the resort if we'd walked. Still we decided if we weren't in a hurry it was a good option to save our feet a little.

    We enjoyed a decent rest back in our room and at 5:40pm we headed back into the parks for our very first DIS Meet with the wonderful Lesley! Lesley had been a fantastic source of information for me when planning our trip, and was always so kind and generous with her advice so when she suggested we meet up I was all for it.

    We warned her we'd probably just be wandering around taking photos and she said that was fine, that it would be fun just to be in the parks together and chat, and to see Jared at work.

    We left our hotel at about 5:40pm and were into DCA by 6:05. The plan was to meet Lesley in Carsland to watch the lighting ceremony, which we'd still never seen! As we headed into the park we managed to book a Maxpass for Indy for 9:45pm - 10:45pm, which pleased us greatly.

    Lesley found us easily, and I was immediately comfortable with her and felt like we were old friends. I think that's the great thing about DIS Meets, you know you have the love of Disney in common and it's something not everyone in your life shares, so it connects you in a fantastic way.

    Lesley and I had to have photos!



    She was wearing the cutest Halloween shoulder friend.



    As we chatted it started to get darker and in no time the lights were coming on. As it was Halloween, we were treated to the a lighting ceremony to the soundtrack of "I put a spell on you" which was fantastic.















    Once the lights were on we knew it would be about 30 minutes until blue hour really set in, so we asked Lesley if she might like to do single riders on Radiator Racers with us. Since there is no indication of how long the SR line on Radiator Racers actually is, we asked a CM, who advised us he thought it was about 20 minutes (the standby wait was about 50 minutes) so we figured that was about the perfect amount of time.

    I think it only ended up taking us about 15 minutes. The time flew by as we chatted with Lesley and soaked up the atmosphere.

    As single riders we were all split up, of course. However Lesley and I managed to be in the same car. I sat next to a lovely guy who told me he thought I was Meghan Trainor, which was very sweet (though I don't really see it). I had a great chat with him about Australia as we got ready to ride. I think this is something else I love about Disneyland when compared with Disney World. People just seem friendly and more up for a chat. That isn't to say we didn't have chats with people at Disney World, we definitely did. But while they were few and far between I'd say not a day went past at Disneyland where we didn't enjoy a chat with a number of different people. I love meeting people at Disney too, everyone is generally just so happy and relaxed.

    Back on Radiator Racers, Jared was photographing everything from his car.













    We finally got a decent shot of Doc! We've always had a hard time with it - he moves around so quickly.









    Outside it was the perfect time of day to be on the ride. Jared took a few photos and though they aren't great they give you an idea of how much better the outside portion of the ride is at twilight/sunset







    Lesley and I were winners on this Radiator Springs race. I was very excited because I am rarely in the winning car (I don't know why, it just seem destined for second place when in Radiator Springs). Jared's car did not win sadly (he wasn't racing us, but didn't manage to beat his companion car).



    Back out in Carsland the sun had well and truly set. It was time to set up for some night shots. Jared did most of the work here, and I made some suggestions for composition every now and then. Mostly though I was chatting to Lesley, which was great!











    I love taking the occasional panorama and Carsland seemed like the perfect place to do this!





    The Halloween lighting on the "monument valley" aka Radiator Racers rockwork was spectacular! It really added a lot more colour and interest to the photos that we weren't expecting and we were really pleased with how these photos turned out. There were a few more people around in the trail along the monument valley, between Pacific Wharf and Carsland proper, than I thought. But even still, the photos turned out great.

    We wanted to take some spinning shots of Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters next, so we headed that way.







    Carsland was a mass of people, and we knew we would be taking our shots of the actual Radiator Springs roadway another night (at park close), but we thought we'd try take some pictures of the Cozy Cone with it's Halloween overlay before leaving the area. I look the "spooky" cones! In fact all the Halloween decorations within Carsland were fantastic. So much detail was added, and there were amazing touches everywhere. I really appreciate how all out Disney goes with holiday themed decorations around the parks. It really transforms many of the areas so significantly, and makes for a completely different feel and look for many lands.

    We succeeded making it look like there weren't too many people about, which is always a win in my book (trust me there were lots, the picture is deceptive).



    After we'd finished in Carlsand we had to say goodbye to Lesley, who had plans elsewhere. We were so grateful that she made time to come out and meet us. Lesley, if you are reading this it was so lovely to meet you and I hope we get to catch up at Disneyland again in the future.

    Continued in Next Post...
     
    Last edited:

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 12 - Part 11- A Fantasy Night

    After we had finished up in Carsland we headed over to Disneyland. Our main goal for this evening was to photograph Fantasyland. This was made hard by the fact that Fantasyland is a very small area within Disneyland, and so it's hard to get shots without people in them without waiting until after close. We would do this for a few of the photos we took, but we had time now and didn't want to waste it.

    We were lucky as the castle had already been roped off for the fireworks, so by setting up at the rope we had a clear view of the back of it.







    While Disneyland's Fantasyland is small and can get very very congested it's still my favourite of all the Fantasyland's around the world (though of course I haven't seen Disneyland Paris' version in person yet, I know it's very beautiful). I think that because of it's size, the Disneyland version creates that "quaint fantastical village square" much better than other Fantasyland's. Plus the Bavarian village facades just work perfectly. The Magic Kingdom's medieval "tents", which are what Fantasyland originally looked like at Disneyland, look really cheap to me though. Especially when in comparison to the detail and texture of Disneyland's Fantasyland. I know with new Fantasyland and a few themed buildings around the castle the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland has improved, but I still really hate those circus tent like facades out the front of Mickey's Philharmagic and It's a small world etc.

    Yes, the crowds at Disneyland's Fantasyland can be a problem, but first thing in the morning and later in the evening it isn't too bad (I avoid Fantasyland like the plague in the middle of the day!). The other great thing about the area is the number of photo spots that give you a foreground to shoot to make the people in your shot disappear behind it. Since we really wanted to get started on a few Fantasyland pictures we found this very helpful. We started at the Sword in the Stone.











    The one thing I do think Disneyland really need to do is create a stroller parking area somewhere outside of the village area within Fantasyland. As this is the area that most of the kids stroller age will want to visit, and because the area is so small, I often found strollers were taking up about 50% of available space! There needs to be an area, perhaps on the edge of Fantasyland where it heads into Frontierland, where strollers can be parked without clogging up an already tight space!



    At this point we had to wait for the fireworks to start, as we had some shots planned that we wanted to take during the fireworks. So we sat down at the Rose Tavern (which I'm sure used to be Pinocchio's Village Haus) and got some caffeine (coke for me, coffee for Jared) as we were starting to wilt a little. At one point I took a sip of a drink that was already on our table accidentally (there weren't many tables available so we had grabbed one with another drink on it). I spat that mouthful out very quickly and chided myself for my stupidity!

    Just before the Halloween Screams fireworks were due to start the entirety of Fantasyland was cleared out and a rope strung to block off the area from just behind the carousel. This worked perfectly for us, since we wanted pictures without people in them!



    Sadly we weren't able to remain at the rope for the fireworks, so the pictures I planned to get of Halloween Screams from behind the castle were not to be. So we moved on to a series of "spinning things" photos.





















    After watching the tea cups spin for so long we decided to go on them. Though they are a simple carnival ride there is something about Disneyland's tea cups that I love! Perhaps it's because they are so iconically linked with Disneyland, so much so that as a child it was the thing I imagined myself doing whilst at Disneyland. It could also be that it was the first ride we ever went on on our very first trip to Disneyland on our honeymoon (back in the days when we had no clue and didn't realise that it's not one to do first thing). There is also something so charming about having this ride outside (and not under cover like all other versions) with the lanterns hanging above your head. The charm is increased at night when everything is lit up and so bright and colourful. It's almost dreamlike which, given that it's an Alice in Wonderland attraction, makes a lot of sense.

    Anyway there was no wait so we walked straight onto the Tea cups and took a spin.







    Spinning!!



    After the tea cups we wandered around trying to see if there was a spot we could set up the tripod to get pictures of the fireworks from inside Fantasyland. Alas there was not. We thought we might be ok to set up behind a tree near the Rose Tavern, as the area around it was definitely not a thoroughfare, but we were told by CMs that we couldn't stop there.

    Since we had a lot of time to kill now we headed towards Big Thunder Mountain and though the wait time was posted as 20 minutes we walked straight on. While this was great, as we didn't have to wait, it also didn't really help with the killing time thing! As I said when we went on Big Thunder at the Magic Kingdom at dusk, riding at night is always so much more thrilling. The turns feel faster somehow, and the tunnels are darker and so more effective.

    Once we were done on Big Thunder Mountain it was time for our Indy Maxpass. We lined up in the Fastpass line and got right to the front of the line, only to held outside the temple for about 10-15 minutes. The CM manning the top of the line (Steve) must have he saw us make an impatient sigh, or give each other a frustrated look, I don't know. The next thing I know he told us to come over and check out the monitor he used to work out when the line had cleared enough to let us through into the temple. I'm not sure why, but he couldn't let people into the giant line in the temple until the room before the pre-show room had cleared (which is strange because there is A LOT of line before that room). He was explaining to us how his colleagues inside the ride were failing to move people through the last two rooms appropriately, so the line was moving slower than it should. It was pretty funny (though perhaps not a very Disney thing to do). We appreciated him explaining to us why we didn't move for about 10 minutes, but couldn't understand the loading process and why all the line inside the temple was not filled up. Any current or former CM's reading along know the answer to this? Does it have to do with claustrophobia? I know those cave like lines in some areas of the temple are pretty narrow.

    Anyway Indy was lots of fun, though it is showing it's age a little. It could probably use some updated Animatronic figures...and I wouldn't say no to a few extra special effects being added in. This used to be one of my favourite rides in the park but I found myself not enjoying it as much as I had previously this time around. It's still fun, but as I said, it's showing it's age (it's almost 25 years old now - can you believe that! 1995 seems like yesterday!).

    We had to wait out the crowds in the park for all the photos we wanted to take next. The park closed at 11pm, and it was about 10:30pm, so we decided we would sit on a bench in the hub and chill for a bit.

    While sitting on a bench it occurred to us we should try ride something to pass the time. We looked at wait times, and decided on the Astro Orbitor, a ride we'd never done before. The wait was only 5 minutes, and this sort of carnival ride is not something I'd ever wait longer for (and most of the time the waits are a lot longer because it's so slow loading). It was a fun ride, not in the least because of the really weird almost lying position your body has to be in within the ride vehicles! The views over the park were great, though a little ruined by the construction around the Tomorrowland entrance. It was a relaxing experience to (unless you have a problem with heights).

    After we got off the park was almost closed. We wandered past the small lagoons just near Pixie Hollow and photographed the ride we'd just conquered.





    The park was closing in about 5 minutes so we knew we'd need to get back into Fantasyland before it did. We planned to wait out the crowds there and slowly make our way back through the castle to take pictures of it, and the hub.

    There were much less people around as the park was closing.











    After taking these shots we had to wait for a couple more people to clear the Fantasyland area. Mostly people took a few photos and moved along (like we were planning to do once the area cleared). Annoyingly though there was a couple that Jared christened the "instagram idiots" taking about a million pictures of the girl with an iPhone with the flash on in all kind of ridiculous poses! I would imagine that the photos wouldn't even really come out that well, using a phone camera, and it was vain to the point of ridiculous! We fumed a little because, thanks to how they selflessly hogged the area, others didn't have the opportunity to take pictures (I swear they were there in the same spot for about 20 minutes). We they were finally done we got a few more pictures.





    Continued in Next Post...
     
    Last edited:

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 12 - Part 12 - A hurried castle shoot

    Once we finally made our way out of Fantasyland it was quite late, about 11:30pm. Given that while at the Magic Kingdom we had had plenty of time after closing to take pictures around the hub we weren't too worried. We also knew Main Street would be open until 12pm so we figured we had plenty of time.

    This turned out not to be the case at all! At 11:40pm security were hurrying people out of the area by the castle. We were lucky, we did manage to get a number of shots before we were moved on, but we did miss a couple of shots I'd wanted to get.

















    I was really surprised by how quickly we were being hurried out of the hub area. It was only 40 minutes after park closing and Main Street wasn't even closed yet. I figured that, like the Magic Kingdom, security would set up blocks all around the hub not long after park close but I did not forsee that we'd be kicked out of the hub that early. It didn't really make a lot of sense, as it's not like there was anywhere we could go, and the security would still have to wait until Main Street was closed before they could start moving people up Main Street! Later on we wondered if it had to do with filming for Dancing with the Stars, as it didn't tally at all with all we'd heard about how Disney security moved people on after park close. We'd heard it was usually done a lot slower and that, for the most part, the guards would let you get a few shots before moving you on if you asked nicely.

    This was not our experience this evening, and we were told at more than one location to stop taking pictures, even when we said we only had 1 more shot to take. As a result all the pictures we took after those few of the castle up close were rushed and not particularly good. This was disappointed to us, as we didn't really plan to close down the hub area any other night, and now we knew we would have to try get a few other shots when it was busier in the parks.

    Here are the guards making our way towards us, and we knew we were about to be told to move along again!



    We managed one shot in the hub, after asking a guard nicely if we could just finish as we were already taking one (he looked ready to lift our tripod up and carry it off himself).



    We figured we might be ok at the end of Main Street, as Main Street was still open! However, the guards started walking towards us with a look that suggested we had to move on not long after we took these few pictures. Thanks to how rushed we were we didn't get the number of exposures we wanted to get the castle to look good and so we were pretty disappointed.



    This one was ok, but the guards were in the way!



    After that we were told to move on. Once we got about half way down Main Street the guards seemed to stop caring what we were doing.

    I have a theory that this must have been the evening that Dancing with the Stars filmed the dance opening for their Disney episode, which was filmed on Main Street. The scene was really fantastic, but it's the only reason I could think for the guards being SO pushy. We didn't encounter this kind of pushiness any other night that we were at the resort however, as this was our first experience of closing down the parks at Disneyland we were a little worried that the guards would be this pushy on every subsequent evening.

    Anyway we headed back to the hotel after this, a little disappointed as we hadn't accomplished quite what we wanted, but in a way glad we'd be getting to sleep a little earlier.

    Continued in Next Post....
     
    Last edited:
  • crewsn

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2014
    First off your pictures are absolutely amazing! I found your trip report when browsing them since now suffering from some major Disney blues currently. we typically have gone to Disney during the Christmas season every year for the last 5 years. This was the first year we tried a different time... end of September to October. Hence how I quickly found your report.

    I will need to now go back and read it as I just started looking at all your pictures. We were at some of the parks on the same days. I actually saw my family in a shot of yours in the Magic Kingdom which was neat.

    Can't wait to read!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    First off your pictures are absolutely amazing! I found your trip report when browsing them since now suffering from some major Disney blues currently. we typically have gone to Disney during the Christmas season every year for the last 5 years. This was the first year we tried a different time... end of September to October. Hence how I quickly found your report.

    I will need to now go back and read it as I just started looking at all your pictures. We were at some of the parks on the same days. I actually saw my family in a shot of yours in the Magic Kingdom which was neat.

    Can't wait to read!
    Thank you so much! I'm really blown away by the love people have for our pictures.

    I understand the Disney blues. They are a real condition! I really want to go back now too and don't know when I will get to next.

    So exciting to think you were in the parks when we were. Which picture are you in the back of?? That's so cool you managed to find yourself in one of our shots.

    Happy reading - and I hope it takes away a little of the Disney blues.
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Thank you so much! I'm really blown away by the love people have for our pictures.

    I understand the Disney blues. They are a real condition! I really want to go back now too and don't know when I will get to next.

    So exciting to think you were in the parks when we were. Which picture are you in the back of?? That's so cool you managed to find yourself in one of our shots.

    Happy reading - and I hope it takes away a little of the Disney blues.
    I'm not surprised, your pics are head and shoulders better than any other TR I have ever read!
    The boardwalk area is gorgeous. We stayed a night at the BWI last trip, was nice, although we came from the GF which was a bucket list resort and I just loved it.
    Thanks for the photo tour through GE! Great details, looks very immersive.
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm not surprised, your pics are head and shoulders better than any other TR I have ever read!
    The boardwalk area is gorgeous. We stayed a night at the BWI last trip, was nice, although we came from the GF which was a bucket list resort and I just loved it.
    Thanks for the photo tour through GE! Great details, looks very immersive.
    Thanks again - you are so very kind. I am proud of our photos and really pleased people enjoy them.

    I would love to stay at the Boardwalk or Grand Floridian someday..here’s to hoping it happens some day.

    Yes Galaxy’s Edge was fantastic - we really loved it!
     
  • KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Thanks again - you are so very kind. I am proud of our photos and really pleased people enjoy them.

    I would love to stay at the Boardwalk or Grand Floridian someday..here’s to hoping it happens some day.

    Yes Galaxy’s Edge was fantastic - we really loved it!
    Yes, we were very lucky. Stayed at AKL, then OKW, GF, BW. My parents paid, no way could we afford it (And we rented points). We couldn't believe the cost of food, this visit..and as you know Perth isn't cheap there! We split every meal, and only did 1 TS.
    Loved the cars land pics at night- so pretty.
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Yes, we were very lucky. Stayed at AKL, then OKW, GF, BW. My parents paid, no way could we afford it (And we rented points). We couldn't believe the cost of food, this visit..and as you know Perth isn't cheap there! We split every meal, and only did 1 TS.
    Loved the cars land pics at night- so pretty.
    Sounds like you have fantastic parents! And it’s for sure not cheap when you are getting 0.66AUD to 1.00USD!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 13 - Part 1 - Conquering California

    Our second day at the Disneyland Resort would be spent at California Adventure. We decided, given that it hadn't been too busy the day before, that we'd sleep in a little and not bother with rope drop this morning. We arrived at DCA at 8:15am (after leaving the hotel at 8am and using the shortcut through the Grand Californian, which was definitely quicker!).

    There was no line to get into the park when we arrived at DCA, 15 minutes after opening. That was a good sign to us that it really wouldn't be too busy and that skipping rope drop hadn't been that detrimental to our plans.

    We were again congratulated by the lovely CM who "welcomed us back" to the second day of our Disneyland Adventure. We then proceeded to explain our badges, which said "10 year anniversary and 10 year Disney anniversary". This would happen a lot on the trip, my writing was small and people clearly couldn't read the badges clearly! I did find it fun to explain how we were there to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and the fact we'd been visiting Disney parks for 10 years.

    We sat down on a bench at the top of Buena Vista Street to purchase our second day Maxpass. We did end up having to buy it each day as you couldn't purchase it with the 10 day pass we bought. We were a little worried about having to buy it anew each morning but it was incredibly simple, and only took us a minute or so at most, and then we could make our first Maxpass selection of the day. Since fastpasses don't get distributed as quickly at the Disneyland resort not having it the second we scanned into the park wasn't really too concerning to us. If it had been busier or if there was a new ride with an incredibly popular fastpass that you want to get the second you can, it could have caused issues though I'd say.

    Once we had Maxpass again we made a Fastpass for Guardians of the Galaxy from 9:00am - 10:00pm and we headed over to Radiator Racers to ride, single rider style!
    Honestly I love single rider on this attraction, it's so quick compared to standby and given that Jared and I don't mind getting separated (and often end up in the same car anyway) we are happy enough to ride this way if we don't manage to get a fastpass, or don't want to prioritise a fastpass for that attraction any given day.

    This time around we did end up in the same car, which helped with the ride photos we were planning to get during the race portion of the attraction. We were again congratulated by CM on our way into the ride on 10 years. I do love wearing "I'm celebrating" badges, I always appreciated peoples kindness when they congratulated us on celebrating 10 years married.















    We didn't win, but we did have fun, so I guess we did win after all!



    On our way out of Carsland we ran into a Photopass photographer with no line! So of course, we had to get photos. He was great, and we got lots of fun photos here!













    Our next ride was on the Incredicoaster. We hadn't yet experienced the new Pixar Pier, nor had we been on this coaster since it was California Screamin'. I knew that the new theme hadn't added much to the coaster, but it's a great coaster so I was looking forward to it.

    Moving into Pixar Pier I was pleased to see that they had kept much of the Victorian Boardwalk vibe of the former Paradise Pier.



    I have heard a number of people say they think the theme of this area has always been very weak and unimaginative. I personally disagree, and have have always loved it. The seaside boardwalk carnival is something we don't really have here in Australia though, so it's a new concept for me. Not to mention having been to a few American seaside boardwalks, I feel as though Disney has taken something that with a fun and relaxed holiday vibe and really plussed it. The Victorian era architecture creates an aspect of fantasy to the whole land. I feel as though it takes you to the seaside boardwalks of the past (like those in the UK and the American North East). These boardwalks were really popular in the late Victorian era and Pixar Pier really evokes the sense of romance and wonder of those classic boardwalks. Since boardwalks have since degraded a little in both their popularity and upkeep since the turn of the 20th century, I understand why many people think this type of theme isn't up to Disney's usual standards. That perception of a seaside boardwalk may impact how some people view the area but I think Disney isn't trying to make that comparison. Instead, they try to take you back to a bygone era of seaside romance, and I feel that creates a perfectly great Disney themed land. Perhaps not as majestic or all encompassing as Carsland or Galaxy's Edge or Pandora, but one that, for me at least, I find fun and beautiful and relaxing. I do think it's a bit confusing as to why Pixar characters (which begun to exist this century) would be at a Victorian Boardwalk, but I can suspend reality long enough and just go with it - because it's Disney. So I was thankful that they haven't done away with that Victorian architecture which creates "the bones" of the new Pixar Pier.

    Anyway, we headed onto the Incredicoaster after only waiting 15 minutes. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the Incredible's theme or additions (I'm not the biggest fan of those movies). Surprisingly though, I actually found myself enjoying the small additions to the coaster. They didn't take anything away from the fact that the coaster is fantastic, and they were fun. I really enjoyed the lighting and figures in the closed in tunnels and felt it added to the suspense of the big drops and turns coming out of the tunnels. I do miss Neil Patrick Harris' countdown from Californian Screamin, but otherwise I thought this was an improvement. I do think it helped that I wasn't expecting much though...it's by no means as comprehensive "themeing" of the coaster. But this coaster wasn't designed to be a themed coaster so that doesn't bother me at all. It's first and foremost a thrill attraction.

    We had a great time, we love this ride so much! It's fantastically smooth and yet thrilling, which is the perfect combination to me (I hate jerky rollercoasters).



    While waiting in line for the Incredicoaster we made our second Maxpass of the day for Soarin' Over the World from 9:20am - 10:20am. We now had two Maxpasses in hand and were very pleased with ourselves (it wasn't even 9:00am yet).

    We trekked around to Guardians of the Galaxy next for our first ride on this new attraction. I am hoping that the Avengers Campus will join Carsland to Guardians of the Galaxy so you don't have to walk all the way down Hollywood Boulevard to get to it in the future (sort of the way you used to be able to take a shortcut through A Bug's Land). At the moment it's so out of the way from most other attractions.





    Thanks to our Maxpass we were in the pre-show room pretty quickly. I really enjoyed Rocket, and was impressed by how much he moved around!












    I think I mentioned before, but I initially wasn't a fan of the idea to replace the Tower of Terror with Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at DCA. I am admitting now that I was wrong and that the Guardians overlay of the Tower of Terror attraction is hands down better than the original version! Let's start with the pre-show - with Rocket being a fully articulated moving animatronic - which is much better than the TV screen with Rod Sterling!

    Then there's the fact that the attraction is funny! You can enjoy a good laugh as you realise you are being used by the Guardians as a "distraction" so they can escape. I love the screens and the action that happens at each drop "pause" as it adds so much more tension for when you do drop. But mostly, above everything else, I LOVE the music. The first time I watched Guardians I wasn't a fan, but when I decided to give it another go I realised that it actually is a fantastic movie and what really bought me around was the humour and the music. The ride captures that spirit of the film perfectly, and you can't help but sing along with the soundtrack. We had "Give Up The Funk" on our ride, which was so much fun. I love the fact that their is variety in the scenes you get too (I think we got the same scene each time we rode but knowing there is the possibility for difference increases re-ride-ability and it's why I really enjoy Star Tours).

    We were clearly having the most fun!



    We had to make our way over to Soarin' as soon as we were done to make our Fastpass window. As soon we got in line (at 9:50) we made our third Maxpass of the day for Toy Story from 10:25am - 11:25am. We were pretty pleased with how the Maxpass system was working for us, three fastpasses in just over 1 and a half hours was pretty fantastic!

    The standby wait was about 40 minutes but we only waited 15 with the Maxpass. We were in the second row on the end of the middle row, but it was better than our first ride at Disney World where we were at the very end of the far right section. We had yet to be put in the first row though, so we decided the next time we rode we'd ask to wait for front row middle. While we rode we could hear that we had been seated next to a family of Aussies, and hearing their accents made us smile and feel more at home.

    When we were done it was about 10:15am and Jared was in desperate need of coffee and we both agreed some food would be great. We had decided to stop at the Fiddle, Fifer and Practical Cafe but the line to order food was practically out the door. I despaired a little at this point, wondering where else in California Adventure served decent food we could eat as breakfast. After a bit of research we finally ended up at Flo's in Carsland, and I'm so glad we did as the food and views we had here were probably better than what we would have had at the cafe.

    Jared went to order us caramel banana french toast, and our caffeine standby's, coke and coffee.

    I went to find a table and managed to find one in the perfect place in the backroom of the restaurant overlooking Radiator Racers. I was so obsessed with the fantastic 1950s theme, and the music, which consisted of 50s Mo-Town and soul girl groups. This kind of music is some of my absolute favourite from the 50s and 60s, and music that my Dad made sure I knew from the time I was a small child (as he loved it so much too).

    I had to take a million photos of Flo's, it was so much fun! So I did!












    As you can see, the giant "rear view mirror" was one of my favourite aspects of the room. It was fun to photograph.

    The view from our table:





    Breakfast was delicious. I love french toast and this was one of the best versions of it I've ever had. I'm glad we decided to share, as it would have probably been too much for me on my own.





    Continued in Next Post...
     
    Last edited:

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    You guys lucked out with the crowd level at DL, it looks like!
    I haven't done either the incredicoaster or guardians since the retheme, so interested to hear you enjoyed both. TOT (at WDW) is my 2nd fave ride, so I'm dubious, like you were..
    Haven't been into Flo's before, looks fun!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    You guys lucked out with the crowd level at DL, it looks like!
    I haven't done either the incredicoaster or guardians since the retheme, so interested to hear you enjoyed both. TOT (at WDW) is my 2nd fave ride, so I'm dubious, like you were..
    Haven't been into Flo's before, looks fun!
    Thanks - it did get busier as we got further into the week (and closer to the public holiday) but it was still manageable for the most part

    I was surprised by GOTG and how much I enjoyed it. I hope you do to when you get a chance to experience it.

    Flo’s was great! We planned to eat there for dinner too but didn’t make it there in the end (next time I guess)
     

    heidijanesmith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2010
    Still loving your TR and those pics are fantastic!

    I have not been to Disneyland since I was a little kid. I can't get my DH to go to Cali, he loves EPCOT and won't try another park!

    The Carsland area looks so great, I love the Halloween overlay. What a fun trip, spend time at both parks!!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Still loving your TR and those pics are fantastic!

    I have not been to Disneyland since I was a little kid. I can't get my DH to go to Cali, he loves EPCOT and won't try another park!

    The Carsland area looks so great, I love the Halloween overlay. What a fun trip, spend time at both parks!!
    I hope you can convince DH to give it a try. It is very different from EPCOT of course but it’s the original park so you feel so much more of the history of Disney parks there.

    It really was wonderful to be able to visit both resorts. Carsland is fantastic for sure!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 13 - Part 2 - From the Pier to Wine Country

    Heading out of Flo's we saw another Photopass opportunity with no line. So of course, we took advantage of it. The spider car is a little spooky, but a fun photo op!









    After a quick bathroom break (in which I had to wonder who taught the Disney CM cleaning this bathroom how to replace toilet rolls) we headed back to Pixar Pier.



    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! Hehe – I took the picture because Jared is very particular about toilet paper being put on the roll the correct way! Speaking of Jared, he had finally got a chance to wear the t-shirt he bought at Animal Kingdom, that he’d been wanting since he saw it on our 2015 trip!



    Anyway, all side bars aside, when we made it to Pixar Pier and our next Maxpass location, Toy Story, we felt extremely grateful. The wait for Midway Mania had jumped to 65 minutes and Fastpasses were already being distributed from after 3pm. We walked on to the attraction pretty quickly and we were happy we’d not had to wait for over an hour. I enjoy Toy Story, but it’s not the kind of attraction I’d ever wait longer than 10 minutes for.

    Waiting to be loaded into the next available car we found ourselves chatting with a lovely CM. She was really impressed we’d been to all the Disney parks bar Paris and wanted to know what our favourite park was. I think it pleased her when we said Disneyland, though we did advise her Tokyo Disney is a close second. Anyway it’s a good thing we didn’t have to wait long for Toy Story as the final two games on our ride, including the bonus game, stopped working! Woody was suck on a loop. It was a bit disappointing, as were our scores.

    I am the Beaver, Jared was the Bunny



    I find this game so exhausting on my arms too, constantly pulling the string! Clearly my arm muscles are not very strong! We didn’t really have much else we wanted to accomplish before lunch. We had just booked a Maxpass for the only other attraction we had planned to get done that day, Grizzly River Run (between 11:30am – 12:30pm), but it wasn’t quite time to use it. So we decided instead to wander around Pixar Pier, take some photos and see if there was a short wait for the fun wheel.

    Sadly the fun wheel’s wait had jumped to 30 minutes, and that line moves SLOWLY, so I wasn’t interesting in waiting for it. We did enjoy a stroll around the pier though, taking in all the changes and enjoying the colours and vibrancy of the area.



















    On our way into Grizzly Peak we wandered past some Green Toy Soldiers, who were leading a group of bystanders in various "pledges of allegiance". In one, the solders stated a pledge, followed by "state your name". When the "pledge" was repeated everyone actually vocalised the line word by word, saying "state your name" rather than actually listing their name. I laughed quite a bit at this, I have to say!

    We were very happy with how the morning was going. In three hours we'd gotten 4 Maxpasses, had been on 5 rides (all of them headliners) and were about to get on our 6th. It was a Saturday, and we were worried about crowds but it looks as though we needn't have been.

    When we arrived at Grizzly River Run the wait was 50 minutes, so we were pleased to have our Maxpass. Plus it was getting pretty hot (probably why the line was long) so it felt like the perfect time to ride this fantastic river rapids attraction.

    I had actually forgotten just how fast this one is. It also manages to maintain it's smoothness, despite it's speed and the jostles and bumps of the rapids themselves.

    We were lucky to end up in a raft with a really fun group. We chatted and laughed, and speculated about who would get the most wet. Jared chuckled along with everyone else when, mid sentence, he got a very large splash of water in his completely open mouth! It was pretty hilarious. We all ended up about as wet as each other in the end. Jared, and those on the seats next to the gaps where you enter and exit the raft, had it a little worse though, as the water would come in over the sides of the gaps. I was in a middle seat and as a result didn't get anywhere near as wet. We came off just soaked enough to feel as though we'd been cooled down.

    As we waited to unload (which can take some time when a number of rafts are backed up) we had a fantastic chat with our raft mates. They wanted to know where we were from, as they'd guessed it wasn't the US (our accents do give us away). They all wished us a happy 10th anniversary in unison too, which was adorable and so lovely (they had noticed our badges as we rode). I really think riding with fun people in a ride like Grizzly River Run really adds to the experience. It's one of the great things about a rapids ride, that other rides don't really allow you to experience (because of their layout mostly). That sense of "kinship" with the group of people who are about to get as soaked as you! :rotfl2:

    Once we were done we decided that we'd go and cancel our dinner reservation at Carthay Circle. We decided we needed a bigger afternoon break, and we had decided to avoid Carthay due to it's expense and smaller portions, which wouldn't be as conducive to sharing.

    We were worried we'd be charged a cancelling fee, as we weren't able to cancel the reservation online (as we were too close to it) and were told to call the Disney Dining line. We figured just going to the restaurant would be easier, so while Jared did that I took some shots of the beautiful fountain in the centre of Buena Vista Street.

















    Jared arrived back, reporting that the restaurant CMs had kindly not charged him a cancellation fee. I was not done with my pictures though (Jared got in the way of this one a little).









    By the time we were done at Carthay Circle it was time for lunch. We had booked lunch at Wine Country Trattoria at 12:00pm, so we made our way back towards Pixar Pier and towards the restaurant. We had to wait briefly for our table, and I enjoyed chatting with a local local AP who sounded a little tired of being an AP (I could not understand this, but then again, going to Disney is still something of a novelty to me).

    We had a great server named Zac, who wished us Happy Anniversary and who bought us the menu and wine list. Jared hadn't drunk much wine on the trip and so he felt he had a very serious choice to make RE which local wine sounded the best. Ironically, we had our passports on us that day, but Jared was not asked for ID!





    It was a gluten day for me, and we enjoyed the warm bread that was bought out (it was so fresh and so delicious!). I think I enjoy warm bread served before a meal so much more now that I don't really eat bread!

    For appetisers/entree we ordered the bruschetta with mushrooms, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and cheese and it was perfection! Honestly one of the best bruschetta's I've ever had in my life!



    As a main/entree we both shared the spaghetti bolognaise, though we aren't quite sure we got what we ordered. The pasta was covered in nap sauce and meatballs, and there was no "bolognaise" mince to be seen. The pasta was delicious though. The meatballs were juicy and tender, though it would have been nice if we got more than 2 (we checked our receipt and we were charged an extra $6.00 for the meatballs!).



    After lunch we headed out of the park, satisfied with what we'd accomplished on a Saturday morning. We managed to get to the ART Bus stop at 1:00pm and a bus arrived at 1:05pm, so we got lucky with timing here! The ART App journey planner sort of tells you when to expect the next bus, but it isn't very reliable, and times often change. And if a bus for the line you want (the most direct line) isn't due for a while you'll sometimes only get the times for the next bus on another line that you can catch which will let you connect to the line you want. It would have been nice to have a timetable, like a regular bus service, but the ART doesn't seem to offer this.

    Anyway, we made it back to the room in no time and had a great nap, which we really needed. After ordering the Cheesecake Factory for dinner again (we shared a chicken parmesan sandwich and chips, plus the fried cheese of course) we were ready to leave to head back into DCA.

    Continued in Next Post...
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 13 - Part 3 - Sunsets over the Pier

    After a fantastic rest we left our motel at 5:25pm, hoping that giving ourselves almost an hour to make it back into the park via bus would mean we would make it back to DCA for sunset. We were lucky as it turned out, the next bus came just 10 minutes later and we were on our way to the resort.

    For some reason, the bus had the date listed as the 24 November 2016 (I found this funny as that's my sisters birthday and it was like being trapped in a ground-hog like moment where we were reliving her 27th birthday over and over again).

    I had worn my "my happy place" castle t-shirt again this evening. The security guard at the park check in adorably informed me that this was his happy place too! I was such a lovely and light interaction to have with a guard, who are often more serious than other CMs (just because of the nature of their job i suppose).

    We were inside DCA by about 5:50pm, so earlier than expected, and the sun wasn't ready to go down just yet.

    We thought we'd head towards Carsland and go on Radiator Racers using the single rider line. The wait for the attraction was 95 minutes and as we entered the single rider line we saw it was quite long, and we were worried about missing the sunset so we decided it might be best to just take a few pictures around Carsland and then head over to Pixar Pier.

    This was our first experience of true Halloween crowd levels at either of the parks. The pattern of lines getting longer as the evening wore on seemed to be fairly normal by the end of our trip. I would say it had to do with APs coming into the parks after work hours, which drove up the crowds and waits. By comparison, the mornings and early afternoons were much quieter. This was very opposite to our experience at Disney World, where waits do tend to drop as the evening wears on, so it was a strange experience. It makes sense though, for parks that are heavily visited by locals.

    We got a few more pictures of the details of Carsland, along with some of the Halloween decorations, which are really fantastic. This area looks great at Halloween time.







    These taillight flowers are just one of the examples of why I love Carsland, and all it's quirky and unique flourishes.

















    The Spanish moss in the tree near Radiator Springs Curios was one of my favourite little touches!



    Not to mention the carved pumpkin road cones!



    We headed over to Pixar Pier to wait for the sun to set. There was a lovely orange glow behind the Fun Wheel and Incredicoaster.



    Looking back towards Pacific Wharf it was even prettier!



    I enjoyed surveying the pier.











    Within no time the sky had turned stunning! These are some of my favourite pictures that we took on the whole trip (the reflections have been edited as, thanks to the World of Color fountains the original pictures just didn't have the effect I wanted).





    Looking back towards the Paradise Pier hotel the setting sun had created beautiful "God rays" which were bursting right behind the hotel and parts of the pier! It was stunning! We hadn't been expecting that nice a sunset, with little cloud cover to catch the colour, but we ended up with some amazing colours and light!







    The sun disappeared behind the horizon pretty quickly, and blue hour descended upon the pier....

    Continued in Next Post....
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top