Another One-Day Wonder (Halloween Party Sept 2018 complete)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 17, 2018.

  1. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    3 PM had finally come! we entered excitedly, and DD humored me (the first of many) as we grabbed some Photopass pics in front of the headless horseman statue, since there was no line. :) Then we high-tailed it over to Guardians, as I looked at MaxPass (and DD steered me to keep me from walking into anyone, haha) and saw that there were still MP's available for Guardians: Monsters After Dark at at point when we'd still be in CA. (6:20) I promised her if she didn't like the ride (She hated ToT in 2013 and 2016) that we would cancel it, and she agreed to grab one, in case she loved it and wanted to ride again. She was very nervous as we headed for this ride, but I appreciated her willingness to try it again. And she appreciated my willingness to not try to make her ride the Incredicoaster. Screamin' was way too much for her in 2016. I was SO excited. This is my favorite ride at CA for sure! Actually, the standby line was super short (shorter wait than many times I've ridden it with a FP) and we were sitting down within 13 minutes of entering the queue! PLUS, we got front and center seats. I was super excited, especially since this might be our only ride! DD was still oh-so-nervous!
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    And all through the ride, she was holding onto my arm so tightly, I really thought she was hating it. I tried to have fun anyway, and hoped she'd be okay. I was super surprised afterwards to hear that she liked it, and that she was willing to ride it again! What the what?! I remember something similar happening on Space Mountain during her first ride when she was 5...
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    And after that, we saw Groot was greeting guests right outside! I'm kind of obsessed with Groot, and he is one character I've definitely wanted a picture with. My daughter humored me, and though the line attendant warned us he may need a break before we got to the front, the line moved very quickly, and we got our pictures! It was fun seeing her meet him, too. :) So by 3:30 we had already ridden a "big" ride and met a long-awaited character! On our way away from Guardians (I was really missing that short cut through cute A Bug's Land!) we ran into some of our line friends, and had to do a shout out and a selfie. :) They had just been on Incredicoaster.
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    We made our way over to the Pier area, and waited in line almost 10 minutes for Ariel. I thought it very strange that it took almost as long to get on that ride as it did Guardians at that time of day! Always an enjoyable ride, though, even if we did get stuck in front of Ursula for a few minutes. :) Then we waited almost 15 minutes for Goofy's Sky School, which is one of my DD's favorites. For some reason. :) I do enjoy the theming more than I enjoyed Mulholland Madness, but it's still fairly jerky. After that, we walked onto the Silly Symphony Swings, which has always been one of my favorites, but makes me a little dizzier than it used to make my younger self.
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    At that point we enjoyed seeing and exploring the new Pixar Pier. We didn't realize the Wall-E/Eve cake pops were exclusive to Pixar Fest, and were sad to have missed them! DD settled for a Woody cake pop. Man, was that thing rich! We enjoyed it, though. The cake was chocolate, which we didn't realize. Everything was so cute, and I enjoyed the theming a little more than the original Paradise Pier, though I missed the music a little bit. And for some reason I hate the name of the "Pixar Pal-a-Round." We like TSMM, but the line was like 35-40 minutes, which was not worth it that day.
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    When our MP window had popped up, we had grabbed a FP for Soarin,' but it wasn't until 6:40, and depending on how long it took to get through Monsters After Dark (and how long I know even the Soarin' FP line can take with the park getting busier after DL closed) I wasn't sure we were going to make it... But it was time to do another must-do for my DD: Grizzly River Rapids! Now, honestly, I love that ride. But I don't love walking around with wet pants or shoes, or maybe getting soaked (so possible) and then staying for a late, possibly cool evening. But it was all good, because I was wearing flip flops (My Crocs flip flops can rock a full Disney day!) and my DD changed to her flip flops, and we stashed our stuff in the provided lockers. And grabbed our ponchos. The ones I ordered on eBay, figuring all cheapie ponchos were basically the same. WRONG. SO WRONG. As I tried to figure out how to put the thing on, it started dissolving in my hands. Seriously. And I thought I had more time to figure it out, because the wait time said 20 minutes. We were on a raft in less than 10, and still fighting with these less-sturdy-than-saran-wrap yellow ponchos. And mine was coming apart at all the seams. Suddenly, visions of a wet seat or a soaked shirt the rest of the night were dancing in my head... we really didn't have time to go back to our hotel and change or anything with such a short time allotted!
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  2. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Luckily, neither of us got drenched, as has happened more often than not in the past. I had a few very wet spots on my shorts, where the poncho was coming apart, and the top back of my shirts was damp for 3-4 hours, but we mostly dried quickly. I was so grateful! I did not want us to be too cold, or chafed, or any of the fun stuff that can come with getting soaked. I also did not want to drop $50 on a hoodie or some new sweat pants or something, which would NOT go with our costumes! :) We were very glad for the flip flops though; our shoes would have been soaked otherwise.
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    Our next goal was to ride RSR, now that the sun wasn't so intense and it seemed a little cooler. (Just after 5:30). The FP return line was insanely backed up, and went all the way back to Luigi's! I was nervous about even the single rider line (the app said 95 min for regular line) but the cast member said about 25 minutes, so we went with it, since this was a must-do for DD. We ended up waiting just over 20 minutes, which was not a big deal. While in line we decided it was more important to get over and enjoy the Halloween Party offerings right after we rode GotG:MAD rather than ride Soarin', so I cancelled that FP. I hope someone was excited to snatch it up, since it was in like 40 minutes! We got on RSR at pretty much the same time, and got off together. We both had a great ride, and our cars won! I was riding with the cast of Frozen. :)
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    On our way out of Carsland (missing that cut through to Guardians again!) we hit up another Photopass Photographer that was just standing there... I love all the decor in Carsland. I wish we had had a little more time to just enjoy all the details, but another fall we'll do that. :) We had already looked at a lot of it in detail on Youtube, so DD was more focused on rides, and I was there last fall and got to check a lot of it out. We headed for Guardians: Monsters After Dark and got there right at our 6:20 MP return time. Yay! It was busier than earlier, and it took us about 15 minutes to get onto the ride. Still not bad. It was so fun! Do you see the cute Baby Groot in my hand? :) DD enjoyed it even more, and even kept her eyes open through all of it this time. :)
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    It was time to hop over to Disneyland for our Halloween Party! Oh, did I mention that the first thing I did in California Adventure (pretty much) was think that I had lost our paper tickets by the time we finished our first ride on Guardians. It was a tense couple of minutes as we headed for guest services, with visions of possibly being stuck in CA instead of getting to hop over to our party... Thankfully I had put them in a different (safer, in my bag) place than I thought (in my lanyard) and we were only stressed for like 3 minutes. But still.
    Anyway, that stress was much earlier! I felt a little pang as we walked through the area they were preparing for Paint the Night, since I've been dying to see that parade (and striking out) since it debuted, but this was not my trip. :)
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    We hopped over about 6:45, and there weren't really lines for entry. We got our bracelets and little bags quickly and easily. More patience from my daughter as we got a few pictures on Main St, and then we were headed for the 5 minute wait on Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy. It took us about 10 minutes to walk through the line, with just a little waiting at the end. I was worried it would be too spooky for her to enjoy, but we had watched a little bit of it on Youtube, and she didn't mind it. (I kept my eyes open this year too... yay me).
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    I saw that the app said a 20 minute wait on PP, so I talked my DD into it. We walked through the castle and saw the cool projections. :) Neither of us were impressed that it actually took us over 30 minutes in that line. It probably wasn't worth that on such a crammed night, but oh well. Peter Pan is always good. After that she was ready for something to eat (we had struck out finding a macaron at California Adventure before we hopped, and the line was long at Jolly Holiday Bakery...) and was wanting something exciting to ride, so we headed for our favorite DL ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and did the treat trail behind it too. It has been many years since I ate candy because I was starving (I've eaten plenty of candy when not starving, but I've always had real food options. DD had no patience for standing in line for FOOD, haha). Big Thunder Mountain never disappoints, especially at night, and we were on in less than 15 minutes. We got put in row number 14, woohoo! The back is the best part of that ride for sure. We waited even less time the next round, and got put in 15(!), and then decided to move on. DD wanted to do some more treat trails.
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    We did the Golden Horseshoe treat trail, which was actually pretty awesome, since I've never been in the Golden Horseshoe, somehow. Then we got some amazing photopass shots with the misty Rivers of America, and did the Rivers of America treat trail, which was really long. We got out right by the Haunted Mansion, and then DD's next desire had us headed way across the park again. :)
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  4. whitneyebz

    whitneyebz Mouseketeer

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    I can't wait to ride Monsters After Dark! You know, I never liked ToT, and last year I was scared to ride Guardians. Well, my husband somehow convinced all of us (yes even our 4yo!) to go on it. Everyone did great and my oldest loved it. The middle 2 liked it, and the youngest did not want to ride again but he wasn't traumatized. I, however, thought it was awesome! It's now one of my top rides!
     
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  5. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    It is so much fun! It's seriously a party, and has become my firm favorite ride at CA since the re-do. I loved the period theming of ToT and how it blended with the rest of the area better, but the ride was a little spooky for me. This is much more fun!
     
  6. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    We had skipped Autopia the last trip, due to too many kids too small to ride without help, and DD really wanted to ride it. That ride is definitely better enjoyed when the sun is down and the line is nonexistent. :) But also better enjoyed without 10-year-old drivers, if we're going to hit all relevant points... She enjoyed it though, and even though she's 2 inches taller than the required "ride alone" height, she would have had a hard time pushing the pedal enough to not cause back ups on the track without me along.
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    We were right there, so I convinced her we should do the Star Wars treat trail, hoping there would be a character or two inside. And we found one! We almost didn't go in, because it said she was there, and the wait said 5 minutes, but there was no one in line. Just as we were about to keep going, I saw a handler from inside, and she came out and said she was meeting people! I was super excited for DD, and she was excited for this particular meet. :)
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    It was about 9:20, and I tried to coax DD into trying to catch a little of the parade, or watch the fireworks projections from IASW at least (without pressing her at all - I knew she would do it if I really wanted to) but she just wasn't that interested. So we headed towards Fantasyland to see what was still open during the fireworks. The Storybook Canal boats had almost no line, an DD had never been on that one, so we decided to try it. What I didn't realize is that once they loaded us, the fireworks would start and they would make us sit there at the dock until they finished. :-/ So we had the weird experience of sitting on a boat, trying to turn around enough to see the fireworks coming from behind the park, (with the CM asking us to turn back around and sit facing forward) and in front of us from the castle. We even saw Zero a tiny bit through the trees. Then we did go on the ride, but I think I like it better during the daytime. I should mention at this point that we never did manage to get any dinner. DD was just to intent on treat trails and rides. So we ate apples and carrots and candy for dinner...
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    DD was excited to ride Alice in Wonderland (the app had said 35 min most of the evening, so we had waited) but it never opened back up after the fireworks. :-( So we took a spin on the teacups and lucked into some really cool Photopass pics. They were just opening up other parts of Fantasyland, and we were the first cycle on the Carousel. Along with Belle! I don't know why she was riding, but it was pretty cool! The carousel is another of my must-do's. Somewhere in there we did the Pixie Hollow treat trail, but I can't figure out when...
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    Star Tours was a must-do for DD, and with less than an hour left (sad!) we needed to accomplish a few more things. It was basically a walk-on, and DD even got chosen as the rebel spy! We almost did it one more time, but she decided she'd rather ride BTMR again, so we headed that direction. She hadn't ever ridden the Astro Orbiter, so we grabbed a ride on that first. Man, that one is another one that didn't used to make me feel nearly so dizzy! Why do I have to get old so quickly? Since we went right by it, we decided to do the Golden Horseshoe treat trail again. The line wasn't much any more, but they didn't give us any more candy than the first time through, even though it was 20 minutes before the party ended. Big Thunder Mountain didn't disappoint. No wait, and we asked for towards the back and got #14. Great ride! Then when we got back to the station, they said we had to get out, but that we could ride again if we wanted to. The solo rider behind us offered to trade us and give us the very back for that next ride. It was awesomeness. No wait+night ride+back of the train+the goat trick= Just awesome.
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    We could have ridden again without getting on, but DD decided she did want to do HMH, and I knew they would let us in line if we got there before 11 PM. We walked with much purpose, and got in line at 11:56. It took about 20 minutes to get inside, but it was a fun ride. It stopped once for just a minute, and it was in the gingerbread house room. :)
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    It was 11:20 by the time we got out, and we slowly made our way to the front of the park. There were still lines for pictures on either side of the pumpkin, but the lines were closed. It's always hard to leave Disneyland, but not as hard this time, knowing I would be back twice in the following year. :) We did a little shopping in the Emporium, because I looked on my phone and found that the World of Disney had already closed. Whoops! DD ended up choosing a Mickey necklace. Not one of the ones she had liked from WoD, bust still nice, and little cheaper. We also got some of those flat round lollipops for the older 3 kids left at home, since DD said that's all DD2 wanted. It was time to go. And poor DD's feet were DONE. My hips were hurting a little after all the walking, but I could have probably gone another couple hours in that atmosphere, with lines as short as they were. :) Also, my stamina is much better at night, when the sun's down!
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    We had considered getting an Uber, or taking the ART back to our hotel, but I just felt like we'd be waiting just as long, and walking almost as much. It was just simpler to walk back. We did go through the GC lobby, and saw the awesome Oogie Boogie cake (DD loves to watch cake/baking shows and she was suitably impressed!). DD's feet were hurting a lot, so we stopped to change into her flip flops for a change in pressure at least. I couldn't figure out where the exit to Disneyland Dr was, and had to ask. Ha. We felt safe walking back to Katella, even though we arrived at our motel after midnight. I think DD was asleep about 5 minutes after she got in bed. :)
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  7. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    The next morning, I had to wake DD up finally at 8:30. :) Normally, my kids are all up before 6 AM, and occasionally sleep in until 6:30 or 7. She was sad that our adventure was drawing to a close, but still excited about the full breakfast the Quality Inn and Suites provided (including eggs and sausage, waffles, yogurt, mini doughnuts, etc.). She was also excited to check out our candy and sort hers carefully. We got probably about 10% more than this, plus some carrots and apples. Some of those we ate for "dinner," and some we forgot to put in the fridge and had to throw out. You can see both our piles next to each other in that first picture.
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    Our ride home was uneventful. It was a great trip, and I enjoyed the Halloween party completely. It would definitely be fun to do it again in a year or two, with a couple kids maybe. DD wants to repeat that kind of individual trip very much, and is excited to earn some money babysitting (for us, with her 12-year-old brother acting as the "age" while she does most of the work when we go out for little date nights. She'll be 11 soon, and then 12 in a little over a year, which is when some kids so some outside-their-home babysitting here) :)
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    If you're into funny little videos of other people touring Disneyland,
    you can find videos from our day HERE.
     
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  8. whitneyebz

    whitneyebz Mouseketeer

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    So, somehow I didn't realize you guys only went for the Halloween party! Looks like you had a great time! We aren't doing the party (too expensive to add it on, and we aren't huge on trick or treating or character meets) but it's nice that lines were short! I refuse to do Autopia...nope. If my kids want to, they aren't riding with me, lol!

    Love that she met Rey!! Awesome! That was like when my oldest met Kylo Ren...he was just so excited and luckily it was a short wait. Um, my DD was like 6/7 at the time, and she hugged him in our pictures from that day. Hahahaha not sure too many little girls hug Kylo Ren (we don't know what to do when we meet a character! lol!)

    I hear you on the babysitting. My oldest is 11, and when he is 12 I plan to let him babysit (youngest will be 5 so he won't be responsible for any babies)...but my DD is the mature one who will do most of the work (she will be 10 by then). Unfortunately, where I live everyone wants older teens to babysit (I am in AZ)...don't get me started on people not allowing their kids (appropriate) freedom, etc. I was babysitting BABIES at age 12. That being said, hopefully by age 14 my DD can babysit for other families. We've hired young teens (and even a 12 year old once, but we knew the family well and they lived super close) and they were always very good.

    I'd love to do a trip with just DD someday! With her being my only girl, we do sometimes do things just the 2 of us, but then the boys get jealous...but they don't really get it. And maybe my husband can do one on one trips with them!
     
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  9. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Love this report, love the photos -- all the smiles, all the memories! So glad that all your planning and hard work paid off and that even GOTG:MAD worked out for you! Way to rock the magic! :)
     
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  10. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    This looked to be an absolutely perfect Mother-Daughter adventure :) I love how you were able to balance out some of your favorites and some of hers.
     
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  11. ccpat

    ccpat Earning My Ears

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    Looks like such a fun trip! We’ve been going to the Halloween parties for the past 4 years, and going on the 29th will be our 5th time. Next Year only our youngest will still be at home and I think it will be a fun trip for him to be the only kiddo and get to be in charge.
     
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