Canadians visited LA and Disneyland in Aug 2017 - Amazing Trip!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Frozen2014, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. provencio

    provencio Mouseketeer

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    great review!! following.....
     
  2. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much. Glad you're following along and enjoying.
     
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  4. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 7 - Part 3 - Disney Parks - Cafe Orleans and is RSR Back Online?

    We had a 5:30pm reservation at Café Orleans. I had done a lot of research on Disney restaurants and this one kept coming up as recommended as well as Carnation Café. So which one? Well, those Monte Cristos looked amazing and they even had a meat and non-meat version so we went with Café Orleans.

    This is another example of why park hopping is great. It took us no time to walk to the restaurant (well, after we asked a few people along the way where it was located) and we weren’t tied to a park for the day based on dinner.

    We checked in at the front and were seated within 5 minutes. They brought us to a seat outside which had a nice view (although our daughter wasn't thrilled with the odd bee that would stop by to visit). The servers weren’t ‘friendly’ and were a bit abrupt which is very non-Disney but we didn't let it ruin our meal. I had heard that the sandwiches were big enough to share so my daughter and I shared a cheese Monte Cristo. Our son got one for himself and DH got the meat version. And of course, you can’t come to Café Orleans without ordering the Pomme Frites. The fries with the parmesan and garlic are so yummy. The sandwiches lived up to their reputation too. So good! It was almost like eating a powdered donut filled with melted cheese…ha ha.

    So when dinner was done, one last check on the Disney app and yah! Radiator Springs was showing as back up and running. Thus, we hopped back over to DCA (did I mention that I love this park hopping thing?). Our son and DH sat in front and my daughter and I were in back. I love the peaceful ride at the beginning (and I like the part with the tractors tipping) and then the fast racing with the small up and down hills. Ok so maybe not the best idea riding this after dinner with those hills, but we “had to” ride RSR at least once a day. We captured our photos and added it to our PhotoPass pictures on the app by typing in the code. This picture is actually quite funny as my daughter and I look like we have the fear of death on our faces, DH has the look of disgust for some reason, and DS looks bored. The expressions certainly don't match how we actually felt but it’s funny what a snapshop can capture at any one second. Radiator Springs Racer is by far the best ride at Disney.

    I don’t remember if we went on any other rides at this point, but pretty sure it was shortly aftewards that we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. Kids needed showers, etc (I'm a morning shower-er and DH varies). Day 2 of 4 done. Time flies when you’re having fun.
     
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  5. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 8 – Part 1 – Disney Parks – DCA Start This Time

    It’s great waking up know we have another day at the parks. Today is Thursday and thus, that means magic morning is at Disneyland park. Thus, I thought it best that we start at DCA today so we are not at a disadvantage of rides. DCA opened at 10am and so we headed over a bit before 9:30am.

    Again, you could feel the heat even though it was quite early in the morning. It was going to be another scorcher. They opened the gates by around 9:40am and we headed with the herd to the area at the mountains. We had purchased MaxPass again so I watched the app and as soon as the rides were available, I booked Radiator Springs Racer. Then when they let us in, we headed to Toy Story Mini Mania. There wasn’t much line since we went first thing and thus the ride was walk on. Don’t think I’ve mentioned yet about how our daughter was being sure that she was fair to everyone. At each ride she’d say “This one I’m riding with mommy”, then the next would be with daddy and then the next with her brother. She was making sure to be even so no one would have their feelings hurt. It was cute. Toy Story was fun as always. With each ride I managed to beat my record, but my score was still far from being called ‘good’…lol.

    Next we booked Radiator Springs Racer FastPass from the app. Figured we’d better book it earlier today after what happened yesterday (plus these run out later in the day). It’s great with the FastPass as you bypass the lines. We got on pretty quick and we look happier this time from the photos..ha ha.

    Our son loved Guardians so we got him another FastPass. I booked all four of us even though DD and I weren’t riding and DH was iffy. It’s easier to keep our FastPass times in sync…especially when one is a headliner as that throws the next FastPass availability off with 1.5 hr wait.

    We wandered a bit after the RSR and got some nice pictures of our kids on some rocks. Sometimes the simple pictures are the ones that turns out the best.

    After that, we split up for a bit. DD wanted to see the Frozen show. We weren’t sure how early we needed to get in line for good seats so we got there slightly after 11am for a 12pm show. This seemed like good time as we were third in line and we were able to get front row seats (and at least we were in the shade when waiting outside). For any Frozen fans, or even theatre fans, I recommend taking the time to see Frozen. It was really well done and I was more impressed than expecting. They had neat effects with Elsa’s freezing and the ice bridge, and of course you get to hear all the Frozen songs live. It was up to Broadway standards (but in a 1 hr show). I was able to capture a few pictures but they’re not the best quality.

    The Coronation

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    And with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven

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  6. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 8 – Part 2 – Disney Parks – DCA is Heating Up

    While DD and I were at Frozen, DS and DH found things to do while waiting for their Guardians FP. It was heating up so they went on Monsters Inc ride again (as the queue is all inside) and then headed over to Sorcerer’s Workshop. Our son really enjoyed that animation area. If we had more time, it would have been neat to have gone to one of the animation workshops. On the board they had different characters posted at different times, so I assume that they were teaching you how to draw each one.

    The Frozen show ended close to when DH and DS completed Guardians. This time DH braved the ride. He’s a Marvel fan too but was avoiding it due to a sensitive stomach.

    Usually I was the one who booked FastPasses but our window opened up right when Frozen started. Thus, I gave DH the job of booking the next one. (He just signed into my account on his phone so we had the same access). Hopefully it wasn’t too stressful for him as I couldn’t give him exact instructions. I had suggested if Soarin was between 2pm and 3pm, then book that. Otherwise, try something like Grizzly River Run. We wanted to time it after lunch but then we’d park hop after that. He messaged me that he was able to get it for 2:30pm or so, so perfect timing.

    We met up with DH and DS after the Frozen show. It was perfect timing as they had just gotten off Guardians. We were hungry so we headed to find lunch. On our way, we saw a photopass photographer and got some pictures (including magic shots) infront of Guardians.

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    In my pre-planning research, I had noted a few quick service places but they were at the other end of the park and we didn’t want to walk there in the heat. Thus we went back to Hollywood Land. We ended up at Award Wieners. Our kids like good old healthy hot dogs. The restaurant also offers a good Portobello sandwich for non meat eaters like myself. One thing that was nice to see you could get fries OR fruit on the side. We compromised and got one of each and then our kids shared. At least they had an ounce of healthy food.

    After lunch we had some time until Soarin time so we headed to Grizzly River Run. Only our son wanted to go on this so DD and I walked him on and waited. He quite liked it and ended up being the one that got soaked…lol. At least it was a hot day for him so it wasn’t so bad to be wet.

    Our Soarin FastPass time opened up so we headed there. The stand by line was quite long so was glad we had a FastPass. It wasn’t long until we were at the pre-room where they put you in your row and you see the movie. This time we were placed in the middle row. As mentioned earlier, we could (slightly) see feet dandling when the ride went up so it didn’t have a great of an effect. Having said that, I really love Soaring at DCA. The video is beautiful and so relaxing. It made me want to be a bird.

    Trying to remember but I think we booked Indiana Jones FastPass once our window opened up to prepare for the next ride.

    After Soarin we were ready to hop to Disneyland park for a few hours. On our way out, DD saw Minnie Mouse and wanted a picture. Well Minnie grabbed her hand and walked her across Buena Vista Street. It must have been Miniie’s photopass spot but it was so sweet, and one of those magic Disney moments. Not sure that would happen at WDW?

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  7. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 8 – Part 3 – Disney Parks – Over to DL Before Evening Activities

    It was time to cross over to Disneyland. As we entered, I noticed some photopass photographers by the grass area with the building behind so our kids grudgingly stopped for pictures. We got some cute magic shots with tinkerbell and balloons and a bunch of silly ones too.

    We headed to New Orleans area where we used our FastPass for Indiana Jones. This one is worth riding daily as it's tons of fun. Our son wanted to ride Splash again as it’s his favorite so when done Indiana Jones he headed towards the ride. Since it was just him, he could skip the long lines and ride the single rider queue. I took my daughter to Winnie the Pooh as it’s near by. As we were about to board the honey pot, we saw my son and husband. Apparently Splash was down. My son wasn’t a happy camper but they followed us on Winnie.

    Afterwards, I kept checking to see if Splash was up but it seemed like it would be down for awhile as the big drop was bone dry. Not sure how long it had been down. We decided to walk to It’s a Small World since we hadn’t been on that one yet at Disneyland. On the way, we passed Rivers of America. It’s so peaceful.

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    At some point, I got a FastPass for Star Tours as we thought he’d head over to Adventureland a bit later.

    I checked again and Splash was still down. Didn't seem hopeful.

    As we were walking to Small World, we noticed they had parts of the street sectioned off. Then we saw the Soundsational Parade go by and understood why areas were roped off. Oh yeah…that’s what we haven’t seen yet. At WDW we saw the Halloween parade and DD and I also caught the daytime one. They were both impressive. At Disneyland, the parade was daily but the timing never worked (and this time I forgot about it). There was a Pixar Parade at DCA but they recently stopped it. Anyways…I think we were standing near the end of the parade route so we missed it. Oh well.

    We continued to It’s a Small World. What a beautiful ride from the front.

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    The ride was walk on with no wait (familiar pattern). The boats were much smaller than WDW; however, the ride itself seemed so much longer than WDW’s version. I quite like this ride and think it’s wonderful how they’ve included cultures from across the world singing the same song. But yeah…that tune does get annoying after a bit (and darn, it’s in my head now again that I’m writing about it ).

    Next we headed to Star Tours. My son loved this ride and I had been curious what it was so I decided to give it a try. We got in fairly quickly and were assigned our section. This time DH decided to skip it and walked through. The ride is apparently different every time. The beginning is cute with 3CPO ending up being pilot by accident (or is it R2D2…I always get them mixed up). Then you are off flying and of course things are chasing you and you’re bumping into things. It’s fun, but can get how it’s not easy on someone with a sensitive stomach. I was ok, but don't think I could run back on again.

    We had WOC Dessert party that night but we wanted to hit one more ride before heading back to DCA. Final check...Splash was still down...but Autopia was nearby. We all loved the Speedway ride at WDW and this one seemed similar. The line took about 15 minutes. With Speedway, you can’t mess up the driving or crash the car, but I wasn’t very good at it. Thus, I was happy when my son said he’s ride with me so he would drive (phew) and then DH would drive with DD. The ride is fun and almost peaceful driving around the bends.

    Ok…time to head to the dessert party. Our kids were super excited for their “dinner”.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  8. Our Aussie six

    Our Aussie six Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to hear about the dessert party
     
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  9. Jaina

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

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    Following along! I'm thinking MaxPass is going to be a must for our next trip! Though at $60-$70 a day for our family, it might be a little expensive. Sigh. ;-) Sounds like you guys were having a great trip!
     
  10. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for following. We really loved MaxPass but yeah, it does add up....especially for a larger group. For how many days are you going? You could add it for just one or two days.
     
  11. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 8 – Part 4 – Disney Parks – WOC Dessert Party

    While planning our trip, I had gone through lots of debate of dining package vs FastPass vs dessert party. I had even dismissed the dessert package due to the cost. At first I had dinner package booked with Wine Country Trattoria, then we decided on Fantasmic dining pacakage so switched to FastPass because of the cost. But then with all the positive comments, we went for it and I booked the dessert party.

    I’m the type to leave 2hrs early for a show, just to make sure there are no obstacles (at home, it might be traffic or subway issues). People say that you can see well from any seat, but they also suggested to ask for a high top table in front. Thus, I made sure we were in line early so that we would get that choice. Having said that, I just meant for us to line up 30 minutes early but I mixed up the time and we were there 45 minutes early (in line at 6:45pm for 7:30pm ADR and 8:15pm show). They hadn’t even set up the sign yet for the line, but CMs were super nice and helpful and explained where the line ups would start. By 7:10pm the line started getting long.

    When they started taking people in, they asked what kind of table we wanted and they sat us at the front (high top table) quite centred. Great seat! The only negative thing is because we are a family of four, I had to turn shift my angle on my seat for the show but not a big deal.

    Very shortly after seated they came around with our drink orders. Our kids of course got those fancy light up cups with some kind of sweet drink in them. I got the blue (sweet) alcoholic drink and DH got a beer (not on the list when they tell you the options, but they said no problem when he asked). I also asked for extra waters, which were mini water bottles. They had no issue bringing extra drinks (I had another blue drink later too). They brought out a basket of bread and bread sticks.

    Now onto the dessert! They brought us each a large plate that was filled with 3 different kinds of cheese (cheddar, brie, and some sharp cheese), some grapes and a variety of treats. The treats included a mini chocolate cake, mini macaron, mickey macaroon (coconut flavored things), jam filled shortbread cookie (for me, this was the best item), and mini caramel cheesecake. Yum…and I hate to say it…I know that a lot will get a doggy bag but most of us finished not all, but most of the plate. It was our dinner after all….lol.

    Our dinner

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    Close up with the drinks and breadsticks

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    They started with a pre-show or a game. If you signed into some app/website, you could play a game of ‘simon’ where the lights were shown on the Mickey Fun Wheel. Pretty creative of them to think of that. DH played for a bit but then then it was killing his phone battery so he stopped.

    One neat thing that we noticed was that at one point our kids cup stopped flashing. But then it started again. It was at that point that we noticed that the lights were synchronized with the Fun Wheel lights. Cool! I think the waiter said that the cups also syncronize to the fireworks, but of course, we weren't going to lug the cups back to the park the next day.

    For the actual show, what to say, but wow. It was so beautiful! It’s hard to describe in words but it’s a mix of Disney projections with colourful fountain lights, music playing and even fire. It really is something to see and I recommend it to anyone visiting DCA. My pictures don’t do it justice and didn’t turn out very well but I tired to capture it a bit.

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    And

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    (the black area on the bottom are people standing)

    And one with the fire
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    When fire was in the show we could really feel the heat, and that was all the way back at the dessert party seat. I can imagine how warm it must have been sitting close up. Guess the splash zone people would have been grateful for getting wet to be cooled off.

    So was it worth the $79 USD (we’re Canadian so add on the bad exchange rate for us)? Most definitely! It is a splurge and even aside from the “dinner”, we were able to sit and not worry about being blocked. We did notice people standing with kids on their shoulders so I totally understand the risk of getting the dining package or FastPass. This is worth doing at least once.

    When the show was over, we were told that our kids could keep the light up cups. Our son didn't want his but our daughter insisted. So we took it back to the hotel, but told her that she had to carry it on the plane as her carry on bag. She ended up using the next two dinners at home (and we ate in the dark so she could see the lights...lol), but since then it's been sitting on our kitchen counter.

    After the show, we returned to the hotel. Tomorrow would be our last day. Boo! But we would make the most of it. Our days have been pretty full....and pretty amazing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  12. Jaina

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

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    Haha, we haven't actually planned it yet. We just went in November, and with 5 kids 10-and-under (one of them only 4 months) we kind of wore ourselves out going for four days! I am going without kids later on this month, which I'm excited about, but I don't think we'll do another family trip in a year or two, but I'm thinking we might just do 2-3 days and add Max pass one or two of the days. We could probably get more done while cutting food and hotel costs on that extra night/day and be a little less worn out!

    It sounds like the World of Color dessert package is awesome! I'm glad you had a good experience!
     
  13. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    What a special trip to go with your group of kids. Such great memories. And how nice you have an adult trip planned. After experiencing one day with legacy and then the rest with MaxPass, I'm a big voter for MaxPass. It definitely helps with not having to run around (and in our case as first timers, having to first find the machines..lol). You can just book it on the app and then head to the ride when the window opens. It also shortens the duration of when you can grab the next FastPass for those that hit the max time. I really do recommend it if its in the budget. Enjoy your end of the month, and it's always nice knowing you'll go again as a family, even if it is a few years away.
     
  14. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 1 – Disney Parks – Our Last Park Day

    This was our last day at the parks. Boo hoo. We knew it would be a full day so we didn't rush for rope drop. We got there around 10am for a 9am opening. We knew too that the parks would be busy today due to it being the marathon weekend plus the fact that Fantasmic and fireworks only occurred Fridays – Sunday evenings. Had we come a week earlier, we wouldn’t have run into ‘low season’ hours and show times. The large crowds were proving to be true even just arriving at security. It was the first time we saw a line up (then again, it could have also been due to the fact that arrived when the park was already open and not rope drop). Once through security, we headed to Disneyland.

    Even with the line up, it didn’t take long to get through the gate. We purchased MaxPass, booked Indiana Jones and headed to Pirates. I really do love the DL version. Pirates ended up being a good choice as a 'first ride pick' as not only were we the only ones on our boat, but the boat infront of us was empty too. The downside of that of course, is that we didn’t get the warning screams of the boat ahead to tell you when the drop is coming. I have to admit too that when being alone, I did wonder ‘what if the ride breaks down?’ as you feel more isolated. It was fun though having our own boat.

    After Pirates, our kids wanted to check out Tarzan’s Treehouse. For anyone who doesn’t like stairs or heights, it’s probably not for you, but we liked walking through it. It didn’t take a long but had a few interactive things to look at.

    Our Indiana Jones FastPass opened up. As we approached it looked like it had broken down, but it had just opened back up so it didn’t affect us. As mentioned, I love this ride and it along with RSR they were the two rides that we rode daily.

    Once done, our son wanted to ride Splash again. As before he went on single rider line. My daughter and I went on Jungle Cruise again. I was wondering how similar the jokes are when you have person A leading it vs person B. They do repeat some jokes (mostly at the display animals) but they do each throw in their own jokes as well. I find the ride corny but fun as I tend to like ‘stupid’ jokes. DD and I waited for DH and DS at the gift shop near Jungle Cruise. Our kids' grandfather had given them each a bit of money and they hadn’t bought anything yet so our DD was eager to buy something. She purchased some candy as part of her purchase.

    We met up with DS and DH, booked a FastPass for Radiator Springs and headed over to DCA. Time to switch parks to ride our favorites again.
     
  15. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 2 – Disney Parks – Hitting Our Favorites One Last Time at DCA

    This would be the last time we crossed over to DCA so we were determined to rider our favorites again. We were on our way to our FastPass for RSR but I saw a few photopass photographers on the way so we had to stop. First, there was the statue of Walt Disney. We did same some photos the other day here, but it was nice to get some with the four of us. Here’s Walt (with a bit of photshopping)

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    Then I made my poor family stop one more time at the Radiator Springs billboard as you enter the area. I should mention that it’s not typically a big deal to stop, but it was so darn hot that extra time in the sun was hard. But still, we got some photos taken and they even put a surprise movie in there which gave us a laugh when we got home.

    After the pictures, the kids and I went on the Mater tractors. The second track was open this time, which is the same as the other one but I suppose they open it when they have more people. (Having said that, since entering the parks, we weren’t really noticing the extra crowds).

    It was next time for our Radiator Springs FastPass. This is far the best ride, and FastPass is a life saver. The stand by lines get so long. We got in Lightning McQueen again. My son of course was keeping track of who wins each race, and it seemed like we always came in first. Not sure if it’s just so close that it appeared we won each time, as otherwise, it seems like a strange coincidence?

    We booked a Toy Story FastPass as soon as we could and after Radiator Springs, we headed to Toy Story. We also booked another Radiator Spring FastPass as soon as we scanned our tickets to go in. We wanted to ride it one last time today. Again, Toy Story is a fun ride. Not sure if I was improving with practice or not but I don't think I should quit my day job to be a professional Toy Story shooter.

    After Toy Story, it was getting time for lunch. DH loved the turkey legs at WDW and I noticed a place near Toy Story that had them so he got a turkey leg. Our DD begged for one too, so he ended up getting her one as well. Our son got a hot dog at a near by kiosk. And then we walked over to Pacific Wharf as that was one of the places I had noted earlier to try but we didn’t make it. Even though it was ridiculously hot, I got the famous Sourdough bread with clam chowder soup. Smart move? Not so much…but yummy.

    We next wandered back to Hollywood Land. We went on Monsters Inc again and also checked out Animation Academy area. DS went to the Sorcerer’s Workshop again and DD and I went to Turtle Talk. When we went to Turtle Talk at WDW, Crush talked to my DD as she was in the front row. Pretty cool. This time she was further back, but it was still cute. It was quite similar to WDW version from what I remember. After that, DD and I met them in the workshop. We went to the back room where you have the quiz with Belle and the enchanted book. Pretty neat technology.

    Then back to Radiator Springs for another ride with our FastPass. Whoo hoo…we won again. Such luck…lol.

    When we were done, we headed on a search. We couldn’t come to Disney park and not have a Mickey Bar (our kids were first introduced to them on a Disney cruise). Thus, on our way out of DCA we found one of the treat stores. If we weren’t set on Mickey Bars it would have been hard to pick. Their treats are like art work…very impressive.

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    We did find the Mickey Bars and had it in the shop (they would have melted within 2 mintues outside…and even then, our kids managed to have it dripping on them...and all over their faces). Yummy...just like we remembered.

    Well, that was it for DCA. So sad to leave. We then headed back to Disneyland park as we had Fantasmic with dining package (well not directly following the Mickey Bars…but I guess pretty close).
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  16. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 3 – Disney Parks – Fantasmic Dinner Package

    We hopped back to Disneyland. We had some time before dinner, but I can't remember exactly what we did at this point (Indiana Jones again?). We had a 5:40pm Fantasmic dining package reservation at River Belle Terrace so we headed over there at that time. The CM at the front said that it would be about 10 minutes for an outside table and 40 minutes for an inside. Not sure then what a reservation means? Our daughter really wanted indoors since she’s scared of bees and other unknown flying objects, but we didn’t feel like going away with a set time for rides only to come back so we waited for an outdoor table. It didn’t take too long until they sat us. We did have them put up the umbrella to ensure we were in the shade as it was still warm in the evening if in the sun.

    We put in our orders…adult menu ribs for DS, children’s ribs for DD, chicken sandwich for DH and I had the BBQ Tofu. The funny thing is that I’m pretty sure that all our meals were cooked in the same BBQ sauce. DS quite liked his meal, but DD wasn’t impressed. First off, the sauce was too spicy for her (they should warn parents of that on a kids dish). Furthermore, the kids meal came with green beans. I thought that was an odd choice for a kid's vegetable. It’s not even a vegetable liked by many adults. It also came with grapes and tater tots, both of which she wasn’t fond o. So she basically ended up having just chocolate milk for dinner. All meals came with an appetiser too…salad or soup for adults, and I think it was carrots and dip for kids (I forget offhand).

    When they came back for our dessert order we mentioned that DD didn't like her meal. I suggested that they warn parents in the future that it is spicy. The waiter was nice though and brought out the other kids option for her….mac & cheese. Too bad he didn’t check in sooner as the mac & cheese was brought out with the dessert...but we did appreciate the gesture. As a note, the mac & cheese was quite good (cheesy), but of course, she only had a couple spoons before switching to the dessert.

    Dessert was the best part of the meal. DH and DD got a caramel pudding/parfait thing. It sounds boring but it was actually quite tasty. DS and I both had the special Dragon Mouse dessert. It was almost too pretty to eat, but you can’t let dessert just sit there on your plate….lol.

    Fantasmic Dessert

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    After dinner, we had some time before the show so we split up and made a meeting spot near River Belle Terrace for 8pm. Dh and I both took a picture of our spot to ensure we didn’t forget or mix up where it was. We knew there would be crowds later so that wouldn't help. I do like the look of the buildings there with the 'lace' borders and entrance ways.

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  17. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 4 – Disney Parks – Disneyland at Night

    If you’ve been reading my report then you can guess where our son was headed when we split up. Splash Mountain it was as he loves that ride. Again, I don't know how he braves that ride. It's quite some physics too that they don't provide seat belts with such a huge drop. Think he said he went on it 2 or 3 times. Single Rider makes it quick for him. Meanwhile, DD wanted to go on Big Thunder again. I booked a FastPass even though it wasn’t needed. Then we when we scanned our ticket for the FastPass, I booked another Big Thunder FastPass. She really loved this one. For our second time, we were placed at the back row which feels like a different experience than the sitting near the front (where we sat when the three of us rode it the very first time).

    Big Thunder is so pretty at night (for that matter, the whole park is neat looking)

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    After our Big Thunder rides, DD and I returned to Fantasyland. Initially my daughter was going to go on Dumbo but she thought that the line looked long so we went on King Arthur Carrousel. She wanted me to join her so we both hopped on a horse. Not sure why as merry go rounds are the calmest rides, but I sometimes find they give me a bit of a nausea feeling. Odd? Anyways, I was fine and she liked riding a plain old ride (which of course is still done beautifully at Disneyland).

    Next we were able to catch some beautiful pictures of the castle at night, which makes it look even more pink with the lighting.

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    I regret that we didn't take the opportunity to go and look at the castle closer (as DS would have had no interest in this). I think there is a bit of a walkthrough? I didn't think of it at the time, plus DH messaged that they were done so we left Fantasyland and met them at our meeting spot. The picture came in handy as some of the corners in that area looked similar.

    It was about 70 minutes before Fantasmic but we thought we may as well go and line up.
     
  18. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 5 – Disney Parks – Fantasmic and Fireworks

    The line up for Fantasmic is across from Haunted Mansion. We were around 1hr early by the time we got there and they let us in shortly afterwards. We had our designated dining spot in the Fantasmic “seating” zone. By ‘seat’ I mean area to sit on the ground. I think the Blue Bayou seats are the most centred but our area was fine too. As we were let in, our kids ran for a spot by the rail. They ended up going to the far right since this is where they could get front row. Usually I’m a fan of front row, but I would have suggested more to the left (so more centred) and a row or two back. For them though, they wanted to ensure that no one was in front of them. My main issue with the seats weren’t that they were off to the right but that the rail was in the way of our view. Anyways, they weren’t amazing seats but they were ok....and no one was in front of us blocking us.

    The wait for the show felt long (and uncomfortable on the ground) but the show eventually started. Mickey came out and things were happening, but I found it hard to follow the story. It’s pretty though with the projections, lights, characters and boats and stuff going by. They warned that you can get wet in the front, and we did notice misting during the show but nothing horrible. My pictures didn’t turn out great but here are a few.

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    And

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    You can see how the rail is in the way.

    I have to say that I much preferred the WDW version of Fantasmic. Of course, it helps that you get actual seats there. But moreover, I could follow the story and see all the scenes. WDW also seemed to have less projections and more characters and live stuff. I was a bit disappointed with Disneyland version.

    When the show was over, we stood up but stayed in place to watch the fireworks. They had projections in the water similar to Fantasmic (except now we were getting much more misting as it was constant) and the fireworks were to the side towards the castle. It definitely would have been better to have been at the castle, but at the same time, it was nice not having to scope out a place again with a long wait for a spot. It looked like there were 2 sets of fireworks but we could only see the main set by the castle.

    Boom

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    Boom Boom

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    Boom Boom Boom

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    By the end of the fireworks, I was actually quite cold from the misting from the projections (had to hide my watch and camera too from the water). When the show was over, we headed back to main street trying to fight the herd. It was close to 10pm and thus late for our kids, but they still had their money to spend from their grandfather so we stopped in one of the stores. Our son ended up getting candy (the same that our daughter got earlier) and a Disneyland memento (one of those glass things that you shake). Our daughter got a Mickey pin that she has on her knapsack.

    We returned to our hotel at that point. I have to say that our daughter was over tired and had a bit of a breakdown (triggered at her candy that had melted a bit) and it took a bit to calm her down. At the same time, we had to start packing as we were leaving Disney the next morning. So sad.

    One last thing...Just to show you the amount of walking that we did at Disney. That Friday for sure was a record for the number of steps in a day since having my FitBit. Disney does require a lot of walking...but wish this is how I could 'exercise' everyday...lol.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  19. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 – Part 6 – Going Home

    Today was the saddest day of our trip as we were going home. Although our flight wasn’t until 12:58pm, we knew that LA traffic would be horrible getting to LAX and so we would need lots of buffer time. There was also some warning in the Desert Inn elevators of road closures. Thus, we were up early, grabbed our last breakfast at the hotel and returned to the room to pack up. It’s such a horrible feeling knowing we were leaving. That’s Disney’s fault for being such an amazing place. The downside of too much fun.

    We called uber and didn’t wait too long. The guy said that he was going to take the longer route to avoid the horrible traffic. I think the ride took about 1hr and we had lots of time before our flight. People complain of LAX but aside from being large and horrible, but we really had no issues.

    Flight home was fine. It’s so much easier to take a 5hr flight when you are starting the trip than ending it. Near the end of the flight, our daughter started crying saying she didn’t want to go home. I tried to comfort her saying that it was good she didn’t want to go home as that meant she had such a good time, but it’s hard to reason with an 8 year old. It’s funny as it must be an age thing. I remember on the return from our last Disney trip at WDW, our son did the same thing and cried when we walked in our house upon our return (he was 9 years at the time).

    It was getting late, but our bodies were still 3 hrs behind (i.e. at 8pm our bodies felt like it was 5pm). Our son went to bed normal time, but our daughter stayed up a bit later (even though she’s the younger one). As we put her to bed, we asked ‘what was your favorite part of our tip’, and she replied ‘being with my family’. So sweet. To me, that makes the holidays.

    ...So that's our trip....I'll add a couple more posts with some thoughts.
     
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  20. Glynis4

    Glynis4 Mouseketeer

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    Loved your trip report!
     
  21. Crashbeckycoot

    Crashbeckycoot Earning My Ears

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    Sep 4, 2017
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    I enjoyed reading through your report :)
     

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