"She runs off of cotton candy!": A DLR TR April 2019

caylene44

Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
DAY TWO, LOSING A LITTLE STEAM

When we woke up the next morning, it was like a truck hit us. We definitely went hard the day before so we were exhausted. Nevertheless, not wanting to miss rope drop, we got to the DCA gate about half an hour before the 8 am opening. We were let in around 7:45 am and we headed over to the Starbucks for some coffee before hopping into the relatively short line for Soarin’. My dad doesn’t ride this one due to his fear of heights but weirdly my mom loves Soarin' and it doesn’t affect her motion sickness. Because my sister was still sleeping, it was just me, her, and my BF waiting in line while my dad did some shopping. Because the line was short, we figured we would breeze through…

We ended up waiting in line for what felt like forever. We figured we miscalculated the line ahead of us and there were more people than we thought. When we finally got placed into position for the ride, we realized that we were in the first ride load of the day and that they weren’t running the left hand side of the ride. Something must have been malfunctioning but it appeared to work fine when we were on it. My mom loved the ride, even more than the previous California version. We were eventually out of the ride by 8:30 am.

We walked over to Pixar Pier to use a TSMM FP I had grabbed before getting into Soarin’. On the way, we noticed that they were setting up for something called Fan Fest. My BF looked it up and apparently it’s some really big event that happens yearly? We are older now and no longer watch Disney channel so we did not recognize any of the stars we saw that day :rotfl2:

DCA Fan Fest.jpg

Before heading to TSMM, we took some Photo Pass pics at the pier (I obsessively try to get the most use out of Photo Pass! Seems harder to do at DLR than WDW but could just be my experience). I think they turned out really cute. We got on TSMM, which my BF had never been on before in any of his previous trips. He was OBSESSED. Toy Story is his favorite and he’s competitive by nature. Naturally, he beat me :confused3 We grabbed another FP for Incredicoaster, walked on to Little Mermaid, and used another FP for TSMM.

DCA Pier.jpg

At this point, we were getting hungry so we wandered over to Cars Land. We took more Photo Pass pictures outside Cozy Cone. The CM was visibly not thrilled to be taking pics and was on his cell phone when we walked up and hesitantly asked if he was taking pictures. They turned out good though so I guess no complaints? Then, we waited in the LONG line at Cozy Cone #3 (the line is long every time I visit). My BF and I each got bacon mac and cheese cones and an alcoholic pomegranate limeade (Gotta love being on vacation! Our diet was non-existent this trip :laughing:). After a little bit of shopping, we decided to walk back to the hotel for a nap. This day was definitely more leisurely than the previous and if you can’t tell, we are big on afternoon napping!


DCA Cozy Cone 2.jpg DCA Cozy Cone.jpg
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
It is definitely hard to find Photopass photographers sometimes! But those pictures turned out great!
 

midnight star

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
I was at DCA during the fan fest too. I only knew some of the actors because I work around kids and they tell me about the shows lol. Raven said hi to us when she was walking down the pier! That was the highlight of the day lol
 
  • caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    I was at DCA during the fan fest too. I only knew some of the actors because I work around kids and they tell me about the shows lol. Raven said hi to us when she was walking down the pier! That was the highlight of the day lol
    I have little cousins but I only know of the "really" famous Disney stars like the ones on Descendants. Haha. And WHAT! Okay, if I saw Raven, I would totally be excited too. That is seriously so cool :D I was really jealous of the fan fest thing because when I was younger, I always hoped I would be at Disney the same time they had events like that. Of course it only happens when I'm an adult. We were behind the cast of the new Kim Possible movie but we had to Google who they were to figure it out :lmao:
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    “WE WON’T MELT”
    After our nap, we used another FP on Space Mountain. This is a favorite for all of us so we rode it quite a bit on the trip. My BF and I then took the monorail to DTD while my sister and parents did their own thing. Finally some alone time! :banana:

    I don’t remember if I’ve ever taken the monorail so it was a fun experience. Ironically, the wait for the monorail lasted longer than the ride. Unfortunately, my ears I purchased from Etsy broke (the ones pictured in my last post. Really disappointing because I spent about $50 on them since they are light up Sleeping Beauty castle). As soon as we got to DTD, I headed straight for WoD and bought the Briar rose gold ears to match my new spirit jersey. I just don't feel right not wearing ears at Disney :confused3 We also spent a good deal of time browsing the pin trading carts. My BF was fascinated by pin trading on this trip, he had never noticed it in his previous trips to DL. However, he never found a lanyard he liked so he ended up not purchasing the entire trip. I'm actually surprising him with a b&w Steamboat Willie lanyard and a starter Toy Story pin set for his birthday at the end of this month so he can pin trade when we go to WDW in the fall. He also grabbed another churro from a DTD cart but he said it wasn't as good as the ones they sell in the park. I'm slowly brainwashing him that everything is better at Disney... :rotfl:

    We walked back to the parks from DTD and got stuck in the parade in FL (poor timing on our parts). Luckily, Disney is somewhat prepped for this and a CM directed a large group of us to cross in between floats. We met up with my sister to use a Matterhorn FP and my parents indicated they were going to ride the monorail to DTD. At this point, they were quite cross with my sister over some argument that occurred before we got there so I think it’s good that they separated to go blow off steam :rolleyes1 My BF was getting agitated at this point because it was unexpectedly warm. It had been cloudy all day before this and he was wearing jeans. He's also very sensitive tot he sun and wasn't wearing any sunscreen. He left my sister and I to go back to the hotel to change and rest. My sister and I grabbed a frozen lemonade cup to share and enjoyed a little bit of sitting outside HM to eat it. We then headed over to use a Splash FP. On the way, we ran into a mother and daughter who were SOAKED. This made us really nervous but we joked with them about how “we won’t melt” if we did get soaked. We ended up not getting very wet at all, our hypothesis is it depends on the amount of weight in your boat.

    Splash-min.jpg

    Even though we barely got wet, we still ended up running back to the hotel to change outfits for the night (gotta love staying so close to the parks). My BF was ready to go back out at this point so the two of us went over to DCA to enjoy the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, which was new to both of us. We grabbed a caramel apple on the way and ordered a cheese platter in addition to our wine. This was another pleasant surprise of a place to hang out without feeling like you are in a theme park. It was so quiet and not at all crowded even though both parks were significantly more crowded than the day before (no surprise on a Saturday). Definitely something we will enjoy on future trips.

    Caramel Apple.jpg DCA Wine Cellar.jpg

    After enjoying the terrace for about an hour, it was time to head over to DL for a BTMR FP. Unfortunately, it was down so our FP turned into an anytime FP. Because of this, we decided to just head to our Blue Bayou Fantasmic! reservation. I had instructed everyone that I wanted to arrive by 8 pm for an 8:40 pm reservation. The last time I dined at BB, I was seated by the kitchen entrance and this time I wanted a water side table. I thought my careful planning would be rewarded this time around but boy was I wrong…
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    DOWN IN THE DUMPS AT THE BAYOU

    Okay...this is the part that I was dreading having to write about...

    We got to BB around 7:45 pm (so an hour prior to our reservation time) but I still went to the window and told the CM that I knew we were early but we were really wanting a water side table. He said that we only needed to arrive 15-20 minutes early and to come back at 8:20 :confused: I thought this was odd because from what I have read on the DIS, everyone has said to arrive early if you want to make special dining requests (regardless of which restaurant you're at). Slightly confused, we wandered away and spent a few minutes locating my parents and sister.

    Our feet were aching at this point and there was nowhere to sit in the vicinity of BB due to the first showing of Fantasmic! happening soon. Because of this, I went back to the window to ask if we could put our names in anyway and sit in the lobby. The same CM was there and said it would be an HOUR to get a water side table :eek: In my head, I was thinking “wait, you JUST said 10 minutes ago to come back right before our reservation…” I was slightly uneasy about the mixed messages he gave us in the span of ten minutes but I shook it off and gave him my phone number to text for when our table was ready.

    We decided to ride PotC since the exit is right next to BB and we had an hour to kill. The posted wait was 25 minutes so this seemed like perfect timing. The line was backed up through the bottom part of the queue, which was a big difference than when we had walked on the day before. My BF refused to believe it was actually a 25-minute wait so he set a timer on his phone to try to prove the posted wait time wrong :scratchin That's how I know that 8 minutes into standing in line, I got a text that our table was ready. What? o_O This was confusing...didn’t he say one hour...? Nevertheless, we got out of line and went back to the window.

    They whisked us into the restaurant and we were brought to our table…on the very outskirts of the restaurant and nowhere near the water…seriously? My heart plummeted. I calmly told the CM seating us that we had requested a water side table. She dismissed me and said “well, it’s not on the reservation notes.” I’m not proud of this part but I started getting slightly annoyed and raised my voice at her. I told her about my interaction with the CM at the check-in desk, that I had come an hour BEFORE my reservation time, and that we got out of the PotC line to come here only to not get the table I had requested. Even though I could see multiple tables open at the water, she basically told us tough luck and that she would have a talk with the CM we interacted with.

    I was close to tears at this point so my mom and sister went to speak with the woman who seated us. Some Disney magic was worked even though I was slightly nasty (like I said, definitely not my proudest moment. I'm usually super passive so I'm not even sure where that came from). We were moved to a table one row behind the waterside tables as the waterside tables I noticed open earlier had been filled at this point. Our new server was awesome and had us laughing with his jokes, which definitely helped break the tension from earlier. Because we were doing the F! package, we were locked into the prix fixe. All of us chose the surf & turf, which was decent but definitely nowhere near the quality as our CC dinner the night before. My BF got the sorcerer Mickey dessert (so photogenic) while I got the creme brulee (yum!).

    BB.jpg BB 2.jpg

    To apologize, they brought me some birthday beignets at the end of the meal, which was very nice.

    DL BB.jpg

    In hindsight, I definitely could have been calmer and handled the situation better. But it was SO frustrating to put all this planning into something and get thwarted. I am really appreciative that we were given a new table and a free dessert because they definitely didn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t have) after the way I acted. However, that experience kind of soured me on BB and I’m not sure if I will be back anytime soon...Nevertheless, we were still at Disney so the rest of the trip was still fun!
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    DOWN IN THE DUMPS AT THE BAYOU

    Okay...this is the part that I was dreading having to write about...

    We got to BB around 7:45 pm (so an hour prior to our reservation time) but I still went to the window and told the CM that I knew we were early but we were really wanting a water side table. He said that we only needed to arrive 15-20 minutes early and to come back at 8:20 :confused: I thought this was odd because from what I have read on the DIS, everyone has said to arrive early if you want to make special dining requests (regardless of which restaurant you're at). Slightly confused, we wandered away and spent a few minutes locating my parents and sister.

    Our feet were aching at this point and there was nowhere to sit in the vicinity of BB due to the first showing of Fantasmic! happening soon. Because of this, I went back to the window to ask if we could put our names in anyway and sit in the lobby. The same CM was there and said it would be an HOUR to get a water side table :eek: In my head, I was thinking “wait, you JUST said 10 minutes ago to come back right before our reservation…” I was slightly uneasy about the mixed messages he gave us in the span of ten minutes but I shook it off and gave him my phone number to text for when our table was ready.

    We decided to ride PotC since the exit is right next to BB and we had an hour to kill. The posted wait was 25 minutes so this seemed like perfect timing. The line was backed up through the bottom part of the queue, which was a big difference than when we had walked on the day before. My BF refused to believe it was actually a 25-minute wait so he set a timer on his phone to try to prove the posted wait time wrong :scratchin That's how I know that 8 minutes into standing in line, I got a text that our table was ready. What? o_O This was confusing...didn’t he say one hour...? Nevertheless, we got out of line and went back to the window.

    They whisked us into the restaurant and we were brought to our table…on the very outskirts of the restaurant and nowhere near the water…seriously? My heart plummeted. I calmly told the CM seating us that we had requested a water side table. She dismissed me and said “well, it’s not on the reservation notes.” I’m not proud of this part but I started getting slightly annoyed and raised my voice at her. I told her about my interaction with the CM at the check-in desk, that I had come an hour BEFORE my reservation time, and that we got out of the PotC line to come here only to not get the table I had requested. Even though I could see multiple tables open at the water, she basically told us tough luck and that she would have a talk with the CM we interacted with.

    I was close to tears at this point so my mom and sister went to speak with the woman who seated us. Some Disney magic was worked even though I was slightly nasty (like I said, definitely not my proudest moment. I'm usually super passive so I'm not even sure where that came from). We were moved to a table one row behind the waterside tables as the waterside tables I noticed open earlier had been filled at this point. Our new server was awesome and had us laughing with his jokes, which definitely helped break the tension from earlier. Because we were doing the F! package, we were locked into the prix fixe. All of us chose the surf & turf, which was decent but definitely nowhere near the quality as our CC dinner the night before. My BF got the sorcerer Mickey dessert (so photogenic) while I got the creme brulee (yum!).

    View attachment 401155 View attachment 401154

    To apologize, they brought me some birthday beignets at the end of the meal, which was very nice.

    View attachment 401156

    In hindsight, I definitely could have been calmer and handled the situation better. But it was SO frustrating to put all this planning into something and get thwarted. I am really appreciative that we were given a new table and a free dessert because they definitely didn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t have) after the way I acted. However, that experience kind of soured me on BB and I’m not sure if I will be back anytime soon...Nevertheless, we were still at Disney so the rest of the trip was still fun!
    Glad things worked out for you at BB. Frustration can get the best of us, but I totally understand where you are coming from! CM's give such conflicting information to the point where it can really change the overall experience. I'm not sure what is up with that place. The reviews are either good to horrible. I went and had a good time last year, but am nervous to return because of service people have gotten.
     
  • caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    Glad things worked out for you at BB. Frustration can get the best of us, but I totally understand where you are coming from! CM's give such conflicting information to the point where it can really change the overall experience. I'm not sure what is up with that place. The reviews are either good to horrible. I went and had a good time last year, but am nervous to return because of service people have gotten.
    Thank you, it's nice to hear I'm not a total crazy lunatic! I understand that everyone makes mistakes but this one just seemed unacceptable. I dealt with the same CM at every interaction and specifically requested waterside every time and asked him to confirm. I'm fortunate enough to be able to go to DLR every couple of years so I'll get over it eventually but my heart breaks for those who are on their once in a lifetime trip and experience situations like these.

    What's funny is I went last October for the first time and LOVED it. However, we had a table near where the waitstaff comes out which wasn't ideal. At the time, I didn't even think it was possible to make a special request for waterside. After that, I promised myself that next time I would make sure to come early to be able to sit waterside... :headache: Once I get over it, I'm sure I will try again in the future. Third time's the charm? :confused3
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    A FANTASMIC ENDING

    After BB, the fireworks were going on and a lot of people were still in their spots from the earlier F! showing. Because of this, we hopped in the POTC line which was basically a walk on at this point. By the time we exited the ride, the line had swelled due to the fireworks ending. My sister wanted to ride Indy one last time so she left to go use her anytime FP on that before F! started.

    We got in the Fantasmic! Blue Bayou viewing line and waited for a little while before being allowed to go to our seats. Because this was my first time doing the package, I’m not sure how crowded this area usually gets. It was nowhere near filled and we were able to stretch our legs out in front of us. We were in the second row at the waterfront. It was really nice to have the cushions but it would have been nicer to have chairs.

    We passed some people in actual seats and I was wondering HOW in the world they got those but of course I searched the DIS and got my question answered: https://www.disboards.com/threads/vip-seating-for-fantasmic.3689439/. Apparently, it’s VIP seating (see the red box below, borrowed this image from The Mouse for Less).

    F.jpg

    My sister just BARELY made the show after her Indy ride but luckily it wasn’t too crowded so she spotted us and got over to our spot easily. Surprisingly, my parents really enjoyed F! but my BF said he prefers WOC. I guess he doesn’t like all the fireworks :confused:

    It was great to be able to see everything as I wasn’t able to from a standing section last year. Short people problems :rolleyes: I’m still not sure whether I would say the dining package was worth it or not though. After our BB experience, I’m a little hesitant to do it again but I also know I'm not the most objective right now. I will say that it is nowhere near the experience we had at the dessert party the night before.

    Even though we still had 4 anytime FPs left from BTMR going down, we were way too exhausted to stay out. We stopped in the Emporium on Main Street to buy a mug for my BF’s coworker. I was limping at this point because I banged my ankle on Matterhorn earlier in the day. I always forget how violent that ride can be (even with the improvements they made later on). I probably won't be riding it again because I was walking funny for a week afterwards :lmao:That plus another 12 miles of walking that day was enough to force me home even though I really wanted to shut down the park again.

    As always, it’s not goodbye, just see ya later!

    DCA Happily Ever After.jpg
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    THAT’S ALL FOR NOW: LAST THOUGHTS

    Closing out this TR with a little summary (aka TL; DR)

    The Good (and great!):

    • The low crowds on Friday made it SO easy to do almost everything we wanted to in one day. We almost would have been satisfied just going to the park for that one day. Easily the lowest crowds I’ve ever experienced at DLR.
    • My BF LOVED the trip. He turned to me when we got home Sunday and said “I miss Disney already.” I had to tell him what post-Disney blues were :P He even said that we can look at going once a year, even on the years it’s his turn to plan vacations! :worship:
    • Our Friday night at CC and WOC Dessert Party was pretty close to perfection. I loved every minute of it and it just felt like such a special experience. Julie was the best and I can’t wait to ask for her next time we dine at CC.
    • Our Photo Pass pictures all turned out really nice, which is surprising since they are usually hit or miss in my experience.
    • Maxpass is an awesome thing. I was skeptical, especially having to pay extra for it and then I fretted over whether there would be enough availability to even get use out of it. As you can see through the TR, we used Maxpass 14+ times (my sister booked her own numerous times on top of that). We could have used it more but it wasn’t busy enough/I wasn’t that fanatical about being on my phone using it every second.

    The Bad:
    • My parents grumbling most of the trip really brought us down. We are all going to WDW in the fall and I think this has reaffirmed to my BF and me that we want to do more stuff on our own.
    • Man, I do not remember Matterhorn being that pain inducing. My ankle STILL hurt days later from banging it against the side of the car.
    • Not enough Photo Pass opportunities! It seems like there are more in WDW but maybe I’m wrong :confused3
    • I wanted a second Dole Whip but the mobile ordering was backed up for a return time over half an hour away. Kind of sucky but at least I got one!

    The Ugly:
    • What happened to us at BB (read here) was pretty upsetting to me. I’m probably even more upset about the way I reacted to the situation. But you live and you learn and I will make sure to keep my emotions in check in the future.
    • I’m still not an AP, although that new Flex passport is calling my name... :rolleyes:

    :thanks: to everyone who suffered through my first TR!

    DL teacup.jpg
     
  • caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    Loved your report, you've convinced me to do the WOC dessert party. Thank you for sharing!
    Thank you for reading! Glad you got something useful out of it too :D The dessert party was definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip! I think it's a must do at least once.
     

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