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Old 05-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
canadiandisneycruise
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Thumbs up Back from Disneyland! A bit of a trip report!

I wrote this previously, but when I went to post, it said I wasn't logged in, so I hope this second one makes sense!

We’ve been to Disneyland several times previous, but I’ve never done a trip report!

It was the first time we stayed at the DLH. We’ve always stayed in a one or two bedroom suite with a kitchen, so I was really worried about being overcrowded! I was pleasantly surprised! My youngest dd loved the fold out couch as a bed, and my other two shared a queen. They LOVED the headboard – this really surprised me because they’re 10, 13 & 16. They turned it on each night, and took many pictures and recorded the song! I was impressed with the bathroom – separate toilet area, large double sink vanity with storage underneath and a ledge above. Even with 5 of us, I didn’t find the room crowded. We had a 7th floor DD view in the Adventure tower. It was beautiful at night! (I’m not sure what kind of room this is (standard, premium?). My daughter loved the pool area. We were there every afternoon. The best part of staying was the extra magic hour – we were there early daily, and it was SO worth it! We got more accomplished in the first few hours than I ever thought! One morning, we rode California Screamin’ 7 times, Toy Story 4 times, the Ferris Wheel, Goofy’s sky school, the swings and Ariel’s ride all before 9:15 am!

I really think this might be more walking than if you stay in a hotel that has a shuttle or ART. We never took the monorail in the morning, and it’s a long walk through DD! My legs were so sore at the end of the five days!
It was busy because of Grad Nights. There was also a load of Cali girls staying at our hotel – 1800 I was told! *I* found it busy, but I’m comparing it to February. A CM told me it wasn’t bad! We went early each morning – we never got there before rope drop, but were always in the park shortly after it opened for the extra magic hour. I found it started to get busy in the afternoon, so this is when we’d take a break at the hotel, and dd would swim. When we would go back just before dinner, things were much calmer. FP’s were the way to go, and we never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride. We’d always send a runner as soon as a new window was opened, and we’d ride that way. We gave away FP’s that we pulled but couldn’t use, and were rewarded twice with someone doing the same thing for us! It felt so good to pass on a bit of magic!


I LOVED Carsland. I made the girls watch the movie before we went, and it was SO worth it! It helped them notice the many details that are in Carsland – my youngest even noticed the how the lights blinked! We went on our first night after spending the day at DL. I looked up what time the sun set, and we had dinner at Flo’s. It was beautiful to see it start to light up from RSR to the entrance. I’m really glad we made the effort to be there for that! It was even more magical because dh and dd’s were talking to a CM about the best way to ride RSR. She gave the girls all the colors of buttons, and then presented us with a FP! She wanted us to have the opportunity to ride at night. It was a wonderful experience! SO lucky! We were able to basically walk right on, even though the standby line was over 2 hours. Wow…it was a great ride. We did get FP’s three other days, and it was only on our third ride that we found out there were two different experiences – tires and paint! We got our FP’s by having dh get in line 5-10 minutes prior to park opening. That’s the way to do it! Although I wanted another night ride, we always got times b/w 10 am – 11 am. We enjoyed Mater’s ride, but Luigi’s ride wasn’t really a hit. My oldest dd said it was a great idea, but the execution just wasn’t there!

We saw WofC, Fantasmic, Aladdin, Pixar Parade, Newsboys, the Rapunzel show, and the Fireworks (x2). I was surprised that WofC had changed from when we saw it 2 years ago. It was beautiful, as was Fantasmic. I was a bit miffed when people brought strollers into the roped area, and stood at the fence with their kids on their shoulders. Yes, they got there early, but why should a stroller take up a front row spot. My dd asked the same question, and I thought it was maybe because a baby was sleeping. No – it sat empty. Then, they wanted out just before the show was ending to get to the fireworks. They kind of took away from the magic of the show. Loved Aladdin – but I wouldn’t sit in the orchestra seating again. Too hard to look straight up to see the carpet flying! Enjoyed the parade. My girls loved the Newsboys show – honestly. They liked hearing the Walt Disney story, and it made them want to learn more about him. I didn’t know if they’d appreciate the walking in Walt’s tour, but I know they would now! They are still singing the suitcase and a dream song. They also enjoyed the Rapunzel show – and loved meeting Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel after! I would sit on the sides rather than the middle. They only let a limited number of people in, but you can watch from outside, but you don’t have the opportunity to meet the characters after. Fireworks were great! For the first night, we watched from the area by the Walt statue. It was ok, but watching from the Plaza was fabulous. They had the heaters going, and the view was fantastic! (Not that it was COLD, but the heat felt nice!) We shared a dessert, and it was SO relaxing! The second night only Tinkerbell and Dumbo flew.

I was worried about food, because we always had a hotel that had a full breakfast. Actually, breakfast was our favourite meal! We loved Earl of Sandwich for breakfast – the oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches were really good. We also loved Flo’s. We would order three French toasts – one for dh, and two for the four of us girls to share. If anyone has the French toast recipe, I’d love if you’d share! We’d also order a fruit plate – order the kids plate because you also get a drink with it! We also enjoyed the apple granola pancakes at Carnation Café. DD also loved her omelet. Lunches were great at Earl of Sandwich – we had the best BLT, Tuna, grilled cheese, and one other. I loved the berry almond salad. We also had lunch at the pool. The Hawaiian burger on the pool menu was awesome! We also went up to the Terrace and had flatbread pizza. I preferred the burger. Our favourite dinners were at Flo’s – liked the pork with cola BBQ sauce, but dd found the turkey too peppery. We also enjoyed Rainforest Café. We ate at the Plaza too – kids would share pastas, and dh and I would share the chicken. I would also love a recipe for Mater’s Tulsa Tea – found it really refreshing. For the first time, I also tried a mint julep – that was also different but refreshing!

I haven’t ordered my disc yet, but I had over 180 pictures on my photo pass+. We had LOTS of pics taken, and the photographers were willing to take family pics, individuals, and just the girls. Loved it! It was also nice to add all our ride pics. If you do this, make sure to ask around for photographers who do the magic pics – pics of Tinkerbell in their hands, holding balloons, with Mickey/Minnie on a bench, Stitch, etc.
We rode all the rides we wanted – many of them several times!

A highlight for me was riding Buzz, and getting over 999 999. Unfortunately, my pic didn’t come through….but I made sure dd saw my score!
I learned not to plan too much. The best plans often just won’t work! Even though during one magic morning we rode California Screamin’ 7 times, Toy Story 4 times, the Ferris Wheel, Goofy’s sky school, etc., the next time when we thought we’d do the same thing, CS wasn’t working….We’d check wait times, and use FP’s.

I used Disboards as a resource for a few months prior, and I learned so much! I printed off posts, and took them with me to read on the plane on the way there. THANK YOU! If I can help at all, please ask away!
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
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Your trip sounds amazing. We're heading there 6/8, cannot wait. First family trip with my 7 year old and 4 month old. I'm learning so much on these boards, like the baby swap passes! I got teary eyed when you mentioned the fireworks and seeing Tinkerbell fly...cannot wait for my 7 year old to experience that!!!
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Sounds like a really good trip! Thank you for all the tips.... I am adding several of them to my notes.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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GREAT report! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiandisneycruise View Post


I havent ordered my disc yet, but I had over 180 pictures on my photo pass+. We had LOTS of pics taken, and the photographers were willing to take family pics, individuals, and just the girls. Loved it! It was also nice to add all our ride pics. If you do this, make sure to ask around for photographers who do the magic pics  pics of Tinkerbell in their hands, holding balloons, with Mickey/Minnie on a bench, Stitch, etc.
We rode all the rides we wanted  many of them several times!
Where did go you to get the Magic Shots? Did the photographers suggest them, or do you have to ask for them?
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
canadiandisneycruise
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Where did go you to get the Magic Shots? Did the photographers suggest them, or do you have to ask for them?
We had one photographer tell us, so then we knew to ask! Tinker bell & Mickey/Minnie in front of the castle. Stitch & balloons at entrance of Disney, on bridge to Paradise pier, and some by Aladdins theater. If you have the photo pass +, ask for both individual & group shots!
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Thank you so much for your trip report, sounds like you had a magical time! I appreciate that photopass tips as well

I remember you asking before about how to redeem your vouchers, did you do so at the Main ticket wickets at the entrance and how did that go for you?
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for your trip report, sounds like you had a magical time! I appreciate that photopass tips as well

I remember you asking before about how to redeem your vouchers, did you do so at the Main ticket wickets at the entrance and how did that go for you?
I asked about it at check in to the hotel, and they did it right there! Very easy! The next morning they just had to take our picture for our passes, but it was pretty quick!
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Where did go you to get the Magic Shots? Did the photographers suggest them, or do you have to ask for them?
Ruby, both. The photogs in front of SB's castle seem to do offer the most magic shots, but you can ask for them, too, from any of them (but it does take them a minute to adjust their equipment to set it all up). If some PP photographer suggests something for you or your group, DO IT. My DS5 adores Tinker Bell, so we did the TB magic shot the first day right away, and it kind of left my mind after that, since I could check it off the list in my head once I had requested it in front of the castle.
BUT THEN, a couple days later, he toured in his Peter Pan costume, going to Pixie Hollow (where both Tink, who recalled meeting him four days earlier, and Periwinkle could not have been more adorable with him about his character), Minnie's breakfast (where Captain Hook engaged him in a fork fight), and then the princess line. As we left the princesses, a PP photog jumped in front of us and asked if he would like a magic picture. Can you believe that with all the planning and time spent in lines meeting characters that I myself did NOT think to request this photo? I am SO eternally grateful to the photographer who grabbed us, because of more than 700 PP+ (two discs' worth) photos we took over our two weeks there, because this is my favorite photo from the trip:


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Old 05-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #10
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Tigerlily, your DS is adorable, what a cute photo! My DS3 loves Tinkerbell and friends so I am going to ask around for this magical photo op
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:39 PM   #11
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What a fun trip!!
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:07 PM   #12
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Great info there!

We are headed over the DL in September and I have been madly researching but I think I am going INSANE - worrying about FP's where to go, what to do, I think I might take your advice and just try to relax a bit!
Thanks
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:49 PM   #13
canadiandisneycruise
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Great info there!

We are headed over the DL in September and I have been madly researching but I think I am going INSANE - worrying about FP's where to go, what to do, I think I might take your advice and just try to relax a bit!
Thanks
Honestly, I did the same thing. Plan, plan, plan. But the best part of the trip was when the kids would say "let's do it again!" And we would. We just looked for areas that were less busy, grabbed FP's when we could, and took each day as it came. The magic morning extra hour decided where we started every day. After lunch & a break, we'd decide which park to go to for late afternoon & evening. We knew where we wanted to go when park opened, but even then we had to change plans when the rides we wanted to ride were closed.

We had a great trip! I hope you do too!!
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #14
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As an old military llama, I can tell you no plan survives contact with the enemy.

Not that Disneyland is an enemy. It's just...you know...things happen and stuff.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:37 PM   #15
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As an old military llama, I can tell you no plan survives contact with the enemy.

Not that Disneyland is an enemy. It's just...you know...things happen and stuff.
Lol! I've found it just easier to be more flexible. Then everyone is more relaxed and has more fun. Isn't that what it's all about? ;-)
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