Hi everyone, this is only my 2nd trip report. So, please bear with me on the big pictures.
Sunday, October 21st:
We came down from the Fresno area, and were very happy with the ride down through LA. Very little stopped traffic compared to what we are used to. We checked into our hotel (carousel Inn & Suites, review below), and then headed to DTD for our dinner at Rainforest Cafe. It's our tradition to eat at Rainforest Cafe the night before we head to the parks (the kids LOVE this restaurant). My favorite drink that I recommend to everyone is the CoronaRita! The perfect blend of salty sweet. Yum!
Monday, October 22nd:
The park opened at 10am, so we headed to DCA and got in early. We ran into a huge crowd that had the same idea as we did...RSR. As soon as the rope drop we headed quickly as the herd of people would let us to Carsland and to the line at RSR. The line was already 80 minutes by the time we got there, but decided to wait. By noon we had all finally rode the ride including doing a rider switch. After riding RSR we headed over to DL for our 12:30 reservations at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. It was our first time eating there, and we loved it! The food was wonderful...plus our kids were able to go up on stage and sing and dance. Fun, fun!
According to Touringplans, the crowd level was supposed to be at a 2. This was way off. The crowds were more like a 5 or 6. We got on 1 ride an hour. A CM at Pirates said that the Monday crowd was bigger than usual.
Love the carved pumpkins. Amazing!
Tuesday, October 23rd:
We had a magic morning and were able to get in DL at 7am. The crowds were minimal, and the biggest problem we had was waiting for enough people to run certain rides such as Star Tours or Autopia. The rest of the day was perfect in every way. The weather was amazing, and crowds remained very light. Our kids did The Pirates League. This was a great experience. My kids loved getting their pirate make-over, and received lots of attention the rest of the day. We did not go to Mickey's Halloween Party, so ended our night at Goofy's Kitchen.
As much as we LOVE Goofy's Kitchen, we were left somewhat unsatisfied with our experience. The service and food was wonderful, but the characters were lacking. What I mean by lacking is that we only met 3 the whole 2 hours we were there. We even waited an extra 30 minutes for the Mad Hatter, but somehow he skipped our table, and left before we could say hi. Very sad for our kids who love the Mad Hatter. We were curious if because of the Halloween party going on, that maybe the characters at Goofy's Kitchen were under staffed that night. Just a thought, but who knows.
Wednesday, October 24th:
The crowds remained very light this day as well! All rides were almost a walk-on. We decided that future trips should always be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Question: Are Mondays usually busy?
We decided to watch the Jedi Training Academy, and our kids got picked to train to be a Jedi. They had so much fun doing that, and we highly recommend it for anyone with children.
Love the coffee. Mmm.
Views from Tarazan's Treehouse.
My kids' favorite parade is the Pixar Parade.
The kids loved the lollipops! They licked on those things for most of the day.
We stayed at the Carousel Inn & Suites. This hotel is great because it's just as close as any of the Disney Hotels, but half the price. The rooms were pretty clean and the beds were comfortable. Also, for those who have babies when going would love that the rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave. The cons are that the rooms are small, the elevator was slow, and the continental breakfast didn't open until 7am, so 2 out of the 3 days we were already at the park by that time, and couldn't get our use out of the free breakfast.