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  1. #1

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    11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Travel dates: Friday, November 2- Sunday, November 11, 2012
    Travel method: Fly Alaska Airlines into SNA
    Resort: Doubletree Anaheim-OC
    Accommodations: King bed
    Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: We've been every year since 2007!
    Cast of characters: Smarty (Me) & SS (Smarty's spouse)

    Planning stages:

    This is our anniversary trip!

    Transportation: Alaska Airlines. We used the $99 companion ticket (Price is really $160.99 for that ticket according to the receipt.) and are traveling in First Class on the way there. Coach on the way home.

    Accommodations: We had booked the Red Lion hotel, which is about a 15 minute walk (or 5 min walk and bus ride from Toy Story Lot) to the turnstiles, for about $78 a night plus $14 parking and $1 resort fee daily. Last week I was perusing betterbidding.com and saw that people were getting hotels in the 3.5 star range for around $60 a night. I checked with SS and we decided the worst that would happen is we'd end up at the Doubletree, where we've stayed before. We won it at least twice on priceline ($55 a night in August 2010) and we stayed there on our first trip at regular price. I bid $60 in the 3.5 range and was rejected. I was offered an automatic rebid of $70 and I'd have it. I declined, that always means you're getting close! I added a region and bid $61, rejected! I bid $62 and we were accepted! The Doubletree is nice; they give free cookies and have a free DL shuttle hourly. The most important thing is that I saved over $150 on the hotel alone (taxes are lower in Orange). I also saved at least $25 in parking/daily fees. We ended up in a king bed room with a DL view on level 15. We didnít need or ask for the view but the room was fine. Bed wasnít that comfortable and felt smaller than a king but that may have been from the spring style bed.

    Tickets: We purchased the Southern California CityPass through Disneyland.com using a discount code offered through one of SS's work perks. It was $251. For one of the tickets I used a $200 Chase Visa reward and 2 $25 Disney gift cards. I purchased the gift cards using a Target card for a 5% discount. The two tickets were $290.50 or so. After the ďMagic MorningĒ on Saturday, 11/3 we upgraded to Deluxe Annual Passes. That cost $484.50 paid with the gift cards. In total it cost $775 for 2 Annual Passes and 2 Universal Hollywood tickets using all discounts and the free reward.

    ---------- Post added 11-12-2012 at 05:59 PM ----------

    Day 1 Friday, November 2: We took 7,115 steps. We arrived at SNA 45 minutes late 11/2 on Alaska air from SEA, at 8 pm. A dad on the flight said it was the 1st time late in 30 rides this year and he was bummed since he missed part of his sonís sports game. They said the engine wouldn't start because it hadnít run in a day. It turned out to be the start of "everyone" trying to delay my Disneyland evening. LOL

    We rode California Yellow Cab to the hotel for $32.85. I had a $5 off coupon from anaheimic.org. He was quick & cab was nice & clean. Theyíre not too good with those coupons. He didnít remove it from the bill so I only gave a partial tip. I hope he was able to get that from the company when he turned in the coupon. If they offer coupons on anaheimoc.org they should teach the people how to accept them!

    At hotel check in a lady from Canada had no reservation. Can you imagine? Traveling within the US I would never leave home without a reservation!! She took "forever". Really 10 min. We had 25 min to freshen up & take the hotel shuttle to Disneyland. We came down 10 min early but it wasn't necessary. Around 9:10 we finally left in the shuttle. They gave us 2 coupons for free coffee at the starbucks in the lobby because we waited. We never used them since it didnít specify if it was drip coffee and we donít drink thatÖ

    Bag check at Disneyland was quick. The ticket line, not so much! There were 4 booths open. 10 min later we got to an agent. We had vouchers to exchange for Citypasses. Even that took "forever"!

    Finally, the good stuff! We checked mousewait & POTC had the shortest wait time listed. It was a great ride! We got there at 9:49 and the wait was 12 minutes. When we left the ride it was so much more orderly than when we lined up. Everyone was now waiting for Fantasmic!

    By the time we got off we were ready for a snack. We waited 6 min for skewers at Bengal BBQ. The onion was so spicy it made me cry & feel a bit of a bad tummy. We next went to Dole whip! There were 4 people in front of us but it was amazingly fast! 3 min. We walked around the fairies place, Matterhorn & Tomorrowland (used bathroom outside Space Mtn) & went out to 11:15 shuttle.

    What a nice evening. Though it all felt a little rushed it was worth it to get our vacation "started".

    Day 2 Saturday, November 3: 31,283 steps taken. The wonderful concierge at Doubletree informed us there was an ART shuttle available at the Ayres hotel, just across the street. We paid $6 and arrived at DL right as it opened for the ďMagic MorningĒ hour. We ate granola bars on the way there. The lines were HUGE! We waited Ĺ hour in the bag and entry lines. I donít know any other way to plan my day at the park than to get FP, jump over to the other park and get FP there and then go back to use the FP from the 1st park. However, Iím not sure this is really going to work anymore with these huge lines. It worked OK for this trip but was slightly frustrating. It felt like there were always lines. On this day and through most of the trip, at least until Friday, Nov 9 they had the 4 day and up ticketholders in 2 separate lines. There were a lot of complaints. I even read one on one of these trip planning or mouselover sites saying he waited 5 days and didnít get a RSR FP because of the lines. Personally I donít feel the lines were that bad but to each his own.

    Our first ride was Matterhorn. I loved it! This is my biggest surprise of the trip. After hearing all the complaints on various websites about the seats I was shocked. Part of it may be nostalgia for those complaining. Personally, I hated Matterhorn before and Iíd ridden it only the one time I think. The bobsleds have 3 seats so each rider has great support. I think it might make the ride a little faster to load as well.
    Next we waited a bit for Peter Pan. Maybe 15 minutes at the most. Iíd never been on this ride and it was great fun. I doubt Iíd ride it again since the wait is generally longer than any other in Fantasyland.

    There was no wait at teacups. This is such great music! Definitely a happy place to be.
    We walked onto Pinocchio and Snow White. They were ok rides. I just wanted to check them off my DL list.

    After this itís 9 am and MM is over so we walked to Star Tours and picked up fast passes. After this we park hopped to California Adventure and got in line for RSR FP. It took 10 minutes. I was expecting a big traumatic experience getting FP for the rides due to all the crazy things Iíd heard and was really stressed out we wouldnít get any. Getting the FP was not a big deal for us at all. We were probably in the line at 10 a.m. and we got FP for 2 p.m. so I donít know what the hassle is. One thing to note is that I felt sorry for families with small children waiting in the FP line. Just one could have gone and the other could have taken the fam to do something fun!

    A side note about when to get to the parkÖ In the past on our trips when weíd get to the park first thing we had the best time. Iím finding that this is no longer the case. It was great to get there for MM but we wonít be able to do that anymore as Annual Passholders. On weekends itís OK but those are also the days the park closes late and the park was emptier the last two hours. In the future I might not want to be there first thing in the morning so I can be well rested to stay late. Iím not sure what my plan will be for weekdays when the park opens at 10. By then all the families are able to be at the gates. I think Iíd have to show up at 9 am and get in line to enjoy the morning. We waited in Ĺ hour lines each day just to enter.

    Back to SaturdayÖ We were ready for breakfast since weíd only eating the granola bars. We ended up at Pacific Wharf Cafť. Weíd never been in this area of the park. I think itís really cool how it connects to Paradise Pier, the main path and Carsland. SS got the Egg Boule. Yes, I spelled that right, Boule. Ridiculous! Use proper grammar. J I had the chinese salad. Itís basically a huge loaf of bread filled with Ĺ cup of lettuce, 1 cup of chicken and Ĺ cup of dressing. I did not enjoy it. Maybe it would have been better without the chicken. I wanted a salad not chicken. J (I donít eat meat BTW) This is also where I got SS a little can of pepsi Iíd brought in the park. We asked for a cup of ice. It was a human size soda. I love that they sell those cool little 8 oz cans! There are only so many chemicals that we should ingest per day! We also filled our water bottle that weíd brought in.

    We picked up a FP for Screaminí. This is currently a ďdisconnectedĒ FP station and you can hold one of these FP at the same time as one of the others in DCA. Tower of Terror, one of our favorites was next on the list. There wasnít really a wait.

    We had a 2 p.m. FP for RSR and we were excited to use it so we headed over to Carsland. It wasnít quite time so we rode Materís. It was fun. I donít plan on doing it again as it hurt my neck a little. The cushions that have been added were a great necessity. Iím not a fan of the music but it fits the ride. We arrived at RSR right on time! The wait was 10 min. It is really cool to be right in the beautiful mountains. I felt so bad for all the people waiting in the long line. Iíd read a comment by someone that they rode using the regular queue just to look at stuff. Yeah, you might miss some things but thereís no way I could stay for over an hour in line. I loved the ride, but itís not worth a 2 hour wait by any means. I surprised SS by not telling any details about the ride. We ended up getting our tires changed and winning our first race!!! The tractors were not tipping. I did not like that.

    It was getting pretty warm so we were ready for some splashing. We went to Grizzly River Run after finding the 2 hour free lockers behind the sales station for Dvacations. There was a 5 min wait here. We didnít get soaked but we had fun anyway! Next we rode Screaminí while our stuff was still in the locker. We enjoyed it so much we picked up another FP! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!
    (to be continued)
    Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-12-2012 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Great trip report so far!
    Fear of the unknown.

    They are afraid of new ideas.

    They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon any reality, but based onÖ if something is new, I reject it immediately because itís frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.
    You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe, are the most mysterious.











  3. #3

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Enjoying your trip report. Yeah as AP holders ourselves we miss the early entry but we can't do anything about it so can't complain.

    I checked my local target and they don't sell Disney gift cards so I didn't get the debit card for 5% off. Glad it worked for you though!

  4. #4

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    I think you can buy the Disney cards online at target.

    ---------- Post added 11-12-2012 at 09:17 PM ----------
    Day 2 Continued
    Since we were close we went to Goofyís Sky School. We always enjoy this fun little coaster. Our first trip we were really surprised by how much we liked this ride since it looks like itís for kids. Itís worth a shot. However, if the line is longer than 5 minutes I suggest that you pick up a FP.

    We were still a little damp from Grizzly River Run so we decided to park hop to go on Splash Mountain. First we picked up a FP and then went to Winnie the Pooh. Weíd never been on this ride. Itís not bad. I wonder if only people with kids usually go on this ride. We got a few funny looks. Hey, itís better than standing in line for Splash! As soon as we were done at Pooh our Splash passes were ready. I got the front!! Now I really got soaked. I was happy to cool down. The A/C in the walkway is great too.

    After Splash I got the veggie chili from Harbour Galley with no bread bowl. That was a mistake. The portion of chili was perfect but all it needed was a small dinner roll. I wish theyíd get rid of the whole bread bowl idea all over the park. Itís adding a ridiculous amount of unnecessary calories to everyone and with all the waddlers in the park Iím assuming they eat the whole thing like most of our party did! We also went to Tomorrowland terrace for lunch for SS.

    My notes are fuzzy. As we were leaving Goofy or now after lunch we picked up a FP at Soariní. We headed over to Animation Academy. SS is great at drawing (IMHO) and enjoys it yet itís puzzling how we never had time for this attraction in the past. Itís really fun to have their neat tablets & pencils. I wish weíd had time/desire to go to this attraction again. We drew Oswald. I didnít like how I didnít know quite where the drawing was going. I think if Iíd known the drawing would have turned out a little better. As it was, I ended up mostly with dark lines in a circle; Iíd messed up the very first step! LOL We were close so we headed over to Monsterís Inc. Iíd never been on the ride. I went with my dad to Tower of Terror to use up some FP our last trip (August 2011) and SS went with my fam to this ride. I liked it! The people in the front of our car were talked to by the lady. FYI Monsterís Inc is now being re-released in 3-D. I donít know for sure that Iíd be interested in watching it though.

    Dinner was at Award Wieners. We ordered chili dog & #4. This was a funny experience. The person at the counter asked if we knew the #4 was vegetarian. Hello! Iím vegetarian! But I guess a lot of people are probably really disappointed when thereís no meat in there. The sandwich was great. I didnít like all the mushrooms and took a few out. It was topped with a lot of cheese, which was probably unnecessary, but delicious! We weren't given an AP discount at this time. Maybe because we ordered a beer? Because later we were given the discount on an order w/o beer. We could have taken the beer off, used the discount and purchased the beer under a different ticket if this was the case.

    We used our Soariní FP next. This music is great. Itís currently my ringtone. I couldnít bear to ride again the whole trip. Itís just so messed up. For the first time I noticed how bad the quality of the film itself was. I donít know if this was due to all the complaints Iíve read about on the websites or if Iíve just been getting used to watching everything in such HD/Digital quality. I still donít know why they canít just fix the spot on the screen to the lower left. Canít they at least paint it white?! It was so frustrating. The pine smelled great, even through the doors in the waiting area. I miss the orange though. SPOILER ALERT Speaking of smells I hear the Fireworks are scentsational this year. We didnít watch from the front of the castle though so I cannot confirm.

    We got ice cream and went to the Tomorrowland Terrace to hear a couple of songs by the band while we ate it. FYI Gibson Girl does not offer AP Discount. On another note, Ghiradelli accepts AP discount but not Disney gift cards. :P

    After our snack we went to Star Tours twice. We watched the Wookie planet, death star & Boba Fett (not sure of all the official names or spellings) on the asteroid - two times the exact same show!

    After this we headed to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This was not offering FP until the weekend; they simply were not needed. The smaller person in our group kept almost flying out of the seat. I hope with the refurbishment scheduled they will create cars with individual lap bars. I wouldnít dare ride this one with a kid next to me for fear theyíd slip right out, you just canít get them tight enough for both parties to be comfortable and safe.

    We went home after our first DLR day exhausted & happy! I think we walked at least 10 miles based on my calculations with the pedometer. I can't even remember if we used the other Screamin' FP. I assume we did but they may have closed for WOC.
    Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-12-2012 at 10:25 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Sounds like a lot of fun

    i really hope they have lap bars for each pperson os a seatbelt like the matterhorn

    Go visit my theme park website!!! http://kolbykonnection.com


  6. #6

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Day 3 Sunday, November 4: 14,161 steps taken. We spent the morning by the pool. The November pool sunshine times at the Doubletree are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sun lasted until 4 p.m. when we were there in August 2011. As soon as Dave & Buster’s opened in the Block at Orange mall at 11 we went there. I had an awesome lunch-the salad was called the Lawnmower but I had them remove the meat and substitute other items. I was pretty surprised they had decent food. I wish we had sat outside of the game area since we weren’t planning on playing games at this time. They have a couple of really nice dining choices near the main entrance.


    After our lunch we picked up a friend that was staying at the Fairfield Inn Marriott by Disneyland with another family we know. We drove 20 minutes to the congregation our friend used to attend for a Bible meeting. When we arrived we met up with our friend’s sibling and nephew. After the meeting we all went to dinner at the house of someone they grew up thinking of as a second mom. There was another friend of their’s visiting from New York that was at the meeting and dinner as well. After we drove home.


    We arrived at Disneyland on the 8 p.m. shuttle from the Doubletree. The shuttle always seemed a little late! For us it was OK this time as we were running a couple of minutes late as well. It turned out I forgot to bring my light up Mickey Mouse ears because of rushing. We happened upon the Matterhorn when it was just a short wait. We were on the Tomorrowland side this time. I didn’t notice that it was much different, maybe a little more bumpy. I thought it was a little shorter than the Fantasyland side but I’m still not sure. I don’t know which side I prefer they were both good.


    After riding Matterhorn we walked through the castle. It had been blocked off the previous day for the filming of the Christmas Day Parade. It was nice walking through the castle but it’s more of something I wanted to do to check off my list; I don’t know that I’ll go again. Speaking of the Parade I forgot to mention that on Saturday they were filming on Mainstreet. Mario Lopez was hosting. Other than blocking things off and making it a little slower to get around I didn’t feel there was on the ride wait times.


    We got to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again! It just seems faster and better at night. Don’t get me wrong, we like the ride in the day too, but we love it at night. After we left we were headed to get Dole Whip! However, on our way we ran into the aforementioned friend and the other families I mentioned. They were headed to Pirates and there was a very short wait so we rode it with them. My friend gave me mouse ears that had neon glow bracelets attached. I’m going to keep the holder and just buy the target bracelets to install in it for the ears on our next trip. Much more economical and comfortable! The park was nearly deserted as it was close to closing time. We finally got our Dole Whip with just a couple of people in line in front of us. We ate it on our way to ride Star Tours. I don’t remember if we had a FP but I’m assuming we did. There was no wait. We rode the shuttle home exhausted, as usual!

  7. #7

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Day 4 Monday, November 5: 17,110 steps taken. Today there were record temperatures of 94 degrees. The last record was set in the 1800ís. It was too hot for me. I got a headache despite trying to stay in shady areas as much as possible and drinking lots of water. Itís possible that the cotton candy didnít help. LOL


    First thing we rode Dumbo and Mr. Toad. Both had short waits. It turns out Mr. Toad has become a favorite and itís likely that our family will be spending some time there each trip! I guess this story was a favorite growing up. This was my first time on the ride. The park was really busy in the morning. Too many kids are rariní to go at 10 a.m. opening, I hope Iím not repeating myself!


    One note for those who might be looking to get into Fantasyland once the rope is dropped after the fireworks--People were lining up alongside Mr. Toad toward the Teacups to get on Peter Pan. They were letting those people in earlier so there wouldnít be a mad dash. We just jumped in the line and slithered over to Mr. Toad and there was already a 3 minute wait.


    Next we rode Star Tours 3 times and each of got to be the rebel spy once! For lunch we went to Rancho del Zocalo, my favorite and Tomorrowland Terrace. I donít know what the deal is with people complaining about the food in the parks. I loved it and could keep eating it. Now SS was getting tired of it by the end of the trip but for those just there a few days I donít see the reason for complaint.


    After lunch we headed to the train station and rode into New Orleans Square to use our FP (donít remember when we picked up) for Splash Mountain. The ride shook me around too much and I think it made my headache worse although the A/C was a great relief. We inquired about the Lilly Belle while we were at main street and we found out people arenít allowed on it when the temperature goes to 90. I donít know if it has to be at that or if it just has to be suspected to get that high but they said the car is just too hot. I agree!


    At some point in this time frame we rode Buzz Lightyear. It was a great break from the heat and there was no wait at all. I lost. SS won. Says I didnít try hard enough. I disagree!


    We went to the 1st aid station to get me some ibuprofen and the nurses there were great. It didnít help enough so we went back to the hotel on the 2:15 p.m. bus and came back to DL on the 4 p.m. bus. It was a necessary break although not welcomed.


    We rode Luigiís Flying Tires. A 15 minute posted wait time took 40 minutes. I was slightly stressed since I didnít want to be late for our 6:15 dinner reservation at Wine Country Trattoria. I donít plan to ride Luigiís again. The loading was just too slow. The ride was OK and if there was no wait at all Iíd probably ride, but thatís unlikely to be the case before they replace the ride, in my opinion.


    We made it to our dinner reservation early, at 6:04 and were seated promptly but the waiter was busy with other tables, we were early after all. I had a bland pasta dish which totally wasnít worth the price. The price, by the way, has gone up $2 from what is reported on allears.net. The minestrone was good but itís one of my favorites. Surprisingly it wasnít very salty so I added pepper to try to spice it up a little; it didnít help much. The filet mignon was reported to be one of the best ever eaten. The salad was also good. The goat cheese went very well with the other flavors in the dish. Our favorite was the dessert tray. It was quite unlike what we were expecting. We thought weíd have to decide which one we wanted. Nope! We each got a small serving of the 4 choices. My favorite was the Tiramisu followed by pistachio cookie, chocolate tart and the panna cotta.


    We scurried off to World of Color as fast as we could. We arrived at 7:15 and got a spot right on the front railing where we didnít get wet at all. People below us put their kids on their shoulders during the show and it did interfere slightly with the viewing but it wasnít that bad and I shouldnít be complaining. By 7:35 there were no more front row spots in our special section. To be noted, the WOC lunch at wine Country Trattoria only gets you a FP for general seating. Totally not worth the price in my opinion. We loved the show. I especially enjoyed many of the older songs such as those from The Little Mermaid. (I was involved in a high school play of this). I was most disappointed by the Brave Segment. I donít know the movie and donít care about getting to know it, as I donít have kids. Therefore, it was just dumb to me and I didnít really understand what was going on. I loved the heat from Pirates of the Caribbean and at the end. As soon as the last sections of the holograms were shown most people left. The show wasnít quite over and for those of us who didnít rush off it was a nice little treat since we were already left wishing the show wasnít over. Last year we sat for two hours in front of the castle (while other members of our group got food, I left to help with this at one point, etc.) and loved the show. Iím glad I spent the extra time and money for WOC, just this once. Iíll likely see it again just not with the WCT dining package. I may try to get to the section two hours early to get a bottom railing in the regular sections though! Just FYI we didnít get wet in the reserved seating area we sat in, I guess they just have to put that warning in case.

    ---------- Post added 11-13-2012 at 07:51 PM ----------

    Day 5 Tuesday, November 6-24,494 steps. It was very hot today! Attendance was a lot lower, thank goodness. Our goal today was to get there in time to get a FP for a dark RSR ride. We were in the park by 10:30-11 at my estimate. We had arrived via shuttle around 9:50. The FP were still in early stage and we received one for 4:15, I believe and we didnít go back to ride until about 5:00. We were hungry when we arrived so we had breakfast at Floís. I had the kids waffles. It was a good breakfast but you should ask for a 2nd syrup. Sadly RSR wasnít opening until noon today but we did get to see a few cars going by as a test of some sort.


    After breakfast we rode Tower of Terror with no wait. Loved it!


    Since we were in the area we had our picture taken at the Chase Visa area with Minnie Mouse. I was a little stressed because I couldnít find any detail on the internet of exactly where this location is. For those of you who are interested itís near the Mad T Party. To the left of the bathrooms/arcade/seating area. They have a little sign and itís available from 30 minutes after the park opens for 1.5 hours. Iím really disappointed in this. At the beginning of the day lines for most things are just a touch shorter and I didnít want to be spending my time in line for a picture, even though you get a coupon for a free 5x7. It turns out this was the only day we were able to make it over here for the picture. When we got in line on our last evening to get our picture using the free coupon a lady in front of us had obviously gotten one picture each day!!! I wish Iíd been as diligent. I would have been had the photo shoot been later in the day when I needed a break around 12:30-2 or so, ideally. By the way, I just sent the photo to my grama today, I knew sheíd appreciate it. Now, Iíd read on these sites that at WDW the coupon can only be used for the Meet N Greet pictures but at DLR it can be used for any 5x7. We were only able to get the Meet N Greet picture free in California Adventure. Maybe on the Disneyland side theyíre not aware which ones are from the Meet N GreetÖ Another thing, I was so happy to be able to use the photopass card. When you have one you give it to the photographer and then give them your phone/camera and have them take your picture. Especially since it was just the two of us it was important to have someone to take our pix. They are real professionals, taking time with each guest and getting several poses and telling you what might look good. I was always too nervous to have them take our picture. However, with the price of tickets itís nice to know that this is a free service available to all guests. I will definitely make use of this in the future. I was also of the impression you could get ride photos put on your photopass card, but that may only be for the photopass plus card because they would do it for us. It seems that it would be ridiculous to have to decide right then and there which picture you wanted to purchase from a ride. Since we rode a lot of rides over and over again we may have liked a different picture better later! What are you supposed to do? Write down all the codes? I am also of the understanding that if you donít purchase them that day they are deleted by the end of the day. If anyone has a greater understanding of this, please share!


    After our picture ordeal we went to California Screaminí. Iím sure we used a FP. I donít know when we got it but we never used the regular line on this ride for our whole trip. Of course we got a new FP for Screaminí! After this we headed to the Silly Symphony Swings and Goofyís. We had a beer while we waited for our Goofy FP to be ready. After a refreshing beer by the pier we went back to Screaminí. While we were relaxing (and I filled up my water bottle with ice, those restaurants have the best ice!) we saw our friends walking by. More of their family showed up. After that we decided to relax for a little while so we went to Itís Tough to Be a Bug. If you heard a scream it was our row from the poking. Just couldnít quite calculate when that was going to happen! I was sad the smell maker wasnít working in this attraction. Iím not sure if they even had a smell but I thought so. We decide we were done with California Adventure for awhile so we decided to hop to Disneyland.


    First thing we rode Space Mountain. I guess we used a FP because I never remember entering from the right side of the line but Iím not sure when we got it! This was our first ride of the trip! We are not fans of Ghost Galaxy. I felt like I was really, finally at Disneyland while I was on Space and I teared up a little!


    Next we moved on to a ride that has been on my checklist for a long time. We rode the Mark Twain. Everyone seems to go to the top, maybe because there are seats? We decided to stay on level 2. It was just too sunny and hot for me. I remember being a bit miserable. Still on my list is the other boat. After our ride we headed down to hungry bear and I had some onion rings while SS had the turkey sandwich. It was not a winner! The coleslaw looked disgusting, neither of us would eat it.


    Now we are headed to Tomorrowland. We watched captain EO. It was funny, our friends were all on it at the same time as us. While I was waiting outside the ride for SS to use the Space Mountain restrooms part of their groupís extended family and a friend from another state and his girlfriend came out of Space Mountain. When they broke off from the group to ride Space they were outcast, the other group didnít wait for them after EO. LOL Iím sure they caught up to them. But it was funny running into them because we see them weekly but they didnít know we were there (Iíd already seen the DH getting Screaminí FP while we were over there earlier so we knew they were in the park) and the DW was shocked to see me!


    Next we got a FP for Star Tours and used our FP for Space Mountain again. After our ride we went back to Star Tours and he wouldnít even take our FP because the line was so short he said he felt bad taking them. We decided we wanted to go use our RSR FP on time so we headed to California Adventure next.


    We needed a snack so we went to the Cozy Cone. SS Wanted a coke cone so we got that souvenir mug as well as the sweet/spicy popcorn. It was just OK. The other option was butter and this sounded better! We still had a Screaminí FP and some time before it was dark enough to use our RSR FP so we went to the Pier. We finally got to use our FP for RSR in the dark! Wow! Itís amazing! Another short wait. This time was weird. We were shuffled off to the handicapped car. Two old ladies were in the car one in front one in back. They were cute but talked to use the whole ride! The shorter of our party was on the outside front seat. It is a tight squeeze but manageable. The outside seats have shoulder straps, which lock up and are uncomfortable. We lost our race and got tires again. The tractors were still not tipping. : (


    We spend a few minutes shopping but didnít buy anything. Then we headed back to the hotel. It took us a Ĺ hour to get home because the shuttle driver decided to or was sent to pick someone up at a restaurant. Who even does that?! I didnít know it was allowed/offered. The people werenít even there. We ended up being 2 minutes late because he seemed to want to show up right on time and took a really long route to the restaurant. Oh well. When we got back we dropped off our stuff in the room and headed over to Nordstrom Rack. We got some socks and a scarf. After that we headed to Dave & Busters. It was the night of the presidential election and thatís all that was on the TV in the quiet seating area. We played some games but it was frustrating because they had a LOUD DJ. Thereís no need for a DJ there, the games make enough chaotic noise for the place. The salad was great again at D&B.


     

     

     
    Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-13-2012 at 08:55 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Day 6 Wednesday, November 7, 2012. This is the 2nd day of filming Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks in Disneyland but we missed it again. This is the day we went to Universal Studios. Wow, what a bummer compared to Disneyland. I can’t figure out for sure what it is, it just doesn’t have that happy feeling. I think part of it is the fact that everywhere you go in Disneyland there is happy music. There is some music in different parts of Universal that is played but it seems to fade off in different areas.


    This post contains strong opinions that many of you will not agree with. I’d prefer that you not read if you’re going to leave me snappy comments as mostly I’m just venting! I know nothing can be done about it now.


    Our favorite rides: 1) Transformers--of course. This ride really puts you into the ride with 3-D. 2) The Simpsons. We almost missed doing this ride, it was our last one of the day. 3) The Studio Tour. There is nothing like this ride. SS really liked the King Kong portion of the ride. Getting spit on is gross! LOL. Other than that, the park is basically a waste of time. Therefore, we will not be returning to this park. The Studio Tour is only worth doing once in a lifetime, IMHO. It’s not worth the traffic and stress of driving to go to this park again. The two decent rides just aren’t worth the trouble.


    This is likely the reason you can buy one day for $80 and get the entirety of 2013 free. LOL


    We had our Citypass. FYI just take your city pass directly to the gate, you do not have to wait in line at the ticket booth. They just scan the city pass.


    I was hungry by the time we got to the park. Oh, yeah, Jurassic Park was closed. I know I didn’t plan as well for this park as I did for DLR but I was on the different web sites often enough to have found out about a ride closure. They simply didn’t broadcast the closure well enough. One ride we know we would have enjoyed, making it 4 for the park, and it was closed. When you have so few attractions I can see why you wouldn’t discourage someone from coming by letting them know a ride was down. We still would have gone but we would have been less disappointed. Anyway, I wanted the pizza hut pizza. There really isn’t much good food in this park IMHO and that was the one thing I was counting on. Well, it was closed. I was too hungry to go up the 4 escalators again to go to the other PH place so I just got Chinese food. It was OK but not what I wanted.


    Another negative about this park. Their employees. They aren’t nice. They aren’t necessarily rude but they don’t go out of their way to have a smile on their faces. Two particular instances ticked me off. 1.) This negative experience involved a smoker. I don’t like smoking allowed in theme parks. I even hate the designated areas in DL. Even from the Big Thunder Mountain ride in DL you can smell smoke, which I simply think is disgusting. However, at least the people are using the areas. There was a man in front of the Terminator ride smoking. An employee clearly saw him. I went and asked the employee if smoking was allowed in the park. He said only in designated areas. I pointed out the man and he didn’t do anything, he just shrugged his shoulders. I went over to the man and dumped my water on his cigar. I was outraged and obviously shouldn’t have done that and I obviously felt bad about it after but I felt I had no other choice at the time. I could tell the man was trying to hide it from the CM too. In reality I just feel deep pity for those who are so addicted to these drugs that their actions are ruled by them. It makes me feel even worse for young people who start smoking. Why? Haven’t we all had family members with lung cancer or some other cancer caused by tobacco?! In the past when the companies made it look cool, or whatever and the effects weren’t as widely know, even with doctors pushing them in advertisements I can see why people started. Now, it’s basically a death sentence, so why would anyone in their right mind start? I’m not talking about those who are now in their’ 50’s as this man was, I’ve been told how difficult it is to stop. One friend who used to be a druggie in the 70’s said it was easier to quit some of the hard drugs compared to tobacco.


    Now, contrast this experience with my Disneyland smoking experience. We saw a man smoking and SS and I both were about to tell a CM about it. No need!!! The CM spotted him from farther away then the Universal employee was from their guest. The CM was still really kind! She said, “Sir, are you looking for a smoking area?” I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation but it wasn’t mean at all like, “get in the smoking zone now!”


    My 2nd bad experience in Universal. Same place, maybe it’s just the Terminator employees, LOL. In the holding cell for the ride someone was smoking inside the area. Couldn’t see who but maybe it was mr. cigar lit up again. Now, we go into Terminator and from the stage the actress yelled at our seat selection very sarcastically. There was no need.


    Now, regarding the cleanliness of the Universal Park. It just seemed grungy overall. I know people talk about how much Toon Town needs to be painted. There was just a black filthy sheen of film all over the walls of the Simpsons queue. It wasn’t just here either. Walking around there was old gum all over the ground. Just ridiculous. I really appreciate the CM’s all over Disneyland cleaning up after all of us. Yes, things drop, spill, whatever. It needs to be picked up!


    The best part of our Universal day was watching the Disney film Wreck it Ralph at CityWalk. The movie was over right about 7 and we headed to The Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton after that. We had a nice peaceful meal. It was cheap also, which is always appreciated!


    BTW: Universal was cold. We also just felt like we hadn’t done enough things. I read somewhere that people need to see 8 attractions in Disneyland to feel satisfied. Personally we did 12 on a short day and were satisfied. Are there even 12 to ride at Universal? Oh I forgot we did enjoy Waterworld. However, I think the production could have been done with lesser actors for cheaper and the could have used the money elsewhere in the park for example, at cleaning!


    One final note, the Disneyland Unofficial Guide has a section in the back of the book for universal. I disagree with their statement to go up and down the escalators several times for timing. I just don’t see how that would be reasonable seeing as it takes so long to go up and down. We did the Studio Tour first and the lines got really long shortly after we got on. The park is not laid out well as far as signage. If you’re that spread out you need to have more signs everywhere. They tried but then you’d reach a point where you had to go left or right following their arrows and you were lost again.  

    I just thought of another anecdote. We went 5 years ago without researching it at all. We took a taxi from Anaheim because we thought it was a few minutes away. Stupid, I know. I thought my dislike of the park was due to the $200 travel expense. Nope! This visit confirms that we won't be returning to Universal in Hollywood.
    Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-14-2012 at 09:05 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    Thursday we went to see Conan O'Brien. It was a fun experience but I won't do it again.

    That evening we went to PF Chang's for dinner nearby. The drive home was better because it was a little later in the evening.

    Thursday was uneventful!

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    We get that you don't like USH. What about it was dirty? Being you are a newer member of Micechat, please take the time to research old DLR posts about the park being dirty.
    "And yes, we implore EVERYBODY to follow the park rules. Having off-ride footage is great, but any still photo's or video's taken ON the coasters at SFMM are strictly against the rules. They are there for your (and everybody's) safety." "Six Flags doesn't allow ANY loose articles on their coasters, and they don't allow video taping on their coasters. " BUT, "​ This is not true. Six Flags does not allow ANY On-Ride video or pictures on the rides. The ONLY way is if you get explicit permission from Park Management." ???

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    "This post contains strong opinions that many of you will not agree with."

    "There was just a black filthy sheen of film all over the walls of the Simpsons queue. It wasn’t just here either. Walking around there was old gum all over the ground."

    i was at DLR 7 days. It wasn't dirty!

  12. #12

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    It's too bad you didn't enjoy USH. Personally I went twice for Transformers and will be going back, for Harry Potter. You may also want to make that consideration. A lot of Universal will be changing for this major development.

    Otherwise I never find it on par with DLR, but that generally makes me appreciate Disney more.

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    Re: 11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

    I am sorry, but there is gum on the ground at DLR.
    "And yes, we implore EVERYBODY to follow the park rules. Having off-ride footage is great, but any still photo's or video's taken ON the coasters at SFMM are strictly against the rules. They are there for your (and everybody's) safety." "Six Flags doesn't allow ANY loose articles on their coasters, and they don't allow video taping on their coasters. " BUT, "​ This is not true. Six Flags does not allow ANY On-Ride video or pictures on the rides. The ONLY way is if you get explicit permission from Park Management." ???

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