[This post was written after 1am. The impossible-to-correct title should have the word "quartet" with a T at the end.]
After our visit on Monday, Nov. 26, I raved like a raving Christmas lunatic about how much I loved the Buena Vista Street Bell Ringers (inaccurately named, btw, because they're foremost an excellent singing group.)
This trip on Dec. 1 was even better, and again my favorite part was hearing another group of Christmas singers.
This quartet of acappella Christmas carolers who visit the Disneyland Resort Hotels performed in the great Chrismassy Lobby Grand Californian where they sang at four times this day (twice in the lobby on the west side of the tree, and twice in an outdoor courtyard. A Grand CAian concierge can tell you the group's performance times. The first today in the GC was at 3pm.) Nothing has gotten me more in the Christmas mood this year more than hearing this group. It was like being in a hot tub filled with the world's second best eggnog while drinking a quart of the world's best eggnog, which was also miraculously calorie free.
They took our requests and their renditions of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," were beyond perfect. No out-of-place failed opera singer in this group--just two young Sinatras and two young Julie Andrewses.
A girl (4?) in the audience was equally delighted by their version of "Rudolph..."
More great stuff:
The CMs working the RSS FP line were outstanding
and we flew through that line
and were informed that we could get another FP for another attraction without waiting.
RSR is fantastic,
we love the swings in the day and at night,
Soarin' is still wonderful,
I liked the DJ's Dance 'n' Drive show in Carsland.
my daughter and her friend rode the Grizzly River Rapids six times with almost no wait on this December day. I sat on a nice bench with a good book drinking the least expensive diet Coke on the park, from the wonderful Ghiradelli's.
The WoC is still fantastic--we liked the newer Brave segment,
and the kids in our group had fun exercising while exploring the Redwood Creek area.
My daughter and her friend loved the Boardwalk swings in the day and night, while I loved my one trip with them at night--the closest I'll ever come to one of my time travel fantasy destinations: Coney Island of the 1920s.
Finally on the nice list, many CMs were a pleasure to talk with.
Again, this was a wonderful, almost entirely happy day. But now I'll mention all of the picky, picky, picky flaws in hope that future visits will be free of these imperfections.
Our Dec. 1 visit started badly with our long Mickey & Friends lane moving VERY slowly up to the gateless gatekeeper. When we finally met him he repeatedly insisted that the parking permit part of my AP just expired even though the July 29, 2013 date was stamped on it. Finally he let us in and at entrance into DCA and in City Hall (to pick up a birthday button) I was told that the parking pass system had a glitch today.
Sorry I disagree with many of you on this, but I don't like the Red Trolly News Boys. I don't know why THEIR fake enthusiasm & first grade (mouth only) smiles annoy me when all entertainers put on emotions.
The Wilderness Explorer Ceremony had an energetic, talented lead actress and was still about the worst show I've ever seen on any Disney property. I didn't mind the Brother Bear show at that venue. The corpulent boy scout from "Up" joins in and talks, though his lips don't move. This seemed cheap and freaky because we had just seen the Mickey's lips move with the News Boys & (on another day) had seen Minnie's lips move with her Fly Girls. This up mask was like watching a boring educational film clip of a Greek tragedy in the ruins of a Greek ampitheater. (And while I'm ranting, the sexist stereotypes of Minnie's Flies are about as fun as Kate Capwshaw in the second Indy movie. Why do they annoy me when I loved everything about the arguably more retro dancers at the Golden Horseshoe Review? I could delve into that, but won't.)
A few burned out light bulbs on the Golden Zephyr's cables made me miss the pre-green days when bulbs in Disney parks were changed at at 80% of their freshness dates.
I love the short, sit-down, zip-line in the Redwood Creek area,
and my daughter has never fallen off at the end,
but kids do crash to the ground every day just as happy kids have wiped out there for years now and, Disney, kids make great defendants. Parents:
These three zip lines that crash at the end are like the terribly excellent shocking machines that used to hurt laughing guests at WDW's Main Street Penny arcade in the 1970s. Enjoy it while it lasts! I could delve into why danger and even pain can be part of fun times, but won't.
The worst thing in an otherwise very good day in DCA were the lunch boxes that came our WoC tickets.
I hadn't had these since soon after WoC started years ago. We liked them back then then, but the Dec. 1, 2012, lunches were very bad. We had all three adult versions. The salmon was dry and a bit fishy tasting. I mean the kind of fish found in a dingy fish nursing home four weeks after it had died in its own filth.
There were four people at a counter to distribute these boxes and no guests within 50 feet of us for about five minutes while we picked up our boxes and chatted. They insisted that our WoC yellow area wouldn't allow anyone to line up outside of the area before 8:15 for the 9pm show, but when we passed by the area a little before 8pm, they were already allowing folks to go save the places. We followed the crowd.
And, Disney food dept., we could see about 16 of 18 CMs at the Mexican restaurant not working, probably because there were only two families in line here. There were over 100 waiting to buy bread bowl meals, but that line was slow today because the CMs weren't trying hard. (A few weren't calling for people in line when they were ready for more customers, but were just socializing with each other. I saw three of them talking at the counter for about ten minutes ignoring guests, then got out of line and asked them if the register was open. They said it was, then I got back in the glacial line. One CM there told me she didn't think the chowder only line wasn't open, but much later a CM announced that it was and I rushed to the front it if since two kids were waiting outside in the dark for me.
Usually this is one of my favorite restaurants at the Disneyland resort and the Clam Chowder bowl was fine. I think there was just a bad lead failing to lead there this evening.
P.S. We've been to the Disneyland Resort 13 times since our new APs started at the end of July, after a two-year break from APs. That's about the # if times we went per year the last two times we had APs. The higher AP prices might lead some with APs to use them more frequently to try to get their money's worth.
Rather than APs, I wish Disney would have passes like this one:
7 visits per year for $300 (or $240 for five visits) with no parking, no park-hopping, or discounts included. That's the most I'd be willing to pay, and it would reduce the # of locals who clog the park with weekly visits.
Maybe still have just one a (Premium) AP, but have it include:
admission all Disney parks world-wide,
one visit to Club 33 for each passholder and one guest,
one tour of the the Burbank Studios on select weekend days,
all for just $5,000 per year. Or $9,000 for a permanent FP feature that only works for the cardholders--not for any guests.
Very few people would do this? I know, that's the point.