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  1. #1

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    Trip Report! 6.15.13

    This is my first trip report, and I'm writing it mainly to thank everyone on the boards who have offered great tips for a day at Disneyland - thank you!

    We planned on getting to the park at 9 but without traffic on the 5 we arrive around 8:15. It was the first time I had been to Disneyland almost immediately after park opening; originally my boyfriend was very apprehensive about the joys of being one of the first in the park, but now I have him totally sold. We rode SM twice within 10 minutes and really appreciated how quiet the park was! The park was actually pretty quiet most of the day - the longest standby line we witnessed was 65 minutes for Splash Mountain (and I'm sure that was because it was down for a large chunk of the morning) and 60 minutes for Star Tours.

    We had never experienced the Mark Twain before, so we decided to check it out midday and take a break from walking. I've read on a few different threads that you can ask to ride in the wheelhouse with the captain, but completely forgot about it. We headed up to the top deck when I passed two CM's discussing something, and one CM pointed to me and said "maybe she'll help you out!" They asked if we wanted to help out in the wheelhouse and we enthusiastically said yes! What a great experience. I loved the vantage point (and getting to blow the whistle), the guest book, and the photos of Walt, but I also enjoyed chatting with the CM who told us about prior attractions around the island, how old some of the animatronics were, and discussed the Big Thunder refurb with us. What a great experience!

    We also ate at Carnation Cafe for the first time, sat outside, and happened to be seated right as the parade began. Neither one of us are really into parades, but it was a great vantage point as we could see all of the floats. The food was also fantastic. I highly recommend it!

    A few little random observations/questions:

    - We stumbled across Mary Poppins completely by accident while exiting the refreshment corner, and decided to get our picture taken with her. I've only met her once, at Epcot, and when I did, she was lovely and very chatty. The family in front of us pointed out that she was missing Burt, and she made some sort of excuse for his absence, but at the same time began to look behind us. I noticed he had been stopped on the street by other guests, most likely trying to make his way over to where she was. By the time I got to her, she only asked where I was from, and then immediately went into picture pose - it was a little disappointing. She seemed very distracted by the fact that Burt still hadn't arrived, and it showed. Has anyone else had a less-than-stellar character interaction?

    - We also took in a Billy Hill & the Hillbillies show (one of my favorites!) and it was sadly not very busy. It seemed most of the crowd was there to see Woody and Jessie, who made an appearance towards the end of their show with a new character (?) Buckaroo Bob? The first time we caught Billy Hill was almost 3 years ago, back when they were at the Golden Horseshoe, and the room was crowded. Although I love their new home at the ranch, I can't help but wonder if its doing a detriment to their attendance. Anyone have a different opinion? I'd love to hear it.

    - Sadly, Indiana Jones was not operating at its best. We rode twice, and the door was stuck open (so you could see the vehicles in front of you), and the audio cut out three or four times. We also got stalled near the boulder briefly where the audio repeated itself. Bummer.

  2. #2

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Wow! What an awesome time you had on the Mark Twain! Nothing like when Disney magic works. Thanks for sharing with us and happy you had a great trip.

    “That's the way a lot of things happen... You think one person did something
    but he was just the one to put the color on it." – Ken Anderson
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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    It really was such a great experience. We both remarked that it was our favorite part of the day. This was my boyfriends 4th trip to DL, and I mentioned to him that one of the reasons why I love going so often is because it truly is a different experience every time, and he agreed after our trip on the Mark Twain!

  4. #4

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Nice write up! I don't think I've ever been to DL right when it opened, I need to try that out sometime soon!

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    I've only been to MK during extra magic hours and remember how amazed I was that we had gotten in so many rides in such a short period of time. Even though we have to get up much earlier than usual, it will definitely be our plan from now on - the park's peacefulness at that hour is so wonderful.

  6. #6

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by iceicebergha View Post
    how old some of the animatronics were
    Yes, we are ancient, aren't we haha

    Quote Originally Posted by iceicebergha View Post
    Sadly, Indiana Jones was not operating at its best. We rode twice, and the door was stuck open (so you could see the vehicles in front of you), and the audio cut out three or four times. We also got stalled near the boulder briefly where the audio repeated itself. Bummer.
    My friend Indy #3 told me they had a bad day on Saturday. Indy #2 actually had to hold on longer (when vehicles are not around, he takes a break), because the vehicles kept getting stuck near him.
    -> -> http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/181693-after-hours.html <- <-
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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by iceicebergha View Post
    Has anyone else had a less-than-stellar character interaction?
    -
    Only once, last month, during a birthday trip at the new home of the princesses in Fantasyland. I love the new setup. It was my second time ever meeting Princess Aurora, the first time was in the temporary home on the walk near It's A Small World and was fantastic. This day for whatever reason, she was annoyed with the fact that I was celebrating a birthday. Before saying hello or anything, she said "aren't you a little old to be celebrating" (mind you I'm 30 something not 90 something). I said "you're never too old for a birthday at Disneyland" she said "I think you are". And then she proceeded to close her eyes for the photos, both the professional ones and the ones taken with our camera (we weren't using flash, so it was not a light issue). The man behind the camera even told her that her eyes were closed so she proceeded to smile and keep her eyes closed. I felt like she was taking it as a joke, and as a paying customer, I wasn't amused. Disney lost money on that one, since we were purchasing all of the professional photos to use alongside our photos in a photo book commemorating the trip.

    I'm an adult, not some young child, but if I was a young child, a princess "shunning me" like that, would have been enough to ruin an fantasy of being a Disney princess. If it was just her eyes closed in a photo, it would have been one thing, but the fact that the photographer mentioned it, and she repeated it, made it unacceptable.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlawwhiskey View Post
    Before saying hello or anything, she said "aren't you a little old to be celebrating" (mind you I'm 30 something not 90 something). I said "you're never too old for a birthday at Disneyland" she said "I think you are". And then she proceeded to close her eyes for the photos, both the professional ones and the ones taken with our camera (we weren't using flash, so it was not a light issue).
    Seriously?! I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience and am actually really shocked that this sort of thing happened to you. I've always thought that Disney handled birthdays, regardless of how old, very well. After all, you never know if its someone's first trip. The first time I met Cinderella, I was 16, and even thought I had been to WDW at least 14 times by then, had never met her. I immediately started crying and she was SO kind to me. I've had Peter Pan give me a hard time for outwardly celebrating a birthday, but never saying I was too old.

    Even in this case with Mary Poppins, it was clear she was just super distracted by Bert being held up. I think what set her off was the the family in front of us in line. Before the boy even went up to get her autograph, the mother immediately asked where Bert was, and Mary came up with an excuse (a witty one, I'll give her that) and the mother would not let it go. After we finished out photos with Mary and we're walking back towards Adventureland, we saw where Bert had been held up, and he was now being held up by the same mother who was asking Mary where he was! Didn't really help the situation. I'm really very sorry Aurora wasn't on her best behavior.

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by iceicebergha View Post
    I'm really very sorry Aurora wasn't on her best behavior.
    And that was the saddest part about it. I knew she wasn't on her best behavior, she knew she wasn't on her best behavior, and the photographer knew she wasn't on her best behavior. Had I not met her before and had an awesome experience in another part of the park, I would have likely stopped watching Sleeping Beauty the first time I met Aurora at Disneyland prior to that trip.

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    I agree that this would certainly ruin the experience for a child and most Disney-loving adults I know. I haven't been to the princesses new setup, but do they have helpers? (Forgive me for not knowing the correct names.) While we were waiting for Billy Hill, both Goofy as well as Woody and Jessie were taking photos, and their helpers were very vocal about certain things (this is soandso's birthday, someone wants to give you a high five, etc.) and the characters were very accommodating and playful. Maybe if Aurora had someone "helping her" and keeping her in check, she would have dropped her attitude?

  11. #11

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by iceicebergha View Post
    I agree that this would certainly ruin the experience for a child and most Disney-loving adults I know. I haven't been to the princesses new setup, but do they have helpers? (Forgive me for not knowing the correct names.) While we were waiting for Billy Hill, both Goofy as well as Woody and Jessie were taking photos, and their helpers were very vocal about certain things (this is soandso's birthday, someone wants to give you a high five, etc.) and the characters were very accommodating and playful. Maybe if Aurora had someone "helping her" and keeping her in check, she would have dropped her attitude?

    I was considering doing character visits for my birthday next month, if I do that I hope I don't end up with characters with the same 'tude, as your Aurora. Yeeeshh!

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Please, please, PLEASE report that Aurora CM to city hall and send e-mails with pictures to customer service. Even if you are only a bit frustrated about it, that behavior is absolutely unacceptable anywhere on stage. I am about to take my wife for the first time, and I can't imagine trying to expect her to see why Disneyland means the world to me if we encountered a character acting that way.

    Or what if she got sassy around a young kid ? That could ruin a child's entire day. That behavior would be awful enough from a basic level CM, but from a character ? She needs chewed out, big time. I don't care if she was having an awful day, Disneyland is far too special and important of a place to have a princess acting like that.

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    The only time I had a negative experience was with Mary Poppins within the last year. I told her that I thought she had the most beautiful costume. She snottily told me it was an outfit. Which, really, in the movie it's a costume because she wears it in the fantasy scene... but whatever. She literally stuck her nose up at me, stood stiffly for a photo, then ignored me as we left. It was so awkward.

    On a positive note - I'm glad you had a fun trip!! Riding in the wheelhouse is really fun and a unique experience. Thanks for sharing!

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by Sifferz View Post
    Please, please, PLEASE report that Aurora CM to city hall and send e-mails with pictures to customer service. Even if you are only a bit frustrated about it, that behavior is absolutely unacceptable anywhere on stage. I am about to take my wife for the first time, and I can't imagine trying to expect her to see why Disneyland means the world to me if we encountered a character acting that way.

    Or what if she got sassy around a young kid ? That could ruin a child's entire day. That behavior would be awful enough from a basic level CM, but from a character ? She needs chewed out, big time. I don't care if she was having an awful day, Disneyland is far too special and important of a place to have a princess acting like that.
    I didn't think it was worth mentioning it at City Hall. I had a major problem at the Disneyland Resort once before, and City Hall was useless at resolving the issue. It was enough to make a person so frustrated with the Disney company. Anyways, I only go to City Hall when I have to, which is usually when my GAC card expires. I did shoot Disneyland Resort a e-mail about it, and then got an e-mail address I could send the photos to. The response I received back from them was a pretty canned response. I have come to expect that from Disneyland, basically, sorry about your experience, nothing we can do after the fact. The customer service is only great when it's "what can we give you to make you go away/be quiet" and that I have just come to understand and expect and not allow it to ruin my days at the park.

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    Re: Trip Report! 6.15.13

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlawwhiskey View Post
    I have come to expect that from Disneyland, basically, sorry about your experience, nothing we can do after the fact. The customer service is only great when it's "what can we give you to make you go away/be quiet" and that I have just come to understand and expect and not allow it to ruin my days at the park.
    I can totally see where you're coming from, but having worked in the customer service industry for a few years, I know that most businesses won't operate this way. Even if you may never hear any sort of "personal" follow up, I can recall one or two instances working in retail where a customer reported something a few days after it happened, and by the time it got to us, it was weeks later, yet still important and actions were taken to ensure it wouldn't happen again. Considering how vital the character interactions are to the Disney experience, I can't imagine that if you sent these photos (which frustrate the hell out of me everytime I look at them!) and explained the situation, date/time, etc., Aurora wouldn't get a stern talking to. They are, at the end of the day, operating a business, and when one of their employees provides a less than stellar service, they should be aware of it. (I'm a fan of the strongly worded letter, can't you tell?

    KellyMcG86, perhaps we ran into the same Mary Poppins! She really was so uncomfortable. If I hadn't met her at Epcot, I would have assumed it was part of the character and not the CM themselves, but Mary was quite interactive with all the guests ahead of me. I felt like I got up there and she just wanted to move me along. She was really distraught without Bert around!

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