Yay this is my first trip report. It was also my daughter's first visit to Disneyland/DCA,she is 2 1/2. My wife and I have been to Disneyland many times, we always become kids ourselves. So it was going to be interesting to have our daughter there and us focused on her. Our visit started on Oct 10 - 13th, Halloween Time was in full effect and we learn our daughter loves Halloween during this visit.
This was a last minute trip so I was not able to get reservations at an on park resort for a price we could afford; normally we stay DL Hotel or Paradise Pier. Leaving the park and going out into the "real" world, you do lose that emersion and it brings you back to reality. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza on Harbor in Garden Grove. The hotel was clean, the staff friendly and helpful. I think the only issue we had, only a small one, is the shuttle that goes between. People always make a mad dash, there are no lines or courtesy if you have been waiting a half an hour and they just showed up. I give the hotel a 4 out of 5 rating. No Disney touches which I missed, but for value and for being clean I give it high marks.
My daughter was all about meeting princesses! So Disney Princess' Fantasy Faire was almost a daily must, even with the hour long wait. But the five minutes and the pictures we got each time are priceless. We found this attraction completely by mistake; I felt it is too hidden as it is off the hub and not in Fantasyland. We also did Pixie Hollow on our one Magical Mornings and nobody was in line, another great photo op for a girl crazy about meeting characters. While standing in line for Rapunzel, I noticed the roofs of the buildings in Fantasyland are in bad shape. My camera was low on photos and so I did not take pictures. King Arthur Carrousel's did not finish it's refurbishments in time for our visit, we were a bit sad at this because I realized most of the dark rides in Fantasyland are SCARY! My poor daughter was all excited to see Peter Pan, and to Boo Captain Hood. But once inside the ride she would face plant into our sides scared. However Dumbo and Tea Cups restored her love of Disneyland.
I was able to take a break, during Mimi's naps, take hit some of the adult rides like Pirates and Haunted Mansion. On Sunday I went to Haunted Mansion and even with about a 45 min wait the line never seemed to stop. Pirates moved so fast it was only a 15 min wait so I was able to hit both. Both are still just as magical as ever, I love the Nightmare Before Xmas overlay.
This was our first trip since the redo of DCA. In a way I like the changes, in other ways I miss the old one. I miss the Golden Gate Bridge, however love Cars Land. Not sure about the trolley's, they seem to do more harm to traffic flow than good. My daughter had to watch the Disney Junior program every day, she loves Sophia! I had Tower of Terror ruined for me a bit, a group of loud teens talk so loudly you couldn't hear the spiel and it did not get me in mood. Also what they were talking about was not Disney friendly. Others complained but the ride operators did not intervene.
We did a dining option at the Wine Country Trattoria to get a fastpass to World of Color. It was worth it! WOW WoC is now one of our favorite things to do besides the fireworks. However it will feel like you are buying a fastpass and they are giving you a meal. Check which one is the cheapest; Ariel's Grotto was probably close to double WCT.
We did the Plaza Inn Breakfast with Minnie. Mimi got to see her beloved Minnie Mouse and she talked about it all day and ever since. It was worth it to see her eyes light up when Minnie came to see her. She also found a new friend, Chip from Chip and Dale played with her and she now loves anything to do with Chip and Dale. Plaza Inn also still has the best fried chicken! We would eat lunch there to give us a boost to keep us going until fireworks. However as with all things, the price has jumped a bit. But there was usually enough food for two of us.
Loved how the characters made my daughter fall in love with Disneyland
Halloween Time is a great time to go, however this was over Columbus Day so it was busy
Weather was warm during the days, no rain; however very cool at night
World of Color a new family favorite
This weekend was packed, but I knew that going in
Some of the park has not yet recovered from a busy summer and so some things need a bit of paint or repaired
Luigi's Tire Ride has is very slow air flow and the beach balls are gone, not very fun
Fastpass seems to be dying, never got a ride fastpass as they have been removed or closed
The Tired: (Nothing was Ugly so I had to change this)
While I love the 50th Anniversary Fireworks, it still is the same show now 9 years running
Frontierland, nothing has changed and I feel it is a wasted space
Jungle Cruise need better guides, the two we had were nothing more than tape recorders and boring!
And Lastly the Sad:
Tomorrowland is turning into Star Wars Land. While I love Star Wars, does everything need to be sacrificed in Tomorrowland to pay off the purchase price of Lucasarts? My daughter will never remember she went on Autotopia or that she ate at the Spaceport and not the cantina from Star Wars?? I admit that there is room for some Star Wars; Star Tours is great but just sad it seems it will be too much. Who else sees Space Mountain re-themed as a X-Wing ride?