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11/2-11/2012 Disneyland & California Adventure

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  • Trip Report 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 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!Tickets:

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

    Day 1 Friday, November 2:Day 2 Saturday, November 3:stthatsalad
    Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-12-2012, 06:00 PM.

  • #2
    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
      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
        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
        Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-12-2012, 09:25 PM.


        • #5
          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
          Take a look at some of my models I make at


          • #6
            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

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

              Last edited by smartlabelprint; 11-13-2012, 07:55 PM.


              • #8
                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, 08:05 AM.


                • #9
                  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!


                  • #10
                    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." ???


                    • #11
                      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
                        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.
                        Be Cool Stay in School!
                        Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.


                        • #13
                          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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