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Early Christmas at DL and First time at DCA EVER!

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  • Trip Report Early Christmas at DL and First time at DCA EVER!

    Hi Everybody! So I've been to WDW and DL many times but never been to DCA! Here's my trip report of my one day trip 11/27. I hope you enjoy it!

    My husband and I recently moved to California and so we bought one SoCal annual pass and one with parking. We did the payment plan so our total for the whole day for both of us was only $170ish (math is not my strong suit) and the payment plan has no interest or finance charges. In any case, the initial payment was less that a one day ticket for both of us! I checked crowd levels in advance and DL was at a 1 and DCA was at 4.4 and since I'd never been to DCA before and I expected fewer lines at DL so we decided to get to DCA first! We got there around 10:30am (I know, so late!) but since my husband had taken the day off work to go we wanted it to be more of a relaxed vacation day than stressing about getting places.

    So we got to DCA and my first impression was that Buena Vista street is AMAZING. I already love the 1930's art deco architecture of California and Disney does it fantastically. My favorite is the streamline moderne windows of the Elias & Co "Dept Store". But shopping is the LAST thing I do in Disneyland (you'll see at the end so we scurried up towards Cars Land!

    Cars Land!
    I have never seen this movie so the character touches didn't really resonate with me. I did however note that the kids seemed really excited to interact with The Cars "characters" and that was cute to see. They honk and move their windows while greeting people. I wasn't too interested in riding on Maters Junkyard Jamboree so we got in line for Luigis Flying Tires.

    Luigis Flying Tires
    We waited on line for about 30m for this ride. I knew nothing about it but I did know it was recommended so we didn't mind waiting too much. Again, the CARS characters don't do anything for me but the line snakes through Luigis 'garage' and it's very well done. One of the nice things is that there are windows everywhere and you can look out and admire the architecture of FLO's V8 Cafe and the rest of the street. There are also vintage car and travel posters featuring the CARS characters on the walls which is cute. One thing I found annoying was that in line they only play opera arias. I studied music so it wasn't that I don't like opera it just seemed kind of "off" with the theming. Also, it got kind of boring and the kid in front of me noted "This man is a bad singer" It was probably Placido Domingo but it would have been nice if they'd had more jokes in line. Maybe an old timey radio announcements every few minutes. I don't know. I just didn't like the music.

    Ok so finally we got to the point where we could see what the ride was all about...my first reaction was I waited all this time to ride in a TIRE? I thought it was just a spinning tea cup kind of ride. But as we got closer I saw that the tires are held up on jets of air so you're kind of floating. And then we were told we could steer the tires by leaning in one direction or another. Ok, this sounded FUN! I was ok with riding in a tire at that point. We got on the ride and basically just tried to go as fast as possible in one direction and avoid running into others tires. It was very fun actually and since we were 2 adults we got going pretty fast! I was glad we did it but probably wouldn't wait that long in line again unless I was accompanying a child who was really into....tires and/or opera.

    RADIATOR SPRINGS RACERS
    After we exited Luigis it was time for Radiator Springs Racers! We didn't get a FP for this ride (I know, what was I THINKING???) so we got in the Single Rider line and waited about 15min. Again, I had NO expectations for this ride and didn't know what it was about at all. I thought it was going to be like Autopia which is no fun for me since I hate driving. The theming in the line reminded me of BTMRR and there were some plaques about how the radiator springs were discovered by a car as it ran out of water...(uh....what?) As we got closer I could see that the cars went pretty fast and they looked shiny and cool. We got to the front of the line and my husbs sat in the front seat and me in back so even though we weren't sitting next to each other we were still in the same car. I love single rider!

    This ride is SO FUN. I love that it incorporates all the elements of an outdoor rollercoaster PLUS a really cool dark ride PLUS a fun race at the end!!! The ride was so smooth too. We loved it!!!

    A BUGS LAND
    After RSR we needed to make our way over to The Carthay Circle Restuarant for a lunch reservation at 12:50 so we took a right at Luigi and walked through A Bugs Land. I don't even REMEMBER this movie but I remember it coming out a LONG TIME AGO so I'm curious why this is here...or was ever here. I guess kids love cars and bugs? This place seemed shady and a nice place for families to chill out but I was not interested in any of the rides here. We kept walking past Tower of Terror which I've been on a bunch of times at WDW. I like the theming of this ride (hello Old Hollywood!) but I don't like the drop. It just makes my legs feel weird so...we kept walking. As we passed Disneys Aladdin they were locking the doors and some families were mad that they didn't make it. Disney is STRICT about their showtimes! But the best part was a few seconds later Stitch tried to get in the same locked doors and made some very NON Stitch hand motions when he/she realized they couldn't get inside for their break. Even though I love Stitch I decided to keep walking because I could tell whatever CM was in that costume was not in a "magical" mood. Now we were in HOLLYWOOD LAND. I love the backlot look of this area and would love to spend more time looking at the details here but as we entered "Sunset" Blvd the Red Car Trolley came around the corner with the RED CAR NEWS BOYS singing one of my favorite songs "California" by Al Jolson. It was a Disneyfied version with lots of beats and a very fast tempo but I sang along as loudly as I could. We followed the Trolley to where it parked in front of Carthay Circle and their show was great! They did a bunch of old timey songs and a song from Newsies. Mickey came along in period outfit and talked about coming to California to make it in show business. Cute!

    CARTHAY CIRCLE RESTAURANT
    Conveniently we were right in front of where our lunch reservation was happening. I had called that morning to get reservations for a WOC reserved seating. I just randomly chose Carthay Circle because there hasn't been too much written about it yet and there was nothing else available. It was a total stroke of luck b/c in my opinion Carthay Circle is the BEST DISNEY RESTAURANT I HAVE EVER GONE TO. Yes, I said it. You can trust my opinion because I have been to Blue Bayou in DL and almost every restaurant in Epcot, WDW, and even gone to Victoria and Albert. I think I'm gonna take a break now but I'll be back with my excellent experience at CARTHAY CIRCLE and the rest of my first day at DCA!

    Oh PS this is my first TR so if I'm doing it wrong or you have any questions just let me know!

  • #2
    Re: Early Christmas at DL and First time at DCA EVER!

    Nice trip report!

    I know you said you haven't seen Cars so the reason why they play opera inside of Luigi's is becuase Luigi is an Italian Fiat that loves opera! So it is fitting for him to be playing it in his shop

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    • #3
      Re: Early Christmas at DL and First time at DCA EVER!

      JSanch2 I thought that was probably the case! I'll have to see Cars before I go back!

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