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  • Trip Report March 16th-18th Trip!

    So every single time I go on a trip I go with the intention of taking tons of "documenting" type photos for a great trip report... and yet another trip has gone and passed and I still didn't take enough of these photos so here we go at an attempt!

    My girlfriend and I had both recently upgraded our camera equipment, I went with a mirrorless Sony NEX 5R and she got a Nikon D7000 so we were both excited to get in the parks and try them out!

    Our day started nice and early at 4:00am when we left the north bay to make our 7:00am flight out of Oakland for Orange County! We arrived at an airport parking lot at 5:30 and then took a shuttle to the airport getting in line for security at 5:45. The airport was very busy for so early with so many families heading off for spring break trips!
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    Flight was uneventful and we landed in OC around 8:00am. We hopped on a super shuttle to our hotel the Best Western Meridian Inn which is located across the street from the Outlets at Orange. The hotel was very comfortable and had a nice breakfast included but I would not recommend staying here for a Disney trip unless you plan on parking at the parks. The ART does service this hotel but only comes once per hour which makes it very hard because if you miss the shuttle you have a long wait until the next one comes which is exactly what happened to us when we didn't have any cash to buy an ART pass and our hotel only took cash. So finally after an hour of waiting we were on the ART at 10:30 headed for DISNEYLAND!Click image for larger version

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    Once we arrived I noticed just how much this new photographing guests with multi day tickets policy was affecting line times to get in the parks! Disney needs to rethink how they implement this new strategy because it is not working.

    After we got in we decided to checkout the new princess fantasy faire! We took the horseless carriage down main street and walked into the new area. Overall it looks great and really fits in with the castle but I have to agree that the Royal Theater is WAY to bright and cheap looking!
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    The meet and greet looked liked it was just opening for the day so we hopped in line and waited about 10 mins. We aren't big on waiting for these kinds of things but my GF loves the princesses and I wanted to check out the new royal hall
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    We liked the experience and the kids that were there really seemed to feel the magic of the experience!
    After we checked out the Fantasy Faire we were super hungry, with it being around noon and having been up since 4:00am without anything substantial to eat, so we made our way to the Hungry Bear! Now we have been so many times over the last couple of years but still had not tried the Hungry Bear after its refurb and new menu. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of the meal but I had the fried green tomato sandwich and an apple cranberry mini pie, while my girlfriend got the chicken sandwich and the lemon cupcake. The FGT sandwich was super good and very substantial for a veggie only option. It was a very unique and interesting option! My GFs chicken sandwich was just okay and both of the desserts could have been better, but the lemon cupcake was huge! After lunch we headed over DCA for a while! We walked into paradise pier and finnaly took out our new cameras for some shooting! Here are some of the shots I took on the Golden Zephyr!
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    Now here is where I have huge break in taking any pictures and so I don't really have anything to remind me what we did the rest of the afternoon lol. But eventually we made our way back to Disneyland and ended up having dinner at the Carnation Cafe. We grabbed a seat outside just as Sound Sational was starting so we had a great view of the parade from our table. For dinner I got the special for the night which was an Alfredo penne with mushrooms and shrimp and it was really good! The GF got the meatloaf which was also good but we both agreed the pasta was better. Too bad I forgot to take pictures again lol. After dinner night began to fall and my GF wanted to head to King Arthur's Carousel to test out her new fish eye lens. While waiting for her to get her shots I played around with the carousel as well and here is what I got.
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    After taking some night shots around the carousel we headed to Tomorrowland to do something we both had never done...the Astro Orbitor. This ride generally has a really long wait for what it is so we have never had the desire to do it, but again we tried it out for the sake of taking some night photos!
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    After finishing up on the Astro Orbitor it was around 8:15 and becuase we had gotten such an early start that day we were both exhausted and decided to make the trek back towards the front so we could catch the 9:00pm bus back to our hotel. On the way out we were both craving a sweet treat so we decided to stop in at the Gibson Girl. We spilt the chocolate chip cookie sundae and it was HUGE and delicious and the perfect way to end the first night of our trip And I actually remembered to take a pic!
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    So after eating our ice cream we made it just in time to catch the ART back to our hotel and turned in after a long but great day! Coming soon is day two of our trip


  • #2
    Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

    I think my favorite picture so far is from the Astro Orbiter! I have also never ridden this, and really need to go for a spin before my AP expires.

    I can't wait to see what you come up with on Day 2. I'm kind of relieved you forgot food photos since I'm sort of ungry, and pictures of scrumptious Disney food might have made me simply voracious. The cookie sundae, though... *drools*

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

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    • #3
      Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

      Nice photos! The motion ones almost set off my motion sickness.

      The Gibson Girl ice cream looks super yummy. It's always been too cold in the evenings when we go, recently, to partake in it. We get hot cocoa from the Jolly Holiday instead.
      Peter Pan: "You know, your hair is on fire."
      Me: "Yes. It happened after a recent trip to Neverland."
      Peter Pan: "Well, you can dunk your head in the pond behind us, if you want."

      Lost Child of
      Neverland since 1996.
      ~Favorite Hero: Peter Pan. Favorite Villian:Malificent.Favorite Ride: The Haunted Mansion.~

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      • #4
        Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

        love the astro orbiter pix!

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        • #5
          Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

          Originally posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
          I think my favorite picture so far is from the Astro Orbiter! I have also never ridden this, and really need to go for a spin before my AP expires.

          I can't wait to see what you come up with on Day 2. I'm kind of relieved you forgot food photos since I'm sort of ungry, and pictures of scrumptious Disney food might have made me simply voracious. The cookie sundae, though... *drools*
          Haha it's funny how even AP holders like us can have things we have never done It was fun especially at night... and the wait was only like 15min so if its not much more than that then it is worth it.

          And thanks everyone for the nice comments, I have way more pics from the next day because I wasn't as tired

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          • #6
            Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

            Originally posted by jsanch2 View Post
            Haha it's funny how even AP holders like us can have things we have never done It was fun especially at night... and the wait was only like 15min so if its not much more than that then it is worth it.
            Definitely want to ride it at night. You've inspired me!

            I have a whole list of things I either haven't done ever or haven't done in a long time. It's kind of sad!

            Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
            KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

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            • #7
              Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

              Great trip report, thanks for sharing
              The new Star Wars plot summery:

              Episode 7: Luke discovers that Darth Vader is not his father, and goes on a search for his real father

              Episode 8: Darth Vader is resurrected and goes on Jerry Springer, claiming he is Luke and Leia's father

              Episode 9: Princes Leia is not Luke's sister, making him furious (we all know why...).

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              • #8
                Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                Great pix. Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                  Okay here we go with day 2!

                  After going to be relatively early the night before we decided to take advantage of the AP early entry into Disneyland starting at 7:00am. We found out the first ART would leave the hotel at 7:15 and so that would give about 30 mins early entry. Well the bus was over 15mins late so we didnt make it to the front gates until 7:50... oh well. We were still able to get past the rope drop hold about 5 mins before regular guests so we went straight to Fantasyland to find Peter Pan with a 5 min wait and since we love the ride but hate the line decided to hop on that.
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                  After riding peter pan we hit lots of other Fantasyland attractions including Dumbo, Mr. Toad's, Mad Tea Party, and Alice in Wonderland. I had some fun taking photos while on the tea cups!
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                  After this it was about 8:50 and we decided to go check out Pirates since we hadn't ridden it yesterday and it is one of our favorites, unfortunately it wasn't quite done with it morning testing and hadn't opened for the day yet Then I saw how empty NOS was and decided to get some pics of the quite morning on this side of the park.
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                  After spending some time in a very empty NOS and seeing the Pirates still was not running we decided to go on the Haunted Mansion since there was nobody in line and we love the Mansion!
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                  So by this time the light was losing its morning glow and so we put the cameras down to enjoy the day at the parks, so I don't exactly remember everything we did! But we did head over to DCA and upon walking in at around 10am I noticed that Fps were still available for RSRs! This came as a total surprise becuase our previous two trip in July and Dec they were gone an hour after park opening so we grabbed some FPs for 8:45 that night. Then we made our way to Paradise Pier where my GF noticed someone she has been wanting to meet... Duffy!
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                  We went on the Little Mermaid becuase she loves this ride and then hung out in Paradise Pier for awhile until 11:00am. We had seen a few days before leaving on the @DCAtoday twitter that they would be giving out free cookies at Paradise Garden Grill/Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta on Sunday and so we decided to have lunch to get the cookie All you had to do was show a receipt from either dining location and prove that you follow @DCAtoday on twitter. We opted for beef skewers with Tziki sauce from PGG, we have had these before and if you haven't tried this location I would highly recommend it. So after getting our food we walked over to the table @DCAtoday had set up and got cookies and buttons!
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                  The cookie was just okay, my girlfriend liked it though, it reminded me more of a scone than a cookie. But our lunch was delicious! We then decided to leave DCA and head back over to Disneyland! I grabbed this shot as we were walking out on BVS.
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                  The lines we encountered in the esplanade to enter DL were outrageous, like I said before they need to find a better way to handle the ticket renting issue! They were like this our entire trip
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                  Now here is where I really stopped taking photos and have no idea how we entertained ourselves all day so lets fast forward to nightfall and head back over to DCA! We started our night in DCA in Cars Land, I just love all the neon and I think this land really shines at night. That night I spent a lot of time by Flo's and then some time trying to capture light trails of the headlight of the ride vehicles on RSR.
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                  After doing some night shooting in Cars Land we headed back over to Paradise Pier. I was hoping to shoot some wide shots across the bay with some long exposures of the lights on Mickey's Fun Wheel but unfortunately Paradise was already closed off to set up the viewing areas for WOC! Anybody know what time the close the park off so I can try to get in there before on my next trip? So after not being to shoot what I wanted I noticed the Golden Zephyr and thought I do some long exposures over there and this is what I got.
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                  It was just past 8:00pm and we were getting hungry so we decided to grab some dinner before our 8:45 return time for RSR. We headed to Pacific Wharf and decided to get bread bowls with broccoli cheese soup from Boudin. The line was super long so I grabbed a strawberry margarita from Rita's before joining my GF in line at Boudin's. Our soups were pretty good but they could have been hotter. After dinner we headed to RSR to redeem our FPs. The fast pass return line was longer than I'd ever seen it, all the way out past the bridge the cars go over above you. As we moved forward I noticed how short the standby line seemed to be. As we made our way forward the standby line only took up the bottle room which by far the shortest I have ever seen it, IDK if it had broken down before we got in line, but it was weird. After about 15 mins in line it was time to ride.
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                  RSR is such a great ride! We loved as always After that we said goodbye to DCA for the night and headed back across the esplanade to Disneyland. The fireworks were about to start and I had a plan to shoot the new fantasy faire at night so I though we might find a quite spot to sit and watch the fireworks in there. While this is definitely not the best view of the fireworks due to the trees back there we were able to sit right as the show was starting and see a good portion of the show. The area was almost empty so after the fireworks I got out my mini gorilla tripod and took some long exposures of the fantasy faire.
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                  It was just before 10:00pm now and the park would be closing at 11:00 and I still wanted to get on pirates so we made our way over there. Nobody was in line for pirates and only two people got on the boat with us which was weird because all of the boats in front were totally empty! With my old camera you could not get any decent dark ride shot because putting it over ISO 200 meant way too much noise so I was excited to try it out with my new camera. Here are my first two dark ride shot. I like how the one of the skeleton sitting on top of the treasure turned out though I wish he was a bit sharper!
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                  After exiting pirates we once again saw a deserted NOS and so we decided to end the day as we started it.
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                  It was now time to end the day because we had to make sure to make it to the transportation center by 11:30 to catch the last ART back to our hotel But as we were walking out the 10:30 Fantasmic! was just getting to Murphy and for the first time that I can remember there was lots of open viewing space so we stuck around to watch the climax of my favorite show! I don't really like all the characters on the island at the end instead of on the Mark Twain but that should be out of refurb soon! So now it was really time to leave for the night, but Ive still got a shorter day 3 coming your way soon Thanks for reading

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                  • #10
                    Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                    fantastic pictures and TR! i especially like the creepiness of the skeleton one... i like his eerie glow

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                    • #11
                      Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                      These pictures are definately eye candy! I love the NOS ones and the nighttime princess fantasy faire photos! I'm actually thinking of investing in a good camera, but a little intimidated. Are they hard to learn?

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                      • #12
                        Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                        Great pictures. And I had the same problem. The lines to get into DL were crazy long, but the ride lines were more than doable.

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                        • #13
                          Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                          Originally posted by jamesscarlette View Post
                          These pictures are definately eye candy! I love the NOS ones and the nighttime princess fantasy faire photos! I'm actually thinking of investing in a good camera, but a little intimidated. Are they hard to learn?
                          I would highly recommend looking into the Sony NEX F3. Its the beginner entry level model in the same line as my new camera. Its great because it is very compact like a point and shoot camera which is great for the parks, it takes great photos in auto for fun photos but still offers interchangeable lens and all the custom settings for serious photography. The best part here is that you can use auto and get great results and start learning at your own pace. I have been very satisfied with my sony

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                          • #14
                            Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                            Thanks for the info

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                            • #15
                              Re: March 16th-18th Trip!

                              nice trip report thanks

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