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An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)


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  • An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

    P A R T 1


    I guess you can say I am a WDW veteran. I've been visiting WDW every year since I was born, so I've grown to become a big Disney fan. I've wanted to visit Disneyland and Southern California in general for a while now, and this year I finally convinced my parents to go. While in Southern California, we went to a taping of “America’s Got Talent,” visited O.C. beach towns (Newport and Laguna Beach), went to San Diego, Santa Monica, L.A., Hollywood...but I’ll only talk about my adventures at the Disneyland Resort here.

    A day at Disney's California Adventure

    First Impressions

    We stayed in the Candy Cane Inn, which is a very nice motel located behind DCA, a short walk away from the parks. You'd think that because it is a motel, it would be dirty and run down, but this is not the case with the Candy Cane Inn. The rooms are very clean, the hotel is beautiful with vines, gardens, and fountains everywhere, and on top of that, it’s inexpensive and includes free wireless internet, breakfast, and shuttle to the parks. It can't get any better than that. I like it that with DLR, you don’t have to stay at an official Disney hotel since there are lots of other great hotels nearby. DLR being a smaller resort than WDW was also better to us, because we could easily walk between both parks and Downtown Disney without having to worry about taking busses or driving all over the place. It really let’s you relax and enjoy things more, having everything so close.

    A park hopping day at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure
    Anyways, we decided to visit DCA on a Sunday because it was the only day during our trip that Aladdin was playing. Since we arrived early before DCA opened and had park hoppers, we started the day at Disneyland. We entered the park and took some pics with Cruella on Main Street (the characters at DLR seem more as if they were simply wandering around the parks rather than at a scheduled greeting, Cruella even told me "Ah yes darling, tell everyone I'm your girlfriend"--funny), then took the train to New Orleans Square where we went on Pirates and Haunted Mansion. Wow, both rides were amazingly better than their Florida counterparts. We also attempted to go on Splash Mountain, but it was closed down.

    Afterwards we headed over to DCA expecting big crowds since it was a Sunday, but that really wasn’t the case and the crowds were very manageable. Now, coming to DCA and being a long time reader of MiceAge and all the Disney fan sites, I came to DCA with low expectations after having heard such negative things about Disneyland’s second gate. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually a really great, fun park. Being a tourist coming to California for the first time, I liked how the park was themed. My only issue with DCA is not the theme, but the visual intrusions from outside the park. You can see outside buildings like the Anaheim Hilton and the Convention Center from inside the park, which definitely ruins the magic and escapism that you come to find in a Disney theme park. Other than that, I loved all the areas of the park and any additions they make to the park in the future will just make it even better.

    I’m a fan of old seaside amusement parks, so I liked Paradise Pier. California Screamin’ is so much fun, and the views from the Sun Wheel are great. Grizzly River Run was one of the best raft rides I’ve ever been on (better than Kali River Rapids at AK), and Soarin was fun as usual (although there was a strange black mark on the screen, and the queue showed some wear and tear but the aviation theme is better than Epcot’s version).

    We ended up in the Bakery tour randomly, and we were surprised to find that it was actually fun. When we walked into the bakery, they told us “You have been selected for a special surprise during our Year of a Million Dreams celebration.” They gave us this fun hidden Mickey challenge, and told us we would get a prize at the end if we finished it correctly. I eagerly found all the Mickey’s quickly, not paying attention to Rosie’s cheesy jokes, hoping to get something cool like a Dream fast pass, a stay in the Mickey suite, or some free mouse ears. They ended up not checking our answers at all and gave everyone the prize anyway, which was Mickey Mouse shaped sourdough bread. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a dream fast pass, but hey- I got some cool bread (Do they usually give everyone free Mickey bread?). We also tried the Tortilla factory, and after being tortured by watching that movie, we were awarded by some tasty fresh tortillas.

    In the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, we ate some expensive hot dogs at Award Wieners, and then lined up in the mezzanine level queue for Aladdin at the Hyperion Theatre. This show was amazing, on the same level of a real Broadway musical, nothing like your typical theme park show you’d find at Walt Disney World. The quality of the performers and everything about the show was amazing. We especially loved the carpet flying and of course the genie. After, we tried the Tower of Terror. We enjoyed the DCA version because of its newer, up to date special effects, which made the overall ride experience better than WDW’s tower. We were also lucky enough to get a really good CM; he really played the role well unlike previous Tower CMs we’ve gotten in Florida.

    Monster’s Inc: Mike and Sully to the rescue was a great, fun dark ride and it was fun to see Muppets and Bug’s again. Overall, I really enjoyed DCA. I like the atmosphere and theme of the park, and I’d take DCA over Disney-MGM Studios any day. We ended our day watching Disney's Electrical Parade while eating dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria. Afterwards, we went over to Disneyland to see the later showing of Fantasmic and ride Indiana Jones Adventure. I enjoyed Fantasmic much better at Disneyland, and Indy was an amazing ride, so much better than Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom.

    Last edited by WDWizard; 08-26-2007, 08:15 PM.

  • #2
    Part 2

    P A R T 2
    A day at Disneyland

    Impressions on Downtown Disney Anaheim

    On the day we did Disneyland, we overslept after a long day in San Diego. Also that other night, we explored Downtown Disney for a bit and ate at the Catal Uva Bar. Downtown Disney was nice, but not as big and grand as Downtown Disney or in Florida. Later on in our trip we had also visited , and it seemed much bigger, flashier, better, and more impressive than Downtown Disney Anaheim, although Downtown Disney had a lot more landscaping, gardens, and fountains. I had fun browsing the cool shops like World of Disney, Starabilias, going to ESPN Zone, and walking around the Grand CalifornianAnaheim GardenWalk opens, Downtown Disney is going to have even more competition so I hope they expand it in the future!

    A day at Disneyland

    Anyways, we entered Disneyland on a Tuesday afternoon and were surprised to find that the park seemed busier than when we were there Sunday morning as we walked through Main Street and admired Sleeping Beauty Castle for a while. The castle here is of course smaller, but its still a charming Disneyland icon and it looks so great with the Matterhorn right beside it. Afterwards, we headed for Tomorrowland, and the entire area was very congested. The line for Buzz and Star Tours were 30-35 minutes, Space Mountain was 60 minutes, both sides of the Matterhorn were 30-45 and NemoHungry Bear restaurantPacific Wharf for lunch and had some great soup and salad inside bread bowls.

    After lunch, we decided to go on Splash Mountain. The line was 70 minutes long (second longest wait time in the park), so we got fastpasses to come back later on that night and headed over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain.afterwards, but the line seemed a bit long and we decided to ride POTC again instead.

    Afterwards we met back up with the parents and decided to go into Fantasyland to ride Space Mountain. This ride was amazing-- the special effects, the music, and the actual ride was much faster and better than the aging Magic Kingdom version.

    We then decided to take a ride on the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn. It was a very fun old fashioned coaster, and the views from the top of the mountain were great. My brother got freaked out when the Abominable Snowman popped out of nowhere!

    A quick escape from the crowds to DCA
    Later we met up with our parents again at the Golden Vine Winery at DCA, where we took a break for a while before heading over to ride Tower of Terror again. Then, we checked out the Animation building and saw Turtle Talk with Crush for the first time. Crush was so funny how he interacted with the audience and it was all very well done. We later checked out the other areas of the Animation building, like the and acted out with our voices in . This was one of the most amazing hidden treasures of the entire resort, and the Animation building here is much better than the one we have at the studios in Florida.
    Last edited by WDWizard; 08-27-2007, 06:27 PM.


    • #3
      Part 3

      P A R T 3

      An evening at Disneyland
      As the sun set and night fell we went back to finish our day at Disneyland Park. Our first mission was to go to Critter Country and use our fastpasses for Splash Mountain. Toontown to attempt at riding Matterhorn. The line was not bad at all, and the views from the park as it lit up before nighttime were amazing. The ride was very fast and rough, but lots of fun. Afterwards, we went back to Toontown to attempt

      Camping out for Remember Dreams Come True
      At this point, it was almost completely dark out and we did not have enough energy to walk all the way to Critter Country to check on Splash Mountain, so we camped out in front of the castle for

      Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was my favorite but after that day RDCT was my new favorite. All the effects, the Matterhorn, the fireworks all around you, lasers, the music- it was the perfect way to end a great vacation.

      A last attempt at Splash Mountain
      After the show, we met up with the parents and attempted at Splash MountainFantasmic below. Our log went down the big drop just as the fireworks were blasting off in finale- perfect timing!

      Ending the day finding Nemo

      Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

      It was past midnight when i exited the subs, and I walked out of the park past the castle and down Main Street for the last time. I exited the park and reached the bus stop just in time to catch the last bus of the day back to the Candy Cane Inn down the street. I came back to our room to find some . The burgers and fries were great, now I know why so many Southern Californians say so much good things about this fast food joint (and what Al refers to when he suggest Disney pay as good as In'N'Out Burger...I noticed their motto is "Quality you can taste,"-the food was great and the employees were great too.)

      We had a great time at the Disneyland Resort. The service, the friendlier people, the nicer weather, the convenience of having everything so close, and the higher quality of attractions and entertainment made my experience here better than any WDW vacation. WDW now pales in comparison to the DLR in my eyes. Even my parents- which I expected that they would walk out hating me for making them spend all that money and fly all the way to California to see a Epcot, MGM-Studios, Animal Kingdom, or water parks.

      When we arrived back in South Florida,
      Last edited by WDWizard; 08-27-2007, 06:40 PM.


      • #4
        Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

        I'm glad you had fun! And I'm really glad you liked DCA!

        To be fair, I really liked Florida when I visited. And it is really humid out there.
        Code Lee-Oh-Co (Or Jessica, if you want)


        • #5
          Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

          i love DCA or exactly the reasons you listed. its a great place to escape crowds
          Angels Fan, born and raised.
          Come on you Galaxy.


          • #6
            Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

            DCA's crowds were samller than the crowds Disneyland had, but maybe it is due to the fact that DCA's walkways are much wider. DCA itself is a nice park, Its nicer than the studios here in Florida (I compare it to the studios because both parks are similar).

            EDIT: Pictures added to trip report, still adding..
            Last edited by WDWizard; 08-26-2007, 02:55 PM.


            • #7
              Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

              Excellent fully detailed Trip Report

              (Sign up and search "Splashmoun10")

              I use a Nikon D50 with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens and a Zoom-Nikkor 70-300m f/4-f/5.6 G

              Check out my latest TR (August 4th---August 11th) at Disneyworld!

              Check out my latest TR (January 4th) at Disneyland!


              • #8
                Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                WOW! One of the most enjoyable trip report I've ever read!!! So glad you love DLR!!.


                • #9
                  Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                  Great TR. Hope you had fun!
                  Home away from Home.


                  • #10
                    Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                    I am someone who calls Disneyland "home" so I am SO glad to hear that you had such a wonderful experience! WDW is amazing, but we still love and prefer the intimacy of DLR.


                    • #11
                      Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                      Great trip report. You stated almost all of the reasons why I love DL so much. WDW is fun, but DL is pure magic. Glad you enjoyed!
                      Let's put the Walt back in Disney!


                      • #12
                        Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                        Awesome trip report! Its not to hear a tourists view of so cal, its so easy to take this place for granted but it is great. Glad you had a good time.

                        "Imagination is more important than knowledge..."
                        -Albert Einstein


                        • #13
                          Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                          :clap::clap:Terrific TR!!! I really like the way you compare your thoughts of both parks! Glad your visit went well and you all had a great time!!! Come back soon!!!


                          • #14
                            Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                            Great trip report! Some nice pics too.Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time.

                            We will be making our 7th trip to Disneyland Sept.3-14. It seems everytime I tell someone we are taking our trip they assume we are going to Disneyworld. Never been there and really have no plans to because we love Disneyland so much. Your comments, comparing the two parks, just helps to reinforce that we have made the right decision to stick with Disneyland.
                            Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-15

                            Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
                            Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
                            November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!


                            • #15
                              Re: An amazing first-time trip to the DLR (8/3/07-8/8/07)

                              Fantastic trip report. Glad you had such a great first visit to Disneyland!

                              Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!


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