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  • DCA After Hours

    Once you get over your shock that I'm actually posting and actually doing a trip report, I like to tell you about our evening last night.

    Darkbeer called me at work yesterday afternoon to let me know that he had got "Dreamed" with a "Disney's California Adventure Special Park Dream Time Event" meaning that he would be able to stay at DCA for an extra hour after closing, along with 1,999 other people. He asked if he could get another one, if I'd be able to make it to DCA before six. Long story short, Darkbeer got two other "Dreams" for the evening and invited Mickey Mark to join us. Mickey Mark was nice enough to pick me up at work and we headed to DCA to meet Darkbeer. It took us five minutes to get from Santa Ana to the resort area, where we seemed to miss every traffic signal by two seconds. We got parked and headed for the tram. Unfortunately a group with THREE wheelchairs had to be loaded into the tram before it moved into the loading area. I called Darkbeer and let him know we were there and were headed to the turn styles at DCA. Mickey Mark and I were the last two people thru the turn styles before the shut the gate for the night. Darkbeer was standing there begging the cast member not to shut the gate as we ran up. :beg:

    After getting our special lanyards from Darkbeer we headed to Hollywood Pictures Backlot Stage where our pass was checked by the cast member and we were allowed into the area. There were two DJ's/MC's on the DUH Stage leading the crowd in a line dance. Darkbeer of course walked around taking pictures, while Mickey Mark and I talked and watched the crowd. As it got closer to 6:30, we moved towards the Tower of Terror as we planned on heading there first when we were allowed out of the Backlot area. Very shortly before the crowd was turned loose Mickey and Minnie joined the DJ's on the stage and welcomed us to our dream. Mickey and Minnie counted down and we were released into the park for an hour.

    Darkbeer, Mickey Mark and I headed to ToT. Everyone else did too. :meet:We decided not to waste time waiting in line for ToT and headed to the Paradise Pier Area. I wanted to ride the Sunwheel in a swinging gondola so we headed around that way first. As we passed Jumping Jellyfish, Mickey Mark suggested we ride. We settled into our seats and Darkbeer was trying to get something sticky off my shoe, so he and I weren't really paying much attention to what was going on around us. We got surprised when we started up. After JJ, we headed to Mulholland Madness, were we rode twice without having to go through the line for the second trip. :yea:After, MM we headed to the Sunwheel, but Mark didn't really want to ride in a swinging gondola, so we headed towards Screamin'.

    We rode on Screamin' and realized our hour was almost up. :gladsad:After a short discussion, we headed to Soarin'. Soarin' would have to be the highlight of the evening. There were only two other people in line with us. We asked to be seated front and center in B-1 and were sent to gate B and row 1. :thumbup:No one else joined us, so the cast member brought the other couple over to B-1. Our flight attendant mimicked Patrick as the safety video played. We were ushered into our seats and fastened our seat belts. As there were only the five of us, only the center section went up. That was the first time I ever saw one of the sections moving by itself without the other two. Very cool.

    Just imagine Soarin' without anybody around you. I really felt like I was gliding over California. It was worth the rush to get to DCA just for that ride.:clap:

    As our time was up we headed out of the park and toward the tram loading area and our ride home. We walked out of DCA as the hordes came out of Disneyland after the parade. The line for the trams were horrendous, but thankfully there were plenty of trams running and they were loading at two loading areas. We only had to wait for one tram.
    :wave:
    Last edited by Deogge's Mom; 01-16-2008, 07:12 PM.

  • #2
    Re: DCA After Hours

    Good deal deogge. Can't believe you passed on Flik's fun faire. Seriously, glad you had a nice time.

    Chad

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    • #3
      Re: DCA After Hours

      I am stunned and amazed but thrilled to read your report. Glad you guys were able to make it to the park to spend your semi-private extra hour. I am jealous of your center/center seats on Soarin.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: DCA After Hours

        Looks like it is a fun prize worth having - thanks for the report! Can't wait to see the pictures!
        sigpic
        Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

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        • #5
          Re: DCA After Hours

          Originally posted by aashee View Post
          Good deal deogge. Can't believe you passed on Flik's fun faire. Seriously, glad you had a nice time.

          Chad
          They and almost everybody else

          We were almost a ghost town

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          • #6
            Re: DCA After Hours

            thank you for your first trip report.



            so for that one hour di about five ride. Himm.

            Time to head to Darkbeer Photo web site.
            AKfandisney Have a Magic Disney day šoš 2010
            Alan





            Toy Story Mania construction:
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            Member of
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            2014 Dec, 31

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            • #7
              Re: DCA After Hours

              Here is something I posted earlier today on another thread (Slightly edited to remove typos...)

              OK, I specifically spent the day at the parks yesterday, first off, needed to be at the Press event for the newest Anaheim/OC Walk of Stars honoring the Yorba family at 10 AM, got there a bit early, and got some Anaheim GardenWalk photos first.

              After the Press Event was over around 10:30 AM (handled by the City, which owns the sidewalk) but had Disneyland officials and CM's present, as the event took over the 15 minute lot. (Anaheim Police were allowing cars to stop on the road to drop off people, with a marked off lane and police officers controlling the area). So Disney had to tell folks walking to the park to avoid the area.

              I headed to DCA first, mainly to get some shots of Toy Story Mania, as I usually get afternoon shots, and the sun position is better in the mornings. A lot of folks won Dream Fastpasses, and a few people won Pin Lanyards and Dream Ears, but no After Hour passes. Spent a couple of hours in the park, but the lines were basically non existent, Soarin' was a walk on, so was Mulholland Madness, the Sun Wheel, Screamin' was a one train wait, and they were running 2 trains. The Noon "Drawn to the Magic" had 8 people watching it at the beginning (and one of the performers did make a joke about it). Then I headed to the GCH for construction photos, walked back through DCA and walked much of the area, still no After Hour passes being handed out. (And I knew that Tuesday would be an "After Hour" event, as they had to schedule CM's to work the additional hours, as mentioned by Al Lutz and myself here at MiceAge to let locals know about the chance to attend the event).

              Next was off to Disneyland, you can now see the new elevator building for the Dream Suite, which is a separate Green Tower that attaches the the original building with a bridge, to allow folks to walk under it. The Mark Twain was having its boiler cleaned. Tom Sawyer Island was having its dirt pathways repaired and repacked, and the Tea Cups had the metal spindles installed on the platform, but still no tea cups but didn't see any After Hour passes being handed out there either.

              So back to DCA, started to walk the areas again, saw the After Hour Passes around some people's neck (it was a lanyard with a credential) in the Hollywood Backlot area, finally figured out they were handing the out at Turtle Talk with Crush, but just missed the last one being handed out (saw the Dream Patrol in white vests walking away), headed around to the west side of the park and saw another set of White Vested Dream Patrol CM's walking off-stage near the Orange Stinger, and then finally figured out there was a team handing them out at the Maliboomer exit, so I got one after riding, but wanted another one for Lisa, who was at work. So I walked back around the park, including Pacific Wharf and the Sunshine Plaza, then back by GRR and Bathroom Row. Got back to the Maliboomer, and they still had plenty of After Hour passes, so rode it again (and there was never a wait other than the current cycle) and got a second lanyard. Then since it was so slow, I got a third, which ended up being offered to a friend.

              By this time, I was sick of the parks, and since I knew I was coming back, walked over to the Anaheim Convention Center to get some photos of the area that might be converted into a new hotel and more meeting space, plus some of the NAMM signage. Then checked out both the Hilton and Marriott lobbies, then back to the parks, walking through the Jolly Roger Hotel area for more photos (another hotel that might be razed for a new set of hotels). Headed to Disneyland first this time (around 5 PM), just to check crowd size and see if the Mickey Floral was working yet (The lights are the responsibility of the Entertainment Dept, and they haven't finished the programming yet). At around 5:30, headed over to DCA, checked up the Hollywood Backlot Stage area, where they placed a "Welcome Dreamers" sign and setting up a laptop computer on a stand on stage, so 2 folks could "DJ" the pre-event.

              Lisa and my friend Mark finally show up at the Main Turnstiles at 5:59 and a lot of seconds, and were the last 2 folks allowed inside the park. Headed back to the Pre-party area, which you had to show your credential to enter. The purpose of this was to be able to clear out the park, and to get the "regular" guests to leave.

              During this time, some of the crowd danced and relaxed around the stage. They handed out 2,000 Lanyards for the event, and I would say at least half showed up, but clearly not all. (!,000 to 1,500 is my guess).

              At 6:30 they let everyone out of the area, with the announcement that the park would close at 7:30. Seemed like everyone headed to ToT, and once we saw the line, decided to head west. While walking over there, we saw more than a few folks opting to leave the park thru the exit (I presume they thought the event would be more than just an extra hour of riding). I think the only place to eat that remained open was Taste Pilots Grill, didn't see any shops open, and some places, like Disney's Animation were closed.

              Ended up riding Mulholland Madness, no line, and they let us ride twice without getting out of the vehicle. Next was Jumpin' Jellyfish. Then off to Screamin', in which many cars were only partially full. Since we took our time (and I was taking photos), it was getting close to closing. So we decided to do Soarin' instead of ToT, since it was closer. Good choice, we were on the last cycle of the night (they only had one side operating), and only 5 people on the attraction, so they didn't even bother with the outer two seating sections (they turned them off), so it was an amazing ride, with nothing to block your view (we were all on the top row, and the CM placed us in the middle of the row). It was a nice way to end the day.

              On the way out the exit, 4 CM's stood at the exit and wished us a good night.

              So, as a one time thing, it was interesting, but if I was a regular guest with a ParkHopper, it maybe wasn't the best thing, the only parade of the day at Disneyland was at 7 PM, so you needed to pick one of the 2 events. It also doesn't take into consideration the plans of the guests, as there is no way to plan for it. They might have a dinner reservation somewhere, need to meet family and friends, etc. when you are told only about 3 to 4 hours before the event happening. And what if only some of your party gets a lanyard? The Dream Team handing out the Lanyards at the Maliboomer refused to hand out any to those who did not want to ride, you HAD to exit the attraction to get one. (But if you really asked, you could find out that you could walk thru the queue, then "chicken" out at the last second, when they would send you out the exit, and then you would get a lanyard.) But the Dream Team kept it a big secret, and you had to ask the "right" questions to get the answer, it upset more than a couple of guests.

              There are 5 more events planned for DCA, 2,000 guests for each one, and 6 at Disneyland, which will be 3,000 guests per event. (Basically one event a month, and as I understand it, always weekdays for operational reasons).

              Of course, photos are coming at the link below, but I am still uploading as I type, they should be up shortly.
              Last edited by Darkbeer; 01-16-2008, 09:44 PM.
              Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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              • #8
                Re: DCA After Hours

                They were in turtle talk for three hours and couldn't hand out 300 pass's because people did not want them it was kinda sad.They came back and were hanging out in the entrance to the animation building handing them out but i had so many people just hand them back to me and walk off.

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                • #9
                  Re: DCA After Hours

                  Thanks for your trip report Deogge! I'm so envious of your almost private, front row center ride on Soarin'. That alone would be worth the extra hour to me. Glad you had a good time!

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                  • #10
                    Re: DCA After Hours

                    Neat trip report--thanks!

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                    • #11
                      Re: DCA After Hours

                      sounds like fun. thanks.

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                      • #12
                        Re: DCA After Hours

                        Originally posted by Ruiner View Post
                        They were in turtle talk for three hours and couldn't hand out 300 pass's because people did not want them it was kinda sad.They came back and were hanging out in the entrance to the animation building handing them out but i had so many people just hand them back to me and walk off.
                        Next time the Dream Squad will have to be armed

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                        • #13
                          Re: DCA After Hours

                          Here are some numbers and additional info that Westsider over at LaughingPlace posted tonight...


                          Word from Guest Relations is that the Dream Squad gave out all 2,000 of the lanyards. The attendance for the event itself was about 1,300 Guests, of the 2,000 who were given the prize. After the event started, approximately 600 people left DCA within 5 minutes.

                          Guest Relations got several inquiries about the event in the form of verbal concerns. Apparently a lot of people thought there must be something more to it than just staying around inside an already deserted DCA, and they were hoping once they were all coralled they would be given some bigger prize of some sort. Some Guests thought it might be a big charade and they would be "SURPRISE!" on a TV show or something and be awarded new cars or big prizes. The mass exodus within minutes of the event starting time by 600 or so of the winners were those folks who were disapointed, and some were a bit angry at Disney for keeping them in an empty theme park late to not get anything more than another ride on Mulholland Madness.

                          The Guest Relations CM's who handled these concerns were amazed at the gall of some of the Guests, and yet nothing really surprises them anymore once you work the Guest Relations Lobby at DCA. That location takes some really nasty complaints about people upset that they paid so much to get in to DCA compared to Disneyland, lack of rides at DCA, etc.

                          But there were many Guests at the first Dream Hour event at DCA who were a little upset that all they were getting was another hour in DCA. They simply felt there had to be more to the "dream" than that, since DCA was already totally empty all day long anyway.
                          Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: DCA After Hours

                            Originally posted by Darkbeer View Post
                            Here are some numbers and additional info that Westsider over at LaughingPlace posted tonight...
                            Just another 'winning' concept in the Year of a Million Schemes

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                            • #15
                              Re: DCA After Hours

                              And lets talk about the summer.

                              A weekday at Disneyland with an 11 PM closing.

                              They start handing out the Lanyard in the early afternoon, and hand out the 3,000 allocated prizes.

                              Now where to put 3,000 guests? More than likely at the Festival Arena, with the Big Thunder Picnic area as overflow, if needed. Now the rules state "selected attractions", so my educated guess, have security clear out Fantasyland and Tomorrowland first, and make that the "Dream" hour area, but you are still looking at around 30 to 45 minutes where folks will be "stuck" in the pre-staging area while they get the area clear. Then you start the one hout clock. This makes the end of the event close to 1 AM, depending on when you last enter an attraction. Now how many families, or even some non-family groups want to stay up an extra two hours than planned? For some folks, yes, but many folks might have to get up at a decent time in the AM, catch a flight, etc. Alas, it sounds like a nice offer, and might work better at WDW, where it was part of the first version of the Dream Giveaway contest (October 2006 thru December 2007), but based on the first Anaheim Dream Nite, it wasn't a big hit.
                              Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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