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Trip Report 2018-2019 A Year in the Land (Disneyland)...a multi-trip report

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday June 17, 2019

We went on Big Thunder and then Hyperspace Mt and did some castle shots before heading over to DCA. We felt we needed to ride Big Thunder as a tribute to all the times we rode and craned our necks to see what we could of SWGE. As we waited to board we noticed this plaque as a tribute to a past attraction, cool
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It was nice to see the castle again after two trips of it under tarps we appreciated the work that had been done.
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We rode Hyperspace Mt because it fit the Star Wars theme of the day.
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And of course checked out some merch at Star Traders.
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Then since Soarin' Over California was back at California Adventure I really wanted to go on this. We did and it was just as WONDERFUL as I remembered. I loved that orange smell.
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We decided to have dinner at LaBrea. Neither of us had eaten there before and we were very pleased with our meal there. I had a grilled cheese short rib sandwich and he got a steak sandwich. It was tasty and a nice way to decompress from the excitement of the day.
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Then we checked out the World of Disney and didn't end up buying anything but I really like the displays.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Monday June 17, 2019

A few more displays inside the World of Disney and outside. I thought the deconstructed topiaries were interesting. Then we headed to the tram and headed back to Glendale for the rest of the night. Once back at the house we had a little issue parking. The lot at the house wasn't big and while we were angling into a spot another resident must not have looked before pressing the gate button and the gate started to close on our rental car! Yikes! It left a little scratch and nothing major thank goodness. And it was the only parking issue of the trip.
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So as you may have been able to surmise, we loved SWGE. We aren't typically people who look for things to dislike but we try not to be pixie dusters either. So we enjoyed the land, the ride, and the whole experience. We, well mostly me, think that the food leaves a lot of room for improvement but the drinks were all good. We were looking forward to seeing it again in about a week!

Coming up: Brad and Amy go Hollywood!
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
You guys had a blast there!! Love the photos -- excellent theming throughout. :happy:

This time I was a gunner. On this ride I had the gunner card as you can see and as a single rider I was put with a family of five. So when we went into the cockpit the family seemed a little surprised that I was there and as I sat in the gunner's seat the dad turned to me and said I was in the wrong seat. I knew that it was the gunner's seat so I told him that I had a gunner's card and this was a gunner's seat. With that I buckled my seat belt and sat back. I think he wanted to argue but he just said well maybe there were 3 gunner cards to his wife. And I thought "um no, your wife had an engineer card in her had at boarding." Whatever, I put him out of my mind and enjoyed the ride.
People can be such a trip at times. It would never even cross my mind to tell a non-family park guest, that they were in the wrong seat??!! What the heck is the matter with people? :facepalm:
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You guys had a blast there!! Love the photos -- excellent theming throughout. :happy:



People can be such a trip at times. It would never even cross my mind to tell a non-family park guest, that they were in the wrong seat??!! What the heck is the matter with people? :facepalm:
Thanks. And people are weird. I don’t think had ridden before so maybe they hadn’t paid attention to how the seating works, although it isn’t complicated. That’s why I just buckled up.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 18, 2019

We were going Hollywood today. I had booked us a 9:30am tour of the Chinese Theater, we both really wanted to see the inside. I also really wanted to see how close Disney had recreated the inside. So we got down to Hollywood Blvd early, I had been down there before and I remembered how crowded it can get with tourists and unsavory characters. We got to Hollywood Blvd early enough that people were moving around going to work and the homeless were moving to other places too. It was actually a good time to walk around and look at the stars on the sidewalk and not be crowded. We didn't really feel unsafe at all but there was one guy that had a grocery car full of Sprite cans and he was throwing them out into the street at one of the intersections. He seemed to find enjoyment in that :)confused:) and didn't hit any of the cars. I figured he had been warned about throwing the cans and that if he hit cars he would be arrested because he seemed to have accurate throwing. I was glad were weren't driving our rental car around at that time, I was a little afraid that he would start throwing them at people so I scuttled past as soon as I could.

A view down Hollywood Blvd.
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There were temporary gates up in front of the Chinese Theater and a lot of garbage had been thrown into the courtyard with all the hand prints. I didn't take a picture of the garbage except for this picture. I saw Bette Davis's block and I figured since we were staying on her old estate I should snap a picture. We knew we would be coming back to the area so since we couldn't get in the courtyard yet we moved on.
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The theater is pretty cool to look at. A lot of detail that was recreated in Hollywood Studios.
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A couple Disney related stars on the ground.
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A view of the theater from across the street.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 18, 2019

I took this picture for @Rista1313 as soon as I saw it I thought of her and how she had recently enjoyed these guys in concert.

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I had remembered from the other time I had come to Hollywood that at the Hollywood and Highland shopping center (which is where we had parked) that the Hollywood sign was visible. Brad still hadn't seen the Hollywood sign so on our walk looping Hollywood Blvd are ended up back there so we tried to see it but it was too foggy with the marine layer that we couldn't see it yet. So we went back to looking at stars and then the courtyard for the theater was open so we checked out the prints.
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I love the cheesy Doris Day movies so I had to pause and give her tribute. Pillow Talk is my favorite movie of hers, I watch it every Christmas Eve. Why? I don't know, I think by that time I so sick of Christmas shows that it is my break for the season, plus it is an awesome movie. Side note, my 14 year old niece visited me for a couple of days before we left for California and a few days before that TCM was showing Doris Day movies in honor of her and her recent passing. So one of the days my niece was over we decided to watch a movie and I asked her if she wanted to see Pillow Talk as she had never seen it. She really liked it! She put her phone down more often to watch it than she did the next day when we watched Captain Marvel!
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Hmmm, look at what Brad found....Star Wars.
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I found Bette Davis again
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And some pictures by the El Capitain.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 18, 2019
I forgot to include a picture of the Max Factor building, located right off Hollywood Blvd. It's facade might look familiar to you next time you walk down Hollywood Blvd at Hollywood Studios in WDW.

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Some more courtyard pictures. Both of us are classic movie fans so we recognized quite a few old celeb names.
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White Christmas is actually my favorite movie of all time so I had to take a picture of this. Plus who doesn't love him that Epcot special!?
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And of course Bing Crosby was the real star of White Christmas and those great Road movies with Bob Hope.
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My second favorite movies of all time, and the best musical ever made (yes I realize that White Christmas is my favorite movie and a musical) is Singing in the Rain, so I had to snap a picture of Debbie Reynold's prints!
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Van Johnson is also in a movie I watch every Christmas Eve, "In the Good Old Summertime" which also has Judy Garland in it.
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I also enjoy the Esther Williams movies, I love the swimming she does in them. Anytime Brad and I are in a pool I have to model my Esther Williams moves. :D
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 18, 2019

A couple more pictures outside.
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I loved the detail on the doors.
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We checked in for our tour at a little podium in front of the tour and when it was time there was a red velvet rope that they put aside for us (and the other family on the tour) and we were ushered in like VIP's.
The lobby was really cool and really reminded me of what I had seen at Hollywood Studios, but this was the real thing. We were told that the art work in the lobby is all original and was painted by a Chinese American actor who had been in some of the Charlie Chan movies. It was very detailed work and I would have loved more time to examine it.
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Then we were led into the main theater. It seats 900 people and inside was gorgeous too. We were told that this was all recreations because some of it had need to be replaced due to wear and tear. We watched a short video on the world's largest IMAX screen in the theater and had some time to look around. Oh the video was about the history of the theater, it was well done and made by TCM. The screen was amazing, it would be awesome to see a movie on it.

The chandelier changes color, I caught it in the purple stage but it also goes blue too.
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Coming up: some more of the Chinese Theater and more!
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
Wow! Loved the photos on Hollywood Boulevard of Grauman's Chinese Theatre and sidewalk writings by celebrities, etc. Lots of movie and TV history there. :inlove:

Thinking I'm almost liking your jaunt over to Hollywood, even a bit more than your visit to Disneyland?!! :joyfull:
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Tuesday June 18, 2019

We were going Hollywood today. I had booked us a 9:30am tour of the Chinese Theater, we both really wanted to see the inside. I also really wanted to see how close Disney had recreated the inside. So we got down to Hollywood Blvd early, I had been down there before and I remembered how crowded it can get with tourists and unsavory characters. We got to Hollywood Blvd early enough that people were moving around going to work and the homeless were moving to other places too. It was actually a good time to walk around and look at the stars on the sidewalk and not be crowded. We didn't really feel unsafe at all but there was one guy that had a grocery car full of Sprite cans and he was throwing them out into the street at one of the intersections. He seemed to find enjoyment in that :)confused:) and didn't hit any of the cars. I figured he had been warned about throwing the cans and that if he hit cars he would be arrested because he seemed to have accurate throwing. I was glad were weren't driving our rental car around at that time, I was a little afraid that he would start throwing them at people so I scuttled past as soon as I could.
It's a shame how Hollywood Blvd can get so sketchy. back in the early 2000's I went to California on a HS band trip (with stops in Disneyland and San Diego as well!), and we went to Hollywood Blvd. I was super excited to see the glitz, but was in for a rude awakening by all the trash and "unsavory" folk trying to sell things to us. I'm used to Times Square, and this was way worse. The lowlight by far was when the group I was in was approached by a homeless man with a cane, who kept asking for money. We tried to ignore him (as was the directions given to us by our chaperones), but for some reason he focused in on me and got in my face before starting to bump my leg with his cane. He did it harder and harder until the light changed and I literally ran across the street. Of course later on we saw him across the street, walking perfectly fine without his cane. :rolleyes: I'm guessing as a bunch of teenagers in matching school jackets we looked like an easy target, but I think I'll stick to the Disney-fied version from now on ;)
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wow! Loved the photos on Hollywood Boulevard of Grauman's Chinese Theatre and sidewalk writings by celebrities, etc. Lots of movie and TV history there. :inlove:

Thinking I'm almost liking your jaunt over to Hollywood, even a bit more than your visit to Disneyland?!! :joyfull:
I'm glad you are enjoying the pictures there will be plenty more of non-Disney and Disney coming up.

We have very similar taste in movies - Pillow Talk is one of my favorite movies too! I grew up watching classic movies with my grandmother, and love old Hollywood. Thank you for sharing your pics!
I'm glad you hear you have sophisticated tastes like me. ;) I'm glad you've enjoyed the pictures.

It's a shame how Hollywood Blvd can get so sketchy. back in the early 2000's I went to California on a HS band trip (with stops in Disneyland and San Diego as well!), and we went to Hollywood Blvd. I was super excited to see the glitz, but was in for a rude awakening by all the trash and "unsavory" folk trying to sell things to us. I'm used to Times Square, and this was way worse. The lowlight by far was when the group I was in was approached by a homeless man with a cane, who kept asking for money. We tried to ignore him (as was the directions given to us by our chaperones), but for some reason he focused in on me and got in my face before starting to bump my leg with his cane. He did it harder and harder until the light changed and I literally ran across the street. Of course later on we saw him across the street, walking perfectly fine without his cane. :rolleyes: I'm guessing as a bunch of teenagers in matching school jackets we looked like an easy target, but I think I'll stick to the Disney-fied version from now on ;)
Yeah, it is a shame to how seedy it actually is. I really wouldn't want to be down there at night time. Your encounter would have been a little scary, especially as a teenager. I'm pretty skeptical of the pan handlers maladies in any city.

We, we my husband, had an encounter with one of the cd sellers out in the front of the Chinese Theater. After our tour of the theater we were out front waiting for our next tour and a guy came up to my husband and said, "Here's my cd a guy over there told me to give it to you." My husband said no thanks and I started to walk away but Brad didn't. The cd guy aggressive and started shoving the cd at my husband even hitting him in the chest with it and telling him to take it. My husband started to get mad and started to verbally engage with this guy. I don't know what my husband was thinking, he knows better. Finally I just told Brad (in my teacher voice) "Do NOT engage and let's go NOW." I felt a little bad a kind of yelling at him, but he is usually more street savvy and you just never know what could happen when those people get pushy. About 20 minutes when we were on our next tour the guide warned us in particular of the cd people in front of the theater and how pushy they can be and that the scam is that when they finally get you to purchase their cd for $10 the cd is usually blank. Both of us had a little laugh because of the earlier encounter.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Yeah, it is a shame to how seedy it actually is. I really wouldn't want to be down there at night time. Your encounter would have been a little scary, especially as a teenager. I'm pretty skeptical of the pan handlers maladies in any city.

We, we my husband, had an encounter with one of the cd sellers out in the front of the Chinese Theater. After our tour of the theater we were out front waiting for our next tour and a guy came up to my husband and said, "Here's my cd a guy over there told me to give it to you." My husband said no thanks and I started to walk away but Brad didn't. The cd guy aggressive and started shoving the cd at my husband even hitting him in the chest with it and telling him to take it. My husband started to get mad and started to verbally engage with this guy. I don't know what my husband was thinking, he knows better. Finally I just told Brad (in my teacher voice) "Do NOT engage and let's go NOW." I felt a little bad a kind of yelling at him, but he is usually more street savvy and you just never know what could happen when those people get pushy. About 20 minutes when we were on our next tour the guide warned us in particular of the cd people in front of the theater and how pushy they can be and that the scam is that when they finally get you to purchase their cd for $10 the cd is usually blank. Both of us had a little laugh because of the earlier encounter.
Yikes, that sounds frightening as well! Sometimes it's so hard to disengage once emotions start running. And at the same time, I also have a hard time trying to balance the smart decision, with being rude/helpful. If someone out there really does need help, I'd like to help. However, it's tough to know if you're being safe/smart. Maybe people can read that on me, or maybe a pause for a second and they see that as "engaging" because that's not the only story I have of being approached! (The most humorous being one night in D.C. I was approached by two different individuals asking to "hook them up" :rolleyes:, even though I had no such connections or desire to have them! My friends were left wondering if I had some sort of secret life though!)
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 18, 2019

A few more hand prints curing inside.
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And a few more details before exiting the theater. I liked the work on the inside doors leading into the theater too.
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You can see the concession stand through the entry way door window. Our guide told us that when the theater was first built and in its hey day the theater seats actually started where the concession stand is.
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And once outside the guide pointed out a few notable hand prints, like Marilyn Monroe's with the "diamond" and the first set that was done. Then the tour was done. It was an informative 30 minutes and maybe a little high priced at $18 each but we both wanted to see the inside of the theater so it was worth it to us. Also at the end the guide gave us a map of the courtyard that listed all the stars prints locations so I sought out one more. One of my favorite stars from my favorite musical.....Gene Kelly!
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By now the courtyard and Hollywood Blvd was packed full of people and protesters (some Chinese government protest group I guess, I didn't really pay attention) and it was just a little after 10 am. So we were glad we had been able to enjoy the area with very few people. Our next tour was a celebrity home tour at 10:30 am. We actually weren't super interested in seeing the homes, but we wanted to see more of the general area of Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, some tv-movie locations, and such without driving around and the tour would give us more of a context of what we were seeing and some background. We are kind of nerds and like to learn, even on vacation. Also the tour was only 2 hours which was a perfect amount of time for us. I had taken a more personalized tour a few years ago when I went with my sister and niece but Brad hadn't seen any of this before and I didn't mind seeing it again and I did see stuff on the tour I hadn't seen before either. The tour meeting location was at a little kiosk in the courtyard of the Chinese theater, perfect and easy to find, so we just found a bench after checking in and waited to be escorted to our mini-bus.

While waiting I entertained myself with people watching and a few random pictures.
The Roosevelt Hotel, built in 1927 and featured in some movies and a bunch of celebs had stayed there.
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A close of of the theater roof.
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It was tour time and we were escorted to our mini-bus, which was small about 13-15 people on the tour and it was open air. I knew it was going to be open air so I work long sleeves (I should have brought my stocking hat too) and it did get a little chilly. Even Brad wished he had a long sleeved shirt on by the end of the tour. Oh, the tour was through Starline, and it was a very good tour. We learned a lot and saw a lot. Although looking at some pictures now I'm like what?

And we were on our way and we cruised down Hollywood Blvd
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This was where the Egyptian theater was/had been.
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We then turned off Hollywood Blvd and saw one of our first movie location spots. The guide told us that it is a hotel but didn't recommend staying there, it is a little shady I guess. But it was featured in a very famous movie. Let's see if anyone can correctly guess which movie and for a bonus point which scene?
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Rista1313

Well-Known Member
Tuesday June 18, 2019

Some more pictures of inside the theater. Back in the lobby we were shown some of the displays of movie memorabilia and there were some hand prints that had been done but were curing before being put in the courtyard.

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I always love seeing Dorothy's dress and shoes... I know there are a few out there... 4 dresses sticks in my brain... and many pairs of ruby slippers. I saw both at the Smithsonian at one point.
 
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