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Trip Report: First DL Holiday/DCA 2.0

Mickey_777

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Just got back on Tuesday (December 4th) from 3 days at the two Anaheim parks. We stayed offsite at the Hilton Suites Anaheim next to the ballpark. It's a nice but dated hotel with a direct ART shuttle to and from the parks with only one stop in between. $12 per adult for 3 days round trip, not bad. Beats the heck out of $15 per day to park a rental. We got the friends and family rate thru a friend of the family for four nights. We arrived friday in the evening left early Tuesday morning back to the east coast.


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We hopped back and forth thru the parks the 3 days we were there. Started day one at DL, then to DCA, then back to end the day at DL. Second day we started at DCA for Starbucks and the coveted RSR fastpass, then back to DL resort only to finish our day with dinner at Carthay and World of Color. Last day began at DCA and ended at DL. Photos are not in order .

I found Starbucks employees in CM costumes humorous. They made our beloved 3 pump iced white mocha's just right. I like the "one" Disney Parks detail on cup. Sue me, I like Disney and Starbucks.


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For the rest of my TR I just want to hit a few points.

I'll start with the bad to meh...

-My wife and I, and baby, went to DLR expecting to get punched in the face with Christmas/Mouse goodness. We didn't. I felt like Disneyland with some decorations ( I know that's what it literlly is). The Christmas music didn't seem very prevalent either except at IASW holiday. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since we love DL just the way it is. Perhaps we could have planned to be around the castle more often at night when the lights came on, I don't know.

-Our food at Carthay was just "okay". My pork roast was under seasoned. The chedar biscuits were awesome though and my wife's ravioli was good, not great, but good. Service was great though. The experience was worth it but we'll go back to steakhouse 55 next time for a filet instead. I know they're changing their menu all the time but we'll see. The WoC tickets and spot on the pier is a nice but small perk.

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-DCA has a ton of stores that all sell the very same exact items. I suppose this can be said for all 6 domestic parks but DCA just got a makeover that gives them tons of material to churn out lots of new and unique merch. What they have is great but I'd like to see more. This may have been due to the fact that the shops are all saturated with Christmas stuff right now...

-Buena Vista Street is beige. Very beige. Brown and biege. I know it's period accurate. I know the monorail track has been there since forever and nothing can be done about the ugly bridge crossing BVS. I just thought BVS would be more beautiful in person. I thought the sightlines of Carthay would be better and the cable wires don't help. It's nice but it's not Main Street. It's nice but, aesthetically, it's not even Hollywood blvd (even with the hat IMO) or Sunset at DHS.


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-FF&P is basically a Starbucks offering four "Disney" sandwiches and two soups plus some cupcakes and cookies. I doesn't really qualify as a bakery from what I saw. 98% of the baked items are starbucks'. Churn out more baked goods or just call it starbucks I say. I know it would clash with the 30's Hollywood theme blah blah blah. Are the baked choices limited because it's the holidays?

-RSR racers was down entirely for the monday we were there I believe and Toy Story MM and Monsters Inc were both down on that saturday so we couldn't ride them then. This is a pattern for our last 3 trips to DLR. Break downs. At least 2 or 3 on every trip out west. More than all of our time at WDW. DL gets lots of props for maintenance...doesn't this fall into that category? There were also major effects broken on Pirates. Doc Hudson-Hornet was also broken on RSR. No movement.

-I was expecting to get my mind blown from Carlsand. No such thing happened. Maybe it's cause I've seen a bazillion photos of it since they began construction. Mabye it's cause I was/am only intersted in RSR's and not the other two flat rides. The rockwork is spectacular though without a doubt and RSR is pretty darn good.


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-Paradise pier is still lacking to me. They've done pretty much all that they can to make it as good as it can be but it just doesn't do it for me. Much like Tomorrowland at DL, it's got some solid attractions but it's not pleasing to the eye (to me). Tomorrowland however is the most unattractive land of all the domestic parks when walking in from the hub.

-Haunted Mansion holiday is just okay It's nowhere near as entertaining as it's standard form. But we're glad to say that at least we've experienced it.

The Good...

-RSR's. It's a fine attraction indeed. But I'm not a fan of leaving Radiator Springs to see another less detailed version of Radiator Springs inside the attraction. However, the AA's are great on the inside and I really appreciated how the music coordinated with the revealing of the waterfall just like in the film. But those things don't set apart. Nice rockwork and fantastic AA's can be found in abundance on both coasts. The racing aspect is what stood out to me. I didn't expect to have that much fun. Last time I felt like that getting off an attraction for the first time was TSMM.

-Radiator Springs is beatiful at night. It is as pretty if not more so than TL at MK at night.


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-I was cloudy and drizzly during most of our 3 days. The parks were very, very manageable. All reports told me that if it rains, the parks empty out. This is true. Is it wimpyness or the fact that they can go back any other time they want? We were surrounded with folks from the Sacramento/San Fran area along with lots of people from Oregon, Washington, and Australia. More Aussies then I've ever encountered at DL. I was apprehensive about the crowds during a weekend this time of year so the drizzle was a true blessing. I didn't help for picture taking though.

-We walked on to Haunted Mansion, Pirates, TSMM, Little Mermaid, and Splash. I even got a log all to myself on Splash. Right at the front. It was like having the ride to myself. The ride seemed to move slower than in the past as well. Could this be due to the lack of riders?

-NOS is great. Along with Space M and Indy, and the Hungry Bear, it's what I miss most when I'm at the MK. Love Pinocchio too.


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-The Hungy Bear is an absolute gem. How it remains semi-hidden I'll never know. The sandwiches are tasty and the ambiance (even though it's Critter Country) is pure Frontierland goodness. At night when you're eating by the river under the dim light as the the boat passes by with the great music in the background...just awesome. You're truly taken to another place and time.

-The food choices in general for both parks, and including DTD, is superb. You can't walk to such a great variety of really good dining choices at WDW like you can at DLR. This is due to its size but still, the choices are really good especially since they recently added Earl of Sandwich and Ghirardelli. Those are two of our favorites at WDW/DTD.

-IASW holiday is very nice. The outside music loop was the highlight for me. When the song transitions from Christmas music to and epic/bolder sounding version of "it's a small world", I'm reminded of MK's Spectromagic.

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-DCA has really taken shape. Even with my not being fan of some things at the park, I do like a lot of what's offereded there. I really like the Elysian Arcade on BVS and Carthay is gorgeous inside and out. They have some of the strongest attractions anywhere in Tower, Soarin', RSR's, and TSMM. Plus Monsters Inc, and World of Color are unique to DCA and fantastic if you ask me.


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To wrap up, we had a blast. It was one the easiest/stress free trips my wife and I have taken. From getting to the airport to checking in to the hotel to grabbing a shuttle to and from the parks. It was a breeze and though we only went to the parks for 3 days and flew home after that, the trip didn’t feel “too short”. I’d do this trip all over in a heartbeat. It was just a nice quick and well engineered trip to Disneyland. Add the fact that it was the first time we took our very well behaved 5 month old on a plane and the the parks. It made for some great memories indeed. Making memories? Hmm…that reminds me of something. Maybe Disney knows what they’re doing after all? Oh and shout out to Anaheim Resort Transit. They're really good at what they do with lots of people around to help. I'm sure they love Di$$$ney too :D.

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raven24

Well-Known Member
Glad you had a great time! Just one thing, did you ride Indy! I noticed it was in your report, was it in soft opening mode?

Oh, and definitely agree with your comment about Hungry Bear. One of my favorites.
 

Mickey_777

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Glad you had a great time! Just one thing, did you ride Indy! I noticed it was in your report, was it in soft opening mode?

Oh, and definitely agree with your comment about Hungry Bear. One of my favorites.

We were there last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the 3rd. I was hoping (rather grasping) that there would be a soft opening for Indy but no such luck. On our last two trips we got to ride Indy a lot. It's probably my favorite attraction of all time. Oh and the Hungry Bear is awesome indeed.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
We were there last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the 3rd. I was hoping (rather grasping) that there would be a soft opening for Indy but no such luck. On our last two trips we got to ride Indy a lot. It's probably my favorite attraction of all time. Oh and the Hungry Bear is awesome indeed.

Aaaww man, you just missed it. That really sucks:/ How do you feel about World of Color?

I love Hungry Bear mostly due to its surroundings. The food is good, too, but the location is really neat. I also agree with you on Tomorrowland. It's my least favorite land and it needs lots if work.
 

Mickey_777

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Aaaww man, you just missed it. That really sucks:/ How do you feel about World of Color?

I love Hungry Bear mostly due to its surroundings. The food is good, too, but the location is really neat. I also agree with you on Tomorrowland. It's my least favorite land and it needs lots if work.

We like WoC a lot. Like I mentioned, it was drizzly so there were mabye 50 people on the pier and a few more on the walkway/bridge going towards Ariel's Grotto. We had a prime spot though cause of the Carthay reserved viewing area.
 

javy2004

Active Member
a three day trip to DLR is a perfect little getaway. its funny to see rides like Soarin' and Little Mermaid, and Jungle Cruise seem to have much shorter waits than their WDW counterparts. I took 3 days with my GF in sept and it was about as perfect a trip as I could have imagined (except for her getting upset with me for having her ride Matterhorn with me). I'm sorry about all the attractions being down throughout your time there. I was fortunate enough to only have Haunted Mansion be down due to the Holiday overlay being put in. I got to ride that in the past and I agree the ride in its original form is the better version. That's also awesome that you got to see WoC with little obstruction. It wasn't until just before showtime during the second show that my tiny GF had a view that didn't leave us cramped or block much of anything of the show. I'm not a huge Cars fan, but the land blew me away. I read that RSR topped out at 40mph so I didn't expect the race sequence to be that darn fun. Glad you had a great time on your trip :D
 

Mickey_777

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You took some awesome photos! I especially like the Main Street one.

Thanks Raven. I'll be posting more in the DL picture of the day thread every so often :)

a three day trip to DLR is a perfect little getaway. its funny to see rides like Soarin' and Little Mermaid, and Jungle Cruise seem to have much shorter waits than their WDW counterparts. I took 3 days with my GF in sept and it was about as perfect a trip as I could have imagined (except for her getting upset with me for having her ride Matterhorn with me). I'm sorry about all the attractions being down throughout your time there. I was fortunate enough to only have Haunted Mansion be down due to the Holiday overlay being put in. I got to ride that in the past and I agree the ride in its original form is the better version. That's also awesome that you got to see WoC with little obstruction. It wasn't until just before showtime during the second show that my tiny GF had a view that didn't leave us cramped or block much of anything of the show. I'm not a huge Cars fan, but the land blew me away. I read that RSR topped out at 40mph so I didn't expect the race sequence to be that darn fun. Glad you had a great time on your trip :D

40mph realy? I hadn't heard that. I certainly didn't feel as fast as the 65mph/last stretch of test track but I would've guessed it was over 40. I agree the racing portion is without a doubt the highlight of the ride. Totally caught me off guard in terms of how much I liked it. Those first couple of hills/dips and the rollercoaster drop feeling it gives you was awesome. Plus the riders in the next car talking smack about who's gonna win makes it a unique experience I haven't found on any other ride anywhere.
 

javy2004

Active Member
40mph realy? I hadn't heard that. I certainly didn't feel as fast as the 65mph/last stretch of test track but I would've guessed it was over 40. I agree the racing portion is without a doubt the highlight of the ride. Totally caught me off guard in terms of how much I liked it. Those first couple of hills/dips and the rollercoaster drop feeling it gives you was awesome. Plus the riders in the next car talking smack about who's gonna win makes it a unique experience I haven't found on any other ride anywhere.

yeah I would have thought it was faster had I not read its Wikipedia. I found Luigi's Flying Tires to be the most underwhelming looking ride EVER! Did you think something similar when you passed it by? I didn't ride it, but seeing it in action made me not ever want to. Just wondering if you felt something similar.
 

Mickey_777

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
yeah I would have thought it was faster had I not read its Wikipedia. I found Luigi's Flying Tires to be the most underwhelming looking ride EVER! Did you think something similar when you passed it by? I didn't ride it, but seeing it in action made me not ever want to. Just wondering if you felt something similar.

Both flat rides didn't look worth our time. Luigi's flying tires and...I don't even remember what the Mater ride is called to be honest with you. Didn't ride either, I spent my time taking photos instead
 

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