Disney Trip July 11th -17th
Cast of Characters
Dad (37), Mom (37), Daughter (13), Son (11)
We wanted to get in a trip from our native Utah to go see what had come out of the Billion Dollar makeover at DCA.
I had enough points to get our flights for free, so we were able to squeeze Seven days into Seven actual days instead of at least the Nine we would normally need. I booked us at the Anaheim Del Sol Inn, which looked on the map to be a good location, and at $125 a night during peak vacation season, it seemed like a great choice. We got a rental car from Alamo and flew into the Long Beach airport.
Getting there: We left after work, our flight leaving at 8PM. The airport was a ghost town and security was a breeze. Our flight was obliged to be miserable however, with a crying infant and a leaning sleeper next to my wife.
Once in the Long Beach Airport and Refugee camp, we got our car, Thanks Alamo for upgrading us for free and not hassling me about buying your insurance, we were off to our Hotel. A quick stop at the Albertsons yielded enough drinks and snacks that we were able to leave half of them for the hotel staff. After all, who wouldnt want a half a jar of pickles?
The hotel location was every bit as good as I had hoped. I could only see two hotels with a better proximity to the entrance, and neither of them was the Paradise Pier or Disneyland Hotel. We got our room, bottom floor, and gave our keys to the valet. It did cost an additional 8 dollars a day for the valet, but I cant imagine how they ever thought people could park there without valet. Once all the cars were in place, there were cars in every stall and at least ten in the lane blocking in all those cars. The room was well updated and clean. My only complaint is that they put us directly under a family of gymnasts who liked to practice their routines until well after midnight.
We are Deluxe pass holders, so Saturday was blocked out, but we planned on visiting the new Transformers ride at Universal one day anyway.
Day 1 We headed into DCA at the crack of 8AM, of course some early entry people had already been there for an hour. I had read on the blogs that we should get in line for a fastpass right away. I got in line and the family headed for Monsters Inc. and Muppets. I got in line at 8:10AM, it took approximately 25 minutes and my fastpass was for 3:00PM. We went into Radiator Springs right after and noted that the single rider was at 30 Minutes and the line was at 75 minutes, this at approximately 8:45AM.
For my part, the area is incredible, but honestly, it will be better in six months when people arent so crazy about it. I thought it was crazy at this point, but it was just getting ready to get busy. We looked at the flying Tires and Maters Jamboree, but decided the waits were too long. The rest of the park was busy, but not unbearable. Remember when you could go there with hardly any waits? We lingered until after three oclock to ride the Racers. It was beautiful, it is obviously a classic, the theming so immersive and genuine, but it is my long held feeling that no ride is worth standing
A note on the weather: apparently my iphone weather app is directly opposite of what is going to happen there. It called for Thursday to be hot and sunny, it actually rained a good portion with overcast skies all day and night. It felt great.
We came back to the parks after 6PM, but went to Disneyland for the remainder of the night. It was very lightly crowded, and the weather was pleasant.
Day 2 Annual passholder early entry to Disneyland. This was hands down the best day in the parks. There couldnt have been more than fifty people there when we opened the gates. We and another family were picked to open the gates, with a very nice lady who was a little scattered.
We hit our top fantasyland attractions, the subs and Space mountain by the end of the first hour. The whole day was fantastic. In my honest opinion, the best part of Cars Land is that there is finally somewhere else for all the people to go. I will miss having DCA to ourselves, but truth be told I have always and will always prefer the original.
Saturday: Universal Studios - Just like Disneyland I suggest going early. Number one the traffic is greatly reduced, number two is you can do the whole place in an hour, if its the right hour. We rode the new Transformers twice in a row with less than five minutes accumulated wait time. It does seem to be about five degrees hotter at Universal, I recommend a fan with spray bottle. I had one I brought from home and it quite possibly saved my life while waiting for the T2 show.
I wont bore you with the innocuous details from the rest of our trip, but here are the stats I wanted people to see
Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass Queue
Thursday 25 minutes in line at 8:10, return time of 3PM
DCA Early entry on Sunday ride closed for the first hour (huge disappointment, but this seems common) I looked at the Fastpass sign at 9:30AM, and the return window was 7:25 8:25PM. I assume it was about a 20 minute wait.
Monday 25 minutes in line at 8:15, return time of 2:45PM
I would say however that each day the fastpasses were gone by 10AM or so. The weekends seemed to be less busy than the weekdays. Or at least Sunday was.
Churro consumption: 8
Turkey legs: 1