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Thread: Disneyland December 2017

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Apr 2015
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    Tacoma, Washington

    Disneyland December 2017

    Our trip began with a very early flight departing Seattle at 5am. After picking up a rental car at LAX, we made excellent time to our resort. As a result, we managed to unpack, go grocery shopping and still get to Disneyland before Noon. I immediately began navigating Maxpass. We linked all of our tickets together and grabbed a FP for Indiana Jones. While waiting for that to come through, we went to Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. By the time we got out of Indie, the crowds had really started to pick up. We went on all of our usual favorites, utilizing FP an standby to the best of our ability. I knew we would be hungry, so I made an early dinner reservation at Carnation Caf. I had never actually been here, even though this is probably my 12th visit to Disneyland. What a delight! My 10-year old passed out at the table, as she had pulled an all-nighter having to be a the airport at 3:30am. Its amazing how a quick dinner table nap just revved her back up again. We stayed a couple more hours and then went back to our resort.
    Saturday we had an early start to our day in California Adventure. We got FPs for Radiator Springs while waiting in line for Soarin. This was my first time seeing it as Over the World. I was so worried because I loved California so much. I have to say, Disney outdid themselves. I still cant decide which scene is my favorite the Eiffel Tower because its so dazzling, or the Taj Mahal because the scents are so wonderful? After taking in our favorites at DCA, we made our way over to DL for lunch reservations at Blue Bayou. Oh my. The place was packed! This is the first time I have ever had to seriously wait when I had priority dining. I would guess our wait was about 40 minutes. We almost left. Im glad we didnt. The lunch was excellent! We were now exhausted so we returned to our resort for an afternoon rest and returned that evening. Really, I dont think Ive ever seen the park so crowded. We returned earlier than we planned just to avoid the crowds. Plus, we wanted to take advantage of another early morning where we could walk on the rides.
    Sunday was going to be a busy day. We got to Disneyland at opening and spent some quality time in Fantasyland and Tomorrow Land. We had a very entertaining exchange with the Evil Queen, who never broke character even when I refused to bow down to her! The girls had appointments with Fairy Godmothers in Training at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. At 9 and 10 years old, I am so glad we did this, as they will probably be too old to really appreciate a Princess transformation next time we return to Disneyland. I would say this is a MUST do if you have a girl between the ages of 5-11. It was an absolute delight. Not only did the girls have a blast getting their royal treatments, but for the remainder of the day cast members treated them like royalty and even other little girls would point and call them Princesses! I highly recommend doing this! We then went over to DCA for a Princess Lunch at Ariels Grotto. Princesses that day were Ariel of course, Rapunzel, Tiana, Snow White and Belle.
    We then went on some of our favorite rides. I have to say that using the app for Maxpass really helps with time management. Since Im using a bunch of time for lunch anyway, I can conveniently pick out FPs while dining. After 90 minutes, we would be eligible for another FP. As a result, after lunch we went straight to Radiator Springs Racers and then directly to Soarin. Some of the rides had FPs that began very quickly, like Grizzly River. It was great to get a FP and be able to use it within 20 minutes! Even if the standby is short, the FP line is still always shorter!
    After a break at the resort, we returned to crowd madness on Sunday night. We navigated Main Street while hearing the most beautiful choir sing Christmas Carols for the Candlelight Processional. It was absolutely breathtaking. We went on a ride and then had Fantasmic Dining reserved at River Belle Terrace. Once again, easily a 30-minute wait. I was not very happy with the service at River Belle, which was definitely not ordinary. Ive been there several times, must say it was not the best. We were offered a choice of desserts and then informed that they only had one desert after all. I asked to change our Fantasmic FP from 9:00 to the 10:30 showing of Fantasmic, which was good because they were so late in seating us that we wouldnt have made our FP return time for the 9:00 show. After dinner, we got on a few rides including Small World Holiday. We got so lucky, as soon as we got off Small World, the fireworks began and we all stood and watched. Stunning! We then walked towards Tomorrow Land when it began to snow outside Small World. It was so enchanting. Although a snowflake got in my mouth and it tasted horrible!
    By now, it was time to get seated for Fantasmic. We had EXCELLENT views, sat right up to the rivers edge. I was the only member of our party who had seen Fantasmic previously, so watching the delight on the faces of my family and friends was wonderful. The kids wanted to see it again, but unfortunately it wouldnt be playing again for the remainder of our stay. Loved it and definitely worth the priority reservation price. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
    By Monday, the winds really picked up and we took a day off from the parks. We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and went to bed early.
    Tuesday was Universal Studios. We left our resort at 7am and 2+ hours of sitting in traffic later, we arrived at Universal. Made a beeline for Harry Potter and walked on to all the rides. The high winds and I guess just being a Tuesday made every line short. Hogwarts was pretty cool, we enjoyed some Butterbeers and then headed to Simpsons Land. The girls LOVED Simpsons Land. We also took the studio tour and made the mistake of doing the Walking Dead. My 10-year old seriously freaked out and we had to go out an emergency exit. After visiting the Minion Mayhem, they just wanted to return to Simpsons Land and ride Harry Potter one more time.
    I will say that there were many character photo ops at Universal. I probably will never go back though. Im not a big fan of the simulator rides, and I personally found the studio tour to be overrated.
    It took another 2+ hours to get back to Anaheim. We stopped at In & Out Burger for dinner. I can understand the appeal, but for anyone thats familiar with Dicks Drive-In in Seattle, In & Out just doesnt hold a candle to a Dicks Deluxe. Sorry!
    On Wednesday, we got another early start and enjoyed walking on to the rides in the morning. Thursday was our final day, which we used for Magic Morning. Matterhorn was our first stop, which was another walk on. Unfortunately, Space Mountain broke down, so we went on Autopia a couple of times and then the girl did Star Tours. We then made our way over to Main Street to head to Haunted Mansion for one final visit with Jack Skellington. We walked onto HM and Pirates and then used a FP for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We then stopped at the Tiki Birds for a show and went to Plaza Inn for Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. The breakfast here is FANTASTIC! We enjoyed several character: Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Max, Rafiki, Chip & Dale and Peter Pan. Long after breakfast was over, I asked if we would be seeing the guest of honor herself, and we were told Minnie would be out soon. It took another 20 minutes or so and Minnie finally came out and went directly to our table. Im guessing there was some sort of timing mix up, because by then all of the other diners in our area had left, and the cast members knew we had not met Minnie yet. She very quickly stopped by the table, which was enough for a quick photo and autograph.
    We then went over to DCA with FPs for our favorites again. Now, here is my #1 regret from this trip. I didnt actually ride Guardians of the Galaxy until our final day. I had an obstacle in that my 9-year old refused to ride it. As a result, whenever we would split up from my friends who could watch here while me and the 10-year old rode, we just never had FPs for Guardians. We finally rode Thursday night at 5pm and it was AWESOME! I was then kicking myself when I realized there were 6 different versions of the ride and I have only seen Born To Be Wild! After Guardians, we tried our luck at photos with Thor and Loki, and we got in just in the nick of time! We then returned to DL for Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and one final trip on Indie. Indie had been breaking down all day on Thursday, so even with FPs there was quite a wait. This was our farewell to the Happiest Place on Earth. It was a great trip. We will return after Star Wars Land opens, probably late 2019 or early 2020. Seems so far away, but I know Ill be back to mouseplanet for planning before I know it!
    Here's a few photos:


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  3. #2

    Very nice! The maxpass is simply the best. Oh wait, I didn't say that Don't want everyone using it!


  4. #3
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA

    Hi ~ glad you had fun! I LOVE Guardians; so sorry you only got one ride on it but that just gives you something more to look forward to on your next visit!

    I LOVE the frozen butterbeers at Universal; I will have 2 or 3 if possible during a visit (even though they are so pricey!).

    Where is the Thor & Loki meet & greet now? (Hubba Hubba)

    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



  5. #4
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    foresthill Ca

    Did I miss it, or did you skip the whole lower lot at Universal? The Mummy, Transformers and Jurassic Park are all down there. I was glad they had the raptor experience still set up last Friday. My now 19 year old wanted to do it in Florida but that line was long and we only had one day. Glad they had a good time.
    Sounds like a good trip overall.


  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington

    Thor and Loki are just outside the Monsters Inc Ride on the Hollywood Studios Backlot in DCA. They perform a short show on the stage and then take photos next to the stage. It's quite popular! At Universal, we actually didn't do Transformers, Mummy or Jurassic Park. The teenager in our group met some friends and they went to the lower lot, but for whatever reason, we just stayed near Simpsons, Minions and Harry Potter. We're guilty of going on our favorite rides over and over and sometimes missing out on others!


  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca

    Glad you had a good time. I'm happy to hear the girls enjoyed their makeovers. It really is so worth it to do at least once while they are in that age range. They looked great all done up like that too!

    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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