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Friday, June 8, 2012

Live Walt Disney World Report - July/August 2000 - Part 6

Sorry if this is a repost - I posted it on Tuesday Morning but was unable to find it later so I don't think it posted properly:

Me (John) from New York
Brent & Bobbi - Brother and sister-in-law from Iowa
Todd & Kim - Newlywed brother and sister-in-law recently re-located to the Anaheim area from Canada
Jeff - An old friend of Todd's

I was in Southern California to attend 2 parties in one weekend; the first was my father's 75th birthday party and the second was the wedding reception party for my brother and new sister-in-law, who had wed in May. Another brother and his wife were also there from Iowa I decided to stay on an extra day (Monday), so I could visit with my brothers and sisters-in-law, and we all decided to spend the day at Disneyland. My SIL from Iowa had never been before.

Brent & Bobbi purchased one day passes and I bought a three-day pass thinking I would be able to use the other two days at some point in the future. Luckily, before I used the pass I noticed all three days have to be used in a 14-day period. This is contrary to the DL ticket policy I've always been used to: a day admission is essentially good forever. I was able to exchange the 3-day pass for a single day pass. I also bought annual passes for Todd & Kim as a wedding gift. They were very happy with their wedding gift.

I strongly suggested that we get there right at opening, and everyone agreed. We all met at 7:15 at the motel that Brent & Bobbi were staying at, which is about a 5 minute drive from DL. All of the beautification around DL is really making the whole area look much nicer than it used to. In particular, all the palm trees improve the surroundings a lot. We parked in the Timon parking lot, which was nowhere near full. I took this as a good sign that the decision to leave early was a wise one.

As we made our way to the main entrance we could see the construction for Disney's California Adventure, at least the parts that were visible above the construction walls. Of course the roller coaster was visible, as well as the giant orange and something that I assume will be launch/drop ride. It looked pretty cool, although not terribly "Disney". On the other hand, we could also see the bear mountain and part of the hotel, as well as the Condor Flats building. These all looked quite "Disney".

We really wanted to hit as many of the major attractions as we could because we knew that Brent and Bobbi would not be coming back to DL for a very long time. Here is a run-down of what we went on: Indiana Jones (twice), Big Thunder (twice), Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Jungle Cruise, Roger Rabbit's Toontown Spin, Matterhorn, Star Tours and the Disneyland Railroad.

As you can tell, we were able to hit most of the major attractions. This can be attributed to two things: getting there early and Fastpass. We all agreed that Fastpass is a great system. We used in Indiana Jones (the second time), Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. We also had Fastpass for a second trip on Splash Mountain, but by the time our reservation time came up it was too cold, so we road Big Thunder again instead. Fastpass aside, by getting there early we were able to ride Indy, Space mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates and Big Thunder all by noon. By then the park was royally crowded and all the most popular rides had huge lines.

We ate lunch at The Hungry Bear. I've never eaten there before. The burgers are vastly superior to any I've had anywhere else at DL. I got mine with onion rings, which were also quite good.

We also left the park in the afternoon (returning for our 3:10 Fastpass time at Indy), to go to the DL Hotel to relax and have a few drinks. It was nice to sit in the shade and relax for an hour or so. We had originally planned to leave in the afternoon and go to my parent's to relax and swim in their pool. Everyone was up for staying the whole day, however, so we stayed and just took our short break at the hotel instead.

Todd & Kim went to the bank to get their official APs, while Brent and Bobbi did some shopping. While this was going on I noticed The Big Cheese himself near The Mad Hatter - with nearly no line. I ran in and got Bobbi - who really wanted her picture with The Mick but didn't want to wait in the hour-long Toontown Line - and I took her picture (as well as Todd & Kim's) while Brent paid for their purchases. That was very fortunate timing.

Todd, Kim and Jeff left a little early than the rest of us. We said our goodbyes, and went off for a little more exploring. We actually didn't stay that much longer. We just went on Big Thunder, and while we were in line we could hear the beginning of Fantasmic. The show was still going on when we got off the ride, but we couldn't find a place to watch it. From what I saw, however, I think the DL version is better than the WDW version (which I had seen a few days prior), but the WDW version is in it's own theater with actual seats.

I told them I was willing to stay if they wanted to wait for the 10:30 show, but we were all pretty tired out so we decided to beat the crowds out. All in all, it was a really fantastic trip to DL. Everyone had a great time. I especially wanted to make sure Brent & Bobbi, who likely won't be back for a long time, and especially newbie Bobbi, had a good time. They seemed to really enjoy themselves, and it was great that they were able to see a lot of what DL has to offer.
Tanaka commented:

Great trip report. I really like these and wish people would post more.

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