Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure?

Posted by: Karen W2

Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/08/02 12:45 PM

My DH and I have Premium Annual Passes to Disneyland and California Adventure and usually go there on the average of once a month or so, it kinda depends on what else is happening at the time. Sometimes it's less, sometimes, it's more.

Last time we went was last Saturday, after all the Debut running around. We went to DCA (Disney's California Adventure), played the last two games of Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It!, and at the start of the second game, my husband got the fastest finger question right in the fastest time, so he got to get into the "Hot Seat"!!

It was very exciting! He got all the way up to the 125,000 point level (the next level is 250,000 and then the MILLION!), but missed that question, after having used 2 of his lifelines on a previous question and wanting to save his "Phone a Complete Stranger" lifeline for another question.

He didn't win the leather jacket and trip for 2 to NYC that you get for the million point level, but he did win the Hot Seat button, lanyard, pins for all the point levels he got correctly, an exclusive baseball hat and an exclusive polo shirt!

When they took him back to sign the paperwork and get his prizes, the guys told him they thought when he made it to the 32,000 level without using any lifelines, that he was definitely going to make it to the million point level! They actually start video taping the game at this point and have you sign that they can use your image for nothing. He got a presidential question that I guessed and got correctly, but he guessed and got it wrong at the 125,000 level.

I still think he did a really great job tho! It's very nerve-wracking to be in the Hot Seat, with all those people watching you, the lights, cameras and all. You never know what kind of questions they're going to ask you. I've made it there once and this was his third and best time there! They have a rule that says you can't get in again for 30 days, so the next time he's elligible is 11-4-02. He can still play, but has to decline, if he gets the most right in the fastest time again.

The next time we'll be going to the Disneyland Resort will be next weekend, 10-18, to celebrate my birthday that day, with spending the weekend at the Disneyland Hotel on the concierge level! So far, we've booked it for Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights, cos we'll also be participating in our third MouseAdventure game at DL on Sunday, but we may end up just staying there Friday & Saturday night, then leaving after we're done on Sunday to come home.

MouseAdventure is a really fun trivia/scavenger hunt game, sponsored by the website MousePlanet. You have lots of fun, competing in teams of up to 4 people, and running all over DL, completing "quests" - answering trivia questions, solving puzzles, and identifying "Eye Spy" pictures. Those are pictures of details in the park that you may never have noticed, but definitely won't be able to miss the next time, after trying to find them for the game. Things like a red fire hydrant with a number 1 on it, a certain type of hanging lantern, a yellow road sign with the picture of a headless walking chicken on it, etc. LOTS of fun!!

Has anyone else gone to DL or DCA? How often do you go and what's your favorite thing to do there?

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.
Posted by: Qwackertoo

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/08/02 01:14 PM


How exciting! I want to come to visit DL & CA in the future!

I'm a little jealous you get to go so often

Posted by: KarenH

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/08/02 04:59 PM

My boys start fall break this weekend. We leave this Sunday for DL and CA. We are staying at the Grand Californian until next Friday. We've never been to CA and my boys are so excited.
Posted by: Karen W2

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/08/02 08:44 PM

Hi Karen (great name!),
How exciting for you all! I'm sure you'll love the Grand Californian. It's a great hotel, with gorgeous Arts & Crafts Movement (Craftsman style) architecture. We've stayed there several times and found it's the most convenient hotel to both Disneyland and DCA, especially since they have their own private DCA entrance/exit.

Much less crowded than entering thru the main gate and very convenient for running back up to your room to change clothes, after getting absolutely SOAKED to the bone, from riding the Grizzly River Run!!

How old are your boys? This week was the official opening of a new area at DCA, Flik's Fun Faire, taken from the A Bug's Life movie. Pretty much geared toward the tinier tots, with only 4 rides in it, but very cute theming. If your boys like bugs, they'll have a great time here!

Any questions you'd like answered on restaurants, rides or other things, since you haven't been here before? Just ask, and I'll be happy to tell you what I can. We've been there so often, it's almost like a home-away-from-home for us!!

Hope you have a great time!

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.
Posted by: KarenH

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/09/02 08:47 AM

My boys are 6 and 5 years old. We are going with another family who also has 2 children 6 and 4. They love bugs. I do have a question on what are the best restaurants and which ones do you suggest to make reservations for? I want to make some reservations for the week when we first get there (or I could do it before I leave). We are having Chip n Dale character breakfast 1 morning (Do you know what days are early entry and which days are later entry?) We are going to DL Sunday to see Fantasmic Light show (we missed it last time) - where is the best place to view it -and the early show or late show? My boys are looking forward to the Mickey roller coaster and Soaring over CA and the river run ride - their friends have all told them about these rides. I don't know what else to ask such a veteran goer. Is it still warm enough for them to swim - will it be long pants or shorts and light jacket weather? ...sorry for rambling - but any advice is appreciated.

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited 10-09-2002).]

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited 10-09-2002).]
Posted by: Karen W2

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/09/02 04:46 PM

Hi Karen,
Glad to hear they like bugs! They should have a fun time checking out Flik's Fun Faire.

They and you will love "California Screamin'" (the Mickey roller coaster)! It's the most comfortable roller coaster I've ever been on and it has its own soundtrack! Much better than Rockin' Roller Coaster at WDW. That one was too jarring and the restraint that comes over the top of you crushed my chest like crazy.

A tip for this ride, ask to be in the front row of the train (and however many seats after) for the best view and experience!!

"Soarin' Over California" is a must-see! That's the hang glider simulator ride, that comes complete with its own scents!! Soar over the ocean, you smell the salt water. Soar over the mountains, a nice pine scent. Oranges when you soar over the orange groves, etc.

Tip for this ride - ask to be in the middle glider, in the front row. Even if you have to wait til the next group seats, it's well worth it. They're the best seats in the house!!

"Grizzly River Run", as I mentioned before, will soak you to the skin!! They have lockers, just outside the ride area, that are FREE for storing your valuables when you're on the ride. A nice touch! Or run up and leave those items in your room and retrieve them when you go up to change clothes after the ride.

Get Fast Passes for every ride/attraction you can, both in DCA and Disneyland. It saves a lot of time and waiting in line! The park map will have those designated. The two parks run on separate systems, so you can have a FP for Disneyland and DCA for the same time. You can't get on the ride sooner than the time stated on the FP, but you can return later than the time stated. This works well if you want to do something that doesn't have a FP and hit the other when you want to. They also have the "Baby Switch" thing, but I believe the kids will be too old for you to take advantage of that one.

Another area unique to DCA is the Animation Building. Lots of fun things to see and do here, especially in the Sorcerer's Workshop. This is where you'll find the Beast's Library, where you can learn which Disney character you're most like, by answering questions on a touch screen. In the next room, you can sing or act with Disney characters in a scene from a Disney movie and in the very first room you enter, you can draw and watch your own animated feature! Other things here are Drawn to Animation and the new Walt Disney story, I think it's called One Man's Dream, or something like that. This building is the best themed in the whole park and a great escape on a hot day!

There are other things that are similar to ones in WDW (Muppets 3-D and It's Tough to be a Bug 3-D) and great fun for adults is the Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It! game I mentioned in my original post below.

As far as restaurants go, what kind of food are you looking for? If you're into Soap Operas, you'll have to get a reservation at the Soap Opera Bistro in DCA. A bit on the pricey side, but they have dining areas that are duplicates of sets on soaps, like the General Hospital nurses' station, Llanview Country Club from OLTL, and other sets from All My Children & other ABC soaps.

Also, the wait staff is supposed to do interactive acting scenes with the patrons, so be prepared, in case they do this if you go. This restaurant will be closing forever on 11-4, to be turned into a Disney Playhouse thing for kids, so this will be your only chance to experience the SOB, if you're interested.

When was the last time you were in a Disney park? Unfortunately, Disney did away with the "early entry" thing, so they don't have them anymore. Disneyland usually opens an hour before DCA, but you can get the schedules at your hotel when you check-in.

Storyteller's Cafe, situated within the Grand Californian Hotel grounds, is the best deal for the money in the whole of the resort, in our opinion. That's where the Chip 'n' Dale breakfast will be, but they have great choices for all meals there, as well as buffets. We're never hungry enough for the buffets, so we usually order off the regular menu. Great banana-stuffed French Toast, like Tonga Toast at the Poly in WDW, if you're familiar with that. Very yummy!!

Blue Bayou is in New Orleans Square at Disneyland, within the Pirates of the Carribbean building, and you can get tables that are facing the water/ride, if you get advance reservations and request a "waterside" table. Very pricey, mostly spicey Cajun-type cuisine, but less expensive for lunch, and available to get just dessert there after dinner, if you want to just soak in some of the atmosphere.

As far as Fantasmic goes, they have an over-priced preferred seating deal, but it's probably too late at this point, for you to buy reservations for that, since they fill up way in advance, but you can try, if interested. $45 each (kids are the same price!) for a limited seating view from the Disney Gallery second floor balcony and you get a dessert buffet with drinks included.

We've never done this, so I don't know if it's worth it or not, especially since the show's only like 20 minutes long. There is another preferred seating thing, only a couple of bucks cheaper, with a boxed pre-chosen by them dessert, but the view is on ground level, and not a good view from what I've been told. Otherwise, you can camp out an hour or two in advance, around the area by the Mark Twain and see what's available.

The second show is always less crowded that the first show and many people go into that area, just before the first show ends, so they can grab seats from those leaving. But this might be a bit too late for the kids.

Weather in Anaheim has been in the high 80's lately, so I'd prepare for hot and cooler weather, especially if you'll be doing the parks at night, as well as during the day. You can never tell, it might cool off during the day, but I think it's better to be ready for both.

The Grand Californian has a couple of pools, one with a neat tree slide and a spa. There's a small restaurant that services both the pool and walk-ins, called White Water Snacks, that has pre-prepared foods and cook-to-order things like burgers and such. It has been cheaper than buying the same food in the parks there when we've been there before.

Want to see some pictures of the Disneyland Resort, including DCA? Take a look at our virtual photo album. You can find it by going to: http://members.cox.net/barry.wallis

Hope this helps, and please feel free to ask any other questions you might have. If you can't tell, I love talking about the parks and helping people have the best time ever!!

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.
Posted by: dragon

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/10/02 06:07 AM

Just one question here....Karen W2, will you adopt me? Please, please please?!?!
Posted by: Karen W2

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/10/02 02:08 PM

Yes, Karen (dragon), I will be happy to adopt you, tho I'm not sure we're that far apart in age, so it may be a little quesionable!! I'd guess you'd have to say your quilting talents run in the family then too, since I am a quilter as well!!

KarenH, I also wanted to mention that Disneyland is unique from WDW, in that we have the Indiana Jones Adventure. The boys who like bugs will love this one, provided they meet the height requirement, as you ride in a jeep (a very bumpy, action-packed ride by the way), and go thru the rooms of snakes, spiders & all, like in the movie! The queue area for this one has lots of details, including some interactive stuff that a lot of people don't realize is there. Keep your eyes open and watch for them. One thing in particular is a bunch of innocent-looking bamboo, that should be pushed to see what happens (if it's working that is, you never know).

On park entry, be aware that since 9-11, they do a bag/stroller search of every kind of bag/stroller entering the park, so be prepared for this to take a little extra time. You'll be asked to open your bags & all for cast members, so they can look thru them and make sure everything is OK to bring into the parks. Sometimes, it's a very brief glance, other times, depending on who's doing it, it can be more involved.

Be sure to ask when the "rope drop" will be in both parks. This is usually about 1/2 hour or so before the stated opening time. You can get thru the gates, then proceed to the end of the area roped off, until they release the rope and let you into the rest of the parks.

This gives you a little head start on getting to those packed rides without Fast Passes - like Dumbo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, etc.

A note on DCA entry, the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area opens later than the rest of the park. You can ask at your hotel, to get the exact time, if that's a concern. Soarin' Over California is usually open before the rest of the park, but it can vary, so check with the hotel or a cast member to make sure. You can usually get a fast pass for later on (in case you want to do it again!), but walk onto it immediately, first thing in the morning! If you enter the park at the hotel's private entrance, it's usually less crowded there than at the front.

The Fast Passes for this, California Screamin' and Grizzly River Run usually run out quickly, so be sure to grab these early! You only need one member of your party to obtain your FPs. Just give that responsible person all the ticket media for the group. He can run & do that, while you're on your way to something else, resting or whatever, and catch up with you when he's done.

Another note about DCA, there is no transporation system in the park, unlike the train at DL, so you'll be doing a lot of walking here. You may want to plan out your day there ahead of time, to make the most of it, so you don't have to keep criss-crossing the park all day. Unless you want to.

Disneyland also still has the wonderful, ORIGINAL version of the Enchanted Tiki Room, not the "Under New Management" show that WDW has, that's far inferior, IMHO. We also still have Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, a ride that was replaced by the Winnie the Pooh ride in WDW. If you're around the Splash Mountain area in DL, you can possibly catch a glimpse of the new Winnie the Pooh ride, that's replaced the Country Bear Jamboree and opens in April of 2003.

The Haunted Mansion Holiday version is happening now too. It's an overlay, based on the Tim Burton movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, with Jack Skellington and his creepy pals, who've taken over the mansion for the holiday season. If you liked the movie, you'll enjoy the ride.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with & I'll keep thinking if there's anything else you might like to know.

Hope this helps!

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.
Posted by: Karen W2

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/14/02 06:34 PM

Hi KarenH,
Please be sure to post a trip report here when you get home, OK? We'd love to hear how your trip went!!

Hope it was truly magical!

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.
Posted by: KarenH

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/21/02 05:53 PM

We had a blast! This was our first trip to CA and second to DL. My oldest son Devon fell in love with Ca Screamin' roller coaster. He always got to ride it twice - once with dad and then with mom since we got 4 fast passes and my youngest son Austin is not tall enough to ride. Austin was heartbroken so I promised him something special from 1 of the stores in the park (he picked out NBC Jack figures and a Zero pin for him and a Jack pin for his brother and a Zero ornament for our halloween tree). He loved Soarin' Over CA with Grizzly River Run a close second and his favorite ride in DL was IN Jones (or Junie B Jones as he called it) with Splash Mtn, Haunted House, and Thunder Mtn close behind. Devon just turned 7 so we celebrated his birthday at StoryTellers Cafe and he was so excited to get a special happy birthday pin, plush sorcerer mickey keychain, and stickers - the look on his face - he thought he was so special - it was pure magic. We ate breakfast w/ Chip n Dale character breakfast, but we were disappointed that the characters did not mingle like they do at Goofy's Kitchen; we will mever miss breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen again. Everyday we went into DL early, met characters on Main St, then got fastpasses for IN Jones, rode Splash Mt, Haunted House, Thunder Mtn, back to In Jones - then off somewhere else or over to CA, then back to DL for night rides on Thunder Mtn, Splash Mtn, and Space Mtn. On day 2 Austin picked out a Sorcerer's Mickey hat and wore it religiously thereafter. We got photos of him with Mickey and Devon with Mickey (Devon picked out a baseball hat w/ Mickey face and ears. By Friday it was starting to get busy as people were filtering in for the world sereies game and red and white balloons were everywhere. My boys had fun picking out a pin from CA and DL and a lanyard. but they did not want to wear them - they just want them hung in their room with their pins so they can admire them. As soon as we got home they had to add the DL pin from their first trip. They are looking forward to going again next year. Sorry for rambling.

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited 10-21-2002).]
Posted by: KarenH

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/21/02 05:59 PM

Thanks for all your tips 'Karen W2'. We had an awesome trip.

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited 10-22-2002).]
Posted by: Karen W2

Re: Have you gone to Disneyland and California Adventure? - 10/22/02 12:56 PM

Hi Karen,
So glad you had such a great time!! And happy I could be of help to you!! I was a little confused at first, when I read you'd been to DL (it's only DL in California) once already, but hadn't been to CA yet, until I figured out you'd abbreviated DCA as CA. So it was Disney's California Adventure you hadn't been to yet, not the state of California!!

Did you get a chance to check out Flik's Fun Fair at DCA? Did they go on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail or other fun kid things, like Jumpin' Jellyfish? Your kids weren't too frightened by the Haunted Mansion? I wasn't sure, since they're young.

It was a good thing you came in and left when you did, because everything from Friday on was a ZOO at the resort! They said they were expecting over 20,000 for the Angels rally on Friday night, then they did a lot with HUGE TVs set-up so those who wanted to watch the game could, and the various groups that hit the park thru Sunday, like the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) walk, Disney Voluntears, etc.

Again, so glad you had a great time, Karen!! Let me know if you're ever coming back and I can be of help to you again!!

Karen W2 - Oceanside, CA.