DLR in One Day Advice??

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wewantsdaredhead
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DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by wewantsdaredhead » Jan Mon 23, 2017 4:34 pm

I have a leftover one-day park hopper for DLR (long story) and I am going to take advantage of a work trip in that general vicinity and burn it up.

If this was WDW, I would have no problems, however I am out of my league in CA. I have only been there twice for quick trips. Any advice is appreciated!
Where do I go first? What do I avoid, etc...
It's just me, so I can take advantage of any single rider lines where possible.

I am an AP at WDW and have been there many, many times so anything that is exactly the same as WDW, I am OK with skipping if it will allow me to see more.
The plan is to go on a specific Saturday in March. I have the whole day to do what I want--I don't need to attend anything work-related until Sunday mid-day.

Whatcha got?? :D

Thanks in advance.

cy1229
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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by cy1229 » Jan Mon 23, 2017 5:05 pm

cracks knuckles in anticipation

Ok let's get started.

First, you have to decide what you really want to do. Are you interested in World of Color? If so, you'll want to go to DCA to get a fastpass thingamabob for that. DLR still uses paper fastpasses. Remember those?

I think it's important that you do the things at DLR that you cannot do, or cannot do some reasonable facsimile of, at WDW. So that would be Matterhorn, Hyperspace Mountain (if they still have that overlay), Mr. Toad, the new-and-improved Peter Pan, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Indiana Jones, etc.

Also, you can ride Radiator Springs Racers at DCA in the single-rider line and not expect to wait a long time. And definitely go ride California Screamin! as it's a GREAT roller coaster. Smooth, fun, fast... I love it.

So if it was me, this is how I would proceed: Breakfast on Main Street, then straight to Peter Pan. Pull a Fastpass for Indiana Jones, then ride Pirates, and potentially ride Haunted Mansion. If you want, go ride Winnie the Pooh, but if not no worries. It's cute, and it's well done, but it's not necessary. The Harbor Galley in that area has good food for lunch, or you could go to Cafe Orleans for a Monte Cristo sandwich if you want. Then I would go pull a fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain (or just regular Space Mountain) and get onto Star Tours, maybe pop back to Small World (the queue is different, the ride is cleaner, but it's essentially the same as WDW). Assuming it's time, ride Space Mountain, then go over to DCA. Pull a Fastpass for Soarin' then go to Radiator Springs Racers for the single rider line. If it's time, go back to Soarin, or maybe continue back to California Screamin' and then go back to the front for the Monsters Inc ride. Stop and look at Carsland, if you haven't, and Bugs Land along the way as the theming is well done. The rides in Bugs Land are truly little kids' rides, so if you're into that, go for it, but if not, skip it. Then do Soarin' if it's time, and after that go to the Cove Bar for some Lobster Nachos and a beer. Or 5. :D Then back over to DLR for some more fun rides, maybe an ice cream, and you can catch Main Street Electrical Parade.

DLR gets crazy busy in the afternoons on Saturdays. Annoyingly so. And DCA is pretty busy, too, but it's a little more spread out so the crowds feel easier to take. Also, the afternoon is a good time to do things like Mr. Lincoln (must do), Indiana Jones, etc. that are indoors so you don't get sunburned. Pirates will become busier and busier as the afternoon progresses, up until about 6:00 pm, as will the Matterhorn.

Things I think you can skip:
Big Thunder RR, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, the story boat canal thing, World of Color (it takes a huge chunk out of your night, and frankly, I wasn't that impressed. Pretty colors on water. Whee. I'll take a lot of flack for that, I know.). If you've seen MSEP you can skip that, too. All of these, except the story boat canal, are essentially identical to WDW. For that matter, so is Star Tours, so you might decide to skip it.

My breakfast at Carnation Cafe was really good, and it was nice to start the day there. The corn dogs on the little red cart on Main Street are good, but a little pricey. We enjoyed Cafe Orleans but not sure we thought the pommes frites or the Monte Cristo / cheese one were THAT good. The food in DCA was good, but I'd skip the snacks at Cozy Cone in Carsland. Pacific Wharf Bakery Cafe had good food, as were the lobster nachos I mentioned.

I heard on the Mousetalgia podcast this morning that DLR is going to do a phone app fastpass thing similar to what they do at WDW with the My Disney Experience app. You should possibly look into that. It's $10 more per person per day to reserve fastpass times. I don't know when it's scheduled to start, though.

Helpful? Let me know if you have more questions.
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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Amy » Jan Mon 23, 2017 10:35 pm

Wow ~ that's a lot of good information there cy1229! I agree with a lot of it ~ although I would recommend World of Color if you have time wewantsdaredhead. It is so different from anything WDW has that it is worth it. But definitely get a FP so you have some assurance of getting a good spot to watch it.
Pirates is on my must-do list at DL because it is so much better than the WDW version. Longer too. And Radiator Springs Racers is really fun, and cute, and very doable with single rider. Indiana Jones is good with single rider as well.
My brother and sister-in-law treated us to lunch at the Blue Bayou so of course I had to try the infamous Monte Cristo. It was ok. I ended up eating the inside ham and cheese because it was just a bit too greasy and weird for me. But I can say I tried it now anyhow. And it was huge!
As much as I like it, I would skip Soarin' unless you can use the single rider line. It is the same as Florida so you wouldn't be missing anything unique...except possibly for the dent Figment left on one of the trash cans in the queue in 2013 ;)

This is my list of what I would do if I was going just for a day. Sorry, not as organized as Caryn to have a plan laid out for you, but I'm always happy to throw my two cents in ;) :lol:

DL:
Alice in Wonderland (cute, and unique to Cali, but skipable if it is a long wait)
Autopia (longer track, fun scenery and signs, skip if a huge wait)
Indiana Jones (use the single rider line, it's not always available though, so if it isn't, check back. I don't think they utilize it until they get busy. And this attraction goes down quite a bit with the complicated ride mechanisms...sort of like test track does, but even more so it feels like)
Matterhorn Bobsleds (because it is an original to the park. Very, very, very rough though!)
Mr. Lincoln (as Caryn said, must see. Another unique show and very enjoyable)
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin (a fun one, but a good one to have a FP for as lines get long)
Haunted Mansion (enough differences from WDW that it worth doing in my opinion. Fastpass is a good thing to have for this one as lines get long)
Pirates of the Caribbean (much, much better and longer than WDW as I said up there ^^)
Disney monorail (if you have time. It was interesting to me when we first went in 2003 because their monorail windows are open!)

DCA:
Animation Academy (if you like to draw as you can't do this at MGM anymore :( )
The Bakery Tour (not as much fun as it used to be as the whole movie tour wasn't playing when we were there, but it's a good place to wander in as they give you a couple pieces of sourdough bread to munch on. Then you can just wander back out if you want ~ and Ghiradelli is nearby so you can get a square of chocolate for your snack dessert!)
California Screamin' (must do! Very smooth, very thrilling, and a loop de loop around Mickey's head! And a single rider quick on and off. Not always available though as I think they just use it when it gets busier)
Bug's Land (as Caryn said, lots of theming, fun to walk through, but you can likely skip riding anything here)
Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters (cute if there is no line, otherwise I would skip it)
Mickey's Fun Wheel (again, if you can get on with little to no line, worthwhile as it gives you a good view of the park. The swinging cars are fun, but generally have a longer wait. I would skip it if the line was very long)
Radiator Springs Racers (yes, yes, yes!! Smooth, fun, cute story, great music, and with the single rider line, generally pretty quick)

cy1229
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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by cy1229 » Jan Tue 24, 2017 6:55 pm

OOH I forgot Roger Rabbit. That's a fun one.

When I was there, there was no single rider line for Indiana Jones or California Screamin'. Also, you have to get World of Color fastpasses first thing in the morning. Same with fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers but since they always have a single rider line, I wouldn't bother.

I liked the all-cheese Monte Cristo sandwich better than the one with the ham that Jeff got. But yeah, it's kind of greasy. The bread bowl salads at the bakery in DCA are better.

Amy had a really good plan, too. Shoot, maybe we should join you. :lol: :)
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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by wewantsdaredhead » Jan Wed 25, 2017 7:19 am

Wellllll I see I came to the right place.... :D

Let me read this and try and take it all in. I'm sure i will have some more questions.

And, yes it would just be easier if you ladies just joined me :lol: :lol:

Thanks so much!!!

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Wizzard419 » Jan Wed 25, 2017 4:10 pm

Quick answer, pretty much all of fantasyland can be skipped if you have no interest or don't mind missing things that are exact copies of what are at WDW (some things obviously are not in both so if you want to do it, go for it). You can also skip ToT (will probably be closed for you anyway), Soarin' (same film at Florida), Star Tours, and all 3D movies (same content as Florida).

Lots of stuff is closed right now (and will be depending on when you go) due to the refresh and update for Star Wars.

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by NaCler » Jan Fri 27, 2017 8:05 am

I agree with the ladies, just don't forget to visit that relaxing place in DCA for a beer.

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by cy1229 » Jan Fri 27, 2017 9:57 am

NaCler wrote:I agree with the ladies, just don't forget to visit that relaxing place in DCA for a beer.
Or 5. :lol:
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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by too old to grow up » Jan Sun 29, 2017 6:32 pm

Everyone has given good advice, so I won't rehash what they've suggested, but I'll add a few touches:

1) Dining alone can be a huge drag, but I would highly suggest grabbing a drink at the Carthay Circle lounge. The Carthay Circle is a replica for the Carthay Circle Theater where Snow White premiered. It's beuatiful inside - you can walk around the restaurant area just to take a peek - but there is also a lounge. The bartenders there now how to make real drinks (they're real bartenders - not people who can just pour a drink) and the decor is excellent.

2) For Beer - in DCA there is a Karl Strauss Beer truck (there are other places to get it), in the Pacific Wharf setting - they have the largest selection. Karl Strauss is a great brewery from San Diego.

3) Okay, I'm not just all about alcohol - I think seeing Cars Land at night is so much more fun than in the day. The lights make it just like the movie. Radiator Springs is a must - one of the best rides Disney has done. You can skip the other rides in Cars Land, but the queue for Luigi's is interesting if you have time. California Screamin is a must do! I do like the Animation Academy - but you've seen Turtle Talk with Crush before too.

4) There is no need to go on any ride in Bug's Land, but walking through it is definitely interesting. It is themed well IMO (though many disagree). Regardless, you can walk through it on the way to Cars Land anyway.

5) Tower of Terror is gone and it won't be Guardians of the Galaxy yet, so you'll miss that.

6) Other than that, there isn't anything else that is an absolute "must do" in DCA. You already have a version of Soarin and Midway Mania. Grizzly River Run is the same type of ride you've seen in other theme parks. There are smaller rides like Monster's Inc, which I like, but it's not great.

7) On to Disneyland - (again, not rehashing others) - I love the Disney Gallery, which is near Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln now. It's a Small World is better in DL than WDW - and since it's a high capacity ride, you can generally time it when it won't be a long wait at all. Peter Pan will a 45 minute wait, at least, almost continuously throughout the day. The Main Street Electrical Parade is in DL now, but I think that has been in WDW for a while now, so you've probably already seen it.

8) Carnation Cafe for a late breakfast is great. Maybe you'll get to see Oscar Martinez!

9) Pirates is a better ride in DL than WDW, but I also like the facade outside and the fact that you go by the Blue Bayou restaurant.

10) Golden Horseshoe Review is fun and not something you can do in WDW.

11) Avoid Nemo Submarines. Huge lines and very disappointing. I would also have to say that Autopia is not worth it.

12) Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel - yes, I know this is more "alcohol" as Trader Sam's is a bar. I believe they just opened one at the Polynesian Resort at WDW, so if you've been there, you might be able to skip this. If not, it's worth it. Theme is off the charts and it's one of the best Ahi Poke I've had before.

Have fun and let us know what you did!

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Wizzard419 » Jan Sun 29, 2017 8:12 pm

You forgot the cove bar, which is a popular option during WOC, but they now charge a cover during the shows.

Trader Sam's is considered better than the Grog Grotto at WDW, mostly because the workers at WDW apparently get very annoying due to the large number of drinks that trigger effects and high volume of customers.

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by wewantsdaredhead » Feb Thu 09, 2017 8:25 am

I really appreciate everyone's help...So what I did was, I printed out all your advice and then I highlighted the ones I must do. I made some notes and stuck them in my planning folder for this weekend. My wife is out of town and I will sit down and enjoy a cold beer and look at the map and make a nice plan.

:)

I will let you all know what I did and how it all worked out.

Thanks again!!!!

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Amy » Feb Fri 10, 2017 8:38 am

wewantsdaredhead wrote:I really appreciate everyone's help...So what I did was, I printed out all your advice and then I highlighted the ones I must do. I made some notes and stuck them in my planning folder for this weekend. My wife is out of town and I will sit down and enjoy a cold beer and look at the map and make a nice plan.

:)

I will let you all know what I did and how it all worked out.

Thanks again!!!!
So organized! It's a lot of info, you might need two beers ;) Looking forward to hearing what all you manage to fit in ~ have a great time!! :D

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by momeja » Feb Mon 13, 2017 1:22 pm

A few late additions:

Agree about Trader Sam's. It's a great way to end your Disney day.

If you have EE, go to that park first and hop over at Rope Drop to the other park. Grab a Fastpass on your way out.

We love the corn dogs at Disneyland - either the Corndog Palace or the Little Red Wagon.

Other food loves: Beignets and Mint Juleps at the French Market. Chicken at the Plaza restaurant. Stuffed pretzels anywhere. Matterhorn Macaroons and Peanut Butter Heaven at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. Disneyland is a great place to eat cheap! Wish I could say the same of WDW.

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Martr152 » Oct Sun 01, 2017 12:39 am

Trader Sam's is a great way to end the night. Get to know the bartenders and they will make you their favorite non menu drinks.

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Re: DLR in One Day Advice??

Post by Amy » Oct Sun 01, 2017 8:24 am

momeja wrote:A few late additions:

Agree about Trader Sam's. It's a great way to end your Disney day.

If you have EE, go to that park first and hop over at Rope Drop to the other park. Grab a Fastpass on your way out.

We love the corn dogs at Disneyland - either the Corndog Palace or the Little Red Wagon.

Other food loves: Beignets and Mint Juleps at the French Market. Chicken at the Plaza restaurant. Stuffed pretzels anywhere. Matterhorn Macaroons and Peanut Butter Heaven at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. Disneyland is a great place to eat cheap! Wish I could say the same of WDW.
Now that you mention it, the prices do seem to be a bit more reasonable in DL than they are in WDW. Not a lot cheaper, but more affordable and I think the food is better.

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