Anaheim Journals

Disneyland over Spring Break

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An April 2004 trip to Anaheim by SFPhotocraft

Ariels Grotto Character Dining Photo, Anaheim, California More Photos
Quote: Spring Break 2004. We went to Disneyland -- are we crazy? We fought the lines, battled the crowds, and put up with some testy employees. However, even with all the trials, Disney still is full of magic.

Disneyland over Spring Break

Overview

Disneyland  Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
My first trip to Disneyland was in 1961 when it was as old as I was, six years old. I can still remember the magic of that trip. Here I was, a little kid from a small, Minnesota farm town. The magic of the place was real to me. I can remember being on the submarine ride and be so terrified that I wet my pants. (Okay that's more information than you need to know). But it was real to me and like going to another planet. This may very well be the time and the place that I fell in love with travel. So flash forward; here I am as an adult and an older parent. I have two kids that have to see the world. We go to Disneyland. It is forty years later. Would it at all be like the slide on the ...Read More

Disneyland Hotel

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Hotel

Disneyland Hotel Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
One of the great Disney debates is which is the best "inpark" hotel at Disneyland. There are three Disney hotels and there are two camps as to which is the best hotel, the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian. We have stayed in the Grand Californian and LOVED it, so this time we decided to try The Disneyland Hotel and be able to give our honest view of which is best. The Disneyland Hotel is much older. It does not have a theme. It is a high-rise hotel consisting of three towers built around a large pool. The Marina Tower is the main part of the hotel and the tower all guest check into, The Sierra Tower (the tower we stayed in) has the best pool views and is in the middle of the two to...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2004

Disneyland Hotel
1150 West Magic Way
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 956-6400

Ariel's Grotto Character Dining

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Restaurant | "Ariel's Grotto"

Ariel's Grotto Character Dining Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
This is without question one of the best places to eat inside the Disney parks. Ariel's Grotto is located inside California Adventure. It's right on the water (where else would Ariel have her eatery?).There is seating both inside and outside on a covered patio overlooking the water and park. If you have a nice California day, no question, opt for an outside table! It's Disney so it's all about the kids here. Ariel's has the usual cast of character's roaming the restaurant. We had Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, Chip and Dale, and, of course, Ariel herself. They all make the rounds and visit the tables, all except Ariel who only has fins, thus you are required to go to her for a visit. There...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 25, 2004

Ariel's Grotto Character Dining
1313 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 781-3463

Goofy's Kitchen

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Restaurant

Goofy's Kitchen Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
The name fits the place: GOOFY'S Kitchen! This kid's utopia is located in the Disneyland Hotel. It's considered the number one character meeting spot anywhere in Disneyland, thus it's VERY popular. You will almost always need reservations. Breakfast is popular, although this time we did dinner. The look of the restaurant is very plain and could be a large Denny's. The check-in process is slow and there is always a line and even with reservations a wait for a table. This visit all the help seemed a bit overwhelmed and a little like one of Snow White dwarfs: Grouchy. The food is buffet and has some wild items like peanut butter and jelly pizza or a chocolate pudding crawling with h...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Goofy's Kitchen
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, California
714-781-3463

Rainforest Cafe

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Restaurant

Rainforest Cafe Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
The Rainforest is located in Downtown Disney about a block from the Disneyland Hotel and right next door to the Monorail Station. As you approach it, it looks like a Giant Mayan Temple. This is not part of the Disney park as it's a Downtown Disney store and part of the Rainforest chain throughout the USA. It fits in perfect with the Disney theme and it's animation. It's a huge two-story restaurant with both inside and outside seating. Inside you have large aquariums with lots of exotic fish and sharks. The ceiling is covered in vines and flora. You also have the gorilla and elephant animation that turns off and on during your meal at random times. I found it annoying, but the kids couldn'...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Rainforest Cafe
1515 South Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, California 92807
(714) 772-0413

Blue Bayou Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Blue Bayou"

Blue Bayou Restaurant Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
This is one of two full service restaurants in the Disneyland Park and probably the most popular. It's located in New Orleans Square and on the exit side of The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. It's so popular I can't urge you enough to book a table in advance. They do have some stand-by tables, but the wait can be long if the waitlist is even open. We went for lunch. We had reservations. When we were seated, we had the first table by the entrance door and it was bright and the whole atmosphere was lost. We asked our hostess for a new table and she was very sweet and gave us a wonderful table right on the bayou -- it pays to ask! When seated, you are fooled to thinking you are din...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Blue Bayou Restaurant
Disneyland
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 781-3463

La Brea Bakery Restaurant

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Restaurant

La Brea Bakery Restaurant Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
Most folks here in Los Angeles know and love the breads fromLa Brea Bakery. The company started in the 1980s and has caught on quickly. It has made an impact with their delicious breads. When we arrived Disneyland at 8:30am and found we had a half-hour to wait until the gates opened, we were thrilled to see a La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney and knew this would be a great spot for breakfast while waiting for the gates to open.The bakery has two sides, one is a takeaway counter where you can order any of their tasty sandwiches or baked goods and eat them at one of their numerous outdoor tables. The other side is a sit-down patio with waiter servi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 10, 2005

La Brea Bakery Restaurant
1556 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 490-0233

Disneyland Park

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Attraction | "FANTASMIC"

Quote:
Fantasmic defies description. The show runs each night at 10:30pm around the Rivers of America in Frontierland and New Orleans Square. People start to gather early to get the best free seats (1 hour prior!) The show makes no sense and uses lights, fireworks, water, multimedia, and Mark Twain's Riverboat to do a show that will hit all your senses. It's colorful and has lots of movement and sights. The dancers are pretty good, and the last sight is the Mark Twain Paddle Wheeler rolling past, with every Disney character you can imagine dancing to a disco beat! It's fast-paced, like watching a three-ring circus (where should I look now?) It's fun for the kids, but the choreography will aw...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Disneyland Park
1313 South Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 781-4000

Disney California Adventure Park

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Attraction | "California Adventure"

Disney California Adventure Park Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
California Adventure is more relaxed than the Disneyland Park next door. It's a tribute to the great state of California. There are fewer animation rides and more shows or amusement park rides. We like the shows here a lot. Bugs Life, Soaring over California (use a Fast Pass here) and anything on the Hollywood Backlot is fun to watch. It's Disney - you won't be disappointed! The pier area is like an old boardwalk similar to those found in Santa Monica or Santa Cruz. The area is fun but less creative and less imagination than Disneyland. One of the rides everyone does loves is Grizzly River Run, which is a raft trip down a rapids. One drawback, we did it in the late evening an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Disney California Adventure Park
1600 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 781-4565

Disneyland Park

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Attraction | "Disneyland"

Disneyland Park Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
The park was PACKED because it was spring break. One day they actually STOPPED selling passes (can you imagine driving to Disneyland only to be told they were full?!) I will not go over spring break again. The lines and level of service really hurt the Disney experience. Having said that, we still had a wonderful time. I suggest using FASTPASS wherever and whenever possible. It's the pass where you are givien a time to come back and use a special faster line. Some rides had a 90-minute wait in line -- who would waste 90 minutes for a 10-minute ride? Someone must be doing it, because the lines were all full! It seems you would spend the bulk of your day waiting in lines and not riding the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2004

Disneyland Park
1313 South Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, California 92802
(714) 781-4000

Peak times vs Off Peak times

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Story/Tip

Disneyland Photo, Anaheim, California
Quote:
So, as you can tell by my Spring Break journal, we LOVE Disneyland. However, on this trip over Spring Break, the lines and crowds got to us. We felt we spent more times in lines than on rides - the fact is, we did! When a wait in the line is 90 minutes and the ride is only 5 minutes, you have to question your sanity!! This year, the kids had off on a Monday in May. It was a day when most schools in the area did not have off, and I felt maybe we would try visiting the park on an off-day. So we loaded up the van and headed to Orange County.I quickly learned we were not the only ones who hated going to Disney and fighting the lines. There are entire web pages dedicated to fighting the line...Read More