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Unread 30 Dec 18, 11:21 PM  
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The 1200 Mile West Coast Adventure - August/September 2018: Day 14: The one with the crazy crowds!

Day 14: The one with the crazy crowds!
Sunday 2 September 2018

Animation Academy, Incredicoaster (finally), Corn Dog Castle, Pineapple Cotton Candy then the evening in Disneyland Park for our last night in California


Today was our last full day in Disneyland and in California. To start the day right we headed straight to DCA to grab breakfast at Starbucks again. This time, despite arriving at about the same time as before, Starbucks was PACKED. The parks were so much busier at weekends in Disneyland, which was as expected but you could notice the difference a lot more than in WDW. After a long queue we struggled to find a seat as most tables were being reserved by families who hadnt ordered yet

Food was good again and filled us up ready for the day ahead.

We decided to head straight for the Instagram walls whilst it was still early to avoid the inevitable crowds later on. Our plan worked and there was only a couple of people ahead of us

The insta-famous Blue wall

Next, we queued up for Animation Academy. We were so excited to be doing this as we were really sad when it got taken away from WDW.

The wait was only about ten minutes and we were in. The character we would be drawing today was an angry Donald Duck! We chose a front row seat and grabbed a board and pencil and listened intently to the instructions.

We had pre-warned Imogen not to get upset if she wasnt happy with her drawing as it was just for fun and we knew how much of a perfectionist she is.

Izzys amazing drawing

My attempt!

Immy wasnt happy with hers and got a bit annoyed her drawing was brilliant but she didnt want me to share it so I haven't and I can't for the life of me find Andy's!

It was a lovely building to hang around in here, we could've chilled for a couple of hours listening to all the Disney music in the air conditioning!

We checked the app for an Incredicoaster fast pass but despite it being up and running there were none available for the whole day! We were really annoyed. We had five day tickets and had spent $200 on max passes, had booked and had our fast passes cancelled so many times and we had ridden it ONCE the whole time because of how often it was down - it was ridiculous.

Andy wanted to mention our frustrations with guest services. She agreed that wasnt a good experience and arranged for us to have a fastpass to Incredicoaster straight away! OMG! We quickly walked to the ride before it went down again how lucky were we!

We were so thankful we got to ride this a second time

We decided to have an explore around Pixar Pier and we had a wander round to Goofys Sky School for a quick fastpass

I was a little concerned about the lack of qualifications but we braved the ride anyway and survived

Next, we HAD to try a famous Disneyland Corn Dog

It was as good as wed hoped and one to share was just right to keep us going for now

Our original plans were to go to Napa Rose for a special evening meal tonight but we ended up cancelling it the day before. In hindsight we probably should have stuck with our well thought out plans but we just felt like we wanted more time in the parks as it was such a short time we were there for we just wanted something more casual, plus the dinner would have cost us well over $300.

So we could spend the whole of our last evening in the parks we decided to go back to the hotel now to finish packing and print our boarding passes etc.

On the way round, Andy spotted a fast pass had come up for Grizzly River Run and grabbed it.

Andy and girls went on while I looked after all the bags and browsed in the gift shop by the exit.

They got absolutely drenched as expected but they dried remarkably quickly due to the midday California sun.

On the way back to the hotel we popped to Downtown Disney to get the girls the pineapple cotton candy they had seen earlier in the holiday

It was ginormous and didn't really taste of pineapple however, they were thrilled to bits and it was a bit of fun!

We walked back to the hotel and I used the opportunity to check in online and print our boarding passes in the lobby, which was really handy. I then went back to the room to pack our bags whilst Andy took the girls to the waterpark to play for a while.

We all freshened up and got changed for the evening, the girls got dressed in their princess dresses and we walked back to the parks for our final evening of magic before we went home.

Ready to go!

Trying out pink hair all-round...

In WDW we always liked to spend our last evening at a special restaurant and then at Epcot to watch the fireworks and have a few drinks but there was no alcohol in DL and we had cancelled our special meal in favour of more park time so it was a bit different...

The princesses have arrived!

The parks were so horribly busy, although we had managed to bag a great spot with less than half an hour to go midweek for Paint the Night, even TWO AND A HALF HOURS before the Pixar fireworks show at DL, there was nowhere to sit and I am not exaggerating. It was nuts!

Also, with the castle being so small and the trees the way they are positioned, theres only a very select area that you ca really see the projections compared to HEA at MK.
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Edited at 11:35 PM.
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Unread 30 Dec 18, 11:21 PM  
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The CMs were going through the crowds talking to those sat 2.5 hours before but with an obscured-by-trees view You do know the trees arent going to move when the show starts, right sir?

We decided to pick up a matterhorn macaroon and a raspberry minnie macaron from Jolly Holiday bakery to eat later. The queue took a while but we were happy to have got our treats.

We quickly agreed on plan B - we would watch the show from afar instead and perhaps try to catch Fantasmic instead... (haha) Not a chance! You couldnt even get anywhere near the viewing area!

So, plan C was we decided to make the most of the rides instead of seeing the shows and tried to walk to BTMR to ride it at night with our fastpass we had just booked.

The park was so busy they had roped areas off to direct the crowds in different directions. It was so claustrophobic we were literally being herded like cattle and we couldnt get to the direction we wanted we had to follow the crowd and walk the opposite direction we wanted to go because we couldnt break away from the crowd, it was like being caught in the rapids. Horrible.

Stressed and hot, we finally managed to pull over to the side and discuss a plan how we were going to fight our way over to BTMR. If you are planning a DL trip, I implore you, try to go on a weekday! The crowd calendar wasnt even that bad so either it was wrong or it gets even busier than that! Argh! Disneyland is just too small to handle big crowds.

It was a shame we didnt get to see either of the shows in DL due to crowd levels. There was even a massive queue for water!

We finally made it to BTMR and joined the long FP queue. Luckily it moved quickly and we were on in no time. This time we were at the back, which I prefer as it feels faster.

We love this ride at night - especially the DL version with the sparks all lit up!

After BTMR we kind of wished we had kept our reservation for Napa Rose as we literally couldnt find anywhere to eat, it was all so busy! Plaza Inn smelled incredible and is transformed into a QS fried chicken place for dinner time but was queued out the door.

Tommorrowland appeared to be a safe haven amongst the madness and was not so busy. We felt much more comfortable with the crowd levels here and there was a Pixar Dance Party going on, which caught the girls attention! It looked really fun and there were characters dancing and loud music. It was also right next to galactic grill and lots of available tables to sit down and eat. Perfect!

The girls joined in with the dancing for a while

Andy and Izzy ordered some burgers for us from Galactic Grill, while Immy and I found a table. They werent the best burgers ever but we were starving and they tasted pretty good.

We had a chicken burger and a cheese burger and fries and then finished with our Jolly Holiday treats.

So much food colouring!

We hadnt yet tried Autopia, another ride that doesnt have fast passes and we thought riding it at night would be awesome. We walked over and there was a really short wait so decided to go for it!


It was brilliant and so much fun doing it at night.

We spent the rest of the evening browsing shops and picking up any souvenirs we have vowed to come back for and catching some of the fireworks shows

We loved this little coin-operated dancing Woody

The changing window displays in Main Street were fab

As we were leaving, Minnie was coming out for a meet and greet and the girls managed to get in line for a sneaky (and blurry) picture before we left

And just like that it was time to go!

We thought we would round off the night with an ice cream before bed, so picked up some Oreo and Haagen Dazs ice creams from the hotel shop along with a guava drink, which seemed like it would be a good refreshing choice.

The girls had decided earlier in the day they wanted to make a little den on the bottom bunk and had left a note for the housekeeping to please leave the den as it was.

They were so tired, they went into bed top to tail to chat but fell asleep within minutes Awww

A wonderful end to the holiday Tomorrow - one last breakfast with characters before we fly home!
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Edited at 11:43 PM.
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Unread 31 Dec 18, 12:16 AM  
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Gosh the park looked packed but you all still managed to have a lovely last park day😊
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Unread 31 Dec 18, 11:00 AM  
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A lovely last day with 2 beautiful Princesses. Love the Instagram photos. When we visited Disney CA the crowds were like that the 2 days we were there ☹️ we loved the parks but it spoilt our experience.
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Unread 31 Dec 18, 03:15 PM  
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The girls in their princess dresses awwwwwwwww! And their eye masks <3

Cant believe the difference in the weekends. Good tip for sure. Was it a good time of year to visit in general? Hubby doesnt like it too hot but California seems a lot more variable.

I have a feeling Ill be re reading this trippie numerous times whenever we can fit in a DCL trip in the future. For your food recommendations certainly!

Glad you got to finally ride what you wanted, yay to Andy for complaining and Disney for being so good at customer service xx
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Unread 1 Jan 19, 03:52 PM  
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The UP wall is fab
It sounds horrendously busy, what a shame
Still another fab day though
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 02:54 PM  
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Such good customer service re Incredicoaster.

Amazing last day, despite the crowds

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Unread 10 Jan 19, 11:27 PM  
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What a cool day, but not the crowds! Thanks for sharing.
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