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TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures

Author Topic: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures  (Read 8859 times)

bad-pink-tink

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CONTINUED FROM PART ONE http://www.magicforum.eu/index.php?topic=19290.0

Sunday 28 June
I arrived at my hotel around 3pm. My friend was meeting me at 6pm but I was getting hungry. I decided to get Dominos take out delivered to my hotel while I waited for my friend.

At 6pm we headed across to the parks.

60th Anniversary Diamond Celebrations Decorations at the entrance / Main Street Train Station




We got to the park about 6.15 pm and headed straight along the parade route to the top of the hub. The side walks were already filling up but we managed to find an amazing spot right at the curb at the top of the hub. The Matterhorn and parade route from Fantasy land was in front of us with the castle to our left. We were right at the corner of the roped off area in front of the castle.





The area we were in was seated area for the parade. We were in our spot by 6.30 pm and just stayed put. We took turns going for food and the 2 and a bit hours just went. It looked like most people in that area were there for 3 plus hours. When the parade started we had an amazing view as the parade came towards us and then turned the corner in front of us, so we got both the front view and the side view.

This is not my video but itís filmed in almost the same place I was sitting, so itís the same view I had https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EynQPitGabk

Once the last float past, you need to be on the ball though. As soon as the CM takes down the rope on the left, everyone jumps up from their seated position, and turns left for an amazing view of the Castle. Everyone from the other side of the street came over to our side and it got very crowded very quickly. Stay on the side walk, don't step down onto the street, as that few inches makes a difference as you can see over the the heads of the people in the front section. Make sure you can see both the Castle and the Matterhorn as they use the Matterhorn for projections too.

I'm not sure if its in every area, but during a certain section of the fireworks, there was an interactive surprise in the area we were in :)

This is a not my video but it is almost the view that I had
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuBMmWyLndM

Once the fireworks were done, it was insanely crowded. My friend had to leave but I stayed. From that area, its best just to go into Fantasyland, walk around IASW and continue onwards to Frontierland . It took me longer than I expected as, in the dark I got a bit disorientated and ended up at Toontown which was closed. I eventually found my way to Big Thunder Mountain and kept walking into New Orleans Square, where they were preparing for Fantasmic. This is the best time to go to Haunted Mansion and Pirates. Haunted Mansion was a 5 minute wait and Pirates was a walk on!

After Pirates, I decided to head back to my hotel as we have a full day planned for tomorrow. I walked back through Adventureland, around by Jolly Holiday and up Main Street. The second Paint The Night Parade was on so I made my way through the shops as much as possible to avoid the crowds. This is the best time to leave the park, during the parade, as the CMS keep a pathway clear for people to walk.

I made my way to the transportation area for the Anaheim Resort Transportation http://rideart.org/ This a local independent shuttle service around Anaheim, with Disney as the hub. I bought a 3 day ticket at my hotel earlier in the day for  $12. The ticket is validated at the machine beside the driver. My hotel is the first stop so once everyone is on the bus it just takes about 5 minutes to get to my hotel.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 10:06:09 PM by bad-pink-tink »
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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 09:35:08 PM »
Monday June 29
My friend S collects me at 8am and we head straight to the parks. After a quick stop at Starbucks in Downtown Disney for breakfast we head into the main park. As we enter the park we see the Main Street transportation / horse drawn car loading up so we hope on. Itís really nice to go at a much slower pace down Main Street and to see the buildings properly, as usually Main Street is just a place to get to somewhere else.  We get to the Castle we go straight into Adventureland to get a Fast Pass for Indiana Jones.  On the way we see Bert and Mary Poppins at Jolly Holiday and Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie in Adventureland.





After getting the Fastpass we continue on down to Critter Country and Winnie The Pooh dark ride.
Haunted Mansion (Phantom Manor ) and Pirates were next, both of which are different to their DLP versions. Pirates has Capitan Jack :) and then  a stop for some shopping in New Orleans Square. Then it was time for my Fastpass for Indiana Jones, S doesn't like this ride so she waited for me near the shops. This is not the roller-coaster that's in DLP, its a dark ride, in a Jeep on a track, very fast,with lots of noise and effects and scenes from the films.  After Indiana Jones, we did the Jungle River Cruise. Jungle Cruise is on a separate river behind Indian Jones ride, with very slapstick commentary from the skipper and animatronic animals on the banks

Next up was Mickeys Toontown so we decided to get the train from New Orleans Square where we made a short detour for some Mint Juilip ( a refreshing mint and lime juice drink) and Mickey Beignets.(Mickey Mouse shaped fresh mini doughnuts)

 

I loved Mickeys ToonTown, and all the little hidden noises and interactive bits.  After taking some photos, we went on Roger Rabbit ride, which I loved. The queue area is great, so much theming and things to see.





After Toontown, it was time for lunch so we took the train to Tomorrowland and then the Monorail to Downtown Disney.

 I had read about the Earl of Sandwich free sandwich offer on another Disney forum, so a week before I left, using multiple email addresses, I signed up to the mailing list and got 3 vouchers.  As we were near New Orleans Square, we decided to take the train to Tomorrowland and then the Monorail to Downtown Disney and have lunch using our vouchers in Earl of Sandwich.

We had no issues using the vouchers, the servers seemed very used to seeing them. It was nice to sit for a while out of the sun. After lunch, we went back to the Monorail but it was down so we walked back to the Main Park , down Main Street and into Fantasyland.

Next up was the new ride Alice In Wonderland. This was new for both of us, so it was great to experience it together. It was a cute ride, very similar to the other dark rides, half animatronics, have animations.




Right beside Alice is StoryBook Canal Boats, another gentle ride, with miniature castles and houses from the fairytales / Disney movies.




By now I was feeling the sun and the heat so we did Snow White to get out of the sun for a bit. When we came out it was really hot so we sat for a while in the shade. My body was really not liking the heat, my sunscreen was melting off my face! It must have been nearing 40 c !!

We took our time and wandered back into Adventure Land, where we saw the sailing ship Colombia was loading up. Last year I went on the Mark Twain, so this year I wanted to go on Columbia. It was good, but I prefer Mark Twain.  After the ship we went by the Golden Horseshoe just as the show was starting, so we decided to see what it was about and cool off in some much needed air conditioning!

This is an old style Californian saloon type theatre in Frontierland. Itís a very slapstick comedy show, with audience participation. Warning, if you are not into audience participation, sit at in the middle or back or in the balcony. 


By now it was just about an hour before our Fantasmic  Dining Package at Blue Bayou.  We wondered around the shops in New Orleans Square and sit for a bit listening to folk singing group dressed as Pirates.



About 40 minutes before our reservation, we went to check in at Blue Bayou and ask for a water table. While we were there we heard people asking about walk in tables and they were told no walk ins were being accepted only ADR.

We didnít have to wait long and were brought to a water table. It was not the best, the end table beside the bussing area, but it was ok. Next year if we get the same table, I will ask to be moved.

As we approached the table we saw the purple Fantasmic foam cushions on each chair and then we were given the set menu for the dining package.




My Entrťe New Orleans Gumbo


My Main Portabello Mushroom and Louisiana Long Grain Rice


My Dessert Strawberry Rhubarb Galette


S Entrťe Blue Bayou Salad


S Main Slow Roasted Beef Striploin


S Dessert 8 Layer Chocolate Hazelnut Cake


When we got the check and paid, we were given our Fantasmic Viewing Area Ticket. We were so stuffed after our meal; we just went straight to the viewing area. This is so worth the dining package. It is directly infront of the stage. As we were there so early, we got a great viewing position, second row at the railings. We were so glad we got there early, as the section filled up pretty quickly, as everyone on dining package not just Blue Bayou were in that section. 

An observation Ė not everyone in dining packages gets a cushion, only Blue Bayou and it seemed like some people were sneaking into the section behind the CMs back! The family to our left told us they had been at River Belle Terrace and did not get a cushion. It seemed like the family to our right had sneaked into the section, knowing that not everyone had a cushion. The mom and son ran into the section and sat down very quickly, followed by the dad and daughter. Everyone else had calmly strolled in and found a spot without crowding out anyone, whereas this family were space invading, squidging into a space about 10 minutes before the start of the show!

WOW, Fantasmic is amazing, I love the mix of live action both on the stage and in the boats and the animations and pyrotechnics on the water fountains. My photos didnít really turn out the best though.

This is not my video but it is almost the same view I had
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuAKOzTlUyM

After Fantasmic we left before the fireworks. S was tired, and I wanted to do more stuff in the parks.

We separated and I went straight to the train, which was loading. I was surprised it was still running as the fireworks had yet to start.  As the train started moving, the fireworks started and the CM announced that parents should cover childrens ears as we were going through Fantasyland. Wow, it was loud and we were very close to the fireworks. I got off in Tomorrowland with a plan to go straight to Star Tours. But by the time I got there the line was long again and I decided to leave it. Instead I went to Nemos Submarine Voyage.

This is another new ride for me as it was closed last year.  Everyone loads into a submarine, each person facing a porthole. It is really not suitable for anyone who does not like enclosed spaces, as it is about the size of a small propeller airplane. For me it was fine though. It is really cleverly done, with projections and animations and audio.

After Nemo, I went over to Buzz, which only had a 10 minute wait. I love this ride and the photo afterwards is hilarious and nope I didnít save it, far too embarrassing!

By now I was getting tired, so it was time to leave. And just like the previous night, I left during the second Paint The Night Parade, with just a small detour into Starbucks on Main Street for a late night snack.

By the time I got back to my hotel, my feet were aching so before bed I had a lovely bath to soak my aching body.
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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 09:35:42 PM »
Tuesday 30 June
S collects me at 8.30am and we head into the park for day 2.

This morning I go for breakfast in Starbucks in California Adventures. While Iím getting breakfast, S goes and gets a fast pass for World of Colour and Radiator Springs Racers.  The World of Colour fast pass is not connected to the ride fast pass system.

While I was queuing in Starbucks I noticed a promotion for a special 60th Diamond Celebration cupcake. Yes I know itís just after 9am but it looked amazing, so I bought one and sat down at the tables outside Starbucks to wait for S.




We then head around to Ariels Underwater Adventure. This is a dark ride in clamshell style doom buggies.  Itís a mixture of animation and animatronics scenes from the film with all the main songs.

Then onto Soaring Over California. This is a gentle flight simulation in an IMAX style screen over the main sights of California. It has smells and temperature changes,  over the snowy mountains a cool breeze, over the orange fields you smell citrus. The queue theming is a celebration of USA aviation history.

We then headed over to Hollywood land and to Monsters Inc. This is another dark ride, with animatronics and animation, with the main scenes from the film.

After Monsters Inc we wander around Hollywood Land, in and out of shops and sit for a while in the shade.

By now its about lunch time and S is getting hungry so we go for something to eat at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill LINK TO MENU https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disney-california-adventure/cocina-cucamonga-mexican-grill/menus/

I had Chicken Tamales
two Chicken Tamales served with Pasilla-Tomatillo Sauce, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Sour Cream $10.49



S had Chicken  Burrito Sonora
no Peppers or  Onions  served with Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, with Shredded Cheese, Guajillo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Sour Cream on the side $11.49.



After lunch we did some more shopping and then S was feeling tired so she decided to go home.

After I said goodbye to S I went over to the main park. I wandered down Main Street looking at the shops and decided to sit for a while people watching at the hub, on a bench facing Tommorrowland. I chatted for a while with a lady who was minding her grandson who was having a nap in his stroller.

I said goodbye to the lady and headed into Tomorrowland.  The wait times for Buzz and Star Tours were huge so I decided to get the train around to New Orleans Square. I went up to the train station and just missed a train so I decided to sit and wait for the next one, a 10 minute wait. The train pulled up and everyone got on, and then we sat and waited. There was a problem with the train system and after waiting for 15 minutes to see if it would be fixed, we were told to get off the train. Oh well there goes that idea.

I wander back  through Tomorrowland and decide to get some pizza for later at
Redd Rockett's Pizza Port  link to menu https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/redd-rocketts-pizza-port/menus/ I had thought of this last night but it was closed. Today though, I was in plenty of time. I got a slice of vegetarian pizza to go, I asked the CM behind the counter for a to-go box and I was given a sheet of kitchen foil, oh well, itís better than nothing.  There is a microwave for guests use in the lobby of my hotel, so when I get back tonight I can heat it up.

After fixing my pizza and resorting my bag I wandered into Fantasyland, through the Castle  and back to the hub. The heat was beginning to get to me so I decided to sit and have something to eat at Jolly Holiday, at the corner of Main Street and Adventureland Link to menu https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/jolly-holiday-bakery-cafe/menus/dinner/

I had the Caprese on Focaccia Bread
Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Lettuce, Citrus AÔoli, Basil Vinaigrette and Balsamic Glaze served with House Chips $9.29. It was a nice basic sandwich and the chips are crisps!



I sat for a while, reading my book and people watching. This afternoon is not very productive, in  the heat approx. 35c and my  overall tiredness I donít really feel like standing in lines for rides.

When my feet are rested I head into Adventureland. As I pass Indiana Jones, I see the ride is down. I go over to ask the CM at the entrance how long is the expected down time and just as I am talking to him, I hear on his radio that the ride has been given the all clear. Oh wow, now thatís good timing!. I stay put as I find I am suddenly at the top of the line. After another few minutes, the CMs get the all clear and I am at the top of the queue. Two CMs take the rope down and we follow behind. They walk slow as they know everyone behind me will just race through and they donít want anyone to fall. This is amazing, I walk straight down and I am in the first jeep!

When I come out, I see that the wait time has gone back up to 40mins!

I wander through the shops opposite Indiana Jones and then continue to New Orleans Square.
The weather has changed, itís not as sunny and the Irishness in me recognises itís going to rain. I decide to sit on a wall and see what the weather will do. Luckily I found a wall beside a CM umbrella at a closed up merchandise cart. Wow, this is a new experience, rain and  a thunder storm in Disneyland California! Itís odd though, itís still very warm and the rain and thunder lasts only about 10 minutes. As I am sitting sheltering from the rain, I check the time. I have a Fastpass for Radiator Springs and World of Colour in California Adventures. My feet are aching and I am not really in the mood to walk from New Orleans Square all the way to Carsland so I decide to stay in New Orleans Square.

Once the rain has stopped I head over to Haunted Mansion. I get lucky, maybe due to the rain, there is only about a 5 minute wait.

As I walk back along the water side, I see they are starting to section off the viewing areas for Fantasmic. I know this is the best time to go on Pirates so I decide to just hang around New Orleans Square.  I am sitting on a wall when a CM starts moving people from that area. An Australian family get annoyed as to why the CM is moving us so I chat to them for a while. I find out they are first time visitors, who have not done ANY research on the parks, have no idea about the night time Fantasmic show or even the regular ride fastpasses. They have a second day in the park tomorrow, so I tell them to go online tonight when they get back to their hotel and to research and try to plan their second day.  Really, in this internet age, people travel internationally to Disney without ANY research or planning, Iím just astounded!

I say goodbye to the Australian family and go over to Pirates. The wait time is still too long, so I find a seat near the railings where I can watch the queue. A Chinese family are sitting at a table near me and they ask a CM what the roped off sections are for. The CM explains itís for Fantasmic and that they should stay where they are to see it. I chat to them and explain more about the show as I could see they didnít really understand what the CM said. They have a great viewing spot so I tell them not to move.

Finally I see that the queue for Pirates has gone down so off I go for one last voyage to Tortuga.

When I come out, I see Fantasmic is hallway through, so I go over to the train station, to see if its running. Itís not but the CMS say to wait nearby as Fantasmic is nearly over and they will be going then.  So I sit on a bench, watching Fantasmic through the trees.

Once it is over I wait until the CMs start loading the train, and then get on. OMG, really, yet again, second time today, the train is out of order. Yet again, we wait for 10 minutes to see if the problem can be fixed but no and we are all told to get off.

Iím all done now, my feet are aching and I have had enough, so nothing for it but to start walking back to Main Street.  I take my time as I know the second Paint The Night parade is on.  I walk up Main Street, taking one last look at the Castle and then its goodbye to fantasy for another year.

I slowly make my way over to the transportation area to the bus back to my hotel, heat up my pizza on the way to my room and then its bath time to soak my aching body before bed.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 09:51:17 PM by bad-pink-tink »
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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 09:36:15 PM »
Wednesday 1 July
Today is a shopping day so I have a bit of a lie in as S is collecting me at 10.30am. I pack and check out and leave my luggage in the left luggage store at the hotel.  We go to one of the main shopping malls in Anaheim, The Outlets At Orange http://www.simon.com/mall/the-outlets-at-orange   This is an outdoor mall complex.  First stop was breakfast at Starbucks and then we hit the shops.  We were all shopped out by 2pm, but I wasnít really hungry, so we got a drive through burger at Carls Jr http://www.carlsjr.com/  and S brought me back to my hotel.

I had booked my transport with Supershuttle  http://www.supershuttle.com/ for 4pm so I just sat for a while in the hotel lobby to wait for the bus.

Supershuttle brought me back to LAX, the journey took about an hour and then I had to ring my hotel to get picked up at the airport. I had booked Travel Lodge at LAX for my last night in California. This was an extra night due to the mixup with my itinerary at the start of my holiday. My original plan was to fly home on the Wednesday night so instead of checking in at LAX I was now going to a nearby hotel.

The hotel was really nice, a bit more than Motel 6 but still within my price range. After checking in and finding my room, I needed to eat. There was a Dennys https://www.dennys.com/  right next to my hotel so I went and got take out and brought it back to my room. I really didnít feel like eating in a restaurant, I just wanted to eat and watch some TV.

Thursday 2 July
My last day in California.
Breakfast is included at this hotel, so just before 9am I go to the breakfast room for some food and free coffee. Its typical American hotel breakfast, tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, donuts and sweet pastries, make your own waffles, toast, sausages, scrambled egg, cereal, fruit and yogurts.

After breakfast I go back to my room, pack and then check out. I leave my luggage in the left luggage store at the hotel.

My flight is at 10.30pm so I have about 7 hours before I need to be back at the airport. My hotel is right beside the bus stop to Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Route 3 LAX to Santa Monica http://bigbluebus.com/Routes-and-Schedules/Route-3.aspx  The cost per journey is $1 payable to the drivers machine and the journey takes approx. 40 minutes

I get off on 4th street near Santa Monica Place shopping mall and then spend the next few hours on the pedestrianised 3rd Street Promenade, which is a shopping and restaurant area. http://www.downtownsm.com/  I go up one side and back down the other side, back down to Santa Monica Place shopping mall http://www.santamonicaplace.com/ I have something to eat in the food court and then I decide to walk down to Santa Monica Pier http://santamonicapier.org/ 





After the pier I check my time and decide to go find the bus stop back to LAX and my hotel. Goodbye Pacific Ocean, see you next year.

The journey back to LAX takes longer, just over an hour due to evening traffic.  I get back to my hotel, collect my luggage and get the shuttle back to LAX.

When I get to the departure terminal, I see that my airline check in does not open for another while, so I get a sandwich and find a seat.  I go back to the check in desk at the time listed on the board but itís still not open! I decide to stay put in the queue but itís another 30 minutes before the check in desks open.  Finally free of my luggage and with my boarding card I go through security.

I havenít been in the International Departure Terminal for a few years and I see a lot of changes. There have been a lot of construction going on in the last few years and the International departures have had a big renovation.  There is now a new food court and lots of shops.  I wander for a bit, checking out the shops and then get something to eat at Panda Express  https://www.pandaexpress.com/  (very popular American Chinese food chain) 

I take my time with my food and then slowly make my way to my airline gate.  I had noticed on my boarding card that I was allocated a window seat. When I got to the gate, there was some airline staff, so I asked to switch to an aisle seat.  My boarding card was reprinted and I now had an aisle seat. I looked around and saw that there didnít seem to be that many waiting for the flight.
When I boarded I was right, again, like coming over to LAX, the flight going back to Dublin was not full. I was so right to get my seats switched as when boarding was complete and the doors closed, I found again that I had no one sitting beside me and I was able to put up the arm rests and put my feet up on the three seats.

I slept most of the way back and arrived in Dublin in the evening of Friday 3 July Ė 10 hours flying time plus 8 hoursí time difference. Exhausted I collected my luggage and got a taxi home.

So thatís my California Adventures done for another year. I kept all my receipts and I have submitted a claim to my travel insurance company. Lesson learnt, next year I go back to using skyscanner and booking direct with the airlines.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 10:00:31 PM by bad-pink-tink »
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DisneyRon

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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 10:25:28 PM »
Looks like you had a nice adventure in Disneyland Tink. :)
Glad to see it all came out great after the issues you had getting there.

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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 12:56:42 PM »
There's nothing quite like that ache in your feet at the end of a day at Disney is there? I've run a half marathon and my feet haven't hurt like they have at the end of a day in Disney  :o  ;D

I'm glad you had a good time despite the initial issues. I'm very jealous you were there for part of the 60th celebrations. Did you buy any merch with 60th on or anything? I've seen lots of pictures on instagram of what types of things have been on offer and it looked beautiful with all the blue and silver everywhere.  ;D
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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 07:43:49 PM »
Great stories, did you get any character pics?
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Re: TRIP REPORT California June 2015 Part Two Disneyland Adventures
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 08:29:22 PM »
There's nothing quite like that ache in your feet at the end of a day at Disney is there? I've run a half marathon and my feet haven't hurt like they have at the end of a day in Disney  :o  ;D

I'm glad you had a good time despite the initial issues. I'm very jealous you were there for part of the 60th celebrations. Did you buy any merch with 60th on or anything? I've seen lots of pictures on instagram of what types of things have been on offer and it looked beautiful with all the blue and silver everywhere.  ;D

OMG, the aching Disney feet, lol. It must have something to do with the concrete and the heat and all that walking and standing in queues!! Being there for all the celebrations was fun, everywhere had blue and white decorations and theming. I don't really buy that much merchandise. The one thing I buy every year is a Mickey or Minnie plush with the year costumes. I bought one on my first trip and now I have a collection of them. This year I bought Mickey  and of course he is in the Diamond celebration costume. There was sooo much merch onsale, alot of it cheap tack , things you would never buy, but people will cos its the 60th themeing. This is some of the things I bought



Pirates themed Minnie Ears, Mickey Plush and Mickey and Minnie comic strip purse.
 I also bought a Minnie hoodie for my baby niece and a Haunted Mansion silk scarf and some pins

Great stories, did you get any character pics?

thanks. I don't do character meets and don't seek out characters so I don't take many photos. If I walk past them on my way to somewhere then that's the only time I take character photos. Other than the two photos above of Mary Poppins and Aladdin, I also passed by Goofy in TomorrowLand, outside Star Traders shop and Tiana in New Orleans Square





Looks like you had a nice adventure in Disneyland Tink. :)
Glad to see it all came out great after the issues you had getting there.

Thanks, yes, everything worked out in the end :)
When You Wish Upon A Star Dreams Can Become Reality
♥ ♥ ♥ Disneyworld Florida 1992
♥ ♥ ♥ Disneyland California 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,2016,2017
♥ ♥ ♥ Disneyland Paris 2011 2013, 2016