Thursday, December 31, 2009

Disney College of Knowledge agents are great for you!!!

by Leslie Campbell

When shopping for a travel agent, especially if you are not an experienced Disney vacationer; most people look for an agent who knows the answers to most, if not all, of their questions upon their initial chat with an agent. Before I took the Disney College of Knowledge courses and then attended the on site training that expanded on the on line courses, I only thought I knew a lot about Disney. Only after taking the Disney College of Knowledge courses, absorbing the wealth of knowledge it offered and had the privilege of 3 full days of on site tours which included most of the Disney resorts as well as all 6 Disney parks (4 theme parks & 2 water parks), did I really know all that Walt Disney World had to offer it's guests! The information I gained by being a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge has given me the ability to serve my clients in ways I could never have offered them with out the Disney College Knowledge courses.

Finding an agent who is always current on the latest Disney information is key to having the most "Magical Dream Come True" vacation possible. When shopping for your agent, one of the first questions you should ask is "Are you a Disney College of Knowledge" agent?" If they are, then proceed with your inquiries for your family's vacation. The Disney College of Knowledge agent will be on top of the latest news and information and can help you customize your Dream Vacation. Happy Agent Shopping!!

Once you find the Disney College of Knowledge agent for you, your agent will take it from there. He or she will book, plan, and make all the arrangements for you. All you will need to do is arrive at your Disney location, follow the provided itinerary, and ENJOY your Dream Vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dining with Stars at the California Grill

Laure Simms

As you may know the California Grill is located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort. There are two observation decks that you may go out on and watch the fireworks in Magic Kingdom. Our reservation was at 8:50 pm so we were seated just before the fireworks began. It also happened to be on a night when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was going on so we got to see the special fireworks that you only see at the party. If you can I highly recommend getting a reservation here late so you can enjoy the fireworks and the spectacular view from the restaurant. We had a great table with a view of the Magic Kingdom, actually there are no bad tables in the restaurant because there are huge windows so you can see from just about anywhere in the restaurant.

I would like to begin my review of the California Grill by saying I was not that excited about dining there. I'm sure that's not what you were expecting to hear. I am somewhat of a picky eater and the menu selections were not really appealing to me.

I was dining with a group of six. We ordered appetizers and shared them. Our waiter was really great and his service was fantastic! He suggested we try some of their famous flatbreads as appetizers. We had the Triple Cheese and I believe the Roasted Saigon Pork, both were very good. They actually surprised me. Now I am one of the people at our table who likes sushi, I had the sushi chef create a special sushi for me that was delicious. It was so good, I even told them they needed to put it on the menu.

Before my trip, I did my research by looking up what was on the menu for dinner and had decided that the only entrée I would really like was the Oak fired Filet of Beef. It came with sour cream mashed potatoes and broccoli. Myself and another dining with me split the entrée which was great, the chef even went so far as to plate the entrée separately for us so we did not have to do it at the table. I must say that the Filet of Beef was incredible, cooked to perfection and the sour cream mashed potatoes were to die for.

Now enough about the food let me tell you about the stars.
We enjoyed our dinner and were just talking among ourselves when suddenly one of the ladies with me lets out a scream. I had no idea why until she leaned over and said “That was Tyra Banks.” I did not see her at first but then spotted her. She was dining with a group and had very tight security, so we got no autographs but one in our party got off a shot with her Iphone. We did make a trip out to the observation deck which meant we had to walk right past her table. I don’t think her security people appreciated that but we just had to get a closer look. In hindsight we probably should have asked for her autograph, all they could have said was no. So you never who you will see or what you will see at Disney. For us it was a great meal and a fun story to tell our friends back home.

I will say that I really enjoyed my meal at the California Grill much more than I anticipated that I would. I highly recommend it for a fine dining experience. If you have kids with you they are welcome but it is really a more adult experience. I would suggest that you let the kids spend some time in a kids club and let the parents have a night out as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Florida Resident Perks

Florida residents have the advantage of Disney World being right in their backyard! It’s like having your own personal playground!! Who wouldn’t love that? But getting discounts, too, how lucky are you!!! Throughout the year there are many discounts offered to Florida residents for Disney World and Disney Cruise Line.

ON LAND, Disney World offers Florida residents discounts on resort accommodations, tickets/annual passes, vacation packages and special events.

By staying at a Disney resort you can save between 35%-45% on your room with benefits that include extended theme park hours, complimentary parking and guest transportation, spectacular pools and beautiful resorts right in the middle of the magic.

There are many choices for tickets! Right now you can purchase a Disney Play 4 day pass for only $164 per person, plus tax! This pass is exclusive to Florida Residents and can be used for four admissions to any of the four theme parks, one park per day. You can use this any four days for up to 6 months after first use. You can also buy 1 day, 3 day and up to 7 day passes at a discounted rate.
You can add the Water Park & Fun option to your 1-7 day base ticket for just $25 per person, plus tax, that’s a 50% savings! Besides the two water parks this gives you unlimited access to Disney Quest, Disney Wide World of Sports and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.

They also offer Annual passes, which are a tremendous savings and right now they are giving three extra months free when you purchase it by Dec. 31st. Some of the benefits of this are unlimited admission to all parks, free parking, merchandise discounts, special offers and exclusive events.

If you would rather a complete package, Disney offers those to Florida residents, too! The current deal is buy 4 days get 3 free, with tickets included! This offer will be ending soon, but there are always new similar deals offered for Florida residents. You can also add the Disney dining plan to any package. There are 3 Dining plans to choose from to customize your needs and it’s a way to make your vacation all-inclusive. Just arrive and enjoy, it’s that simple!

BY SEA, Florida residents can take advantage of special rates on Disney Cruise Line. Taking a Disney cruise is just a short drive away to Port Canaveral, where Disney Ships are docked and ready for a journey like no other! Embark on an unforgettable Disney Cruise to the Bahamas and Caribbean on select dates. There are 3, 4 and 7 night cruises to choose from with 3 magnificent ships and plenty of excitement for all! There are character experiences, deck parties, dining, entertainment, live shows, pools, theaters and youth clubs. There are activities for all ages! Not to mention beautiful beaches and fun in the sun!
You can receive a $25 on board credit to use toward a wide array of onboard activities, souvenirs, spa treatments and dining at Palo. This offer is only available for a limited time! This Disney Cruise line special can be combined with all other offers, but is for new bookings only!

For all of these great Florida resident perks you will need to show proof of residency. Proof of residency includes a drivers license, military ID, state issued card, voters registration or Florida College ID.

So, whether you choose LAND, SEA OR THE BEST OF BOTH (DISNEY) WORLDS, it’s easy to see there is no other place more magical to be!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

I have been fortunate enough to have attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party not once, not twice, but three times…so far. What is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party you ask? It is a special admission event held at Disney’s Magic Kingdom from 7 pm – 12 am during select evenings in November and December where Disney takes all their holiday splendor to a new level. As you approach the park, you are greeted by cast members in special holiday costumes setting a festive mood before you even have a park map in your hand.

As you walk up Main Street USA you see the Castle lit up in icicles. You realize you feel something cold and wet on your face. Is that rain? No, it’s SNOW. Yes, SNOW. Christmas would not be complete without snow and Disney wants to make sure it feels like Christmas.

Throughout the park there are locations with free sugar cookies and hot chocolate (very good hot chocolate). The locations are easy to spot with their lighted posts and signs pointing you towards the treats. There are dance parties with characters located at Cosmic Ray’s and over at Ariel’s Grotto. Snow White and Belle also make special appearances with their princes all deck out in their holiday finest over by Peter Pan’s Flight. Of course you must stop by Mickey’s Toon Town to meet the Main Mouse himself. This year my friends and I came upon an unruly group of pirates over in Adventureland singing holiday songs more suited for Christmas on a pirate ship then in your living room. They were very entertaining and encouraged audience participation. Their lyrics were great and I wished they had a CD of their songs.

Characters and food are only part of what makes this evening special. Many of the parks rides and attractions are open and since the amount of tickets for this event is limited, the wait times are little to none. But you didn’t come to this party to just ride the rides right? There are stage shows throughout the nights in several locations which change yearly. This year a new show, “A totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show” debuted over at the new stage in Rockettower Plaza. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas takes place in Belle’s Fairytale Gardens where she tells her story of an enchanted Christmas plus “Celebrate the Season” show at the Castle Forecourt Stage.

You want to get a spot for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas Time Parade. This parade is pure fun. Besides all the characters celebrating the season, the floats are something special as well. My favorite float is the one of the bake shop and as it passes by the smell of gingerbread cookies fills the air. This parade will make you feel like a child again.

If watching all those wonderful shows and parades was not enough, get ready for the Holiday Wishes Fireworks Spectacular. Disney is known for its daily firework shows but the Holiday Wishes show is not to be missed. Created just for the holiday season, the show is set to holiday music which leaves you both stunned and amazed. Who knew they could create fireworks in the shapes of gifts with bows or drums?

If you still have energy after all this fun, the shops on Main Street are bursting with holiday merchandise and will be very happy to have your purchases either delivered back to your resort or shipped home.

Each time I have attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, it has been different. The shows vary year to year, the characters change, the cookies get better and each experience is different. The first time I attended I focused more on the short ride lines. The second time I focused on the special events and shows and my third and most recent visit, I did a combination of the two.

Christmas at Walt Disney World is a special event on its own but Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party enhances the experience and is a true joy for children and adults.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Michael's VIPs Tours

by Angie Kennard

Let me start by simple stating “AMAZING”!!!!!

I had a handful of Agents all down for a Earmark Conference in Disney World in November 09 and I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than a MICHAEL’S VIPs tour for my agents so they could experience firsthand EVERYTHING Michael’s VIPs tour does for our clients who chose to use them.

It started with an itinerary. We were all going to be at Magic Kingdom, and since we were all coming in at different times, we were not the common client that goes to the park all at the same time. Not a problem! Our tour guide Andrew even called me to see if we needed anything and even offered to have a different service to bring us from the Airport.

There were three of us (Laure, Stacy and I) that had arrived and checked in and were on our way to the Magic Kingdom. We got a call from our guide, Andrew, wanting to know if he could pick us up at the Resort and take us over to Magic Kingdom himself. It was the first of many things that impressed us with such a level of service that I can’t even explain. When Andrew pulled up he had bottled water for each of us for our afternoon. As we got into the Magic Kingdom he helped with taking our pictures on Main Street as almost every guest does. We headed to Small World and he started by taking our tickets and being the Fast Pass runner to Thunder Mountain. This is normally a job my husband does on our trips and I know my husband was wishing he was there so he could not be the runner…lol. We rode Small World and Andrew greeted us when we got off and noticed that I used the sanitizer when we got into the park that he stopped to get us all our own hand sanitizers, again a level of service that was BIG! We then rode ride after ride with the guided best times to ride them to less traffic ways to get to them. Everything was amazing that Andrew did. Andrew was soon a part of our WDWTravels family since he loved Disney just as we did. He told us useful facts about each ride that even some of us didn’t know which was surprising. We ate a late lunch at Plaza and were seated right away with no reservation. The food was great and a nice stop for all. After lunch we met up with our fourth agent, Samantha. We then rode more rides with little or no wait. If we ever needed a tissue, drink or a break Andrew was right there with whatever we needed. We got to ride everything we wanted to in the time frame that we scheduled. One of our last stops was Main Street Bakery before we headed over to Epcot to meet up with our fifth agent Patti who had just arrived. As we got to Epcot we met up with her and had a cheers drink at the UK and of course I had Patti’s favorite blueberry muffin from Main street waiting for her since she missed our tour at Magic Kingdom. We then went to Turtle Talk with Crush, which was amazing even without kids :). Then off to Soarin, which is one of my favorite rides. Andrew gave us his great knowledge of touring each park to get the most of our days. Michael's VIPs is the same "Mike" of Tour Guide Mike fame. Most of us at WDWTravels use Tour Guide Mike to help plan every one of our clients vacations so they may get the least busy days at each park. This is a great service we provide at no cost to our clients.

We then did some shopping before heading over to Mexico to see Illuminations on the lagoon. The seats were the best we all had ever had and we all have been to Disney MANY times. The park was closing after this and it was time to say goodbye to our new friend Andrew.

As we headed back to our resort we couldn’t help but talk about our day with Andrew and how amazing everything was and that we really need to let more of our clients know about their services. Our services are all the planning before you get there to make the best of everything Disney has to offer but MICHAEL’S VIPs are exclusive private tours by guides who do this every day for families of 4 to groups of 20!
Our tour guide Andrew with a group

Michael's VIPs invites you to be a kid again when exploring Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld. Your VIP Private Guide greets you each day and guides everyone through the parks best attractions, shows and dining choices. Maximum fun, minimized waiting, minimized working and no hassles. Everything is top of the line with Michel's VIPs; from the contact of the initial request to following up after your tour. We highly suggest adding MICHAEL’S VIPs to at least one day of your vacation but be careful … you may get so spoiled that you hire them for another or even more!
MICHAEL's VIPs info:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beaches and Cream

Samantha Barnes

Beaches and Cream

Beaches and Cream is a small restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club that has the feeling of an old-fashioned burger and soda shop. This is a tiny gem that serves great burgers and one of the biggest desserts that you’ve ever seen! The jukebox plays lively music and the waitresses dress in classic diner uniforms. Because it is so small and that they don’t accept Advanced Dining Reservations, there might be a long wait to be seated. I’d recommend going at off times, perhaps a late lunch/early dinner. If you have to wait have some fun and spend the time watching guests enjoy themselves at Stormalong Bay or step into the Lafferty Arcade to pass the time.

Rule number 1 - Don’t fill up on the main course because you have to save room for dessert! The menu includes an awesome burger (appropriately named Burger Heaven), chicken sandwich, turkey sandwich, roast beef sub, veggie burger and hot dog. Then while the meek may choose the delectable banana split, chocolate cake or brownie a la mode for dessert, the mighty choose the Kitchen Sink!

“The Famous” Kitchen Sink includes a scoop of ever flavor of ice cream (8 total) served with all the toppings and a whole can of whipped cream. Officially it serves four but when five of us tried to eat it we didn’t make much of a dent! Probably because we didn’t follow my own rule of not filling up on the main course! The fanfare that accompanies the serving of the kitchen sink is so much fun – a story that your family will share for years!

Loyal Beaches and Cream fanatics know that Beaches and Cream has only been open for lunch and dinner. But know they have added a seasonal breakfast service! While the Kitchen Sink isn’t available this early, you will find a great counter service breakfast selection. While I haven’t been there for breakfast yet, it will be a definite must-do on my next trip. If you’ve been there for Breakfast, I would love to hear your comments.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Paradise Pier Hotel
a boardwalk-themed hotel at the Disneyland Resort
In the past 3 years my family and I have visited the Disneyland Resort 5 times and stayed at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel during 4 of those visits. Originally I looked into staying at this 3rd hotel of the 'Hotels of the Disneyland Resort', due to the fact that my family and I were visiting the 'Happiest Place on Earth' on a budget and Disney's Paradise Pier offered room rates that were reasonable. Although there are many hotel choices outside the Disneyland Resort, we have been spoiled at each of the Disney hotels by the simple fact that we feel the 'Magic of Disney' even while we are away from the theme parks; Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Park. We have definitely grown attached to that feeling!! When I visit the Disneyland Resort, I want that magical feeling every minute of my visit!!

During our 4 visits to Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel we have had the chance to experience much of what the hotel offers.
Here are a few points that we think are important:

Cost: As a 3-star hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel offers 481 reasonably priced rooms with many amenities.

Rooms: 5 Room choices are available: Standard View, Upper Level Theme Park View, Concierge Standard View, Concierge Theme Park View and 1 Bedroom Paradise Suite. Rooms sizes range from 360 sq. ft. to 740 sq. ft.

View from the rooms: When choosing a room with an Upper Level Theme Park View, you are assured an amazing site just outside your hotel room window.

Disney's California Adventure Park
Disney's Grand Californan Hotel

Proximity: The hotel is walking distance to Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure Park, Downtown
Disney and the Monorail, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney's California Adventure Park.

PCH Grill: The on-site restaurant, decorated in an Hawaii, beach-theme offers a character breakfast featuring Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Max and Lilo and Stitch.
Meals can also be ordered from their restaurant menu and are very reasonably priced.

Rooftop Pool and Waterslide: This is perfect place to cool off during those warm California summer days, or even October afternoons, and relax before returning to the parks for more fun, fireworks, Fantasmic, etc.

When planning your next trip to the Disneyland Resort, I hope you'll consider staying at
Please contact me if you have any questions about this hotel, the other Hotels of the Disneyland Resort,
Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


After careful planning, the long awaited day had arrived. We were so ready for Disney World; me, my dad and my two sisters. My dad and sisters had never flown nor had they been to Disney World, so we had a good reason to go and celebrate. You don't really need a reason to go to Disney, just the word Disney is a reason to celebrate.

My most recent trip to Disney, I did celebrate it with my sisters and our dad in November 2009 and all the Christmas decorations were up and so pretty. That will certainly get you in the Christmas spirit. What a wonderful feeling it gave me to be able to share this experience with them. I have been to Disney several times in the last year, but this was my favorite. It was a chance for me to make a magical memory, they would never forget.

From the airport, we boarded the Magical Express and headed to the Pop Century Resort. They loved the idea of not having to deal with luggage. When we arrived, I had already checked in online, so there were no problems, everything went well. We found our rooms to be very nice and accommodating. It wasn't very long until our luggage was delivered to our room. There were towels on the beds in the shape of Mickeys and everyone thought that was cool. I had requested adjoining rooms so we could have more of a family feeling and it was granted. Disney has a way of making you feel very special and there are so many extras and different touches you can add to your vacation to make it extra special. The Pop Century has a very nice food court. There was a wide variety of foods to choose from, and something for everyone. Our package included the Quick-Service meal plan, but I decided to upgrade to the regular dining plan and was very glad with my decision. It gave us a chance to try many different restaurants, at all the parks. I made all the reservations prior to our trip and did not have any problems what so ever.

We planned to go to Epcot on our first day. It was very nice to have Disney transportation. It was so easy just to walk out and get on the bus and not have to drive yourself around in all the traffic and deal with parking. We got a chance to eat in Canada at the LeCellier Steakhouse and the food was just fabulous, such great service! We enjoyed all the sights and even Dad did the rides. He loved Soarin. There is something for everyone at Disney. We continued the day at Epcot and finished it off with the Illuminations. It was a wonderful experience, just gorgeous.

We managed to enjoy all the parks, fireworks, food, and all the dancing lights. My family also loved Downtown Disney. They liked the busy feel and also enjoyed eating at Captain Jack’s.

My family commented on how everything was so coordinated and well planned and thanked me for such wonderful memories. We are still talking about our trip and already planning to go again.

There are a lot of things in life to celebrate, just life itself, and what a way to spend it, I can’t think of any better way to spend it than with family, friends and loved ones at Disney World.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Trip to Disneyland

Angie Kennard

I asked Glendon to write a blog for us since he just travelled to Disneyland for the first time. Here is what he had to say:

My First Trip to Disneyland By Glendon
I want to try to give an overview of the Resort and detail the good and not so good things as well as the differences between Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort.

This trip started out as a solo trip then with some help I was able to surprise Larissa with the trip for her birthday and Adam decided to tag along as well. So after months of planning and research we were finally off to the Happiest Place on Earth. We we’re going from Oct 19th- 25th. I was going to be able to celebrate my birthday at a Disney Park for the very first time!!! I was really looking forward to that (as well as the $72 gift card).

We arrived at LAX at about Noon PST and grabbed our luggage and went to wait for the Disneyland Express. Not the same as Magical Express, no video but still a comfy ride to your Disneyland area hotel. The platform was easy enough to find and it wasn’t too long of a wait. We had a 45 min drive to the resort area. Without the video to watch the drive seemed incredibly long!!! But at last we arrived at the Disneyland Hotel where they collect your transportation vouchers or you pay for your transfer if you didn’t opt for it as part of your pkg. Unlike Magical Express you have to pay for this service. We were staying at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel and were the last stop on route. The hotel has a retro theme to it and is quite nice. Some things do need some updating but overall it was a nice hotel. We checked in and had a room in the centre of the resort on the ground floor. Our room was clean and large but there was no way 2 adults could share those double beds. Luckily enough our room had a cot so Larissa would be able to sleep on that (she did say it was quite comfortable). Since we only had 4 day hoppers we decided to just have something to eat and head over to Downtown Disney.

We had our lunch/dinner at Mimi’s Café right across the street from the HoJo. This place is soooooo good. It gets rave reviews from all of us. We ate here several times over the next few days. Portions were large and prices extremely reasonable. After we dropped off my leftovers at room (each room has a fridge and coffee maker) we headed to Downtown Disney.

To get here you simply walk down the street to the Disneyland Resort Main Entrance and instead of going into Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure you keep heading straight and wind up in Downtown Disney. I love the World of Disney here in Anaheim. It is a long store so it’s a lot easier to keep track of people here as opposed to all the connecting rooms in Orlando. At this Downtown Disney you will also find an AMC, Lego Store, ESPN Zone, Sephora, Anne Geddes and a great mix of different eateries. We visited Downtown Disney several times over the trip. Not as large as the one at Walt Disney World but I found it better to not have a bunch of stores all selling the same Disney merchandise over and over again.

Now onto Disneyland itself, we actually didn’t hit the park until Oct 20th, which was my birthday. Now if you have been to WDW you need to know that the Disneyland Resort is nowhere near the size of WDW. That being said Disneyland Park has more attractions than Magic Kingdom. We we’re able to do the Halloween version of Space Mountain, called Ghost Galaxy. It was a lot of fun and we rode this more than any other ride the whole trip. We enjoyed the Matterhorn even though it was incredibly bumpy. Some other standout attractions were the Haunted Mansion Holiday, which was a nice change to the normal Haunted Mansion. It’s a Small World with the addition of the Disney characters was nice. Big Thunder Mountain seemed longer and more detailed. The same goes for Pirates Of The Caribbean as well. Indiana Jones was a lot of fun but also very bumpy, same ride mechanics as Dinosaur at AK.

The two biggest differences between Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are both in size. First would be the size of the castles; Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is less than half the size of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. Which if you are a WDW vet can be seem like a lacklustre centrepiece. But Aurora’s castle has a great walk through attraction which tells the story of Sleeping Beauty. Second size difference is the size of the Park itself. Unlike Magic Kingdom at WDW and other Disney parks there’s no subtle transition between lands. While waiting in line for Haunted Mansion you can hear the people screaming as they come down the hill of Splash Mountain. It is quite clear they had no more room to expand the park so they just squeeze in new additions wherever they can find the room. Which makes going from attraction to the next really quick but does take away from the general theme of each area. Our biggest problem with the lack of space was when we wanted to watch fireworks and see Fantasmic!

At Disneyland this year fireworks (Halloween Screams) were being presented nightly which meant many annual pass holders came each night and “set up camp” on Main Street USA literally sprawling out on a blanket with food etc. While waiting for fireworks. Not only did this make for it hard to navigate the HUB or anywhere on Main Street it seemed also very different than Magic Kingdom. I have never seen people do this at WDW for any of the fireworks, but with Disneyland being a local’s park that is the reason for it. The show itself was fantastic (we even saw it right from the HoJo one night) and very similar to Hallowishes at Magic Kingdom.

Now onto Fantasmic. At Walt Disney World it is presented at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Hollywood Hills Theatre so everyone gets a seat and everything tends to happen in some sort of orderly fashion. Well at Disneyland, Fantasmic is presented on the Rivers of America where there is no seating and just like the fireworks people set up camp and sit for hours before the show. We did manage to see the second show by literally trying to dive our way through the crowds once they were told to move for cleaning up between shows. Now as for the show itself it was GREAT!!! The Peter Pan and Ursula sequences were awesome and the new Dragon!!! Wow I really hope we get this Maleficent dragon at Disney's Hollywood Studios someday.

As for the different lands of the park I must say there were three that really stood out to me. New Orleans Square was beautiful and I truly felt as if we were somewhere completely different. Mickey’s Toontown was fun and I really enjoyed seeing Jessica and Roger immortalized in their very own ride. Finally Main Street USA felt more quaint and real to me at Disneyland than at Magic Kingdom. I guess having the front porches and random places to sit seemed to make it more like a real street to me rather than just a bunch of stores lined together.

Whenever I go to Walt Disney World a big part of the trip for me is meeting characters and Disneyland didn’t disappoint. We got to meet all sorts of Characters. From Villains to Mickey and Friends, to movie characters and fairies. Some meets are more random at Disneyland than the actual meet and greet areas at Walt Disney World, which can make it more fun to find the Fairy Godmother just hanging out by the castle or difficult to find a certain one, but you can always ask at City Hall. The one truly cool character I got to meet was Jack Skellington. He does meet and greets by the Haunted Mansion during the HMH. I was really happy I got to meet him.
Disneyland is really easy to navigate and I am glad that I have been. It was nice to see the original park. Some say you should not try to compare it to Magic Kingdom but it is really hard not to do. The Halloween decor was really cute and fun at both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.

Now as for Disney’s California Adventure you can certainly tell this is a “new” park. There is all sorts of space here. It is very reminiscent of Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. This park is not as easy to navigate as Disneyland but with the upcoming addition of Cars land that may change. I loved the theme of this park and it has some truly amazing attractions. California Screamin’ was tons of FUN!!!! This rollercoaster looks like your traditional Boardwalk wooden rollercoaster but it’s not! Mickey’s Fun Wheel was a great twist to your typical ferris wheel ride. Adam was a little surprised by this one! The Tower of Terror was different here, no random sequences but we still enjoyed it. Soarin’ was just like being back at EPCOT again.

The park itself is quite beautiful and the Grizzly Peak is interesting. This park is in the midst of a major overhaul and upgrade so there really wasn’t too much to do here.

Characters were plentiful here and easy to find. We also attended Mickey’s Treat or Treat Party here at Disney's California Adventure. It was sold out and really busy but nowhere near as bad as Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. It was fun and we got to meet a lot of characters but not having fireworks did seem to make the party a bit of a letdown.

This is where I picked up my birthday Fun Card and button. The line at the Town Hall in Disneyland was out the door but at Disney's California Adventure there was no line! We had our only sit down Disney Park meal at Ariel’s Grotto here at Disney's California Adventure. It was my birthday breakfast. It was good but I do think Akershus at Epcot is better. The Princesses were lovely and this is the only way you can guarantee a meet with Ariel here at the Disnelyland Resort. I got to meet 5 Princesses here since Adam and Larissa decided to let me have my birthday moment with each of the ladies. I met Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Aurora and Cinderella. We met Aladdin and Jasmine at Disneyland a few days later.

Here at Disney's California Adventure the Halloween decor consisted of Goofy’s Candy Corn Acres, the main entrance plaza was decked out with all sorts of Candy Corn fruits and vegetables goofy had grown as well as a HUGE candy corn which was the backdrop for various character meets throughout the day.

Once all the additions and upgrades are added I really think Disney's California Adeventure will become the park it is was meant to be.

Overall I am glad I visited the Disneyland Resort. It was nice to see “Walt’s Park”. Will I go back? Not sure. I would one day love to visit Disneyland Paris and Tokyo but you never know. I would suggest that if you do decide to make the trip to California be sure to see Hollywood, Los Angeles and Universal Studios Hollywood. They were great additions to our trip to Disneyland.