A Solo Trip: It's the Spirit of the Season at the Disneyland Resort! Dec. 1-7, 2017! *UPDATED 1/19*

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by AMusicLifeForMe, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    I agree about Lemonade. It was pretty cool. Just different than what I'm used to in many ways.

    I have been to NYC a couple times, but have never driven. Usually we go to our hotel in a taxi then we take the subway or walk everywhere else. The public transportation system is amazing there.
     
  2. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: First Day at the Disneyland Resort - Part 1!

    It was finally time to go to Disneyland! I would wake up bright and early, and I would arrive at the Disneyland Resort before both parks opened. This gave me plenty of time to walk around the Esplanade and get in line for my first park of the day.

    For those of you who do not know, Disneyland Resort is not like the Walt Disney World Resort. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are split by an esplanade where you can literally walk back and forth in a couple of minutes (depends on how fast you walk and the lines entering the park). Downtown Disney is also connected to the Esplanade.

    I would have a 5-day park hopper ticket with the new Maxpass system. I will talk about the new Maxpass system at another time.

    So, I would get some pictures of the entrances to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

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    My first park I would enter would be Disney California Adventure, and I would be greeted by the Christmas tree!

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    Disney California Adventure in many ways has become one of my favorite Disney Theme Parks. This park took on a new “feel” after they renovated it.

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    I had to say hello to Walt Disney and Mickey.

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    Hollywood Land didn’t have a lot of people, because everyone seemed to be heading the same direction that I would be heading.

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    The park would open, and I was off to Cars Land with everyone else that was up that early.

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    Cars Land is really decorated well for Christmas.

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    I would end up being first in the single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers. I would have to wait about 5-10 minutes for the regular line to reach the front before they opened the Single Rider line. That was well worth it to just walk on the attraction though.

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    I would then make my way to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires which is themed into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl!

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    I would then take some more pictures of Cars Land decorated for Christmas.

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    I would then go on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree which is themed into Mater’s Jingle Jamboree!

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    After enjoying a nice 30 minutes in Cars Land, I would make my way to Paradise Pier for my first fastpass of the day. I am also one person that is not happy that Disney is changing the theming of this area.

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    I was on my way to California Screamin which I am rather upset that this attraction is being re-themed.

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    After a great rollercoaster ride, I would meet up with a fellow Disboards friend. I would get to spend a lot of the day with @dina444444.

    After meeting my friend, we made our way to the Fun Wheel!

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    There was no wait for one of the swinging cars.

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    At this point, it had been an hour. I consider it a success that I was able to get 5 attractions done in one hour.

    We would make our way to the swings that also had no line.

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    Time for my second fastpass of the day! We would make our way to Toy Story Midway Mania!

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    I would barely win this game, but I did not get the best score in the vehicle.

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    Next, it was time to leave Disney California Adventure and walk across the Esplanade for the first time today.

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    We were on our way to Disneyland!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  4. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: First Day at the Disneyland Resort - Part 2!

    I would finally make my way into Disneyland! I was quickly excited about seeing one thing. That is the wreaths going across Main Street. Disneyland didn’t put these up for a couple years due to the Paint the Night Parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade.

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    It was time for my 3rd fastpass of the day! We would make our way to Star Tours where I would get to see the new scenes for the Last Jedi and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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    Next, it was time for my 4th fastpass of the day! The next attraction was something I was really excited to see again. It had been a couple years, but it was time for me to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday!!!

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    I might not be a fan of the movie, but I really do like that overlay.

    It was time to leave Disneyland and walk across the Esplanade for the 2nd time today. We were on our way to Disney California Adventure to get some lunch.

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    We would have reservations at Carthay Circle Restaurant inside Disney California Adventure. We would have the World of Color Dining Package which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Keep in mind the appetizer and dessert are a small selection compared to the normal menu.

    So, this was going to be very interesting for me since I was recently diagnosed with a health issue. It made me have to really think about what I could and could not eat, and this restaurant was very accommodating. For one, the waitress was willing to give me apple juice instead of soda as my non-alcoholic beverage which I appreciated a lot. Please keep in mind that the food options are not quite what the restaurant would normally serve.

    As an appetizer, I would get the salad that I forgot to take a picture of. It was very good.

    For my entree, the chef was able to get me a salmon that I was able to eat, as well as, plain white rice and green beans underneath. They also made a special sauce just for me. This was very delicious.

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    Carthay Circle Restaurant is my favorite place to eat at the Disneyland Resort, and I really like the theming of this restaurant.

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    I would get the sorbet that was good, but I would not eat a lot of it due to my situation.

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    Inside the restaurant, there are two pictures that I really like of Walt Disney.

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    After a great lunch, it was time to make our way across the Esplanade for the 3rd time today. It was time to wait for what I came to see at Disneyland on this particular weekend.
     
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  5. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional!!!

    It was time to wait several hours for the Disneyland version of the Candlelight Processional! Now, this is a very special tradition at the Disneyland Resort. That is because Disneyland doesn’t even advertise when this is going to happen. There are ways to find out when it is happening, but there are a lot of Disneyland locals that don’t even know this exists.

    Walt Disney started this tradition at Disneyland in 1958. It has been performed on the Main Street Train Station every year since then. Very rarely does this perform longer than just one weekend. The last time they did this was in the year 2012. That year, it was very easy to get a spot. However, Disney later made it to just be one weekend a year again. The only way to get a spot for this show when it is just one weekend is wait hours and hours for it. People wait an hour before the park opens (not knowing if they will get a spot or not) to get a spot for this show. If you want a seat for the show, you can only get one if invited guests do not show up and if Disney decides to fill in the chairs. Disney does invite special guests from the company, Club 33 members, and city officials to view this show. I think it is safe to say that if you don’t know how to get a ticket for the show, most likely we will never get one.

    So, it was time to sit down and wait for the show. At this point, it was about 2 p.m. and we were grateful that another fellow Disboards member was willing to save a spot for us. So, thank you to @Lesley Wake for saving a spot for us since about 12 p.m.

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    We would have a great view of the show.

    Now, the weekend the Candlelight Processional is going on, the Christmas Fantasy Parade has a modified route. It was nice to see the parade while we waited for the Candlelight Processional.

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    We were getting really close to the show. Who was going to be the narrator? We would be finding out really soon.

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    Another thing Disneyland keeps a huge secret is who the narrator is going to be. Everyone was assuming it was going to be Mark Hamill. In fact, we were getting reports that Mark Hamill was in the park. So, lets say I was excited.

    However, that is not who came up to the podium for the sound check. This years special guest narrator was…Chris Hemsworth! Now, I am not a Marvel fan. So, I was very indifferent about this decision, but I was still very excited to see the Candlelight Processional.

    Here is a picture of Dina, Lesley, and myself waiting for the show!

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    People were starting to get seated about half an hour before the show started.

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    The crowd really filled in once they opened more stand-by viewing.

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    I had to take a selfie
    commemorating that I was going to get to see the event that I planned my whole Disneyland vacation around.

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    It was time for the show!!! Enjoy the pictures of one of Walt Disney’s greatest traditions.

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    Chris Hemsworth made his way to the podium and the place went crazy.

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    One of my favorite parts of the Candlelight Processional is when the herald trumpet players start playing while standing on the top of the Main Street Train Station!

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    Seeing this show inside Disneyland was truly magical. I had not seen this show in Disneyland since 2012, and it was well worth the trip out to Disneyland. It was also worth it to wait hours for the show. It was great to have some company of fellow Disney fans while waiting as well.

    @Lesley Wake …It was great to meet you! Thank you again for saving our spot!

    Dina and I would then leave the area, and I would then look forward to the next day when I would get to see this show again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  6. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: First Day at the Disneyland Resort - Part 3!

    We would then make our way toward Sleeping Beauty Castle where I would finally get to see it with the lights on.

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    It was time for my 5th fastpass of the day which was for the Matterhorn Bobsleds. I really forgot how much this attraction hurts.

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    We would then make our way to Main Street where we would see the processional for the next showing of the Candlelight Processional.

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    After seeing the processional, we made our way to It’s A Small World. Now, It’s A Small World every year for Christmas is decorated with around 500,000 lights and has a complete overlay. I wanted to wait until the evening to ride this attraction for this reason. It is one of the best overlays Disney does, and it’s extra special to ride it at night.

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    It was time to ride the attraction, and here is some of my favorite scenes:

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    After riding the attraction, we sailed right back out to the beautiful lights on It’s A Small World.

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    We would then leave Disneyland and make our way across the Esplanade to Disney California Adventure for the 4th time. This is where we would get dinner at Smokejumpers Grill. I would just get a salad which is not pictured.

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    Next, we would make our way to the Paradise Pier area where we would catch World of Color: Season of Light!
     
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  7. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: World of Color: Season of Light!

    We would arrive at the Paradise Pier area to view World of Color: Season of Light! We had a ticket for the Carthay Circle Dining Package Section which is as center as you can get for this show.

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    Here are pictures of the show:

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    World of Color: Season of Light was definitely a great show. I will say that I enjoyed the 2nd half a lot more than the first half. The 2nd half of the show is very beautiful with the songs “Thankful” and “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

    We would then make our way across the Esplanade for the 5th time today. We were in a hurry, because we had 20 minutes to get to Fantasmic!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  8. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Disneyland’s NEW Fantasmic!!!

    We would make our way to Fantasmic with 5 minutes to spare! We would actually get a pretty good spot for the show. We got a fastpass earlier in the day, and it really worked out knowing that we would be able to get in.

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    Here are some pictures of the show:

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    The NEW Fantasmic is a great show. I’m still grateful that I got to see the first public performance of this new version when I came for the D23 Expo. I don’t think any crowd will ever beat that performance, but this show is still great! There are very small things that I am not ok with since I saw the original version many times, but this is definitely a not-to-miss show every time you come to Disneyland.

    Walt Disney World can really learn a lot from this version (and the original). :D

    Dina would end up leaving before the show ended. @dina444444 …It was great seeing you on this day! Thank you for the great company throughout the day!

    It was then time for me to leave Disneyland for the night. It was definitely a long day, but it was one of the best days I have spent at a Disney Theme Park in a long time.

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    I would then make my way to the bus stop where I would wait for the bus back to my hotel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  9. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake DIS Veteran

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    Absolutely! I was soooo lucky that I got us a great curb spot! For anyone else who reads the comments-most curb spots were taken up since 7-8am and I showed up at around 12. But as I was standing in front of Great Moments with Mr Lincoln a lady suddenly got up and walked away. I checked with people around her and turns out she thought people were waiting for the parade! So they let me go ahead and grab the spot! It was definitely great getting to chat with other crazy Disney fans!

    It was also a lovely day for the show, bright and sunny without being insanely hot (though I probably did get a bit pink from sitting in the sun)!

    Not when you have to hear the music over and over and over and over again and it disturbs your nap! :jumping1:

    Yeah, some of those ladies behind us were pretty annoying with their screaming at first. Thankfully they shut up!

    Also, turns out my mom's friend's daughter was his CM handler for the day, so she had to fend off people trying to come up for photos! Said he was really nice and fun to hang out with!

    It was great getting to meet some new Disfriends! Next time you come out we should hang out more, and maybe one day our WDW trips will cross paths!

    I love this ride during the holidays! It's just so beautiful inside and out! I sometimes even have trouble remembering exactly what's an overlay and what is the original ride, which I think means its very successful!

    It's too bad we weren't able to find each other! I think I was looking for you when I walked up, but couldn't see, and then the awesome railing spot opened up, so I wasn't able to make it over! It was a great show though!

    Yay-you made it! I know you guys were trying to figure out if you'd be able to get there in time!
     
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  10. Capang

    Capang DIS Veteran

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    Wow what a jam packed trip! I love the overlays for IASW and HM. I would love to see them myself someday (trying to get the family on board for a pit stop in Anaheim before Aulani....). I’d love to see the DL version of Fantasmic. You’ve really talked it up on these boards and I’m with you on your opinion of the WDW version. Glad you and the other Disers enjoyed the day!
     
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  11. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    - I was a bit pink by the end of my trip as well...even if I packed sunscreen everyday. I never used it though.

    - Thank you for sacrificing saving our spots and napping while listening to the Christmas Parade music. :D

    - That was a lucky CM. I'm just confused then why we didn't get any reports that he was in the parks on any social media website.

    - I will definitely let you know when I go back to CA. I'm sure there will be at least one time next year. It's hard to know when right now. Maybe for the Candlelight Processional again lol?

    - I was really happy to see both the IASW and HM Holiday overlays. It had been a couple years since I had seen them.

    - It was definitely a close call, and I almost decided to not go to Fantasmic based on how my leg was feeling after that long day for some reason.
     
  12. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    That was definitely a crazy day of going back and forth. It actually was very relaxing once we started waiting for the CP... If you want my opinion about going before Aulani. I highly recommend that. This last summer, my Dad and I went to Aulani, but we stopped in CA for the D23 Expo and a couple days at Disneyland. It definitely helped with the time change. When are you going to Aulani?
     
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  13. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Mmmmm I love In N Out!

    Wow what a beautiful view at night! I've only seen it during the day but the lights are so magical.

    I want whoever decorated Cars Land for Christmas to come decorate my house.

    I am too, but I recently saw the concept art for it and it's making me a little more okay with the re-theme. However, Pixar Pier as a whole I am still not excited about.

    Truly! It's so rough.

    Question- have you seen Candlelight Processional at Epcot? How do they compare?
     
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  14. Capang

    Capang DIS Veteran

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    It’s up in the air, we are activating our APs in July so we will be focusing on WDW for the next year. Possibly trying to head out next summer or perhaps next spring. I’ve always wanted to see DL as well as Hawaii so I’ve toyed with the idea of doing both in one trip.
     
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  15. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    I have seen the CP Processional at EPCOT (and I'm seeing it again next week *Spoiler for my next report*).

    - The BIG comparison is WDW does it from the day after Thanksgiving to the day before New Years Eve. Disneyland does it 2 days.

    - Another comparison is that Disneyland does it on one of its icons. WDW does it in the America Gardens Theater.

    - It is a whole lot easier to see the show at EPCOT than it is to see the show at Disneyland. The stand-by viewing at Disneyland is a lot less, because there are trees that block the view. So, there is not a lot of spots at Disneyland where you can get a great view as a stand-by guest. You only get a great view if you wait for hours. You can easily get a spot at EPCOT with a dining package or doing stand-by for a not so popular narrator.

    Now for my show comparison:

    I find the show to actually be better at Disneyland. I enjoy the orchestrations more at Disneyland than I do at EPCOT. They are still both great productions. Also, there is a lot more singers at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World.

    In many ways, Disneyland's feels like it is something special. EPCOT's feels like it is more of a production. Maybe because they do it so many times. Also, I feel like some narrators are better than others at EPCOT. Disneyland really tries to get narrators that read it very well which is something I don't know how I feel about this year.

    Hopefully I answered your question. It was really hard for me to put my thoughts on here about this lol.
     
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  16. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    I definitely recommend you experience Walt's park. :)
     
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  17. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 3: Second Day at the Disneyland Resort!

    It was time for another day at my favorite Disney Theme Park! I would arrive bright and early again to Disneyland to a sign that said the Candlelight Processional on it. I was very excited to see it again. I did some research the day before, and I realized that I had some time until I needed to start staking a spot. So, I was off to have some fun!

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    I would enter Disneyland, and I immediately noticed that all of the curb spots were taken for the first showing of the Candlelight Processional. I’m guessing that’s because people found out it was Chris Hemsworth narrating. I was still confident I would get a spot for the first show.

    My first attraction of the day ended up being a grand circle tour on the Disneyland Railroad!

    Due to the Candlelight Processional, the Main Street Train Station only operated on one side, and the entrance and exit was through the exit of the train station.

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    We would arrive at New Orleans Square Station which means I would soon travel on the new railroad route.

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    We were off on the new railroad route!

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    The new railroad route is really nice. I was very skeptical when I first heard they were changing it since the New Orleans Square-Toontown route was always my favorite route on the railroad.

    We would arrive at Toontown Station.

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    I was shocked to have a train car to myself on the entire grand circle tour on the railroad. It benefits to go on the train first thing.

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    We would arrive at the Tomorrowland Train Station.

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    We would then travel through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World!

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    We finally arrived back at Main Street, and I was off to explorer some more of the park!

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    I decided I would go ride Splash Mountain since there wasn’t much of a wait.

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    I would get my own log due to the weather!

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    I would arrive back to the loading area for Splash Mountain, and no one was in line waiting to board the log. The CM then asked if I wanted to go again, and I gladly accepted. I actually didn’t get wet since I was on my own log.

    Next, I would go on Winnie the Pooh since there was no wait.

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    It was time for my first fastpass of the day! I would go on Haunted Mansion Holiday! I really like this overlay a lot.

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    I would then walk past New Orleans Square where I would get a great view of Tom Sawyer’s Island and the Mark Twain.

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    My 2nd fastpass of the day was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! I always like to ride in the back of the Big Thunder Railroad train. So, I usually always request that spot.

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    I would then get in line for the Autopia. The Autopia at Disneyland is 100x better than the Tomorrowland Speedway at Walt Disney World!

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    I would then find myself walking back to Frontierland, and I would stumble upon the Disneyland Band performing in front of the Golden Horseshoe!

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    My 3rd fastpass of the day was for Indiana Jones! So, it was time to enter the Temple of the Forbidden Eye!

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    I got to drive! I don’t know if anyone else in the car with me appreciated that?

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    I would then be off to get some lunch. I would go to Tomorrowland Terrace, and I would end up getting a salad. This place was very accommodating since there were some things on the salad that I couldn’t have. So, the chef was very nice, and she would make me my own salad. I had to wait a couple more minutes than usual, but it was worth it for me.

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    It was now about 12:30 p.m, and it was time for me to make my way to Main Street and wait for the Candlelight Processional.
     
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  18. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 3: Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional…Again!!!

    It was time for me to walk down Main Street and stake my spot for the evenings first performance of the Candlelight Processional.

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    I would end up finding a place to sit right in between City Hall and the Fire Station, but there were several cast members that said it would not be a seating area for the show. I already knew that, and I was just waiting for them to open the street.

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    Disney would open the street about 2:30 p.m. which was a lot different than them saying they would open it at 4 p.m. I was happy I had waited there since 12:30 p.m, or I would not have gotten a spot for the first show. It was also difficult, because I was saving a spot for 4 other people. I had a friend joining me and she had 3 other people coming to view the show.

    When my friend joined me, we began to “switch off.” I would only switch off once, and I had a fastpass for Space Mountain. It immediately became a strange decision. That’s because I have never seen the fastpass queue as long as it was.

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    It probably took me 25 minutes to get to the merge point. It wouldn’t take me much longer to get on the attraction.

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    I really like the Space Mountain at Disneyland a lot more than the one at Walt Disney World. I find the one at Disneyland much smoother.

    I would return to my friend on Main Street, and I would end up meeting the rest of her friends. I also noticed that the chairs were setup.

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    This side of Town Square is actually my favorite side to view the Candlelight Processional. You have a better view of the narrator and a better view of the herald trumpeters.

    We were getting very close to showtime!

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    My 5 hour wait was over! Enjoy the pictures of the show:

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    I found Chris Hemsworth to be a much better narrator this evening.

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    The herald trumpeters are my favorite part of the Candlelight Processional whenever they play. They are awesome!

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    The first show was over. I would then say goodbye to my friend, and make my way to Main Street. I would then get in line for the 2nd showing of the Candlelight Processional! I would end up getting some nice pictures of Main Street and the castle while waiting in line.

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    I would end up getting a spot very close to the same spot I had for the first show.

    It was time for the second performance!!!

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    Seeing the Candlelight Processional 3 times on this trip was amazing! This really made my entire trip.

    I am really thankful Walt Disney started this tradition back in 1958.

    The Candlelight Processional was now done for 2017 at Disneyland. That means I would make my way down Main Street to Frontierland so I could get in line for the 2nd performance of Fantasmic!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  19. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,410
    Day 3: Believe…In Holiday Magic + NEW Fantasmic!!!

    After seeing two performances of the Candlelight Processional this evening, I made my way over to the Mark Twain Riverboat Dock to get in line for Fantasmic! I had gotten a fastpass earlier in the day, and that is where you go to get in line for the 2nd showing.

    While standing in line, I had an unique view of Believe…In Holiday Magic which is the Disneyland Holiday Firework Spectacular!

    Here are some pictures of the firework show from the dock:

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    I really like this firework show, but it is a lot better if you have a view of Sleeping Beauty Castle during it. Seeing the show with Big Thunder Mountain as the backdrop is a very nice option if you can't make it in time to see the show on Main Street.

    It was then time to get a spot for Fantasmic!!!

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    This new version of Fantasmic debuted in July of this year, and it definitely has some criticism among fans of the original (I being one), but the technology this show uses is amazing. I really like this version besides just a couple things. This is still a fantastic show, and it is not to be missed on your next vacation or visit.

    This version of Fantasmic blows Walt Disney World’s version out of the water though! The original Fantasmic also beat Walt Disney World’s version in my opinion.

    Here are pictures of the show:

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    I am really happy this version of Fantasmic includes songs from the Lion King!

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    After a great showing of Fantasmic, it was time for me to leave the park for the evening. I would make my way down Main Street towards the exit. There really isn’t anything like walking down Main Street all lit up for Christmas and hearing Christmas music at the end of a great day in the park.

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    I would make my way to the bus stop and head back to my hotel for the evening.

    I will have a special update posted on Christmas Day. Stay tuned!
     
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  20. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    42,389
    What a fun filled day! That’s incredible you got to see the professional 3 times. Seeing it once would suffice for me but 3 times is awesome. Fantasmic always looks so much better in Disneyland.
     
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  21. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,410
    I think I just got lucky with being able to see it 3 times. I probably could have seen it 4 times, but I was with someone the previous day and there was also other things I wanted to see and do. Plus, that was my only chance to catch the processional as well which I really wanted to see.

    I know I speak highly of the version at Disneyland over Walt Disney World. In many ways they just don't compare. Disneyland uses real boats. WDW uses a boat that looks like was made from recyclables. I find the finale much more "grand" at Disneyland for that reason. Also, I believe the performers go above and beyond at Disneyland. The amount of times I've seen the finale at WDW where the characters are not in sync at all to their "flag" waving is usually every time. The version at Disneyland, every character is in sync with each and it looks much more "clean." As someone who appreciates theater, music, performances, etc, I really take that into consideration when I am rating shows. Yes, the Disneyland version got rid of Peter Pan, but they still found a way to use the Columbia which I like. In fact, the PotC scene has really grown on me as I've seen the show several times now. I'll be seeing the WDW version of Fantasmic pretty soon, so I will definitely be able to get a fresh take on it since I haven't seen it in several months. I've just started to skip over it when I go to WDW lol.
     
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