Backstage ABD review with SWGE

dolewhipdreams

Counting days until my next Dole Whip
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
@Steven G This is kind of a random question, but do you remember at what time you were finished with the farewell breakfast on the last day?
 

Steven G

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
@Steven G This is kind of a random question, but do you remember at what time you were finished with the farewell breakfast on the last day?
The breakfast was from 7am to 9am. Actually they met in lobby of GCH at 7am, and walked to Disneyland hotel, so they probably didn’t get to breakfast until 715 or 720. Since I was in no rush and we wanted more sleep time, and I knew how to get there, my son and I arrived at 8 am at the hotel separately. I believe we finished around 830. There were a few groups that left earlier, and some were still there when I left.
 
  • TarotFox

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2019
    If you want to use the full day's worth of the park ticket on the last day, you basically need to get a post-day, right?
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    If you want to use the full day's worth of the park ticket on the last day, you basically need to get a post-day, right?
    Not necessarily. If you have a really late flight out, you can have the resort hold your luggage, and then go to the park until you need to head to the airport. Adding a post-day makes it easier, though.

    Sayhello
     

    Steven G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2016
    I have done the trip twice, and both times had the ability to stay the entire day, and didn't (first time I only lived 50 miles away, second time we had 2 post days).

    Reason being, both times we were so exhausted. The trip has you up early in the morning every day, and if you want to experience everything, going to bed pretty late. The actual walking around is not so bad (unless you are out of shape), it's just that you are going to be averaging about 6-7 hours of sleep unless you take breaks during "on your own" time.

    So even if you have a late afternoon, unless you are determined to get everything from your ticket, I think you will be ok not using the entire day.

    YMMV, etc.
     

    dolewhipdreams

    Counting days until my next Dole Whip
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2017
    The breakfast was from 7am to 9am. Actually they met in lobby of GCH at 7am, and walked to Disneyland hotel, so they probably didn’t get to breakfast until 715 or 720. Since I was in no rush and we wanted more sleep time, and I knew how to get there, my son and I arrived at 8 am at the hotel separately. I believe we finished around 830. There were a few groups that left earlier, and some were still there when I left.
    Thank you! We will have to run to the car rental place at some point that morning and it’s nice to know that we’ll have time to do that.
     
  • TarotFox

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2019
    I have done the trip twice, and both times had the ability to stay the entire day, and didn't (first time I only lived 50 miles away, second time we had 2 post days).

    Reason being, both times we were so exhausted. The trip has you up early in the morning every day, and if you want to experience everything, going to bed pretty late. The actual walking around is not so bad (unless you are out of shape), it's just that you are going to be averaging about 6-7 hours of sleep unless you take breaks during "on your own" time.

    So even if you have a late afternoon, unless you are determined to get everything from your ticket, I think you will be ok not using the entire day.

    YMMV, etc.
    I won't know till I do it, but at least for me I only average 4 hours of sleep a night anyway. Early mornings are hard for me, but if I stay in the park until midnight and fall asleep at 1 or earlier... sounds great haha.
     

    minnie4ever

    I work to travel...where to next??
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2014
    For my post days, not sure what kind of tickets to buy. 1 park each day plus Maxpass or 2 parkhoppers with Maxpass….Since I probably won't be back
    across to Calif DL for several years as I will be cruising or going to my home parks at WDW.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    For my post days, not sure what kind of tickets to buy. 1 park each day plus Maxpass or 2 parkhoppers with Maxpass….Since I probably won't be back
    across to Calif DL for several years as I will be cruising or going to my home parks at WDW.
    Definitely Park Hoppers. If one of the parks closes earlier than the other, you can continue your day. Or if you want to eat in one park for dinner, another for lunch, etc. It's really easy to park hop, so if you can swing it, why not? Give yourself options.

    Sayhello
     
  • minnie4ever

    I work to travel...where to next??
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2014
    I didn't include all the activities, just the ones that were different from my two ABDs.

    Here is a breakdown of all the activities that I remember:
    Day 1: Met at airport by driver at baggage area. Real nice guy. We had major problems with our luggage, because LAX couldn't figure out what baggage claim to put the luggage in, took over an hour to get our luggage. Drive to Hollywood uneventful, but slow due to traffic. Room wasn't ready yet, but we met our guides and we had our luggage held. Went to lunch on our own. Room was ready, so we rested there until group dinner. Dinner was in hotel conference room, quite fancy buffet (included wine). Got noticed by the guides since it was our second trip. Met lots of cool people. On our own, we went to the El Capitan theater to see Aladdin, guides gave us other suggestions as well.

    Day 2: Early start (like most days). Breakfast at hotel restaurant, again buffet. Did the Hollywood tour. The Chinese theater was busy when we went with a high school graduation, so we had to visit it later in the day. We saw the Dolby Theater (but not the inside), the walk of fame, the chinese theater, muppet studios. We loved the Muppet Studios, such a cute and cool place. We had Tam O'Shanter for lunch (very good) but it was from a limited menu, and alcohol was extra. The tour guides pointed out many places in Hollywood during our bus ride. We also saw the Carousel in Griffith Park (almost 100 degrees at that point). The guides invited us to an Ice Cream Social at the Ghiradellis. We were too tired for dinner, and the ice cream filled us up.

    Day 3: Early start again. Had to get our luggage ready for the morning. Breakfast at hotel (same place), buffet. Studios (including archive), and Imagineering. I won't go too much into these. Note that we didn't get to see Walt's office, although it was pointed out to us. (I think the only way to see that is sometimes on D23 Studio tours, because that is how I saw Walt's office a couple years ago). Had buffet lunch at Studios. Long bus ride to Disneyland (had Muppet Movie and Tangled playing). Checked in, got our luggage, and went into Disneyland. Had dinner at French Market. Went as a group into Haunted Mansion. Saw Fantasmic as a group (to the left of Hungry Bear, not best view). Rest was on your own.

    Day 4: Early start again. First people to be in Disneyland in front of the castle (the SWGE people were going to Tomorrowland.) The BEST experience for me on the whole trip. Had character breakfast at Plaza Inn. Met the Disney ambassador. Did the Disneyland tour. Behind the Scenes at Indiana Jones, and then rode the ride as a group. Rode Matterhorn as a group. Rode Peter Pan as a group. Saw Mickey at his house as a group. There may have been one or two more that we rode as a group. Gave us $25 in dining credits (each) for lunch (we had enough left over for dinner too). Saw Walt's apartment as a group. Went to SWGE at 2pm, but without the guides, so it was on our own. Saw the fireworks as a group. (note that we didn't see parade, presumably because of SWGE). The fireworks area was in front of Plaza Inn, so a little off center, but still great view. Note that there is no visit to Dream Suite.

    Day 5: Early start again. Character Breakfast at Storytellers. DCA tour. Behind the Scenes at both Soarin and Radiator Springs. Rode Toy Story Mania as group. Visited Carthay Circle as a group (before it opened). Had most of afternoon (and parts of the evening) on our own, including lunch. We met at the hotel, and went to a conference room where we talked about our trip, and the guides had a nice slideshow of events of the last few days. Had dinner at Carthay Circle as a group. Watched World of Color as a group. We had a great view of WOC, it was pretty close to center, but a little to the right. You had to stand, because of the people in front of us.

    Day 6: Breakfast at Steakhouse 55 as a group. Said our goodbyes. The guides were nice enough to set me up to get an Uber to my car rental location (I continued our trip for a couple days outside of the resort).


    All in all, Fantasmic definitely had the worst view of the 3 spectaculars.

    Day 2 and Day 3 were very hot. Day 4 was still hot, but not quite as bad. Day 5 and 6 were great.

    Highlights:
    Day 2: Muppet Studios
    Day 3: Imagineering
    Day 4: Being the first in Disneyland
    Day 5: the Behind the Scenes tours of Soarin and Radiator Springs



    As a reminder: Fastpasses they give you can be used FOR THAT DAY at any time. This means that if you don't use the fastpass that day, you lose it (no rollover). For whatever reason GOTG was not included (and neither was SWGE). They did give us one fastpass for GOTG. As well, MAXPASS was not included.
    Do you remember what time you got to the hotel on day 3? I am renting a scooter so I want to make sure it is waiting for me when we get to GC. Thanks
     

    caribbeandream

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2017
    Thank you for your trip report! I literally just got home from Disneyland on Wednesday night and I'm already thinking about my next trip. I have been wanting to to ABD and your report gave me a great idea as to what to expect. Just a quick question though - I'm not interested in returning to SWGE. Can I do things on my own during that time or are you obligated to stick with the group every single moment?
     

    dolewhipdreams

    Counting days until my next Dole Whip
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2017
    Thank you for your trip report! I literally just got home from Disneyland on Wednesday night and I'm already thinking about my next trip. I have been wanting to to ABD and your report gave me a great idea as to what to expect. Just a quick question though - I'm not interested in returning to SWGE. Can I do things on my own during that time or are you obligated to stick with the group every single moment?
    Since the reservation period ended the only SWGE time is all on your own so you're free to do whatever you wish!
     

    Mousequake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2012
    Since the reservation period ended the only SWGE time is all on your own so you're free to do whatever you wish!
    Oh good. I intentionally didn't read the trip report because I don't want spoilers for our own trip next week, but I was hoping they weren't devoting any time to SWGE on the AbD. We intentionally stayed an extra day so we could enjoy it on our own.
     

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