Our DisneyLAND, Anaheim Vacation

Posted on: Fri, 04/28/2006 - 12:27pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Hi everyone! We're baaaack. I am a road-tripping warrior GODDESS. Fifteen hours back... 946 mi. And I drove most of 'em. [i]yesterday[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] (Grapevine to Redding, Hilt to Corvallis.)

We stayed at the Disneyland Resort. It was nice, but not "fancy," though for our daughter, the little touches in the room were nice, and it was great that the room was well-laid out and fairly spacious. The big plus, (obviously) was the ease of entry into both Downtown Disney and both theme parks. This hotel also has a lot of outdoor water features, which DD loved.. and a walk-up bar, which we found, er.... [i]helpful.[/i] Also a pretty nifty pair of pools, which it was unfortunately much too cool to really enjoy.

Our first day was awful... truly awful. It took almost 2h to [i]check into our room[/i].

This was also the day that Disneyland [i]closed its gates.... sold out.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

Sooooo-- it CAN happen, even in April. We weren't planning on going into the park that first day anyway, so while we were horrified, we hoped that Monday would be very different. It wasn't.

We gave up on the park after a few hours... the lines were 30-90 min long for most of the kiddie rides. We bought DD a banana and a bottle of water, and almost immediately after I peeled it and handed it to her, someone brushed past her carrying food, touching the banana she had taken one bite of. She burst into tears... she was so hungry. (I just swapped hers for mine, but you know...)
The last straw was a white-knuckle 40 min wait for the jungle boats during which another family passed around a half-eaten PB+J less than five feet away from our aerosol and contact sensitive DD... They passed it from one parent to another and back to their kids.... AGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!
Our daughter was fine other than itchy eyes, but I am not proud that I was too afraid of my DH and DD's reactions to follow my instincts and pull us out of that que.

Anyway-- after an afternoon at the hotel pool and several drinks, we decided to simply remove ourselves from anything similar. If I had it to do over again, I would ask for a disability pass if the park was that busy. I don't mind the [i]waiting[/i], but having to stand in a line where eating is ubiquitous is so dangerous for kids like mine.

We saw A LOT of eating in line. The concession carts in both parks sell plastic clamshell containers of trail mix. We also saw MANY MANY people eating and shelling pistachios and peanuts. We were constantly dodging shells in almost every line we stood in. (As well as shelled nuts of all varieties.) This was very stressful. One bright note-- the family that sat down behind us on the Disneyland Railroad put away their pb+j's when we explained our situation.

The high points were the character dining at Ariel's Grotto-- this is sit-down dining, and they had fully noted her PA (but not the EA that DH failed to note in making reservation.... doh!) and the chef came to the table, spoke with me and then made her a plain chicken breast and fried her french fries in fresh separate oil. They use no PN in the kitchen at all. No PN oil. Desserts are more difficult... they subbed a fruit bowl for DD.

She was also thrilled with our experience at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. Our server was so careful that she [i]washed her hands before handling our daughter's plates, silverware, or glasses.[/i] This was a more positive experience for our daughter than anything in either theme park. And I mean that. She is still talking about it.
The chef came to the table and showed us labels clipped from products in their kitchen. They were not only great about the PA, but also about my allergies... and about recognizing the difference!

I never imagined that I would trust anyone else to handle her food... those of you who know me and my comfort zone can appreciate what a departure this is!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Both restaurants were amazing. Amazing.

Our park experiences were mixed... if it had all been like Monday, I doubt we would go back, but Tuesday was quite different, and so was Wednesday. I would caution everyone that this was very stressful, however, since food was in NO WAY policed. IN NO WAY. We saw people [i]eating and feeding their children [b]on the rides themselves.[/b][/i]

I really hate people who take advantage of "the system" with disability passes, but truly, I wondered if we were being foolish at times given what I saw. DD battled wicked eczema from the second day of our trip... and it got worse and worse. (So I wonder.) I also saw her "flash" with aerosol exposures on a number of occasions, but it was transient, and we just moved out of lines where there were obvious problems. (This happened a couple of times.) We never were able to ride the ferris wheel in CA Adventure because of this, and it took many tries to get her onto Peter Pan in DL. (shrug) DD is used to this, so it wasn't anything new.

We also went to [i]American Girl Place[/i] during their grand opening celebration. This was delightful, and DD really enjoyed herself-- she looks JUST LIKE "Kit" and this was the doll she wanted to get... so she generated a lot of double takes from adults all over The Grove as we strolled around.

DD also really enjoyed Build-A-Bear....multiple times. cha-ching. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

My verdict?

Well, park employees told us that this year is rather peculiar in terms of attendance patterns because of the 50th anniversary... which was good to hear, since we had been thinking based on Monday that there just wasn't any way to take a kid like ours without risking her life for a few thrill rides. Who knows.

It wasn't "magical" for us, I have to say, but it was okay.

DD liked Space Mountain, Mulholland Madness, and Soaring over California... Oh, and Dumbo and the Teacups. Even with early entry, we were generally unable (even in three days) to ride anything more than once. And we had early entry passes.

If anyone has specific questions about Disneyland Anaheim or the resort hotel, I will try my best!

darned italics. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Again. Hey.... third time is a charm, right?

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited April 29, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 04/28/2006 - 1:33pm
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

So, is there no FastPass at Disney Land? Man, at Disney World (3 years ago) the only, only ride we waited for was Dumbo. Maybe the teacups a little, but not much. Tiny bit for Small World. That's it. We FastPassed the rest of the park, and I had the most brilliant plan for it, I must say.
You know, little wondrous moments--like your eating out moment--can truly make the magic happen in memories. Sounds like that really meant something for your DD. How cool is that! And what perspective she has--what a good head on her shoulders. It will be interesting to hear her interpretation of the trip next year--and in three years.
BTW--at Disney World, I do not rememer a single peanut shell, so I'm hoping this is a park thing. And since Texas is smack dab in the center, we would head eastward rather than west.

Posted on: Fri, 04/28/2006 - 1:56pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

There sure is! We went last year during spring break. Best money I spent was on 4 Day Fast Pass through AAA; allowed unlimited use of Fastpass. We would hit the park right at the opening...I'd collect some FastPasses, and we were able to go on a couple of rides multiple times (like the Speedway, the new Buzz Lightyear ride, etc.)
Corvallis Mom - sorry to hear that there was so much eating in line that was problemmatic. We had some of that too, but not to the degree that you experienced. We also had fabulous experiences at various Disney sit-down meals. Did you meet Chef Chris (head chef for all of Disney)? He is absolutely the best guy around...DS was in heaven over being able to eat w/more freedom than normal...
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum20/HTML/000217.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum20/HTML/000217.html[/url]

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 2:45am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Ahem.... Fast Pass.... well, the only rides that you [i]can[/i] fast pass at Disneyland and CA Adventure were the marquee rides... and most of those we had ten to twenty minute waits for with the FP, so that was fine.
The problem was that there is no way to fastpass a lot of the classic/original or little kiddie rides. (Like Dumbo, the Jungle Boats, or Peter Pan, for instance.) Maybe it is a seasonal thing. I don't know, but we waited for about 55 minutes for It's A Small World, and well over an hour for the Canal Boats. That one was worth it....(kind of) since we ended up in the golden boat and DD got to ride as "Co-Pilot" with the ride operator who was very smitten with her. Remember, too, that these are wait times with early park entry.
We did fastpass Soaring over California, Indiana Jones, Mulholland Madness, and Autopia. Did I mention that Dad will be teaching princess to drive?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] We also got incredibly lucky one morning and rode Space Mountain three times in a row with virtually no wait at all. This was DD's favorite ride.
The vacation itself was really very good. But the Disney aspects of it were not necessarily the "highlight" if that makes sense. I am glad that we had a backup plan that involved getting out of the chaos.
DD really only had one moment of totally melting down.... when she discovered that she is 47 and 3/4 inchces tall.... not 48" as required to ride the big roller coaster in CA Adventure. Mom's meltdown happened when we got back to the hotel room after our horrifying wait for the jungle boats... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
The overwhelming number of people eating obviously dangerous food in lines (and frankly, on rides,) was absolutely awful. I didn't bring wipes, but wish that I had. We kept DD in long sleeves and pants instead. Luckily it was very cool in Anaheim while we were there.

Posted on: Tue, 05/02/2006 - 3:39am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I just recalled something else that was [i]totally awesome[/i] that we were able to do in the California Adventure park.
They have two model bakeries set up for tours, and since these are "models" that is all they do in either place.
Mission Tortillas-- both corn and flour. With warm samples... yummy.
San Francisco sourdough bread... they also give samples at the start of the tour... we didn't let DD eat any, but probably could have. They don't use an egg-wash to crisp the crust-- it is authentic steam-injection.
This second tour provided us with a GREAT way to talk about cross-contamination in commmercial bakeries. This is difficult to comprehend if you have never worked in one, as you just don't understand how materials are handled and moved on racks and such. DD and DH both totally understand what I have been trying to explain for years now.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2006 - 4:32am
proudmomof2's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2005 - 09:00

Hi CorvallisMom,
Remember me? I am a former Corvallisite! I was wondering if you went to DL at Spring Break? It seems you might have been there during the week? I am worried about what you said about park closure.

Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2006 - 6:13am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Yes-- though we were unaware of this fact when we made reservations (we asked for advice from Disney travel) and in fact [i]asked specifically about the LEAST busy times of the year[/i]..... oh well. It was local spring break and both parks were running local specials of some type.
We would risk the rain, I think, before we would risk Spring break again.
We went to SF in very early June, and truthfully, we all had a better time.. well, maybe not DH, who was a presenter at a conference. LOL! My daughter is 7, so this tells you something... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 04/28/2006 - 1:33pm
McCobbre's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

So, is there no FastPass at Disney Land? Man, at Disney World (3 years ago) the only, only ride we waited for was Dumbo. Maybe the teacups a little, but not much. Tiny bit for Small World. That's it. We FastPassed the rest of the park, and I had the most brilliant plan for it, I must say.
You know, little wondrous moments--like your eating out moment--can truly make the magic happen in memories. Sounds like that really meant something for your DD. How cool is that! And what perspective she has--what a good head on her shoulders. It will be interesting to hear her interpretation of the trip next year--and in three years.
BTW--at Disney World, I do not rememer a single peanut shell, so I'm hoping this is a park thing. And since Texas is smack dab in the center, we would head eastward rather than west.

Posted on: Fri, 04/28/2006 - 1:56pm
Nutternomore's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

There sure is! We went last year during spring break. Best money I spent was on 4 Day Fast Pass through AAA; allowed unlimited use of Fastpass. We would hit the park right at the opening...I'd collect some FastPasses, and we were able to go on a couple of rides multiple times (like the Speedway, the new Buzz Lightyear ride, etc.)
Corvallis Mom - sorry to hear that there was so much eating in line that was problemmatic. We had some of that too, but not to the degree that you experienced. We also had fabulous experiences at various Disney sit-down meals. Did you meet Chef Chris (head chef for all of Disney)? He is absolutely the best guy around...DS was in heaven over being able to eat w/more freedom than normal...
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum20/HTML/000217.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum20/HTML/000217.html[/url]

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 2:45am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Ahem.... Fast Pass.... well, the only rides that you [i]can[/i] fast pass at Disneyland and CA Adventure were the marquee rides... and most of those we had ten to twenty minute waits for with the FP, so that was fine.
The problem was that there is no way to fastpass a lot of the classic/original or little kiddie rides. (Like Dumbo, the Jungle Boats, or Peter Pan, for instance.) Maybe it is a seasonal thing. I don't know, but we waited for about 55 minutes for It's A Small World, and well over an hour for the Canal Boats. That one was worth it....(kind of) since we ended up in the golden boat and DD got to ride as "Co-Pilot" with the ride operator who was very smitten with her. Remember, too, that these are wait times with early park entry.
We did fastpass Soaring over California, Indiana Jones, Mulholland Madness, and Autopia. Did I mention that Dad will be teaching princess to drive?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] We also got incredibly lucky one morning and rode Space Mountain three times in a row with virtually no wait at all. This was DD's favorite ride.
The vacation itself was really very good. But the Disney aspects of it were not necessarily the "highlight" if that makes sense. I am glad that we had a backup plan that involved getting out of the chaos.
DD really only had one moment of totally melting down.... when she discovered that she is 47 and 3/4 inchces tall.... not 48" as required to ride the big roller coaster in CA Adventure. Mom's meltdown happened when we got back to the hotel room after our horrifying wait for the jungle boats... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
The overwhelming number of people eating obviously dangerous food in lines (and frankly, on rides,) was absolutely awful. I didn't bring wipes, but wish that I had. We kept DD in long sleeves and pants instead. Luckily it was very cool in Anaheim while we were there.

Posted on: Tue, 05/02/2006 - 3:39am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I just recalled something else that was [i]totally awesome[/i] that we were able to do in the California Adventure park.
They have two model bakeries set up for tours, and since these are "models" that is all they do in either place.
Mission Tortillas-- both corn and flour. With warm samples... yummy.
San Francisco sourdough bread... they also give samples at the start of the tour... we didn't let DD eat any, but probably could have. They don't use an egg-wash to crisp the crust-- it is authentic steam-injection.
This second tour provided us with a GREAT way to talk about cross-contamination in commmercial bakeries. This is difficult to comprehend if you have never worked in one, as you just don't understand how materials are handled and moved on racks and such. DD and DH both totally understand what I have been trying to explain for years now.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2006 - 4:32am
proudmomof2's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2005 - 09:00

Hi CorvallisMom,
Remember me? I am a former Corvallisite! I was wondering if you went to DL at Spring Break? It seems you might have been there during the week? I am worried about what you said about park closure.

Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2006 - 6:13am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Yes-- though we were unaware of this fact when we made reservations (we asked for advice from Disney travel) and in fact [i]asked specifically about the LEAST busy times of the year[/i]..... oh well. It was local spring break and both parks were running local specials of some type.
We would risk the rain, I think, before we would risk Spring break again.
We went to SF in very early June, and truthfully, we all had a better time.. well, maybe not DH, who was a presenter at a conference. LOL! My daughter is 7, so this tells you something... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

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