I WENT TO DISNEYLAND!!!! - April 10-14

Discussion in 'Anything Goes' started by Addicted to Alice Pins, Jan 11, 2018.

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Where should I eat my fabulous birthday dinner?

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  2. Carthay Circle

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  4. Somewhere else entirely (where?)

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  1. watzshakinbacon

    watzshakinbacon B for Belle or B for bacon?

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  2. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    @watzshakinbacon

    Lunch date, then playing it by ear. I think you said you also have lunch plans and a party later? Do you have time in between or unlikely?
     
  3. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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  4. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    This was me at 5 am:
    [​IMG]

    We did stop by this afternoon, but I lasted about 5 minutes before the overwhelming urge to leave engulfed me. That area is ... something. I'd rather be in Times Square, which is pretty much equivalent to me saying I'd rather have bilateral root canals while my toenails are pulled off with plyers.

    :D
     
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  5. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    OK, we've been on the go for 4 days (we logged at least 40 miles, according to BFF's fitness app) so a trip recap will have to wait until tomorrow, when I'm back at work and not interested in what I should be doing. Ha.

    But I will say that this was exactly the vacation I needed/wanted. We had an awesome time and did nearly everything we wanted to do. The few things we missed just mean there's something to look forward to next time. :D

    Most important, though, I want to give a HUGE shoutout and many, many hugs to the DPFam members who made this trip extra special. BFF and I always have a great time (we've had 20 years to practice!), but you guys not only welcomed us to your Land but made us feel like we were truly among friends.

    So to Dawn (@Shelterkat), Connie (@Connies_Hobby), Darice (@pincrazy) and her mom Lovely Lily, Tessa (@timeerkat), and JJ (@Jabberwocky), thank you for sharing meals, offering insider tips, and adding to the amazing adventure of my first visit to DLR. I already can't wait to come back!!!!
     
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Cheshirefied DPF Charter Member

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    So happy you two had a fun visit and I'm glad I got to hang out with you for a while! :)
     
  7. watzshakinbacon

    watzshakinbacon B for Belle or B for bacon?

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    I’m sad I missed you but I’m delighted you had a fabulous trip! Expect an LBE some time in the future... I have no idea when I’ll mail out lol


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  8. AshleyV

    AshleyV Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait for the full report! Sounds like a wonderful time.
     
  9. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    I'm so glad you had an amazing time and I'm looking forward to reading your full trip report. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet up with you. I'll have to do that next time for sure.
     
  10. pincrazy

    pincrazy Active Member

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    :stitch: Ann, can't believe it's been a week!! Time for another vacation yet? :cheshire:
     
  11. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    OK, I'm way behind on this, but I contracted Bubonic plague (or something like that) on the flight home and spent 90% of the past week (including the weekend, wa-waaaa) in my jammies. Booooo.

    But ... I'm here at last to share a few stray thoughts about my Most Wonderful Time at Disneyland! (You've been giddy with anticipation, right?)

    So first I'll say again that it was AMAZING to meet some really fantastic DPFers. Everyone was soooo nice and helpful. My one "regret" is that we didn't spend MORE time with these wonderful folks. But, to answer Darice's last question, yes, I want to come back. Soon! (Reality may be a bit different, but the want is there. Ha.) Spending time with Dawn, Connie, Darice, Tessa, and JJ was like spending time with good friends. And the tidbits of information they shared were priceless.

    Second, yes, I was delighted with DLR/DCA. After all the cautions about how small it is in comparison to the WDW Empire, I figured I'd be happy I visited and it would be years before I'd ever "need" to go back. Not true!!! Yes, it is more compact (and convenient), but I absolutely LOVED the entire feel of the place. I know we were off-peak and that makes a huge difference--hoardes of people in a compact space are no bueno--but even so ... I left Cali feeling like I'd want to move to Anaheim-ish environs and become an AP. As much as I love WDW, I never feel that way when I leave Orlando (I'm usually just exhausted and broke and happy to head home, to be honest. Ha ha).

    The idea of a "local park" was prevalent--but in no way did we feel like we weren't "allowed" to be there. (I'm sure there are obnoxious, "what-you-aren't-a-regular?" types out there, but we didn't encounter them.) The first time we did Pirates, we were on line behind a father and young daughter; the father heard a comment my BFF made about eyeglasses (cuz random chat, ha ha) and started talking to us because he's an optometrist. We talked shop for a few minutes and then I said to the little girl, "Sorry! No more work chat while you're on vacation!" and the dad said, "Oh, we live 20 minutes from here. It's my day off, and she just got out of school, so we headed over for a while." Like, WHAT? I know there are "locals" in Orlando, but nothing about the vibe there lends itself to a nice, relaxing jaunt to the parks after work/school. The ratio of tourists to locals is much, much more askew. Also, CMs were continually surprised that we were NOT APs (since they didn't know we're from the other side of the country), which tells you how many people ARE because they live in the general area.

    My mind was also blown on the first night when we walked through Downtown Disney (side note: it took me forever to retrain myself to say "Disney Springs" in Orlando, because I'm old-school and remember those days, ha, and then there we were in Cali and I had to remember NOT to say it) and came around the corner by World of Disney and saw the plaza and stuff. I said to my friend, "What's over there?" (Dude, it was dark and I was tired.) And he said, "Yeah, those are the park entrances." I was like, "Whoa, they were NOT kidding when they told me everything is close together!!!" I did love being able to "hop" with ease. You could decide on a whim that you wanted to do something in the other park, or nab a FastPass (more in a minute), or casually drop in to pick up something you wanted on the way out. All of that was great.

    So yes, we made use of MaxPass because it was worth it for us. The first day, we said we'd try it (since it was $10 each) and if it wasn't worth it, we didn't have to do it the next two days. But it was probably the best $10 we each spent! I was able to get FastPasses for good stuff (not just crappy leftovers) and I did like the way you could make one FastPass and be notified of when you could make the next one (which was often BEFORE the time of your "current" choice--different from WDW). But the big seller for us was the unlimited PhotoPass downloads for the day. Let me tell you ... I HATE having my picture taken (because, sadly, it always ends up looking like me). So BFF and his mom always want photos at WDW (since she is an AP there and has it bundled into her pass), and I'll be like, "Yeah, yeah, family moment--I'll be over there, eating/shopping/talking to the photographer!" Well, let me tell you (further) ... this time, I threw myself at every camera I saw. We 100% got our money's worth in photos, and for some reason, I don't look horrible in most of them. Ha. We started at Sword in the Stone (why? cuz it was there) and bonded with the photog (I mentioned this several posts ago). At first, he thought we were idiots, because we suck at following directions, but then once he learned we were both former (store) CMs and had met working there and were celebrating 20 years of friendship, he was our new BFF. The poor girl at the teacup was not fully awake yet and did not know what was happening when he came flying at her with us in tow--but she was FANTASTIC and seriously took at least 20 photos at the teacup and the White Rabbit's door. They are among my favorite "souvenirs" of the trip. Needless to say, we were enamored enough with MaxPass that we bought it the next two days as well. I don't know what the system will end up looking like moving forward, but if we were beta-testers of sorts, we were delighted with the whole thing.

    As far as attractions/food: We were pretty darned happy with everything we ate, pretty much all of which came from recommendations from DPFers. But I think, of everything, Hope totally won the Food Pool with Bengal Barbeque. Yeah, it's quick service, but we spaced out our meals and snacks and shared a lot of stuff so we could keep eating (ha), and when we got the skewers late in the evening the first night, maaaaannnnn. Whatever the spicy one is--Banyan, I think?--was possibly one of the best things I've eaten in a while. All the skewers (we tried three, I think, with the rice and trimmings) were delicious, but I honestly dreamt about that Banyan Beef skewer for days. I'm kinda craving it now, to be honest. We also ran the board of the best stuff at Cafe Orleans (gumbo, Monte Cristo, pommes frite, beignets, Mint Julep) and loved all of it (our waitress was impressed with our ordering skills!); really enjoyed the chicken meal at Plaza Inn (again--a post-fireworks "dinner" share); hoovered a garlic cheese twist from Maurice's Treats; had a lovely, tasty lunch at Wine Country Trattoria, courtesy of Dawn (I'm still mad at you, friend!); enjoyed a yummy breakfast at Flo's (French toast!!!!) with Tessa; sampled the Coco-themed churro that launched for Pixar Fest (it was tasty); and shared lots of artery-clogging food (like fried pickles!!!) at Carnation Cafe for the win!

    I like DLR's Space Mountain a THOUSAND times more than WDW's--I can't even explain why, but I haven't even bothered with Orlando Space Mountain in years, and yet I was the one who requested a repeat of Anaheim Space Mountain before we'd even finished the first ride. Your Small World is also better (although I like both versions), because the character additions are so charming and the layout is just as dazzling and colorful and fun but somehow less overwhelming. Again, I lack the coherent words, ha. I do prefer the WDW Pirates, because it seems to have a little more "pep" to it--the DLR version has a strangely meandering quality to it; it felt like the ride was moving at a snail's pace mostly. But we were VERY lucky to see the original Redhead in her final weeks, so I'm grateful for that. I also like DLR's Mad Tea Party more, because the Dormouse-in-teapot is cute but the open "floor" makes it much more spinnier (ha). I actually spun us to a point that my BFF said, "Please stop," ha ha ha. Of course the Alice ride is the greatest thing EVER!!! <3 <3 <3 And while the Matterhorn was certainly fun/iconic, after all I've heard about how "scary" it is, I kept waiting for something ... scary ... to happen, and it never did. It was a great ride, don't get me wrong--but it's a kiddie coaster type of thing, people. Calm down. :D I was also less enthused than the average person about Radiator Springs Racers. We technically got three different FastPasses for it (thank you, MaxPass) but only got on it once because the first two times, it went down just as we were claiming our FastPasses. HA. The first time, we had just scanned in and were walking up the ramp when the power went out, and the second we were walking up to the gate as our window opened and the CM was telling people "we don't know when it will be back up." I said, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Ha ha ha." When we finally got on it, I was super-glad we did not have to wait in line--it is a really cute, imaginative ride, but it's not one that I would be willing to wait more than 45 minutes for. Sorrrryyyyyy. I have a sliding scale of how much I like a ride vs how long I'm willing to wait. That one's really cool, but not cool enough for the obnoxious demand. I said what I said. :D

    Hmmm ... OK, I've been going on for a while, ha, and I'm still probably forgetting stuff. But yeah ... overall loved it. Cannot wait to go back, for serious. As I've indicated, I was much less enamored of LA/Hollywood, but that's entirely personal preference. We did have some time to kill before we met JJ for lunch, so we found the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, which made me happy. I love carousels. And that was the best $2 carousel ride EVER. Honestly, I was rolling my eyes when I saw the sign advising that ALL riders had to use the seatbelt--and then the ride started and daaaaammmmnnn it was FAST! A few times I did actually feel like I would have flown off it not belted, ha. It was a good long ride, too. So that was cool. And Tam O'Shanter was FANTASTIC. Great, great atmosphere, fabulous food (I don't even eat much red meat and I housed that prime rib, ha ha)--it's the kind of place I would love to have at my disposal for semi-regular outings. That whole Los Feliz area was really nice and calm, etc. Especially compared to the "synapses misfiring" vibe in Hollywood near DSSH. (Tessa, the burning question for us is: HOW do you live right there???? I'm sure your actual neighborhood is at least a bit calmer. But holey moley! The chaos! Ha ha.) I'm more of an LES or Harlem type of person when I'm in NYC, so I guess I should have known the tourist traffic in that section of town would make me nuts. I think I started twitching, ha ha ha. But I can say I've been to DSSH (which, itself, was quite nice) and ordered a PTD sundae and bought a PTD directly. (I didn't have a choice, but Chilly is cute. I couldn't have told you where he was from, without the signage, but I'm happy enough to have him for display in the shadowbox I will devote to my trip.)

    Thanks for reading. Ha! But again ... someone in Cali (not LA) please adopt meeeeeeeeeeeee so I can become a DLR/DCA AP! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  12. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    Oh, two birthday-related addendums:

    Despite BFF's warnings that the CMs in Cali are not that responsive to the "I'm Celebrating" buttons (I guess he had a birthday one a few years ago and no one paid attention? ha I told him he didn't "sell" it well enough!), I was wished a happy birthday many, many times--which was nice. :D But by far, the greatest was the CM who scanned my pass into DLR that morning. Now, as some of you know, when I woke up on my birthday, I posted a picture on Facebook of the ridiculous "birthday crown" I had, which was emblazoned with a hot pink "40," and said, "SOMEBODY had better tell me I look fantastic for my age." (Of course, my FB peeps came through--including Sara [PixiePost] who had the best response!) Anyway, we met Tessa in DCA first for some brekkie and a ride or two, plus another quick meet-up with Connie and Darice and Lily, and then we headed across to DLR. So I made it through the gate and the CM said, "Happy birthday!" So I moved away and all of a sudden my BFF says, "HEY, did you hear that????" And I turned and said, "What?" and he said, "She just said, 'She doesn't look 40!'" The CM was like, "NO WAY!" and I said, "Yup!" So I mimed blowing kisses to the CM and she was laughing. It was hilarious!

    And since this was my first birthday without my mom, I wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I decided to buy a Mickey balloon and release it--but I didn't want to do that with too many people around, since I figured no one would understand that I let it go on purpose and I didn't want any commentary. So we were trying to find a spot, because I wanted to be near the castle but obviously that was Human Central. So we wandered to the one side and stumbled on Snow White's Wishing Well. OK, I know, I should have known that was there but I didn't! We kept going through the center of the castle (cuz you CAN, ha) and not around the sides! So it was a fortuitous find. There were some folks taking pictures but I waited for them to shuffle off, and then I sent my pink balloon into the cosmos. I felt very accomplished ... especially since the next day, which was the one-year anniversary of her death, I totally dropped the ball on my planned tribute. Ooops. Can't win 'em all. She didn't hurl a lightning bolt down on me, so I guess she liked the balloon enough. :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  13. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    I love your synopsis of your trip! I'm happy I was able to spend a good deal of your actual birthday with you and BFF. :) I usually go by myself or with other passholder or people who have been a bunch, so it was great to go with first-timers discovering new things in the park! :)

    And yes, when we say it's a mostly locals park, we mean it. it's built right up against residential areas (like, within a mile), so people do just pop on over after work or school on a weekday in addition to the tens of thousands in the general LA/OC area who go many weekends of the year (or just take a day off work to go on a weekday, like me. ;) )

    I grew up in San Jose (the heart of Silicon Valley) during the boom in the 80's and 90's, then moved down to LA a decade, so I'm just used to living in craziness. *shrug* I also time my trips when I can to avoid some of the worst traffic, and usually head down to DSF only during early morning releases or at night when most of the tourists have left.


    Yes, that cast member was the best! :D
     
  14. theoucharis

    theoucharis Active Member

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    Sounds like you had a great time. Motivates me to consider a trip out West.

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  15. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    Yeah, that really is another thing that ... amazed? impressed? surprised? ... me, how the parks really are just ... there. Like, la la la, I'm walking down the street, I'm stopping in CVS to buy toothpaste, and ohhhhh I might as well pop into DLR for a minute since it's right there. You people "drop by" the parks the way I might stop at Starbucks because it's on the way home from Target. Ha ha. We were over at Dolphin's Cove, and right across the street were residences. Plenty of apartments and houses, etc. It was ... cool. One morning we heard someone coming up behind us at a brisker pace than we felt like using (ha), so we moved to one side to yield the pathway, and a CM in costume, with her backpack, passed us on the way to work. The contrast with WDW--where you are still technically on the fluffing freeway when the "WELCOME" gate comes up, because All Roads Lead to Walt--was striking. I remember one night in Orlando, BFF and I did a late-night Publix run, and he missed a turn and instead of heading into Normal People Land we accidentally went into Epcot. Which was closed for the night. And they couldn't figure out why we were there (hey, neither could we!) but there was no option but to let us drive the entire loop back around to the exit.

    We were also saying--and trust me, I am a jaded "New York metropolitan area" person--that when we were walking to and from the parks, we really felt OK about it. Yes, stuff happens everywhere and yes, you need to keep your wits about you, and yes, I'm sure there are dodgy parts of Anaheim, just like there are dodgy parts of everywhere ... but we were on the streets late at night a few times, and sometimes in quiet(er) spots, and my OCD did not "ping" nearly as much as that type of circumstance normally would. I didn't feel edgy. So that was nice--especially since, a few times, I was so exhausted that if someone tried to mug me, I would've just mumbled, "Daddy, carry me!" and wrapped my arms around him. :p

    And yes, I'm very glad we got to hang out with you on Friday!!!! We are most definitely going to be in the same park at the same time again!!!!! Even if I have to creep your next WDW trip and convince CJ to adopt me for a few days so I can come hang out, ha ha. :HUGS:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  16. Shelterkat

    Shelterkat A Very Merry Unbirthday!

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    I had a great time meeting you both and our DPF lunch....sorry it was so noisy. I prefer to dine outside there but considering the gale force winds that day, it was a blessing to be seated inside. I wish we'd had more time together but there is always next time!
     
  17. AvatarAng1

    AvatarAng1 DPF Court Jester

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    It was nice meeting you (albeit a short meeting), if I wasn't with my sis I would've spent the whole day with you guys! XD

    I hope you enjoyed your zap btw! ;P
     
  18. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    Ohhh I didn't mention this because I didn't want to blow your cover for whatever top-secret mission you were on!

    We found Mark at the Small World "shopportunity," trying to blend in with a rack of t-shirts. At the right moment, he slipped into the crowd, drifted over to us, handed me some bubble wrap, and then disappeared again like ... Houdini ... doing ... something Houdini-like ... It was all VERY mysterious!

    But yeah ... your "sister" is an excellent cover story. :p

    (I did like the zap, thanks! As I said elsewhere, I need to do a big zap roundup because I have been gifted many nice things lately--both in Cali and via USPS! Stay tuned!!!)
     
  19. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    Lunch was great!!!! So much fun, and so delicious!!! What I shall always call "Dawn's Pasta" was probably the healthiest dish I ate the entire trip, haha, and I loved it! :D (I said to BFF afterward that it had a great amount of heat--not blistering but noticeable enough to make it interesting.)

    I had forgotten about the wind!!! HA.

    And same thing I told Tessa: We are doing more Disney together!!! I want to come back to your Land for sure. But next time you plan a WDW trip LMK! I would love to try to overlap with you a bit! :D :hugs:
     
  20. Shelterkat

    Shelterkat A Very Merry Unbirthday!

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    December 7-14, 2019 for WDW!!!!
     
  21. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    HEY MERLY (@MerlinEmrys), WANT A ROOMMATE FOR A WEEK???? I'll iron your socks and shampoo the cat. :D

    Maybe if I start laying the groundwork now, I can convince BFF and his mom to go then, haha. I know this year she "doesn't want to go for 'Christmas'" but IDK if that's "this year." (She gets a little particular sometimes, so I just zip it since I'm there as a guest!) I WILL FIGURE THIS OUT!!! :D
     
  22. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Cheshirefied DPF Charter Member

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    I'm so happy you had a great time!!! :) And I'm happy we got to hang out! And I'm happy that you took so many of my food suggestions *pats self on back* and liked them! :D ('Cause it would've been embarrassing if you didn't like them! lol)
     
  23. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    You did good, kid. Ha ha. I told you (I think): You revolutionized my thinking about How to Eat at Disneyland. Once I stopped fussing about where to sit down and eat meals, I was able to devise a list of foods to try and we just worked our way through. :D We certainly didn't get to everything, but for 3 days in the parks, we did alright.

    Also: The one other place I forgot is Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in DTD. Several years ago, I was considering a side trip to Disneyland following a work conference--obviously this did not work out, ha--and I had asked about places to eat. Someone ... I think @KT07 ... mentioned the Black and Blue filet mignon there. Again, I don't eat a ton of red meat, but the description and rave review stayed with me, apparently. We ate there on the night we arrived, when we walked up to DTD to stretch our legs and grab something to munch after traveling. It was fantastic!!!! It was 11 pm as far as my East Coast body was concerned, so I couldn't quite finish it, but man, that was a great recommendation! We sat outside, too, which was nice--considering it was 40-something degrees in the morning when we left! :D
     
  24. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

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    Well 60 years ago, there was NOTHING there, but orchards, so it was in the middle of nowhere haha, but it was by the freeway, so people could easily travel to it!
    DLR AP's encompass Southern California, Northern California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Basically anywhere within a 10 hour drive (HECK I have even met APs from Washington and Oregon because it's "only a 3 hour flight"). We go after work, on weekends, take off days, or just pop over to get a giant corn dog :p
    Last I heard our AP count is over 2.5 MILLION with an M.
    WDW AP's by comparison are usually actually NOT local! While there are some for sure, most are people who go on vacation to the resort a couple times a year, and live all across the country. Their count is somewhere closer to around 400k.
     
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  25. KT07

    KT07 Well-Known Member

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    Best dinner at Disneyland hands down. I have had that black and blue everytime I go to jazz. I once ate at the steakhouse 55 or whatever it's called. I was so let down. It was my birthday and I wanted the B&B but jazz didn't take my birthday Disney gift card. I could have had two dinners at Jazz for what I paid at the other place.

    So glad you had a chance to check it out. I love food and enjoy sharing it with others. Cool you had a good time and you liked the food.
    Take care
    KT
     

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