Well, gang, the journey is over and now I am faced with the glaring realization that it will probably be many years before the Rao Family can return to Disneyland again. How sad.
I just want to say that I very much appreciate all the comments, agreements, disagreements, corrections, and kind words you have provided throughout this five part saga. It has been a real pleasure sharing my family's adventures with a community of true theme park fans. I look forward to reading about all of your theme park adventures in the very near future. Let's keep the TPI fire burning!
"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." - Walt Disney.
P.s- I went to my first Not-So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom, and it was absolutely fantastic. The fireworks were the best I have ever seen Disney do, the Boo to You parade is probably my favorite Disney parade, and the decorations and atmosphere were fantastic! I highly recommend you eventually experience this version of the Halloween Party whenever possible!
Thanks again for a wonderful report!
Great trip report though! I hope some day that I can make it to the Disneyland Resort.
(@Jack - so glad you loved Boo To You! Best parade I have ever seen)
One thing I've found about Disney parades is that they are insanely popular but most of them are forgettable. The only parade I've ever found memorable was the Main Street Electrical Parade, and even though I've seen most of Mickey's Soundsational (the park's current daytime parade, likely the one you saw day one) I found it fairly dull and a general waste of time. From your report, it sounds like the Mickey's Halloween Party parade is skippable as well, which is a shame as Boo to You actually looks like it could be spectacular. The firework shows, on the other hand...I prefer Fantasmic, but I haven't seen a Disney firework show I didn't like (although Remember...Dreams Come True is my favorite).
Finally, I have to ask: Assuming the same length and same expense for each visit, would you rather do a return visit to Southern California or to Central Florida (or would it depend on the status of X2)? I've never been to Florida, and although it is near the top of my theme park destination list (and I will get there one day) it seems hard to justify the expense with Disneyland as one of my local parks.
P.S Your older son is gorgeous btw xD Sorry, I had to say something! Haha :)
@Rob & Jack The soonest the Rao Family might be traveling back to Orlando would be sometime in 2015, which works out nicely since by then the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Potter 2.0, and Falcon’s Fury will not only be running, but the initial crowd rush should be over. Now, whether or not I will subject my TPI family to another 21 page moment-by-moment diatribe of the Rao’s journey remains to be seen, but right now I think I will attempt to be a bit less verbose going forward!
@anon poster 18.104.22.168 & Ian I thought Jack Skellington was very cool. We actually did run into him as he was walking back to the offstage areas, and he was very funny and engaging as he interacted with guests. I think I will have to get the Disney Infinity Skellington figurine for my son Jeremy who now loves the character.
@anon poster 22.214.171.124 Nope, we did not get a chance to visit the Jazz Kitchen. The only place we ate that I did not cover in my report was the Earl of Sandwich and we only ate there because it was very late and the line was short. I am not a huge fan of the Earl, as I think there are far superior sandwich places in almost every city in America, but, in a pinch, when everyone is tired and hungry, the Earl is fine.
@AJ Overall, I think that Central Florida is the better “resort-style” vacation destination, but thankfully it never has to be an either/or proposition. I plan on revisiting both coasts on trips in the future (there is a LOT I missed in SoCal that will have to be rectified at some point). You are very lucky to live so close to so many wonderful parks and attractions (and coasters).
@Samantha I’d like to think Jacob gets those great looks from his Dad…..whoever he is!!!! j/k =)
And remember, everyone needs to be posting their trip reports! For the next couple years I will need to live vicariously through your theme park vacations while I save up for the Rao Family's Next Great Adventure!
Understand about your wife... mine put her foot down when I originally wanted to do nothing but theme and amusement parks for two weeks in SoCal. "I'll visit Disney," she said "but all those coaster parks are the same!" ;)
Just as curiosity, after visting DCA & DL, if you were to rank all 6 US Disney parks, how would you rank them? I know overall, WDW wins as a resort, but I'm talking individual parks.
EpcotMagic KingdomDisneylandCalifornia AdventureHollywood StudiosAnimal Kingdom
Off to see Thor 2 and give Disney even more of my money. Have a good weekend gang!
*Edit 11/9 - Thor 2 was a rollicking good time. Check it out, Marvel fans!