Celebrating 20 yEARS: A DLR Anniversary Trip

It was super strange to feel so uninformed. I am an expert at WDW and can make my way around the place with my eyes closed and noise cancelling headphones on. Before the trip I was having a hard time grasping it all, and in the first day or so we were really disoriented. But it’s so compact that you figure it all out pretty quickly. And when I tell you it takes 30 seconds to go from park to park, I am not exaggerating. 30 seconds. DTD is teeny tiny and worth a browse but nothing like DS in terms of size and offerings.

I think you’ll find, like me, that it is both different and familiar at the same time. You’ll do well with 3 days. You’ll need to prioritize things but you’ll see and do plenty. Mostly don’t let the look of the queue scare you. They are largely outside and once you get to the ride building you’re within steps of the ride vehicle in most cases.

I hope you’ll share your trip when the time comes!

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Metatarsalgia anyone?? :raising_hand_woman:t2:

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Yeah after our Disneyland trip my next long run was when I was in so much foot/ankle pain I started hyperventilating and couldn’t breathe and had to have hubby come pick me up. I really think it was all that standing in line. We also got stuck in 70 min (it broke down and SR wasn’t open) for RSR. SM broke down while we were in the 40 min line and we ended up waiting 70 there too I think. That kind of thing over and over is harder on feet than walking.

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I would definitely let the queue scare me, so I will keep this in mind!!

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I know because on our first day it was really upsetting and made me quite nervous to see the lines extending so much outside of the ride buildings! :laughing:

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The Last Hours In the Parks: You Have To Leave Things To Do Next Time!

Our last night in DL plans called for: Ornament purchase, Monorail, Autopia, Small World, Fireworks, Storybook Canal Boats, and repeat ride on Haunted Mansion Holiday as well as snacks at Hideaway and Mint Julep Bar. I thought we would get it all in, entering just after 6pm and having until midnight. But the Universe had other plans.

Our first stop was the new Christmas shop at the end of Main Street to get an ornament for our Christmas tree. Can you believe that they had ZERO DL-specific ornaments? What they have in there, at least when we went, was almost entirely the Sketchbook line of ornaments – cute, but available in most of the shops throughout the resort. If you’re going to bother to have a Christmas shop, at least have it offer us some unique items!

We left there disappointed and without an ornament, and headed over to see Small World and arrived just as they were starting an animation. Absolutely BLEW me away! These pics do not begin to do it justice at all. It was so beautiful – both the animation and the still state – that it gave me goosebumps and pixie dust in my eyes. I could have stared at it for hours!




I did catch some nice nighttime pics of a few of the attractions, so that was something positive! I will say that when you are solo you feel freer to take your time with photos, framing them better and generally setting up your shot without rushing it. Maybe a solo trip to DL someday?



Next stop: Tomorrowland to first take a spin on the Monorail. Disappointment again when the CM at the gate said they were only offering one-way trips to DTD and the whole thing was shutting down at 7pm. What?! I guess I should have consulted the hours, but it never occurred to me that, with the park open til midnight and DTD open til 1am they would stop the monorail 5hrs early. So, we didn’t get to ride the monorail.

I needed some popcorn next. Yes, needed. I know, I know – popcorn is “so basic” but it is my snack of choice in the parks and it had been too many hours since my last dose. One thing we noticed here at DLR is that the popcorn stands all have these cute figures who are meant to appear to be popping the popcorn. This one here, in Tomorrowland, is an astronaut. We saw Oogie Boogie at another cart, and a guy dressed kind of like the CMs at Casey’s in the hub. They are super cute!

Off to Autopia. We had this on our list because I kept hearing it was so much better than Tomorrowland Speedway and had some Christmas theming. Did I make that up? After a too-long wait (30 minutes!) we rode. It was cute, it was a longer track than TS in WDW, and I wish we had skipped it because it was nothing special.



(I’m sounding grumpy here… I don’t mean to! But our last hours, as you are seeing, did not work out to be our best hours.)

Next stop: Tiki Room! We did try to hit most of the classics and originals, so we did this one before going to the Hideaway. The room here is much smaller than at WDW. Otherwise the show is exactly the same as far as I can tell, except that the windows are shuttered and you don’t get to see the storm and the volcano like you do in WDW.

It was time for a snack at the Hideaway. No lines, no waiting! We decided to get some things we don’t have in WDW and so had the mango whip and both kinds of lumpia. The Hideaway itself is fantastic – plenty of seating, you can see and hear JC while you eat, and at night kind of cozy and sweet. We both LOVED the mango whip. We also really enjoyed the savory lumpia, which had loads of yummy flavor especially with the sweet and spicy sauce. Neither of us particularly cared for the sweet one which even the sweet sauce drizzled on top could not bring to life. It was kind of bland. I will say that both lumpia were a bit greasy. But I would have that savory one again a million times over just the same.


It was about 8:15 by now and we decided to head to the hub to snag a spot for fireworks. Let me first say, the castle at night is absolutely gorgeous!!




Let me also say, that they manage hub crowds here, and viewing spots, a MILLION times better than at WDW. Where WDW tapes off the walkway and people are expected to observe these restrictions, at DL they actually ROPE them off. And you have to be inside a rope, or you’ve got to keep moving! We managed to find space for ourselves in location 5 on the map as suggested by @93111tink We took a seat, updated ourselves on social media, edited photos and waited.

At 8:50 a terrible awful evil voice came over the PA system to say that “due to high winds, the fireworks may be cancelled tonight and a final decision will be made closer to scheduled fireworks time.” Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

We waited and crossed everything, including our legs (and not just because we were sat criss-cross-applesauce!) and prayed for a miracle. It was looking good briefly when that same voice came on at 9 to say “in just a few minutes” the fireworks would begin. But it was not to be. That evil man came back on at 9:15 to say the show had been cancelled. Rookie mistake: not getting the fireworks in early in the trip just in case… I guess we’ll just have to go back.

I was very sad. There was only one thing that could lift my spirits. Beignets! So we headed to the Mint Julep Bar where we snapped up 3 of the traditional and 3 of the seasonal peppermint beignets. We took a seat in the French Market and enjoyed our snack immensely. I’m not sure whether I liked the traditional ones more or the peppermint! They were soft and warm and sweet and delicious! I wish we had had more earlier in the trip!

We took a repeat spin on HM Holiday. Absolutely FANTASTIC and loved every minute! I noticed toward the end of the queue I was beginning to be a little stumbly on my feet. I was getting really tired all of a sudden! And when our doombuggy stalled for a moment and I actually nodded off for a split second, I knew I was done for. I enjoyed the rest of the ride and hoped to rally, but there was just no way. I was toast. Turns out, DH was too but had been pushing forward for me. We wanted to make it til park close but it was barely 10:15 and there was just no way it was going to happen. So, no Storybook Canal boats either. Oh well.

We did stop through the Emporium one last time, noticing a room we hadn’t seen on our earlier visits. And thank goodness we did! We found a DL specific ornament that even had 2021 on it! Perfect! A guy who looked just like an Oompa Loompa cashed us out and asked if we were traveling far with it. He raised his eyebrows when we said we were going home to NH, and then wrapped it ever so carefully in eighty-trillion layers of paper. I am happy to report it made it home safely and I look forward to hanging it on our tree in a week or so!

We arrived back at GCH and headed for our room, but I just had to stop and take one mor epic of this gorgeous lobby before we headed to bed. Seriously folks, GCH is no small beans – it’s a pricey option, no question. But damn, y’all – for me it was worth every penny on this special trip and I’ll be hard-pressed to stay anywhere else in the future!

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You two had the best spot!! I was so so bummed when you said No FWs. I think missing some of the other stuff might bring you back sooner :blush:

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Sneaky!

DL, behind the curtain: THEY’RE DOING TOO MUCH! THEY’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANYTHING LEFT TO BRING THEM BACK!!! YANK THE MONORAIL! YANK THE FIREWORKS! YANK THE CANAL BOATS!

That’ll do.

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There is a yeti turning the handle on the popcorn stand near Matterhorn! They always remind me of the droid at Ronto roasters. :joy:

Autopia is better than TS but still not great. It’s just not such an evil slab of hot asphalt like in MK. But it still stinks.

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Uh, sure, do a solo trip. Just be prepared for some Liner meets!

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Are you gonna be there 12/9-12/10?

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No, I’m going to be in WDW! And UOR. Someday @jennyturin!

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I think I might get to meet @Wahoohokie at least. :wink:

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Yes!

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How about a trip with @Julianne_fki as a tour guide? I’d like and subscribe to that. :joy::wink:

I’m sad you did Autopia rather than Canal Boats. But honestly if you were going to miss something, Canal Boats is ok to miss and save for another day. And the monorail at WDW is better, so don’t feel too bad about that one. (I have had super bad luck with operating hours of the monorail. It doesn’t have air conditioning so it often doesn’t run in the afternoon. Sometimes I wonder if it’s ever running.)

When you asked me about where to buy an ornament, my first thought was the Emporium - you can buy anything there! But then I remembered the new Christmas shop and pointed you there. I guess you never would have known they didn’t have a good ornament there if you didn’t try!

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And I was so happy that you mentioned it! Because I had seen it on some vlogs and stuff and meant to look for the shop. I even searched for Christmas Shop but it’s not called that so it didn’t come up. I was certain they would have good stuff in there, kind of like the Christmas shop at MK. But it is a really disappointing spot.

Funny enough I saw a couple of other DL-specific ornaments at one of the DTD shops the next day. Not where I expected to find it at all - maybe at the Home store?

I appreciated your help, in any case!

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Shhhhh! :shushing_face: We’re trying to recruit her for this other group I like to tour with. :joy:

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I got dibs on @Julianne_fki then!!! :joy::joy:

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Sigh…alright. :rofl:

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Whether you like it or not! :rofl:

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