May 21, 2024


Ep. 426 - Live Bonus Show - Walking in Walt's Footsteps: A Southern California Adventures by Disney

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 426 - Live Bonus Show - Walking in Walt's Footsteps: A Southern California Adventures by Disney
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 426 - Live Bonus Show - Walking in Walt's Footsteps: A Southern California Adventures by Disney

May 21 2024 | 01:16:15


Show Notes

Ashley joins us on this week's live show to discuss her family's recent experiecne with Adventures by Disney's (ABD) Southern California Adventure to Hollywood, Disney Imagineering and the Disneyland Resort. Known for its unique experiences and backstage access, this tour has been a popular offering from ABD and with prior guests we've had on the show. How did the experience stack-up for Ashley? She has some interesting feedback good and bad. Come find out if this trip might be right for your family.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Wait, they put you on a bus to go two blocks? That's crazy. [00:00:06] Speaker B: Picked us up, and I don't think they want to walk you through LA a number of blocks and you get spread. [00:00:12] Speaker A: I mean, they walked us. They walked us through the streets of, like, Vienna and Salzburg and like, all these other Budapest. [00:00:19] Speaker C: LA is rough. [00:00:21] Speaker A: Yeah. Especially Hollywood. I hear it's really rough in Hollywood. Yeah. Welcome back, everybody, to this week's live episode of the DC L duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding Travel, and Sam, it's gonna be a doozy tonight. We got an adventures by Disney on tap. [00:00:47] Speaker C: I know. I love that. Ashley and I were both, like, dancing and bopping to the intro music before we came on the show because nobody can actually see us doing that except Brian. But, yeah, we were both doing that. But before we jump into introducing the show, I wanted to just put a shout out to Jason and Heidi Leopard. They were supposed to be on tonight's show. Jason writes for popular cruising and is, you know, fantastic, has been on the show before, and they had an unexpected family tragedy, and he was. Had to cancel for tonight's show. But we were so lucky because Ashley was, who was scheduled to join us in about a month's time, was able to kind of pivot and jump in for tonight's show so that you wouldn't just hear Brian and I, you know, talking and. And coming up with music offhand. [00:01:38] Speaker A: Well, so Tracy. Tracy out there wouldn't have been throwing her popcorn at the tv going, where's the DCl duo tonight? I want to watch the DCl duo. I know Tracy's watching, which is why I say that. And I want to go back and say, it warms my heart to see you bopping your heads to that music, because I spent a ton of time finding these intro music theme songs and doing that. So great to see. Before we dive into the show, though, tonight, sam, we had a listener question come in, and I wanted to be sure. I promised this listener that I would read it and answer it on air, and so I've got it in front of me. Here we go. It comes from. Well, it comes from BF Fielder, who writes good afternoon. Love the podcast and all you do for the community. Thank you. Quick DCL question reference dining. We have been on three Disney cruises, unfortunately for us, and not on purpose. All three were on the dream Halloween on the high seas to Canada, 4 July to the Caribbean, and three night Bahamas getaway. My question is this. If we go on, say, the magic wonder wish, will the dining room menus be at all different? We are hoping so. Food was good and all, but variety is something we want. Looking at others, just a matter of when, not if. Thank you. So I briefly responded to let him know that the answer is and no. So I'm going to. Sam can correct some of me here, but I'm just going to try to briefly cover this and say, so Lumiere's the others now, but. [00:03:05] Speaker C: Royal. [00:03:05] Speaker A: Royal palace. Yeah, those. Those menus stay the same. Animators. Menu stays the same. [00:03:13] Speaker C: Right. The main rotational menu, there's always like a main rotational. And then there's alternate rotational menu. [00:03:19] Speaker A: That menu, it's the ab menu. There's. Yeah, yeah, there's the ab menus. The exception is on the smaller ships. Like the magic and the wonder. They introduced Tiana's place and Rapunzel's. And those menus are unique and different to those ships. So you will get one restaurant on those ships with different menu. Same is true, by the way, for the marvel restaurant and the frozen restaurant on board the wish, those menus are fairly unique. There are some items on Rapunzel's that showed up. I forget where one of the Norway menus, I think the scallop dish is actually on a different menu, but mostly the same with some differences. [00:04:03] Speaker C: Yeah, no, I have to correct you there, Brian. So the wish is completely different menus, your menus, because 1925 is not the same as royal court, royal palace, but so the wish, because there are three entirely new restaurants. The menus. There might be a couple of menu items that repeat. Brian mentioned. There's actually a scallop. It's actually the scallop pastry dish. It's an appetizer in Arendelle is on one of the. It's on the frozen menu, but you'd only get that in certain itineraries. So anyway, in the wish, you'll get completely new stuff. If you sail on the magic and the wonder, two of your rotational dining menus will be the same and you will have differences, probably from the other ones. So yeah, yeah. [00:04:48] Speaker A: So with that hope that answers the question out there. As always, if you have questions, you should feel free to reach out to us. We love to answer them on the air for everyone's benefit. We have a new email address that folks can use. Info so we're not on like the Gmail train anymore. We're got our own domain. So [email protected] if you want to reach out to us, we also have a voicemail line. The number of which constantly escapes me because it's in Nebraska. But if you want to call in, it's in our show notes for our podcast, and it's in the outro for all the podcasts. It's a 402 number, as I recall, so maybe I'll try to dig that up for the next time. But voicemail, email, we'll throw it on the air and answer it live. But with that, we got to shift over to our returning guests. A fan favorite, Ashley. Welcome to the show, Ashley. [00:05:35] Speaker B: Hi. Thanks for having me back. [00:05:37] Speaker C: Yeah, we're so excited to talk. We're always excited to talk to you, Ashley. You're such a great guest. If you haven't heard our prior episodes with Ashley, we have a couple different ones. One of them is an Alaska episode. It's probably my favorite episode on Alaska was I tell anyone and everyone who's thinking about booking Alaska on Disney to listen to that episode. We also did an episode with Ashley and Kaylee about the wish and what their thoughts were on getting on the wish. And then we recently actually recorded another episode with Ashley that, that I don't believe is out yet. And I'm blanking on what we talked about now. Ashley. [00:06:14] Speaker A: No, we did a live show with Ashley. Yeah, we did a live show with Ashley. [00:06:18] Speaker C: That's right. Sorry. Yeah, Seattle. That's right. See, there you go. I can't even remember. [00:06:23] Speaker A: And I want to call out, we're going to be talking about adventures by Disney this evening, specifically the southern California adventures by Disney. And for those who don't know, let me start by warming us up with what adventures by Disney is. So adventures by Disney is the sort of luxury arm of Disney that does land based tours, river cruise tours. They do short escapes at some of the ports pre and post, like Disney cruises, or at least they used to. That was a little bit in flux. But I think they still do have some. They had some in Australia during the Australia season. But it is like a, they come. [00:06:58] Speaker C: In Rome, I believe, and Barcelona, too. [00:07:01] Speaker A: Yeah. It is a white glove service from Disney. They, once you get to the airport in your destination, they're going to pick you up, get you to hotels, move your luggage around. They've got all kinds of unique tours, usually interesting vip opportunities. They do most of your meals. You do get some time in cities on your own that you're visiting. But adventures by Disney is kind of that high end luxury version of a Disney vacation. But you're not going to theme parks generally. We will be talking about that today. You are going to one on the Southern California AvD tour, but you're going out and experiencing the world, so to speak. And Disney is helping to curate that experience for you so you can take the thinking out of it. They also cater really well to families and kids. They make things really interesting for, uh, for kids. And, uh, so they've got that experience as well. But with that, once I got the Southern California ABD, I think Ashley has a unique perspective on this trip that we're excited to get. I do want to call out. We have covered this trip before, so if you're interested in other perspectives on this trip, you can head in our back catalog. We specifically cover this with Chris Vorabek. I think at one point, Sam, uh, the back catalog, and his son, so you can head back and check out that experience. But, Ashley, what compelled you to book the Southern California adventures by Disney? Tell us all about that decision making process. Why did you book it and when was it? And, yeah, let's start there and tell. [00:08:25] Speaker C: Everyone who your traveling party is so they understand what sort of the demographics of the trip are, too. [00:08:30] Speaker B: Yes. So we originally booked this, an ABD. We've been dying to go on an ABD. We want to experience that product. I feel like you up from the parks to the cruise and then cruise to ABD, you've got to experience it all. And so we originally had booked an ABD in Europe along with a summer sailing last year on the dream. But plans change, and you can change your Abd once if your plans change, which is a bit of a feedback, I feel like. So we wanted to go to Disneyland again. We'd experienced Disneyland when our daughter was four, and our daughter is now nine. And so, as you can see from the photo, if you're watching live on YouTube, it is my husband, myself, and our nine and a half year old daughter. And we were going to go to Disneyland anyway, this time of year, because it is our spring break. We wanted to get back out there and experience the fun of southern California. And we said, great, let's do the add. Let's try this. [00:09:35] Speaker C: Nice. And we know that you use my path unwinding travel to book your travel. I imagine you booked through them. Did they help steer you to this abd in particular, or was it something that you were like, this is what I want to do, and just, can you book it for me? [00:09:52] Speaker B: Yeah. I felt like we, when looking at our funds, basically, we knew we wanted to get back to Disneyland, and so we were really kind of marrying two vacations because the other us based cases, we, you know, Wyoming, we have done the kind of Colorado Wyoming style trips. We're fine in big cities, and we wanted to test out group travel. We have never done group travel before. I've never handed the planning over to anyone before. And it was kind of a leap of faith, if I would be okay with that, having somebody else plan my vacation. And then what the three of us thought about group travel. We are pretty extroverted people who love chatting. And with an only kid, it'd be nice to travel in a larger unit. So before taking the leap at expense of an international ABD, we wanted to try out something, which is why we chose the Barcelona short escape, which was our original plan. And so this kind of put it killed two birds with 1 st. Let's. [00:10:57] Speaker A: Talk about what is included in this southern California Abd. So, obviously, you got to get yourself to. I guess it's LA, where you start wherever you start and what's included from there. Yeah, yeah. [00:11:10] Speaker B: So there are very particular airports that they will provide the transportation. And la, they would do both pickup and return, but that wasn't true for whatever the other smaller airports are and flying cross coast, we want a direct flight. So lax it was. [00:11:28] Speaker A: I'm guessing it's probably Burbank, Long beach, and maybe even John Wayne, where the kind of the other airports that they might have picked up from. But yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:11:36] Speaker B: They're really specific. And so what's included is a six day trip. We have two hotels, and we just starting out on six days. We added a day at the beginning and the day at the end of our trip. We going different time zones. We wanted to make sure, like a cruise, that you show up the day before so that you don't miss out on anything. A boat wasn't leaving, but I did not want to miss anything. So we showed up a day before that. And then also we wanted to adjust to the time zone a bit and explore Hollywood. We hadn't had any time to really explore LA before. And then we added an extra day at the end. And both of these are through adventures by Disney. So when Kaylee booked our trip, she added them on so that in theory, we wouldn't have to move hotel rooms, though I hear that's not guaranteed. But we did not have to switch within the hotels. And the private car service will pick you up that extra day or take you back on that extra day, which is just so nice, not having to worry about that type of transportation. And our flight was delayed, of course, because of weather. And it didn't matter. They were there to pick us up, and then we added the day at the end because you actually get four park tickets. And so we actually wanted to take advantage of that last day of our park ticket and checking out of our hotel on a Saturday instead of right after that breakfast on Friday. So we had that airport transfers we had included two days at the Lowe's Hollywood Hotel. And I have my notes here in front of me. We added the extra night and then three nights included, we added an extra at the Grand Californian Hotel, which we had never stayed in before. We were very excited to experience. And then the majority of our food and of course, all of the entrance and logistics throughout the trip. So whether that's a park ticket or getting into the theater, tours and Hollywood, anything that you would have to normally pay entrance fees, all of your tips except for the guides and this. I was a little nervous about this, but I confirmed with the driver that the tip was included. And then the Bellman at the first hotel saw that orange abd luggage wrap thing and said, oh, yeah, you don't have to tip me. Disney takes care of us. [00:14:03] Speaker A: Oh, that's nice. [00:14:05] Speaker C: That's really nice. [00:14:06] Speaker A: Yeah, I was handing out tips in Europe like they were going out of style. So good tip. [00:14:12] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:14:13] Speaker C: Yeah. That probably there might be some variation there for international versus domestic, but, yeah, that's fantastic that everything is included. I would tell folks who haven't really done any research into adventures by Disney, when you think about it and you compare it to a cruise, it's like excursions, but they're included, right? So, like, all of your excursions are a part of your adventure. That's what they call them, adventures. And so you're not paying add ons. I mean, there might be some things that are add ons, like on the front or the back end that you might want to add. But in general, the excursions and most of the meals, with the exception of lunches, some lunches are included, and some lunches aren't typically on adventures by Disney, but generally speaking, breakfast and dinner are included. [00:14:59] Speaker A: Let's dive in. So Ashley has helpfully created a PowerPoint, day by day or trip. So for all of you folks looking to be guests on our live show, the bar has been raised. So Ashley created this fabulous PowerPoint. So I'm going to click us over to some quick facts here. I don't know if you want to walk through any of these or not, Ashley, but some great facts here on the hotels where they stayed. Great to see that they put you up at the Grand Californian Hotel. I would expect nothing less on something like, it's from Disney, but yeah. What were your thoughts here on the two hotels and your tips? [00:15:32] Speaker B: So I included a photo from our room of, we're at the Lowe's Hollywood Hotel, and you're overlooking that it's like a Times Square in Hollywood, and it's where you stand and take your photo op with the Hollywood sign. And it's right there near the chinese theater. And it's all the middle of the touristy stuff. And actually, while we were there, the I heart radio awards ceremony was taking place. So, of course, we were scouring the red carpet to see if we knew anybody showing up, and it was very interesting, and we saw a few people that we might have known. So you're really in the heart of it all in Hollywood right there. And that's our view. Some people had a view of the Hollywood sign on the other side, but we had a cool view. [00:16:14] Speaker C: Yeah, nice, nice accommodations, for sure. [00:16:18] Speaker B: Yeah. And I'll wrote that we had a king size bed there. And then they brought a rollaway bed for our daughter. Some people were able to switch to, like, two queens if they had more family members, but it was pretty limited because the award show was there. So time of year really does make a difference. And then at the Greenland, we had, I guess it would be a pool view room, but an interior courtyard view room. Right. And we were all kind of in the same area because all the kids went out on their balcony, which I'm sure other people love and were so screaming, you know, hey, hey. And waving to each other at the balcony. So that was our view there at the grant. [00:16:57] Speaker C: How many people were in your adventure? Like, how many guests and how many guides? [00:17:02] Speaker B: Yes. Okay. There were 34 guests. We had some that were just solo to adult travelers. We had some that were parents with tweens. We had large families, like multigenerational families. About a third of the guests were kids between the age of five ish and some teenagers, the majority being around my daughter's age, that 8910 age. So really a lot of different ages. And then we had our two assigned abd guides. Danny. [00:17:37] Speaker C: Danny. [00:17:38] Speaker B: Yes. Amazing Dan, who was one of our. [00:17:40] Speaker C: Guides on our river cruise. [00:17:41] Speaker B: Yeah, I remembered y'all. So I felt like I had an instant in because I knew the duo. And he was the genie in the Hyperion theater production of Aladdin for many, many years. And he has that entire personality. He did not need to fake anything for the show. [00:17:58] Speaker A: Friends with friends with the genie. [00:18:01] Speaker C: He was friends with the genie. He's a staged performer. They can say, yeah, stage performer. So he can say. They can say it. They can say they played. [00:18:08] Speaker B: And then Michaela, who was awesome as well, and she was a former DCL kids club cast member and then moved into ventures by Disney. And I swear, my daughter Mikaela just bonded instantly. They are literally the most amazing humans. I hear that about all the guides, and I follow all of them now on instagram, and they really are the cream of the crop. [00:18:31] Speaker A: Well, we've got. We've got six days of trip to get through, so I want to. I want to get us on to the first day here again, Ashley, hopefully providing slides. So day one, walk us through day one. Ashley, where are the highlights? [00:18:45] Speaker B: Yeah, the highlights are that you don't do anything until dinner, so you need to plan something to do, whether it's go to the pool. My husband ran up the the Hollywood canyons. We went to the library. [00:18:56] Speaker C: I would expect nothing less from Daniel. [00:18:58] Speaker B: No, he tried to run every day, but this trip was packed. That was impossible. But yes. So when we have our welcome dinner, which was a buffet at the hotel, and this is where they really start the storyline, which I did not understand was going to happen. Every single AVD is immersed in storytelling, and so Walt Disney, they make him out to be this massive. Well, he is a massive legend, but it was like learning about how he built this entire company and these little details all throughout the trip. So it really is a progressive story that the guides are telling you, and I didn't realize that was going to happen. So they start there, and then it's. You really have to be an extrovert to go on these trips. You need to, like, fun photos, as you can see, with silly props, jumping photos, group photos, individual photos. Like, we started all of that and they give you all these photos. So I have all these amazing group, group photos, and you have to stand up and tell something about your family, your kind of your disney creds. And, yeah, I mean, it was a lot of icebreakers and bonding. It was kind of like a corporate work event. Plus, Disney, in this, uh, buffet diagram. [00:20:15] Speaker A: That storytelling overlay is interesting because I don't know that I picked up on that on, like, our river cruise, but now that you're saying it, I realized they had these little touches that, like, carried threads that carried through the entire experience, like, dinner menus, had an item from each of the guides that was, you know, sort of their favorite food for Christmas dinner, you know, that sort of thing. And, yeah, there are these little traditions that they tried to weave in. So that's really interesting. I hadn't thought about it that way. That's really cool. [00:20:40] Speaker B: I mean, I almost think they had a script that these were the things you needed to tell at the. Each stop to build the story. And maybe that's because it was the Disneyland trip and it was easier to weave that story in, but it very much that Disney storytelling was present. [00:20:55] Speaker A: That's a. It's a. It's a rich history of storytelling, for sure. I want to highlight. So we're going to move to day two. There might be some folks out there scratching their head, like, why are you staying at the Lowe's hotel on a southern California abd? Shouldn't you be just at the grand California the whole time? Well, I think day two is going to answer that question. So talk us through day two, the first full day of the tour, in earnest. [00:21:15] Speaker C: This is the part I'm most jealous of. I just want to put that out there. This is the. This is the piece that makes me super jealous. [00:21:22] Speaker A: Yeah. So walk us through day two. [00:21:24] Speaker B: Day two. Um, every single day, you get up very early. So just putting that out there. And they are all very long days. Um, and it always starts out with a breakfast. So with the two days we're at the hotel, we've got at your regular buffet breakfast breakfast. And I list kind of the food that we had. Lunch was at Tam O'Shanders, which is really famous in the Disney world, because by world, I don't mean literally Florida, but the Disney world. And it is where Walt used to eat. We got to sit at his table, and then our dinner was not really dinner, but it was all you can eat at Ghirardelli's ice cream. So we were stuffed and did not eat dinner. So that was the food that was included and then the activities. So you all line up and you walk out of the hotel following those orange paddles that you see in the marketing material at the front and the back of the group. [00:22:20] Speaker A: The paddle of power. The paddle of power. [00:22:22] Speaker B: Yes, yes. Paddle of power. And we first toured the chinese theater, and it had a movie for how the theater had been redone. And then the El Capitan Theater, where we got to go backstage and see the dressing rooms where the Sherman brothers performed, and they talked about the organ that was there. And so just very typical, if you take a theater tour somewhere, just a tour of any old building. And then we were put on a big. What is it? Not a charter bus, right? A charter bus to travel about two blocks to the Jenkinson studio and wait. [00:23:04] Speaker A: They put you on a bus to go two blocks? That's crazy because then the bus picked. [00:23:11] Speaker B: Us up and I don't think they want to walk you through LA a number of blocks and you get spread. [00:23:17] Speaker A: I mean, they walked us. They walked us through the streets of like, Vienna and Salzburg and like all these other Budapest. [00:23:23] Speaker C: LA is rough. [00:23:25] Speaker A: Yeah. Especially Hollywood. I hear it's really rough in Hollywood. Yeah. [00:23:30] Speaker B: I think this is going to be a theme. You will see that the international trips are very different than this particular Abd trip. We were put on a bus to go about 2ft and we got to meet the stuffed animal of Kermit. We got to see an Emmy. And the highlight of this day, the best part was meeting the imagineer. And he is one of the main imagineer, or puppeteers, I should say, for DJ Panda, which is a big character, they have never heard of him, but it was lovely. And one of our members and our group got to do the puppeteering and then we all got, all the kids got to meet the puppet. So that was really neat. And this also is going to continue to the theme of tomorrow, which is you just stand outside in a courtyard and. And I say that because I want people to be prepared. I think you titled the show is it overhyped? And the backstage access that you get, I think is overhyped, I think being the fact that I don't think you can take a tour of Jim Henson and just standing in this courtyard, because that's all it is. It's teeny tiny and these little studios. And then we did, you know, walk in to see the kermit and hold the Emmy. That was really neat. But the studios are being used. [00:24:54] Speaker A: I think another theme that we're going to see throughout this is, I want to touch on your lunch, and your notes here about your lunch is that you all had some, I'll say, difficulty, challenges with the food along the way. Can you help folks? So Catherine has an allergy. I think there's some food allergies in the group here. Not getting into specifics, but talk to folks about that because I will say my expectation of Disney, having been on the cruise line, Abd and at the parks is that they are phenomenal with addressing allergies. The only time ive experienced them not being phenomenal was in Europe and it was at places not controlled by Disney. Right. It was the cruise itself. The food would be fine, but you go out to a german bar and its challenging. I'm curious. Talk about. Talk about that aspect for you, because I think it will weave throughout your discussion of the food. [00:25:48] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's going to color our entire experience because it happened over and over. So my daughter and I both have one of the top eight allergens, and this was the first. And, yeah, Disney's usually great with allergies, especially cruise line. And I think they missed the mark here. Generally. We informed them about our allergies when we signed up and when we met our guides. So everybody had the information, but it was a very different experience whether. And it was very inconsistent. So the very first group meal we had was at Tam O'Shanner. It's this legendary place to eat, and there are two menu items. There's the fish and chips and the prime bread. And Catherine could not eat either of them, and so they made her an off menu item. The waitress walked up and said, what do you want to eat? And she says, I like salmon. They made her piece of salmon, broccoli and french fries. Right. I mean, and she talks about it almost daily now. She loved that salmon. I, however, got one of them on menu items that was safe for me to eat, and it was completely burnt and it was not good at all. And then the prime rib was fine. So those. That's what you eat at Tam O'Shanter's, are those. Are those two items. So while they could accommodate it, you'll see that we had a lot of different experiences there. [00:27:07] Speaker A: All right, I want to return to this later in the show and ask a question, but let's keep going to day three. [00:27:13] Speaker B: So I want to mention one more thing here, though. On day three, I'm going to talk faster, Brian. [00:27:19] Speaker A: No, no, no, you're fine. I'm just. I'm just. I thought we were wrapped up. Keep going. [00:27:23] Speaker B: No, I want to mention two things. So we got back on our tour bus, and we drove past the carousel. They all know that story where Walt. [00:27:31] Speaker A: I thought you were going to say you guys reversed back two blocks and got. [00:27:34] Speaker C: No, Brian, let her talk. I already know this story, but I want everybody to hear this. Yeah. [00:27:41] Speaker B: So, you know the Griffith park merry go round? Not a carousel. [00:27:44] Speaker C: Excuse me? [00:27:45] Speaker B: Carousel is horses only. Merry go round is all the different types of animals. And we'd all heard this story, and so we were going to drive past it. Well, turns out it's in bankruptcy. It's not owned by Disney, and it's not owned by the person who operated it for a number of years because they're no longer with us. And so we took this 45 minutes detour just to go see broken down carousel that was covered in a tarp. [00:28:06] Speaker C: Why? [00:28:06] Speaker B: I have no idea. But we did. And then we went to the train barn, which Walt loves his trains. And so most of this day, and you'll see in my thought is this, most of this day could be skipped. It could be. If you really wanted to go see the theaters, you could get a backstage tour. The train barn. Okay. It is open to the public on a number of days. What was amazing here are, is meeting the human, the puppeteer, and then the imagineer at the train bar. And I have a picture of. And you see her back and her name is Tanya. She worked with Walt. She designed the purple wallpaper that we all know from haunted mansion. She traveled internationally with him. So being able to talk to her and then the other retired imagineers that just happened to volunteer at the train barn that have stories about writing the manuals for spaceship earth. And so those people connection, the people stories were amazing. The activities we did, not so much. [00:29:06] Speaker A: Well, you know, your travel agent is so concerned about how you are characterizing this trip that she has actually joined us live. Ashley, to set you straight. No, I am kidding. I do want to bring Karen in, however. Hello, Karen. [00:29:21] Speaker C: Welcome. [00:29:22] Speaker A: Karen wants to share. [00:29:23] Speaker D: Hi, Ashley. It's been great so far. [00:29:28] Speaker A: I feel like Jerry Springer, like I've brought in a special guest. No. Wants to share some information with our audience. And we love to give her our platform to do that. So, Karen, take it away. [00:29:38] Speaker D: Thanks for the opportunity to pop in. I just wanted to let everybody know that adventures by Disney is available for 2025. There's even some dates that are available through early 2026. If you have like a march or, you know, kind of early spring break, there's a few land tours that book all the way into early 2026. If you listen to this and find that adventures by Disney isn't for you, we have some other options that you can compare and decide where the best value is. Of course, only Disney can take you on this Southern California adventure, but we're here to help you find the right fit for your family. And can't wait to hear more about Ashley's adventures and for Kayleigh and our team to help her get to the next destination. [00:30:26] Speaker C: Yes. And she's, you know, she, we'll, we'll give previews at the end of what, what Ashley's looking to book, but she's not, she's not leaving the Disney bubble anytime soon. Let's just put it that way. I'll give that preview to our. [00:30:40] Speaker D: That's awesome. So you all, you've heard brian and sam say before, you can reach us at mypath dclduo or [email protected]. and let's get back to Ashley. [00:30:56] Speaker C: Awesome. Well, Kaylee is watching you and Leia's watching you, and all of your friends are watching you, Karen, right now. So they're all saying, hi, everybody. [00:31:05] Speaker D: Really stand in person on the DC. I'll do a podcast cruise. [00:31:08] Speaker C: That's right. Fabulous. This whole group, by the way, is on that podcast cruise. So we're all going to be together live. [00:31:15] Speaker D: And by the way, my background is taking on the southern California adventure that we did. Same trip that actually took during Christmas time. So I quick pop that up. [00:31:23] Speaker A: So. [00:31:24] Speaker C: Oh, love that. [00:31:25] Speaker D: We'll talk about early access photos you get. Can't wait to hear more. [00:31:29] Speaker C: Ashley's background is also from her abd in Disneyland. So that's her own picture as well. I love that you guys both chose pictures from the ABD. That's amazing. [00:31:39] Speaker A: All right, well, Ashley, let's get back to it. Karen, thank you for popping by. [00:31:42] Speaker C: Thank you for popping in. [00:31:44] Speaker A: So, Ashley, let's get back into it here. We're headed to day. We're finishing up day two. We're headed day three, right? Yeah. Let's talk about day three. [00:31:53] Speaker B: Day three is the day. This is the day you hear about. This is when we train, we check out of the lowe's. We put all of our stuff on that coach bus and we drive to the studios. We're in studios and archives. We go to imagineering, which was amazing. And then we drive through the wonderful LA traffic for a number of hours down to Disneyland and finish the night off there. So a buffet breakfast again, our lunch was at the studio. So that was our first stop was going. And if you've ever watched, what is it? Saving mister Banks where he's walking Mary Poppins through. That is exactly what it looks like. It is perfectly manicured, just not a leaf out of place. And there are little golf carts and bikes to get around that lot. And it is very neat. You get to see the handprints, the Disney legends Plaza. You get to see the snow white, the building that holds up snow White. Everything that you could google and watch in the behind the scenes, you get to see in person. So you're not going in anywhere. And that's something that I want to make sure that people who book this tour understand, especially if you have kids. We did a lot of prep work. So that our daughter knew when walking through this garden, what we were doing. And we did a lot of prep work in behind the scenes. Because you are standing, walking around, listening people for about 2 hours, but you're not really doing anything right, and you still have to. [00:33:29] Speaker A: You're just circulating through a garden, sort of listening to people talk. They're not that. [00:33:34] Speaker B: Yeah, you have one person. Your guide tells you some stories about what's happened in that building or what's happening in that building. Currently a bunch of sound stages. And you're walking through parking lots, the backs of buildings in between things. It's like. It feels like that on studio lot tour back and. [00:33:54] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:33:55] Speaker A: Oh, no, that Hollywood studios. I think she's. [00:33:58] Speaker C: She's saying, yeah, I mean, they're both. They both were like that. [00:34:02] Speaker A: I want to put a. So as we go through this, I just want to put a plug in or put a call out. So, Karen, you did this in December. You were just on the show. You just mentioned that, Chris, you did this a year or so ago. Now that we covered, I would be super curious. When this episode comes out, we'll do a post about it. I'd love to hear if Ashley's experience differed from other folks who've done abd. Cause I remember Chris coming back really excited about this imagineering day. But it's a little interesting to me that you're just kind of wandering around court with some speakers because he had his kid with him, and that does not sound like something that Nathan would put up with for very long. [00:34:37] Speaker C: So, studios part of the tour. There is an imagineering part of the tour we haven't gotten to yet, Brian. [00:34:43] Speaker A: All right, well, let's get there. Let's keep going. [00:34:45] Speaker C: Same day. [00:34:45] Speaker B: But you're still correct. We really did a lot of prep work with our daughter to make sure she had something to fidget with and play with in her pocket when she got bored. Some of the kids would catch leaves that were falling while the adults were over here talking. I mean, it's a lot of standing around, and you really have to be able to walk these distances as well. We got to hold the Oscar, which is one of the pictures I have up in the archives room and in the archives building. It was basically a restroom stop. We went into the lobby, got to take a picture with the Oscar, and then in the lobby of the building, is that amazing seven plane camera system. [00:35:27] Speaker A: That they multiplane camera. Yeah. [00:35:30] Speaker B: Yeah. Thank you. And seeing that in person was amazing. Like, it was. It was very cool, but it's just roped off and you get to walk past it. But it was still very neat to see as someone who loves the animation. So that was neat. And then we had lunch in the cafeteria at the studio. You got a lunch ticket and just your typical cafeteria. And then we had our first shopper, Toonity, as Michaela like to call it. So we heard about the special shopping places. So the cast member only shopping. And I'm curious if this was the same or different with your other guests, but you had your regular Disney store shopping. And then at each of these two shopping opportunities, there's this small back room where there would be a handful of cast member only items that would say studios or imagineering. And luckily, I like the color teal, because everything was in teal and black, orange, which is just not one of my colors. I wouldn't, there wouldn't have been anything for me to purchase. So I want to set those expectations. None of this is bad, but it's that expectation setting that I want people to have that are thinking about going on this tour that, sure, it's great, but, you know, it's a very small, limited selection of items. [00:36:48] Speaker C: Yeah. Don't expect to have every size and every color, you know, of imagineering t shirt. Yeah. [00:36:54] Speaker A: And don't expect, like Ashley did, to meet Josh tomorrow, necessarily, it looks like. So there you go. [00:37:00] Speaker B: So then we changed to imagineering, and this was the highlight of the entire trip, I think, was imagineering. But we just completely logged out that our tour guide, because, again, they took our group of 34 ish and divided us into groups. And our tour guide here was Rick Turner. And if you've seen any of the behind the scenes, he tells all the stories. He was in charge of so many things at Star wars land, and he would tell us stories about doing this. The other group, they had another imagineer, I'm sure she was wonderful. We didn't recognize her. And so I'm not sure what stories they had, but Rick Turner told us when they were doing Star wars land in whichever one opened up first, that they, you know, they have the color of the buttons at the beginning of the rise of the resistance ride, and you've got the green and what are the two colors? Blue and green? I think, like, one's the resistance and one's. I'm not a Star wars person. I just know they are two different colors. And somebody had, and he was in charge of seven of eight panels that are in this room, and the panel he didn't design, somebody just put up random colors that were the Darth Vader color and not the, like, Luke Skywalker colors. And so it wouldn't be consistent with being in that ride vehicle, and they didn't have time or money to change it. And so he just goes out and buys these little gel clings. And the next morning, the opening day of the ride, before media shows up, he's putting on these new light bulbs because he was so committed to be. [00:38:34] Speaker C: Right. Yeah, exactly. [00:38:35] Speaker B: And so we got all these little stories, and he took us through a hallway that had different models of different lands, like the new frozen land that just opened overseas. And they make a hundred. For every hundred models they make, one makes. It is what is built. And just. We saw, and I'm kind of geeking out, but we got to see the software in action that builds the designs, I should say the nighttime spectaculars, and see how they overlay all of that sound and the projection mapping. And if you saw harmonious at Epcot with the big circle thing in the middle, the quote he gave us was, that was a learning opportunity. [00:39:19] Speaker C: I mean, we talked to the guy. [00:39:20] Speaker B: The designer of that show, and had a q and A, and then we went. The last stop we had was with the sound editing people. And I promise I won't be as lengthy in details, but he. There are some six sound editing people, and they're responsible for all the ride overlays, all the in park entertainment, and all the cruise audio. I should say not. [00:39:43] Speaker C: That's crazy. That's only six people. [00:39:46] Speaker B: That's what he said. So it was really neat. I tried to get him to play some music from the new Tiana's ride, and he just gave me the death stare, but that was really neat. And this was. This imagineering tour was different than and every other tour we did. And you can see we saw the marble carvings for Snow White and everything, because we actually did something and talked to people and went inside, went inside these rooms. And so that's why the imagineering tour was so much better than every other tour we did. And then we actually, literally ran into Josh tomorrow on the plaza, where we were waiting for our bus. And we made him late because we all stopped him because he was going to a meeting with Bob. So we'll just assume it was the bob. [00:40:38] Speaker A: Nice. And you got a reserve spot, it looks like, for fireworks. [00:40:42] Speaker B: So we transfer over to. We transfer over to. Through traffic through grand California, and we check into our rooms. We're just handed our room keys. We go straight up. There's no checking in you're in the Abd bubble, and then we go to. Let's see, where did we have dinner? Oh, so you're just given a pass to go to storytellers cafe, the buffet dining they have at the grand. [00:41:04] Speaker A: And pretty decent buffet in our experience. So it's not. [00:41:08] Speaker C: Yeah, we think it's one of the better buffets. Yeah. [00:41:10] Speaker B: Okay, good. I mean, the food was fine. It's good. It was very crowded. But, you know, spring break, and that'll be a theme. We. That evening, we were given one lightning lane to Pirates of the Caribbean because it was pirate celebration, something. And then we were supposed to meet back for Walt's apartment tour. So we got to tour Walt's apartment, and there's a photo that Abd took, which is why you can see it in this photo, because you're not allowed photos at any of these things. Any of this with the marble statues or the Oscar. Those are all taken by adventures by Disney. [00:41:48] Speaker C: Oh, you can't use your phone at all? Wow. [00:41:50] Speaker B: No, you cannot use your phone to record any of these things. So they give you all these photos, but Walt's apartment is overhyped, in my opinion. I'm sure. [00:42:01] Speaker A: Sacrilege. Send all hate mail to Ashley. [00:42:09] Speaker B: I mean, if you had one good youtuber to take a video of it, you'd never need to visit it. It's teeny tiny. We heard a funny story, though, from the cast member where Walt's grandkids would sneak over the fence to the jungle cruise ride when they were supposed to be in the apartment, but there's no air conditioning in there, and so they would sneak over and throw, like, pine cones or something at the guests on the ride, and they would. You hear these funny stories, but this could have been, you know, the. Like, the work. Meaning that could have been an email that applies to multiple. [00:42:44] Speaker A: Well, I think you will definitely get some feedback on that, on that hot take there. Ashley. I did want to pull up here. This is a great question from Jeff. I'm curious if anyone has done the D 23 studios tour, and if it compares to the ABD tour. We have not. But if a listener out there or viewer has, I'd love to know their opinion there. The other one was just. He says, the imagineering part of this sounds fantastic. And I would say, I mean, that is the part that Disney leans on the hardest for. This tour is all of this sort of, quote, unquote, special access to the imagineering side. So I think, you know, jeff, you're dead on with, you know, with what they're trying to highlight out of the tour itself. So actually, we gotta. We gotta get to day four here. We gotta get to day four. [00:43:24] Speaker B: Hold on. So fireworks. A lot of D 23 people were on our trip, and they had done these tours through D 23. So I don't know the specifics, but a lot of these things were repeated for them, so. [00:43:37] Speaker C: Okay, interesting. [00:43:38] Speaker B: And then we had reserve fireworks viewing. Yay. Exciting. Okay, day four. This is our DCA day. We got up. We got to go to Pim's test kitchen and California adventure. So they basically just opened the restaurant for everybody else. You order what you want. It's great. Lunch was a $25 discard gift card to order what you want anywhere. And then dinner was on your own. And this is when everybody had really started to bond. The kids had bonded, the adults had bonded. So we ended up touring the parking with the five lightning lanes. They give you with groups of people, and we would kind of be with one family or spread out to others or meet other people in line. At the end of the night, we all end up the pool in the hot tub, and we all ordered from the bar and grill together and enjoyed that. So you really do. The people are why you take this trip. End of stories. Is that this day also included a surprise photo with Spider man. We got to ride web slingers. We got to ride radiation radiator. What is it called? [00:44:39] Speaker C: The car radiator springs. [00:44:40] Speaker A: Radiator Springs. Racers. Yes. Radiation. The fallout ride has come to Disney. No. The radiator springs racers. Yes. [00:44:48] Speaker B: And go backstage. This is one of our two backstage chats with the maintenance crew. It was this and then Indiana Jones the next day, so. And this is another thing. Get to carry your kids. We are standing in an un air conditioned maintenance car maintenance warehouse that smells like the tires constantly that they're using. And it is an hour plus q and a session. And if you don't find that interesting, you're going to get bored really fast. [00:45:16] Speaker C: Yeah, that's hard for kids, I would say. I mean, it's hard for some adults, but that's definitely hard for the kids. So that's setting expectations. [00:45:25] Speaker B: But, yeah, those kids were kind of sitting around playing, you know, rock, paper, rock, paper, scissors and stuff. [00:45:30] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:45:33] Speaker B: And then we had a photo op at the wishing well. And I mentioned this because there were obviously, they took tons of photos of us, but not with characters. For example, Mickey Mouse is never included as a meet and greet and never shows up on this avd. [00:45:47] Speaker C: That seems odd. That is. [00:45:50] Speaker B: And we thought we were meeting princesses because they were at the wishing well, and they walk away, and then we take our photos. So it's just some odd things there. And reserved parade viewing, which is wonderful. We had a great background for that reserved parade viewing. And then you get the rest of the day in air quotes on your own, and you get five lightning lanes added to your account, except for rise of the wrist as a resistance. You can use it on anything. And this is a very different experience than I think what Karen had in December when she went was actually being able to use your lightning lanes and tour the park and ride rides. This point, all the kids want to. [00:46:30] Speaker C: Do a ride rides because they standing around for Q and a for an hour. Yeah. [00:46:36] Speaker B: Yes. And multiple days. And we want to ride rides. And so this is spring break. I'd never been to a park during spring break, and it was so claustrophobic and crowded against the ABD's fault that it's crowded over spring break. But the time that we had free in the parks is when the parks are the most crowded in the afternoons. And we were unable to even use five lightning lanes because those lines were just. The lightning lanes at best, were 2025 minutes. And. And some of them were 45 to 60 minutes for the lightning lane lines. And so just being able to then use your. The things that were part of your tour was very challenging. And then this was a day that we had. I spent 2 hours looking for food for quick service that would meet one item for Katherine and one item for me. There was staffing problems with no allergy chefs to queue to be able to code it in. They don't have the allergy binders at California. In the California parks, like they do the mobile ordering, they were all out of the allergy bread. So there were no mobile order items available to order. I ended up crying in the corner of a restaurant. We were able to mobile eventually get a hot dog for Katherine, and our guide picked it up so I wouldn't have to miss the parade, which was great, but it just. It was a real, real challenge being there over spring break. [00:48:00] Speaker A: I'm just. I want to stop. And I would ask a question here that I referred to earlier. Did you. You made these challenges known to the guides, I assume. It sounds like they helped you find a hot dog. Great. But, like, did they offer, like, it sounds like you were kind of touring on your own, so you don't have the guide there to ask, where can I go get food that will meet my allergies? So that's not in the picture. But afterwards, like, what was their response to some of these challenges you had with, you know, finding. Finding appropriate food? [00:48:28] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, we were. I was live texting with them about the food. So Catherine's lightning lanes completely disappeared from my app. We were texting with them, like, how do we get our lightning lanes back? Because guest services. We waited in that line, and they couldn't help us. We couldn't get in. There's not a way to enter rides that don't have lightning lanes. When you're on ABD, you're just supposed to walk up to the exit and say, hey, look at this paper lanyard. Let me in. And most of the cast members said, no, we've never heard of ABD. And so we're live texting with them, trying to solve these problems. But there's only two guides. There's 34 people spread across two parks during the most crazy busy time. And the answer was, you know, well, we could. We're at the hotel doing. They were doing work for our next day of ABD. They could walk over and bring the paddle and show them or explain it, but at that point, that would take another 45 minutes just for. [00:49:24] Speaker C: Oh, my God. [00:49:25] Speaker B: So it. [00:49:26] Speaker A: Can we just. Can we just start with the craziest statement and what you just said, which is Disney cast members were not aware that they have a business called adventures by Disney. [00:49:37] Speaker C: Not just the awareness of adventures by Disney, but that adventures by Disney Group was there that day and that they were supposed to let them in like they would let the Das folks in. So I want to tell folks, that's. [00:49:50] Speaker A: Like a cast bulletin board item, you know, but for. [00:49:53] Speaker C: For folks who don't know the. If you. There are some rides at Disneyland and Disney World as well, that do not have lightning lanes. Right. They only have the regular standby lane. I know, because we use the disability access service with Nathan, that when you go to a ride that does not have a lightning lane, but you have a das, and it should have worked for you all. With this Abd pass, you actually go to the rides exit, and then you show them your das, and then they key something in so that it removes the das from your app so that you can book your next das, and they let you in the exit, and you get priority onto the ride, essentially. And so that's how it should work for this adventures by Disney. It's also how it works for vip tours, typically at Disneyland. At least. I'm more familiar with how it works at Disneyland, I'm sure. Similarly for Disney World. It's crazy to us that the right hand isn't talking to the left hand, which is how I would categorize, I should say. [00:50:59] Speaker A: It's not crazy. It's just mind boggling that this doesn't really happen. You know, like. I mean, like it. [00:51:04] Speaker C: Yes, it's. It's ridiculous when you're. When you are paying the premium that you're paying for adventures by Disney for this kind of experience, that you do not have a seamless transition of getting onto the rides. I mean, they can't help it for the lightning lanes that are longer, unless they were allowed you to skip even the lightning lanes, which, frankly, maybe they should do, given what this abd costs. But, um, at a minimum, the ride operator should know that you're coming. [00:51:34] Speaker A: Well, that's. But that's. That's the point, to hammer home for 1 second, which is you could have spent six days staying at the grand californian with park tickets and, you know, buying your meals for far less than it costs to do an ABD for three people to southern California. So you. What you are paying for is not the hotel and not the food, not the park admission. It's the. It's. What's the access? It's the hand holding. It's the special treatment, which we. I want to say, for everyone out there watching, we experienced that firsthand in Europe. Loved it. ABD is one of our favorite things. I think Ashley's experience is a good one to highlight. Not everything goes perfect in the world of Disney, as we all know. But, like, I would have, if I had had this experience in Europe where it was basically like, there's some guides on the boat, they kick us off one day in Salzburg and say, go figure it out. It would have been like, what? What exactly did I pay for? Right? [00:52:23] Speaker B: So, yeah, it's like that for all of us on the tour. And so it wasn't just me or our family, and it was like that for the three days we were there. And we had cast members just look at us and say, I have no idea where you're talking about, and go wait in the line like everybody else. Well, there was a vip tour near us, and he knew what we were talking about. He just happened to overhear it and. But the cast member working at the carousel just rolled her eyes and he waited to make sure we got on. So we just happened to have that, you know, the plaid vest nearby to help out. We avoided all the other dark rides. I mean, anything. Yeah, it was. It was. You should not be crying on an abdomen. [00:53:08] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah. The food situation sounds terrible, too. I didn't. I, you know, I myself don't have any food allergies and neither does Brian or Nathan. So we haven't had the experience of looking, looking for food at Disneyland. But it's, I think, important for people to know that Disneyland apparently is not nearly as good, particularly with quick serve in allergy avail, allergy safe available foods and even in sit down because I think you had a similar experience at Lamp Light Lounge, which I think we're going to talk about on this day. Yeah. Day five. Yeah. [00:53:43] Speaker A: Yeah. Let's move to day five. Yeah. [00:53:45] Speaker B: Yeah. Day five is the last day. There's a farewell breakfast the next morning. But day five is the last day of activities. And it starts off again then with a. Actually, we had to meet at six. [00:53:56] Speaker C: Look at your cute outfits, by the way, in this. Pick these pictures like you guys, the coordinating outfits are just like perfection. [00:54:04] Speaker B: This is the day. This is why you book the trip. [00:54:06] Speaker A: This. [00:54:06] Speaker B: And going to see Rick Turner at imagineering is. You were literally the first people to walk into Disneyland. That's why you meet at 06:30 a.m. at the turnstiles because nobody is there yet. They haven't even turned on the computers to scan your, you know, mobile app to get in the park. And so you walk down Magic Main street into Disneyland. You take all that. They take tons of photos of you. And I'm telling you, even I was tired of taking photos after this hour of photo session. We got the classic hats. They give you those hats on our trip. They had them embroidered with our name, but I know that's not consistent for every trip. [00:54:47] Speaker A: I got a pause. Karen saying, these photos are priceless. I like to say Abd is pricey. [00:54:52] Speaker C: And priceless photos are. These photos are amazing. [00:54:55] Speaker B: They are. [00:54:55] Speaker A: They are listening to this after the. If you're listening to this after the fact, please go over and watch this because Ashley has curated some fabulous photos from this trip and they're all really fun to look at. I'm sure we'll get a couple to throw up with the post for it, but you got to see some of these photos to really get the photos. [00:55:13] Speaker B: The pin of the day. You have to be a Disney nerd and to love this. Otherwise you're just like, what are these people doing? And there are some tweens on the trip who did not want their photos taken. But yeah, it's the photos. And so after the photo session, we are walked on. And this is key by a Disney cast member. Not our guides, but a different, like a parks cast member to ride Snow white and Peter Pan. And, by golly, if they had just used that person for 15 more minutes so we could hit toad and Alice in Wonderland, and I think there's one more dark ride right there. [00:55:48] Speaker C: Fantasy. [00:55:49] Speaker B: Snow White. [00:55:50] Speaker C: You said Snow White. Yeah. [00:55:52] Speaker B: And that would have made a huge difference to all the frustrations getting into those rides. So these little tweaks, I feel like, would have just removed the friction. Busy time. [00:56:02] Speaker C: Yeah. You've got Pinocchio, you've got Peter Pan, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, nister toe. [00:56:07] Speaker A: Here's the part that I don't understand, is it seems like a lot of these days are made up. Like, this day, you're meeting up early. You're getting the photos, I'm assuming, based on the picture of, like, there's a projector up there. Although maybe that's, like, the last night dinner or something. Um, what? What? I'm. It seems like you're left to your own devices in the parks for basically two days. And I look at that and go, why couldn't they get a plaid to, like, break you guys up into a couple groups and just, you know, like, build a vip tour? Yeah, I don't. I don't understand. [00:56:36] Speaker C: Really? Yeah. [00:56:37] Speaker A: Yeah. I don't understand that. [00:56:38] Speaker C: Right. [00:56:39] Speaker A: It's about. [00:56:39] Speaker B: It's about four to 5 hours, and it's in the. The busiest time of the day as well. [00:56:44] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:56:44] Speaker B: So, yeah. [00:56:45] Speaker A: Even more of a reason they should. [00:56:46] Speaker C: Have a plaid with you. [00:56:48] Speaker A: Yeah. I don't understand that decision at all. I mean, because if you think about the structure of an ABD outside the US, they typically have the US based or, you know, the corporate guides, and then they have local guides assigned to work. And I would view this as, like, we've got your corporate base guides, and then you've got the plaid. The expert in the parks, the people who can make stuff happen, who can fix customer service issues, like, they're nothing. Right. And admittedly, the guides can't do that. They're not. They don't work for Disneyland. Right. And so that. That's what confuses me about this whole experience, is just get a plaid involved, and anytime a plaid gets involved, everything just starts to work. Right. So everything starts to work. [00:57:25] Speaker B: The fact that the Lightning lanes left our app, and guest services couldn't fix it, and the guides can't fix it because we're part of group travel, whatever that definition means, so that we would walk up to try to scan, and they wouldn't work. Like, it's just these little friction things. [00:57:40] Speaker A: That you wouldn't, by the way, you wouldn't even need if you had a plaid with you because they're uniform and badger would get you into everything. Right. So, yes. [00:57:48] Speaker B: It was frustrating. But then we did the backstage with the Indiana Jones. That was really neat, by the way. The ride opened in 1995, and that's how many skeletons are on the ride. I think that was really neat. [00:58:01] Speaker C: 1995. [00:58:02] Speaker B: I thought that was really cool. So, yeah, another behind the scenes. And then our breakfast for about 2 hours was at the Plaza Inn with the characters. And it's not separate. So any of these things, when we're entering a Disney restaurant, whether it's a buffet like the Plaza Inn or, you know, one of the others, you're just a regular guest at that point. [00:58:24] Speaker C: Right. [00:58:24] Speaker B: So there's no photographer. The characters are coming in, like, you know, wandering through, and maybe they can have a photopass person traveling with our group as well to take the photos, because also photopass is not included in your ticket. [00:58:37] Speaker A: You have to be kidding me. Photo pass is not included. [00:58:41] Speaker B: So no ride photos, no photocast photographers. [00:58:43] Speaker C: No, that's Disney. [00:58:46] Speaker A: Come on. Disney. [00:58:48] Speaker B: So, yeah. [00:58:49] Speaker C: Old man yells at cloud. [00:58:51] Speaker A: Well, especially because. I want to say this, especially because on the other Abd tours right there, they are constantly taking photos of you. So it's like you have photopass with you. So if they're not there. [00:58:59] Speaker C: Right. And your guides aren't with you, they. [00:59:01] Speaker A: No brainer. Yeah. [00:59:03] Speaker B: So they're there for these planned photo. [00:59:05] Speaker C: Opportunities, but not the impromptu stuff with. [00:59:09] Speaker B: The characters or anything. No. Yeah. So then that picture in the corporate meeting space is our recap presentation. So to recap, they showed us a bunch of photos, and then they told us a lot more stories about the Disney company. And so it was about a presentation, and then they walked us in to Lamplight Lounge, which was our farewell dinner, which is typically like your big and last dinner. And we were in an outdoor section of landlight lounge. It was lovely. But this is when we had the worst ever had with a chef anywhere before, where when we. I told him our two allergies, he was clueless that we had allergies. So there's a. There's definitely a communication breakdown is the theme here. And he looked at me and said, I only feel comfortable serving the two of you cut fruit. And I said, for dessert? And he said, no, for your entire meal. [01:00:07] Speaker C: That's ridiculous. I have never. I have never heard a chef ever say anything like that. That's ridiculous. They should. They should know better. And your two allergies. So you put it on the slide. I want to tell people what they are, because actually, they're really not that difficult of allergies to accommodate. Your kiddo has an egg allergy and you have a soy protein allergy. So sauces are obviously an issue. Breading can be an issue because they use egg wash, usually to bread things. Right. But, like, there are plenty of foods. [01:00:40] Speaker B: That fit Disney cruise line. We walk up and they say, you can't have the fried food tonight. So I already made the grilled version of it. Right. Like, it's just. It's a no brainer. Or we're not putting the sauce on your. Your nachos because we weren't sure, or something like, it's just so easy. And he. And one of the guides even came over and he rolled his eyes and walked away like it was. It was awful. And so luckily, the server said, I will go look at the ingredients for two or three things. And she was the one who suggested to just not have the sauce and to have it plain. And if it wasn't for her, I think I might have just exploded because it was so frustrating of an experience. And the chef even turned to her and said, fine, if you want to waste your time doing that. [01:01:27] Speaker C: Wow. Wow. [01:01:29] Speaker A: Well, you wrap things up, which was gorgeous. Yes. [01:01:37] Speaker C: And reserved standing spot for world of color. So one of the things that is nice about this, the experience you had at Disneyland, is you did get reserved seating or reserved standing room for all of the nighttime shows and the parades. And that's a nice benefit. I will say if you do a vip tour, that's a benefit you get as well. But that's something that was included. This we have, I think, some listener comments, maybe some questions. Well, let's just pull up. [01:02:07] Speaker A: Yeah, let's wrap up quickly. So day six was your. I'm just going to recap as we farewell breakfast. And then you guys stayed behind, which leads me to. We had a listener question here about Martha and Howie Goodwin. Hello, both of you. Martha's wondering if an extra day at the end of the trip was needed to fully experience Disneyland and would love. [01:02:29] Speaker C: To summer on this. Very well. [01:02:32] Speaker A: And I want to get to another question in a second from them, but let's start with this one. [01:02:36] Speaker B: We needed an extra day just to do a few rides and meet characters, and so we did not fully experience. We never even made it over to the rise of the resistance or any of those rides. There was a ton of rides. We were inexperiences and shows that was. [01:02:52] Speaker A: Do you think. Sorry. Do you think that was a function of the spring break issue? Like, if it hadn't been spring break, you would have. You wouldn't have. You did the extra day. [01:02:59] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure. Spring break impacted our ability to see and tour the parks. So regardless of time of year, you need to stay that extra day. And, yes, we did have to buy Jeannie plus for that day in order to make those lightning lane reservations. And you have to scan into the park. So we rushed through our breakfast in order to scan into the park, in order to then book hyperspace Mountains. [01:03:23] Speaker C: Yeah. Now, you had two afternoons, essentially four to 5 hours, on your own in the parks. I would say, you know, obviously you had some rides that you got to do with the group and some backstage stuff you got to do with the group. But I would say, yeah, regardless, like you said, regardless of time of year, you'd probably want an extra day at the park even if the crowds were not like spring break crowds, because to be fair, Disneyland is. Is always somewhat crowded, and so you're never going to have. Not going to have walk on for marquee rides anyway. [01:03:56] Speaker B: No, not walk on, but we didn't even have. It was so crowded that the characters were not roaming. And you see, that's like the charm of Disneyland. You couldn't even see a part across to the other side of the walkway. It was so crowded, it was post fireworks in Orlando. [01:04:12] Speaker C: Craziness. Yes. Yeah. [01:04:13] Speaker A: So I want to. I want to transition us to final thoughts because we're way past an hour now, but I want to tee it up with so poor Martha, who's got this AbD set up for or later this year. This. This summer is getting a little nervous here, Ashley, based on your description of the ABD about whether they've made a solid decision. Uh, so I think you've got your final thoughts here. Let's roll through those. And then I think Sam and I can also maybe give Martha some. Some thoughts to chew on as well. But give your final thoughts first. Ashley. [01:04:43] Speaker B: Yeah. I'm so glad we did the trip. Travel is all about new experiences and meeting people, and the people are what make this trip the friendships with the guides and with the other families. It's instant friends that you then tour the park with and go on. All of these experiences with. It was, we loved the vacation, so my daughter absolutely loved it. So don't worry. I just want people to have the proper expectations, especially if they go during the crazy, busy time of spring break. [01:05:15] Speaker A: I think it's also helpful just to let people know when things go wrong, like how Disney handled it. I would say in your case, Ashley, maybe not the greatest in the moment, but that could also be a function. Again, if it was like, parks are overcrowded, things are oversubscribed, people are, you know, moving fast. So I think setting the expectations is the right thing. I also just want to say for Martha's benefit, you know, go back and listen to Chris's episode about this tour. He loved it. He absolutely loved it. Had nothing but great things to say about it. It. So, you know, I don't want to paint. You know, Ashley's experience is the only experience in this trip. Uh, and, you know, things change over time. So go listen to that after this show and you can gain a little bit of solace. [01:05:55] Speaker C: But I also would say if you have allergies, maybe some extra preparation of bringing some stuff with you, like protein bars or something, is a good idea in case you face not. I mean, you should eventually be accommodated, but the fact that you had to wait hours to get food when you're out in the heat and you're walking and all of that is not great. And so, obviously, um, yeah, if you have protein bars or something you can bring with you, Martha, if anybody's got allergies or anything like that, it might be a good idea. Um, just. [01:06:27] Speaker B: Yeah. And remember, our frustrating parts of our trip had nothing to actually do with add. It was just. It wasn't a magic. Being part of AB was not a magic wand to fix those problems. And of course, they can't bring break crowds. Go away. So, um, if you loved. If you like Disney at all, you're going to love this truck like we did. Um, so, yes, and we want to take another ABD. We're planning on booking for 2026, because I really think the international land adventures is the. Is going to. Is the whole point of ABD. I have friends that have done multiple ones, and they absolutely loved every minute they had that inclusive feeling. They didn't have these kind of communication technology breakdowns that we did when we were in the parks. So I'm in love with the ABD product and can't wait. I just need to save up for a little while to book the next one. So. Absolutely Disney is still magical. [01:07:21] Speaker C: The popcorn still tastes wonderful, like, and the churros. And the churros are better in California. I just want to point that out. [01:07:28] Speaker B: So allergy friendly ones. [01:07:32] Speaker C: There you go. [01:07:32] Speaker B: They were delicious. [01:07:33] Speaker A: Yeah. And your husband is chiming in to say, just make sure you go to time that's not completely packed. A lot of it was. The park isn't set up to handle huge crowds like Disney World, which I will, I will echo. Disneyland is a compact park. It's packing almost the same number of rides across four parks in Orlando into two parks in the middle of the city of Anaheim. So. Yes. [01:07:53] Speaker C: And Fantasyland. Oh, my God. The walkways are like tiny comparatively to Disney World version of Fantasyland. [01:08:01] Speaker A: Yeah. And I want to throw up. So we've had a couple of people chiming in about they've been on multiple abds and they've all been amazing. I think another viewer chimed in that they had been on different ones and just had different experiences. I think was Howie and Martha had been on two different ones and they had different experience across both, but both were fun. I agree with CT here who says I think about Abd as a river cruise in Europe. That's a great value proposition for. I think that the sentiment I would have around ABD is there are a lot of places where Abd adds a ton of value. I think this is one. I think there are places where maybe they don't add the same level of value. Just depends. I've said this before. If you're a mildly adventurous traveler and you're looking at booking some time in London after a cruise, it's an english speaking, mostly safe, fairly easy to navigate city. Yeah. I mean, you might if you're just. I need to hit all the highlights in two days and I have no more time than that. [01:09:00] Speaker C: Right. [01:09:01] Speaker A: That's fine. But you could probably plan that on your own and get away with a lot less and get it done. Whereas, like, us going on our first river cruise, or if I'm ever going to tour in Asia or Egypt or someplace like that, but I'm not planning that on my own. [01:09:15] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure. [01:09:17] Speaker A: Yeah. At least the first time and then you get some experience. And now I know what a river cruise is like, I kind of know what to expect and maybe I'll book one without Abd. Right. But so I think it really depends on that, how adventurous you are. And also kids. AbD does really, really well. Sort of managing kids and helping kids meet kids and making the trips fun for them for the most part. [01:09:41] Speaker B: So photos we have of the kids to remember that bonding experience. I didn't want to put any of them up, but my gosh, it was such a magical experience for Katherine. So, yeah, I mean, just, yeah, it was. It was wonderful for her. [01:09:54] Speaker A: And I want to put this up because cruising USA here says, I got a mailer from ABD advertising. A hundred thousand dollars. I'm putting this up only from a standpoint. Yes. ABD is expensive, too. We did a show on this cruise in USA, so if you want to go back and hear what the $100,000 jet experience is like, you can head back in our catalog and listen to Benji from Laughingplace who walked us through the entire experience. But, yeah, I can't afford it. But it sounded amazing. [01:10:19] Speaker C: But let us just say, most of the adventures by Disney experiences are not $100,000 per person. There is only the one trip that is $100,000 per person, and that is the around the world tour that they do where you hit all of the parks across the world. So that's a very unique experience and one for exclusive folks. Not, not us. [01:10:46] Speaker A: Yeah. Ashley, any final thoughts before we wrap up here about your abd adventure? [01:10:51] Speaker C: What are you guys booking? What are you thinking about booking in terms of your, your next adventure for adventures? [01:10:59] Speaker B: I. Well, my husband wants to go see those animals in Africa, so South Africa trip has my name written all over it, apparently. And by golly, the great thing was one of our guides. Guides in the african trip. So I already have this great information about the trip, especially a lot of the medical stuff, like how you're never so far away. Exactly. So I cannot. Oh, I cannot wait. [01:11:26] Speaker A: Is that Danny? Was that Danny? [01:11:28] Speaker B: No, it was Michaela Makayla guides Africa, I think, every summer. And she. [01:11:33] Speaker C: Danny's done Asia and he does a lot of Europe and. [01:11:37] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, he's in Europe right now. But, yeah, I mean, like, just the fact that we went on the trip and I heard about relieving a lot of my fears for the Africa trip that was worth the price of a mission. So, I mean, let me tell you, it was. Yeah, I'm excited. [01:11:51] Speaker A: Awesome. Nice. Well, with that first, everyone out there, we will not be here next Monday. It is Memorial Day, and Sam and I will be aboard the allure. [01:12:02] Speaker C: We'll be getting off the allure of seas. [01:12:03] Speaker A: Getting off the allure of the seas after a little long weekend sailing on Royal. So we will not be here next Monday. We will be back live. However, we will not go without a live show that week. We will be back live on Thursday evening, the week we return at, I think, 04:30 p.m. pacific. 07:30 p.m. eastern. Just sharing our thoughts now, having Sam second sailing on Royal. A short sailing. We're just going to kind of do a quick trip report to let you know what we thought. I don't think the allure has been through as much of an amped up process as the oasis. [01:12:35] Speaker C: It was supposed to go through a dry dock, but then that got cancelled. I think it was I cameras, a Covid cancellation or something like that. So yeah, there are certain things that, for example, it doesn't have an escape room. So there's a couple of things we won't, you know, but it's okay. We're only on a three night sailing, so I'm sure we'll have plenty to do. Sure. There will be flow rider pictures, maybe even some videos for our patreons and we'll see. [01:12:57] Speaker A: And the headliner, the headliner, you know, our live show is what it is, but the headliner is because our next live show on Monday, June 3, our next Monday live show is with the infamous DCL duo, DCL villain Josh Wilson, who will be coming on to talk about his experience with Princess Cruise line. So get ready for some hot takes, some laughter, and some fun because Josh is a fan favorite. So. [01:13:19] Speaker C: And no truffle. And no truffle percents, apparently. [01:13:21] Speaker A: No truffle percents. Yes, his he is not fancy. His presets are not truffled. If you don't know what that means, you should check out our Facebook group where we have made some new magnets that are really fun. So anyway, with that, Ashley, thank you so much for coming on to share your experience with adventures by Disney in Southern California. As always, we love having you on. Let us know when your next adventure happens and we'll have you back. But for now, thank you so much for taking the time to share with our audience. [01:13:46] Speaker B: Good night everyone. [01:13:47] Speaker C: Good night. [01:13:53] Speaker A: Well, thanks everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows. So be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week. Monday nights, 05:30 p.m. pacific 08:30 p.m. eastern over on dclduo. So be sure to head over and check that out. If you want to help support the show, be sure to hit those five stars Apple podcast. And if you leave us a written review, a five star written review, we will read it at the top of one of our main episodes. So please head over there and hit those five stars. Of course, you can also help support the show by supporting our fabulous show sponsor mypath unwinding travel. You want to book your next Disney vacation, head over to dclduo or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. If you've got questions or you'd like to connect with with us, the best way to do that is to head over to dot. It's got links to all of our things. Full catalog of the podcast episodes, including a searchable catalog for the podcast. Links off to our vlog, a link to our Etsy store where we sell some fun, fan inspired magnets. Link to our Patreon if you'd like to help directly support the show each and every month, just head over to the website or dclduo also, as a way for you to sign up for our sub stack newsletter that we're hoping to start really pumping out monthly here, at least on a few blog articles that we've written. So is the best way to connect with us. You can also, of course, email us at info or reach out to us on our voicemail line at 402-413-5590 that's 402-413-5590 the DCL Duo podcast is not affiliated with Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Company, or the Disney family of theme parks. The views expressed on the show are solely those of the individuals on the podcast and in no way reflect the views of the Disney Company or Disney Cruise line. If you have questions about a Disney Cruise or a Disney vacation, please contact the great folks over at Mypath unwinding travel or Disney directly or your own travel agent. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time for another fabulous adventure with the DCL duo.

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