Congratulations! You Are A WINNER!
YAAAYYY! WOO HOO!…
Well that was back in 2020 when I won tickets to The Woody Show Take-Over of DCA (Disney’s California Adventure), but then the world shut down and total disappointment struck my soul.
BUT... fast forward to 2021 and an email that assured the 2020 Winning tickets were going to be honored on August 19 arrived! Another… YAAAYYY! WOO HOO! All good things come to those who wait and boy did we wait!
August 19th, finally arrived and the scorching CA heat took a couple of days off and we were off to Take Over DCA.
Someone said to me- “Disney is never as fun if you go all the time”, but I beg to differ because every time I go the excitement of going consumes me. Especially when you know there won’t be very many people in the Park and the lines will be short and the heat is gone… YIPPEE!
Tickets in hand, camera in bag and off we go! Parking at the Toy Story lot was the best choice so we didn’t have to walk back to the car at the end of the evening. The Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals Parking structures still have no trams running back and forth and it is a LONG walk back at the end of the night, no matter if it is free parking.
Security was a breeze! My tip to all, if you are going to The Happiest Place on Earth- get yourself a clear plastic insert for your park bag so you can put everything in it and zip it closed. When its your turn, you just pull out the clear plastic insert and they can see everything they need to see, including all the way to the bottom of your regular park bag. Its all about making everyone’s life easy, including the Security Team.
The Esplande, which is the large common area between Disneyland and California Adventure, housed a row of tents for all of the winners to check in. Such smooth sailing through this process- get wrist bands, a map and a cool Woody Show pin and of course our tickets. From 8pm till Midnight, DCA would be all ours, but as a bonus we were allowed to join the General DCA crowd 3 hours early… YES! Scanned our tickets, first photo of the night and we were ready. To the turnstiles!
Walking down Buena Vista Street our first encounter was with Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit. Social distancing does not allow for close up character meet & greets yet. Oswald was happy to pose for a quick picture with us from his post on the stage. And then off we went to venture into the newest area DCA has to offer… the Avengers Campus.
Before we reached our destination, we spotted a little area playing omage to the Woody Show and we discovered they had been there earlier broadcasting an afternoon show to kick off the takeover. Unfortunately we were not there early enough to partake in the show. Bummer!
But back on track, we entered the gates of the Avengers Campus! On the left Mr. Stark has a huge building in which Spider-Man tries out his new spider suit and then repels down the building to greet his fans. Since Spider-Man had been testing his suit all day, he was not going to be joining the Woody Show fans. We ventured around to the front of the Web Slingers attraction, which requires a boarding group reservation to ride. However, tonight this would be different. All of the guests in attendance were NOT going to need a reservation to ride, but were going to be able to just hop in the stand by line and wait to ride! What a treat! This was definitely on the list for our adventures.
PYM’s Kitchen was cooking up Quantum pretzels and Not so Little chicken sandwiches. As well as to quench your thirst, a Coca-cola Freestyle machine lets guests pick their favorite cold beverage and a bar serving beer for those wanting a different type of foaming beverage.
Across the way, we caught a glimpse of Captain America chilling near the plane and waving to his fans. Just adjacent to Captain America is an Ancient Sanctum, where Doctor Strange tells the secrets of this area. We learned there was to be one show only at 8:45pm, so we would return to learn what we could about this magical place. There is an optical illusion area that is well worth spending some time to stand in the right place and snap a photo. Pretty cool! Thank goodness the sun had already begun it’s descent. This area tends to be a very warm place to be in during the day with all of the buildings and concrete. We headed out of the Avengers Campus to find some grub.
The recently reopened Pacific Warf Cafe’ was calling to our bellies and bread bowls would soon be ours. Mobile order is still something the Disney folks are pushing hard, but we chose to stand in line and order our food. After about a 15 minute wait, we ordered our long awaited dinner and scouted out to find a table. Bread bowls… one filled with clam chowder and the other broccoli cheese soup and a club sandwich. Truly missed the bread bowls but man was that club sandwich delicious! It was our first time having the sandwich and it did not disappoint. We had an extra guest join us for dinner, a duck. She was quacking away so we shared some sourdough bread with her. I think she missed the bread bowls too.
As the clock drew closer to 8pm, we watched as the guests started to scramble around to get their last beers, bread bowls and burritos and then the announcement was heard, “Disney’s California Adventure has concluded its normal day of operation.” YES! Soon the Park would be just for the Woody Show winners. It is quite a task for the Cast Members to shuffle out the non-purple wrist band wearing people. They are very strategic in this process and it seemed to go very smoothly. Back to The Avengers Campus we went.
Being early in line to watch a show most definitely has its perks and we were able to pick our place to enjoy the show… front row was my choice for viewing. Doctor Strange utilized his magical abilities, while also calling on the assistance of the Orb of Cagliostro. We were also treated to an unexpected surprise guest who quickly moved on to another dimension. Our mission was accomplished and we helped The Avengers more than they will ever know. We had heard the Ancient Sanctum was even more special at night and it truly was. Make sure you check it out.
For our special treat of the night, access to Web Slingers without having to have a boarding group! Right On! Web Slingers is one of the 2 attractions (the second attraction coming… ?) inside the Avengers Campus. Our mission is to help wrangle in the quickly replicating spidey bots of Peter Parker. Once again, The Avengers need our help, along with Spider-Man of course. But first we must tackle the 45 minute windy switchback queue. There are a few props and directions on how we will be slinging our own webs while on the ride, but nothing spectacular. There were quite a few fans blowing air on the patiently waiting people, but it is a pretty closed in queue, so I imagine it gets warm back there on a hot day. The queue did extend backstage, but it even had some decor to remind us that we were waiting for the ride. I was actually surprised that there wasn’t a beverage cart in the queue to help the anxiously waiting heroes quench their thirst… probably an addition to come. Anyway, closer to the entrance and only 35 minutes waiting- there was a fun wall that we stopped to take a picture in front of and then we were inside the WEB Lab of Peter Parker. If you take the time to look around, you will spot some really cool Easter eggs throughout the lab. We had to move along quickly since the spidey bots were replicating at warp speed. We grabbed our glasses and prepared to sling some webs. In moments, we were all loaded in and ready to sling. We moved from location to location slinging webs and scoring points and did defeat the humongous spidey bot… WHEW! This ride is very similar to Toy Story Midway Mania, but is still stands on its own. It’s a blast to sling webs and see who has the highest score and this ride has no height requirements so all can enjoy.
Off to Radiator Springs for a quick race, but the wait time was 55 minutes which seemed a bit long with such a limited capacity event, so we decided to come back later. Come to find out the ride had broken down, so returning later was our only option. Alt 98.7 tunes filled the air as we strolled by Ghiradellis for some ice cream, but to our disappointment they were closed. No Lands End Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae… so sad! At Paradise Bay, a DJ was spinning some tunes while dancers danced to the beats he was spinning. It was time to go under the sea on The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. We walked straight onto this ride and it was refreshing to just chill, sing and visit Ariel.
It was exciting to see Grizzly River Run running again and take in the sights of the Grizzly Peak area, so peaceful. And then it was time to Soar… Around the World that is. Only one side was being utilized, but we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes and we got to ride row one in the center! In all of the times I have ridden Soarin, I have never ridden row one center, so this was a big treat for me. Well kinda… I am terrified of heights! What a great feeling when the fireworks exploded and we were right in them. I may ask for that seat again… maybe.
A jump start was what we needed… Starbucks here we come! Clarabelle’s Ice Cream was open and the kitchen sinks were going out the doors for guests to enjoy. What would a visit to Disney be without a little shopping at Elias & Co. Halloween was front and center and the guests were loading up on the spooky wear. Time for a stroll down Hollywood Blvd. Red carpet, lights in the sky and a Woody Show photo op… picture time!
The screams from Guardians of the Galaxy echoed in between the chorus of Believer by Imagine Dragons. Quick glance at the watch and “Oh My” it was 11:45pm… run to Radiator Springs… and we made it. Unfortunately we didn’t win the race, but it was an awesome way to end the night.
Time to say goodbye and we strolled out the front gates around 12:30AM. We thanked the Cast Members for the night and off to catch a bus to our car. I was relived to see so many buses arriving to pick up those ready to go home. Smooth and simple.
The Woody Show Take Over at DCA was fabulous and fun! The only bummer of the night is that we weren’t able to catch up with The Woody Show folks in person and tell them thank you. So here goes… We can’t thank you, The Woody Show enough for putting this together, but mostly for being so kind and honoring the tickets that were won in 2020. A little bit of Pixie Dust was sprinkled upon us and we are gracious! And we had a BLAST!
Join Woody, Ravey, Greg and Menace, on Alt 98.7 Weekdays from 5am-10am to check out their “Insensitivity training for a politically correct world” show. It’s a gas!