Day 7 :: 27 January 2007 :: Disneyland!!!

aka "Don't forget where the car is!"

As to our subtitle, we parked in Donald 5C in the parking garage. And yes, we took pics. *veg* That's what digital cameras are for, right?

But first off, let me put in this disclaimer here. Back in March of 1979, I went to Walt Disney World with my family. I've wanted to go to Disneyland ever since, if only to be able to say I'd done "X" at both parks. This was my chance, so you'll probably see a lot of comments to that effect. I apologize if the "because I did it in Orlando/WDW" comments get old…

We went with Jenn's sister Dina, our friend Mark, and Dina's roommate Zack. As far as I'm concerned, Zack's a kind of god at this point. He works for DLR [Disneyland Resorts] and got us in free. Plus, because we got cash, we got good discounts on merchandise through him. A one day park hopper pass is $83! Like I said, a god as far as I'm concerned, particularly since this was my first time at Disneyland. When we first got there, after a merry trip from Huntington Beach to Anaheim, where Dina lived [including a side trip through the city of Orange, or as Mark and Jenn put it, the armpit of California], it was a bit later in the day than we'd originally planned, but that was okay. Dina had to move that weekend, but we were flexible.

So anyway, when we first got there, the afternoon parade along Main Street was going on. Now I'd heard about this parade from Jenn and from Lorre in the past. I was more than stoked. We got a pretty good spot along the parade route, but not at one of the "good" stop points. I didn't mind. I was happily clicking pictures and giggling over everything that passed us. The Ursula float was absolutely breathtaking. And I SO want the Flotsam/Jetsam kite puppets. They were sooo neat! And they used a really neat variation on "Welcome" from the Brother Bear film/soundtrack, which had me a bit teary-eyed. I can admit that. The really good songs always seem to do that to me. But I'm wondering if I can get a copy of the version they used. And as for teary-eyed? They used this great soundbyte quote of Walt Disney's in the show that just choked me up every time I heard it. The man was a genius and is well and truly missed.

After the parade, we made our way over to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I don't remember this one at WDW, but have wanted to do it because I fell in love with the movies. When Jenn went in May of last year, this ride was closed for the remodeling. Okay, for a water ride, this one was quite fun for me. Jenn and I sat together and she ended up getting wetter than I did on the ride; the others were in the row ahead of us. Anyway, we kept making jokes about the "dead men tell no tales" that is said over and over again; I started saying "Imhotep" in the same tone/style [The Mummy reference, FYI]. We were all cracking up. There were 3 Captain Jack Sparrow and 1 Captain Barbosa AAs [audio animatronics]. The 3 CJS AAs were eerily real looking; we were particularly "creeped out" by the first one, as it was so real looking, you could almost swear it was an actor instead of an AA.

That done, we headed over to the Haunted Mansion attraction. Now on the way over, we walked thru the little "French Quarter" area of restaurants and shops. I got my pin trading lanyard, complete with a large Eeyore clip for the bottom and several pins. Originally, we got 2 pins for my goddess-nephew Will, to start his lanyard for next year when we all go to DLR for his 7th birthday, but those ended up getting traded for a couple of specialty pins. We'll get him more next year. No worries!

Anyway, I kind of remembered the Haunted Mansion attraction from WDW. In fact, I only remember the bit at the very end with the "hitchhikers." But this was also a fun ride. Once again, Jenn and I were in a car together, so it was fun for her to mention things along the way, or point out things that I might have otherwise missed. I really enjoyed this ride, that's for sure.

After that, we wandered around a bit, then headed over to the California Adventure, where Jenn and I ended up having dinner. We got hotdogs at Award Weiners, then walked around CA for a bit and did the Monsters, Inc. ride before meeting up with the rest of the gang to say goodbye to Zack and head over to Space Mountain.

We caught part of the parade again before heading over to SM. It was a better "stop" point, and was very kewl to see the parade at night. I was really enjoying myself, and noticed some of the performers/cast members were the same as the earlier play.

Space Mountain frakking ROCKED!!! I did this one at WDW when I was 9 ½ back in 1979.

Flashback to March 1979… I remember a 90 minute wait OUTSIDE, but I don't remember how long we waited inside then. It was my dad in one car [1 person cars at that time] with my sister kneeling on the floor between his legs, and my gramma in the car behind him with me kneeling between her legs. I remember her taking off her glasses and putting them in her knee high nylons "to keep them safe" and making some comment about hoping she wouldn't piddle herself on the ride [I wholeheartedly agreed with her hope, trust me!]. The lights were low, so you didn't see a whole lot, but the tunnels were kind of blinding in contrast. It was a short ride with a long wait, but it was a lot of fun. If I remember correctly, my sister screamed thru a good portion of that ride. She was only 7 ½ after all. Tho' I may be combining memories and remembering her screaming on the Zambezi Zinger instead [which I know she did].

Anyway, back to the present. The signs were saying a 65+ minute wait outside the ride. We actually didn't wait that long. I'd say, start to finish from stepping in line to getting off the ride itself, it was probably about 45 minutes. So the music was provided by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I really need to find a copy of that song, as I really liked it… Mark and I were in the last row of one car, Jenn and Dina in the first row in the car right behind us. Jenn had a bit of an issue with the lap harness bar, but persevered. This ride totally frakking ROCKED! I was totally enjoying myself. Never screamed or freaked out. Never let go of the bars either, but that's not a big deal. Wasn't even a little dizzy/sick or anything when we got off the ride. Part of me thinks I didn't have as many issues because it was kind of dark in there, and I couldn't see what was coming up. Will probably test this theory with some other rollercoasters, as I know Jenn would be ecstatic if I could ride roallercoasters with her. And because I am the ultimate in clichéd tourists, I bought the pic of us on the ride, because I looked like I was enjoying myself. Which I so was!

So after riding SM, we walked around a bit, and tried to go on the Alice in Wonderland ride, not the teacups mind you, but they were closing it down as we got over there. Bummer. No one wanted to go on the teacups with me [another WDW ride], so I'll just have to save that for next year. We wanted to do the Storyland [??] ride, but didn't want to miss the fireworks, so opted against the ride. Again, next year. Looked in a few more shops, got more souvenirs.

We waited for the fireworks. Had pretty damned nice seats, too. Waited half an hour past the appointed time before they announced the fireworks were cancelled due to high winds at the higher elevations. We frakked off a bit in the stores along Main Street while people were leaving in droves, and didn't even bother to see if we could watch Fantasmic.

A few more highlight comments here…

I want Boo and Sully dolls like the AAs in the Monsters, Inc. ride! They were so kewl! And all the dolls/pins I've seen for Boo are too fake looking.

Among the pins I bought for my lanyard are Peach from Finding Nemo [which is a special one in that it's a cast member's only pin that has to be traded for[, Ed from The Lion King [and now I'm on the hunt for Shenzi and Banzai pins], a Space Mountain pin, a very nice Walt and Mickey pin, and a pin of Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp. There are others, but I'm blanking on them atm.

The tram out and back was kinda kewl, and I'd loved to have explored the shops outside the park [where you don't need a ticket], but it was getting late. Again, next year!

I think perhaps the kewlest of all my souvenirs from DLR is either my "First Time" pin that Zack got for me or the china Elliott statue we got. I didn't even know that Disney was doing memorabilia from Pete's Drago, man! I was so beside myself squeeing when I got that statue. Elliott is one of my all time favorite dragons EVER!

Once we figured the crowds had died down, we headed back to the car so we could drop Dina off and head back to Bonnie's place to crash. Mark had to deal with a flat tire, due to a screw, but from what I understand, that was taken care of the next morning.

All in all, it was a very fun-filled day that I won't soon forget…

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