I admit that there are times when I’m a Disnerd and this weekend I was a Disnerd! Upon entering Disneyland anyone who walks under the bridge and reads the plaque “HERE YOU LEAVE TODAY AND ENTER THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW AND FANTASY” and doesn’t feel like a kid again once stepping foot on Main Street, USA must have not have a heartbeat. I don’t know how Walt Disney managed to successfully pull it off but he did. Maybe it’s the happy music they play, or the sweet smells that waft through the air or maybe it’s seeing the old-fashioned cars drive by chauffeuring guests around on a tour of the park. Whatever it is, it works well.
Like most everything in Disneyland there was a line to order food when I stopped by the Jolly Holiday for a light breakfast of fresh fruit and croissant before heading to my first ride of the day. The line moved quickly and there was plenty to look at while in line. My eyes noticed many things like the Mary Poppins weathervane that is perched atop the restaurant, the rose gold Mickey treats and the old time light fixtures that adorn the interior. The Jolly Holiday is a location where Mary Poppins and Bert the chimney sweep can often been found but when I was there they were not.
Space Mountain if you’re not familiar with the ride is an indoor roller coaster where you ride in nearly complete darkness with the exception of planets and stars that whiz by your head. In the fall the theme is changed to a Halloween type ride with ghosts and is seasonally called Ghost Galaxy. For the Star Wars fans the ride is sometimes Hyperspace Mountain in which a space battle between the Empire and the Rebellion is fought and the ride experience is complete with the Star Wars soundtrack played through the built-in headrest speakers.After exiting the ride and heading towards the sunshine in Tomorrowland I primped my hair back into place after being blown around from flying through space and headed to the Star Wars Launch Bay.
I got sneak peek at the new Star Wars land called Galaxy’s Edge slated to open in 2019. On display were a variety of Star Wars props and behind the scenes footage from some of the newer movies. As luck would have it Kylo Ren was also there and I could meet him so why not? I stood in a dim hallway until Kylo appeared wearing his not yet ruined mask and invited me in. He talked a lot, at least a solid 4 minutes (or what seemed like 4 minutes) and it was all about him. Towards the end of the one-sided conversation he invited me to join the dark side but upon further investigation I noticed he was quite thin and missing the muscles of Mr. Driver. I politely declined but would have said “YES!” if it were the real Kylo.
Next on my list of attractions was the Haunted Mansion. The line moved quickly and soon the next large group en route to their doom buggies were corralled into the octagon shaped room. Just before the lights snuffed to black a millennial tapped me on the shoulder and told me she loved my jacket. On a side note I chose to wear the pink Nine West jacket because it spoke both Easter and spring to me but insecurity was also honing a cross between Guinan from Star Trek Next Generation and Hilary Clinton. Thank you kind Millenial whoever you were for the reassurance.
After the Haunted Mansion I headed over to the other park, California Adventure to drink and be merry or partake in the food and wine festival. I must have had too many drinks because I did not take any pictures of the park! All I have is a picture of the map from the park guide I received at the entry gate.
A power nap later, rehydrated with a liter of water and a wardrobe change in preparation of the cool evening weather I was back in Disneyland for a 7 o’clock dinner reservation at Cafe Orleans.
Dinner was delicious but I could not finish it all. It gave me enough energy to rid my semi hangry face (below) and continue the night so that I could conquer as many rides as possible before nights end. I headed back to Tomorrowland and took my place in the que for Star Tours. I wasn’t super thrilled about riding Star Tours again because it’s a ride I had grown tired of but it received an update since the last time I rode it. The update was exactly what the ride needed for me to enjoy it once again. It featured Finn and Poe Dameron conveying urgent messages as we followed the Millennium Falcon out to battle. There was a minor interruption by Gen. Hux while dodging gunfire (is that what it’s called in a Star Wars battle?)and weaving through an AT-AT stampede during the epic battle on Crait. Great job on the update Disney Imagineers!
After leaving Tomorrowland I walked through Fantasyland. I elected to not make myself sick by spinning on the infamous tea cups but I did snap a pic because they do look whimsical and fun.A trip to Disney could not be complete without riding It’s A Small World.
My favorite Disneyland ride is Indiana Jones. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of anything Indy related except for the entrance to Adventureland, the land where the ride is located. Even the que line to this ride is awesome! Although the ride is not the most expensive in the park it still cost 100 million dollars make, 7 years to build from concept to completion and the ride can accommodate 2500 riders per hour! I’m thoroughly mind blown each time I ride this as I wonder about all the mechanics involved of everything, from the ride vehicles to the special effects. The ride itself is huge! It feels like you’re actually riding through the Temple of Doom although the journey is called The Curse of the Forbidden Eye.
The line to ride the Matterhorn was nearly 2 hours long. Although the ride is fun the steel track roller coaster is a little rough and I really didn’t want to wait 2 hours to ride past the Abominable Snowman but a picture of the mountain and entrance are here.It was nearly 11 p.m. and I could hear Mr. Sandman starting to faintly call my name but since there was virtually no line for the Storybookland Canal Boats I decided to ride it. Once through the whale’s mouth a world of miniatures comes to life on the banks of the rivers. Palaces from Disney’s versions of various fairy tales encompass so much detail that one could be believe they were real if it had it not been for the sleeping ducks encroaching the imagination.
My last ride of the night was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s the perfect ride to give you that little boost of adrenaline in order to make the walk back to the hotel. Although my intentions were that I would have the energy to go all night exploring the park the truth was that my pixie dust was running low and I needed to land. I had just enough in me to make it back to the hotel and up 5 flights of stairs before crawling under the covers and calling it night.