We got there in the middle of rush hour. It was sure nice to be pulling into that immense garage instead of work. Damon and my wife barely kept up with me as I raced down the escalator to the empty tram.
At the ticket booth, we were surprised to find out about a great annual pass deal for Southern California residents. You get a pass to both parks for $105. With a DCA trip in the near future, we couldn't pass that up. Come on! Fireworks after work, a quick ride on the bobsleds on our way back from the parents' house. Half a Sunday. At Disneyland?? For $105? A steal!
So we giddily scampered to the end of Main Street where a crowd was gathering to be admitted to the rest of the park. With the castle looming, we darted off towards the bobsleds for our first ride just as soon as the shiny happy security guards gave us the go ahead.
After a quick jaunt around the Autopia track, we jumped on the train and headed to New Orleans, California to make our reservations at Disneyland's finest eating establishment, The Blue Bayou.
Pirate's was down which bummed us out. We hoped that it would be running later while we were dining. It's really cool to see the boats floating by while enjoying a mint julep (okay, I'd actually never been there, but I say that on the menu and was thinking about it all day).
We saw a long line for the Haunted Mansion and so picked up fast passes and headed for Splash Mountain for a walk-on. After a blissful escapade with Brer Rabbit (and making sure my wife didn't attempt to get herself posted on Flash Mountain), we headed back to the Haunted Mansion. It seems that the line was due to folks waiting for the attraction to open. We walked on along with everyone else.
The Nighmare Before Christmas get up was really well done. Having a dog that looks like Zero, I especially enjoyed the part were he flies across the ballroom. Fun stuff. Permagrin fodder.
Thunder Mountain was still closed with a semi-permanent looking fence surrounding it. There was a section that I could see and it looked like some of the decorative wooden ties had been removed from a section of track.
The rest of the day was walk-on city. We made lots of noise on the Matterhorn again and even checked out the Enchanted Tiki Room (my wife's first time).
We rode The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and were really happy with it. Having gone through a psychedelic phase in my life, I especially appreciated Pooh having an out-of-body experience and tumbling into a crazy dream with lots of pretty colors. Even Tigger was purple and pink. How cool is that?
We wrapped up the day with a wonderful dinner at the Bayou. As we sat down, we noticed them testing empty boats. Then, to our utter joy, people appeared in the boats. Everyone in the restaraunt broke into wild applause. We almost tossed our beef medallions and prime rib aside and swam out to the boats outselves...but we figured the happy security guards wouldn't have been so happy had we tried that. Besides, "Dead men teeelll noooo taaaales!" ;)
While waiting for the fireworks, we checked out Innoventions. The MC that let us in was a dead ringer for the kid waiter in Office Space. I thought for sure he'd offer Pizza Shooters or Extreme Fajitas.
What a stinker! I felt like I was at the fair getting pitched chopper-in-a-hoppers. And half the interactive exhibits didn't work (not that they would have been much fun). We headed for the exit as quickly as possible. Damon mentioned that he has more fun surfing the web at work. Time for a new attraction I think.
Actually, Tomorrowland is pretty much dead now. It's sad. Of course Space Mountain is gonna be out of commission for a while. But Innoventions stinks, the Rocket Rods are no more. Circlerama, gone...Submarines, ain't working. Rocket to Mars, Pizza. Rocket ride, brought down to earth and decorated terribly (was so much better way they heck up in the sky soaring over Tomorrowland.) Star Tours, ancient.
What a mess. It was once my favorite land. I would like to see it brought back to it's former glory. I know it's difficult to keep pace with technology, but the Jules Verne thing is kinda ugly. I hope they revamp it for the anniversary.
But that was really just a small part of our day. The fireworks were spectacular. The little old lady's voice saying, "Remember to keep the magic in your heart, and always believe.." or something like that, had me rolling! Fun stuff. Schmaltzy, but fun.
Oh, and after the last pop, the sky filled with foam, er snow. It was cool to see little kids eating it. I wouldn't be surprised if, after they wake up tomorrow morning, their parents find mouse ears growing from their pointy little heads. ;)
Great time. If you hate lines and don't mind missing a couple attactions in rehab (overdosed on excitement), check out Disneyland in the offseason, on an off day. And don't forget to check out the Blue Bayou. By the way, the waiter was kind enough to get me a copy of the recipe for Mint Juleps. If I remember, I'll bring in the recipe tomorrow and post it here.
(edited for teerr-r-r-r-r-r-ble spelling and grammatt-t-t-tical errors due to my excitement) *** Edited 11/18/2003 6:28:24 PM UTC by janfrederick***
Glad to hear you had a great day at DL though.
Yah, with the pass, we'll probably go a couple times just for the fireworks and perhaps take another spin on Pooh. That ride brought the Tibetan Book of the Dead to mind. It's almost as if Pooh was on the path to enlightenment (his hunt for hunny) and had to die spiritually first (his out of body experience followed by the psychedelia)...then, at the very end, he is "reborn" (he wakes up to a birthday party with all his friends....awwwwwwwwww)
Pretty heavy stuff for a kiddy ride...but I'm sure all the designers have read the Tao of Pooh.
On second thought, maybe you shouldn't. I like your attitude better. :)
Aww shucks, I forgot to bring the recipe again. It was like creme de menthe and sugar and lime juice simmered to dissolve the sugar, then chilled and served with mint leaves with ice in a tall glass. I'll try to remember.
I believe a real mint julep is made with whiskey and from what I heard they are awful. That sounds like a Disney-fied version of the drink which seems more palitable than the real thing.
BTW, after your description of the Winnie The Pooh ride I am sad I missed it now. Although it would probably be much better riding it while thinking of your description ;) Don't know if I could come up with such a twisted explanation as you have ;)
At DCA I was able to get a real drink at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant. I think they changed the owner, and I'm not sure if they still offer liquor.
Yah, I went on the Pooh ride not expecting Indiana Jones. It's a little short, but on par with the Fantasy Land stuff. I really liked the way it flowed, the art direction, the music, and especially the entrance where various gates open as you enter (ala "Get Smart").
Oh, by the way, and the alarm clock that woke him up reminded me of "Dark Side of the Moon."
The line was really short, but then again, so were all of the lines that day (Monday in November).
Speaking of Fantasy Land, I think it would have been better situated there, although I'm not sure where they'd put it. Perhaps they could have removed the amphitheatre.
Edit: "Whickey Mouse perhaps?" ;) *** Edited 11/21/2003 6:43:15 PM UTC by janfrederick***
I think the same can be said for certain coaster "fans" or any other type of hobby.
Can't wait to finally get on Matterhorn in March.
The fireworks at Disney and Epcot were fantastic on Friday, Flash, er, Splash Mountain was extremely wet (way more than I remember), and is still one of the best flumes anywhere.
Our Space Mountain is working fine...:)
None of the Disney bartenders would make it out of Louisvile alive...;)
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