One day at DisneyLand 6/5/05 - part 1
Well, a couple of my friends plan a trip to LA every summer. They go to see this band reunion – Blackboard Jungle; I think they were big in the late 80’s. Well, I told Carole that I was tagging along on her trip this year – just so I could go to Los Angeles!
Once the date of the show was set, we all booked our airline tickets and our hotel. The show was Saturday night and Carole had plans with friends I didn’t know on Sunday. So basically that was a free day to be a tourist. I started looking at LA Tours that I could take and low and behold…this one company had a DISNEYLAND tour. They pick you up at your hotel, drop you at the park and then pick you up later – they had an all day or an all day and all night tour. Well, sign me up!
Since I know Disney World pretty well, I had to read up some on DisneyLand. I bought a few books and asked someone on the Disney World Trivia page. He was so helpful – THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! He basically gave me a play by play of what is the same and what is different from the World to the Land. It was a GREAT help!
I made sure to pack a roll of quarter, a roll of shiny pennies and sunscreen. I was ready to go to Disney! Oh wait, I was actually going to LA to see a band, better pack some clothes for that too.
The day finally came for us to leave and we were at the airport EARLY! One of our friends was in a wheelchair and we had some trouble getting her on the plane. Our flight left 1 hour later than scheduled, but we were finally on our way. Carole’s friend, David, picked us up at the airport and took us straight to his salon to get our hair done. We all looked fabulous and we headed to our hotel to check in. Boy was this a let down. “Ma’am, those are requests, we aren’t always able to fulfill requests.” Excuse me? You are planning to put me on a smoking floor?!!? I was not a happy camper. We eventually got that straightened out and went to dinner at The Rainbow.
The next day was filled with band stuff – checking out sound check and everything. That night was the show at The Whiskey a go go – so I can say that I have finally seen a show at this world famous club – smells like all the others to me. After watching half of the band from the back of the club, I left early. I was just not into it and was too excited about the next day. My girlfriends just didn’t understand this. Luckily, the hotel was within walking distance.
I set an alarm on my cell phone and on the clock and set a wake up call. I was so afraid I was gonna miss my pick up. No worries, I woke before all 3 and got in the shower in plenty of time. The van picked me up in front of the Bel Age at 8:45am and off we went….to pick up more people. Then we stopped and changed to a different vehicle with some other people. We drove to Disney and they dropped us off at the parking lot. I had reserved the All Day trip – to be picked up at the park at 6pm. By the time we made it to the park that morning it was almost 11am. That was most certainly not enough time. I gave the driver the $10 difference for the 2 pick up times and told him I would be on the 10pm bus. Everything was explained to us and we were off!
Grabbed the next tram coming by and they dropped us off by Downtown Disney, right in front of the World of Disney. I could already tell that this place was very different than Disney World. Walked a little ways to the security checkpoint and already had my bag open, hardly any wait at all. Walked a little further and WHOAH!!! The lines to get into the Magic Kingdom were HUGE!!! I don’t think I had ever stood in a line that long to get into any park! But I got in what I thought would be a short line – turns out all of them were pretty slow. Not sure what the issue was this late in the morning, but there was quite a crowd gathered in front of the train station getting a picture of the big 50 made with flowers…
I walk on past and get onto Main Street and call my mom to let her know that I was there. She told me not to worry about souvenirs, just spend my time getting as many fun things done as possible – Check and will do! (Yeah, you know I got them something….).
I had my picture taken on main street, in front of the castle (wow, this one is much smaller than Cinderella’s). I never did make it to see those pictures and they don’t have photo pass at Disneyland - total bummer!
I headed to the Hub and made a left into Adventureland, wow, this place is crowded today. I grabbed a fastpass for Indiana Jones. The set up is kinda confusing as the fast pass distribution is right by the Jungle Cruise area. I have 2 hours before I can ride, so I headed to New Orleans Square to see the Pirates. The line looked pretty long, but it wasn’t too long on the inside. I asked the guy if I could sit by myself instead of being stuck on a row with some family, so he put me on the front row of the boat. Wow, I didn’t know this thing had drops like this! What is with the southern hillbilly shack and songs before you head in, that is kinda out of place.
I left the Caribbean and turned left, heading towards the Haunted Mansion. The line here was not long either and I was soon in my Doom Buggy. The ride stopped while I was in Madam Leota’s room….kinda weird hearing that speal over and over again. Once out of the house of spooks, I headed to The Winnie the Pooh Ride. Splash Mountain was down, but since I don’t ride water rides, I didn’t care. Did not wait too long for the Pooh adventure ride, and I could see some of the characters while peeking over the bushes. Cute little kid in front of me kept waving to Tigger! I have to say that I like this ride better at Disney World. The individual honeypots that bounce up and down are so cute. I had to ride in the back seat behind a family that talked to their kid through the whole thing.
After getting off (oh, I tried to take a self portrait on the ride, didn’t turn out too bad), I walked over to where the characters were out. I saw RABBIT!!! I have never seen him out at Disney World, so I ran over to get in line. Too late, Rabbit was leaving, but Piglet will be out in 5 minutes, I chose not to wait.
It was getting closer to my time for Indiana Jones, so I started walking back to Adventureland. Looked like Splash Mountain was up and running and the line was getting pretty long. Since my fast pass time was good for an hour, I decided to go for a ride on the jungle Cruise first. The wait was listed at 20 minutes and I think I waited just under that, the line was continually moving. I don’t like the queue here, you have to go upstairs, they split the line and then everyone jumbles back together, and then you split again. It really makes no sense. Got on the boat, sitting in the back. Our ride captain was a cute older guy, but he was kinda boring. I wasn’t too impressed and the piranhas did not seem to be working today.
I got off the JC and headed to Indiana Jones, walking straight through the fast pass lane. There is quite a long walk from the entrance to the ride on this thing. You walk through a ton of caves. The group of teenagers in front of me had to stop and take their pictures everywhere. I would say I waited only 10 minutes in this line, but it was made much longer by this group. I got to pass a few people being a single rider. Wow, this ride is cool, but not that much different than Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom. It jerks you around quite a bit and I think the storyline is lost in all the curves and turns you make. But a fun ride none the less.
I then decided to change lands and headed towards Tomorrowland. I passed by the Tiki Room and was hoping to catch the show, but they had just shut the doors. Took a picture of one of the “50”’s around the park and headed towards the hub. I was hoping to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters but the long was LONG! I grabbed a fastpass that was good for about 2 hours later. I then got in line for Star Tours. Yup, pretty much the same ride as the Studios in Florida. However, our CM sang to us – the Weird Al Yankovick (sp?) song about Anakin Skywalker. After the tour (and many text messages on the phone, my 2 friends were in an argument and decided to include me while I was at Disneyland and they were at the hotel), I decided I was ready for lunch. Headed for Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port. Lots of options here, but I went with the pepperoni pizza and a coke. The cashier told me that I could have 1 free refill – awesome. A quick stop at the restrooms and I headed out. My fastpass time still wasn’t up, so I went to take in Honey I shrunk the audience. I had never seen this at Epcot, so nothing to compare it to. The theatre was mostly empty, so no need to move all the way down your row. I went to the back and sat in a middle seat – had the whole row to myself. Well, of all the 3d movies I had seen at Disney, this one was the worst! What a waste of time!
While walking around, wasting time until Buzz time, I spied ‘PUSH’. The walking talking trash can. He was having fun with a couple that had just gotten married the day before. I was determined to figure out the secret behind ‘PUSH’ and let’s just say, I have photographic evidence now! While standing around, I could smell this wonderful smell, what was that? Ahhhh, churros!!!! I had to have one. Grabbed a sweet cinnamon churro and a water while I waited the last 10 minutes for the fastpass time to arrive.
Finally, into Buzz Lightyear! I attempted another self portrait in front of Buzz, but that didn’t turn out to well. The ride stopped while I was in line, so the wait was a little longer than 5 minutes. Finally got into my “spaceship” and prepared to blast aliens. I think I did pretty well, even got extra points when the ride stopped again while I was in between rooms. After you get off the ride, you go past these computer terminals. You can find your own picture and then email it to yourself – FREE! That never happens at a Disney park. I found my picture and I looked so serious about getting Zurg that I emailed it to myself. It is kinda cool, when I looked at it at home; it includes your scores up in the corners of the frame. Then you are dumped into a big store, now I know I am in Disney territory.
After getting off that ride, I consulted my map and took a pathway around the Matterhorn to Fantasyland. I went to the entrance of the Storybook Land Canal boats and the ride was closed. They use those CM’s for security during the parade, so it is closed from 1 hour prior to 1 hour post the time for the parades – according to the CM there. So I headed to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. First I stopped at The Mad Hatter to get a baseball hat shield my face from the sun. The overcast morning had definitely burned off. While in line for Mr. Toad, the ride shut down. Left there and got in line for Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, then to some other kiddie ride, I seriously do not remember what it was.
After leaving that forgetful ride, I followed a path around to Big Thunder Mountain petting zoo – no thanks, I will pass. I kept walking around and went to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The line was 45 minutes, but the fastpasses available were good in 40 minutes. No choice there, I grabbed a fastpass and then was able to just jump on board the Mark Twain Riverboat. Got a bird’s eye view of New Orleans Square and those crazy people waiting in line to get on Tom Sawyer’s canoes – you have to paddle yourself? No thank you! Got a semi-decent self-portrait of me on this trip around the River. I need to perfect this if I plan to take any more solo trips!
Off the boat and walking around until my time on the fastpass is here. I go to press a penny and who walks up to help me choose? WOODY!!! Woody and Jessie were heading to a character greeting and I just had to get in line now. Well, it just amazes me the people that ignore the line and just walk up and start taking pictures. That just doesn’t seem to happen as much at WDW, the CM’s make sure of that. I got my picture, Woody kissed my hand and I headed to the wildest ride in the wilderness.
BTMRR is basically the same in both parks, nothing too exciting to report here.
Now, I decided I would go see what was happening back in Fantasyland. Caught part of the Merlin show where a kid pulled the sword out of a stone. Then got in line for Mr. Toad again. I was about 10 people from getting on and this kid stood up in his car. This shut the whole ride down – AGAIN! I just decided to wait it out. This was a cute ride, it does whip you around a bit. After leaving the wild ride, I went to see if the Canal ride was back open and it was. While waiting in line, they announced that Mickey was going to climb the Matterhorn with Minnie and Goofy cheering him on. It seemed to take forever for him to start. Everyone was walking the rounds in the queue with this heads up to see. He finally made it to the top and planted his 50 flag at the top. I rode the ride, oh how I wish I had skipped it!