Alright, time for a play by play of my first day in the park, with some reviews in there! Let’s go!
So I woke up around 8 – already missed the Magic Morning thing. Didn’t want to go anyways. Got up, dinked around a bit, had food, and then went off towards the park!
So they’ve been bulking up security around Disneyland lately. By now they’ve moved the security checkpoint all the way to the edge of Downtown Disney, which would be fine on its own, but they prevented guests of other Disneyland Resort Hotels from using the entrance to DCA from the Grand Californinan!
Well there goes that shortcut. So I have to walk longer to get in and out of the park. Bleh.
I entered the park with my younger brother and we eventually met up with my mom, who was already in the park, and we headed off for the Jingle Cruise!
Important note: Today is the last day of most of the holiday decorations for the park, sans It’s A Small World, which is staying around for another week or so. So today was our only chance to go on most of the holiday versions of rides before they closed for refurbishment. So we had a bit of a deadline to make, heh.
Jingle Cruise was punny and silly just like Jungle Cruise, but with more Christmas. We rode the Jingle Belle and got a skipper who was terrified of fruitcake. It’s too bad his gunshots don’t seem to make them run away.
Next we went on Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye via single rider (told ya it comes in handy!) Nothing new, same old ride as always – it’s a good one too! A few years back they updated it with some new effects, mostly when it comes to the beginning when you choose the door. I got to see the future… I saw a dismal presidential career for a certain someone. Unsurprising.
Mom and I then decided “hey, we should do Small World”. After a few minutes of waiting in line we realized that the line was way too long, we could go on it another day when it’s not Sunday (the MOST CROWDED day of the week!) and the sun was blaring on us. So we abandoned and went and met my sister to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. My brother joined us in the line later.
Again, nothing new for Pirates. Same ol’ ride. My one update complaint is probably the screen for Davy Jones’ face, which doesn’t really help him be visible and also makes the port suuuper foggy. But what I DO have is some complaints from my grandparents who went a few months ago!
- Ride seemed too outdated and “rinky-dink” – when asked what they wanted updated, they kind of shrugged and said stuff like “maybe make the cannons shoot actual cannonballs? That would be cool”. Nobody in my family agrees with them.
- The skeletons looked too fake. My mom (and now me!) had the pleasure of telling them that every single skeleton was 100% real, purchased from UCLA when the ride was first built since all of the fake skeletons looked too fake.
- There wasn’t anything in there from the movie. Clearly they haven’t watched the movies or forgot who Captain Jack Sparrow is, who is in there three times.
Moral of this is that my grandparents have weird opinions that I don’t understand and they also might be a bit senile.
After that it was time for my brother to redeem the Christmas present I gave to him: since I had no idea what else to get him, I gave him the promise of him dragging me onto either Big Thunder OR Matterhorn (two rides I hadn’t been on) along with me purchasing the treat of either popcorn, pretzel, or churro. So the whole family went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the wildest ride in the wilderness.
I think I declared this yesterday, but it still rings true: I am a wimpazoid. I definitely yelled in fear a lot. …But it wasn’t that terrible, and the theme was well-done. Maybe I’ll go on it again sometime.
Then it was time for us to go to the Corner Café, which we colloquially refer to as the “Jolly Holiday” since it’s often where Mary and Bert hang out and they used to let you know your order was ready by holding up a sign with one of the animated penguins from the movie.
After having my chocolate muffin and ice cold water (I am the epitome of health), I was off to go on Star Tours using a fastpass my dad snagged as the rest of the family went over to Grizzly River Run.
I mentioned Hidden Mickeys the other day, so fun fact: My name’s in the “Hidden Mickey” book! You can see “Ylimegirl” among the list of people he thanks at the end. I pointed out one of the shadow Hidden Mickeys in there; this one you can spot among the right wall made by a couple of droid parts. I’m famous!
I managed to get on extra speedily because they wanted a single rider to fill in an extra spot, and here I was! A bunch of people clapped for me as I went towards ship D.
Since the Season of the Force event was over by now, you were no longer stuck with a set amount of routes – the ones during that event are still in there though, making this dang ride even more anachronistic and angry-making for the Star Wars geek inside of me. This ride I had a droid interrogate us, crashed through the wookie planet of Kashyyyk, had BB8 tell us our mission, and then ended by crashing down onto Coruscant. (I was not the rebel spy.)
After that I dashed over to our usual parade viewing spot to view the Christmas Fantasy parade! Our family’s preferred spot is over on the raised section by It’s a Small World. So I watched it all by myself.
The parade goes something like this: We get a storybook with a teddy bear and a ballerina on it, see a bunch of Disney characters hanging around Santa’s workshop, see a bunch of toy soldiers marching along along with a few dancing elves. Then we see some snowmen dance, some “skiers” go back and forth (I want those rollerblade skis, please give me them), saw Winnie the Pooh & gang along with a big tree, and saw some “ice skaters” along with the (sigh) Frozen float. Then there was a bunch of Gingerbread men and decoraters along with Goofy and company – Max is no longer there, he got booted off due to a series of rearrangings that start and end with Frozen’s existence. Basically Mickey and Minnie used to be on a wintery float in the middle, but got booted to the workshop. Donald then had to move to the roof, kicking Pluto off, and Pluto was moved to Goofy’s roof, so Max was out of the picture. Wah-wah. Mrs. Claus also got the boot with Chip & Dale taking her place – Chip & Dale no longer drive the car, Jesse and an Army Man do. I’ll get to them later though. Then we get Cinderella’s stepsister & stepmother being their ridiculous selves before the princess float which featured Snow White & Prince Charming I, Tiana & Naveen, Cinderella & Prince Charming II, Aurora and Prince Philip, Belle & Beast, and Ariel and Prince Eric. Nice group of members. Then we get to the huuuge Toy Story section – first we have Jesse and an Army Man in a jeep, then we get Woody on a rocking horse, then we get the Army men making a bunch of toys, then we get Buzz in a spaceship. Yeehaw! Then we end with a bunch of people in Dickinsonian outfits, another tree, and then of course Santa at the end of the parade. Ending the parade was a bunch of women in Sexy Santa costumes holding a rope, along with some other cast members behind them making sure nobody tried to, uh, do anything to them I guess.
So my opinions of on the parade is that it’s enjoyable, I like it, don’t like that they gave Frozen their own float and kicked out Max & Mrs. Claus, I miss when Genie used to drive in the parade back in the day, and I wonder why it still has to be just Christmas after all of these years. I mean really. What’s stopping you from including some other holidays in there? I’m pretty sure there’s exactly one spot in the park with Hanukkah decorations – a window somewhere on Main Street with a fake Jewish-sounding name put on it so they could put up Hanukkah decorations.
Also why did they have to end it with Sexy Santas?? That’s just weird, man. Weird.
Then I went over to It’s A Small World again, juuust beating the post-parade crowd. Got on fast enough and enjoyed the cruise around the world. Only complaints is I miss when they had Rudolph as one of the reindeer, and the fact that again it’s only Christmas. Also it’s very possible that this ride could be culturally insensitive and/or racist in some ways. Can’t say for certain since I’m not part of the majority of groups represented, so uh look up what your region of the ride looks like and let me know if it seems bad or something.
I then went on the Haunted Mansion for the first time since I was seven years old. The line was long, but I was entertained by Flow Free and also a sweet little toddler who really enjoyed playing with the pins on my purse. He mostly twirled them around a bunch. He also liked batting my purse to make it swing back and forth and pointing at the cats on my shoes. What a nice kid. Hope he goes far in life and enjoys pin trading in the future.
Ride was spooky, though the CGI Jack Skellington on the elevator roof looked really bad. So, so bad. Also while on the ride I finally confirmed that something in my memories actually happened and wasn’t a dream! Basically I remember near the doombuggy enter/exit area there was this dude who was pulling his face on and off. Nobody I talked to remembered it! But then when I went to get on a doombuggy, BAM there he was. Guess nobody else had seen him since he’s just part of the Christmas décor, heh.
I also spotted all but one of the Hidden Mickeys on the ride. Awesome.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: when going past the ballroom, look out for the spider chilling on the glass. It’s there to cover up a hole caused by some twerp who went on the ride with a BB gun and shot a hole in the glass. The reason they covered it up instead of replacing the glass? The piece of glass is SO BIG they’d need to lift off the roof of the mansion to take it out! So now there’s a spider there.
I then went over to Astro Blasters where I scored up to Level 3 and was incredibly photogenic.
I then went over to join my sister for parade round number two. Nothing new to say here.
I then parkhopped to meet my brother and dad over at the Smokejumpers Grill in DCA, where I at the meal my mother packed (What can I say? I’m a picky eater) and they ate burgers. The lights were busted on the sign for DCA, so we enjoyed our time in “FESHO AYA”.
My mom and sister joined us later, and then all of us sans Mom went to use our fastpasses for Soarin’ Around the World.
So uh… prepare for a long rant below. Because this ride SUCKS!! SO MUCH!! IT’S SO BAD!!
Before we went on the ride, my mom said something along the lines of this: “You can keep an open mind and that it’s okay to like it, but just know that eventually you’re going to hate it.” SHE WASN’T WRONG.
The waiting line is the same, which my sister was grateful for. Then we got into the waiting area before we boarded the ride.
The map had been replaced with some stupid Indiana Jones-esque thing. The worst thing about it was probably the fact that they crossfaded away to some clouds whenever the line had to cross a really long ocean before crossfading back to show it already crossed. Really lazy and kind of dumb. My brother said it reminded him of the scene in The Room when it randomly cuts away to shots of the city during the middle of a conversation before just… cutting back to the conversation. (Note: I have never watched the movie, but know it’s a) a horrible piece of garbage and b) probably not safe for kids.)
The pre-show video was EXACTLY THE SAME. Except for one minor thing at the beginning: they recut it so Patrick (Warburton) said “Welcome to Soarin'” instead of “Welcome to Soarin’ over California”. It was a clean cut but it was obvious to everyone who had been on the other ride what they had done. My sister said they shouldn’t have bothered and just pulled a Whoosh the Astronaut job of cutting it, like have a cartoon airplane fly over his mouth. I just disliked it since the pause between “Soarin'” and “My name is Patrick” was way too obviously long.
We then went to board the ride. This was the moment my sister lost all hope for the ride: they had dumped the boarding music! Instead (as my brother pointed out) we just get to hear… some wind whooshing noises. Why even bother?!
We then got ready to fly. And here was another snafu: they started the video before we even got in the air. Like??? The the way the original was so dramatic was because we were up against the blank screen and then BAM, we were flying over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Basically the video is boring, there’s no story, there’s no build-up to anything, there’s no humans in most of the scenes (in contrast, approximately 100% of the scenes in the original had humans SOMEWHERE), the CGI transitions are gimicky and not interesting, the Taj Mahal looks 100% CGI, the Eiffel Tower is awkwardly warped and curved on the screen, and in the end it barely feels like a finale or that we went anywhere. Also they used CGI transitions for every transition BUT one: they go from the ocean somewhere to a waterfall somewhere by just crossfading. Look, if you’re going to use bad CGI transitions, go all out man! Don’t just not bother on one of them! That’s just weird. Also the ride mostly consisted of the thing staying in place. We swayed from side to side like twice. In the original it felt like you were THERE because you were weaving left and right through the landscape and actually moving. Here it felt like you were being suspended in front of a movie screen.
Alright that’s enough of that. We then met up with my mom near a store, where I pointed out the Flynn Riders Disneyland Gang.
I suppose I should explain the concept of Disneyland Gangs: Basically they’re a group of people in the Anaheim region who all band together under a name and then plan trips to the park together. That’s it! They also look super metal with leather or denim jackets just COVERED in pins and a big patch showing their allegiance on the back. Today there was a lot of Disneyland Gangs in the park, and my sister fell in love with this idea (she really really really really really likes Flynn Rider). Later my mom talked to them and obtained their official pin and Instagram from a member. Sweet.
We then all (sans Mom) went on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, which was the same as always. In the first year or so of the attraction being around though, Ariel’s hair in “Under the Sea” was a lot more wild. They changed it at some point, which we don’t like. Aw. There’s also a hidden Mr. Limpet from MOVIE in the same scene – look out for him!
They then went to single ride California Screamin’ while I went on King Triton’s carousel. Look, what do you want me to say about it, it’s a flippin’ carousel. I did ride on a blue dolphin while the eyes of the purple otter next to me stared into my soul, no big deal.
We then met up again and stopped by the Ghiradelli and Panera stores at the Pacific Wharf and picked up free samples from them before walking through Cars Land. I then made good on the other half of my present to my brother and bought him and myself a churro. They then all went off to go on Haunted Mansion (my sister and dad hadn’t been on it yet) while I sat on a bench and finished the churro before beginning the long trek back to the hotel.
I arrived, groaned a bit, used the foot massager we brought (s/out to my sister for reminding my mom to bring it, love ya sis) and then lay down on my bed, exhausted, and typed out this post.
At the end of the day, my feet are sore, my legs are exhausted, and I’m pretty much all Disney-ed out.
I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!
Alright time for some BONUS CONTENT before we go. Yesterday on my adventures I took two (2) pictures of my travels: one of my butterbeer (someone on the PHC asked for proof that I was there, heh) and one of this poor pancake at Denny’s. Wah-wah.
Okay that’s all I’ve got for you. As I’m typing this the wifi isn’t working for some reason and this draft hasn’t been saved for an hour. Let’s hope I don’t have to retype this!
P.S. In case you were wondering how I remembered all of my adventures throughout the 12-hour day… I didn’t. I took notes on my iPhone. 😛