Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Experiencing A Little Disney Magic

 I've been back from California a week, which doesn't seem possible, because it seems longer.  My Mom and I took my two nieces on a 10 day trip, counting travel days.  This trip was originally scheduled for November to take place after my third niece was born, but the trip got bumped to early February.

We wanted something fun to do with the nieces that allowed Michael and Krista some one-on-one time with my nephew and third niece, and to create fun memories with my 5 and 6 year old nieces.

By the way, at the end of the year I'll have another nephew or niece because my sister-in-law Lindsay is now pregnant!  5 nephew and nieces!

 We got to Disneyland Sunday night, February 5th.  We were hoping to get there sooner so we could head into California Adventure, wishing to see the last day of the Lunar New Years festival as we wouldn't have another chance, and then see the Remember Dreams Come True firework show, my favorite fireworks show of all time, anywhere, which was just brought back and is only being shown on weekends.

We got to Anaheim much later than we hoped.  The timing couldn't justify using one of our 5 day entries for only a couple hours.  Instead we watched the firework show in the gap between both parks.

(Off topic, but I just realized how German "Anaheim" sounds, and thanks to Wikipedia I just found this: "Anaheim was founded by fifty German families in 1857 and incorporated as the second city in Los Angeles County on March 18, 1876.")

Honestly I was bummed we didn't go into the park that day, but hindsight is better than foresight, and I'm glad in retrospect we made that decision.

Halfway during the firework show the rains came and there was quite a downpour.  They kept up with the fireworks regardless, and even though I wish I could have heard the music it was a pretty good show.

 (My Mom and nieces)

 It rained on and off on Monday and Tuesday.  Before the trip I looked online and saw there would be rain.  My Mom was disappointed, but I was glad and told her rain equals lower line wait times, which held out to be true.

The temperatures stayed nice as well.

 (Though it seems strange writing this knowing how bad the rain has been this last week in California with flooding and sink holes.  Hope everyone in Cali is doing okay.)

 (Waiting in line for Alice in Wonderland.)

I regretted not going on Alice in Wonderland last November 2015, so I wanted to make sure this time we went at least once.  Did you know California's Disneyland is the only one that has Alice in Wonderland?  They don't have it in the other parks, unless I missed something, but I believe it's a Cali exclusive.

Anyhoo, when we got to the end of the line the ride shut down due to a technical issue.  Everyone in front of us left, but we decided to wait it out.  It was interesting watching the employees and mechanics go over things, turning the sound and lights off and then on again.  The ride was down about 40 minutes, and when it started again we were the first on the ride.

It's one of the better kid rides, and longer than Peter Pan.

 The Main Street Electrical Parade!  Yes, it was nostalgic.  And No, I didn't see it on Main Street.  Ironic when considering the blog post I wrote a while back talking about the importance of the Main Street parade being back on Disneyland's Main Street.

We watched it in Fantasyland, which was less crowded, and we had an amazing spot.  Later in the week I did see the beginning of the parade on Main Street while eating a late dinner at the Jolly Holiday, so it was seen from a distance.

Around the Alice portion I left with my 6 year old niece to go on Indiana Jones and Thunderbolt Mountain.  We had an hour to do both rides before the park closed and made it on both.

Talking about Indiana Jones, it was my niece's first time going on the ride.  I specifically told her nothing about it so she would be completely surprised.  She loved it, and said it was like going down a river.  I never thought about the ride like that, but river rafting comes to mind and that totally makes sense.  Indiana Jones is like river rafting without the water.

 Thank you for bringing back the original World of Color!!!

So good!!!

And so much better than the 60th anniversary whatever that was.

 The Disneyland Band was exceptional.  They're seriously amazing.

But it's Disneyland, big surprise, right?

 I built this little guy at the Star Trader store.  Cute, right?

 By the end of the week a bit of the Guardians of the Galaxy update to the Tower of Terror peeked through.  Seriously looking cool.  I hope it's fun.  Am I sad to see Twilight Zone go?  Not really, as the ride at Disney World is far superior.  Man, I screamed so much riding that version.  The Tokyo Disney Sea version has the cursed monkey antiquity theme, which is cool, so I think it's neat that there's going to be, at this time anyway, so many different versions of this ride.

 Our last day, Friday the 10th, turned out nice.

We did early entry into California Adventure and rode Soaring Over the World a couple times with prime front center seating both times.  (That ride is so awesome!!!!!)  Got fast passes to Radiator Spring Racers, as it was down that first hour.  Ate at the Rain Forest Cafe.  And by the late afternoon the rains started.

A lot of people seemed prepared with ponchos and umbrellas.

My Mom was doing photo stuff at the Kodak store while I took the nieces to peek in on the Tangled melodrama and then ride the Buzz Lightyear blasters.  My 5 year old niece didn't want to go on Star Tours again, so I got two more rides on that with my 6 year old niece via fast passes both times, with different segments on both.

We wore ponchos that I got off Amazon before the trip, which was originally intended for Splash Mountain, though we didn't use it on that ride.  Good thing we had the ponchos.  Both the firework show and Electrical Parade was canceled.

Though, a note about Splash Mountain.  My 5 year old niece was super excited that she was finally tall enough to ride that ride.  For months she exclaimed, "I'm tall enough to ride Splash Mountain!" like it was a badge of honor.  Man, she was prepared wearing her jacket fully zipped up, hoodie over her head.  She walked in line prepared like that.  I sat behind her, she was in front, and when we came down the huge drop she let out a cry at the bottom through big sobs, "That was so scary!!"  It was hilarious and sad all at the same time.  She liked it, but will never go on Splash Mountain again.

And check it out!  2 weeks and 2 days after getting this fun Disneyland balloon it's still floating!  You have no idea how happy this makes me.  So happy.  I'm just amazed this balloon survived the trip home!

P.S. The replaced Aladdin musical is better than Frozen.

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