So I’m back from Disneyland. It was a great trip — I feel like I did a lot during my three days there, though I didn’t get around to doing everything on my “never have” list. Here’s how I did:
One of the highlights of my trip was getting to take a ride in the Disneyland Railroad’s private car, the Lilly Belle. It was easier to get in than I thought: all I had to do was ask a Main Street Station conductor, who scheduled me and my party for a ride later in the day.
It was great fun to have our own conductor escort us to the private car, then give us info about the car and what it’s like to work at Disneyland as we made the full trip around the park. If you’re a Disneyland fan, I highly recommend you make a point to add the Lilly Belle to your park experiences.
Here I am sitting in what is purported to be Walt’s chair:
And here is Walt’s wife, Lillian’s, smoking jacket. Our conductor told us that some Disneyland cast members think Lillian haunts the rail car, and won’t ride alone in it after dark.
Steering the Mark Twain
Fail. I barely made it on to the Mark Twain, catching the last trip around the Rivers of America before the boat closed to prepare for Fantasmic, and by the time I boarded, there was already someone up there. But I did get to see the Columbia being prepared for Fantasmic, as well as the crocodile that follows the ship, so that was cool.
I said in my previous post that I’d never eaten at the Harbour Galley, Hungry Bear restaurant, or the walk-up gumbo stand, the Royal Veranda. Still true, although I did get a hot chocolate from the Harbour Galley, if that counts. And I explored the area behind it, catching this close-up view of the docked Columbia:
Disney California Adventure rides
Out of the four DCA rides I’d never been on, I only managed to make it onto one, not because of time constraints, but because of, I’m sorry to say, fear. After suffering through the Silly Symphony Swings (seriously, my eyes were shut tight the whole time), I decided the Golden Zephyr, Jumpin’ Jellyfish and Mickey’s Fun Wheel were way too much for me and my fear of heights to handle.
Some other high/lowlights of my trip:
Seeing the lobby of Club 33. As I was walking by the door, a family was leaving, and one was entering, causing a minor traffic jam that kept the door open for a long time. I managed to catch a glimpse of the famous elevator, which is the closest to Mount Olympus this mortal will ever get. Did I get a picture? No. I was too amazed by what I was seeing, unfortunately.
World of Color. I must admit, I was less than impressed with DCA’s new nighttime show. The fountains of water were huge and impressive, but the show itself, like the images projected onto the fountains, was weak. I’m glad I saw it, but from now on, for nighttime entertainment, it’s Fantasmic or …
ElecTRONica. This nighttime event at DCA, based on the world of TRON, was actually kind of cool. The Hollywood section of the park is completely transformed, with music playing and lights projected onto the building facades. There’s dancing, glowing alcoholic drinks, the End of the Line Club, and even Flynn’s Arcade, filled with working video arcade games from the 80s. Worth checking out.
The Glowjito and Digitini, helpfully priced at $11.50 each, so you don’t go overboard.
Splash Mountain. Here, Disneyland fans, is a tip from me to you: do not go on Splash Mountain first thing on a January morning. You will go from this:
Perhaps the lack of riders keeps more water than ought to be in this flume ride, but whatever the reason, this was the wettest I’ve ever gotten on Splash Mountain. My brother (seen at right in the photo above) had to go back to the hotel to change. I stuck it out, but thanks to Disneyland’s lack of hand dryers, remained at some level of dampness throughout the entire day. Not fun.
Storybook Land Canal Boats. You probably haven’t been on this kid-friendly ride since you were seven, but it’s worth revisiting. The miniature models of Disney characters’ homes are delightful. Here is Pinocchio’s village, with the Matterhorn looming above in the background:
Ed Hardy-inspired Mickey ears. Hellllllllll no. The variety of Mickey ears has gotten out of control, as evidenced by this atrocity.
Here are a few more random photos from the park, because there isn’t anything more interesting than looking at others’ vacation photos, amiright? Enjoy.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Tomorrowland Terrace Breakfast