Disneyland Stories - Elias and Carrie's Excellent Summer Vacation Day 2

June 7th, 2012

There's no way I can go through the whole day. No way. It was just so much that there isn't enough time (or brain power) to put it all into words. So I'll do what I can.

The original plan was to be at the park when it opened for Early Magic Hours and stay until the park closed. We had a bit of a later start than we expected in the morning. Oh well, we also didn't go to bed until 130a the day before. No worries. We got to Disneyland at 745a. Still fantastic. We walked from our hotel to Downtown Disney's Monorail. The Monorail dropped us off right inside Tomorrowland. So while we missed the whole "Grand Entrance" thing, we blew through Tomorrowland in record time. I haven't been to Disney since the new Star Tours opened, so the whole thing was new to me. We had some pod-racing and ended up at the Death Star. Awesome.

The breakfast situation at the Disney hotels is not great. I'm used to every Disney hotel having a food court. We can get our Mickey waffles or oatmeal or whatever and race to the parks in frantic glee. Here, not so much. Every restaurant is a sitdown one. And every breakfast involves characters. While this isn't bad for everyone, we don't want to spend vast money on breakfast. So, today, we didn't. We got through Tomorowland and made it to the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I'd read about this on the Disney Food Blog and knew we had to go here. It's themed to look like Mary Poppins. Works for me. We ended up with a Lemon Strawberry Cupcake. We ate it up pretty quickly, so that was a good sign. Then, we hit the road for more theme-parking.

The most surprising part to us was Sleeping Beauty's Castle. We walked up on it to see the castle in all of its...tiny glory. Really, the castle is very little. It's lovely and pink (which I do appreciate), but it's a wee little castle. It's almost the same size as the McMansions in Naperville. I mean, they're big and all, but they're no castle. We did like that you can climb into the castle and look around. The castle tells the story of Princess Aurora and the spell. And how everyone lived Happily Ever After. Well, except for Malificent.

As we were taking pictures we noticed the film crew. They weren't taking up a ton of space, but they were noticeable. And we wondered what was up. The Photo Pass Cast Member said she thought they were filming a commercial. Which made us think...why can't we be in the commercial?? It was our first trip, we love Disney and we are adorable. Why couldn't we be on TV?? So we hung around, waiting to be noticed (I did even tweet Disneyland to find out how we could be a part of the action - no response). We found Snow White's Stepmother (as the Queen and not the old crone) and thought we could take a picture with her. Turns out, she was part of the commercial. So we took a picture of her...while she was being directed for the commercial. When it was very apparent that we wouldn't get our shot at fame and fortune, we took off. There were better things to do. Like scream on rides...

The last time Elias and I went to Disney was two years ago during Spring Break (the start to our Spring Break Vacation Tradition). At that time, WDW had just opened the revamped Pirates of the Caribbean, now featuring Jack Sparrow. We were ready to go on the ride, when Elias good and freaked out about the "drop.". The slight drop that no one notices. Ever. So I think I told him at the time that I was going to go into the ride and leave him alone to be kidnapped. This time, he knew there were two drops. And he was ready. Or was mostly ready. He wasn't about to chicken out again. I mean, the kid is 16.

The best part about Pirates in Disneyland is that we road in our own boat. Awesome. There are normally two lines. We went in one line, where no one else was. The other line had plenty of people. When we got to our boat, the Cast Member said, "Looks like you've got your own. That doesn't happen often.". And we went along on our merry way. By ourselves. Where we could be as obnoxious as humanly possible.

Elias was ready for the drops. He clutched on for dear life (shades of Tower of Terror the next day, but that's a story for later) and then said, "That wasn't too bad.". He still clutched on when we went on the ride again later. Sometimes drops do that to you...

We rode Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain before we went back to Indiana Jones to use our Fastpasses. Indiana Jones isn't at WDW, so we wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. Turns out, the fuss was warranted. The ride was like Dinosaur, where we were in a jeep and we were racing to get a treasure, or run from the Nazi's or something. It was not really clear, cause we were bouncing around and seeing scenes from the movie. It's just an excuse to holler and scream in fun. Then again, that's the excuse for most rides.

Eventually, we made it to Fantasyland. We did the same rides as normal (Sow White's Scary Adventures, Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party), but here we got to see some new ones. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (which kind of ended in a downer...we ended up in hell?? Really??) and Alice in Wonderland. It was like the Snow White and Winnie the Pooh rides. They're fun. And they get you out of the sun for a few minutes. We did also have to go on It's a Small World. The building is massive and the ride is classic. Though when you stop with technical difficulties, you might be willing to take hostages. Cause while you may stop, the song doesn't...

Here's another thing we've noticed as the difference between Disneyland and WDW (besides being a little defensive about being "the original"), all of the queues and parts of the rides are outside. This was really surprising, since good chunks of the queues in Orlando are indoors. Maybe because of the heat?? The rain?? The fact that there is more room in WDW?? It was just noticeable here. Pretty cool, if you are wearing sunscreen.

We did go into Toontown for a quick Roger Rabbit ride. By that time though, the line was long and we were getting worn out. We did wait (the ride was fun, but the wait was a little too long), then got some water and treats and hopped aboard the train. We needed a break.

Luckily, we hit Main Street right as the parade was going on. So we watched a bit of the parade, then made some calls home. We got to catch the flag ceremony, where they lowered the flag and folded up for the day. It was a whole patriotic moment. About this time we started looking for ideas for dinner.

We ended up at the Cafe Orleans. It was our "big dinner" and Elias set the bar high by ordering the Three Cheese Monte Cristo. Let me break that down...two slices of bread, three different cheeses (including Brie), deep fried, covered in powdered sugar, and served with fruit (to make it healthy, I suppose) and jam. This shouldn't be good (or legal), but it was glorious. I had a Chicken Gumbo Crepe. Also good, but the Monte Cristo was a showstopper.

I told Elias early on that I had a surprise for him. After shopping, we went to check in for our surprise. I picked up tickets to the Fantasmic Premium Seating with Dessert Party. We had seats (though an obnoxious family did sit in front of us) and didn't have to camp out for long before the show. We love Fantasmic and were worried about missing precious theme parking time to wait for the show. Plus, we got desserts. Fantastic!! And the show itself was like Disneyland. It was almost the same, but slightly different. Peter Pan took over the Pocahontas scene. We liked the Peter Pan part better. There was a pirate ship and tons of swinging from different parts of the ship.

After the show, we ran into the situation we like to call, "Elias Lost Carrie.". In my defense, I was in the same place the whole time. During the show, Elias needed to make a bathroom run. But as with all Nighttime Spectaculars, it is very crowded and once the show starts, you're not going anywhere. So once the show ended, he made a beeline for the restroom. I slowly gathered my things and got out of our seating area and went about 10 feet towards a tree. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. I checked emails. I may have update Facebook. I checked to see if Disneyland tweeted me back (they didn't). And I waited. I kept looking back towards the area we just left. Nothing. Nothing at all. At a certain point, I wondered if I would ever see Elias again. During bathroom runs, Elias would hand over his phone, wallet and sunglasses, so there was not way for either of us to contact the other.

After a long while, Elias come up to me with his own story. One that involved getting herded like cattle away from the bathroom, then trying to get back to where we were only to not find me where I should have been. Elias talked to the Cast Members who also started looking for me (maybe I was incognito because I had on a black sweater??). They were going to call me on my cell, but Elias didn't know the number and was getting ready to call grandma to get it. Of course with a two hour time difference, he would have completely freaked her out ("Hello, Grandma. I lost Aunt Carrie and need her phone number."). Luckily, he saw me and we were reunited. We did have to make an immediate bathroom stop, though.

The rest of the night was uneventful. We moseyed back to Tomorrowland where we picked up the Monorail and made it back to the hotel. We collapsed pretty hard that night, but knew we didn't have to be up so early the next day. We did have to figure out breakfast, though. But that could wait until the morning.


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