Sunday, May 13, 2012

[Disney]: Day 3 - More Disneyland!

So much for that sleeping in until 6 bit. But hey, waking up at 4:30 has its merits - lots of time to write these posts, for one. It didn't help that I ended up going to sleep less than an hour after eating last night's massive multicourse meal. I'd like to say lesson learned but I'm pretty sure that's exactly what will happen on every longhaul flight on this trip. Lesson not even remotely learned?

Since I was already up, I decided it would be a good day to use the Morning Magic Hour that came with my Disneyland ticket and head into the park an hour early. That still left me with 3 hours to kill, so I took advantage of the complimentary Starbucks breakfast and enjoyed a muffin while reading USA Today. Does anyone read USA Today anywhere other than at a hotel or airport?

When I arrived at Disneyland it immediately became clear that today was not going to be an orderly day at the parks. Their systems were down. I'm not sure what the problem was, but it affected a broad range of things from their ability to scan tickets, to the Fastpass system and even their ability to accept credit cards. Mild disaster. Later in the day when I tried to get into Disney California Adventure it took 20 minutes just to make it through the turnstiles because they had been reduced to checking photo IDs.
If only every morning was a magic morning

Blissfully empty
The day did not start at Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (don't worry - tomorrow's would), but instead I made a beeline for Peter Pan. The woman in front of me in line was also on a solo trip and she had a way fancier camera. I almost asked her if she could e-mail me her photos so I could pretend like I took them and amaze you all. We ventured over together to Mr. Toad as well, where I saw the craziest hidden Mickey. I am absolutely awful at spotting them but yesterday someone had tipped me off that there were two small, painted Mickey's in the eyes of the Mr. Toad statue in line. Sure enough, there they were!
Never do I feel as weird as when I'm riding Peter Pan alone

I can see my house from here...yeah, I just made that joke

I forsee a new Facebook icon for me

Wish I was an Imagineer so I could put Hidden Mickeys everywhere

Alice in Wonderland is a great ride but I literally refuse to ride it solo

Wait a second, this doesn't exist in Orlando. Sadly it was down for renovations.
I ended up taking a bunch of photos while in line for Snow White and Pinnochio, prompting the gentleman in front of me (also here by himself by the looks of it) to ask if I was a Disney blogger. No sir, just a man determined to take the internet along on his vacation.

At that point it was still only 8:30 and I had 30 more minutes of relative peace and quiet in the park as part of the Magic Morning hour. I headed over to the Finding Nemo submarines, located on the former site of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In Walt Disney World they have a similar ride at EPCOT except that it sucks and no one goes on it, whereas the Disneyland version is pretty spectacular. I hear that when the ride first opened you couldn't find a wait less than 60 minutes because of how slowly it loads. Thankfully that does not appear to be the case any more.
It's not 20,000 Leagues but it will do

Another awesome dark ride that's not at Disney World

Absolutely. Fucking. Terrifying. (Expand to see why if you can't otherwise)

Little known fact: Wicked Queens can be appeased with pennies.

If I told you all my wish then it wouldn't come true, right?
I spent the rest of the morning doing a variety of my favorite rides, including the far superior DL version of Pirates of the Caribbean, the virtually identical to WDW but much less popular here version of Winnie the Pooh and the basically the same but better themed version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. On Splash Mountain I ended up sharing a log with another single rider - a middle-aged Hispanic woman who was up for the day from San Diego and whose 21-year-old son decided that he was too cool to go to Disneyland with his mom. When we finished the ride she gave me her still-in-the-package-unused emergency poncho, which will come in handy during the rainy season at Hong Kong DL and Tokyo Disney. Thank you, random lady in line!

The morning also involved a snack of mixed berries and a mint julep. Dammit all, why doesn't the Magic Kingdom have a New Orleans Square so I can get a non-alcoholic, sugared-up mint julep any time I want?

Ah, so that's where my students but their papers from


We have 999 happy haunts, but there's room for a thousand. Any volunteers?

Mint julep. Bonus: Creepy disembodied hand!

It would take an emergency to get me into it

Remember this one for later

I <3 maps

Nicest secluded spot in Disneyland

Fantastic recreation of the French Quarter
Lunch meant more pomme frites at Cafe Orleans and this time I sprung for the three cheese monte cristo. You want to take out the turkey and ham and instead put in creamy brie? Yeah, I can go for that.
This jazz band played during my Cafe Orleans lunch every day

Damn straight I'm posting a photo of the fries again!

Even better than it looks
After lunch I made the one mile (literally, thank you iPhone) trek from Cafe Orleans over to Monsters Inc. only to find out that it was down. Again. Will I ever get to ride it? Only time will tell.

Having sated my need for rides, it was time for some shopping. My plan is to get a pin and a t-shirt at every Disney park on the trip. Here you can see my Disneyland purchases. It took 30 minutes in line to get these as they had to write down every purchase and then call in any credit cards to central processing because of the system problems.
Wait a second...what the heck is Hollywood Studios doing in Anaheim?

What our dog looks like when she's Pooh'd in the Corner. Aww yeah, the payoff for that joke was totally worth it.


A Disneyland shirt I'd actually wear - not easy to find 

The afternoon entailed trip report writing, doing a little work, a quick nap and a walk to the local Target, conveniently located right across the street from my usual Anaheim hotel, the Sheraton Garden Grove. It was awkward seeing the Sheraton; I felt like I was cheating on it. Look, Sheraton, I love you. It's just the Hilton is closer, has a better breakfast, and doesn't charge for internet or the awesome views. Maybe we should just see other hotels for a little while? Y'know, take a break? Awww, don't be like that, Sheraton. A part of me will always love you but did you check out the views on the Hilton?

The Target stop involved purchasing a new backpack. I had hoped my old backpack would make it through the trip but it became clear within the first two days that there was no way that was happening. Thankfully Target had basically the exact same backpack, just eight years newer. Thus ends a good run for my old Targus backpack, just a few months after the laptop it was originally purchased to house also bit the dust at the hands (paws?) of my roommate's dog. Goodbye old laptop. Goodbye laptop backpack. You both served me well. Rest with honor.

As a final note, my relatively new laptop has already suffered some damage on the trip and I am a bit concerned. The base of the screen appears to be cracking open. I have the crazy thorough Dell warranty because I am not kind to my laptops, but I hope it can make it through the next six weeks first. Let's hope the luck of the Irish (note: I'm not Irish) is with me.


  1. This is getting better everyday !

    Floriday Gooner I love your Trip Report !

    Have a safe trip to Hong Kong.