Friday, April 27, 2012
Disneyland Version 2.0
Okay, so last week I told you all about my trip to Disneyland with little Wednesday back in 2001. Cute stuff, huh? Aaaaaaaaaaand now it only seems fitting to tell you about our second trip there. Ready? Let’s go!
Little Wednesday and I saved up all our nickels and dimes once again for a second Disneyland vacation, which we were hoping to take in 2004…. Unfortunately, destiny had other plans for us—like Wednesday’s emergency hospitalization and surgery in 2003, my losing my job because I missed too many days of work because of Wednesday’s surgery, and then my emergency hospitalization and surgery not too long afterwards (Oy!)—all of which meant that the money we had worked so hard to save up for Disneyland Version 2.0 had to be used for other things. I mean, HAD TO. We simply had no other choice.
After a couple of years of climbing hills of bills and wading through the ponds of pennilessness, we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off, and started saving our money once again. Little by little, we added to the pile and, in October 2008, we were FINALLY able to make our way back to Disneyland.
Disneyland Version 2.0 was a bit different than the original trip. First of all, little Wednesday wasn’t so little anymore; she was almost 13. Second, this time we travelled there with a huge group of eight other people, including three grandmas, two thirty-somethings, two preschool boys, and a one year old (*cough—in a pear tree—cough*). And third?…. Ugh. This is embarrassing. I hate to even admit it. I…. I…. I had emo glasses. There. (Shut up.)
The gargantuan group of us all met up at the airport before sunrise one morning and hopped a plane to California. Here’s what it all looked like:
When the huge herd of us arrived at Disneyland, we were all giggly and squeal-y to discover that the front gate had been Halloween-ified like this….
(I mean, really, how awesome in THAT?!?! The gates didn’t look like that the last time we were there!)
Once inside the park, it quickly became apparent that navigating around the place as one big, mammoth group was just NOT going to work out. At. All. With so many different people with different tastes and ages and whatnot, there just didn’t seem to be one single attraction that appealed to everybody. In fact, we were those idiots—you know THOSE idiots!—who wasted a full thirty minutes of our precious first vacation day standing on Main Street USA arguing about where to go.
Basically, it looked kinda like this….
The we-all-like-different-things realization meant that we often split up into smaller groups during our vacation and would meet up every couple of hours to trade group members, depending on who wanted to do what. Most of the time though, Wednesday and I were in a group by ourselves, which was totally fine by us! Any guesses where Wednesday and I ran to first?….
The Haunted Mansion Holiday ride!!!! Duh.
Unfortunately, the line for the Haunted Mansion was just ridiculous and the wait time was nearly two hours or something like that—*sniffle*—so, Wednesday and I decided to skip it for now and come back to it later when the crowd had thinned out a bit. The wait time at Pirates of the Caribbean next door was only 15 minutes though, so we decided to hit that ride first.
Some of our group members happened to show up at Pirates at the same time we did, so about half our herd went in the boat together. One of them shot this picture of me and Wednesday as the ride started. (Sadly though, my scanner just won’t scan any of the uber-glossy pictures she gave me well and they all keep coming out ripple-y. Gah!)
Here are some shots I took on the ride.
Wednesday and I were THRILLED to find that the Pirates ride had been updated to include Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa, and Davy Jones, etc. Disney did a kick*ss job of it too, because the four Jack Sparrow robots I saw on the ride were the spitting image of Johnny Depp. So cool!
After Pirates, I needed to find a bathroom (must have been all that sloshing water!) and, hey, looky who I found lurking outside the bathroom! Mary Poppins and Bert!
(Either she’s a giant or I’m a midget. I’m not quite sure which.)
Wednesday and I were on our own again, and we had fun climbing around on Tarzan’s Treehouse.
We passed by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
We went on a million more rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean again, and then met up with the herd at the Parade of Dreams that night, where we ate hot dogs for dinner while standing on benches in the dark, watching the parade floats crawl by while that Family Time song from Brother Bear played over and over and over.
When Wednesday and I started thinking we would lose our hot dogs if we heard one more minute of that song, we bailed on the group and went running for the Haunted Mansion, where there was virtually no line.
That is hands down the BEST thing about the Disneyland parades, isn’t it? Everyone flocks to Main Street, leaving the rest of the park deserted. If you can live without watching the parades, I definitely suggest skipping them in favor of going on all the typically busy rides without even having to wait in line!
The outside of the Haunted Mansion looked like this.
And here is what it looked like inside, just as you climb into the “Doom Buggies.”
As we looked down on the ballroom party scene, the incredible scent of gingerbread filled the whole room. That was a real gingerbread “house” on the table down there. They make a new one every year for this ride. It smelled AMAZING!
We saw Jack Skellington and Zero at the entrance to the graveyard.
We rode under these icy jack-o-lantern angel dudes on our way out of the graveyard.
BEST. RIDE. EVER. !!!!
After the Mansion, we met back up with our group and caught a few more rides, including Star Tours, which was fantastic too.
Eventually, I was forced (FORCED!!!!) to spend $50 against my will on a Mickey Mouse hoodie that night because the zipper broke on one and only jacket I had brought with me and I was freezing.
That was the cheapest thing they had there. $50. And guess what it did the first time I washed it? Shrunk to Tinkerbell proportions like George Costanza in the pool, that’s what! Grrrrrrrrr. (Memo to self: Maybe travelling light isn’t a good plan if you’re going somewhere where the cheapest replacement hoodie costs five times as much as it’s worth. Just a thought.)
Well, anyway, I have much more to share with you from our 2008 trip—including (literally) chasing Jack Sparrow around New Orleans Square, Santa Ana winds, and a tale of some…. umm…. sketchy free pain meds a Disneyland “nurse” gave me—but unfortunately, I’m all out of time today. I’ll have to finish this next week. Have a great weekend, Blogaritaville!
[….to be continued….]