Friday, December 21, 2012
(Woo! Christmas can sure mess up a girl’s blogging schedule. But better late than never….) I wish every Thanksgiving could be just like this one. (Part 2)
3,175. That’s how many pictures Scope and I took over our Thanksgiving vacation in Disneyland. Uh-huh. 3,175! I know I’m snap-happy and all, but 3,175 seems like a lot, even to me. I dunno, I’m thinking it may be considered a sickness at this point. But anyway….
Day 2 of our trip started at about 4:30am. It was Thanksgiving Thursday and we had a Magic Morning option with our Park Hopper tickets which granted us access to Disneyland a full hour before the rest of the herd and we wanted to make the most of it. So, off we went!
Taking advantage of Magic Morning proved to be a stellar way to avoid the crowds. (For a refresher of our Disney Survival / Beat The Crowds Rules, click HERE.) We were even able to get photos of the three of us in front of the Mickey flowerbed and train station without any strangers loitering in the background!….
Hey, looky! Tinkerbell even joined us for a moment or two!….
Wednesday was in full-on Nightmare Before Christmas mania after running into Jack Skellington the day before, so she decided to wear her Sally Halloween costume dress to the park for the day. The employees—whoops, excuse me, “cast members”—seemed to really get a big kick out of seeing her in her costume. Disneyland is swarming with little preschoolers dressed up like Cinderella, Belle, and Merida (the Brave girl), but I guess seeing anyone over the age of seven in character garb is a much rarer sight. Usually, Wednesday is pretty shy, but she seemed to really appreciate the excited cast member attention, which was soooooooo cute! But anyway, back to Magic Morning….
The park was pretty empty, so there weren’t really any lines to speak of anywhere. We decided to hit Tomorrowland first and take a trip through the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, which we had never been on before. I totally didn’t know they were going to take our pictures during the ride!….
I—ahem—also didn’t know the ride was a contest until Wednesday said, “Ha! I’m KILLING you!” Up until that point, I had been shooting pictures, not Evil Emperor Zurg! (D’oh!)
Well, anyway, after getting my butt kicked on the Buzz Lightyear ride, we had a Disneyland photographer snap our picture by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle….
Then we made our way into Fantasyland where we attempted to pull the sword from the stone….
(The stupid sword wouldn’t budge—oh, poo—so, I guess we’ll have to find some other way to take over England.)
Our next stop was Toontown….
Scope and Wednesday blew up the Toontown Fireworks Factory….
And they rode on the Toontown trolley….
Scope visited the Toontown Gym….
And Wednesday and I found ourselves in the Toontown Dog Pound….
Once we were done fooling around in Toontown, we met up with my brother at the Haunted Mansion Holiday….
….which we excitedly rode through.
After the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Wednesday met Jack Skellington. Again. Jack asked Wednesday if she was stalking him—*snicker*—but also admired her Sally costume quite a bit. Wednesday just beamed with pride! :-)
Up next, we ran into my mom. Wednesday (full to the brim with Jack Skellington euphoria!) wasted no time in talking her into going back through the Haunted Mansion with us again.
The ride broke down for a few minutes while we were in there, leaving Scope’s and my “Doom Buggy” stranded right in front of the life-size talking Jack Skellington figure at the start of the graveyard, which was SO COOL! It’s pretty dang dark in that graveyard, so it’s really hard to get decent pictures in there when flash photography is a big no-no and the Doom Buggies travel too freaking fast for good quality, non-blurry, low-light pictures, so we there thrilled to be stuck stationary in front of Jack for awhile, just for the chance to get a non-crappy shot of him for once.
After that, we crossed paths with my sister and her kids, Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3. Wednesday and her most favorite person in the whole wide world, Thing 1, got to talking and she found out from him that he really, REALLY wanted to go see the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show on Main Street USA. (He’s a fact-lovin’ sort of fella!) Thing 1 was feeling like no-one else was interested in learning about Abraham Lincoln like he was, so that sweet Wednesday asked him out on a cousin-date to go see the show, just the two of them, plus Scope and me. (Awww.)
So, we did.
While we were on Main Street, we saw Pluto….
….and Mickey (literally!) ran right by us.
(Every time we saw Mickey on this trip, he was in a mad dash somewhere. Definitely a busy boy!)
The kiddos wanted to ride a horse drawn carriage down Main Street, so we did that too. Our horse’s name was Sully. (Yeah. Just like in Monsters Inc.) Sully liked posing dramatically for pictures. Clearly.
As Sully carried us toward the castle, Scope practiced his best princess wave at the crowd. (Heh heh heh.)
Thank you, Sully!
As Sully clip-clopped his way back down Main Street, we skipped on into Fantasyland where Wednesday and Thing 1 went on the Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party ride.
When their ride was done, they decided to take a second spin (see what I did there?) on the teacups with my sister and Thing 3, with whom we had just bumped into.
Now, Thing 2 (my sister’s middle child) is a fiercely independent little thing, and she had decided she wanted no part of the teacup ride and wanted to wait on the sidelines with my mom, Scope, and me…. until the ride started up and she saw her cousin and her sibs go laughing and spinning by, then she changed her mind, of course. But it was too late.
She was QUITE displeased.
Oh well. At least the other three kids were happy.
It was Thanksgiving Day, which is notoriously busy at Disneyland, and we had decided to beat the dinner crowd by having our Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant across the street from the park in the early afternoon. On our way out of Disneyland, we ran into Donald Duck.
(He was such a flirt!)
Our avoid-the-mammoth-crowd-at-dinner scheme worked brilliantly. There was hardly anyone else there. The restaurant was serving traditional Thanksgiving meals to those who wanted them, but also all the regular menu items too for those wise souls, like me, who recognize that Asian salads are far superior to lame, old, boring turkey dinners no matter which day of the year it freaking is!
The restaurant also had little peg games on all of the tables to keep everyone entertained while waiting for the food. The pegs played leap frog with each other, and if you could end the game with only one peg left, well, smarty pants, then YOU have above ‘average intelligence’, according to the game rules. However, if you could end your game with eight pegs left and no more moves to make, then YOU are a ‘genius’. Uh-huh. It took Wednesday about two minutes to end up with eight pegs left!!!!
(Imagine that. My baby, a genius.)
(And, yet, she can’t figure out how to put her clothes in the laundry hamper!)
After dinner, Wednesday, Scope, and I headed back to our hotel to partake in the time-honored Thanksgiving tradition of a nice, long nap. *le sigh* When we finally hauled ourselves back out of bed, we were a little shocked to find out that the sun had already set while we were unconscious. The sudden nightfall reminded us that our Disneyland vacation was almost half over now, so we threw our hoodies back on in a hurry and ran back across the street to enjoy some more Disney-liciousness.
We found my mom, Thing 1, and Thing 2 over near It’s a Small World, which was amazingly gorgeous, all lit up in colorful Christmas lights in the dark.
While we were taking pictures of It’s a Small World, suddenly the lights all went blue and it started snowing! Yeah, snowing! Not real snow, of course, it was this fake-y pseudo snow with a soapy texture which smelled a bit like cinnamon toast or gingerbread, but it was still magical all the same.
After oohing and ahhing over the snow, we decided to hit California Adventure.
I was surprised as we approached California Adventure, because the front gate is completely different than it used to be. Gone is the cartoon-y Golden Gate Bridge with the mammoth letters that little kids were perpetually climbing all over. The front gate now looks like something from Cars, all shiny, streamlined, and retro.
After standing around like disoriented dummies for awhile, noticing that A LOT of California Adventure has recently been given a major overhaul, we pulled ourselves back together and headed over to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which—surprisingly—had virtually no line. My sister met up with us and wanted to go on too. We had planned to leave Thing 2 (who is only five) in my mom’s care while we tackled the Tower, but still stinging over missing out on the teacup ride earlier, Thing 2 was insistent that she didn’t want to miss out on anything more and that she could handle anything the Tower of Terror could dish out. She and my sister argued about it, during which spunky little Thing 2 asked one of the spooky Tower of Terror bellhops if she was big enough to go on the ride.
“I’m sorry, but you ARE big enough,” he replied, creepily. And Thing 2 gave her mom the I-told-you look and fearlessly strutted off into the Tower’s lobby. That fearlessness didn’t last long though. Once the lights went out and Rod Serling started talking about “stepping into a nightmare”, Thing 2 changed her mind and wanted off the ride.
But—again—it was too late.
We plummeted and screamed! And plunged and shrieked!
(You can see the un-amused Thing 2 with Scope and my sister in the front row. I’m in the back row with Thing 1 and Wednesday.)
When the ride was over, Thing 2 was pretty disgusted. She didn’t cry, but she demanded to know what kind of jerk would have the audacity to even make a ride like that which “turns people into nightmares”! (Hey, girly—you were warned!) Needless to say, Thing 2 did NOT accompany us on our second trip into the Tower of Terror.
After that, we briefly checked out the Tim Burton Mad T Party, which is pretty much just a strange, neon Alice in Wonderland rave party. It was pretty cool walking down the misty Rabbit Hole to get to it though.
Then we went into the Beast’s Library where the magic books told us which Disney characters we are most like. I am most like Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Wednesday is most like Sally (the one from Cars though, not Jack Skellington’s girlfriend), and I forget which GOOD character Scope was most like, but I do remember he was told that the VILLAIN he most resembles is Gaston…. and he was THRILLED because Gaston has the best theme song EVER! (LOL.)
After that, we headed back to our hotels for the night. Up next?…. You’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you? ;-) If I don’t get around to part 3 of this story before Tuesday, I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas!