Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I wish every Thanksgiving could be just like this one! (Part 4…. aka The End)
The Saturday after Thanksgiving was our—*sniff*—last day in Disneyland. Unlike all our other mornings there, getting to the park ahead of the crowd was not our top priority. In fact, Scope, Wednesday, and I skipped right past Disneyland as we headed up Harbor Blvd toward the hotel where my mom, my sister and her herd were all staying. That was the day they were all flying back home (one day ahead of us), so they wouldn’t be visiting Disneyland with us and we wanted to say goodbye to them before they left.
After our fond farewells—(bye-bye, Thing 3, we sure had fun with you!)—we ventured over to Disneyland where we were greeted by Tinkerbell who agreed to pose with us for a few Christmas card photos in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
(She was totally digging our Santa hats. Just FYI.)
After romping with Tink, we wandered into Frontierland where we decided to take a trip on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Scope and Wednesday had never been on that particular ride before, and I hadn’t been on it since 1986.
This was a very excited Wednesday as the ride started up.
Notice she removed her glasses. Smart girl. It was one wild and squeal-y ride! Woo! (If you want to see a video Scope shot of us on the ride, click HERE.)
Next, of course, we found ourselves at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. (Yeah.) (I know.) (AGAIN.) It was our sixth time in the mansion during the trip…. well, so far anyway!
After the mansion, we went on (….wait for it….) the mansion again. Uh-huh.
(And that makes seven!)
Make no mistake, Wednesday would have totally gone on the Haunted Mansion Holiday all day long if she’d had her way. (No, really.) But instead, we led her off toward Critter Country where she and Scope took the plunge on Splash Mountain, while I kept all our stuff safe and dry on the pathway.
After being dropped 53 feet straight down into a river of cold water, Wednesday wanted to take me into the Pooh Corner store to show me the Jack Skellington caramel apples they had in there. (‘Cuz that’s how she rolls, folks.)
(Seriously, how cute are those?!)
As we left Pooh Corner, we were discussing how odd it is that Disneyland hasn’t given Splash Mountain a make-over like they did with the old Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. I mean, why oh why does Disneyland keep a Song of the South-themed ride when they’ve, basically, banned the whole movie and want to pretend like it never even existed in the first place?! Do kids these days even know who the characters are or what the heck is going on as they travel through Splash Mountain? Doubtful. Splash Mountain would make an AWESOME Pocahontas ride, by the way. Or even a Princess and the Frog ride—or anything else with a river and a song in it! I mean, think about it…. I can’t believe Disney hasn’t already done it, can you?
As we were smack dab in the middle of discussing the weirdness of the Brer Rabbit-infested Splash Mountain, we suddenly came to a screeching halt. We were dumbfounded. Looky who we saw strutting through Critter Country!
Yeah. You’re seeing that correctly. It’s Brer Bear and Brer Fox from Song of the South. Well, color me confused…. kind of like that kid posing with them, who you know had no flipping idea who they were. Hmm. Go figure. I guess the Song of the South characters live on despite the movie’s demise. Really, who knew?
While we were in Critter Country, we decided to wait in line to meet the Pooh Bear characters.
(Or I ruthlessly forced Scope and Wednesday into it.)
(One or the other.)
We saw Eeyore first, who seemed to be quite smitten with Wednesday and immediately took her hands and started dancing with her as soon as their eyes met.
(What a flirt!)
Next, we met Tigger.
And, finally, we met the big guy himself, Pooh Bear.
Pooh wasn’t the only one who was rumbly in his tumbly. We were all feeling a bit starved, so we stopped in the River Belle Terrace restaurant for lunch. Wednesday had the uber-cute Mickey pancake. Mmmmm…. yummy!
As we left the restaurant, we saw Santa again! (LOL.)
We had been given some coupons to use in the Disneyland stores, but the coupons were all due to expire at 1pm, so we decided we’d better hurry up and hit the stores so Wednesday could spend all the Disneyland gift cards she received for her birthday AND stretch her money out with the coupons. I bought some Disneyland photo albums for all the many, many, MANY pictures I took on the trip, and Wednesday, inevitably, found some Nightmare Before Christmas things to add to her collection.
Oh! And we bought Mickey ears. :-)
We ran our shopping bags back to our hotel across the street, then we invaded California Adventure where we went on Soarin’ Over California (can you say boring? *yawn*) and we attempted to see Muppet Vision 3D, but it was closed down for the holidays. Grrr. Not wanting to let California Adventure get our goat like that, we decided to hop on the Monsters Inc. ride, which was cute, but I have the feeling I’m definitely the one who liked it the most out of our group. (Then again, Monsters Inc. is my favorite Pixar movie, so there you go.)
As we exited Monsters Inc. we were all a bit shocked to realize that that the sun was rapidly setting on our final Disney day. Time was ticking away, so we ran ourselves over to the Tower of Terror for one last scream fest.
(Ha! I’m totally holding on for dear life in that picture. Damn straight.)
Now it was definitely nightfall when we exited the Tower of Terror—*sniffle*—so, we dashed back across to Disneyland because, well, Disneyland just trumps California Adventure in every possible way. Once inside the Disneyland gates, we took a trip around the park in the dark on the Disneyland Railroad, which took us through It’s a Small World, Splash Mountain, and—my favorite—the Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama.
Unfortunately, my pictures from the wobbly train in the dark just didn’t turn out all that well, so here’s a shot of an old Primeval World postcard for you instead.
(Awww. Baby dinos. I swear I had that picture on a View Master reel back in the 70’s!)
After the train ride around the park, the three of us grabbed a speedy dinner at the Mary Poppins-themed Jolly Holiday Bakery—(I definitely recommend the caprese sandwich. Oh! My! God! It! Was! Good!)—and then Scope went back to the hotel for awhile to watch the last half of the big Notre Dame game on TV while Wednesday and I hunted up and down Main Street trying to find postcards to buy.
Eventually, she and I ended up in New Orleans Square (OF COURSE!) where we went on the Haunted Mansion Holiday (for the eighth time, if you’re counting!) and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Before we knew it—*POOF!*—there was Scope back from the game (ND won!) and the three of us decided to take one more trip down Splash Mountain…. while sitting in the front of the boat…. with all our stuff.
We’ve made much better decisions. I’m just going to leave it at that. And all the electronics survived, so—YAY!!!!—that was a very welcome surprise gift from the Disney Gods, as we squelched our sorry, drenched selves back out of Critter Country towards the safer (and drier) New Orleans Square.
One more ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by two more rides through the Haunted Mansion Holiday (nine and ten!) and then we had to say au revoir to New Orleans Square. We wanted to hit Fantasyland and Tomorrowland one more time before our evening ended, so we headed that way. Along the way, we caught the last few minutes of the Fantasmic show along the pathway, where the river water goes up in flames and Maleficent turns into a dragon and gets her booty kicked by Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately, with the big crowd in front of us in the dark, our pictures didn’t turn out very well. But I kind of like this one.
In Fantasyland, Wednesday stopped to listen at Snow White’s fountain….
….while I snapped a shot or two of Sleeping Beauty’s Christmas-ified Castle.
Then we dashed into Tomorrowland, where we took one last ride on Star Tours and the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Unlike the last time, this time through Astro Blasters, I was ready, dammit. I had my camera put away, my blaster ready to go, and I shot like my life depended on it, people!
And I still got slaughtered.
Gah! (Maybe I should stick to shooting pictures. I seem to be much more successful at that!)
And with that, our Thanksgiving in Disneyland came to a close. We sadly, walked down Main Street and back to reality. Just before exiting the park for good, we ran into Minnie Mouse who posed with us for a picture or two….
….then we went back to our hotel to pack our bags and grab about three hours of sleep before hauling our exhausted selves out to the curb in the (VERY!) early morning fog to await our shuttle back to LAX.
(Wednesday is NOT a morning person. Have I ever mentioned that? Hee hee hee.)
Soon, we were sleeping away on a plane and waking up in Chicago, wondering how our vacation had gone by so dang fast….
Umm…. No, really…. Just how did that happen?