Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Disneyland Recap: Monday

Click here to view my Sunday post!

My final day in Disneyland dawned nice and cool. I packed up all my luggage in my rental car (Ruby, if you remember) and checked out of my hotel. I left Ruby in the hotel's parking lot, and I was unsure whether or not I'd get in trouble for leaving her there past my checkout time. (Spoiler alert: I didn't get into trouble. And I also didn't have to pay for parking my whole trip!)

It was really nice to wake up after the sun came up, I gotta say. I ate the hotel's continental breakfast and headed to the parks.

California Adventure was having some early-entry for Disneyland's hotel guests, but they let everyone come into the park, as long as you didn't go outside Buena Vista Street. Luckily, I was hoping for a little more time to check out that area, and while Disneyland wasn't open for another 30 minutes, I checked out the stores.

Disney kitchen items are my kryptonite. While I usually can resist Disney-brand merchandise thanks to the insane prices, the kitchen stuff gets me the closest to breaking out my wallet.

Just strolling by, having a chat with Alice and
the Mad Hatter. NBD.
 When 8:00 rolled around, I headed back to Disneyland and made my way inside. I was only there to knock out my final attractions, so I didn't have to do any running to a popular destination like I had on my first few days. Instead, I headed to Fantasyland and the Matterhorn. I'd heard so many bad things about the Matterhorn and its new seats, and I guess I just had to realize how bad it was for myself. And it was so, so bad. You're low to the ground, so you feel every jarring bump. And it's not the smoothest ride in the world to begin with. 

After that ride (which I'll never do again), I hit some more Fantasyland attractions, since it wasn't that busy in the park. I went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (which probably would have been more entertaining if I knew the story), Alice in Wonderland (very fun), and the Storybook Canalboats (tiny miniatures of movie settings - cute!). I also went over and did the Finding Nemo Submarines, which used to be themed around 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the subs are still themed to that. I enjoyed the ride, though it's pretty claustraphobic.

I was ready to see the show Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, but that required me to go to the very front of the park. Luckily, all the vehicles of Main Street U.S.A. were running, and everyone was taking them to get to the Hub. I was the only one silly enough to head back to Town Square at 9:00, which meant I had an entire double-decker omnibus to myself! I positioned myself on the second level squarely in the front, and just pretended like I was in a parade. I even tried a parade wave, but quickly stopped after I realized I looked stupid. (The ride was still awesome, though.)

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln was a very nice show, and I sat right up front so I could see all the mechanics of that audio-animatronic at work. I mean, he even stands up out of his chair!

My final ride vehicle was the horse-drawn trolley, and although I didn't have the entire trolley to myself, it was still a relaxing trip back up toward the Hub.

Before I did anything else, I stopped for a snack. I was close to Maurice's Treats, so I decided on a cheddar garlic twist. And, oh man, it was incredible! I hadn't even planned on eating it when I was doing my planning, but it was definitely one of my favorite treats of my whole trip.

I ate the delicious twist while I walked around Mickey's Toontown, a land I hadn't hit yet. It's a cute play area, with lots of things perfect for kids. I did do the ultra-short tour around Chip and Dale's treehouse, and also saw one of the last areas that feature anything dealing with Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers with Gadget's Go-Coaster.

When my twist was finally done, I rode on Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin, which didn't show Judge Doom at all, but instead had the Weasels as the main bad guys. (They still had Dip, though!)

I finally made it up to Critter Country and walked around the area. I had no intention of riding anything here, since Splash Mountain and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh are attractions I've done a lot in he Magic Kingdom. But it was a cute little area.

Another snack I needed to try was the bacon-wrapped asparagus from the Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. That was also a very tasty snack! I ate those little treats as I walked around Tarzan's Treehouse. That was a very nice attraction, though I prefer the Swiss Family Treehouse.

The Jungle Cruise is still closed for refurbishment, but the skippers (with their crazy improv skills) were holding "Skipper Skool" outside the attraction every hour. They got guests to read the usual lines from the attraction while they acted out the animals and other normal items from the attraction. I got there too late to be able to participate, but it was fun to watch the skippers - they're crazy!

My snacks required a little dessert, so I went to the famous Golden Horseshoe Saloon and had some mint chocolate chip ice cream up in the balcony while I listened to one of their live shows.

Another closed attraction is the Disneyland Railroad, but on the upside, they were allowing guests to look at the trains up close. Usually you couldn't be right up against the engines, but since they weren't running, people could go right up and touch them.

I was able to talk to an engineer and I asked about what the plans would be for the Railroad now that Star Wars Land was coming into play. They mentioned some refurb in the back of the park, and they would be reopening the Railroad in a year or so. I wasn't going to be around in a year, so I feigned excitement. It was still cool to get the intel!

I walked around quite a bit, and Disneyland had gotten very busy in the late morning/early afternoon hours. I still had one more show to see: Mickey and the Magical Map, which was in the Fantasyland Theater waaaay in the back of the park. It's a very large theater, so I didn't have any trouble scoring a seat. I'm sure the area gets very hot and stuffy in the summer months, but today it was the perfect temperature.

The performance was great! It featured movies that aren't usually shown in other shows, like Mulan, Pocahontas, Lilo and Stitch, The Princess and the Frog, and The Jungle Book. But it did it in a very creative way! I won't spoil the plot here, but I'm sure there's a video of the show if you're curious.

I did manage to catch the tail end of another show, the Fairytale Theater's showing of Rapunzel, which was told by not only Rapunzel and Flynn, but two other guys who dressed up as all the other characters. I liked this performance, because it threw in a lot of improvisation, and the humor was a little more highbrow than most normal Disney shows. They also do performances of Frozen and Beauty and the Beast, but I'm glad I caught my favorite current movie in a performance!

My late lunch before I left was going to be at the Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney, and the fastest way to get there was by using the Disneyland Monorail, which took off from Tomorrowland. But I got caught in a trap before I made it to the station. A very cute trap. A trap that looked like BB-8 but was filled with lemonade and that pretty much everyone was buying. I think the queue for the BB-8 drink was longer than some of the attraction queues at that time of the day! But I finally caved and bought one. The lemonade was very tart, so I mixed in some water to level it out. But I was excited to have my very own BB-8!!

The Monorail got me to Downtown Disney with no trouble on this day. I'm not sure what had happened on Friday, but there weren't any issues today.

The Earl of Sandwich is a fantastic sandwich shop, so if you ever get the chance to eat at one, do it. I love the Italian, and that is what I ordered again. The guy who took my payment complimented me on my BB-8 drink, which was really nice. We had a very nice, goofy conversation about taking the BB-8 to the gym to show it off.

I didn't eat my sandwich at the Earl of Sandwich, instead opting to use my last hour of Disneyland freedom in Disneyland. So I hopped on the Monorail again and finished the Grand Circle Tour in Tomorrowland. I then walked over to Frontierland, found a nice spot that overlooked the Rivers of America, ate my amazing sandwich, and did one of my favorite activities: people-watching. Some people hate waiting. I don't hate it if there are people to watch. Then it's just fascinating!

I slowly sauntered down the Hub and Main Street U.S.A. just in time to catch the very beginning of the Soundsational Parade. That's the best part of the parade, so I watched as the amazing drumline paraded by. I figured that would be a good way to end my trip, so that's when I took my leave.

And just like that, my Disneyland vacation was done! It was a surreal experience, because I have been so familiarized with Walt Disney World that anything else just seems odd. But I loved the parks, loved the running, and loved everything!  It is something I will enjoy doing again.

...But this time, I'll be doing it with other people! My parents invited me to visit Walt Disney World with them as their personal guides, and I'm so excited to be able to head back. I'll be sure to give you updates, though they probably won't be as extensive as these have been.

Thanks for reading, and I'll See Ya Real Soon!!


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