Sorry this is so long:
I thought I'd post a little something about my trip to Disneyland last week (Feb 10-12). Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures of my trip as we were so busy doing stuff that I just forgot!!!! My hubby and I are from Canada, so we were happy to get away from the cold weather for a break. People kept telling us it was chilly in Anaheim and lots of people were wearing wollen hats and mitts and jackets, we must have stuck out like sore thumbs with our shorts and t-shirts!!! (DLR was around 60-75 for the three days, home was between 0 and 15, so a big difference!!!)
We decided to visit Disneyland for the last three days of a two week vacation, which I think I would have started with Disneyland first as we were tired and ready to get home to our nice bed by that time! I also managed to pick up a wicked chest infection during the first week of our vacation, so I was pretty sick for the whole visit
We arrived in Anaheim on Feb 9, after we spent a day at Universal Studios in the pouring rain (as a side note - did you know that US gives out free passes if it has to cancel any attractions due to the rain... we could have gone back for free anytime within 30 days if we wanted to). The weather started to clear as we were checking into our hotel (Quality Inn and Suites on Manchester Ave).
We woke up bright and early on Feb 10 and got ready to visit the park. My husband had never been to Disneyland before and I had only visited once for one day as part of a charity event before. We bought Southern California City Passes and when we went to the ticket booth to get our proper tickets, the lady gave both of us a "First Visit" badge, which I was happy to get as I didn't get one on my real first visit. A bit of info about my husband... he doesn't like rides and doesn't really get my obsession with Disney, but he tagged along because I tagged along on one of his "dream vacations" to Indianapolis.
Anyways, the park was on the quiet side when we got through the gates. I wanted to take him on POTC first to give him a taste of Disneyland and he was thoroughly impressed. We walked onto the ride with no wait whatsoever. Next we hit Haunted Mansion, which I had experienced as HMH back in October. I definitely prefer the regular Mansion as it seems spookier and the effects I felt were superior (disappearing heads on the pictures in the attic were spectacular). Next I convinced my hubby to go on BTMRR, which he was not able to chicken out of because the line was so short (5-10 mins). He was not impressed with my watered down description of the ride and so we did quieter rides for a while
I had a list of attractions that I wanted to experience that I hadn't gotten to in October, including IASW, Peter Pan's Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter's Tea Party and Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters. We were able to do all of the rides I wanted and more before 3pm as the longest line that we experienced was maybe 20 mins for Peter Pan. We were definitely spoiled by the short wait times.
While we were in Tomorrowland, my husband decided to give Space Mountain a try (shocking - I know). Since the wait was so short (less than 5 mins just before lunchtime), he wasn't able to chicken out and he survived it (barely). When we finished Space Mountain, we found the pins in one of the stores in Tomorrowland, which my husband insisted he get to commemmorate his survival and thus started our obsession with pins and trading them. We ended up with over 10 pins each, trading a couple a few times as we kept finding better ones. (Do many other Micechatters collect these also?)
My husband really enjoyed AstroBlasters, but he was disappointed to find the pictures and the scores are kind of backwards (his score was on my side of the picture and vice versa). To get an accurate picture, we swapped blasters for one run so that our scores were on the correct side of the photo for bragging rights (I never did get the hang of the blasters and scored dismally compared to him).
By late afternoon, we were both tired, so we headed back to the hotel for dinner and an early night.
Thurs Feb 11: We participated in Magic Morning and did FNSV, AstroBlasters a few more times and some other Fantasyland rides before heading to California Adventure for the rest of the day. I found my new favorite ride (Screamin' - which my hubby refused to ride, so I used the single rider line to ride three times). The single rider line was not being used very well and the CMs had a large crowd of frustrated single riders for a while. The CMs kept leaving empty seats and when we finally protested, they almost filled one whole group of cars (whatever you call them) with single riders. The next time I went on as a single rider a few hours later, we were placed in empty seats like we were supposed to.
The longest wait we had in DCA was for the food (CRAAAAAZZZZYYYY wait - about 30 mins). I can't remember where I got my food from, but it was outside the main food areas - Something Market I think. I got mozza sticks and fries and a bottle of water. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO slow.
My hubby is a huge fan of Twilight Zone, so he decided to give TOT a try and he actually enjoyed it. We didn't get to appreciate the staging of the queue as much because it was basically walk-on. We were going to do it again, but the line-up got longer in the afternoon and we wanted to do a few more things before we went back to the hotel.
I was way better at TSMM and blew my husband's score out of the water. Was disappointed that we didn't get a picture of us to email home for bragging rights. We were not as impressed with the atmosphere of DCA compared to DLR, probably due to all of the construction going on. I think we did most of the major things that were recommended (Soarin', ITTBAB, Muppet*Vision, Fun Wheel)
We went back to the hotel around 4pm for another early night as I was so sick.
Friday Feb 12 - Disneyland again - we knew it was going to be busy as the hours were 8am to 12am, so we decided to go in early, get the last minute stuff done that we wanted to, go back to the hotel to rest before going to see the parade and fireworks.
As I am very hard of hearing, I decided to give the accessibility device a try. It is a device that looks like a GPS thingy that when you walk into an accessible ride (about 10-15 rides have the feature) things people are saying are displayed on the screen. It was kind of neat, but the words went so fast, that I ended up reading the thing for the whole ride and not looking at the scenes or really experiencing the ride. I don't think that I will get the device in the future as I can get the gist of the narration based on the scene. I researched the park extensively before I went, so I had a pretty good idea of the "stories" of each ride.
When we left Disneyland around 1pm, the lines for all major rides were around 1 hour (or more). We did the quieter rides (I never did get my hubby on any more major attractions after Space Mountain - I had to do IJA by myself) like the DLRR, Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise. The lineups were soooo crazy, we only did three or four rides on Friday morning, which suited us fine.
We went back to the hotel to pack and get rested for the fireworks and Parade. When we went back for the parade, I didn't realize that C!ASP was more like a stage show that moves a few blocks each time, so we ended up being about 30 feet away from the front of the "parade" and then 10 feet from the end of the "parade" when it moved. It would have been nice if a they only rope off good viewing areas, instead of letting people sit where they know they won't get to see much. I gave up watching the parade and we went to do one last ride (mad hatter's tea party) before the fireworks and our trip was over.
About 1.5 hours before the fireworks started, we grabbed a seat on the ground almost right beside the Partners statue (excellent view of the castle) and ended up with even better view once the area became standing room only 15 mins before the fireworks and they had us all stand up and move towards the castle. The fireworks show was "Remember Dreams Come True" and my hubby and I were awe-struck by the experience. We live in a city that puts on a great fireworks show and competition every summer and we were amazed at the fireworks in Disney. What an excellent way to end our vacation.