[Preface: Friday --After a 500 mile drive from Grand Canyon Village to Anaheim via Interstate 40 and a bit of Route 66 through Kingman and Oatman, Arizona and some grueling traffic on I-15 just past Yorba Linda or so, the family (DW, DS age 5.5) and I pulled up to the Disneyland Hotel at around 6:30 PM, Maybe 7.]
Somebody angered the Tiki Gods, and one cloud or another followed us all day long.
The day started with some decent coffee but dry cellophane wrapped croissants outside the Compass Bookstore. Plan was to race into the park by early monorail and knock off some Fantasy Land attractions. Didn't happen. Instead, lightning and thunder happened. Monorail was down, Railroad was down, lots of things were down. Besides, the 5 year old was acting like a four year old and was all about pirates this morning, not flying elephants.
So I asked at the Ride Time Board how long the wait for POTC was. He called them on the horn, and they said 10 minutes. We raced over, and the line was sticking out to the Mark Twain. Apparently, in the time it took us to walk from there to here, the power flickered and threw a cursed monkey wrench into the works.
OK, we can deal. Then it started to rain. So here we are in Southern California, in July, getting soaked in line waiting for a frozen Pirate ride. Our kid -- brainwashed by overly protective preschool and swimming lesson instructors, insists we have to go back to the hotel before we get hit by electricity. His whining was now approaching that of a three year old. Luckily, the cast got the attraction mostly up and running again, and we soon were setting sail. I say mostly, because some lights inside still weren't quite right: the illumination above the Redheaded Wench was so dim you could barely see her or the other beauties.
Getting into the spirit of the storm, we directed our attention yet another attraction with fake lightning and headed to the Tiki Room in an attempt to appease the gods. Quite a show -- the house was packed (hey, with half the park closed -- any port in a storm), and the crowd was really into it, singing along and clapping for the robots (silly tourists).
But when the doors opened, it was still raining as hard as the special effects inside. Jungle cruise was closed, but three skippers were making the best of it, entertaining the gusts with a faux drunken version of 99 bottles of Tonic on the wall. We watched for 11 verses or so, then continued the lighting theme with a couple of laps of the Haunted Mansion.
After the second round of HM, the sky was clearing and additional attractions were slowly coming back to life -- just in time for our early Priority Seating at Cafe Orleans. DW had the shrimp and head of lettuce, DS the PB&J Monty, and I the Pommes Frites and Crab Salad Sandwich. The pommes were good, but a bit too much iceberg lettuce for my wife, and the crab salad was good but maybe not $15 good. I liked the PB&J Monty, but the boy -- now drifting into 2 year old behavior, showed much more interest in the grapes and strawberries. It took a chocolate doubloon bribe to get him to finish half the sandwich and an argument to get him back to the hotel that he had been whining about going back to for the last hour and a half. I was ready to sell him to the pirates.
Anyway, some naps and a pool break seemed to bring everyone back into high spirits, mostly. Late afternoon brought us back to the future via monorail for rapid-fire visits to Space Mountain (picked up fast passes before exiting after lunch), Astroblasters, and Autopia (picked up fast passes on way back into park). Dang, but the new Space Mountain is good! I miss the old Dick Dale soundtrack -- I dig surf guitar -- but the new effects and super plush track were sweet. Wife and I had to scared-kid-swap the boy and ride solo, but it was worth it. He still doesn't get the roller coaster concept, yet he'll get in a tuck and ski twice as fast as a coaster car down a mogul run back home. Go figure.
Unfortunately, the Tike Storm Curse followed us to dinner and there was another big power-struggle argument over food and just plain nonsense. Couldn't help but think that we all looked like those families I used to scoff at while at the park in my pre-parenting days. All part of growing up, I guess. Clearly, the kid is running out of steam, but none of us want to admit it. We managed to get everyone calmed down for a decent Jungle cruise and a fast second helping of Pirates (the old ride during Fantasmic trick never fails) and made it to a reasonably decent spot on the south edge of the hub with 30 seconds to spare before the fireworks.
The fireworks were, of course, excellent, but nothing compared to the final meltdown of the day as parents and child nuclear fused over, of all things, snacks. I'm not sure who won this argument, but thank goodness we're staying on property -- anything to get the kid back home, into bed, and off to a much over due sleep, with minimum fuss and bother.
Looks like it's time to sleep in, take it slow, maybe change venues for Day 4. Until then...