This night, we left the son at home and went on a Disney date--just me and my wife. We wanted to relax and enjoy our own pace and just have a magical evening.
We got to the parking structure at 7:25 and we were a bit worried about not making our 7:50 reservation at Café Orleans. There were no complications due to security / closed lines, etc. So we went through the booth pretty quick. We circled around the structure and ended up on the Daisy level and we were going to be the last car in a row. Why they don't just fill up the first half of all the rows first, and then the back is beyond me. So we quickly asked a cast member if we could start the next row and park close to the tiled walkway. He was cool about it and moved the cone (hey, we had a reservation to make!!) So we ran to the tram and only had to wait one cycle until we got on. It was definitely worth the wait since we got to see all of the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes to go over to DCA.
We flew through the gates and spilled onto main street to see……..The Parade of Dreams--we had 6 minutes until our reservation. We pretty much gave up hope in getting all the way to NOS from the Mickey floral in 6 minutes. But then we thought we'd at least try…we muscled through the crowds (I offer an open apology to everyone we cut off, slid past, or otherwise trampled) and then the parade stopped to do a little finale near the hub. I called Disney Dining on my cell and the guy heard the parade music in the background and couldn't stop laughing at me. He said, he'd never had anyone call in late for a reservation and say they were caught up in traffic on Main St.
Anyway, we got to the restaurant and we started off with these parmesan fries which were delicious and I was surprised to see the Monte Cristo on the menu (I had never been to Café Orleans). I asked a CM about it and she gave an interesting explanation: Recently, the Blue Bayou was renovated, and the Café Orleans turned into table service. This whole move was designed around the Monte Cristo sandwich (so she says). The Blue Bayou was losing its appeal since a lot of people were only going for lunch since it was cheaper and to get the Monte Cristo. Blue Bayou wanted to be really nice like Club 33 without the membership, so the decision was made to price the BB up so that it would be a little more (exclusive). But the decision waned a bit since the Monte Cristo would likely be off the menu (at the end of the day, it is just a fried sandwich). So they moved the Monte Cristo over to Café Orleans. However, they only wanted the Monte Cristo to be a table service meal--that in addition to the customers that got priced out of BB, Café Orleans, became a mini-BB with the Monte Cristo. Supposedly, they kept the Monte Cristo at BB (but I'm not sure). I thought that was interesting and I was so glad to be able to try the infamous sandwich that so many MiceChatter's have raved about. It was everything it was cracked up to be. I got the regular MC and my wife got the 3 Cheese…both marvelous.
We thought we were going to pop, so dessert was out of the question. During our dinner it poured rain for fifteen minutes or so and a lot of the fair-weather guests went home for the day--perfect for us to find short lines. But for some odd reason, Holiday Haunted Mansion was still PACKED. It was like a 50 minute wait or something like that. Since my wife was tired, and since we had already been on it a half a dozen times this season, we decided to pass.
With Fantasmic getting ready to start (which was later cancelled) we decided to avoid the crowds and push deeper into Critter Country. Splash Mountain had a 45 minute wait (at night and in the rain!!!) and we overheard talk of the ride closing down for lightning…so deeper into Critter Country we pressed.
When we got to Pooh, we were actually excited to try it since neither one of us had been on it yet. We LOVED IT!!!! I would probably say it was one of my most favorite dark rides in the park.
After Fantasmic cleared, we decided to beat the crowds at the hub and head up to Big Thunder. I read on a recent post here that BTMRR was a must at night…so I thought we'd give it a try. My wife added the recommendation that we should sit in the back. AWESOME and AWESOME!!! It was the neatest experience…sitting in the pack made the ride that much more jerky and (seemingly) fast. Definitely an experience EVERYONE should try.
Also, while we were in line for BTMRR, the Fireworks were going crazy…what an awesome place to watch the fireworks…right there in line it was like they were exploding right over you. Definitely a fun place to watch.
After that, my wife was feeling pretty tired, so we decided to hit all of the dark rides in Fantasyland. It was funny when we got to Pinocchio because neither one of us thought we had ever been on it. Another first!!!! So we went on it and we loved it!!! The whole time we were wondering if our scaredy-pants 4-year old would like it…it was the whale mouth that made us conclude that we'd stick to Dumbo with him.
We then went door to Snow White and looked for the witch in the window which I heard about here on MC, but had never seen it….It was a lot creepier than I expected since it was the queen not dressed up like the witch. I forgot how much fun the queue is in Snow White. We enjoyed it immensely.
By this time, my wife was ready to go to sleep so we thought we'd grab the 50 magical years movie on the way out. I wanted to see this before they took it down (which a CM said was not formally planned to be replaced with Abe Lincoln). I must say, this display and movie should be required for all Disney fans…what an experience!!! Donald was waaayyyy funny in the movie.
With a second wind, we trekked over to Space Mountain to see about the wait, and it was 45--that was it, our day was over. We slowly walked down main street and instinctively walked into Gibson Girl for our obligatory waffle cone, but the Monte Cristo was still hanging around--so we passed.
Overall, a great date at Disneyland without any disappointment for skipping out on all the E-ticket rides.