Well... TDL is another year old, and so are most of us.. drats. But at least we can celebrate this truly great park until the real celebration gets underway in 2008.
It was a lovely morning...and the fanatic fans were there in droves. Park opened promptly at 8am, since the lines were close to the monorail station already at that time.
Today, not only was I there to say "Omedeto TDL", but also to enjoy an encore presentation of last year's well recieved event "Find Stitch: Hana Ho!!", now being reprised at TDL through mid June.
I was not disappointed (well.. I was.. a little... and I will tell you why later)
I was quite impressed with the decor this year. Most props were newly built for this year's event, and in 3D, with some flats around the Hub. From the moment you arrive into the park, you are bombarded with event decor...all the way down to the end of World Bazaar. There, "Partners" have been re-dressed to be a part of the fun. Much care has gone into the gardens, with special flowers from Hawaii and real pineapple plants. The most controversial of things was getting a hula skirt on Walt and Mickey's Partner Statue. I did see this at first on photos taken from another site... and I honestly didn't like it. I thought it was tacky at best. However... after being in the park and getting the whole picture, and feel for the event.. "Hula Partners" just seem appropriate and fun! I think Walt would have had a big laugh out of this one (then order "Partners" taken down at all Disney parks and Studio).
Anyways.. Just like last year, the "Huli Huli Ohana Bash" did not disappoint. It's one of the best and most fun parade shows ever done at TDL. If only Mr. Stud had made an appearance here... it would have the best ever for me The procession is colorful, there are plenty of performers and dozens of Disney characters, all decked out in their finest Hawaiian garbs.. dancing along to the catchy rhythms of "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride". The parade features two different show modes. I believe the same ones play at Fantasy/Westerland and ToonTown/Tomorrowland, while the guests in the Hub get treated to the big Kahuna version of the show mode. Some of these floats have the capability of spining 360 degress which allow for the procession to move into the hub counter-clockwise, then turn clockwise for the rousing audience participation portion and other dance numbers. Since the idea is that Stitch is splashing the park in colors.. on cue, most float have colorful balloons, streamers and such gizmos that pop out to add to the "color splashing" feel of the show. One of the floats ever features exploding balloons! (that would be cost prohibitive at WDW).
Anyways.. the show is festive and fun.. and even the most brute of brutes will get swept away and do the huli huli, along with the lovely female dancers and handsome guy dancers featured on this show. Good job to casting on the latter...and I am not even into rice. The show is fun and colorful and I just love Clarisse in that skin-tight hawaiian dress..
TDLFAN's rate 4 1/2 out of 5*****. DO NOT MISS IT!
Now... the event is called "Find Stitch" and that is exactly what guests have to do to join in the fun.. Go around the park and see how many Stitchs you can find.. My photo album shows a few of them, including some of the maihem created by the little guy.
Also, this being TDL's 24th anniversary, I bring you some photos from the Emporium, where many guests were gleefully purchasing a lot of the 24th anniversary merchandise on sale, along with much of what is available for sale from the "Find Stitch" event. Not to get outdone.. the food division got into the act with special merchandise only found in the restaurants..and you'll see some of that in this photo album.
I left TDL early on the 15th of April, but came back to the park on the 17th... It was a nice morning until 4pm when the skies opened and the rain came. Needless to say, TDL was quite dead due to the weather, and most attractions were walkons. The Huli Huli Ohana bash was replaced by it's 2-float Rainy Day version and you will see photos of that here as well..
While the rainy weather was disappointing... I was more dismayed and disappointed by NOT one, but TWO things.... but you will have to check out the photos and read captions to find out what disturbed me to the core.
However, as always... 24 years after it's opening, TDL continues to be an amazing DL park, unique in many ways, yet familiar enough for those of us who love Disney. In short, an extraordinary Disney experience to enjoy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DEAR DEAR TDL Park!!! Cheers!