We started the day EARLY (7am) at the incredible Goofy’s Kitchen. The food was just… obscene. You could eat everything from eggs benedict to pizza to mickey-shaped waffles to smoked salmon. We stuffed ourselves silly.
The grown ups had woke up with tired feet from day 1, and looking at a long day ahead, we decided to take the Monorail. The radios weren’t working, so they wouldn’t leave the station. So much for that idea. I was freaking out that my best-laid plans for gathering fast passes early in the day were going to be frustrated now that we’d be entering Disneyland an hour after opening. Add to that, Fiona started moaning about sore feet and a rash of some kind, and I was worried about how the day would unfold.
It turns out that the forecast of rain (which never came) scared off quite a few people, so we didn’t have to worry much about lines all day. When we got in, we visited the very kind first aid people, who sorted Fiona out. So the day got immediately better…
Alec, Rebekah, and I started with Space Mountain, which I rightly guessed would be their favorite. That ride is so much improved from when I was a kid. Bigger, smoother… the picture was also too priceless to pass up. Fiona, Mabes, and Grandma took Fiona to Snow White, Pinnochio, and Dumbo in the meantime. We met up with them for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters.
Alec and Rebekah took Grandma on a 2nd Space Mt. spin while Fiona and Mabes did the Tea Cups. Then we all took the train over to New Orleans Square. I don’t remember ever taking the train, and was glad I did because I had no idea they had animated dioramas in the tunnel leading up to Main Street. Dumb luck that we hopped on it for that segment.
We went to Splash Mountain, but we couldn’t talk Mabes or Fiona into getting on, so Alec, Rebekah and I went while Grandma took Fiona on Winnie the Pooh. Splash Mt. had several more dips and splashes than I remembered, so it was good that Fiona didn’t go – she’d have been pretty mad at us.
We caught up with the others on
Tom Sawyer Pirate’s Island, where we thought we’d just missed our chance for a photo with Jack Sparrow, when he happened to hop on the raft as we went back. Mabel got her pic with Jack after all.
Back on the mainland, we did the Haunted Mansion (no wait!), and then Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates is good fun with the nice additions of Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. We wanted to do it again, but it shut down later in the day.
Alec, Rebekah, and I waited 20 mins for Thunder Mountain, which had been closed earlier. (Indiana Jones was also closed part of this day… a troubling trend that fortunately we were able to work around) I thought Thunder Mt. was the weakest of the roller coasters. It’s pretty jerky and gave me a headache, but the kids like it. We happened to sit in front of a former Disneyland employee who said that it had gotten rougher since they speeded it up. He also confirmed what I thought was an urban legend about there being a basketball court in the middle of the Matterhorn. Wild.
By this time, Mabes was pretty tired, and we were going to split up a bit to let her rest, but ended up finding each other at the Golden Horseshoe just in time for Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. I’d heard this was a good show that few people know about. Well the place was packed, so I had hopes that it was a good tip. What a hilarious show. We were all in tears we were laughing so hard.
After the show, we did split up so that Alec, Rebekah, Grandma, and myself could go try the Matterhorn, which had been closed all morning. Sure enough, the lines were down to nothing by this time, so we were able to do both tracks with practically no wait. The Matterhorn is pretty old and shows it, being pretty tame as far as coasters go, and a little rough, but it has a charm about it. The Yeti looks better than it did when I was a kid.
Right after the Matterhorn, we happened to be in a perfect spot for the Parade that had just started. After this, we went to find Mabes and Fiona, who were on the River boats. We then went to our reservations at Blue Bayou – nice atmosphere, good (if incredibly overpriced) food.
We’d heard good things about Aladdin over at DCA, so we hurried over after dinner. We were glad we made the trek, as it was very good. The genie steals the show (just like in the movie), but the flying carpet and other effects were great as well.
Mabes was done at this point, so she went to soak in a bath at the hotel while the rest of us went back to Disneyland to get every ounce we could out of our day. We did Indiana Jones again, which was thankfully open, and Fiona enjoyed it even more. Then we waited for 30 minutes (our longest wait of the day) for our 3rd ride on Space Mt while Fiona and Grandma went to Honey I Shrunk the Audience.
We wrapped it up with a visit to the TIki Room while we waited for the fireworks to start. The fireworks were nearly cancelled for weather, but they went through with them after all. They’re so much better in person than from the hotel, which we’d seen the night before. The music and the surround-experience of some the fireworks meant that you really should be down there on Main Street to get the full effect. And it’s a long show – the girls actually demanded the toilet halfway through, and Grandma was able to hurry them off and back in time to catch the rest.
Of course, there were countless emergency trips to the toilets like that last one, and lots of rolling of eyes over the prices of snacks (I nearly took a photo of the $5.99 peanut butter and jelly sandwich), and the frequent closing of rides often threw us off our plans, but overall, we had two really GREAT days that I hope the kids will never forget. The weather was nearly perfect. The crowds were very manageable (turns out that we caught the week right in between the two major California spring break weeks). I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience for the family.