Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Gleam in your Eyes is so Familiar a Gleam

Oooh boy, it's been over ten days without a post, did you miss me? (Cricket sounds) Okay then. 

From the 7th til the 10th, I was still here, attending Lesley's last games night as Prime Minister (I'm Governor General, did I ever mention that?), saying goodbye to parting lumberjacks, watching Wishes and generally bawling my face off like a champion. Sounds like time for a vacation.
And now, for something completely different...
Which I did. To Disneyland! Sam, Amanda, Briana, Megan and I caught a very early flight to LAX, where we arrived three hours earlier (darn you, Pacific time). Unable to check into our hotel, we walked over (WHAT?!) to Disneyland, checked out Main Street USA and Pirates of the Caribbean in our lovely flight clothes and had lunch at Walt's favourite restaurant, Carnation Cafe. The food was homey and fantastic, and they served chocolate cherry coke. 
Adorable pink Sleeping Beauty Castle.
I'd definitely live here.
We were finally able to check into out hotel, freshen up, and like troupers, headed over to Disney California Adventure, the second of the two parks making up the Disneyland Resort. The two parks are about a hundred feet from each other. It took some getting used to. We checked California Screamin', the roller coaster on Paradise Pier, Mickey's Fun Wheel (of death), a terrifying ferris wheel, as well as browsing through the newly built Cars Land. Upon park closing, we were able to zip right back over the Disneyland and queue for their Space Mountain, which is currently rethemed as Space Mountain:Ghost Galaxy, for Halloween. 
The next morning, we walked back to Disneyland (stil not used to this concept), had breakfast at the Mary Poppins-themed Jolly Holiday Cafe, checked out Autopia (DLR's Tomorrowland Speedway), the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Mad Tea Party (the teacups ride, outside), Sleeping Beauty Castle and DLR's Hub before heading across the way for lunch at California Adventure. We did the World of Color package, meaning we ate and got tickets for prime viewing of California Adventure's nighttime spectacular, World of Colo(u)r. We ate at Golden Vines Winery, which was like an escape with fantastic dessert. We checked out more of Paradise Pier, a gorgeous boardwalk complete with carnival-type games. World of Color was an epic of epic epicness, way better than anything we have to offer at WDW (or maybe that's just repetition talking). 
Californian escape in the middle of Disney California Adventure
World of Colo(u)r,  featuring the wheel of death and lots of Pixar references.
We zoomed back over to Disneyland to check out A Bug's Land (A Bug's Life section), more Cars Land, the Mad T Party (an outdoor, Alice-themed nightclub-type experience, very cool) and some shopping. Then to bed. 
We're hitchiking (ghosts) to Radiator Springs!
 We woke up early the next day to get FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers, the most coveted new attraction at Cars Land. At 9:00 in the morning, we were able to grab Fast Passes for 9:35 at night. Five minutes later, all the Fast Passes were gone. Tips for future travel, all.
How to smile when you have a Fast Pass 12.5 hours from now. 
Breakfast was with Minnie and "friends" at the Plaza Inn. "Friends" here means "very random assortment of characters", including Chip, Dale, Rafiki, Captain Hook, Pinocchio, Max, the Fairy Godmother, among others. It was slightly insane with the abundance of characters and the lack of attendants, but we were able to get some good breakfast and some good pictures. Dale took my spot at the table and tried to eat my bacon. Cheeky chipmunk.
We headed to Adventureland to take a free Jungle Cruise with the best skipper ever (there's an Applause-O-Gram headed your way, Justin), then to New Orleans Square to queue for a very special Haunted Mansion Holiday, ie a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed, October through December only Haunted Mansion. INCREDIBLE. 
Come with us and you will see, this our town of Halloween.
Then we trekked over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Toon Town to check out Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, rode Space Mountain again and brought our Dole Whips into the Enchanted Tiki Room. Back at California Adventure, we continued waiting out our Fast Passes with shopping and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, another new ride with a shorter queue in Cars Land. One spin around Radiator Springs Racers later, we were spent. 
Briana and I looking like Guests (mostly me) at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
We slept in the next morning and made a list over breakfast of what needed to be achieved on our last day. The bulk of the day was spent at Fantasyland on the classic rides, like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Pinocchio's Daring Journey, as well as enjoying the Soundsational Parade. Back to California Adventure for a ride on the trolley, Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular, and a Glee celebrity sighting, then right back to Disneyland for Remember, Dreams Come True (a superior Wishes, paying tribute to all the signature attractions), back to DCA for Grizzly River Rapids, our final ride in which we got soaking wet, freezing cold and absolutely terrified, and I became the owner of a Grizzly River Rapids towel. 
In front of the Disneyland train station on our last day.
The first bright, sunny warm day we had in California. 
Hey guess what? It's a small world has CANADA in California!
Back to Orlando the next day on a trip that felt like it took all day...oh wait, it did. Luckily, I was (the only one) not going back to to work the next day. I spent the next day unpacking, was back to work (for a long shift) the next day and today and tomorrow, well I'm back to my weekend now, aren't I?

I hope you enjoyed my novel. The next installment shall be forthcoming.


Note: At Carnation Cafe, we met Oscar, the chef who has worked for the Disneyland Resort for a whopping 56 years, the longest tenure of any cast member ever. EVER. He knew Walt Disney, for crying out loud. 

Thanks to: Of course, my DLR Canadians for a fab trip to the best coast, and the magical cast members of DLR.