Peanut Adventures, Issue 9 (Disneyland Part 3)
Honestly, we had fun our first two days at the Disneyland resort, but if those were the only two days we'd gone? I would have felt no pressing urge to ever return. Then Monday happened, and I fell in love. Honestly? Those weekend crowds were nuts. Just a random weekend at Disneyland felt as crowded as a holiday at WDW. We didn't plan to take Monday for granted, whether it was crowded or not; we'd looked over our park map and made lists of the things we hadn't gotten around to and what we absolutely HAD to do again before we left. It was those crowds from Saturday which kept us from doing what ended up being the first stop on our list for our last day...
Disneyland's Pirates was a ZOO on Saturday (it doesn't offer FastPass). It's built into their New Orleans Square area instead of Adventureland, and that's only the start of the differences. You load into the boat with a New Orleans/swamp indoor vibe and the Blue Bayou restaurant.
The ride is SO much longer than the version at WDW. Multiple drops, every section is extended, I just loved it so much. Approved by the whole party.
D got to check out Tarzan's Treehouse. Then we noticed somebody hanging out in Aladdin's Oasis with no line. Characters with no lines? Must be Disneyland....
D was so excited, it had been ages since we'd gotten to see the Wayfinder.
Mellie offered to take D for a castle walkthrough (one of her two mandated repeat requests for our last day), while Ian and I took one more spin on Indiana Jones.
She had a blast, of course, and kept asking to go back to the castle all day.
Next stop? Haunted Mansion Holiday round 2!!
WHY CAN'T WE HAVE THIS?! Next stop? One more round on Alice In Wonderland.
Took a ride on Casey Junior.
Ok, quick note: Disney Fairies. We have been fans of the franchise for ages, but more specifically, D started watching the films around a month after the fairies other than Tink left WDW. But the fairy friends kept meeting in Disneyland. As we continued to put off our trip to DL, we kept our fingers crossed they would still be there. A few months ago, they stopped having Tink & a friend. Fairy friends would only show up if, for some reason, Tink wasn't available in the nook during the limited hours that Pixie Hollow would be open each day. So, on the very slim chance we'd get lucky, I'd packed up D's Periwinkle costume every day we visited. Saturday we checked: Tink. Monday was our last hope. We stopped by the attendant outside the hollow: nope. Tink. But a captain was right there next to him, looking through his notebook. He looked up and smiled. "You might want to come back around 12:30." Wink wink. NO. WAY. OMG. We almost kissed the pair of them.
We had a quick visit to Tomorrowland to kill time, so Ian & Mellie rode Space Mountain while D and I had a snack and watched DL's version of D's favorite show: Jedi Training. Then we headed back to get in line for Pixie Hollow. The line is just fantastic, with gorgeous statues and hidden fairy houses for all the fairy friends. I tried not to cry.
We happened to catch Bert & Mary Poppins just strolling along while we waited.
We finally got close enough to peek inside and see if the captain's suggestion was right... no bun in sight. Pink wings. OMG Rosettta, Mellie's favorite. Mellie was already freaking out, which just made it all the more special. We got shrunk down to Pixie size, and D fell in love with the line queue even more.
A moment 3 years in the making. I'm getting verklempt.
Flying high (heh), we finally managed to get into the Enchanted Tiki Room. At WDW? It's empty. There? Jam-packed from open to close. Ian managed to grab us a Dole Whip, too (they sell it in the waiting area, smart).
D changed out of the warm costume since it was getting up toward 98 degrees by then, and we grabbed FastPasses to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday. Again. Yeah... it's a winner. On the way we ran into a familiar face. With no line.
"Y'all ever heard of a voodoo cupcake?" Uhh.... "You hold it, like this, then ya snarl..." Oh ok...
*Sigh* Oh Haunted Mansion Holiday, I think I'll miss you most of all.
We decided to watch Soundsational Parade from near step off at It's a Small World, so we could dash over to catch Magical Map one more time right after.
We love Magical Map so much. D was so excited.
GIMME DIS SHOW
Mellie recommended we check out the Storytelling at the Royal Theatre. They offer two re-enactments: Beauty & the Beast and Tangled. We caught Tangled. The theater is small, with rug seating in front for kids and benches in the back. Some storytellers lead the story with a couple of dancers, then Rapunzel and Flynn also participate. Y'all...
I'm so obsessed with this. This was so fun and CUTE and FUNNYYYYYY. I want this. Put it in the Disney Junior theater, or Voyage at studios. Change up the story offerings seasonally. Please. Please. I want this so much.
It was getting later and we were all completely spent, but it occurred to us we hadn't gotten the ubiquitous Castle photo.
Ian had debated maybe resting at the hotel and trying to come back and see World of Color that night, but I had a feeling once my shoes came off, they weren't going back on. I was right. We went hard, but we never really adjusted to the time change (just as well since we all had to go back to work/school on Wednesday.
Speaking of going back, our shuttle service didn't account for ridiculous LA traffic in the pickup time (this seems absurd, since I don't live in LA but even I have heard about the commute nightmare), and I almost had a panic attack in the car with a full bladder thinking we were going to miss our flight. Fortunately, we were at a small terminal at LAX and we managed to get through security in record time, even had time to spare and grab a coffee before we got on the plane.
Thus concludes the trip diary. Monday was, far and away, our best day, chock full of Disney magic. It was still crowded, but it wasn't unmanageable. Now that I've had a few weeks to process, I'm looking forward to sharing some comparison thoughts between the coasts' parks, as well as my own advice of how to to DL as a tourist.