Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Adventure! California Style!

 Welcome back! This week we explore our trip to Califonia Adventure!

The day began wet. Very wet. We knew it was going to, but reasoning that it wasn't pouring rain, elected to not take our umbrellas. This was a tactical error. We got wet. Very wet.

The upside is that we were pretty much alone in the park! 

The Lunar New Year Celebration was pretty much everywhere!

We were pretty soggy...

As was the park...

Alfter wandering around a little, we bought a couple of caps. That actually helped keep the rain off my glasses quite a bit!

Incredibly, the characters were still out! (See what I did there?) Jess is the one on the left.

The first attraction we went on was Midway Mania. Actually, we went on it twice- back to back- because it was a walk on! I've done this at Hollywood Studios and it's fun there too!

...Not to brag...

We then got really wild and went on Jessie's Critters. Why? Because we walked on! Lol! She seemed lonely, you see...

Then we splashed under the sea with Ariel. With the rain, it wasn't much of a stretch. 

Then we swung by Ghirardelli for a hot fudge Sundae. In the rain. In the cold. I started shivering immediately! It was SO worth it, though!!

Then we went to the Animation Academy and got goofy. Actually, we drew Goofy! 

He got folded because I had to stick him inside my coat. (Did I mention it was raining?) I'm no Disney artist, but at least you can tell who he is!

A picture of Cars Land in the rain....

We then went through the pre-show of Guardians of the Galaxy. No, NOT the insane ride! The Imagineers did a great job with this re-theme, though, and it was worth checking out! (Did I mention that everything was a walk-on?)

We then had lunch reservations at The Lamplight Lounge. It was a temple to all things Pixar! My burger was good too!

Pixar as far as the eye can see! (unless you can see through walls)

My lunch date!

At this point (about 2:00) the rain had finally stopped! We took advantage of the situation to walk back to the hotel and change out of our completely drenched clothes. Luckily I had brought another light jacket, as my leather bomber's jacket was soaked through! Then.... Back to the park!

The gate...with no pouring rain!

We ran into these guys on the way back in! 

When it's not raining, you notice a lot more details, like this time capsule...

We then wandered into Monstropolis for a while...

Care for a snack?

Blurry Boo!

The warm and fuzzy Roz...

Monster's Inc was fun and cute, and miles above what it replaced.

Our next attraction was the much more recent addition of Web Slingers. I really thought we got more pictures, but I guess not. It was fun, but I obviously didn't have the "slinging web" form down. I got killed in the score.

Then we just happened by the Spiderman show. This sort of thing happened all the time on thid trip! We wandered around and cool things happened. Of course it was mainly by Disney design, but there was a lot of good fortune at play too!

That little speck is Spiderman! 
Of course those of us in the know realize that it's actually one of the most advanced animatronics ever developed (except for the Animatronic Exploding Ducks). Very short show, but cool!

The real person Spiderman "climbing" the wall...

Now it was time for the highlight of the day! Radiator Racers had been down due to the rains, but now it was open! We "raced" over!

Radiator Springs!

The "petting zoo" was cute! 

A Disney photographer got a few shots in...

A friend stopped by!

The rock formations around there were a bit unusual...

And into our racer!

Flying past the finish line! 
Jess actually IS in there, she just happened to be ducking down when the photo snapped 
Yes, we won.

And good advice for anyone!

I thought Radiator Racers was the same track as Test Track, but there are differences. Mainly the hills for RR.  A fun ride!

We then wandered over and checked out Soarin'. I've ridden this many times at WDW, but it's still a nice relaxing ride.

After that we bumped into the special Lunar New Year Parade that was hosted by some popular friends. Year of the Dragon!

At this point we "Lightning Laned" preferred seating for World of Color and went and got some very good tacos for dinner.

The path to tacos!

Radiator Springs really shines in the dark!

Another random character spotting! I can't express enough how cool this was having gotten used to the WDW long line "meet and greets."

We had some time before World of Color, so we walked across the way to Disneyland and hopped on the train. At WDW there is no Grand Canyon nor Primeval World, so this was a treat!

Then we went back to California Adventure for the grand finale! There were actually two shows; one for the lunar new year and one for World of Color. It was great!

Exhausted again, we headed back to our hotel! The plan for our last day was to hit up the Disneyland attractions we had missed.

That will be in the next post!

Note: I'm sorry this post was a couple of days late, but we had a bit of a family emergency. All good now, but blogging got forced back a bit. See you next week!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Disneyland Day One- Part Two!

 Greetings Attic Explorers!

This week we look at the second half of my first day back at Disneyland in over 50 years (thanks to my wonderful daughter, Jess!) When we left off last week, we had just left Walt's apartment! What's next?

Lunch! This came care of New Orleans Square. We had some pretty tasty bread bowls. I had the New England clam chowder and Jess had the veggie stew. At first I wondered why they gave us rolls with our soup...then I realized those are the plugs that were cut out of the bowls! It made much more sense then!

Next we wandered into this strange little room in Adventureland! Wow, a lot of weird stuff happened!
Actually, it was nice to see the original show (or as close as you can get to it!) The Tikki Room is always nostalgic fun!

We stopped in front of the castle and had a photopass photographer take a couple of pictures.

Of course Tink stopped by too...

We went over to "The Island Formally Known as Tom Sawyer" and explored the caves. We actually had a good time wandering around, and while waiting to go back to the mainland, had a passing nod to to the good Captain.

We then headed to It's a Small World. I like the Disneyland version better than Walt Disney World because the facade is SO MUCH better! I also like the boats loading outside. Inside, the scenes seem a little more intricate. By the way, I actually like the Disney characters that were added. I know. You can throw rocks at me later...

Ah, that beautiful facade. Great work by Rollie and Mary!

Next we headed to Galaxy's Edge for the Smuggler's Run. Jess had ridden before, but I hadn't. She suggested that I be "right seat pilot." She was left seat, and some poor family with two small kids filled the other four positions. We did...poorly.
It was a ton of fun, though, with lots of laughter all around!

Ugh! Not so good on that score!

Hey, I don't remember an X-wing flyover!

Hey, that's not a trash can!

On the way back over we saw Tiana. This princess was doing a great job! Hopefully her version of Splash will do the original justice!

When we got to Tomorrowland, we saw signs for a special photo opportunity for Disney Visa holders. Since both Jess and I have those, we checked it out. It turns out it was with a tall, very determined individual. The cast members played Empire officers to a T. Jess was actually pretty intimidated here!

After we assured him we were not rebels, we had our picture made...

An old friend's kid was right outside, so I got a picture. It's a bit smaller than the original, but it's still cool!

Next we took on the mean streets of the Autopia! We are flying down the street, man!  The track seems longer and more interesting than the WDW track.

Then we headed over to the subs! Although they aren't the same as when I was a kid (man, they layed the Nemo stuff on THICK) it was good to show it to Jess. She missed the WDW version by one year as a kid.

Ok, she may have been playing this up a bit...

Next we went to the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthough. It was very nice and quiet, with great artwork and clever effects.

A very nice castle shot, if I say so myself!

We ate dinner at Carnation. I had chicken fried chicken and Jess had salmon. It was very tasty! And then.....

My phone battery died.

So, you'll just have to imagine the next part, I'm afraid...

We went back to Fantasyland and went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. It was a ton of fun! I love how the cars cut back and forth and crash through the flats. I didn't like how short the ride was, but that's a classic dark ride for you!

We then took in Pinnochio. I've heard that this "new" dark ride isn't quite as good as the classics, but I enjoyed it quite a bit! The trip through Pleasure Island was actually a little creepy!

After that we walked over to Snow White. It was nice, but it never has been my favorite. It's like the un-scary-ed it a bit too much. It seemed kind of watered down. Maybe the contrast with Pinnochio was a bad thing. Still, it's a classic...

By this time the park was officially "closed," but we decided to head over to Rise of the Resistance just to see if we could get on. Less than 30 minutes later we were on!

I had never ridden it before and all I can say is "wow!" The immersive experience was fantastic! I'll admit, I got griped at by the First Order officers, but not as much as the guy next to me, so I count that as a win. 

This ride is pretty intense. Not in a roller coster way (although there in one small drop) but in a dramatic way. Also, for a lot of it, you're going pretty quickly backwards. 

Jess and I have never been big coaster fans, but this ride was thrilling without being a coaster, so that was also a plus. I highly recommend it!

After the ride, we were exhausted. We had been in the park almost 15 hours! As we walked down the brighly lit Main Street (almost two hours after official park closing) suddenly the lights went out with a boom! Then image mapping went over the buildings on both sides of the street and music blared through the speakers and we were in a full blown dance party! Strobes, lasers, and projections danced all over Main Street and the castle! The perfect ending to the perfect day! 

We walked back to our room and collapsed into our beds, thrilled, happy, and ready to take on California Adventure in the morning!