Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Theme Parking: Disneyland Resort Trip Report - 26 November 2015

  • It's time for another trip report, but I just want to hit highlights and impressions. Sure, I could run down the itinerary (actually I can't since I lost it), but this get boring pretty fast. Instead, here is what stood out about our Thanksgiving visit to Disneyland.

  • We ended up parking in the Simba lot that morning and had to walk to the park through Downtown Disney. Instead of making the full walk, we decided to ride the monorail into Tomorrowland. Since we arrived just after the last train left, I decided to show off to the family and asked if we could ride in the front. It was quite fun to share a very different view of the ride.

  • Once inside the park, I got the idea to get Fastpasses for Hyperspace Mountain, which had recently opened. By the time I was able to get tickets, the window conflicted with our dining reservations over in California Adventure. We would have to postpone our first ride on Space Mountain in years until our next visit. I still have those Fastpasses in my memorabilia folder for that visit.

  • Those plans involved an early Thanksgiving dinner at Ariel's Grotto. It was a crazy idea, made even crazier in that I just lost my job, but we intended to make the best of it. Our little four year old gave us all the usual food problems we had come to expect, but she was delighted to be visited by the princesses who came to visit our table. Ours was the second table on the princess rotation, the first with a child, so she did not have to wait long after each announcement. Our grown-up dishes were much better than I expected given my low opinion of theme park food. The whole experience will stand out as one of my favorite holiday meals.

  • Disneyland after dark is a magic of a different kind and DCA captures that feeling in similar ways. After the sun set, we found our way to Paradise Pier and the Jumpin' Jellyfish. Our daughter likes this simple ride and, even though I have a small fear of heights, it is mild enough for me to chaperon her. As we stood in line, we heard the music for an oncoming parade. DCA's parades aren't nearly as popular as Disneyland's Paint The Night, so there were no crowds to warn us it was coming. The parade reached us just as we ascended the tower. It was a fun perch to watch from even if I wouldn't want to spend the entire parade up there.

  • Our night ended with a trip to Olaf's Snow Fest. It is a poor substitute for snow play, but it is as close as our Southern Californian little girl has ever come to the real thing. She had a ball. And that is what Disneyland is all about for me.