Thursday, April 7, 2016

Theme Parking: Disneyland Resort Trip Report - 28 February 2016

  • Back in February, with only a couple weeks before we were planning to celebrate our daughter's birthday in the park, we decided it had been too long since we had been to Disneyland. Unwilling to wait any longer, we packed into the headed off. I thought I would share a few thoughts and highlights from the trip.

  • I have often wondered at the number of birthday buttons I see in Disneyland. On one hand, there have to be a bunch of people in the parks celebrating their birthday, on or near it. Why wouldn't you go to Disneyland for your birthday if you could? On the other hand, I've seen any number of buttons that are worn and faded, leaving me to wonder if people re-wear their buttons to the park for the attention. By the time of this visit, Disneyland had introduced their new button design, making the old buttons stand out. The charitable part of me wonders if the parks could be using up their old stocks. The not-so-charitable side wonders why people would do that.

  • At lunch time, I made a horrible blunder. In the ongoing fried treat wars going on between SoCal theme parks, Disney introduced the churro funnel cake. We had decided to eat at the Hungry Bear, partly to check out work on the Rivers of America, and partly because my picky daughter would actually eat something there. Along with my lunch, I thought I would try the new dessert. This was a mistake. Those things are massive. It was good, but it was also way too much. If you consider taking one down, I have a couple words of advice: either take a partner or don't eat anything else the rest of the day.

  • We finally had out first sighting of one of the famous Disneyland cats in the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This cat was a cool customer. He was midway down the hillside below the train platform, alternately eyeing the line of people and completely ignoring everyone. My cats would have flipped out if a train went by but this chill feline did not care. It was adorable and I'm glad everyone knew enough to leave it alone.

  • One thing I observed while riding Its A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean were the number of women who would trail their fingers in the water, and then immediately shake their hands like something was crawling on them. I know Disney does its best to keep that water clean, but make better decisions, people!

  • As we exited Its A Small World, our daughter spied the couple sitting behind us. They asked her if she enjoyed the ride and which ride was her favorite. (Today, it was Big Thunder Mountain and A Pirates Life For Me.) They were so friendly that I had to ask about them. It turned out that they were from Singapore, studying at UCLA. I asked if they had been to any of the other parks and they said that Disneyland was actually the last Disney park they had to visit, having been to all the others. They admitted to enjoying Walt Disney World most of all and added that the Hong Kong park is tiny. We soon reached the docks and disembarked, quickly going out separate ways. I was reminded that the magic of Disneyland isn't the attractions and shows, but the people that it brings together to share and enjoy the experience.