Angela Dawn

Now is the Start

California Adventure

Disneyland - see you in August.

Angela DawnComment

The last day of my trip (officially) was the same as the half marathon. After soaking a bit in the room, I headed out to Disneyland Park to finish up my time and try to make the most of it that I could. 

I was seeing World of Color that evening, and had made a lunch reservation at Carthay Circle Lounge so that I could have the preferred seating (more on that later). It was an early lunch (noon), and I didn't want to eat at that point, so I called the dining line at around 10:30 from my room and was able to move the time back to 3:30. That was nice, as they were full at 3:30 and not taking anymore reservations.

To save some walking, I went to Downtown Disney and took the monorail into Disneyland. I hadn't used that at this point; but was hoping for more of a leisurely day in case my feet did decide to hurt instead of just being a bit sore. As soon as I was off the monorail, I beelined to TinkerBell. I wanted to make sure I got a picture with her and wasn't sure if she'd be leaving for a parade, or how long the line was. I waited about 45 minutes. Which, considering I've waited for other characters that long (again, Disney Nerd), wasn't that bad. Other adults were in line with their medals and/or official running shirts. I didn't wear my medals, but instead packed them in my bag. I didn't want them to scratch by clinking together, so I only took them out for the pictures. Some people wear them around, and rightfully so (they should be proud), but I didn't do that. I didn't want them to scratch, mostly. Of course, I think there is a limit. Someone on the plane ride back to my home state was wearing hers. Honestly, it was a day after the race, and you were no longer in Disney - it could have gone in your carry-on. But, to each their own.

Back to TinkerBell. I was able to meet with her and Iridessa - separately. Tink was very helpful in taking some fun pictures.

Tinkerbell likes my medals.

Back to Back

Tink liked the half marathon best, because it only had her on it. Of course, she likes to be the center of attention. And she was this weekend. She also commented how she liked my hair (also in a top bun, like her). I moved onto Iridessa and we enjoyed looking at the medals, too.

Iridessa found herself on the medal.

I packed my medals away and headed over to where Merida was supposed to be to see if I could get a picture with her. It wasn't a very long wait at all. 

With Merida

We discussed running, and how I would like to take up her sport, archery. 

Continuing around the Magic Kingdom, I went on Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. I missed going on Indiana Jones this trip. It was closed every time I went by because of the ride being down, and with having to manage times for reservations and other fastpasses, I couldn't go. It's alright, I'll be back in August.

Haunted Mansion

Pirates

That was all the time I had at the Magic Kingdom since I had to move onto California Adventure to get my dine on. I said goodbye to the Castle, since I would not be seeing it again this trip, and headed into the corridor to make it to my reservation. 

I was at the park a little early, so managed to take a picture with a Dapper Dippity Dog and Pluto before heading into the restaurant. 

Goofy, me, Pluto

I checked in at Carthay early, but still didn't get seated for about 20 minutes. I was upstairs in a balcony area overlooking the square below. I could see the Trolley and some activity. It was a nice view and atmosphere.

The view

There was a large group of ladies eating behind me, but I didn't figure out it was Patty of Margaritas, Miles & the Mouse and some other Disbroads until they stood up to leave (I recognized Patty). I didn't say hi as they were already heading out the door.

This was a nice relaxing meal, and worth the cost because of the World of Color Premium viewing ticket. I asked the cast member to bring me a glass of wine of his choice that would go with my meal (the burger), and I sipped on some red wine and ate wonderful bread. I also ordered, in addition to the flat cost for the world of color viewing menu, off the regular menu. I picked up some "biscuits" (balls of bread) stuffed with white cheddar, jalapeno and bacon. They were also served with an apricot honey butter. These were amazing. I need to eat here when I'm not using the World of Color plan, so that I can get other items off the regular menu.

Starting my meal

I didn't take a picture of my meal. I think my battery was running low. Or I just forgot. It was enjoyable. However, it made me sleepy. Food usually does. And I did run 13 miles that morning.

After finishing up, I headed back to the resort to get my nap on, and rest up for World of Color that evening. It's nice having a resort so close to the area. Paradise Pier was wonderful, but I do plan on staying at the Grand Californian for Dumbo. That'll be even better in respect to seeing World of Color by walking out the door into the park.

After I rested, I returned to the park about an hour and a half before the show was to start. I wanted to get there early to get a good spot. I ended up walking in about an hour before and sitting down on a top step near a railing. That was nice, as my view would be unobstructed once I stood up. I met a family that had a love for Disney, had ran the races, and was wearing Lululemon, too. I had actually changed back in my room, and good thing, as it was chilly. Long sleeves and pants were required for this viewing.

A Lion King Sequence in World of Color

I can't even describe how wonderful World of Color was. Thirty minutes of pure magic. Disney really hit the spot here and I think Walt would be proud. Almost made me cry how wonderful the show was. I hope everyone who loves Disney gets to experience it. I also hope they somehow bring it to Florida! The music, the visual, the atmosphere, it all just added up to the perfect ending to my trip.

A Little Mermaid Sequence 

Another sequence.

It was hard to say goodbye, but at least I knew I'd be coming back once again this year. Will definitely be seeing World of Color once (or twice!) again. 

Goodbye Disneyland, See you in August.

The Cars Land at California Adventure

Angela DawnComment

I visited CarsLand on my first day at the Disneyland Resort (Thursday), but also went back Friday during the day and evening; so I was able to explore both during the day and night. And man, I have to say that the imagineers did an amazing job. It really does feel like you're stepping inside the movie. Everything is so perfectly themed. I kind of wish I had the time to stay longer (than the four full days I had), as I could just sit in that particular Land all day; eat, ride and people watch. I've done that before at Disney Hollywood Studios; it's a great spot to just take in the action. Anyhow, back to CarsLand.

The entrance to Radiator Springs

I went to Radiator Springs Racers on Thursday, and I'm glad I did, as I was able to step right on in the Single Riders Line. When I ventured back Friday; and the rest of the weekend, the wait line for the regular line was 2 hours or over, and the Single Riders line was even 30 minutes or more. I didn't ride it any further as I had enjoyed my experience fully the first time around; and didn't want to wait when I could be doing other things, but those times seem to be more common. I also hear that Fast Passes are given out fairly quickly for this ride.

The theming of the ride is pretty cool - even the queue lining up (and from what I've heard, in the full line it's even better.

Looking out at the Southwest along the queue for Radiator Spings

Part of the queue

You step into two different cars, each with two rows; and you're off into the adventure that is CarsLand.

Already in the car, getting ready to head into part of the attraction.

The bridge; fairly identical to the movie. I'll show this off later.

You basically see most of the Cars Characters. The Sheriff stops you from speeding, Mater enlists your help in cow/tractor-tipping; and awakens Frank (the combine harvester), you run by Sarge and Fillmore. It's just a neat setup.

Stop the speeding, per the Sheriff.

Fillmore and Sarge; you can see Mack in the background.

Then, after all that, you line up with the other car that disappeared at the start; and as per the ride name, you are going to race. And off you go...

Who will win?

I realize this is already a picture heavy post, but you shouldn't expect any less from me. You'll find plenty of them to follow, too. Moving onto the actual Radiator Springs.

Standing at the beginning of the street. Take note of the layout and how the street looks. 

Cozy Cone Motel Quick Service Restaurant

Get your kicks...

Radiator Springs Curios - one of many shops

Flo's Cafe - one of many places to eat

The shops along the way specialize in Cars Merchandise, though there were a few other items inside. There was Sarge's Surplus (various), Ramone's House of Body Art (clothing), Radiator Springs Curios (souvenirs), 

Also, there was plenty of places to eat. You could easily spend a good portion of the day in this part of the park. Flo's V8 Cafe is a Counter Service restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating; and open for all meals. Cozy Cone, also counter service, offers up different options at each of the different cones. I had a "Pear of Dice" soda. It was refreshing. Fillmore's Taste In is a quick stop for drinks and fresh fruit. Everything seemed to be submerged in ice, so if you're there in the summer, this would be a great cool-down spot. 

There are also various Character Greetings - I saw Mater, Lightning McQueen and Mack all out for official photos.

Look at all that Neon! 

So, all in all, Day or Night, CarsLand is a well-executed addition to California Adventure. I hope to see it come to Walt Disney World someday. The imagineers outdid themselves. 

And I'll leave you with a few stills of the movie, just so you can grasp (if you hadn't already) the spectacular vista that is this part of the park.

Tinkerbell Weekend begins

Angela DawnComment

It is beyond wonderful waking up at Disneyland. Not only is the weather not verging on the edge of freezing, but I can see California Adventure from my hotel room. Today was set out to be a rather long day. The to do list:

  • Arrive at parks early so that I can purchase my annual pass (this particular pass, the Premier, is only available at park ticket booths and will enable me entry for the year into all the parks (and water parks) at Walt Disney World, and at Disneyland. So, many trips are to be had.
  • Pick up breakfast somewhere
  • Venture into the parks - which at this point I wasn't sure how much time I'd have
  • Around 12:30, I was going to head to the Expo early to get in line. The Expo opens at 2pm.
  • After waiting for the official merchandise line, head to get my bibs & packets for all three races, and look around the expo
  • Go to Napa Rose for my Chef's Counter experience

Everything went as planned. I headed out early, picked up some beignets at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, waited in line for my pass. And then ventured into Disneyland. Down Main Street USA and I ended up in from to Sleeping Beauty's castle.

Being Thursday, I imagine most of the Tinkerbell racers were not in town yet, as the parks were fairly empty. I also had the advantage of the locals being in schools; the weekends would be more crowded. AND something that the Disneyland Resort has that Walt Disney World doesn't really offer at the more popular attractions is the single rider line. I went on Dumbo, the Mad Hatter's Teacups, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain in such a small amount of time. I grabbed a Matterhorn Macaroon on my way out of the park, then I headed over to California Adventure.

The California Adventure park was also fairly empty. There were a few new rides that had opened since I had been there, and I was anxious to try those out...as well as seeing CarsLand (which I will post about separately). I rode Soarin' and Ariel's UnderSea Adventure (aka The Little Mermaid Ride), then visited CarsLand. I had my picture taken with a dapper Mickey Mouse and a flight-ready Minnie Mouse; grabbed a corn dog (which was amazing - they're so delicious here) and then ventured out into Downtown Disney to head to the Expo. After the Expo I went back to my hotel to get rest and prepare for dinner at Napa Rose. Stay tuned for more information about the rest of my trip!