Notes from the Road: En Route home….
Driving through Los Angeles is a rather dull experience following the colorful world of Disneyland. Looking out my window, each color is reduced in saturation by an aggressive grey haze. But who wants to hear about that?
Let me first finish up with day 2 at Disneyland. In the morning, I downed 2 cups of flaming hot, black coffee and we bounced down the road to the park, giggling excitedly. “Disney first?” Mom asks and we all agree.
When you first round the corner to Main Street U.S.A, Walt Disney’s astonishing imagination unfolds before you in kaleidoscopic snap shots of color! The most beautiful pastel awnings are striped and hung above the cobblestone walkways and your ears pick up the “clip, clop” rhythm of Clydesdales guiding trollies further down the way.
To my left is Carnation Cafe, and the glorious smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the open doors and windows into the street. My eyes are directed by the brightly colored buildings down the street like runway lights to where Sleeping Beauty’s Castle rises above the park, a rosy crown and the iconic symbol of Walt’s work.
We snap a few pictures and rush over to The Matterhorn and Space Mountain. Tip: Hit these two first! Shortest lines are in the morning and right before close.
But although the rides are wonderfully fun, Disney’s real charm lies in its ability to create an individual experience. My delight came in full force when we happened across our first character. “Look! There’s Woody!” He was hiding out in Frontier Town, tucked away on the porch of a tattered, old house by the petting zoo. My smile was 3 miles wide after posing with my favorite cowboy.
Next up was the Jungle Cruise….which we did wait in line for.
“Please watch your children,” our guide says, droll and calm. “Because I sure won’t!” We laugh our way through the hokey boat excursion.
After another hour or so, we decided to wander over to California Adventures and come back to Disney after dinner.
California Adventures is the peanut butter to Disneyland’s jelly, the salt to its sweet. It has the coaster, and the most terrifying Ferris Wheel this side of Hell.
We started at Hollywood Tower of Terror, which was not only a thrilling ride, but also a well crafted story. Based on The Twilight Zone’s classic story, this ride basically takes you up high and drops you. J was not amused.
After the Tower, we walked through Cars Land, which was absolutely adorable!
Walking through Cars Land felt like being transported into the animation. We were all smiles following the Radiator Springs Racers (which we rode as singles; 20 minute wait vs a 75 minute wait!).
We then hopped on over to California Screamin’ for some thrills and on to Mickey’s Fun Wheel for some –chills….BEWARE THE FUN WHEEL!
We were clinging to the caged walls of that monstrous contraption. Now, I have been skydiving and it doesn’t even come close to the scare-factor of Mickey’s Death Wheel. We walked away survivors, but at the top I had my doubts!
After the Ferris Wheel we stopped to watch the “Play Parade,” which rode the line between cute and creepy…
And then the hunger set in….but in Downtown Disney, there is something wonderful.
Open Scene: Mexican restaurant that I cannot remember the name of…
We sit down and open the menu. “They have CUSTOM GUAC!” What’s that you say? Yes, a guacamole lady who brings a cart to your table and customizes guacamole for you. Now that’s a gem!
We then headed back into Disneyland for Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and Thunder Mountain.
It was a great day!
Our final day in Disneyland was a whirl! We rolled back into the park with a plan: Mom and J jetted off to Soarin’ over California (since they missed it yesterday), C and I headed to Screamin’ and the Tower of Terror. After, we met up for breakfast and then ran back over to Disneyland.
We decided to do a character hunt in Disneyland and found Cruella De Vil, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Captain Hook! Cruella was hilarious!
All that was left to do was to eat some ice cream and say goodbye to the Happiest Place on Earth. Love to Disney, long live Disney!