Another Day at Disneyland
Yesterday we went to Disneyland (and Disney California Adventure), my home away from home. I’ve had a season pass for years and now Cole finally has one as well. We didn’t plan on spending 14 hours there, but we did.
We met some friends at DCA first thing in the morning and went on the Hollywood Tower of Terror. In case you aren’t familiar with this ride, it’s made to be like a service elevator in an old hotel and it brings you up and drops you down, multiple times at multiple levels. At some points, it allows you to look out from 13 stories up and it takes your picture right before dropping you. Since we know where the cameras are, we love taking planned pictures on the rides. For this ride we figured that deadpan was the best (back row):
Next we went on California Screamin’, a roller coaster reminiscent of those found on beach boardwalks. It’s one of my favorites:
Cole and I took a break from running around and sat in the shade and had some iced coffee. While we were on a bench, a cast member (what Disneyland calls their employees) dressed as a janitor with a broom and a dustpan came over in front of us and dipped the tip of the broom (which was rubber banded to be like a paint brush) into some spilled water on the ground and drew Donald Duck. I snapped a picture before it evaporated completely:
Then the “janitor” came over into the shade in front of us and drew one of my favorites, Jack Skellington:
We realized that his dustpan was actually filled with water and that was his job: To go around the park dressed like a janitor and create unexpected, fleeting art and moments of magic.
As Cole and I sat there we were fascinated by watching people just walk all over the art:
No one looks down. Maybe one or two people did. But dozens walked by without noticing the art beneath their feet.
That’s one of the things I love about Disneyland. They have such an amazing attention to detail and there are unexpected “magical” things all around, but you have to stop a moment and look.
Speaking of magical things, one of my favorite parts of the Disney parks isn’t in the parks, but instead, over at the hotel. It’s Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar. I’ll be doing a whole separate blog post on the tiki bar, but here’s a teaser photo:
The bar is basically like the Enchanted Tiki Room without the birds but still with the enchantment. And booze. Wonderful, heavily-poured booze.
After Cole and I had drinks, we made our way back to DCA to meet with other friends and have a fancy lunch at Carthay Circle. They have a full bar and delicious food, though not cheap.
After lunch we walked around a bit, went on some rides, got more booze, and chatted. We then went over into Disneyland and waited 25 minutes to get on Big Thunder Mountain only for it to shut down right before we got on the train. Since we were next in line, they gave us a “FastPass” to use on any ride. We went to dinner at the all-you-can-eat barbeque in Frontierland then used our fastpass to go on the Matterhorn, a ride that has recently been updated and does not offer a fastpass option, so the line is always longer than I want to stand in.
The rides at Disneyland have storylines and that of the Matterhorn is that you’re in a bobsled and being chased by the abominable snowman. They have updated the tracks a bit as well as the snowman and now he’s fucking terrifying. He has very smooth audioanimatronic movement that he did not previously have and he’s much scarier-looking. Also the audio is creepy as hell and there are parts of the ride where it’s made to feel like he’s running alongside of you, just on the other side of the ice, growling. I really liked it but it was NOT what I was expecting from a Disney ride. Don’t take your kids on it if they’re easily frightened. Going on it at night was even better because there were parts that were almost pitch black. Good times!