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The Happiest Freakin' Place on Earth

Disneyland rocks.

If you have the desire and the means to get there before January 7th, I'd highly recommend it. They are currently running both the 50th Anniversary and the Holiday decor.

Originally, I'd been playing around with the idea of going to Disneyland for my birthday (I'd done it before in 2001 when they first added the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay to the Haunted Mansion). After I casually mentioned it to my mom, she said that if we would drive her down with us then she would pick up the tab for the hotel and tickets. I surely wasn't going to refuse that!

As soon as the trip date was settled, I took to the Internet to gather tips and info on visiting the park and I am really glad I did. I joined the forums on www.mouseplanet.com and was able to ask questions of many folks who worship The Mouse.

The prep work was invaluable. After reading up, we picked up our tickets the night before on a walk from our hotel (which turned out to be about 3/4 of a mile each way and with a peek of the fireworks show) and were at the park waiting to get in by about 7:30am (they opened at 8am). As a result, we'd ridden Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, and the Jungle Cruise by 9:45am with no wait longer than 15 minutes. After breakfast at the River Belle Terrace (where, by contrast, we waited 45 minutes in line), we watched the 50th Anniversary "Parade of Dreams" then headed back to Tomorrowland for Star Tours, and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Mom wanted to go back to the locker, so we split up and Mark and I got in line for the Matterhorn. Mom got waylaid by the Christmas Parade so we rested on a bench for a while after our ride. When we got back together, we were going to ride the Monorail but the line looked pretty long so we went for the Disneyland Railroad instead. The Main Street station was closed because of the Candlelight Processional happening that evening so we disembarked at the station in New Orleans square and stopped by the French Market for a late lunch. Mom and Mark had french dip sandwiches and I had a side salad and a mini chocolate cake adorned with raspberries and a white chocolate portrait of Jack Skellington. Yum!!! After lunch, we took ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia then headed for Fantasyland. We took pics sitting in the Golden Dumbo, then went into the Mad Hatter so I could get some 50th Anniversary Golden Ears. Once out of there, it was on to It's a Small World. The line was huge but we ended up seeing them do the holiday lighting ceremony while waiting and it was pretty spectacular (I got lots of pics). Mark hates the ride but it was easier with the holiday because there was more varation in the songs. About 2/3 of the way through the boats slowed and soon we heared an announcement asking those who were stuck on the ride to remain seated and wait for assistance by a Cast Member. Yup, we were *stuck* on the one ride Mark hates the most. I would have been laughing my ass off had I not been within strangling distance. My mom had just mentioned that getting stuck in there would drive her insane too. After we finally got out, we made our way over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and picked up a FastPass before heading for Critter Country to look around. On our way back through New Orleans Square, we stopped in Le Bat en Rouge where they sell the Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. I got a zippered hoodie with a big Jack face and a stuffed "Scary Teddy", while Mark got a stuffed Zero. They had a Jack pocketwatch that I really wanted to get for Mark but it was $110 (oy). When we finally got out of there, we went back to Big Thunder Mountain for our ride. It felt a lot smoother than I remember it. It was a nice pick-me-up boost of adrenaline before we made another trip to Tomorrowland for a souvenir and dinner at Red Rockett's Pizza Port. Then it was back across to New Orleans Square to attempt to squeeze in to see the first showing of Fantasmic. We just made it and the show was so worth it! At this point, I'd run out of steam so we went out to Main Street to watch the fireworks. Just as the show was scheduled to start, they announced that the fireworks had been cancelled due to wind. I couldn't figure out why nobody was leaving Main Street and then the "snow" started. It was really incredible being packed in with tens of thousands of people with the lights and sights of "snow" falling on us on Main Street. We managed to get across the street and headed to our locker before the room became jammed and then headed out of the park. By this time Mark and I were exhausted and in pain (feet mostly) but we sucked it up and made the walk back to the hotel. We arrived in our room 15 hours after we'd departed that morning.

All in all, the trip was a fantastic way to spend my pre-birthday weekend and I'm already looking forward to next time we visit Disneyland.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 4, 2005 6:37 PM.

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