Monday, February 4, 2013


Buena Vista Street

Saturday, 19 January 2013 – Well we heard the kids long before we saw them as Justyn and I were in the room next door to them.  Sound asleep when we arrived last night, they were up and buzzing and ready to hit Disneyland as soon as they could drag us out of bed.  Our house in Anaheim was wonderful – it had everything you could think and things you didn't think of, but while Disneyland was on the other side of the wall, we had to walk a few blocks around the wall to find the tram to take us into the Park.  We counted the tram as the first ride of the day!  Santa had bought everyone a Southern California CityPASS which gave us a three day hopper pass to Disneyland / California Adventure, one day to Universal Studios and one day to Sea World San Diego.  This weekend was also a long weekend in California with Monday a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr so we were expecting a few queues!  First stop was to be Cars Land in California Adventure.  The weather was unexpectedly warm – about 26oC – so we went just wearing tshirts and leaving the jackets and jumpers behind.  
The boys in line at Luigi's Flying Tires
After a coffee and hat stop (because we left the hats at home too….) the first ride in Cars Land was Luigi’s Flying Tires – a dodgem car style of ride that of course was over too soon to justify the wait.  All the fast passes to the big ride of the park – Radiator Springs Racers – had already been given out for the day, but as the park was open until 10pm tonight, we didn’t fear that we would get our chance to take on the one of the most expensive theme park attractions in the world at an estimated cost of over $200 million!  Posing and chatting with Lightning McQueen and Mater, we headed across to Paradise Pier to take on the California Screaming rollercoaster.  
Screaming on the Screamer!

California Screamin' is the 8th longest roller coaster in the world 1,851 m long and it is also the longest ride with an inversion (or as Brittany calls it, a loopy loop).  Though built of steel, the structure as designed visually mimics the features of a wooden coaster found throughout US at seaside amusement parks (eg Coney Island).  We survived!  Although we weren’t too sure about Brittany who couldn’t quite work out whether she loved hated it!  Through the tears, we learned that it was ‘fantastic’ and we just had to do it again!  We grabbed fastpasses and went to ride Mickey’s Fun Wheel before doubling back to ride the rollercoaster again.  Checking the queue for Radiator Springs, it had moved to a 3 hour wait time so we gave that another miss - there were still many more hours left in the day!  Moving through the park, we headed to lunch with return fastpasses for the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror that I was really looking forward to experiencing.  
Chatting with Lightning McQueen "Ka-chow!"
With a frozen Disneyland margherita under my belt, we took a spin underwater on the Ariel’s Adventure riding in little shells through the retelling of the movie – very cute and a good way to ease ourselves back in the rides.  We watched the Pixar Parade and helped Mike and Sully rescue Boo in the Monsters Inc ride.  (Taylor, Justyn and I may have ridden Monsters Inc without anyone knowing while Brittany was having her face painted – shhhhh don’t tell anyone!)  Finally it was time to ride the Tower of Terror.  
The Pixar Play Parade
Peter and I with the three kids were the only ones who decided to be brave – it was quite dark inside and the lead up to the ride is a bit scary so while Taylor was excited and Byron went very quiet, Britts was becoming quite anxious as to what lay ahead.  The ride is an accelerated drop tower thrill ride and based upon the television show The Twilight Zone (duh).  The attraction takes place in the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel and the story of the hotel, adapted from elements of the television series, includes the hotel being struck by lightning in the late 1930’s, mysteriously transporting an elevator cart full of passengers to the Twilight Zone and causing an entire wing of the building to disappear.  A bit of trivia for you - all of the “cast members” (that is what Disney calls their employees) wear a costume that resembles that of a 1930s bellhop, and is the most expensive costume in any park in the world.  This was one of my favourite rides of the whole trip!  As we still had three fast passes to use within the allotted hour, Peter comforted Byron who really didn’t like it and Brittany dragged Taylor and I around to do it again all the while shouting “I loved it!  I loved it! Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again!”  In true Disney style, the second ride was different to the first and it was to become one of our favourite rides of the trip!  
By this time we had been at California Adventure for about 9 hours and we decided to join the queue for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride – our longest queue of the day at 50 minutes!  But a huge interactive Mr Potato Head entertains you while you wait, and he is hilarious!  Finally our turn arrived and I was paired with Brittany.  Wearing 3-D glasses we boarded a spinning vehicle that travels through a virtual environment based on classic carnival midway games.  Your little buggy stops at each ‘carnival game’ and your score is recorded by an onboard display screen as points are acquired with individual toy cannons firing simulated projectiles at virtual targets.  A lot of fun!  It looked like we had missed our opportunity to ride Radiator Springs, but we still had two more days at the Disneyland parks so we were sure to fit it in somewhere!  With half an hour to go before the World of Color show was on as our final activity for the day, we trawled along the various vendors looking for jumpers as we had forgotten that it was winter time in America!  And the night time is quite cool!  Unfortunately we were unsuccessful so we took up our spots to watch the amazing World of Color.  The show has more than 1,000 fountains and includes lights, water, fire, fog, and lasers, with high-definition projections on mist screens.  Did you know it cost $75 million to create??  It was pretty spectacular as well as memorable.  Now 10.00pm, we managed to crawl our way home after a pretty exhaustive first day on the rollercoaster that is Disney!  
World of Color - Disney style

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