Disneyland Day 2

by Melita Fri, December 03 2010 06:40

Yesterday Zane fell asleep just before the evening parade, so today we decided to start late, as the park is open till midnight, and we wanted to try and see the park at night. The morning was spent doing laundry and filling in time (Zane and Cameron had a swim in the heated pool) and we went to a local grocery shop to get a few things. While Zane was napping, Cameron went out to get a new mobile phone. He spent a whole $19 on a new phone (he’ll tell you all the technology sagas in a separate blog). When he got back, I went out to the Mall. I drove myself – on the wrong side of the road no less.

Having absolutely no idea what shop was what, I first headed into Saks Fifth Ave outlet store, and promptly walked out the other side. I did the same with Neiman Marcus. I’m clearly not in the designer market – I refuse to even look at a child’s beanie for $45. You have got to be kidding me!

The mall was a funny place – kind of like Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast. Everything is in blocks, but to get from one shop to the other, you had to walk out in the open. Must be awful in cold or snowy weather (although I think LA doesn’t get snow). I was a little surprised. I thought the shops would have been more like what we have at home with everything under cover. I found a bag shop that had great prices, but didn’t find anything I really liked. Then I asked about what was around, as I didn’t want to wander aimlessly. I was given directions to a Levi’s factory outlet and an Old Navy store, which was eventually where I found some things I liked. I got a new pair of jeans, a ‘sweater’ and a lovely scarf at really good prices.

Getting home from shopping we got Zane up from a nice long nap and headed out to Disneyland. This time, we opted to drive and park, which was a much quicker option. It only took us 10 minutes, and although it cost $15, we could come and go all day for the one price, so probably the best way to go. Disney runs free, non-stop shuttle buses from the parking lot to the main gates. It’s a very slick operation and only about a five min (max) trip. Cameron seems to think the parking used to be near the main gates, but they have built a new theme park since then (California Adventure) and moved the parking offsite.

Once inside Disneyland, we caught up with Tracy and Russell again and headed towards a different section of the park – Critter Country to go on the Winnie the Pooh ride. On the way, we decided to go on the Jungle Cruise, which was a bit of fun and then got side-tracked doing the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Although there were no height restrictions for Pirates of the Caribbean, Zane was too young and I admit I spent the first half of the ride with my hand over his eyes. I wasn’t interested in having to deal with nightmares from him seeing skeletons.

At this point, Tracy offered to look after the boys (Rhys and Zane), who went on the train ‘to see the dinosaurs’ and the rest of us headed off to do the Indiana Jones ride. We were nearly turned away as the ride was closed due to technical difficulties, but as we were debating what to do, they started letting people on and we were luckily some of the first people to get on. I’m very pleased I didn’t have to wait too long and as it turned out, we got back to Tracy at almost the same time. We finally made it to the Winnie the Pooh ride (lamo, but then it wasn’t built for adults) and then we bought Zane his souvenir – a Mickey the Mouse hat with ears. Very cute!

Rather than trying to find something to eat inside the park, we decided to get a pass out and try to find a real meal at a restaurant nearby. Tracy and Russell had been to a Denny’s just across the street, so we went across to see how busy it was. We got in straight away, which was amazing. Once again, we were blown away by the serving sizes. I decided that I needed a much smaller meal than I have been getting, so I got the Appetiser Nachos. Well – I’m pretty sure I didn’t order the Nachos as appetisers for the whole seven of us, but it could have been. It’s absolutely crazy. It’s going to take me all month just to get it right. I apparently have to order the half-size appetisers. If I ordered half-size at home, I’d get 2 corn chips and a pea-size serve of sour cream. So, I have quickly and easily discovered why obesity is such a problem here.

The others left before we had finished forcing food down Zane’s throat….. why eat when I can bounce all over the restaurant….. and we got back to the park just in time to see the fireworks – which were excellent. Then, to top off the fireworks, they made fake snow come off the top of the buildings – absolutely incredible. Just magic! I loved it! As the park was opened till midnight, we thought we’d try and go on a couple of rides before we headed home, so we headed towards the back of the park (we were right at the entrance for the fireworks). Well…trying to make it through the crush of people was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Cameron and I both agree we have not seen that many people in our entire lives. I made the comment there were more people at Disneyland than in Australia that night. It was crazy and insane and I would not choose to do it again. We tried to see “Fantasmic” the light show, but there was no way to find an inch of space. People were getting their places for the parades over an hour before it started, so I can imagine people were lining up long before we were able to. It’s just not feasible to try and sit Zane still for any length of time. Queues are hard enough as it is. We finally made it to the “small world” ride, to be turned away from the huge lines of people. What surprised me was the number of strollers. We anticipated that people with small children might go home after the fireworks, but they stayed and went on rides. There were more strollers parked outside the ride than a baby shop – actually, make that a baby warehouse.

We did manage the ‘whale ride’, a boat ride that went through the mouth of the whale (from Pinocchio) into an enchanted village (everything in miniature). We also got to the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blazers, which was fun for the boys – I let them shoot the baddies with their lasers.

Totally exhausted, and getting cold, we headed back to our nice warm hotel and crashed into bed at a ridiculous hour of 11.30pm. Our pass allows us to get into the park tomorrow an hour earlier than the crowds, but this means that we have to be there at 7am. I somehow don’t see that happening.

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