Disneyland First Timer

by Melita Thu, December 02 2010 21:39

We are staying at Orange, near Disneyland, in a very nice suite at the Best Western Meridian Inn and Suites. It has a King size bed – absolutely HUGE – in its own bedroom, as well as a lounge area (includes Sofa Bed), table and chairs and kitchenette. Of course, when I say Kitchenette, there is a small fridge, microwave and coffee machine, but nothing else. No toaster, kettle, plates, cups or cutlery. Clearly no one drinks tea in this country. I guess I’m supposed to microwave the water first.

We were under the impression that we were quite close to Disneyland, and I believe we are, as the crow flies, but yesterday we opted to take the shuttle from the hotel, and didn’t get to the theme park until 40 mins later. I think we took Cook’s tour, and then some. The bus also did not have suspension, so we were feeling a bit ill by the time we were ready to walk in the front gates.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but I thought the big fairytale castle was the first thing you saw when you went in the gates. It turns out it is actually in the middle of the park. The park is broken up into different sections, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland etc. We headed to Fantasyland and rode the Carousel and while we were waiting to meet Tracy and Russell, Tamara and Rhys, we waited for the TeaCup ride. Unfortunately, we were just about to have a go when the audio cracked up and we had to leave the queue and come back later – lots of groaning.

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While we caught up with the news from the relatives, we sat in the queue for the “It’s a small world” boat ride. Zane absolutely loved this. I couldn’t get a photo of him looking at me – there was too much to see. The ride is really clever with lots of animatronics, music and lights. High quality too, nothing tacky about it at all! As it’s the holiday season they have added some Christmas carols to the song-list as well as the usual “It’s a small world”.

Next we decided to take the train, which circumnavigates the park. We thought this would be a good introduction to what was here. It was good to see the size of the park. In some areas, the train went through a tunnel, which I can only assume was when it passed under or behind another ride, and they had displays, like a diorama of the Grand Canyon, or a dinosaur display, which Zane thought was pretty special.

Next we went to Mickey’s Toontown, where Zane was big enough to finally ride his first rollercoaster. I guess he liked it, because he wanted to go again as soon as we got off. We parted from the others so they could do some more ‘grown-up’ rides that didn’t involve minimum height restrictions of 35 inches (Zane must be 36 inches as he was a little higher than he needed to be). Toontown had a play area and we spent a while running off some steam here, before finally getting onto the Tea Cup ride. We also went on the Alice in Wonderland ride (which Cameron thinks was designed by someone on a bad acid trip). Zane was a bit disturbed by this, so we won’t be revisiting that particular ride.

Zane in Toontown Disneyland

As it was getting dark, we wandered down Main Street USA to be ready for the traditional Lighting of the Tree, when they turn on the lights of the big Christmas tree located near the front of the park. Although it was not even 5:00 pm, there seemed to be hundreds of people lining the streets ready for the parade at 5:30. We were to meet the others at 5pm, so having a few minutes to kill we wandered into one of the many souvenir shops to see what junk we could buy. While we were there, Zane fell asleep on Cameron’s shoulder, so we opted to go home rather than hang around to watch the parade. With a three day pass, there is a little bit of leeway to come and go as you please, which is quite relaxing.

The bus trip home was only 20 mins, thankfully, and for dinner, we tried some local pizza (which was pretty awful), watched some television and then crashed fairly early.

At this point, I’ll mention the food. Serving sizes are very, very large at restaurants. This also applies to any form of drink. Cameron made a mistake of asking for a large coffee and struggled under the weight of the cup they handed him. I had the small serve of ice-cream that could easily have served two.

Everything you are served or buy is extra sugary or extra salty. I had eggs for breakfast this morning that were so salty, my late great-grandmother, (whose exploits at piling the dining table high with salt were legendary), would not have found anything lacking. Every cereal is laced with sugar. I had Raisin Bran (Sultana Bran equivalent – or so I thought) to find the flakes of bran frosted with sugar. I also think they soaked the Raisins in syrup. The pizza we had last night had more cheese than base and about 5 pieces each of ham and pineapple.

As prices go, it is pretty cheap compared to home. We went to Sizzler the other night and the buffet was $9.90 each (ex tax). Back home dinner may set you back around $18.00 at Sizzler. Obviously, we have found it much cheaper to make and take sandwiches with us during the day, as the theme parks seem to gouge you at every turn – not that this is different from say Dreamworld. I have also found it a little easier to stay healthy. We can have our tinned fruit and fresh fruit and a couple of muesli bars (granola bars they are called here) and a ‘cookie’ or two, without feeling like you need to buy bigger jeans.

Speaking of jeans, we have had a couple of chances to go shopping for short periods. I now own a very trendy leather-look jacket to wear with jeans ($32 inc tax) and a proper 80% wool coat that I got on sale at Macy’s (Myer) for $119.00. I plan to go out this afternoon and try my luck at the local ‘Mall’. We shall see what eventuates.

Zane on Teacups Disneyland

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