Monday, March 9, 2009

Disneyland in the rain

Egads, a post!  Today's entry is brought to you by fathers who nag their daughters to update their blog.  So, without further ado I bring you Disneyland in the rain.

Let me start out by saying it had been a really stormy weekend.  My car battery gave out earlier in the week and I was stuck at school in the rain and had to wait for AAA to come and give me a jump.  Luckily I managed to get the car home in once piece and Richard taught me how to install a new battery so I was still able to go to Disneyland the following Monday, much to my delight.

The rain cleared up when I was getting ready to leave for Anaheim but my mom was worried that I'd be driving into the storm so she made me promise to call her when I got there and again when I was getting ready to leave.  Pesky mothers.  Making sure you're alive and haven't driven off a cliff or anything :P

So it rained a bit on the freeway.  It got pretty heavy at one point but I've survived much worse.  I actually got to Disneyland in pretty good time considering I couldn't use the carpool lane.  I parked the car and took the escalator down to the tram.  As I was waiting under my umbrella for the next tram I thought I spotted a familiar face.

Wait...was that Eden's Dad?

I thought it might be but I wasn't sure and the tram went by before I could get a second glance.  I got on the next tram and got off outside of Downtown Disney (basically Disneyland's answer to Universal Citywalk) where I began my search for postcards to send to Skeeve.  As I began to tour the shops I spotted this in one of the windows


That blue and pink thing?  Yeah, that's supposed to be Sleeping Beauty's dress.  I've been griping for the longest time about them changing her primary dress color to pink because a) her dress is blue for most of the movie and b) blue is my favorite color.  I guess they changed Aurora's dress to pink because Cinderella's is blue and they didn't want them to be the same color.  Everywhere you look you will find her in a pink dress.  Toys, dolls, dress up clothes, etc.  They even have the character walking around the park in the pink version of the dress instead of the blue one.  Because otherwise it would be omigosh, so hard to tell the difference between Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.  Pfft.  Please.  Anyway, I believe you can purchase that pink and blue dress.  It was adult sized and arranged with the children's dress up costumes.  I showed this picture to Skeeve and the only words of kindness she could offer were "Well...at least it's half blue?"  Yes, it is.  Unfortunately, it's more than half ugly.  Moving on.

I went inside the biggest shop there and managed to find a book of postcards.  It was the only place in the entire park I was able to find them.  Now I know for future reference.

After the postcards were safely tucked away I went into the park to get Mom and Jerome some candy and maybe hit a couple rides.  I stopped and sat on one of the porches on Main Street and called Skeeve to see if she wanted anything special.  It was really nice to just sit outside in the rain and watch the tourists walk by wearing silly ponchos.  As I was sitting there I spotted Eden's Dad again!  He was walking down Main Street in his leather jacket and Indy hat all by himself.  Weird, but not totally unexpected.

They'd changed a few things since the last time I was there that I wanted to check out.  Ariel's meet and greet grotto/fountain area is now gone, sadly, and has been replaced by something called pixy hollow.  This is a picture of the exit.  Basically they just covered up the whole walkthrough fountain area with giant blades of grass.


I didn't really want to talk to Tinkerbell and her friends so I didn't go inside.  They were probably freezing their little pixy butts off.  Unless they have area heaters in there or something.

Instead I made my way over to the castle because I heard that they'd finally opened it up.


See?  It does exist.  The walkthrough portion of the castle has been closed for almost ten years now and for the longest time no one would believe me that you could actually go inside the castle.  Well now you can!  It's not much, really.  Just a bunch of dioramas depicting scenes from the movie.  But oh man, did I love going through that castle when I was a kid.  Every time I went to Disneyland I insisted on dragging my parents through the castle.  I'm sure they were both happy when I was old enough to go through by myself while they waited by the exit.  Again, it's really not much.  You get to climb up the stairs and peek through the windows and see little goblins and things moving around.  They've updated the dioramas with new technology to make them look a little more animated.  But in my humble opinion updating the technology has removed some of the charm :/

Here are some pictures of the inside

Ah yes, blame the spinning wheels, why don't you?  This is nothing more than unjust persecution of the textile industry!

Because you should always do what little glowing green balls of light with spooky music tell you to do.


Hands down the best Disney villain of all time.  Why?  She has a freaking goblin army and she can turn into a dragon!  What more do you need?

By the time I got out of the castle it was pouring rain and I was glad that I was wearing my waterproof boots and I'd remembered to bring my scarf.  I remembered reading that Disney made some changes to the It's a Small World ride, so I went over to the edge of Fantasy Land to check it out.  Did I mention it was pouring by this time?  Really pouring?


The line for Small World was short but also outside.  I was fine under my umbrella until it was time to get in the little boat and close it up.  The boats were already filled with water and I was very, very happy to be wearing my waterproof boots.  My butt, however, was not so lucky.  My jeans soaked through the minute I sat down and I got thoroughly wet before the boat circled around and finally went into the tunnel.


According to what I read beforehand, they decided to modify the ride by adding classic Disney characters to the legions of dolls in their appropriate countries.  So Alice, the White Rabbit, Peter Pan, and Tinkerbell were all in the London section, for example.  Lilo and Stitch were worked in with Hawaii, Cinderella was in France, Aladdin and Jasmine were in the Middle East section, etc.  They also supposedly worked in the themes from the movies these characters were from with the ride's original score.  I listened for it but couldn't really hear it.  It's hard to hear anything over that incessant singing.  Iiiiiiiiiit's a small world aaaaaaaafter all!

Here we have a blurry Alice with the White Rabbit in England


Followed by Cinderella with Jacques and Gusgus in France
(How much do you want to bet most people didn't realize that Cinderella is French?)


And at last, Ariel in what I imagine is the Caribbean.  Or something.  I know she's from Denmark originally but that's definitely not where the cartoon placed her.  Any ideas?

The combination of the pouring rain and the waterlogged boat made me look like I'd just gone on Splash Mountain instead of Small World.  But luckily, the rain decided to let up once I got off the ride so I wasn't subject to further dampness.  Having satisfied my curiosity with Small World, I decided to walk over to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in an attempt to dry off.  Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is roughly based off The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad made back in the late 40's, which is roughly based off The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Wind in the Willows.  It features a strange little section that is absent from both the book and the film where you "die" and go to Hell.  Hell it seems is populated by dragons and little imps and is nice a toasty warm.  A good place to go when you need to get dry.

The line was short and it wasn't long before I got into my own little roadster.  The old guy working the ride was very sweet and called me Princess.  It was cute.  After Mr. Toad I felt a bit warmer and grabbed some lunch over at Pizza Port.  I had that pasta that Kyra likes so much and read some more of Bartimaeus while I ate.

After lunch I crossed over to the California Adventure theme park to get some California-y postcards for Skeeve.  I managed to find them, again in the biggest shop in the park.  After that it was back over to Disneyland to pick up sour candy for Jerome and fudge for God.  I got the last of my stuff, picking up a few more things that Skeeve said she needed, and decided to hit Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean before going home.

Lucky for me Indy had the single rider line open and I got to go through the exit with a handful of other people :D  It was awesome and only took maybe ten minutes.  On Pirates I got to sit in the very front, which was also cool.

After that I called Mom to let her know I was coming home.  It was a nice day.  Relaxing and un-rushed.  I should go to Disneyland in the rain more often.

Next post: we meet Timmy's new friends from Europe! 

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