LA: the Disney Day

Ok...let's see if I can get this post written before Squarespace crashes this time.

So here's the deal: Collin, Carol, Greg, Becky and I spent the night in Newport Beach because we were going to Disneyland the next day! All week the forecast had been saying it would be rainy all Monday and when we woke up that morning it was indeed savagely stormy at the beach. The rain pounded and the wind howled like the Cloverfield monster. In anticipation of this weather I had bought a bunch of ponchos, but by 8 the weather had let up and by 8:15 we were on our way to the Happiest Place on Earth and by 9:00 we had entered California Adventure. While Collin got our Radiator Springs Fastpasses the rest of us headed for Midway Mania as this is a line-beating strategy that has proven to work well.

You know, even if Midway Mania is just a video game, it sure is awful fun. It's just got that Disney magic going on big time!

Then we dashed past Grizzly Rapids (which I'm not sad to say I've never been on) to Soarin' Over California where we ran into an unexpectedly long line. I don't know what it was, a lot of people trying to avoid a big line for Soarin' by hitting it early and then there we all were, stuck in line together.

After Soarin' we still had a little bit of time before our Radiator Springs fast passes kicked in so we dashed over to the Tower of Terror where the line was so short that Greg, Becky and I practically walked on. That's how lines were all day: either surprisingly long or just about non-existent. Nearly nothing in the middle.

And then it was time for our Radiator Springs ride. I cannot conceive of waiting in line for this ride for two hours, but that's how a lot of people choose to spend their day at Disneyland. 

After Radiator Springs Racers we took a backroad out of Cars Land and I took advantage of our path to finally ride the sea otter on King Triton's Carousel. 

Next Up: the Ferris Wheel, with exercises while we wait

And then: Right on over to one of my favorite California Adventure attractions...

And then we wrapped up our California Adventure Adventure with the revisionist history of the Little Mermaid ride and a bumping into with the Army Guys

And then, Disneyland proper!

First Stop: Star Tours. Last time I went on this, even though it was the new version, there was just about no line. This year, however, great big line! Everyone's got Star Wars fever now, thanks, Force Awakens!

We got Space Mountain Fast Passes before Star Tours, but those wouldn't mature for another, uh, FOUR HOURS so we tried to tackle most of the rest of the park before then.

The Jungle Cruise was down for planned maintenance. And then Indiana Jones was down for unexpected maintenance. And Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for unexpected issues, as well. BUT the Haunted Mansion was open, so on it we went.

As the Haunted Mansion is right next door to Splash Mountain that's what we rode next. Surprise! No line! Which is outrageous but I'm not complaining.

Spying on some Disney magic as we leave Critter Country

Then we played catch up by riding the then open Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones...this guy in his 4th Amendment Assault Riffle t-shirt was kinda spookin everyone out

Then we crossed Frontier Land for a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 

Ask me what my favorite ride at Disneyland is and I won't be able to not give you a list, but Thunder Mountain will definitely be on that list. It's so fun and you get to chant "Goat! Goat! Goat!" (or at least I do that).

In which of these two pictures do Collin and I look more like pals?

Group photo, best effort.

Big Thunder fauna

The ladies took a churro break

And then it was back to Tomorrowland to use those Space Mountain fastpasses.

Because we've all got Star Wars fever, Space Mountain has been turned into Hyperspace Mountain and there's projections of X-Wings and Tie Fighters flying around in there. Which is cool. But this Star Wars fever that has seized all of the park has got me in the mood to downplay my own Star Wars fever, Matthew 6:6 style.

While we rode Space Mountain Carol got us a good spot in line for the Little Nemo Submarine Voyage, what a zen follow up to so much hectic adventure.

Goodbye, Tomorrowland

Hello, Matterhorn

With so many great rides to love at Disneyland you might forget for a moment that you love this mountain without a country. But the Matterhorn is amazing! Riding at night is so fun, as your sled zips in and out of the mountain, catching sparkling glimpses of the rest of Disneyland, roaring past the new wilder Abominable's grand. Don't forget it.

We dipped into a little bit of Fantasyland, commandeering our own Storybook Land canal boat and getting our pilot to go off script and then checking out Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to confirm that, yes, the ride ends with you going to hell.

At this point that creeping realization came upon me that our Disney day was winding down. We were getting tired. We were getting hungry. All our big check boxes were checked off. We were milling around Mainstreet and that is NOT a good sign that you've got much Disneyland left. While everyone was, I don't know, buying stuff or eating ice cream I watched the end of the current parade.

Then I was kind of lost but remembered everyone was with Collin so it would be easy to find them

Then it was a dark time. Carol and Collin decided it was time to go, but you know me, I'll stay at Disneyland forever. So it was adios to my amigos

Followed up Astro Blasters and another Star Tours adventure with Greg and Becky and then we were all like "Okay, that was enough Disneyland" and we headed our own ways home, five hearts aglow with the Spirit of Disneyland.