Yesterday, Vic and I decided to go to Disneyland with a friend who had not been in about 8 years. She had never seen DCA or DD. This was gonna be fun! It turned out to be a pretty special day. We got to the parking structure about noon. It began with being directed to park mere steps from the escalators and walking right onto the tram. No security lines and no line into DCA. (At $79 for a 1-day park hopper or $119 for a SoCal Select Pass... our friend opted for the Pass... her first.) One the way to rent a locker I caught a glimpse of the Lily Belle behind the E.P. Ripley. Sweet! I'm sure attendence at DCA was in the thousands yesterday, but it felt like only hundreds. Everything was a walk-on. First stop: Soarin'. Walked on... front row. Perfect. It's fun to watch someone experience Soarin' the first time. It literally brought our friend to tears and everyone applauded at the end. Next, GRR... another walk-on. We three had our own raft. The raft in front of us was empty and the one behind had only two people. Over to Screamin' next. Cove Bar was closed. No line at the coaster. It was the first time our friend had riden a coaster with a "launch." We toured Paradise Pier then shot over to ToT. Our friend had no idea what to expect and we didn't tell her. She loved it. One of the few disappointments of the day: Monsters, Inc. was down. Darnit! OK... time to shoot over to Disneyland. On our way across the esplanade, I got a second look at the Lily Belle. She's really pretty as she glides by. No lines at the turnstiles! I felt really sorry for the CM at the turnstile as the very loud woman behind me was barred from entering. She had apparently bought a single-park ticket and had already used it to visit DCA. Now she wanted into Disneyland. She angrily claimed that she had entered DCA by accident and only only spent 20 minutes. He wasn't budging. She was getting pretty hot. We continued on our way so I don't know how that one turned out. Remember Al's photo of the line at the AP Center on Main St? Nada, yesterday. Our friend walked right up to Window 8 and we were in-and-out in 5 minutes. She got a free 50th Anniversay mouse pad as a new passholder. The CM gave us one too. As we strolled up a very lightly populated Main St. we paused to listen to The Dapper Dans. I love it when I've got Diseyland all to myself! First stop: Space Mountain. Actually we hit BLAB first... another walk on. I managed over 100,000 points for the first time. (I know that's a lame score for a lot of you... but it made me happy.) SM was a walk-on and just thrilling. Darn, I love that ride! There seemed to be a few more projections than I remember from my last ride just after it re-opened. You see the occasional shooting star or asteroid here and there. Nothing major... but more than just stars. While waiting for the girls to use the restrooms at the end of SM, I noticed the wind had blown open the curtain blocking the passage to "back stage" so I wandered over and took a nice peek. It's not very pretty or interesting... but it is the forbidden look for guests... and nice little treat for a Disneyland fanatic. Over at the Matterhorn, we encountered our first wait. There were at least 10 people in line... maybe 12. Dang, that ride can be bumpy! Still fun, though. We shot through Fantasyland just to see it on our way to BTMRR. Another walk on there. We decided to see POTC before it gets changed. Another walk-on. As we passed the Blue Bayou, I noticed that one of the doors to Club 33 (on the balcony overlooking the BB dining area) had been left open. OK... you couldn't see much except some nice wooden paneled walls, but technically I WAS getting a peek into Club 33. A nice little gift for a Disney wonk. After POTC, we boarded the DLRR to ride back to Main St. I was hoping the Ripley would come by so I could sit close to the Lily Belle and get a peek inside. The C.K. Holliday arrived instead. It was getting cold and we wanted to retrieve our jackets from the locker. DCA was gonna close in an hour so we jumped back in to get a couple more rides on Screamin'. First, we walked onto Soarin' for a second taste. Over at the Pier, there was no line for the coaster. Walked right up to the CM who asked us "How Many?" She put us in rows 1 & 2! Our friend didn't want to ride the first row... and was a little nervous about riding alone so she and Vic took row 2. I had the front all to myself! That was an experience. It was so much fun we went right around and got on again. Of course we made stupid faces for the camera every time! By now it's 6PM and DCA is closing. We had planned to go back to Disneyland and ride the stuff we'd missed (Splash, Jungle Cruise, etc.) but apparently everyone else in DCA had the same idea and the lines were halfway across the esplanade. Disneyland was only open for two more hours and we didn't want to spend one of them in line. Fine. Our AP mentality kicked in. We can go whenever we want to... maybe even next week. (If it seems like we could have ridden more rides during our visit, it's because we spend a fair amount of time just wandering around looking at stuff... even the animals at BTR.) We decided to go get some food, instead. DD was gorgeous, as usual, and there was no wait at the Uva Bar. We got a nice table right under a heat lamp, our favorite bartender was on duty and the food was delicious. The night ended with a clear freeway and making the drive home in 45 minutes... my best time ever! It's a lot of fun taking someone to Disneyland who has never been... or who hasn't been in a long, long time. Our friend was so happy with her experience, she came home and went online to buy some Disney stock!
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Tuesday was magical at Disneyland!
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