The flow at the beginning of Splash seemed rather fast. We flew past the poor "Take me along" gator before we could let him in our log!
A woman outside asked me "what's this" while holding up a FastPass and I explained the concept to her. (I can't remember where or when this happened).
Following the Teacups, we walked to the French Market, where we had fried chicken and chocolate mousse cake. They really give you a lot of food there! Niether of us could finish our chicken. (sorry, no half-eaten food pictures ).
Next we went on Indy. GF was very impressed by the Indy AA and the giant boulder effect, (which is one of my favorite effects).
Jungle Cruise followed. The skip's reading was not terrible, but not great either.
Then we visited the Tiki Room. I had only done it once before, many years ago. We found the preshow with the Disney versions of Tiki gods very charming, but I have to wonder what actual Hawiians think about it. GF knows how to hula dance, and she did so in the courtyard.
Tiki Room, with the way it surrounds the audience, is a unique experience, and I'm glad they restored it a few years ago (as I've read on here). I did notice that the beaks of the "glee club" seemed to be opening and closing randomly rather than being in sync during the end of "In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room", but I don't know whether or not it's always been that way.
We got out in time to find a spot in Central Plaza to watch the fireworks. Our plan was to stay for part of the show, then head to Nemo while it was still going on, in hopes of a shorter line (or at least, having the rest of the fireworks to watch while we waited.) A few minutes before showtime, an annoucement came on that the fireworks might be cancelled because of winds at high altitudes. We decided we'd better make a run for Nemo before the crowd dispersed, if the fireworks were cancelled. However, before we could get through the crowds and make our way to Tomorrowland, the "lights will be dimmed" announcement came up, and we decided to stay for the fireworks after all. GF said she had never seen a fireworks show like this. She is also a big Tinkerbell fan and loved seeing her in flight.
We left somewhere around the PotC section of the show and went to Nemo, where we still had a pretty good view of the fireworks from the line. Fortunately, after the fireworks ended, the Elvis impersonator rose upon the Tomorrowland Terrace stage to provide entertainment (As far as the thematic appropriateness of an Elvis impersonator in Tomorrowland, I suppose they will still have nostalgia in the future ).
I enjoyed Nemo. I hadn't been in the subs in a very long time, either (even before they closed). There were some parts that looked to me like the characters might really be just outside the porthole, swimming in the water, and other parts where I was like, "yeah, that's a video screen..." The most effective part was probably the jellyfish scene, because the animated characters seemed to interact with the "real" jellyfish. To some degree, the ride does seem to take the focus off of the riders ("you're going on a submarine voyage to an undersea volcano" and onto the characters ("Marlon and Dory are looking for Nemo!" making the rider into more of a passive observer. But hey, you're still in a submarine, which is pretty cool .
We spent several minutes sitting at the dock before they'd let us unload, so it was lucky that no-one aboard had claustrophobia.
By this time, Fantasyland had re-opened from it's fireworks closure.
The princess and her castle:
As we had planned to do, we sang "True Love's Kiss" from "Enchanted" on the bridge to the castle.
Perhaps because all the lines that day were a little longer than I'm used to, the inevitable wait for Peter Pan didn't seem so bad. I'm usually disappointed by this much-hyped ride, but I liked it very much this time. GF was once again happy to see Tink.
On our way to Toontown Station, we passed the now lantern-lit Teacups and decided to ride again. Once again, I loved it!
We spun so fast, my face got smeared:
Aboard the DLRR, I heard a couple arguing (in a comfortable, long-married sort of way) over whether they had been on Roger Rabbit last time they were at the park many years ago. I chimed in and told them that it opened in 1994, which would up proving right whichever one of them that said that they hadn't been on it. The wife then asked me "is there still a Star Tours?" I said that there was, and she admonished her husband (in the same comfortable, long-married manner) that they could have gone on Star Tours instead of Dumbo.
We rode the train past Tomorrowland station and through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World. The former is a bit dated to me, but I really like the latter.
Throughout the day, we had hunted in various shops for a souvenir for my mother, who loves Baloo. Curiously, they seem to have declared a moratorium on Baloo items. Everywhere we went, it was the same handful of characters, and no Baloo. I was sure they'd have some Baloo stuff at the great Emporium, but no - that same handful of characters. They directed us up the street to the China Closet, to find a Precious Moments Baloo. China Closet directed us back down the street to Disneyana, which they said Emporium sometimes confuses with them. At Disneyana, we finally found what appears to be the only Baloo item in all of Disneyland, but we both agreed that it totally not worth the price for what it was:
As we passed the AP center, we decided to inquire how much more AP's would be than our 2 day passes...
We caught the shuttle back to our hotel and collapsed in exaustion!
We decided to do DCA on our second day. I had only been to the DLR for two consecutive days on one other occasion (then, it was just Disneyland - it was for the Disney Afternoon Avenue promotion, when I was 10, because I wanted to see all the extra stuff again before it went away.)
We took the 11:30 shuttle to the parks.
Before hitting DCA, though, we returned to Main Street...to the AP center to get our AP's! That's right, courtesy of my very generous GF, I am now an AP'er!!! Happy Birthday to me!!! Where's my churro with a birthday candle in it?! Sorry, I just couldn't resist . I'm still taking it out and looking at it every once in a while, to make sure it hasn't disappered, leaving behind only traces of fairy dust, like the Star of Asteroth or leprechaun gold after the Quiddich World Cup.
(Now what am I going to get her for her birthday!?!?!?!)
AP Center CM Robin from Gary, Indiana was very nice and enthusiastic. When, in the course of gathering info for my AP, she saw that my birthday was June 7th (our trip was to celebrate my birthday, as you've gathered ) she gave me that lovely birthday button that forces all the CM's to tell you happy birthday .
Her co-worker who worked the line outside, gathering preliminary info, was also very nice. (didn't get her name).
Now all Annual Passified, we left DL - without needing a hand stamp! - and decided to take our picture with each of the C A L I F O R N I A letters before they go bye-bye to make way for DCA's new entrance. (As much as I like the plans for the new entrance, I will be sorry to see them go).
Here we are at the Sun fountain:
We got our FP's for Soarin', then got hot dogs at Award Weiners. Afterwards, we scoured Off the Page for Baloo items, but just found the same Precious Moments Baloo:
(At least we got a better picture, GF having discovered and dispatched with the smudge on the lens.)
We rode ToT, which was a 30+ minute wait (I've never seen it at anything other than "13 minutes" before).
We went to the Animation Building and did the Beast's Library - GF got Mulan, I got Flik from Bug's Life. The previous two times, I got Tarzan. Maybe I had a bug-eyed expression this time?
We went on into Ursula's Grotto. I played deep voiced Baloo and Scar to GF's cute voiced Mowgli and Simba, respectively .
On our way out, we saw the incredible Toy Story zoetrope.
On to GRR. Again, the longest wait I've ever seen for this ride. GF said she once worked in an office that looked exactly like the fake one in the queue. The drops barely got us, but we were struck by the geyser at the end.
As we made our way up the bridge to Paradise Pier, we sang "By the Sea" from Sweeney Todd.
(Pic is from movie, not really us )
Areas of gray unthemed roof notwithstanding, the turrets of the beautiful TSMM building are a "plus" to Screamin's bunny hills.
I usually just do Screamin' and then walk right back down the bridge, but we went to see if TSMM was by some bizarre chance doing soft openings (which, of course, it wasn't - construction walls were still up at the time) and then decided to check out the West side of PP.
Dreadful. Horrendous. Horrid. Abysmal. Somebody get me a thesaurus. I don't have enough negative adjectives to describe the theming of this part of the park. I certainly hope that the TSMM exterior represents the future of PP theming .
I couldn't bare to take any pictures myself, but here's an example from Google Image Search:
Despite the exterior, we nearly went on Mulholland Madness, but I saw a car on the track that appeared to be stuck (it wasn't moving for several minutes, anyway.)
We did at least finally find a gift for my mom in that carny-themed t-shirt shop. A "small world" pin (with no Mary-Blairified Disney characters on it - just children! ) Mom loved it and said we couldn't have picked a better gift.
We also saw these "Paradise Pier Tours" boats under the walkway in Paradise Bay. I think this may have been covered on MiceChat before, but just in case, here's a picture:
I requested and got the top row for us on Soarin'. GF was very impressed with the ride and of course happy to see Tinkerbell again. There were moments when I could see the top of the screen. I think I may try somewhere in the middle next time. Sure, you can see feet dangling above you, but I think it's worth not being able to see the edges of the screen.
We intended to catch the 5:30 shuttle back to the hotel, and it was getting close, but we decided to squeeze in a ride on Monster's Inc.
In line, we caught this little exchange:
Dad: Look, honey - it's Hannah Montana!
Little Girl: (urgently) Where?!?!?!
Mom: Daddy's just teasing you, honey.
Little Girl: (urgently) Where?!?!?!?!
Dad: (pointing) She's right over there.
Little Girl: (urgently) Where?!?!?!?!
Mom: Daddy is only joking.
Little Girl: (urgently) Where is she?!?!?!?! I don't see her!!!!
Dad: Look, honey, it's the Jonas Brothers!
Little Girl: (urgently) WHERE?!?!?!
Mom: Daddy's just teasing you, honey....
And so on...that poor little girl .
We didn't spot Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers, either, so we're already planning our next trip to spend some more time looking for them in the Monster's Inc. queue. Actually, we're planning to come down for opening day of TSMM on June 17th. This will be exciting as I'll actually be able to discuss the new ride on MiceChat while the discussion is still fresh!
As for my GF, I seem to have gotten my Disney convert!
Finally, here I am exausted after our two-day Disney excursion, sitting in the Baker's Square in Buellton, where we stopped on our way home:
(For now. Whoooooooooooooo! I'm an AP'er!!!!!! Still waiting for that churro, BTW.... )