By morning the sun had returned, though we were either getting fairly adjusted to the local time or the multiple days at Disneyland were starting to catch up with us. After typing up my previous night’s blog entry, I had wandered down to the nearby 7-11 to pick up some supplies. So this morning we were once again up and running with our in-room cereal bar.
Claire has managed to contract my cold of the past weeks. She’s all stuffed up and… well.. lethargic is an understatement. Trying to counter this — keep the vacation going at the best speed we’re able — we rented a stroller for the day. And after a few minutes of standing in line — arguing with our very stubborn daughter about actually riding in the aforementioned stroller — we made it to the park for this morning’s “Magic Morning” where they let park-hopper pass holders redeem one of their early entry privileges. We used up our extra hour first (a) standing in line for the Peter Pan ride and then (b) standing in line for the Finding Nemo submarine adventure ride. By the time we were back into things, the park was fully open and things were getting busy.
I thought it would be a good idea to try out the Autopia ride, a driving ride that lets little kids (assisted by their parents) drive little rail-bound cars around a winding track. This would have been a good idea — and Claire was very excited — but despite the sign informing us the wait was a mere twenty minutes, this was so obviously not the case. After about twenty minutes in line, and clearly another hour left ahead of us, we bailed and tried another spin on the Buzz Lightyear space rangers thing. Claire scored 2,900 this time round, and I cleaned up (I found a ‘profitable’ target) and ended the run with just shy of 700,000. We have a photo to prove it.
Great father that I am, I bribed my daughter with prizes if she beat her last score of 600. Guess who got to spend the next half an hour in The Mad Hatter’s Hat Shoppe getting his daughter’s name embroidered on the back of a set of Tinkerbell-slash-Mickey ears? Yup. That would be me.
Claire happy with her new hat — and I having picked up a few more pins for my collection — we wandered in the direction of Toon Town. Here we found ourselves avoiding the mediocre rides in favour of a quick tour through Mickey and Minnie’s houses. We thought it would be quick. Turns out you need to queue to see Minnie to get into her house then queue to see Mickey to get out of his. So, our supposed-to-be quick show home tours of the rich and mousey turned into a lot of queuing.
We got out of there quickly after, grabbed some lunch in FrontierLand — I finally scored a turkey leg for this trip — and found another queue to stand in: somehow we convinced Claire to ride the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster, ultimately proving my ongoing point this week that my daughter is a big wimp about the IDEA of the rides, but LOVES them once she’s been on them. The trick has been to get her over that initial fear and we’re golden.
By this point it was early afternoon and with a big evening planned we toddled back to the hotel for some down time, stopping on our way out to grab a couple more character pictures, first with Cruela DeVille and then with Goofy.
Karin and Claire slept for a solid two hours. I read. I only mention it because I happened to finally be reading — finished the second half, in fact — Cory Doctorow’s “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” and I figured that I was probably in the second most appropriate place in the world to be reading that particular novel. (It’s set in a future DisneyWorld, for those too lazy to just look it up themselves.)
We returned to the park around six, this time ducking once again into California Adventure because we had some sort of quasi-ticket things for the big “World of Color” light show at quarter after eight. I call them “quasi tickets” because essentially it was a ‘buy-a-picnic-dinner and stand-in-this-crowded-area-rather-than-that-crowded-area’ kind of tickets. We killed the intervening hours by revisiting the Toy Story Mania 4D ride, another turn on the aquatically themed carousel, and a few runs through some very quiet “Bug’s Life World’ rides. We also snuck in our picnic lunch sometime amidst all that.
World of Color is Disney’s new massive light show in the middle of their California Adventure lake. It’s full of lighted spouts of water, a mist-like screen where they play movie clips, fire, lasers, and other spectacles of color and light, all set on the backdrop of the pier and roller coaster across the pond. I tried some photos with my fish-eye lens, but the only redeeming quality I think will be the hundreds of silhouetted heads against the smear of a few hundred various lights.
The show ended and we started the long shuffle back to the hotel, a very tired Claire in my arms. On our way we passed numerous folks slowly filing INTO the park with sleeping bags tucked under their arms. Tomorrow is the leap-day party (it being February 29th and all) and the park opens at 6AM (for twenty-four hours) with free stuff and a big party. They are letting people line up as of 10PM tonight. I’m lining up in my bed with a cozy comforter… though I think Karin has considered getting up early and sneaking off to see. Maybe Claire and I will just meet her there.
Read more vacation travel posts on my Random Travel Writing page!