Even regular jet lag would have been much kinder. Claire was awake at 4:30AM local, itching to get the day started. We’ve only got a difference in timezones of one hour, so our objections to her enthusiasm were not without warrant. I managed to keep her quiet for about forty-five of that hour and nabbed a few more winks before ceding to her demands for breakfast.
We were at the park gates once again at a quarter to eight, the previous night’s crowds all but dried up. We did a much more subdued meander down Main Street, stopped for some photos in front of the castle, and made our way back into Fantasyland for a string of zero-line-up rides including: Dumbo’s Flying Elephants, the circus train thing, the storybook land boat ride, Pinocchio’s Adventure, and — yes — another spin on the infamous teacups.
We split up temporarily, I running off to grab some fast-passes for Star Tours later in the morning and the girls detouring through the princess store. We rendezvoused at the bakery ten minutes later and indulged in a mid-morning snack.
Claire was getting a little whiny about rides and was eager to go on the Whinnie the Pooh ride so we strolled in that direction — giving in, but trying not to be to obvious about it. We took a turn through Tarzan’s treehouse, I taking advantage of the high vantage and switching my camera to miniature mode to shoot a few “tiny scene” shots.
Oddly enough, the Pooh ride gave Claire a bit of nerve and she voted to try out something a little scarier: The Pirates of the Caribbean. She spent much of the fifteen minute cruise through the dark and chilly cavernous pirate montage cuddled up to my arm, but we emerged into daylight once again and a smile was wide across her face. She also said she’d be happy to try it again — but not today: “another day, dad.”
Nearing the time on our Star Tours appointment, we wandered back over to Tomorrowland and struck another Claire-request off our list. We suited up in the Buzz Lightyear game-slash-ride and battled some evil toy aliens. I scored a 81,000. Claire scored a very proud 600.
The remaining time before lunch was devoted to Star Wars, We took in Star Tours, wandered through the exit-store playing with wookie dolls and toy lightsabers, and then took up as spectators (Claire didn’t want to fight Darth Vader) watching a run through of the Jedi Academy thing where about fifty little kids fulfilled their dreams of going saber to saber with some random Star Wars baddies.
Lunch was a mediocre pizza, and — all of us getting pretty tired — we started diverting back for an afternoon rest but were distracted first with a stop to get a photo with Rapunzel and another spin through It’s a Small World (I’m going to get tired of that one reaaaaally fast) so it was half-three before we were back for our out-of-the-sun break at the hotel.
After some naps, some swimming, and a light dinner at a nearby restaurant (waaaaay cheaper than in the park, thank you very much) we wandered back to Main Street Disneyland where I staked out some spots along the curb for the upcoming parade. The gals went shopping. I sat defending two square feet of prime real estate from throngs on tourists.
The daylight faded, the street lights came up, and we were treated to half an hour of colour with front row seats. Claire, of course, was in her glory when a five-foot ape (a character from some movie) came and high-fived her. But by the end of it all the weather was cooling off and half the crowd was fleeing the park while the other half was moving back towards the rides.
Having long since decided we were hanging out until (at least) the fireworks this evening, we took shelter in the relative warmth of the Tiki Room, took in a night time Jungle Cruise, and managed to find our way back to the Fantasyland Carousel just in time to be the last of the pre-firework riders — a good thing as Claire had her heart set on that one all day and we’d just finally got around to it.
The wind picking up and ill-prepared as we were for the California climes, we ended up dropping some change to upgrade Claire’s wardrobe for something warmer. Did you know Disney sold snuggies? Neither did I? Well, perhaps not a Snuggie (TM) but definitely a colourful Disney be-logoed fleece with sleeves. That held us all through, and following a wild fireworks-slash-laser show we waded our way out of the crowded park and eventually made it back to the hotel. Claire, again, was asleep in minutes and once again we’re hiding out in a dimly lit room while our exhausted daughter sleeps a few feet away.
Thus ends day two… apparently also Oscar night in Hollywood, a few blocks away.
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