TVKirby's Disneyland Trip - November 2002

November 9 - 15 2002


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Key
(Entertainment/Meals/Notes in parentheses)

{Attraction Count - How Many Attractions did I see?  I keep a running count for each day.}

What does TVKirby mean by "Attraction"?
An Attraction is something that would have been an A to E ticket in the old days of Disney Parks (except of course when it isn't.) I don't count the Main Street Cinema. I do count the 3D Movies. If I have the Mickey next to it, it is an attraction.
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Index

Saturday Nov 9
Sunday Nov 10
Monday Nov 11
Tuesday Nov 12
Wednesday Nov 13
Thursday Nov 14
Friday Nov 15

Commentary and Lists

Summary of Attractions I saw...
More than Once...

Regrets - Forgot to...
Regrets - Should have done again...
Regrets - Should not have done so much...
Regrets - Disappointed that it wasn't working/performing/open (not counting Yesterland things)
Happy to have found...
I was most out of place in...
Irritated at/by...

I had the opportunity to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland, during a business trip in November 2002.

Disneyland Monorail and Fireworks Spectacular

I flew into Orange County airport the evening of November 8. It was raining, which I was expecting as I had been tracking the storm the entire week. I was prepared for a soggy Saturday in the park.

As I was leaving the terminal building, the lady at the information desk I had stopped at called after me, "It's cold out there. Didn't you bring a coat?” I indicated I had one in my luggage. The temperature was in the high 50s. It was not "cold" to me.

Saturday Nov 9

It was still raining and somewhat chilly when I awoke.

I was staying in the Hawthorne Suites Hotel in Orange. They offered complimentary shuttle service to the Parks, but you had to request it. They did not make regular trips. I was planning on using the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland One Day Touring Plan for Adults so I arranged for transport at 7am – One hour before opening. The people at the front desk looked at me like I was a Disney Looney, but that was OK as I was a Disney Looney. I just pointed to the Touring Plan when they tried to show me the official hours.

The van driver headed cross-country instead of up the expressway. I silently fretted at the amount of time I would be losing. Of the two shuttle drivers I would encounter, this one always went the long way and the other one would hop on the expressway and save at least 10 minutes of sitting at stop lights.

I pulled my raincoat hood up and stared. I was finally at Disneyland! Was that the monorail track? Across the way in DCA I saw the skeletal structure of the Tower of Terror. I started the videocamera and started walking. I could see the raindrops beading on the lens as I walked into the Entrance Plaza. The ever-present Disney music surrounded me and I chuckled upon hearing the strains of Alice in Wonderland’s “Golden Afternoon”.

Esplanade in the rain with Golden Afternoon song - 3 min 11 sec video

It was 7:20am and there were about 20 people milling around the gates. I took pictures and got in line as the crowd got large enough to get itself organized. The monorail zipped by and I got another Disney thrill seeing that happen.

The Gate CMs were having a meeting over by the strollers. Other CMs scurried back and forth just inside the gates. A train rolled by and blew its whistle. I was getting impatient!

Finally at about 2 minutes before the hour the Gate CMs moved into position. The decidedly low budget tables being used for bag searches amused me. When they started letting us through, security was quick and efficient.

Finally! I entered the hallowed grounds!

This was Disneyland!

I wasted no time and headed toward the right hand tunnel under the railroad. I let the curtain raise (Walt designed the park cinematically. Coming through the tunnels and coming around Town Square is the equivalent of the raising of the curtain in a theatre and Main Street itself is the credits – via the windows). I took a quick look around. City Hall. Fire Station. Opera House. Christmas Tree spoiling the view up Main Street. I fired up the camera and started walking – not too fast, as there was not a crowd at all.

My first impression was that Main Street was much smaller than Florida’s. I liked it! This was much more personal. The lack of a crowd made the walk down Main Street a pleasure, even if it was drizzling. I stopped occasionally to wipe the raindrops off of the UV filter on the camera.

Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street U.S.A. (in the rain) - 3 min video

Smaller was the keyword. The castle was positively tiny. I could hardly believe it. Even though I have had almost daily exposure to its image preceding films and TV shows, the reality of seeing the castle in context was amazing. Again I could only compare it with Florida and Florida is huge

(see http://www.bartlett-sloan.net/ccaidisneyy2kc.html to see us two years earlier in front of the Orlando castle) 

I was impressed by the Cast Members that took time to say “hello” and “how are you doing this rainy morning?” as I walked north.

I hung a right into Tomorrowland and passed between the murals on the buildings. I did not really notice what they looked like now; I only noticed that they were NOT the Mary Blair murals. I asked a CM if the original murals were intact under them and he did not know. I would find out more about these murals the next day. I had not been paying enough attention to http://www.yesterdayland.com to realize that the Mary Blair murals were no longer extant.

*Attraction Count*

Space Mountain {1}

I moved on thru Tomorrowland towards Space Mountain. As I got there I found I was one of the first persons to arrive in that part of the park. Nobody had been allowed in yet. The 7 or 8 of us were held for a few minutes and then we followed a CM quickly through the queue. I was on the first rocket of the day! Once again, video does not capture the essence of this ride. I did not ride it in Orlando, so I could not compare it with another version. As an ex ACE (American Coaster Enthusiast) member, I could look at it as a coaster enthusiast. I loved it. I have no idea how they concealed so much coaster inside that building. The ride layouts I have seen haven’t seemed complete.

*Attraction Count*

Star Tours{2}

After Space Mountain I headed over to Star Tours. I was 17 when the first Star Wars movie came out. I was the primary target of the original movie and was absorbed into Star Wars fandom from day one. I have seen the original Star Wars (episode 4) more than any other movie. In my teens I got into a rivalry with another member of the Little Rock, Arkansas Science Fiction http://www.lrsfs.org/    fan base for the greatest number of times to see the movie. (Hi Dianne! What’s your count now?) I beat her by spending entire days seeing it 3 or 4 times!

I stopped counting the number of times I had seen the movie after about 50. My current estimate is over 200.

This was again not an attraction I had an opportunity to see in Orlando. I was looking forward to it. It is an attraction that has very little video available, so I had to rely on descriptions before actually experiencing it.

I was not at all disappointed. It is a great attraction and is a must see. I got video of the outside and some of the queue. I had to wave some people past me as I videoed, because nobody was in the park.

I was still trying to follow the Unauthorized Guide touring plan, but by this time I had realized that it was pointless as the lack of crowds made every attraction a walk on. 

I headed over to Indiana Jones.

WOW!

Of all the attractions I have been on, there are only two that are WOW!

Indiana Jones and Soarin’ over California. These are the masterpieces of Imagineering.

As with Star Tours, I became so involved with videotaping the queue that I had to wave people past me. The crowd was so light that I managed to totally miss the part of the queue that had the films explaining the backstory.  Fortunately I already knew the backstory. I took time later in the week to watch the films.

Having ridden Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom several times, I thought I was prepared for Indy. Nope! It was a Totally Different Experience. The wide-open space in the middle of the temple is great eye candy, particularly the skull and fire. The Imagineers went all out with effects. I loved being lunged at by the giant snake. Only the giant stone ball was disappointing. It wasn’t rolling the way I had seen it in videos.

 Indiana Jones {3}


Next I hopped aboard a cruise through a jungle – Walt’s classic Jungle Cruise. The CM for my boat was a little lackluster. Most of his jokes went flat. The funniest (to me) were the self referential ones. – “There’s something you don’t see every day. A gorilla and his pet crocodile….But I do.”

It was interesting to see the original Jungle Cruise. I liked it more than the Florida version again for its not being grandiose. No giant butterflies. No floating through a temple. It was Simple and Classic. I got the whole thing on video.

Jungle Cruise <entire attraction> {4}

So far I was still following the Unofficial Guide Tour. I was about to be forced to deviate from it because of rehabs and closings. Next on the list was the Matterhorn. Nope. I already knew it was closed because of the listings on Disneyland.com so it wasn’t a last minute disappointment. From Adventureland I went back to the hub and, video camera in hand, entered Fantasyland. I loved the way the music segued from Main Street/Hub Christmas tunes to Pinocchio as I passed through the castle doorway.

Entering Fantasyland - 3 min 10 sec video

Villain shop? Nope. I went in looking for the hag in her cage only to find a generic shop.

Next stop, the Mad Hatter shop. I got a generic black hat that said “Goofy”. They would not put “TVKirby” on it, so I had to settle on just “Kirby”.

Next on the list was to be Alice in Wonderland. Oh boy. I have been looking forward to riding this one for some time. I love dark rides and the ones that are only at Disneyland were special targets for me. I rounded the corner from the Mad Hatter to find…

A Cast Member standing in front of the Alice queue. They had a little roof leak so they were closed.

Next on the list was Peter Pan’s Flight. I love going into the intimate little courtyard behind the castle. The distinctive look of the façades is wonderful, with Europe on one side and Britain on the other.

Lines were beginning to form at attractions, but the wait for Peter Pan was less than ten minutes. I thought it was interesting that the individual ships were independently launched, unlike Florida’s version with its continuously moving walkway. I squeezed into my ship and took off through the nursery and over London.

The CM at unload was amused at the way I had to sit with my legs crossed in order to fit. I unfolded myself and did two more Fantasyland dark rides – Snow White and Mr. Toad – even though they were not on the Touring plan.

When we were in Florida, I deliberately avoided Snow White because the kids were with us and I was heeding the warnings that it can really scare little ones. Now I know why. That forest scene and all the scenes with the hag are very good and creepy. The mirror transformation of the queen into the hag was great.

Mr. Toad. A really fun little dark ride that always had too long a wait to ride. I was never able to find a good description of the ride. I was curious as to what was so funny at the end that would cause all the laughter seen by riders in the 1956 film “People and Places – Disneyland U.S.A.”. Nowadays, it turns out that after rolling in Toad’s motorcar all over the countryside and through buildings, he ends up in Hell, complete with heat and a nice burning smell and little devils jumping up and down. It is fun and you roll out wearing a grin. I still wonder about the 1956 version as I know it has been upgraded a couple of times since then.

Peter Pan {5}
Snow White {6}
Mr. Toad {7}

I tried to get back to the touring plan. Next on the list was Big Thunder. This was the one I had been looking forward to because of the Parkeology aspect. Disneyland is always changing and I have always wondered about the attractions that are no longer with us (They have their own home now in a community for Senior Citizen attractions - the great www.yesterland.com ) I was constantly on the lookout for remnants of the old stuff. That is what Parkeology is.

Many sections of the park are still used for the same purpose they always have (Main Street U.S.A.). Some sections have no remnants of what was once there (One of the things I was looking at in Fantasyland was the former site of the Chicken of the Sea restaurant. It sat approximately where Dumbo sits now and it must have been much smaller than I thought it was.).

The Big Thunder area has the odd distinction of having once been the site of several old attractions – most particularly the Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland. When the roller coaster was put in, large chunks of Nature’s Wonderland were left in place (or left close to where they used to be.).

Big Thunder was another of the attractions I missed in Florida because I had small children with me. I had sort of experienced it in the Walt Disney World Magical Racing Game, though. I was amazed at how small the waiting area was. I turned on the video camera again to get some footage of the town of Rainbow Ridge, one of the most visible remnants of the Mine Train and the Pack Mules.

Oh my. I had to wait all of 10 minutes to ride. What a ride. I loved the themeing everywhere. I was able to spot the Hidden Mickey rattlesnakes and gears immediately. The possum was twirling round her branch for the only time during my several rides over the next few days.

When I came to the lift hill that features the earthquake, I was puzzled as to how the fabled “old ladies” that are mentioned in the Unofficial Guide as not having seen an earthquake could possibly miss it! Good Grief! You are going slowly up a lift hill beside a bunch of rather obvious fake moving rocks. 15 on a scary scale of 10! No way. 7 of 10 as a coaster.
Big Thunder {8}


The exit queue led to several areas where they left the Mine Train track in place. You could still see where it passed through a tunnel from the loading area into the show area.

Next on the list was to go to Splash Mountain and grab a Fastpass. I walked slowly around the Rivers of America with the video going. I got a little chill while going by the Haunted Mansion, as it was the attraction that I have always associated with my Disney Park fascination.

When I got to Splash Mountain I found that the line was 5 minutes long. Forget Fastpass! Yeah – it was drizzling, but I reasoned that as long as I positioned myself somewhere other than the front of the log, I should not get too wet.

I liked this version of Splash Mountain better than Florida’s. The single file seating is traditional Arrow Flume style and I prefer it.

There seemed to be fewer attempts to get the rider deliberately wet. There were several spots in Florida that would do that. Perhaps they had turned the water volume down because it was November or because Anaheim is not as blasted hot as Florida – I don’t know. I do know that I was just slightly spattered by the end of the ride.

I took a short video of my picture at the end, but the other people around were crowding me too much to get good video.

Splash Mountain {9}

Backtrack to the Haunted Mansion. I had mixed emotions about it. In Florida I did not see either Master Gracey hanging in the Stretch Room, nor did I see the Hitchhiking ghosts in my Doombuggy clearly. I was also handling two young kids that did NOT want to ride. In Anaheim they had transformed the Mansion into the Haunted Mansion Holiday by overlaying the characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie into the attraction. I loved that movie, but I also wanted to experience the original Mansion.

I have to admit that I was introduced to the Mansion by the Wonderful World of Disney visit by the Osmonds. My best friend in grade school also visited Florida the year Walt Disney World opened and the Mansion was THE attraction that he gushed over. I have memorized every fact about every Mansion I could find. The Mansion was my Grail of Disney.

There was basically no wait again, as the drizzle continued. I paused in the courtyard to absorb the Scarols. I also tried to figure out the configuration that had been in existence when the video “Sing along Songs – Disneyland” had been filmed. (What a video. I consider it an homage to extinct attractions as there is one segment that shows a string of things that are long gone but remembered fondly.)

Ah! This was great show. No fooling around with a fake stretch room as in Florida. This Stretch Room was an elevator and I could tell, even if the average guest may not have been able to. I got the “Dead Center of the Room” admonishment a couple of times.

I will admit that my Florida experience upon entering was better, as the CM opened the door with a wonderful “The Master will see you now.” But the experience from the lobby to load was inferior in Florida. The changing portraits and the busts are wonderful. I know the busts are in the Florida version library, but it is neater to see them as you WALK by them.

I did not videotape this time, as I wanted a full experience. I expected to ride this several times during the week and it did turn out to be one of my top attractions with a total of 6 rides.

Was I disappointed by it not being the original version of the Mansion? Not really! The Holiday version is just as incredible in detail as the original. When I had an absolutely clear encounter with my Holiday Hitchhiker, I was hooked. 

Haunted Mansion Holiday {10}

Next on the list was Pirates of the Caribbean. Again – there was no line. I got on immediately. I was so absorbed in riding both the Haunted Mansion and Pirates that I completely forgot to take any pictures or video.

My first impression was that there wasn’t much of a queuing area. Doing the old Florida comparison again, in Florida the queue is very long and filled with detail the same way the Indiana Jones queue is. Disneyland’s Pirates queue is basically just the courtyard area and the curve inside the building alongside the returning boats.

I loved the bayou area. The noises, the fireflies, the calm before the drop made quite a difference. The skull room at the top of the first drop was much darker that I expected. The caves were darker than I expected. The treasure room was GREAT and made much more sense being there in the cave area instead of being right before the turn into unload as it is in Florida.

I was slightly disappointed, as the cannon splashes were not working in the battle scene. The splash cans would burble, but no splashes would occur. The projected shadows having the fight were a great touch.

Carlos being dunked was not as I expected. I am going to have to head back to my Florida video to see what he did. He has obviously been upgraded since the opening of the attraction as he turns his head as he comes out of the well. He did not spit out any water, though. I am not sure if he is still rigged to do it and just was not functioning, or if he just doesn’t.

There was a definite burning smell in the air when entering the final scene between the “burning” wood.
Pirates {11}

This ended my attempt to use the Unofficial Guide Tour. Everything else would be spontaneously selected.

It was 11:24am and I was hungry. I was overjoyed at having actually made it onto 11 attractions before lunch. I pulled out my guide map for the first time to scope out some place to eat. I had not even had breakfast, just some coffee from the room.

Mexican sounded good. I headed over to Rancho del Zocalo and $13.54 later was full but felt a little ripped off. I innocently picked up a guacamole cup and found $1.39 charge on my bill for a dollop of the green stuff. I was amused by the little birds flying into the dining area and grabbing up any food that fell to the floor.

What Next? I had seen almost every E ticket attraction already. The rain had decided to get a little heavier. How about Toontown?

I headed out through the hub and into Fantasyland again. As I passed through, I noticed that there was NO line for Pinocchio. Other than the closed Alice, that was the only Fantasyland dark ride I hadn’t seen yet. I hopped into the queue and took a few seconds of video and excitedly rode on…

This is one of the most boring, unimaginative and generally useless of the five dark rides in Fantasyland.

Sure, there were nice parts. I liked being put into Stromboli’s cage. It was cool when Monstro lunged at us. Geppeto’s workshop was full of detail and the Blue Fairy was a good example of the Pepper’s ghost effect. The rest of the ride was down to Six Flags quality – as if Six Flags had decent dark rides, which they don’t.

Pinocchio {12}

By now it was raining, instead of simply drizzling. Yecchh!

I went through Small World Mall and into Toontown. I took a few seconds to admire the population sign. I didn’t see the other details around the entrance to Toontown because I was trying to stay dry. I went to Roger Rabbit immediately and took a look at the 45-minute wait with an obviously long wait in the rain. Still yecchh! Interestingly, the Fastpass return time was 12:50 to 1:50, less than an hour. I grabbed my first Fastpass of the trip and decided to wander around Toontown and then do either Small World or the Railroad.

It was raining harder again. It was not fun to be out in, although it wasn’t a deluge – just a steady, uncomfortable wetness. I wandered into Toontown to look around.

Once again I found myself comparing it to Florida and pronouncing California better. Florida is suburban or vacation Toontown. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald all have nice suburban abodes. There is no community.

The community exists in California. This Toontown was complete and in full holiday mode. There is a Town Hall and a Town Square. Every (toonish) business is represented. I was impressed by the detail, detail, and even the detail!

I was a little surprised by the Toontown Gym. When I finally ran across it, there was a barbell embedded in the street but the barbell shaped opening in the window was gone. I loved the Post Office and was able to sample the various P.O. Box recordings onto video easily. I did not have enough time to get them all, though as there were still enough visitors to have to share everything.

Toontown Post Office - 2 min video

I ended up sheltering from the rain in the alcove across from the Toontown Fireworks Factory among the fabled crates with sound.

Ah, those crates were great, but I had to time my video shots to the pressing of the plunger of the Fireworks Factory by random guests directly across the street. If the fireworks were going off you couldn’t hear the crates.

Gag-O-Matic in the Gag Factory shop - 2 min 28 sec video

Enough time had passed for my Fastpass to mature. I walked up to the entrance just in time to meet a deluge of people exiting the entrance. The ride was down. I asked the Cast Member what I should do about my Fastpass. She said to bring it back any time and explain to whoever took it that the ride was down when I tried earlier.

Disappointed, I dripped my way over to the Railroad station and stood in line, unsheltered in the drizzle. One train later I was at least under a roof and was no longer getting wet.

Once on the train, the first thing I noticed as we pulled out of the station was that the narration had changed. Thurl was GONE. It was a folksy narrator. Kind of Tom Bosley-ish (OK – I’m dating myself here!). I decided I would ride all the way around and check Roger Rabbit again. After that – I was completely open. I think I would find plenty to see <grin>!

It was neat to ride along the Small World area. I love it. They had very recently restored it to the original white and gold that Mary Blair had designed it to be originally. It looked wonderful.

When we stopped at Tomorrowland station, I noticed the large video screen over in the Autopia queue. I focused the video camera on it for a few minutes and was rewarded by the “Tomorrowland Retro Cam” and a depiction of Monsanto’s House of the Future. (“Everything you see around you is plastic”)

I really enjoyed the Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World. (Later, while showing the video footage to my kids, I told them that the Grand Canyon was coming up and when they saw it my 8 year old exclaimed “Daddy! It’s just a painting!” She liked the dinosaurs, though, and recognized them from the Walt Disney Presents show “Disney goes to the World’s Fair”)

I was sitting in the car just in front of the caboose. While stopped at the Main Street Station, I discovered that anyone could go into the caboose. I was tempted, but remained where I was for clearer views for the video.

I had forgotten about the various scenes, like the Native American on the horse, along the Rivers of America. I enjoyed them a lot, particularly since Main Street to New Orleans Square is so boring.

Railroad - Toontown to Toontown {13}

Walking back over to Roger Rabbit, I found people entering it, but nobody was around collecting Fastpasses. It had apparently just opened within the last 10 minutes or so. Heck, I wanted to see the fabled queue anyway, so why not just join the standby line?

It was great! I fired up the video camera to shoot a lot of the queue details (and unfortunately a lot of shots of the back of the head of some guy in front of me who was wearing a Mickey Hands hat that was autographed by Billy Hill.)

The attraction itself was fun. There was too much detail to take in on a single ride. This was one I would have to find a way to do again. The streaming videos I have seen of it just don’t do it justice. It was much longer than I thought it was. Once again I found myself in disagreement with a letter quoted in the unofficial guide. I had no trouble at all with controlling the spinning. If I did not want to spin but wanted to look at a particular thing I had no trouble doing so. I also had no problems with the view during the times I would face backwards. The attraction was designed to be seen from all angles during the spinning portion. The only section that really needed to be seen as you approached it was the portable hole and by then your car was already forced into a forward facing position and was no longer spinning.

Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin {14}

What to do now? Wander off in a random direction and see what I could find, that’s what. I grabbed a small world Fastpass and got footage of the small world clock showing 2:15pm. I had forgotten about the clock and the little show it put on every fifteen minutes. I did NOT know that it displayed the time on the blocks that way. I don’t recall seeing a picture of that anywhere.

I went through the hub and decided to check out the Mark Twain, since I had been through that area on the train less than an hour before. That and a little slow wandering should get me back to small world just in time for my Fastpass in about an hour.

The drizzle continued.

As I waited, I gazed longingly at the Columbia in its mooring and wished I were visiting in the summer so I could ride it. (I did not realize that it ran as needed, not just seasonally, and it would be out the next day to handle the crowds.

Video camera in hand, I explored as much of the Mark Twain as I could. The top deck was closed because of the rain. While waiting to board, I couldn’t quite figure out how it could have been the same boat that Satchmo played on in the “Disney After Dark” episode of Walt Disney Presents. When I saw the salon, it made sense. This WAS the same place that all those great Jazz performers had stood.

I positioned myself up front but sheltered from the rain and took video of the entire experience. This was very nice. It was exactly as I had envisioned it to be. Toward the end I found the reuse of one of Nature’s Wonderland Mine Trains to be rather sad, but at least it was a little bit of Parkeology for us geeks to enjoy.

 Mark Twain {15}

It was time to wander slowly back to small world. I went up into the Disney Gallery and totally enjoyed the Haunted Mansion displays. Over in Frontierland, I paused in front of Conestoga Fries to be amused by its tally marks indicating how many served (McDonalds you know). There were 49. (To indicate1849 I presume, given the location close to the old Mine Train). I enjoyed walking past the other Parkeology remnants from Nature’s Wonderland as well. What I would like to see is an overlay map showing how the train/mule pack paths were laid out compared to the way things are today.

I wandered back to small world and jumped into the Fastpass line. 5 minutes later I was on a boat.

What can I say about its a small world? I am one of those guys that loves it. I particularly love the Disneyland version. The façade has so much character. Mary Blair’s design was magnificent. The Florida version is sooooo bland! I had seen video of the small world holiday version before, so it was not a surprise. The attraction had apparently just reopened a few days before with the holiday version. Oddly, I had only heard the “Jingle Shells” section a few days before travel. I was pleased and amused by the mermaid section. I got the entire ride on tape. Unfortunately I was only able to ride it twice during my trip.

It is interesting to compare the dynamics of the rides between the two North American parks. In California’s Fantasyland, Pinocchio is a walk on much of the time (in November).  In Florida small world is a walk on (in October anyway).

it’s a small world  - holiday {16}

I exited the ride and headed south. I wasn’t sure where I would end up. It was time for Disneyland to work some real magic on me.

In the middle of the small world mall I encountered the Trash Can Trio! Hurrah! These three musicians disguised as trash collectors were among my wish list. They were great! I got most of their performance on video. I have an additional comment about them in Sunday’s report.

Trash Can Trio - 3 min video

When I got to the Fantasyland courtyard I found the Sword in the Stone ceremony just getting underway. This is a Disneyland only feature that I had been hoping to see. It was funny and definitely worth the stop to video. Merlin was great.

When it was over, I jumped into the Pinocchio queue to experience it again. I began to realize that is was only an average Disney experience.

Pinocchio {17}

In the hub I looked around at the various land entrances to see which one would draw me. Adventureland won. I walked slowly, savoring it. I stopped in front of the Enchanted Tiki Room and made a phone call home. (I was feeling incredibly guilty that I was having a great time in Disneyland while everybody else was having to deal with the normal daily grind!)

I hung up and headed into the courtyard of the Tiki room. Twilight was beginning to fall. The Hawaiian gods preshow was NOT what I had expected, but actually better. I did not expect it to be so intimate to each corner of the waiting area. The rain had stopped temporarily, but I did not pull out the video camera for some reason. This ended up in my list of “Wish I had” because I only saw the Tiki Room one time. I was the only person in the waiting area that was moving from god to god (In the proper order since I knew what to expect) to hear each intro.

In the Tiki room itself, the first thing I noticed was that Jose was set up for a female Cast Member to start him and it was a male one that did this evening. The CM said, “Wake up Jose, and stop calling me ‘Senorita’”.  This detail had escaped me before. I sat back and cast my mind back to when I was 4 years old and first saw the Walt Disney Presents show that featured the Tiki Room. I knew it had been slightly modified, but it was heaven.
Enchanted Tiki Room {18}

I then went back to the Haunted Mansion and took it in again in without pulling the camera out. The two times I rode without filming I considered to be the purest rides I took, as I wasn’t trying to focus a camera on anything but was just committing it to memory.
Haunted Mansion Holiday {19}

I went back to the hub and went down Matterhorn way to the Monorail. The rain was almost as hard as it had been all day and it was pretty miserable. Fortunately there was no line and I was able to walk up to the platform with no delay.  When the CMs tried to position us equally along the platform I shifted as far forward as I could get. I did not ask to ride all the way in the front. (I was beginning to get quite tired with the 3-hour time shift and the extremely active day!)

Inside the car, I could NOT get the window to shut, so I was exposed to the rain the entire ride. It was the regular ride I had prepared myself for via video from the Internet. When we arrived at the Downtown Disney station an elderly couple checked to make sure I had been able to acquire good video footage despite the open window. I was unsure if we would be forced off the Monorail at this station or not. We were not. According to Al Lutz in his last Mouseplanet column, I was lucky. Later that same evening one Monorail broke down completely while going through DCA. Everyone was stranded for about an hour.
Monorail {20}

It was just after 6pm and I was getting hungry, so I headed over to New Orleans Square to scope out eating places. I did not want a table service restaurant and I wanted shelter from the rain. I ended up at the Royal Street Veranda because the Clam Chowder sounded good.

Rip Off! It tasted good, but I had not done my homework about those bread bowls. $7.50 for a measly portion of soup and too much bread. With my drink I spent $10.43 for a most unsatisfying meal.

I settled down at a table directly under the stairs that led up to the Disney Gallery and right next to the door into Pirates. Not exactly the best spot to eat, as everybody going into Pirates stared at me.

As I could see that there was practically no line for Pirates, I decided to ride it again, although I paused briefly to shoot some video of the Mark Twain coming around the bend of the river all lit up in the twilight. Beautiful!

This time I took video of Pirates. Unlike the repeated ride earlier of Pinocchio, this repeat didn’t show flaws in the attraction, but showed me more detail. Pirates is marvelous and meticulous in the details.

Pirates {21}

OK – if I’m going to video the dark rides, might as well do it now, since everything is a walk on. I hit Haunted Mansion Holiday 2 more times and was rewarded with stopping just outside the attic looking down at the graveyard for a few wonderful seconds to soak up.
Haunted Mansion Holiday  {22}  {23}

It was 7:45pm. It wasn’t really raining anymore. Maybe I could manage to see the parade. I found a good spot right at the Hub. An announcement – due to the weather, there would be no parade. Stand by for “Mickey's Rainy Day Cavalcade”.

Whoopee! (Not). I had heard of this before. Three units, but mainly the Double Decker bus filled with characters. Here it comes and there it goes. My video of the entire thing lasts exactly 2 minutes. I took a few shots of the Hub area and Main Street and headed back into Adventureland.

Mickey's Rainy Day Cavalcade - 2 min video

In the main gift shop I accidentally stumbled upon the Genii in the Other Lamp. 50 cents. Yikes! Oh Well. This was something I had been listening to for several years. I pulled out two quarters, aimed the videocamera and checked it out. Wonderful. I liked the smoke effect. I waited a couple of minutes for someone else to come along and do it and filmed them as well.

Aladdin's Other Lamp - 3 min video

Hey! If the Genii in the Other Lamp was here, then Shrunken Ned should be nearby. I hurriedly started scanning the store and was rewarded in less than a minute by Shrunken Ned's empty cabinet. Darn! He was being repaired. The head was gone.

Shrunken Ned - video I took of him on my 2nd Disneyland trip - May 2008 - 1 min

It was time for a change of pace. I decided to head back over to Tomorrowland.

This was weird to be walking right onto attractions. Star Tours again.

Star Tours {24}

I was right there by it, so I took in Honey I Shrunk the Audience. The preshow was much better than Florida and set up the premise of the movie better. In Florida, the Kodak preshow was not something I expected. I thought that it (Florida) was the actual 3D show. That picture of the girls wearing their glasses was taken in the preshow area because we were not told to NOT wear them until just before the dumb Kodak ad.

One thing I checked as I sat down for the movie in Disneyland was the “mice” effect. There was no monofilament under my seat, so I wondered how they would handle it. Whoops, there were the mice going by my feet. Must be an air blower.
Honey I Shrunk the Audience {25}

I was beginning to get tired, but I still had a couple of hours until the shuttle would be picking me up. I had called ahead for it while I was over in New Orleans Square for them to pick me up at 11. The biggest problem is that to my jet lagged brain, 11pm was 2am. The park was going to be open even later than that, but the hotel said 11pm was their limit.
I took a quick look around after exiting the movie and went right over to Space Mountain. I worked on trying to figure out how it was laid out in the building again. I Still had no clue.

Space Mountain {26}

That pretty much did it with Tomorrowland attractions. I planned to hit Innoventions to fill out time while waiting for the shuttle. I exited to the Hub and decided to head by the east side of the castle. I grabbed a little video of the Snow White Grotto as I passed by it. I loved it! This was a wonderful little section of the park, so close to the Hub, but with a little isolated feel. The night setting with so few people made for a magical few minutes.

I walked past Alice in Wonderland and inquired of the poor besieged CM if they thought it would reopen on Sunday. They were not sure.

I fell into the Storybook Canal Boats line, which was deceptively short. Apparently one of the boats was malfunctioning because a CM pulled one out and ran along an unobtrusive path and hit a switch, turning off the waterfall that I knew had King Triton’s castle behind it (could not see it from that angle). He then ran back to the boat and backed it through the passage that was revealed by the turning off of the water. Ah! That was the boat storage area – “Never Never Land”! I was a little concerned that they were taking a boat out, because there were enough people in line that the two boats left would not be adequate. I started planning a line hop or quick getaway in the case that 11 o’clock would come while I was still in line (it was about 9:45). I watched the two boats that were left make a couple of very very long forays out into the attraction. The waterfall had turned back on and the CM that had taken the boat out had disappeared. 15 minutes passed when I saw him again. I was close to getting on a boat, but now I did not want to because I saw him head back to Never Never Land. He shut the waterfall off again and disappeared. I moved forward a few more feet. The waterfall turned on and he reappeared and turned it off and disappeared. Seconds later he came out of the tunnel with a boat. I ended up on a boat with a British CM. He was very good. The only objection to the ride I had was that the darkness made it difficult to get good video. Years of wondering what was on the other side of Monstro had finally paid off.

Storybook Canal Boats {27}

That took less time than I had expected. It was a little after 10. Time to hit Innoventions.

I have been a lifelong fan of the Carousel of Progress. I was 4 years old when Walt showed it off to his television audience. I was elated to finally see the entire show in Florida two years before. Now I was in full Parkeology mode. I had little interest in the attraction “Innoventions”, but had a great interest in both the building and the main animatronic that was to introduce it. This building had not only housed the CoP, but had also been the home to one of my favorite attractions of Yesterland, America Sings (which I only knew of in my reading and the web).

CoP still lives as of this writing in Florida – an odd bit of Walt that I am afraid fewer people really understand. The 20th Century was an absolutely amazing period in technological innovation and the CoP shows a large part of it in an entertaining way.

I was happy to see that the building that housed CoP in Disneyland after its 64 World’s Fair run was still rotating. I enjoyed Nathan Lane’s Tom Morrow character. It was only after walking around the building a little that I realized that there was only one Tom Morrow and that he would introduce the show differently with each rotation. Somehow I had the impression that there were multiple Toms, each doing a different intro.

My entrance was to Tom doing the Entertainment Zone. In my walk around I encountered Tom again doing the Sports Zone spiel with absolutely no audience. It looks like he is timed to do a Zone spiel twice a rotation. With five Spiels, an entering audience will get various Toms.

I still did not spend a great amount of time in Innoventions. I almost sat down at the GM demo, but decided to head on. I did enjoy coming out on the upper level, which I understand had been closed during the “America Sings” era.
Innoventions {28}

I made a notation on the piece of paper I had been carrying around with the Unofficial Guide Touring Plan that I had just seen my 28th attraction of the day.

28! Wow! That was completely unexpected. There was still stuff I had not seen yet and I had the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour scheduled as well as plans to check out DCA as well. This particular rainy day had been a wonderfully magic rainy day. I headed out toward Main Street when I heard piano music coming from my right.

I took a quick look and then a double look.

That was Rod Miller playing the piano for about 15 people!

Oh the torture. I did not have much time before the shuttle would come, but there was one of the best Ragtime Piano players ever right there. I stopped and positioned myself for videotaping. Rod was great and smiled directly into my camera. He knew it was there and played for it. I reluctantly turned it off after 1 and a half songs to get to the shuttle.

Rod Miller - 5 min video

I took a little bit of video as I was leaving of Main Street and acknowledged Walt’s ghost in the firehouse while passing by.

I had timed things perfectly and waited about 5 minutes before the hotel shuttle showed up. It was a full sized bus instead of a van this time. One other family got on at the same time. We all staggered into the lobby. I tried to log into work to check Email but had trouble with the firewall. I set the alarm for a horribly early time and was asleep by midnight.

 {Total attractions - 28}

Sunday Nov 10


I had arranged for the shuttle at 7am again (having made the arrangements at 11:30 the evening before with the bemused front desk attendant.)  The alarm went off at 6 and I staggered around the room with a little coffee. I managed to make it to the lobby by 7, but the van was not ready. The driver showed up at five after. She used the expressway, though, so the commute was very fast.

The day was perfect. Sunshine. Perfect temperature. I had already decided NOT to wear or bring rain gear. I videoed a little of the ride to the park and the wait for the park to open with about the same number of people as the day before.

I was amazed at the lack of crowds. (Ha! Just wait!) After what happened later during the day I realized that the NUMBER ONE RULE FOR VISITING DISNEYLAND was to get there before they opened.

I entered the park with only one specific plan, to take the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour. I bought my ticket in City Hall, using a coupon to save a few bucks that an Internet buddy had graciously sent me (Thanks again, Ann!). I had to hang out for several hours until the tour, so I headed to the Info booth to the left of the hub. Indy was down. I didn’t want to do Tomorrowland again. Big Thunder Mountain Railway was listed with no wait, so I headed that way.

This was great! I walked right onto the ride and had a wonderful time. Some of the elements were not working, perhaps because of the rain from Saturday. The Possum was no longer rotating around its branch, for example. When we pulled into the station, another family that had left Mom and youngest kid behind on the platform because of roller coaster fear asked if they could do it again. Youngest kid had mustered the courage. “Sure” said the Cast Members, so I stayed on board as well, since there was no line to ride at all. (Youngest kid did just fine and will probably grow up to be a coaster fan, by the way).
Big Thunder - Two Times {1} {2}

I probably could have ridden Big Thunder another time, but I decided to just wander off in a random direction. I headed right from Big Thunder’s exit and passed through the old Nature’s Wonderland area again and when I found myself in Fantasyland, I decided to do small world yet again. This would be for myself – camera off. I soaked up as much detail as I could. Unfortunately, this would be my last ride on small world, although I did not realize it at the time.
its a small world holiday {3}

From small world, I headed towards Tomorrowland. As I approached Autopia from close to the Matterhorn (one of those fuzzy areas where you can’t quite tell if you are in Fantasyland or Tomorrowland) the Observatron started doing its thing to “communicate with the cosmos”. I kinda liked the idea of the Observatron. It was a way of using the core unit of the second incarnation of the Rocket Jets in an innovative way. Several times an hour it would “come alive” and “beam” a message to the cosmos. The thing I had enjoyed for several years of listening to the Observatron music was that the major element of the music was from an underrated Disney movie called “The Rocketeer”. This was a movie that Santa brought to my girls for Christmas. I always found it odd that Disney seemed to ignore it. I paused for several minutes to record onto videotape the Observatron as it beamed its message out.

I was close to where I had boarded the Monorail the evening before. The Autopia ride boarded at nearly the same place. I had not really planned to ride Autopia, although I had an interest in it from having read Bob Gurr’s fascinating articles about it at laughingplace.com .

On a whim, I jumped into the Autopia queue since there were probably about 30 people in line.

They had much of the normal queue open, so everyone is routed to the small building above the gift shop that has the 3D movies. These were fun little movies of about 2 minutes length that I had been reading about. They star the Chevron Cars and were very amusing. (This is a 3D process I know little about. I have only seen it at Disney (DL and DCA’s tortillas) and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago many years ago. There is a definite force upon the audience to make sure they are at the correct angle to see the 3D effects, but I need to investigate how they can produce 3D without glasses.) I got video of all of the 3D segments (In 2D obviously) and had to wave several people through that were behind me so I could.

The ride itself was about what I would have expected, having first ridden an Arrow car ride sometime in the 70s. The unique things were that this was the Disneyland Autopia and it was on the roof of the closed Submarine attraction. I climbed into car number one of my group and arranged things in an odd way.

I wanted to video the whole thing, which required my right hand. I ended up shifted in a way where I was steering with my left hand and controlling speed with my left foot.

OK. Let’s proceed. I ran the entire attraction with left foot and left hand control and videotaped the entire thing! I passed by several Cast Members that were stationed along the course and they saw the video camera and had no problem whatsoever. Mr. Balding Fortysomething alone in an Autopia car was a Disney Geek. He needs to be left alone to be geeky.
Autopia {4}

Riding Autopia was cooler than I had expected. I exited and headed over to Alice.

Darn. Still closed! Water Problems. I took video of a few seconds of the empty queue and also of the Monorail coming by.

I headed back to Toontown to see what I could ride there. I had an immediate ride on Roger Rabbit. I did not video.

Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin {5}

No lines. Toontown. This translated to Gadget’s Go Coaster. I took a quick spin on it and videoed the queue.
Gadget Go Coaster {6}

I continued to wander around Toontown. I hit Chip and Dale’s Treehouse and videotaped it. Without the Ball Crawl there was no real point in it.

I discovered the talking water fountains by Goofy’s Service Station and had a great time. I stayed there for a while and videoed the reactions of the water fountains to being used. They were basically the same as the ones at Epcot two years before, but this time I had more time to play with them.

I left Toontown and checked the line for Roger Rabbit again. Walk on!

 Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin {7}


I had less than an hour until the tour, so I started moving back toward Main Street, but had the video ready for little things, like Pooh walking by Small World.

I found myself unexpectedly in front of Ariel's Grotto. Aha, they rotate her backstage on her seashell. It completely sailed past me that this was the former site of Monsanto’s House of the Future! http://www.yesterland.com/futurehouse.html

Now that I was at the hub, I looked over and saw those magnificent horse drawn trolleys. Since everybody was going INTO the park, there were few riders going from the Hub to Town Square. I sat right next to the driver and asked questions while letting video roll.

I had always wondered how they handled the timing at the double track. Quite simple. Each driver eyes the other trolley and they just wing it.

Horse drawn trolley to Town Square {8}

Horse-Drawn Street Car - 5 min 14 sec video

A Pinocchio character group was stationed right in front of Town Hall where I was supposed to meet the tour. I sat to one side and watched them. It was interesting to see how they communicated with touch and broad gestures in order to coordinate what they were going to do.

There was an incredible stream of people coming in the gates now. It looked like all the Annual Passholders that had originally planned to spend Saturday at the park decided to come on Sunday instead now that the rain had stopped. Sunday was supposed to be a light day attendance-wise!

Our tour guide showed up right on time, but our tour did not get started for another 20 minutes or so because some of our group had not understood the instructions for where to meet. Our Tour guide was Nancy, who had been with the park long enough to have been a ticket taker at America the Beautiful.

She launched into a very interesting intro to the tour that was unfortunately interrupted by crowd noises and the steam whistle from the train quite a bit.

One thing I really liked was that Nancy noticed I was videotaping and she played to my camera. I was able to record the entire tour – at least Nancy’s commentary, not the walking around. (I was also lucky because I had forgotten to bring a spare camera battery. I did have the emergency battery that consists of multiple AA batteries and it managed to work for the entire 2 hour tape.)

I will probably come back in the future and elaborate on the tour. I was glad I took it and would recommend it to anybody with a serious interest in Disneyland from a “Walt” perspective (even the newer version that costs 3 times as much. I found out later that the test version of the new tour had occurred that morning.).

Did I learn anything on the tour? Nope. Nothing that I had not already read somewhere else. Oh Well.

The places we went on the tour – (from my videotape listing – the times are videotape times on a two hour tape)

Town Square by City Hall                                                         0:00 - 22:36

Lobby of the Opera House                                                       22:36 - 24:45

Town Square - Middle of square                                                          24:45 - 31:00

Town Square - Firehouse                                                                     31:00 - 40:37

Main Street Cinema outside - Cigar Store Indian                                   40:37 - 44:10

Main Street Cinema inside                                                        44:10 - 45:24

Main Street - Market House area                                                         45:24 - 48:50

Main Street - North End                                                                       48:50 - 51:28

Hub                                                                                          51:28 - 54:54

Adventureland - Tiki Room area                                                           54:54 - 57:46

New Orleans Square - overview                                                           57:46 - 59:30

Disney Gallery (Tour looking at it as the Apartment)                              59:30 - 1:08:12

New Orleans Square - walk to Club 33                                                1:08:12 - 1:09:55

New Orleans Square - Club 33 (outside)                                              1:09:55 - 1:13:28

New Orleans Square -

Walk to Train Station and discuss Train Station and Haunted Mansion   1:13:28 - 1:18:20

New Orleans Square - Rivers of America                                             1:18:20 - 1:20:59

Frontierland - Rivers of America                                                           1:20:59 - 1:23:52

Frontierland                                                                              1:23:52 - 1:26:46

Castle - moat -                                                                        1:26:46 - 1:31:04

Fantasyland - Castle Courtyard                                                 1:31:04 - 1:35:44

Fantasyland - encounter with the Evil Queen from Snow White 1:35:44 - 1:36:08

Snow White Grotto -                                                                1:36:08 - 1:38:03

Matterhorn Way -                                                                    1:38:03 - 1:45:25

Tomorrowland -                                                                    1:45:25 - 1:53:13

At the end of the tour, I spotted another of the neat popcorn cart figures (like the abominable snowman one I had spotted Saturday). This one was in Tomorrowland and was the Rocketeer. I was glad to see another acknowledgment of one of my favorite movies.

Yeti popcorn figure from the day before - 24 sec video

What to do in this crowded beyond all imagining park? I wandered around and recoiled at the standby times AND the Fastpass return times on all the E-tickets. Ick!

Aha. Tarzan's Treehouse had no line. The camera still had juice, so I recorded a walk through. It was OK, but I prefer Florida’s Swiss Family. I did like the cradle that would cry every few minutes with the cry changing to a Tarzan yell. I also liked the tribute to the Swiss Family Treehouse in having the Swisskapolka playing on the Gramophone.

Tarzan’s Treehouse {9}

I came out of the Treehouse and happened to glance over at the Rivers of America. My jaw dropped. The Columbia was passing by, filled with passengers! The Mark Twain was taking in passengers as well. Management had responded to the crush of people by activating both big boats.

Hey – they are both high capacity with minimal staffing. Why not?

I practically ran to the landing and then had to hold back so as not to get on the Mark Twain. I was particularly interested in how they dealt with that tall rolling gangplank for the Columbia.

Onboard, I headed below deck immediately in order to check out the museum. It was very good. I was reminded of the time I visited Boston many years ago and was able to tour the U.S.S. Constitution. The displays were similar and very clearly labeled.

By the time I was finished below deck, we were already underway and had rounded the southern end of Tom Sawyer Island and were heading north. I came out close to the Indian Chief on horseback. I was the most active person on deck as I moved from the bow to the stern in order to see everything. I got a good view of the control panel and was amused to see that part of it was marked “show”, as in Fantasmic. I barely paid attention to the scenery this time around the Rivers.
Columbia {10}

I wanted to head over to Disney’s California Adventure for the rest of the day, but I had to do one more thing in the magic kingdom. As it is only a daytime attraction and this was my last daytime visit, I wanted to see Tom Sawyer Island.

What I got to see was half of Tom Sawyer Island. I knew that it was under refurb http://refurb.disneyfans.com/ , but I did not expect all of the fort to be out of bounds.  I did a quick wander through the cave and took my camera up into the tree house. It was refreshing to see that the tree house looked basically like it was right out of the 50’s with the decoration. I felt like I would descend and find boys wearing coonskin caps.
Tom Sawyer Island {11}


---To DCA---
The park was still jammed with people, which made for slow going as I tried to make my way out through Adventureland and down Main Street so I could visit Disney’s California Adventure.

The week before, I had rewatched the TV special highlighting the park. I have had mixed feelings about the park for quite some time. When I first learned I was going to be able to visit Disneyland, my original plans were to skip DCA entirely, except I really wanted to ride the two E ticket attractions – Soarin’ over California and California Screamin’ (I guess the Mouse folks don’t like “g’s” in attraction names <g>)

I had been watching Disney’s own on-line video of Screamin’ countless times and was thrilled to find out that the music I was hearing on the video was actually part of the attraction and not something added to plus the video. The music was so appropriate. I loved the entire concept of “Themed Music “ on an attraction. This was another one of those Disney bits of magic.

I entered the park and turned to the right in order to go straight to Soarin’. This one was an enigma. Everything I had read said it was one of the best things Imagineering had ever done, but I could find almost no information anywhere besides the standard description that it was an IMAX movie that the audience was somehow suspended over. My own imagination kept drawing a blank on exactly how they accomplished this. During an “Imagineer That” segment on the Disney Channel that I had recorded was a short segment about the ride with again no real visuals of it, except for a brief 1-second shot of the ride vehicles ascending. It was too short to really grasp how it actually worked.

I got to the building to find an enormous line outside in an otherwise not very crowded park. A quick glance at the Fastpass machines showed them sold out. Then I spotted the “Single Rider” sign. About 5 or 6 single riders were bunched up around the Fastpass entrance. They had run out of Single Rider passes and were sending a CM to get some more.

That was curious. I wondered what a single rider pass looked like. I was aware of them, but so far had not had a need for one.

“Here ya go. Wait right over there please.” I was handed a simple piece of paper that had been crumbled a few times. Nothing fancy at all. It looked like somebody made it up on a copy machine. No sign of the typical Disney logos. It simply said it was a Single Rider Pass for Soarin’ over California.

I still had quite a wait before the ride. We single riders were held to one side and summoned one by one. The total wait time was probably about 20 minutes.

The preshow had Patrick Warburton as the host. He had been in the DCA TV show (and had been The Tick in the short lived series that I had enjoyed and of course was Kronk in the Emperor’s New Groove). I was beginning to suspect he, along with Corey Burton, was a standard Disney voice-over artist to be used wherever possible in the same manner that Paul Frees was used.

I stowed my camera in the bin under my seat. It was a tight fit, but it made it. I briefly considered trying to take video of the movie, but since I didn’t know anything about the movie I felt it best to experience it fresh.

The lights went out. It got cloudy. Suddenly we were in the air. The transition was so smooth it was (dare I say) magical. The experience was fantastic – A perfect blend of music, film, scent (!) and motion. Flying over Disneyland at the end during the Christmas parade was particularly appropriate since the Christmas decorations had just been put up in the real park. Three and a half exhilarating minutes and we were back on the ground and I had the biggest grin on my face EVER from a Disney attraction.

Soarin over California {12}

I walked very quickly over to Paradise Pier to get a Fastpass for California Screamin’. Return time was just a little over an hour later. Not bad. I slowed down a bit to look around DCA and got some video.

While wandering, I ended up in front of Golden Dreams. Why not? There was no line and a new show would be starting in about 15 minutes. Interesting and entertaining, but it is a one shot. Most everything in the Disneyland Resort has drawing power that makes you want to ride or see it again, except for Golden Dreams. I’m glad I saw it, but the only reason I would want to see it again is if I were with someone who hasn’t seen it. I did like the updated Haunted Mansion living statue effect when the spirit of Califa (Whoopi Goldberg) flits between the statues at the sides of the screen and they come alive.

 Golden Dreams {13}

Still had time to kill before riding the coaster. I wandered toward A Bugs Land and found a string band performing. I parked for a little while and took some video of them.

I looked at the wait time for It’s Tough to be a Bug. Five minutes. What? In Florida I had not seen this show because the wait was over an hour. 

Another winner, although I now understood why this show gets mixed reviews. It could be pretty hard for people that are bug-phobic. I would not want to take my own kids to see it until they get a little older. A mature 10 or 11 year old, maybe. The stinging in the fog is a little intense.

 It's Tough To Be A Bug {14}

Finally I got in the Fastpass entry for California Screamin’. Five minutes later I was seated and pulling out of the station. As we pulled up to the launch point, I waited breathlessly for the Theme Music.

Wham! We launched.

And the only sounds were the screams of my fellow riders. No music!

The ride was OK. I replayed the music in my head to go along with where I was in the ride, but the knowledge that the ride could have been better had the sound system worked made it a little disappointing.


California Screamin' {15}

After getting off the coaster, I wandered along Paradise Pier and was absolutely appalled. This was second rate Six Flags stuff and had no reason to be in a Disney park. I did like the Sun Wheel idea, as I have been a longtime fan of Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel. Unfortunately the line was impossible, particularly for the free moving cars, so I passed it by. I can’t imagine what the wait is in the summer.

I ran across the Stitch show, which was kind of cute. I got a little video of it and made sure to video the walk along Paradise Pier.

Even though the wait for the Orange Stinger was reasonable, I passed it up.

But…

When I got to the Golden Zephyr, I paused and then decided to get into line.

I have been a fan of the legendary coaster designer Harry Traver from the early days of my coaster fandom in the 80s. Between designing and building great coasters, Traver made money by either designing, or simply building and selling many classic rides (although he had no idea they were classic at the time).

(Yikes. I just checked Amazon.com for THE reference book about Harry Traver – Harry G. Traver: Legends of  Terror – and discovered that they only sell it as a rare book. This silly little odd sized paperback I have is selling for over $600? Amazing!)

For more on Harry Traver, see http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/coasters/history/design/history_traver.shtml

The Golden Zephyr was the Imagineer’s tribute to Traver. They knew it. I knew it. And damned few other people did! It was a simple reproduction of a Traver Circle Swing as might have been ridden at Riverview in Chicago in the middle of the 20th Century.

I HAD to ride. I HAD to acknowledge Harry Traver.

I did and I took video of the entire experience. I enjoyed it probably more than the average Disney guest.

Golden Zephyr {16}

Without a touring plan I continued to wander aimlessly. It helped me to understand the mindset of a typical Disney guest that enters without knowing exactly what to see or where to see it.

I found myself back in the Hollywood Backlot area again and went into the Muppet Vision 3D queue.

Of the 3D attractions I have seen, this one is my favorite. I had managed to get fairly close to Jim Henson in 1991 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago and also a couple of years earlier in Baltimore. I had been amused at the time because his normal speaking voice was essentially Kermit. I was almost as devastated at Henson’s death as I was with Walt’s death. They were both geniuses.

Muppet Vision was a hoot. I wish I could have seen it more than once, but things didn’t work out.

 Muppet Vision 3D {17}

Across the street from Muppet Vision was the Animation building. I had been looking forward to this, but I had to keep an eye on the time because I wanted to see the Electrical Parade. I went in and was overwhelmed by choices. I headed to One Man’s Dream and enjoyed it tremendously. I made a quick run through another section that showed how characters evolve but had to skedaddle if I wanted to watch the parade.

Animation - One Man's Dream {18}

I found people gathering along the parade route. I prayed that my camera battery would hold out so I could get the entire parade on video (it did). I was right at the entrance of the Hollywood Backlot, so I was very close to the starting point of the parade.

This was THE PARADE. I was very glad I had an excellent sightline and batteries. As this was the only Disney Parade I had ever experienced in its entirety, I felt privileged. I had been listening to it for years and years. Here I was experiencing it!

Disney's Electrical Parade - 22 min video

I had had very little to eat during the day. I was quite hungry and started looking around to see what I could find. I found Award Wieners and spent nearly 10 bucks on an adequate hot dog, fries and drink.

Award Wieners – Hot Link $9.46

I looked at the time and studied my map and decided to head over to Disneyland to see the Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks. I didn’t have much time, so I hustled.

---To Disneyland---

I entered Disneyland in record time and found Town Square to be incredibly crowded. The show was underway and nobody was moving. I sidled my way to the middle of the square while faithfully keeping the video recording running.

I was impressed by Believe. Although I had read about the “snow”, the experience of it was priceless. I slowly pushed my way through the crowd until I was just to the right of the Christmas tree. There was no “snow” there, but I could experience it from the reaction of the teeming millions along Main Street.

When the show was over, I pushed my way north. The park still had awhile until closing and I was ready for it. Everyone else was not and it was quite a spectacle to try to move north along Main Street while everyone else was stationary or moving south. Durn Strollers! (I found it interesting I was silently cursing strollers blocking my path when I myself had been pushing a stroller in Florida two years before!)

Although the crowd pushed me eastward during my march, I forced my way across the hub to the west and ended up at Indiana Jones. Now that I was a seasoned single rider from having done it once on Soarin’, I was prepared to do it at Indy. Off I trudged with my pass up the exit. I was stared at oddly by many people. Not quite sure why. Most of these people I would think were Annual Passholders and would know of the Single Rider Pass.

One thing that did not happen was an elevator ride. I had been told on one of the Disney Yahoogroups that I would have to use an elevator at one point if I were a single rider. I knew where that elevator was, but was surprised that I wasn’t steered to it (BTW, I did use it a different evening). Instead, the CM at the exit took my pass and opened the chain at the bottom of the stairs that was part of the regular line and ushered me into it. I was now just part of the normal crowd, but I had only the 3 minute wait of going up the stairs, over the ride path, and down to the normal boarding area.

Great ride, once again.

 Indiana Jones - as Single Rider {19}

I had already arranged my ride this evening with the hotel. I had about an hour to kill. The park was open ‘til midnight again, but the hotel had their 11 o’clock limit on the shuttle unfortunately. I was pretty tired, though. I thought about what I could possibly see that I might find it hard to see any other time.

Aha! The Walt Disney Story with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. It was close to the entrance, so I could move out quickly to the shuttle stop. I could do a little window-shopping on my way there. Perfect.

I did not join the rest of the crowd in watching the videos about Walt as I had already seen them that morning during the Footsteps tour. I took my time and looked around at the other priceless things that were around the room that the ordinary tourist would have missed had they come in and followed standard procedure of Video, Office, get headphones, see Lincoln. There are some amazing things in there – like the correspondence between Walt and other famous people of his time.

I was irked that the working office was in Florida. We could only see the formal office. (And things that are normally in the formal office – like the mechanical birds that inspired audio-animatronics – were also in Florida) I still learned things I didn’t know. I somehow did not know about the earlier attempts to work on Little Mermaid or that the Sherman Brothers would come And play to Walt on that very piano.

Not ever having seen Mr. Lincoln (although I have heard all versions of the presentation many times), I was impressed. Unlike at least one negative review of the “headphone show”, I liked it. The stereo effects were cool And I was kind of glad not to have to deal with “Two Brothers” as it makes me teary eyed. I did miss the “amalgam” speech that is now a straight forward version of the Gettysburg Address. It was well done, though.

Walt Disney Story with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln {20}

I exited the park (noting that there were poll takers that again ignored me) And got on the same hotel bus with the same driver And we waited for the same family that I had returned with the previous night.

When I got back to the room, I made sure that my notes were updated properly And was amazed to see how many attractions I had managed to see in the two days. Just a couple of months before I had been plotting scenarios for this visit And could only envision 15 attractions a day. I had managed 20 on this crowded day And had a total count of 48!

Monday Evening Nov 11

Veteran’s Day. In my pre-kids life I would have been at Windycon this weekend – the Chicago area regional Science Fiction Convention http://www.windycon.org/text/default.asp.

The software training that I was really in town to attend was quite interesting. I was rather surprised when they finished up about 4:30. The training location was only two buildings away from the hotel, so I hustled to the hotel And inquired about how quickly I could get a shuttle to Disneyland.

I could get on in only a few minutes. Would that be OK? Would it?! I ran to the room to drop my training materials off And was back in the lobby in record time.

Since this was a holiday, DCA was open the same hours as it had been over the weekend. I knew that this would be my last opportunity to get into DCA this trip because of the curtailed weekday hours. I headed right toward it And made a beeline for Screamin’ for a Fastpass. I was prepared to find that there weren’t any. Imagine my surprise to find that they were available And the return time was in just about an hour.

I had a minor problem with the Fastpass machine. It accepted my ticket but gave me no Fastpass. Arrgghh! I found the Fastpass CM And told him what happened. My worry was that my ticket would now not provide me with another Fastpass for an hour. He went to another machine And inserted my ticket. That machine had no problems And gave me a valid Fastpass immediately. Ahhhh! Good programming. The machine that had run out of paper had not credited my ticket. The CM found the faulty machine And started to change the paper while I wandered off to find an hour’s worth of entertainment in this totally unnecessary park.

I wandered down Paradise Pier. I wanted to ride the Wonder Wheel (oops) I mean the Sun Wheel, but the wait was an hour, even though there was no crowd.  I considered riding Orange Stinger, but just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm to ride a swing ride – bees or no. Mulholland Madness was a 45 minute wait – Ick.

Maliboomer had a 5 minute wait (They have GOT to do something about these major swings in wait times. 5 minutes is WALK ON. Why?).

They were only running one tower this evening And there was still no line. Weird. I looked at it while “waiting” And very nearly chickened out. Did I really want to be launched up a 180 ft tower?

I kept following instructions And within minutes I was strapped into a seat, still wondering WHY I was here. I had never been on something like this And I was probably the oldest person sitting And waiting for launch. I just grabbed hold of the harness And waited. WHAM!! Launch.

That wasn’t so bad. I let out a couple of screams that were more like whoops of joy. It was pretty fun. I’ll include this kind of ride in later park visits. It wasn’t nearly as bad as riding the old original Freefall rides in the 80s. Before I knew it, it was over And I was resuming my search for something to do.

 Maliboomer {1}

Soarin’ of course. The wait for a single rider was even shorter this evening. I didn’t have the video recorder with me so I felt even freer. I love this ride!

Soarin' Over California {2}

By this point I had managed to use up my hour for the Screamin’ Fastpass. I headed back over there And hoped that the sound would work.

Of course it didn’t. Another disappointing ride on a nice coaster.
California Screamin' {3}

It was getting along toward parade time. I did not want to get caught in parade traffic And I wanted to get back over to the Magic Kingdom. I decided to check out the new “A Bug’s Land” since I had been reading so much about it on the web. I managed to miss it the day before, although I had done Bug’s Life.

A Bug’s Land was cute. I loved the detail. Even though we were in the last months of the Pressler era, the Imagineers could still theme a land in a great way. The biggest problem was the use of standard kiddie rides, but again the themeing was wonderful. It was a slow night, but lines were impossible. I would have tried some of these myself if the wait had been better. For some reason I was particularly drawn to the Heimlich Chew Chew train. I’m not sure why. I was pleased to see the duplication of the technology from Japan’s Whirlpool ride in Mermaid Lagoon in Francis’ Ladybug Boogie.

I left through the box of Cowboy Crunchies And started toward the Magic Kingdom when I noticed the wait for It’s a Bug’s Life was nothing again. Why not? Now that I had seen the show, I could anticipate portions And appreciated them even more. Isn’t the old monster movie footage the same footage that was used in Lilo And Sitch?
It's A Bugs Life {4}

I got to Disneyland as the Parade of the Stars was making it to Town Square. Oh yes. That parade. The one that recruits guests to act silly. I had seen video of it, but didn’t realize they were still doing it. Apparently early November is too early for the Christmas parade. I think they started that up a couple of weeks later. I had little trouble moving north along Main Street this time. By the time I reached the hub, the parade had passed. 

My goal was Alice in Wonderland. After two days of not being able to ride it, I really wanted to.

It was open! Allright! I’ve always liked both the original Lewis Carroll stories (be sure you read the Martin Gardner “Annotated Alice” so you can understand exactly what Carroll was up to.) And the Disney version. I had ridden this ride virtually via the Internet many times. It always seemed to me to be one of those overlooked attractions. There are brilliant touches in it. The outside segment is a great treat.

Alice in Wonderland {5}

Fantasyland with no waits for most things. What should I see? Unfortunately I did NOT try Peter Pan or Mr. Toad. I probably could have done either of them easily. I took a look at Dumbo, but did not want to ride it. I went up to the display of the Carousel horses And had a short conversation with the CM about them. I had noticed that they had them covered during the rain on Saturday, which meant that these were the real thing. The CM was noncommittal about the timing of the Carousel rehab.

Casey Jr.! I’ve known about this attraction my entire life. As the other half of Storybookland, it had always fascinated me. I jumped in line. I had only 3 trainloads until I would be able to ride.

The Cast Members were obviously used to balding Disney geeks, as my presence didn’t seem to cause them to miss a beat. I could tell that the guests were a little disturbed by me. A 42 year old guy with no child in tow waiting to ride a miniature train! I took a seat to myself And enjoyed the experience. I wished I had the video camera And I was fascinated by how convoluted the track layout was. I searched the Internet to find a map of the ride to see how it interacted with the scenery And the Canal Boats.
Casey Jr. {6}

Back into the heart of Fantasyland, I took a look at the wait times. I really did not want to ride Pinocchio again.  Mr. Toad And Peter Pan had exploded into 30 minutes waits. I was surprised to find no line at Snow White.
Snow White {7}

Off on a random direction in Disneyland again. I wanted to do the Haunted Mansion again, so I headed into Adventureland. I seem to recall I wanted to do the Tiki Room, but it had closed by this time of night.

I found myself at the Jungle Cruise And was surprised that it was open. I jumped into the very short line And found myself embarking on my fourth And only nighttime excursion on the Jungle Cruise. What a unique And different view of the Jungle this was!

I had never considered that the Jungle Cruise would be a little bit of a challenge at night.  I had not even considered that the attraction would try to continue to entertain guests after dark before this Disneyland trip. 

This experience was unique And stands out as one of my Disney Magic experiences. The use of the spotlight And an obvious remote control for the lights on the scene made for an exceptional guest/cast member experience. Minor details that Imagineering put into a scene could be emphasized. Details that I would have NEVER thought of were highlighted during this cruise.

In particular I am remembering entering the hippo pool. The CM told the boat that everything was OK in this area unless we heard an odd noise.

Quiet for a few seconds, then an odd noise came from the darkness.

It was the sound of the Hippo ears vibrating. The spotlight illuminated one of them And then showed the charging one (that used to get shot).

It was great! I will transcribe the CM spiel soon.
Jungle Cruise at night {8}

No Line. No Camera. Pirates. Pure personal bliss. Sorry, no description.
Pirates {9}

Same thing with HMH.
Haunted Mansion Holiday {10}

The odd thing with these two rides of Indy – both done as Single Rider, but not using the elevator – was that somehow they had managed to obscure the view of the Jungle Cruise with green fabric. There was some sort of rehab going on.
Indiana Jones - two times {11} {12}

Although I had glanced at restaurants several times during the evening, I never could convince myself to plunk down $9 to $15 for dinner (completely forgetting I was on a business trip And would get reimbursed! Oh well. I saved the company some money.). When I got back to the hotel, I spent $2 for a quick meal from a vending machine that I microwaved in the room.

{Total attractions - 12 for day - 60 overall}

Tuesday Evening Nov 12

Went to the Block at Orange to see "Spirited Away"  with dinner at the Market Broiler.

Wednesday Evening Nov 13


I went to Downtown Disney this evening with my boss. I took my video camera along.

I made a walk through of the World of Disney store with the video camera And purchased a few presents. I also hit the non-Disney bookstore. I had a coupon for 10% off my purchases (from the same Internet friend that had given me the coupon for the Park Tour). I was surprised And pleased to find the David Koenig Disneyland books, so I took the opportunity to finally get them And read them over the next couple of days.

My boss And I had originally wanted to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, but he wanted to see the Disneyland fireworks from the Esplanade And we did not have enough time to wait for a table there. We ended up eating at Naples Ristorante e Pizzaria.

We positioned ourselves around the “N” in CALIFORNIA in front of DCA And had a great view of the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks. Of course our soundtrack was the standard Esplanade sound loop of Disney songs, but it was still pretty good. The highlight was when the monorail passed by just as a spectacular burst of fireworks went off as I was filming. (See the image at the top of this page!)

We went back into Downtown Disney for a while to shop And found ourselves in front of Disneyland to take pictures after closing. The Cast Members out front invited us inside the gates to take pictures And video of the Train Station. What with all the bag searching And such in this Post 9/11 world, I was surprised at this.

As we waited for the bus I saw something unusual moving along the monorail track over in DCA. Was that what I thought it was? Was that the fabled Monorail Tractor that Bob Gurr has written about? It must have been.

It was zipping along so fast, that I knew that if it did not stop at the Downtown Disney stop, it would be coming along right next to us in only a few more minutes. I hoped that the bus would stay away long enough for me to get a better look at the Monorail Tractor. I got the video camera ready And was rewarded by the Tractor’s passage about 5 minutes later!

Monorail Tractor - 1 min 21 sec video

Thursday Evening Nov 14

Class was fascinating as usual, but as 4 o’clock was approaching, I could see from the class notes that there wasn’t that much left to the class for the day.  Right around 4:30 we quit for the day. I was right! I had been worried about seeing much of the park this particular evening, as it closed at 8:00pm.

Although I was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel, I got on my cel phone And called them to arrange for a shuttle as quickly as possible. “No problem sir.” Great! I dropped my class stuff off in the room And was ready.

I was at the gate of Disneyland at about 4:50pm. I sailed up Main Street to the Wait Times station, grabbed another map, And pondered what to do. Almost all the E tickets were showing pretty short wait times, so I picked a direction.  I had 3 hours to enjoy as much as I could.

Space Mountain it was. When sitting down in the rocket, though, I discovered a painful muscle in my back. I must have pulled it earlier in the week from extreme Disney Attraction riding. I hadn’t really noticed it before until actually sitting IN a Disney Attraction again.  I spent the entire ride bracing myself to minimize the pain in my back And grimacing around the curves. I tried to concentrate on how the coaster fit into the building to keep my mind off of the pain. 

Space Mountain {1}

It was about 5:10, And I was hungry. I walked past Club Buzz And noted that the show “Calling All Space Scouts – A Buzz Lightyear Adventure” was getting ready to start on the Club Buzz Stage. I grabbed a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Fries And Diet Coke ($9.14 !!!) And positioned myself immediately behind the control board to watch.

What had they done to the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage? It was covered in space junk. I was trying to figure out if it was the same famous stage from the Walt Disney Presents shows that rose out of the ground, but I could not tell. This is where that stage was supposed to be, but did it still rise. (If it did, there were probably NOT orange skirted go-go dancers or the Osmonds under there.)

Although I had seen the Buzz Lightyear show via a web video, it was nice to see it live. I think I was the only person to guffaw during the joke about the Earth being tiny And having the space probe start playing “small world”, but other than the Cast Members, I was probably the Geekiest Disney Geek in the audience anyway.

When Buzz started speaking, I immediately recognized his voice as being NOT Tim Allen (from the movies), but rather the ubiquitous Patrick Warburton. Buzz also entered via the rising stage, so I was happy to experience it in its glory.

I headed north towards Fantasyland as the show was winding down. Kids were heading toward the stage for a meet And greet And for a few seconds I felt like an upstream swimming salmon while trying to get through them.

For no real reason, I did not count the Buzz Lightyear show in my attraction count.

My favorite Fantasyland attraction awaited me. I had a date with Alice with no line at all.

Alice in Wonderland {2}

I took a quick look around Fantasyland And chose the attraction with the shortest line. Snow White of course. Halfway through, I wondered to myself what I was doing on this boring thing instead of being on one of the E-Tickets. I reminded myself, though, that even poor old Snow White is better than anything I ever saw in a Six Flags.
Snow White {3}

Yikes! 45 minutes gone from my three hours. E-Ticket time. Big Thunder in the dark!

Oops. I forgot about my pulled muscle. The enjoyment of the dark was tempered with bracing myself for minimal pain.
Big Thunder {4}

I called home And spoke to my wife And the kids as they were getting home. I felt pretty bad that I was at Disneyland And they were not.

I headed around the Rivers of America And noticed that the wait time for Pirates said “0”. I approached the CM And inquired “Is that correct? Zero minutes?”

Yes it was, because Pirates was not operating. Arrgghhh!

Indy was down for some queue work. Double Arrgghhh! (but I knew about that from the Disney Refurbs web site http://refurb.disneyfans.com/ .) It had something to do with the webbing I had noticed from the Jungle Cruise on Monday.

Haunted Mansion Holiday? Nope! The Cast Members said that the same problem that was causing Pirates problem was keeping them down as well. I am guessing that it was the sound system because I think I read somewhere that they share systems.

E-Tickets not functioning – Pirates, Indy, HMH, Roger Rabbit (because of getting ready for the fireworks), And Star Tours (for a carpet repair refurb). This was more than annoying. I “spent” a lot of money (averaged into my five day pass) for my three hour evening And FIVE major attractions were down! I was not a happy camper. It helped a little to find Splash Mountain to be a walk on.
Splash Mountain {5}

Where was the greatest concentration of stuff to see? Fantasyland, of course.

No line at all at Snow White. I was able to take in all the detail and I triggered the cackling laugh from touching the apple in the queue, which startled the people behind me. (They stopped and played with it for a few minutes).
Snow White {6}

I didn't have a camera with me, so I was not distracted. I was a little dissapointed that I only saw the Storybookland attractions at night..
Storybook Land Canal Boats {7}

Uh Oh. The line for Peter Pan was too long.I had to settle for Pinocchio.
Pinocchio {8}

The line for Mr. Toad was long, but moved faster than Peter Pan. I was amazed that EVERYONE that passed through the line had to touch the wooden sculpture of Mr. Toad.
Mr. Toad {9}

Alice had a minimal line, partly because people were getting ready for the fireworks.
Alice in Wonderland {10}

I got off of Alice and noticed there was no line for the Mad Tea Party. This was an attraction I had not planned on riding at all. No line is no line. On I went and spinned myself silly.
Mad Tea Party {11}

Alice's line was even shorter because the top of the hour was upon us for the fireworks. The park would close immediately after the fireworks. I was on my caterpillar before the fireworks started, but when I came to the upstairs outdoors section I found the fireworks going full blast. That was amazing - to be on the ride while the fireworks were going on around me and then to enter the Unbirthday Party and have the explosion of the fake fireworks reflected by real fireworks. I think this was the most giddiest, most Disneyed 2 minutes of the trip. I was truly in the happiest place on Earth.
Alice in Wonderland (during fireworks) {12}

Only 12 attractions, mostly Fantasyland walk ons. Not bad for my shortest night, but not what I had planned.

{Total attractions - 12 for day - 72 overall}

Friday Nov 15

Oh No! Friday at last. My last full day in California. My last evening in Disneyland.

Class was more laid back than it had been. My boss and other people in the class all decided that my stories of Disneyland sounded like it was worth the $47 for even a few hours. I was a little worried that class would run late because we took a 2 hour lunch trip to Newport Beach, but class let out early. One of the other class members even called the hotel to arrange for the shuttle.

My boss was along, so I wanted to give him the best bang for the evening. Whew! E-tickets were functional again. I led him to Pirates first.

Pirates {1}

Next we grabbed single rider passes for Indy, but were let in together. By the time you get incorporated into the regular queue, the fact that you are a single rider gets lost.
Indiana Jones {2}

Star Tours had no line. My boss had no idea what sort of attraction it was. There were only 2 simulators online, so when we ended up in the right hand rear of the simulator, I was elated because I had read that the best ride was in the back. My boss was asking me why there were seatbelts. All I would say was "You will see".
Star Tours {3}

Might as well check Space Mountain. 15 minute wait. My back felt much better this evening and I was able to enjoy it again.
Space Mountain {4}

We went back to the hub where I checked the ride times. Haunted Mansion seemed short, so we headed over there. We stopped in the ballroom, so I had a great view of it. I finally pulled out the video camera to capture some of the effects.
Haunted Mansion Holiday <Stuck in the Ballroom in HMH to end>{5}

Dinner. I asked my boss if he wanted to spend a lot of time eating or if he wanted to see more of Disneyland. We found ourselves in line for the Bengal Barbecue just as they were closing. I spent $6.12, but it was pretty good. I will eat there again next time I visit.

I suggested Splash Mountain and told my boss that we needed to avoid the front seats of the log. Needless to say we ended up in the front seats, but we did not end up too wet.
Splash Mountain {6}

Our goal was to see Believe in Holiday Magic all the way through with the proper soundtrack. We had seen it the other evening, but from outside the park. I decided that the Small World area would be best, based on my previous evening's experience in the Alice area.

On the way there I checked on Shrunken Ned and found his head was back, but he was still non-functional. The Genii in the Other Lamp wasn't working either.

I took us through Pinocchio because I knew there would be no line. My boss liked it, and it does stand out as superior to all Non-Disney dark rides.

Pinocchio {7}

We settle down in the Small World Mall area for Believe in Holiday Magic. I was able to video the entire show. Marvelous..As I write this in the holiday season a year later, one of the local Atlanta companies is using the same "White Christmas" music during a radio ad and I find myself transported back to Disneyland everytime I hear it.

At this point, my boss wanted to shop. We were about half an hour from closing so we agreed to part ways when we realized that we would not be able to get on Small World.. I got in line for Alice and was almost in my caterpillar when the closing announcement came through. Of course everyone in line was still allowed to ride.
Alice in Wonderland - <Queue And ride thru> {8}

A closed and emptying park on my last night. I lingered everywhere I went. I took video of a canal boat entering Monstro.

It was bittersweet leaving Disneyland that evening. All the attractions were now closed and people were filtering out. I went through the Fantasyland courtyard, taking videotape of the Hercules windows. I went through the Castle And saw a wonderful sight of the Partners statue silhouetted against the Christmas Tree. I turned on the video camera just as the music of "When You Wish Upon a Star" started up. It was beautiful. You can watch my video here. (Sorry the video cuts off before the musical phrase ends.)

35 second video of the Partner's Statue at night with "When You Wish Upon a Star".

I finally found the 1890 Party Line (Thelma Bird fire and held the phone receiver up to the microphone of the camera to get most of it while taking general video of Main Street..

I found Marc Davis' window! Neat.

The Emporium windows had animated displays for both Treasure Planet And Monsters Inc. I took video of the windows and a few more minutes of sad leaving video. I was ignored one more time by the poll takers. I met my boss and fellow class members back at the bus stop where everyone expressed gratitude for a neat evening. One woman only shopped, but still felt the cost was worth it!

I took a quick video of the room before going to bed.

{Total attractions - 8 for day - 80 overall}

80 attractions! I think I got my money's worth from the 5 days for the price of 3 ticket!

Summary of Attractions 

How many times did I see each of these - organized by land


DCA
---
Soarin' over California - 2
California Screamin' - 2
It's Tough To Be A Bug - 2
Golden Dreams - 1
Golden Zephyr - 1
Muppetvision - 1
Animation - 1
Maliboomer - 1

Main Street U.S.A.
---
Disneyland Railroad - 1
Mr. Lincoln - 1
Streetcar - 1

Adventureland
---
Indiana Jones - 6
Jungle Cruise - 2
Tiki Room - 1
Tarzan's Treehouse - 1

New Orleans Square
---
Haunted Mansion Holiday - 6
Pirates - 4

Critter Country
---
Splash Mountain - 3

Frontierland
---
Big Thunder - 4
Mark Twain - 1
Columbia - 1
Tom Sawyer Island - 1

Toontown
---
Roger Rabbit - 3
Gadget's Go Coaster - 1

Fantasyland
---
Peter Pan - 1
Snow White - 4
Mr. Toad - 2
Pinocchio - 4
it's a small world - 2
Storybook Canal Boats - 2
Alice in Wonderland - 5
Casey Jr. - 1
Mad Tea Party - 1

Tomorrowland
---
Space Mountain - 4
Star Tours - 3
Monorail - 1
Honey I Shrunk the Audience - 1
Innoventions - 1
Autopia - 1

More than once 

What struck my fancy so much I couldn't resist doing it again.

---
{6}
Haunted Mansion Holiday - 6
Indiana Jones - 6
{5}
Alice in Wonderland - 5
{4}
Big Thunder - 4
Pinocchio – 4

Snow White - 4
Pirates - 4
Space Mountain - 4
{3}
Roger Rabbit - 3
Splash Mountain - 3
Star Tours - 3
{2}
California Screamin' - 2
it's a small world - 2
It's Tough To Be A Bug - 2
Jungle Cruise - 2
Mr. Toad - 2
Soarin' over California - 2
Storybook Canal Boats - 2
********************************

Regrets - Forgot to...

---
Look in Redd Rockett's for past attraction stuff
look for House of the Future foundation
Eat meals(!)
********************************

Regrets - Should have done again...

---
Muppetvision
Animation
Jungle Cruise
Peter Pan
Monorail
Tiki Room

Soarin’


********************************

Regrets - Should not have done so much...

---
Pinocchio (now I know why there was never a line)
Innoventions (only went in to see where the Carousel of Progress used to live)
Humming/singing along to whatever music I heard <grin>
********************************

Regrets - Disappointed that it wasn't working/performing/open (not counting Yesterland things)

---
Shrunken Ned
Tinkerbell's Flight (does she in the summer?)
Matterhorn
Haunted Mansion - Non Holiday Version
Sleeping Beauty Walk Through
Carrousel (just to see, not to ride)
Music track on Screamin' (totally changed my perception of the ride. I would have ridden it more with music.)
Music track on Space Mountain
Dapper Dans - Are they around in November?
********************************

Happy to have found...

---
Columbia was running
So many remnants of Nature's Wonderland
Jungle Cruise at Night
Single Rider Lines at Indy And Soarin'
Trash Can Trio
Rod Miller!
********************************

I was most out of place in...

---
Casey Jr. without a kid
********************************

Irritated at/by...

---
Being ignored by poll takers two different evenings

(I think they target groups And assume a single male is an Annual Passholder)

Hearing the phrase "Haunted House" being used by so many guests.

It's the "Haunted Mansion" you foolish mortals!

Thursday's dearth of E Ticket attractions And Dark Rides

Pirates, Mansion, Indy, Jungle Cruise, And Star Tours were down all evening.
By the time I got to Fantasyland, Peter Pan And small world were down for the fireworks.

Food prices.

If food had been cheaper, I might have bought some. I very reluctantly shelled out the bucks for lackluster dining. One evening I purchased an overpriced $3 meal from a vending machine at the hotel And I felt it was a better deal than a typical $11 to $14 meal at the Parks.

Disney Theme Parks Related TV page

My October 2000 WDW trip
http://www.bartlett-sloan.net/ccaidisneyy2ka.html

My 1960 Disneyland Guide Book

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Last modified 1/10/2013 (correct video links)


This document copyright © Kirby A. Bartlett-Sloan