Tag Archives: disneyland

Pics from the Barnes Disneyland Trip

My cousin Rich reached out to me a month or so ago to see if Larry & I would be up for going to Disneyland on a Thursday in February.  He was surprising his wife Su for her 40th birthday with a trip to Disneyland, but she wouldn’t know that the Barnes clan was going to be there too.

After working out the details to make it so we could take time off from work, Larry & I were in.  So this past Wednesday after work, we drove down to Anaheim and spent the night in the Hotel Menage we’ve stayed in previously (when we went to Disneyland back in 2013).  This way we wouldn’t have to get up super early and have a chance to rest.  It honestly felt a little like a vacation!  A One-Day vacation yes, but still.

Feb 4, 2016 – Disneyland From the Hotel

Matterhorn view from our hotelMatterhorn view from our hotel
Matterhorn view from our hotel04-Feb-2016 08:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.4, 112.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 08:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.4, 112.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 08:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.4, 135.0mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 08:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 08:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Our glamorous hotel floor at Hotel MenageOur glamorous hotel floor at Hotel Menage
Our glamorous hotel floor at Hotel Menage04-Feb-2016 08:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 08:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 

That morning, the plan was to meet at 10am when the park opened.  We got there early but ended up choosing the Park Entrance line manned by the most over-it older woman ever.  Our line would literally stop while the others were blazing through.  We got up close enough to see the “process” she was doing and all I gotta say is, I’m not holding out hope for her long-term prospects in that role.  Anyway, we finally got in to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Entering the Park

Here we go again!Here we go again!
Here we go again!04-Feb-2016 09:23, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
In the shuttle - so easy and efficientIn the shuttle - so easy and efficient
In the shuttle - so easy and efficient04-Feb-2016 09:24, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
We have arrivedWe have arrived
We have arrived04-Feb-2016 09:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 09:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 34.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
Long ass lines and we picked the absolute SLOWEST lineLong ass lines and we picked the absolute SLOWEST line
Long ass lines and we picked the absolute SLOWEST line04-Feb-2016 09:40, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
The Railroad station - unused for nowThe Railroad station - unused for now
The Railroad station - unused for now04-Feb-2016 09:40, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 09:45, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 09:45, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 09:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 67.8mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 09:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 09:56, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
Finally in the parkFinally in the park
Finally in the park04-Feb-2016 10:06, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 10:07, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Sleeping Beauty's CastleSleeping Beauty's Castle
Sleeping Beauty's Castle04-Feb-2016 10:11, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.3, 17.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

We were ordered by mysterious texts to get our asses over to the Indiana Jones Adventure ride – turns out that was Uncle Steve taking charge!  We made it over to where Steve & Gladys and Wendy & Randy were waiting.  It was awesome to see Steve & Gladys after suuuuch a long time.  I think it’s been about since 2003 or 2004 when last we saw each other.  Too long.  Anyway, the next and final step in the plan was waiting for Rich & Su to make their way over there.  They’d gotten in the day before and spent some time at the Grand Californian Hotel (nice choice, Rich!) relaxing, with Su thinking it was just going to be the two of them.  Surprise!

Reunion

The clan is ready to surprise SuThe clan is ready to surprise Su
The clan is ready to surprise Su04-Feb-2016 10:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
Indiana Jones was the scene of the revealIndiana Jones was the scene of the reveal
Indiana Jones was the scene of the reveal04-Feb-2016 10:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 10:22, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
 
Surprise!Surprise!
Surprise!04-Feb-2016 10:23, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
Rich, Gladys, Steve, Su, Randy & WendyRich, Gladys, Steve, Su, Randy & Wendy
Rich, Gladys, Steve, Su, Randy & Wendy04-Feb-2016 10:24, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
All of usAll of us
All of us04-Feb-2016 10:24, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 

It was great to see my cousin Rich again and meet his wife.  With the reunion complete, it was time to embark on a Disneyland day and get some rides in!   First up, Indiana Jones obviously.  I didn’t download the RideMax app this time and likely I wouldn’t have needed to.  The crowds were certainly there, but it wasn’t massive crowds like our December trip in 2013.  Ugh.  Nope, today was a beautiful day with ridiculously pleasant weather and the lines in the park were pretty much great.

Indiana Jones

04-Feb-2016 11:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 1 sec, ISO 800
04-Feb-2016 11:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 1 sec, ISO 800
Slightly blurry but ready for adventureSlightly blurry but ready for adventure
Slightly blurry but ready for adventure04-Feb-2016 11:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 1 sec, ISO 1600
 

What we ended up doing was making our way clockwise from Indiana Jones to the other great rides.  So next on that route is Pirates of the Caribbean.  Such a great ride, even still.

Pirates of the Caribbean

04-Feb-2016 11:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
Super excitedSuper excited
Super excited04-Feb-2016 11:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
04-Feb-2016 11:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
 
04-Feb-2016 11:19, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:19, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 140
04-Feb-2016 11:19, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 11:47, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 

The Haunted Mansion is right along the route through New Orleans Square, and happily the ride was set back to its normal mode and not a “Nightmare Before Christmas” mode.  Much better.  Still broke down once or twice while we were on it, but happily not for too long.  But yeah, that ride broke the last time we were on it too!

The Haunted Mansion

Off to the Haunted MansionOff to the Haunted Mansion
Off to the Haunted Mansion04-Feb-2016 11:47, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:48, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 11:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.0, 14.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 11:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:51, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 11:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

It was a beautiful day and comfortably cool and warm, so of course Splash Mountain was necessary.  Larry & I ended up in a different log than the others – Rich & Su got the front part of that log and got pretty damn wet.  Guess they hadn’t turned any water effects down too much.  One thing that was surprising though – there was a new part of the flume.  There’s a moment where you’re in the dark and there’s a surprise drop…and then an immediate incline back up.  Very fun and unexpected!

Splash Mountain

Splash MountainSplash Mountain
Splash Mountain04-Feb-2016 12:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 12:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
SplashSplash
Splash04-Feb-2016 12:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 12:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 180
We did it!We did it!
We did it!04-Feb-2016 12:32, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 280
04-Feb-2016 12:33, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 360
 
The front-seaters definitely got wetThe front-seaters definitely got wet
The front-seaters definitely got wet04-Feb-2016 12:35, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:35, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

Churros were on my and Larry’s agenda after that – and then it was time to take in the views of Rivers of America.  It was a gorgeous day and a good spot for some group photos.

Rivers of America

It was a beautiful day at the Rivers of AmericaIt was a beautiful day at the Rivers of America
It was a beautiful day at the Rivers of America04-Feb-2016 12:43, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.0, 14.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
With Steve & GladysWith Steve & Gladys
With Steve & Gladys04-Feb-2016 12:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 12:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:45, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 

Guess what you can see in those pictures above???? Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!!!  Happily this ride isn’t impacted by whatever Disney is building for the new Star Wars section.  I’d be devastated.  So yeah, it was time to ride what is arguably the best ride in the park.  Even over Space Mountain.   I mean, HYPERspace Mountain.

Big Thunder Mountain

OH YEAHOH YEAH
OH YEAH04-Feb-2016 12:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
The line in Thunder Mountain moves very quicklyThe line in Thunder Mountain moves very quickly
The line in Thunder Mountain moves very quickly04-Feb-2016 12:53, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:58, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 12:58, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 12:58, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
Space Mountain just visible from the gates of FrontierlandSpace Mountain just visible from the gates of Frontierland
Space Mountain just visible from the gates of Frontierland04-Feb-2016 13:10, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

Sleeping Beauty Castle Pics

04-Feb-2016 13:13, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
It was bright so we needed our shadesIt was bright so we needed our shades
It was bright so we needed our shades04-Feb-2016 13:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

There are more of those pics and with the group as a whole, but we mixed up who took pictures throughout the day.  So I can’t wait to get my cousins’ and uncle’s pics and update the site accordingly.  I know there’s a great group shot of us in front of the castle.

After that, it was time for some sustenance.  We couldn’t figure out where to go in Frontierland, so I suggested where I knew there’s always food: Tomorrowland Terrace.  This was a good move as we also picked up our Fast Pass (the only one of the day, actually) for Space Mountain, which had us come back there around 4:40-5:40.

Tomorrowland & Lunch at the Terrace

04-Feb-2016 13:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 13:17, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Star Wars was in FORCEStar Wars was in FORCE
Star Wars was in FORCE04-Feb-2016 13:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 13:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
Ah, People Mover - still miss youAh, People Mover - still miss you
Ah, People Mover - still miss you04-Feb-2016 13:18, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:19, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
and the new sign for HYPERspace Mountainand the new sign for HYPERspace Mountain
and the new sign for HYPERspace Mountain04-Feb-2016 13:25, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 13:25, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Our view of the Star Wars show at Tomorrowland TerraceOur view of the Star Wars show at Tomorrowland Terrace
Our view of the Star Wars show at Tomorrowland Terrace04-Feb-2016 13:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 13:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:03, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
The hot Padawan totally knew I was taking his pictureThe hot Padawan totally knew I was taking his picture
The hot Padawan totally knew I was taking his picture04-Feb-2016 14:03, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 5.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 

So yeah, the Helper Padawans in that little stage show are damn hot.  Of course they are, Disneyland isn’t stupid.

Anyway, after a nice rest for lunch and some first round of ice cream, we headed right over to the Matterhorn.  Uncle Steve had wanted to get on the Autopia, but that’s closed for now.  Not sure if there’s a plan to improve or change the theming there….I imagine it’s certainly a ride that could use a freshening up!

Speaking of that, the Matterhorn had been closed the last time we were there in early 2015 as it was getting slightly refurbished.  I’m not honestly sure how much the track or cars got improved – it’s still a slightly rough ride, but they DEFINITELY updated the Yeti effects you see throughout the mountain.  That thing is way more animatronic and kind of intense at times as it looks like it’s coming right out at you to grab ya.  I gotta give credit to it being a really fun ride though considering it’s all within that mountain.  A lot of fun.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Matterhorn!Matterhorn!
Matterhorn!04-Feb-2016 14:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.0, 14.9mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:32, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 14:34, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:34, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 14:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 14:38, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400
 

The Parade

The FunTime ParadeThe FunTime Parade
The FunTime Parade04-Feb-2016 15:02, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
 
Smiling drummersSmiling drummers
Smiling drummers04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:04, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:05, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 24.7mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:06, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 40.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:06, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 40.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
AladdinAladdin
Aladdin04-Feb-2016 15:06, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 40.9mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
A happy ArielA happy Ariel
A happy Ariel04-Feb-2016 15:08, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 34.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:08, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Princesses on ParadePrincesses on Parade
Princesses on Parade04-Feb-2016 15:12, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:12, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.3, 17.6mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

Those chimney sweeps are worth the wait as they’re damn cute and fun to watch do their dance to “Step in Time” and “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.”  Just sayin’.  We had been near “It’s a Small World” and from our previous experience, the parade wound it’s way north, but this time it went south from It’s a Small World.  Alas, it was closed.  🙁  ….not really that sad about that.

We had some time to kill before Hyperspace Mountain, so we went into Fantasyland and partook in some fun (and yet strangely, dark in subject matter) kids rides.  We first went to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which is hilariously ADD and insane all up till when you head to hell for playing chicken with a train.  After that, it was a first for me to go ride the Disneyland Carousel!  Then it was over to Pinocchio’s Daring Journey per Uncle Steve’s request.  Finishing up Fantasyland was a walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Fantasyland

04-Feb-2016 15:35, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:35, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 67.8mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:35, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:36, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 80.3mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:36, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 80.3mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:36, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:37, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.0, 29.2mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
04-Feb-2016 15:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
04-Feb-2016 15:50, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
04-Feb-2016 15:51, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
Waiting for our turn at the CarouselWaiting for our turn at the Carousel
Waiting for our turn at the Carousel04-Feb-2016 15:53, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 15:53, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
A brave face for a frightening journeyA brave face for a frightening journey
A brave face for a frightening journey04-Feb-2016 15:57, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 15:57, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
 

Can you imagine, there was still time to kill?  Everyone wanted some ice cream now, so the hunt was on.  We kept thinking we found a place, especially if there were colorful umbrellas out front.  Alas, we struck out a few times until finally finding the hand-scooped ice cream shop in Main Street.  SO GOOD.  And very generous scoops were given.  I got 1 scoop of mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone and it was delicious…..

Ice Cream on Main Street

Much needed ice cream break on Main StreetMuch needed ice cream break on Main Street
Much needed ice cream break on Main Street04-Feb-2016 17:00, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 17:01, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 17:09, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 125
 
04-Feb-2016 17:09, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 17:09, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 17:09, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 180
 

So one of the things that had happened in Disneyland after Star Wars got even more awesome was that Space Mountain got re-titled as Hyperspace Mountain.  It’s not just a name change, but also a theme change.  It’s all STAR WARS inside the ride now.  So much fun.  The familiar fanfare is playing on the coaster speakers and there’s various Star Wars starships and fighters exploding and such everywhere.  Larry & I loved it, but the ride did a number on Uncle Steve.  He was pretty much done after that.  The dark ride combined with all the crazy motion certainly was no friend to his stomach.  Thankfully this was near the end of the day!

Hyperspace Mountain

Time for the adventure to continue at Hyperspace MountainTime for the adventure to continue at Hyperspace Mountain
Time for the adventure to continue at Hyperspace Mountain04-Feb-2016 17:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 17:16, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 125
Our wonderful FastPass lineOur wonderful FastPass line
Our wonderful FastPass line04-Feb-2016 17:21, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 500
 
04-Feb-2016 17:23, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.625 sec, ISO 800
So goodSo good
So good04-Feb-2016 17:36, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
R2 getting the Imperial secretsR2 getting the Imperial secrets
R2 getting the Imperial secrets04-Feb-2016 17:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 400
 

After that, we made our way back to Frontierland in order to get one more ride on Big Thunder.  Uncle Steve sat that out and Gladys stayed with him – so the rest of us got over to Big Thunder and found the line was fantastically quick and short.  We may have ridden the ride twice before heading back.  Can neither confirm nor deny.  Big Thunder really is the best.

It was at that point where the larger group was going to find a space to watch the fireworks.  Larry & I weren’t interested really in that and it was getting close to the end of the day, so we said our goodbyes to everyone.  We’re all hoping to not let so much time go by before seeing each other again.  I hope most of them will be able to go to the wedding, as at least that’s a certain time we’ll meet up again.

So Larry & I went off to visit Tomorrowland one last time.  Nobody wanted to go on Star Tours but we did, knowing that it had also been updated now that The Force Awakens was released.  We walked by it though and saw a 40-minute wait.  NO THANKS.  So we kept walking to the Star Wars Colony Hub (the Innoventions building, previously).  The first floor is now basically a Star Wars museum – it’s pretty cool.  The second floor remains a tribute to Marvel’s Avengers, but with no in-person Captain America.  Feh.

On the way back out, we saw Star Tours had only a 20-minute wait now!  That was acceptable, and Star Tours became our last ride of the night.  We weren’t holding our breath for getting an updated segment, but sure enough, in the ride, we got the initial escape from Darth Vader (and I ended up being the random person chosen to be the Rebel Spy he’s pursuing – I am pretty shifty), which segued into us following the Millennium Falcon on Jakku flying through Star Destroyers.  IT WAS AWESOME.  We beamed finally to Naboo, which was cool but also like, ugh, Jar-Jar.  Got the whole Naboo experience though, both above ground and under water.  A lot of fun!

Larry & I still wonder what will happen to Star Tours once the new Star Wars land opens up – will it go there?  It would make sense, but we still don’t know too much about what the experience is going to be at that new land.  Exciting to anticipate though!

Finishing up in the Star Wars Tomorrowland

04-Feb-2016 17:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
04-Feb-2016 17:52, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
04-Feb-2016 17:53, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
04-Feb-2016 17:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
Nighttime at the CastleNighttime at the Castle
Nighttime at the Castle04-Feb-2016 17:56, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
Main Street all lit up and mobbedMain Street all lit up and mobbed
Main Street all lit up and mobbed04-Feb-2016 17:57, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 
04-Feb-2016 17:57, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
04-Feb-2016 17:58, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 48.4mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
04-Feb-2016 17:59, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 6.3, 34.5mm, 0.083 sec, ISO 1600
 
We also visited the Star Wars area - very cool museum like setupWe also visited the Star Wars area - very cool museum like setup
We also visited the Star Wars area - very cool museum like setup04-Feb-2016 18:44, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
04-Feb-2016 18:45, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
No chance to meet a Poe Dameron hereNo chance to meet a Poe Dameron here
No chance to meet a Poe Dameron here04-Feb-2016 18:45, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400
 
04-Feb-2016 18:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
04-Feb-2016 18:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 9.0mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 125
04-Feb-2016 18:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.8, 12.6mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 400
 

It was a great trip and an actual nice, extremely fast vacation.  Plus we got to see family we hadn’t in a long, long time.  Very worth it.

The Barnes Family Does Disneyland

I have way more pics to share, but it’s late and I would love to get to bed.  But long story short, it was a LOT of fun to see Uncle Steve & Aunt Gladys, along with my cousins Wendy & Richard and their spouses, Randy and Su.  A very fun day at Disneyland was had by all (probably until Steve went on HyperSpace Mountain and didn’t feel so good afterwards), the weather was perfect, and the lines were not too shabby.  A good day for Disneyland!

1-DSCN2859Probably tomorrow is when I’ll put the whole rundown of my photos up.  I’m going to set my photo folder on Google as a place for the others in the family to put their pics, as everyone was taking pictures left and right.  I know that Rich got some great pics on his camera.

Disneyland for Work

This past Friday, the Southern California PwC markets held a combined Promotion Day at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland.  Not too shabby, PwC, not too shabby at all.  I had a great time and enjoyed the park, but took this particular excursion a lot less intensely than Larry & my previous outings, as first, Larry wasn’t there with me.  Free tickets were available for just staff – if you wanted to have a guest, that was on your own dime.  Plus, we weren’t going to be in the park until after 1pm, so buying a full-price ticket for just a half day, factored in with it being Friday in SoCal, meant it didn’t make too much sense for Larry to come down.  I ended up hanging out with some of my work friends and it was fun.

Having just been to the park this January, I didn’t feel compelled to get on absolutely everything like normal.  I did get on Space Mountain, the Monorail, Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean though.  Those rides and associated lines were enough to occupy about 5 hours of time and by that point, I was ready for going home.  Disneyland in the heat and surrounded by what I assume were billions of children adds up to me wanting to get the fuck outta dodge after a while.

So here are my pics from the day – including some of LA Union Station as I took the train into work that day to ride the company-sponsored bus to Anaheim.

June 19, 2015 – My PwC Day at Disneyland

The beautiful but closed-off former ticket area of Union Station
The beautiful but closed-off former ticket area of Union Station19-Jun-2015 07:29, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 32
I like this picture of the waiting area
I like this picture of the waiting area19-Jun-2015 07:30, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
Instagram'd
Instagram'd19-Jun-2015 07:30, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
 
60 years old!
60 years old!19-Jun-2015 09:16, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
19-Jun-2015 09:17, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
Sweet Disneyland-themed water slide at Disneyland Hotel
Sweet Disneyland-themed water slide at Disneyland Hotel19-Jun-2015 09:21, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
19-Jun-2015 09:34, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
19-Jun-2015 09:34, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
That day would've been a very nice one to use the pool
That day would've been a very nice one to use the pool19-Jun-2015 09:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
19-Jun-2015 09:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
19-Jun-2015 09:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
The hall that the Promotion Day festivities was held in
The hall that the Promotion Day festivities was held in19-Jun-2015 10:00, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
Enjoying my churro, clearly
Enjoying my churro, clearly19-Jun-2015 14:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
19-Jun-2015 15:06, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
Space Mountain!
Space Mountain!19-Jun-2015 15:16, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
 

Hello, Tomorrowland!

So, the featured picture has little to do with the movie Tomorrowland but it was an interesting thing to see while Larry & I were walking to dinner on Friday night.  There’s a neon museum on Brand across from Americana that has been in a perpetual state of construction and dormancy, and this Ziegfeld diver is the only thing indicating that something may still be happening there.  I know I’d be excited to actually go inside this place when it opens, but it’s been like this for what feels like at least a year or two.  Not sure it’s actually going to open ever.  But I do like the idea of this particular image as well as how it kind of feels like the Mad Men intro.  Except not.  You know.

tomorrowland_cityTomorrowland (2015) – saw this on May 23, 2015 at the Pacific Theaters at Americana.

After the last few movies Larry & I have seen have been underwhelming (Mad Max) or not quite as good as the earlier movies (Avengers: Age of Ultron), I have realized I need to lower my expectations.  Tomorrowland has had a very strange marketing campaign, at least to me, as you don’t really see much about it except for the occasional spots where the main character, Casey, interacts with the Tomorrowland pin and gets transported to another realm.  Further commercials showed off a lot more of the futuristic city but you weren’t really sure what Casey or George Clooney’s character, Frank, were actually involved with or what the plot revolves around.  You know what?  That’s probably for the best as I’m glad I didn’t know what to expect except for some fantastic visuals of an awesome vision of the future.

tomorrowland_wp2

The movie immediately charmed me, as you see Frank as a young boy who is wildly smart and has created his own jetpack.  He brings it to the 1964 World’s Fair (amazingly recreated onscreen) for review and is brutally rebuffed.  Yet one person there is intrigued and beckons Frank to follow her…and through a hidden portal of “It’s a Small World” (trust me), Frank ends up in Tomorrowland.  The visuals in this whole sequence are amazing, as are the visuals when 50 years or so later, Casey (Britt Robertson), gets that Tomorrowland pin and gets a whirlwind introduction to this fantastic city.

But what kind of movie is that?  So of course there’s more to it as not everything is what it seems.  Further, it seems our world here on regular Earth is counting down to something bad.  It’s up to Frank and Casey to put their minds towards a solution while also getting help from some very interesting sources.  One of these sources is one of the best parts of the movie: Athena, an ageless young girl who has more in common with a T-1000 Terminator than a human girl.  So yeah, this movie is all over the place, but I still liked it a lot.  🙂

tomorrowland_wpIt gets a little preachy and “message-y” about halfway through when we finally realize that the countdown clock can be averted.   It kind of feels a little shoehorned in, much like the way in The Abyss: Director’s Cut, when you get an actual reason for why the underwater aliens are doing what they’re doing.   They’re not BAD messages by any means, but it does feel a lot like a sermon about needing to be better people.  Again, not a bad thing!  Just strange.

I’ve also been reading some of the reviews for the movie now and a lot of people immediately peg Brad Bird (the director of the movie) as an Ayn Rand-ian acolyte.  At the AV Club comments section, the commenters there mostly disagree with that sentiment, as this certainly didn’t feel like an “individual-over-all” sentiment and more like, “let’s not fuck up our world anymore.”  I did think though while watching this movie that we were going to end up in a Bioshock world gone mad…but that mostly didn’t happen.  Mostly.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie.  There’s a scene that really surprised me when Casey and Frank have to find a backdoor into Tomorrowland – I’m glad I hadn’t read about it beforehand as it was quite spectacular.  Was it necessary?  Not really and I’m sure it could have been done any number of other ways.  But it was AWESOME.

Oh, extra side note:  Larry & I were hoping a nod would be made to the Disneyland attraction, the Peoplemover.  Alas, no appearance of it was there although there were some awesome monorails.   This article showed up detailing what the hell happened to the Peoplemover and it’s failure of a “successor”, and it just enrages me more.  BRING BACK THE PEOPLEMOVER!

http://www.yesterland.com/rocketrods.html

Fucking Rocket Rods?

Movie Rankings, 2015 Summer Season Edition:

  1. Ex Machina
  2. Tomorrowland
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road

Day 2 of Disneyland!

After an exciting and very fun first day at Disneyland, we got plenty of rest in order to get ready for our second day attacking the park.  There was no rain today though so we had to be ready for it to be a bit more crowded, even if it was a Monday.  Sure enough, it did feel like there were more people present but it didn’t matter as on a second day, it’s more about doing the things you didn’t get done during the first day.  And that’s how it was!

Day 2: Monday, January 12

We enjoyed a quick and easy breakfast in the Paradise Pier Cafe before joining the line to enter DCA during the “Magic Morning” hour that gives hotel guests early access to one of the two parks.  We used this time to make sure we got on to Radiator Springs Racers before the lines got super long.  RSR had been closed the day before due to rain, so we had to save it for this day.  The line was only about 25 minutes and going without FastPass allowed us the chance to see the theming along the regular line.  It’s a pretty good experience overall and the ride is of course very well done.  Highly recommended!   Afterwards, we then got in the line for the RSR FastPass so we could line up a second ride later on in the day.

Overcast - but no rain
Overcast - but no rain12-Jan-2015 07:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
Breakfast at Paradise Pier Hotel
Breakfast at Paradise Pier Hotel12-Jan-2015 08:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 08:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 500
 
12-Jan-2015 08:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 08:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
In line for Magic Morning entrance to California Adventure
In line for Magic Morning entrance to California Adventure12-Jan-2015 09:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.9mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 09:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.325mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
Cars Land - today RSR was open
Cars Land - today RSR was open12-Jan-2015 09:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.14mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 09:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 09:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
12-Jan-2015 09:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 09:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
12-Jan-2015 09:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
12-Jan-2015 09:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 400
 

We made a trek through the very cute Cars Town area of DCA back over to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, as that ride is amazing and always worth going on if the line isn’t too crazy.  It’s such a great feat of ride engineering as it’s not only a Free-Fall kind of ride it then has a ridiculously strong launch back up in the air too.  And then it’s also just a huge building sticking up and overlooking the park.  I hope it never goes away.

12-Jan-2015 10:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 160
12-Jan-2015 10:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 10:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
 
12-Jan-2015 10:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 10:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.07mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 10:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 10:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 13.0, 6.699mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 10:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 16.453mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
In the lobby of the Tower of Terror
In the lobby of the Tower of Terror12-Jan-2015 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
12-Jan-2015 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
12-Jan-2015 10:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.96mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 

By this time, it was actually close to lunchtime, so we wandered over to an area of DCA called Paradise Garden which is nestled behind the California Screamin’ rollercoaster.  It ended up being a very nice place to get lunch as while we were eating, a fun ragtime jazz band called the Ellis Island Boys (which did include a woman on the bass) was playing.   After our lunch, the nearby ride Goofy’s Sky School was our next target.  The theme of this day ended up being finding those rides we would normally not bother with in a one-day trip.  It made this day very leisurely at times as there was no stress or rush to get on the “must-ride” attractions.  We had already done most of those yesterday!  Goofy’s Sky School is a Wild-Mouse coaster (here I am throwing “Coaster Lingo” around – that comes from being obsessed with coasters for a while as well as playing lots of Rollercoaster Tycoon!) which looks fairly simple but it’s also fairly terrifying and violent.  Lots of fun, no doubt, but it’s a basic ride that manages to be much more thrilling than you’d expect just from looking at it.  Another nearby attraction that we got on was the fun and simple Golden Zephyr which provides some great views of the Paradise Pier area.  After that, we rode on the charming Ariel’s Undersea Adventure that is so much fun to experience, especially due to all the great songs from The Little Mermaid.  

12-Jan-2015 12:21, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
Back on the Zephyr
Back on the Zephyr12-Jan-2015 12:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 12:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
 
12-Jan-2015 12:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 12:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 12:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 

It was then time to use our RSR Fastpass, so we got our second and final ride in and discovered that Monday lines really aren’t that bad, even for something as crazy as RSR.  There was an indicator saying the regular line was 85 minutes, but it certainly didn’t look like that was the case, although it’s likely there’s a whole section of line that we didn’t have to go through that morning.  As we were walking around after RSR, we were kind of near the area of Grizzly River Run.  We had brought our ponchos expressly for the purpose of being able to go on water rides without worrying about getting soaked, so this was now a valid choice for riding.  So we did!  We weren’t the only ones to bring ponchos but on our particular raft, most didn’t have one.  Disney knows how to create a fun Roaring Rapids-style ride though, as this one was thrilling.  I’m sure the amount of aggressive water was toned down due to the time of year, but that didn’t keep most of us from getting pretty fucking wet. Lots of fun hills and the ride really was made fun by having a boat full of chatty people.

12-Jan-2015 13:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
12-Jan-2015 13:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 20.572mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
We finally went on this - pretty awesome
We finally went on this - pretty awesome12-Jan-2015 13:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 13.186mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
 

We were far from our dinner reservation still, so I needed a snack.  My “snack” ended up being a handmade ice cream bar from our favorite Starbucks in DCA.  Just look at it!  It was so good.

An ice cream bar break - so ridiculously good
An ice cream bar break - so ridiculously good12-Jan-2015 14:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 500
Starbucks is wonderfully empty later in the afternoon
Starbucks is wonderfully empty later in the afternoon12-Jan-2015 14:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
The 3 Silver Lake sisters
The 3 Silver Lake sisters12-Jan-2015 14:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 16.453mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 

Afterwards, it was back over to Disneyland to enjoy that park’s well-known modes of park transportation!  The Disneyland Railroad is a ride I absolutely adored as a kid, so to go back on it was as much a time-warp and memory-stirrer as is Pirates of the Caribbean.  Of course, the park ends up feeling smaller as you get older and I was surprised at how quickly the circuit ends up feeling.  But still, it was a great way to relax and give our feet a break while also seeing some old-school Disney stuff, especially that epic Grand Canyon diorama at the end!

12-Jan-2015 14:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.325mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
Time for a train ride!
Time for a train ride!12-Jan-2015 14:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 14:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 320
 
12-Jan-2015 14:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 14:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 14:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
 
12-Jan-2015 14:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 100
The Train, The Train!
The Train, The Train!12-Jan-2015 14:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.354mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 14:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
 
12-Jan-2015 14:24, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
12-Jan-2015 14:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 
Our conductor at the New Orleans Square stop
Our conductor at the New Orleans Square stop12-Jan-2015 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 14:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 13.186mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 160
12-Jan-2015 14:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
 

We had originally intended to disembark the Railroad at the Tomorrowland Station but then thought, let’s just finish the circuit (and see the dinosaurs!!!) and then walk our way to Tomorrowland in order to ride the Monorail!  That’s one of those other rides that I freakin’ loved as a kid that holds lots of memories, much like the PeopleMover ride that tragically is gone and its bones still sit all over the park.  DAMMIT DISNEY, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND BUILD A NEW PEOPLEMOVER!! I digress.  I remember when you’d ride the Monorail and it would zoom over the parking lot on its way to the Disneyland Hotel.   Now that “parking lot” is DCA and the Disneyland Hotel stop is located in what is called Downtown Disney, an answer to Universal Citywalk.  It’s a fun attraction and can be quite convenient if you’re using it to get into the park, I imagine!

Crowded, but nothing like it was last year
Crowded, but nothing like it was last year12-Jan-2015 14:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 19.925mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
12-Jan-2015 14:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
12-Jan-2015 14:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
 
12-Jan-2015 14:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 14:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.109mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
Autopia
Autopia12-Jan-2015 14:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 320
 
12-Jan-2015 15:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
12-Jan-2015 15:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 15:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
Monorail and Matterhorn
Monorail and Matterhorn12-Jan-2015 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 5.803mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
12-Jan-2015 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2015 15:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
 

By this point, it was later in the afternoon and we were both a bit tired.  Coffee time!  So we wandered over by the Matterhorn (still closed and under renovation) and found a coffee cart which we ended up hanging out next to while drinking our coffee and people-watching.  It was a fortuitous choice of spot as it was along the parade route of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.  We only noticed that as others started standing around us and eyeing us to see if we were going to leave.  We weren’t in any rush to do anything so we ended up sticking around and befriending a family who had staked out the spot next to us shortly after we had gotten there.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the parade was a LOT of fun.  Lots of great floats, performers and especially fun was all the Disney songs accompanying the parade.  The grand finale was all about Mary Poppins’ “Step in Time” mashed up with “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” and it was glorious.  Who knew these parades were so much fun???   Sorry in advance for the shitton of pictures I took below.  Feel free to skip!

Our Matterhorn view from our coffee spot
Our Matterhorn view from our coffee spot12-Jan-2015 15:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.109mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
We accidentally staked out a parade spot at the same time
We accidentally staked out a parade spot at the same time12-Jan-2015 15:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
12-Jan-2015 15:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 15:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
Zoom in of the Matterhorn peak
Zoom in of the Matterhorn peak12-Jan-2015 15:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 32.849mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100
More zoomed in
More zoomed in12-Jan-2015 15:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.3, 70.287mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
 
12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 39.062mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
The Frozen pace car of the Disneyland Parade
The Frozen pace car of the Disneyland Parade12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 39.062mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 39.062mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
 
12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 30.937mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 41.303mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
Happy Olaf
Happy Olaf12-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 41.303mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 400
 
Princess Anna
Princess Anna12-Jan-2015 16:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 25.699mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 320
12-Jan-2015 16:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
12-Jan-2015 16:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 160
 

Our dinner reservation was at 7 but we were going to have to go back to our room and change into slightly nicer clothes as the restaurant is kinda hoity toity, so we had time for about one more ride and that ride was for the best ride of both parks: Big Thunder Mountain!  HELLS YEAH.  I can’t get enough of this ride – it’s so good.  SOOO good.  It’s fantastic that it has returned.

12-Jan-2015 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 16:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 16:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
 
12-Jan-2015 16:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 320
12-Jan-2015 17:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 17:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
12-Jan-2015 17:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 17:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
 

Back to DCA we went, and I wanted to pick up a Tower of Terror version of Jenga, so we had to go back near that ride.  The line was insane though, so we didn’t go on that again.  There was another parade though, this time in DCA, and it was the Pixar Play Parade.  It included characters from many many of their movies and was filled with bubbles and a lot of fun, although I think I liked the Disneyland one better!  It didn’t stop me from taking a ton of pictures though…

12-Jan-2015 17:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
12-Jan-2015 17:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
12-Jan-2015 17:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
 
12-Jan-2015 17:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 17:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 17:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 800
 
12-Jan-2015 17:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 18.104mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 17:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 18.104mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 21.929mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
12-Jan-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
12-Jan-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
12-Jan-2015 17:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 
12-Jan-2015 17:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.266mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 17:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 24.126mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 17:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.271mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 

And that was the end of our rides and attractions for the vacation.  We were exhausted though and it was just fine that Monday’s operating hours are much shorter than the weekend’s.  We were both looking forward to a wonderful dinner experience at Napa Rose, a restaurant located in the Grand Californian Hotel and which gets a 5-star rating.  It’s a very well-deserved rating – the food was absolutely wonderful and the service was above-and-beyond.  Our waiter was Rodney and he was simply amazing.  He was talkative, knowledgeable and never made it feel like we needed to move on.  That was very appreciated as I have to say that when we were at Blue Bayou, while the service was very friendly, the food was out super quick and it was clear that you needed to go as there were tons of people waiting to sit down.  It’s nice to not feel that way.  For dinner, we both had an opener of scallops that were to die for.  I then had a Rib Eye with a Top Cap and it was scrumptious.  Larry had  Lamb Chops that he similarly raved about.

After such a long two days, ending it with a mind-blowing meal experience was perfect.  High marks all around for Napa Rose and I highly recommend it if you’ve got the time, money and desire for fabulous food and drink.  Oh yeah, we had a bottle of Pinot Noir wine from Fred MacMurray’s vineyard, and it was very good.  Sigh…it was a good meal.  We ended the meal with their Best Ever Hot Chocolate dessert and damn, they’re not wrong.

We tried to continue the night by moving to the Napa Rose lounge, but when we got up, our feet were in agony.  At that point, it was just time to go back to the room and completely relax.  And be satisfied with how great of a vacation two days at Disneyland and California Adventure can be.

Our wonderful dinner on night 2 was at Napa Rose
Our wonderful dinner on night 2 was at Napa Rose12-Jan-2015 18:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.271mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
Inside Napa Rose
Inside Napa Rose12-Jan-2015 19:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
12-Jan-2015 19:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 
12-Jan-2015 19:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 19:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 8.528mm
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.266mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
12-Jan-2015 20:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 10.266mm