Day 1 of Disneyland Fun, 2015

After finally making it to Disneyland and California Adventure at the end of 2013 when there’d been about a 15-year gap between visits, Larry & I were ready for more!  Didn’t make it in 2014 as the damn rain gods were plotting against us in December, so we thought we’d trick them and move our 2-day adventure to some time in January.  Well, the rain gods kinda won as even the reschedule got some rain, but it turns out that wasn’t really such a bad thing.  You know why?  When it rains in Disneyland, people stay away. Lines become quite short.  In other words, it’s awesome when it rains at Disneyland.  Many people had told us this last month when we postponed the trip when it was rained out and I would just nod and agree, because who wants to go to Disneyland in the rain?  Now having had our recent experience, I’m a believer.

Some Differences of this visit from the last one:   We decided to go for 2 days and spend 2 nights at the Paradise Pier Hotel there, which is an official Disney property.  That means we were able to take advantage of the hotel guest-only entrance into DCA from the Grand Californian Hotel which is a very nice perk.  I also did resubscribe to the RideMAX service which had been essential when going on Dec 30, 2013 – but this time we didn’t need it.  I’d whole-heartedly recommend it if going for just one day and it’s a particularly heavy traffic day.   We also made dinner reservations a a week or so out from our visit so we could actually have a nice dining experience rather than scrambling for something good to eat at the last minute.

On to the pictures! (If you want to skip ahead to Day 2, click here)

Day 1:  Sunday, January 11

We got up relatively early but not tooooo early after having had a full Saturday going to see Wicked at the Pantages the day before with my mom.  We said goodbye to her this morning and then began the rainy drive to Anaheim, knowing the forecast was for the rain to clear up mostly by 1pm but wondering if that would hold up.  We got there really easily even in the rain, and valet’d the car at our hotel, Paradise Pier.  Even better was our room was ready despite us being there pretty damn early.  Wisely, we bought Disney ponchos at the hotel store and they were invaluable as the rain indeed didn’t let up until the early afternoon.

11-Jan-2015 08:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 400
11-Jan-2015 08:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.96mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 08:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 125
 
11-Jan-2015 08:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 160
View from our room!
View from our room!11-Jan-2015 09:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
11-Jan-2015 09:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
 
11-Jan-2015 09:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
11-Jan-2015 09:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 21.24mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 09:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 21.24mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 
11-Jan-2015 09:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.926mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 500
Inside our room
Inside our room11-Jan-2015 09:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
Larry in his poncho
Larry in his poncho11-Jan-2015 09:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.083mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 
11-Jan-2015 09:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.083mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
On our way for our Rainy Disney day
On our way for our Rainy Disney day11-Jan-2015 09:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 640
11-Jan-2015 09:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 

Our first rides were in California Adventure (utilizing the gate from the Grand Californian Hotel), the awesome California Screamin’ followed by a wet trek to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Awesome rides, although wearing a poncho and getting pelted by rain is certainly an interesting way to ride California Screamin’.  We had to take a break after Tower of Terror and go back to our favorite Starbucks in DCA, which was far less crowded than it was back in 2013.  Thank God.  Timing was good on this as the rain upped to a downpour while we were having our coffee.

The dreary Paradise Pier area
The dreary Paradise Pier area11-Jan-2015 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
Cars Land in the rain, and RSR was closed
Cars Land in the rain, and RSR was closed11-Jan-2015 09:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 09:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 09:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.952mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
Waiting the rain out inside Starbucks
Waiting the rain out inside Starbucks11-Jan-2015 10:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
 
Drying out
Drying out11-Jan-2015 10:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 11:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
11-Jan-2015 11:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 11:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
Walt and Mickey all wet
Walt and Mickey all wet11-Jan-2015 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.3, 71.692mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 640
Me with Mickey and Walt
Me with Mickey and Walt11-Jan-2015 11:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 200
 

We manned-up eventually and briefly explored the Frozen Fun area in DCA but in the rain, it’s just not that charming.  What we ended up doing was leaving DCA for pretty much the rest of the day and spending it in Disneyland…so off we went!  As I raved about above, with the rain keeping the crowds pretty small, we didn’t need to really utilize RideMAX or FastPass a lot, so we just walked on to the “Standby” line of Space Mountain.  Obviously there’s still a line, as hello, it’s Space Mountain, but it was pretty damn quick.  And man, Space Mountain fucking rocks.  That intro space tunnel up to the top of the hill is mesmerizing.  It was close to lunchtime after Space Mountain so we ate some meh pizza at the Pizza Port.  Didn’t really matter though as it was dry and we were hungry.  🙂

11-Jan-2015 11:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
Rainy Disneyland
Rainy Disneyland11-Jan-2015 11:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 13.186mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 11:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 400
 
11-Jan-2015 11:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
In the rainy line for Space Mountain
In the rainy line for Space Mountain11-Jan-2015 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
 
11-Jan-2015 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 400
RAIN
RAIN11-Jan-2015 11:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.043mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 11:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.354mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
 
11-Jan-2015 11:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.354mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 11:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 11:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
 
11-Jan-2015 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 

Larry had read the flyer we got indicating the various special events occurring that day in Disneyland and saw that in the Innoventions Hall, there was a Captain America exhibit.  HELLO.  So of course we were going to visit it – but what was jaw-dropping was that it was actually a chance to “meet” Captain America and get a photo with him.  I almost felt like it was like I was either getting punk’d or I was dreaming.  So yeah, this was like the best thing ever and I’d have been okay to have gone home at this point (just kidding).  We got a great set of pictures from this as you may have seen on this site when it first happened.  I had to share with the world!

Now we're talking
Now we're talking11-Jan-2015 12:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 12:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 12:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.9mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 12:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.505mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
Best photo ever - hello, Captain America
Best photo ever - hello, Captain America11-Jan-2015 12:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400
 
13-Jan-2015 14:43
13-Jan-2015 14:43
13-Jan-2015 14:44
 
13-Jan-2015 14:45
11-Jan-2015 12:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
11-Jan-2015 12:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.382mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
 
11-Jan-2015 12:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 12:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 

It was now time to explore the rides of Fantasyland which we had pretty much ignored in our first visit here.  There’s no way we were going to wait in those ridiculous lines for those kinds of rides back then, but when there’s absolutely no line for things and there’s memories to have, why not?  First up was It’s a Small World which was quite charming.  Annoying, yes, and still not worth a 90-minute wait – so it was great to walk right on to the ride.  It was the holiday version of the ride, so we got a catchy version of “It’s a Small World” mixed with various Christmas carols.  Catchy when only for 3 minutes, but I can’t imagine if you had to listen to this for any longer.  We then knocked out Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I still can’t believe that ride exists.  You are killed due to your shitty driving and sent to hell.  HELL.  How is this there?  Next was Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and again you have to marvel at the fact this ride exists concerning you are told you may turn into a jackass.  The last of our adventure was Peter Pan’s Flight, and I gotta say, it had the longest line and I’m not sure why.  It was the case that the rain had finally tapered off (Yay!) so the shorter lines of Mr. Toad and Pinocchio were a contrast.  Plus, this is the ride where you’re suspended from above in a pirate ship cart so it’s a bit different than the other rides around it.  But it’s so damn short!  All of a sudden Captain Hook is balancing on the crocodile and everyone’s okay; what the hell?  So yeah, a bit of a conundrum why this is as big of a draw as I have read it to be.

Matterhorn (closed) in the rain
Matterhorn (closed) in the rain11-Jan-2015 12:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 12:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
Mine?  Mine?
Mine? Mine?11-Jan-2015 12:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
It's a Small World awaited
It's a Small World awaited11-Jan-2015 12:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.109mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 12:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
11-Jan-2015 12:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
 
11-Jan-2015 12:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
11-Jan-2015 12:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 12:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
11-Jan-2015 13:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
11-Jan-2015 13:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 13:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 13:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 13:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
11-Jan-2015 13:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 800
 

Before leaving Fantasyland for good (we pretty much did avoid it the rest of the vacation), it had been recommended by Rolondo to do a walk-through of Aurora’s Sleeping Beauty castle.  That’s the formal term for the main castle of Disneyland, if you weren’t aware.  It’s actually a very nice little walk through such an iconic landmark as you look at dioramas from the Sleeping Beauty movie.  There’s some cool theming though to make the walk-through immersive, including some surprise Maleficent appearances.

11-Jan-2015 15:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.777mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
Larry & the Castle
Larry & the Castle11-Jan-2015 15:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
Hobie too
Hobie too11-Jan-2015 15:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 15:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 15:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 400
11-Jan-2015 15:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 15:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 15:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
11-Jan-2015 15:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.266mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
 
11-Jan-2015 15:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
Looking towards Tomorrowland
Looking towards Tomorrowland11-Jan-2015 15:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
 

So guess what has re-opened in the time since we visited last?  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, muthafuckas!  I was devastated when we visited and it was CLOSED for renovations.  UGH.  But it opened again in Spring 2014 and so it was operating again and I was so freakin’ excited.  This was my childhood’s favorite ride – and I had good taste as a child as Big Thunder is still just as good as I remembered, and possibly better.  It wins the crown of best ride for this 2-day adventure, by far.  The line was thankfully short and constantly kept moving, which was the reason we immediately went back on it after the first ride.  It’s incredible.  The track has been smoothed out but they’ve also made some of the theming along the ride just that much better.  The final ascent through the TNT cavern is spectacular.  IT’S JUST AMAZING.

Entering Frontierland
Entering Frontierland11-Jan-2015 15:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 15.939mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 400
Big Thunder is BACK
Big Thunder is BACK11-Jan-2015 15:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 15:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 15:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 17.535mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 125
11-Jan-2015 15:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.699mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 400
11-Jan-2015 15:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 15:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
11-Jan-2015 15:21, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 15:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
 
11-Jan-2015 15:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
11-Jan-2015 15:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 160
11-Jan-2015 15:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 320
 
At the boarding station with the Steamboat passing by
At the boarding station with the Steamboat passing by11-Jan-2015 15:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 15:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.266mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 15:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 

Staying over in that western area of Disneyland, we also got in a ride on Splash Mountain which was fortuitous for us, as apparently it closed the next day (Monday).  So we got a ride on Larry’s favorite ride and the wait was non-existent.  Even better than our super-short wait back in 2013.  The real delay for us was getting our poncho back on as we knew from experience that you will get wet.  It’s a great log flume ride.

11-Jan-2015 16:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
Tom Sawyer's Island
Tom Sawyer's Island11-Jan-2015 16:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 16:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 16:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.213mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
 
Splash Mountain's last day before refurbishment
Splash Mountain's last day before refurbishment11-Jan-2015 16:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.213mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 400
11-Jan-2015 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 200
11-Jan-2015 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 400
 
11-Jan-2015 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 200
 

Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure were the next rides we got on over in this area.  Pirates is always a trip down memory lane for me and I think I enjoyed it more this time than in 2013.  No idea why, but it just feels so cozy and fun.  Again, this had no line.  LOVED IT.   Indiana Jones is also a lot of fun and we waited in the regular line for it – in fact, we didn’t use a FastPass at all this day.  Incredible, right?  The theming of Indy is very immersive too, and it makes the line pretty tolerable.

11-Jan-2015 16:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 640
In the Indiana Jones line
In the Indiana Jones line11-Jan-2015 16:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 16:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 16:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 16:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 16:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 16:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 

By this time, it was quickly getting dark.  We made it back to Tomorrowland for a ride on Star Tours (this time getting the Hoth and Naboo scenes) after which it was full night.  Since we were there, we had to go back on Space Mountain as that is what you DO if the line just isn’t that long.  It’s still awesome to think of how great these lines were.  It wasn’t like there was no line, but compared to how these lines typically are (60-90 minutes each?), it was like 25-30minutes.  And that’s fantastic.

11-Jan-2015 17:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.0mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 3200
11-Jan-2015 17:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.0mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 3200
11-Jan-2015 17:24, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 17:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Waiting for Star Tours
Waiting for Star Tours11-Jan-2015 17:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
The Pavilion all lit up
The Pavilion all lit up11-Jan-2015 17:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2500
 
11-Jan-2015 17:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2000
11-Jan-2015 18:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 18:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.0mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
 
11-Jan-2015 18:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.109mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
Our Space Mountain in-ride pic
Our Space Mountain in-ride pic11-Jan-2015 18:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
11-Jan-2015 18:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.528mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 2000
 
11-Jan-2015 18:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 2000
11-Jan-2015 18:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 3200
 

Dinner time!  Our first night, we made a reservation at the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square.  Rolondo recommended that if we were going there to ask for a river-side table, as that’s the best location for being able to see where the Pirates of the Caribbean rafts float by.  I did ask, and the kind hostess said it would likely be a 30-45 minute wait.  We deferred then and said we didn’t need that.  But sure enough, when we were walked to our table, River-Side Table time!  It was very cool to have that experience.  Our waitress was great and the ambiance was wonderful.  The food was expensive and it was pretty good – but I think you’re paying for the experience more than the refinement of food.  What kinda sucks is there’s no alcohol served there.  I don’t think you can get any drink in Disneyland, but you certainly can at DCA.  Ah well, still a great time and a much needed break.  Still not sure I like an alcohol-free “mint julep.”

New Orleans Square
New Orleans Square11-Jan-2015 18:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2000
11-Jan-2015 18:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Blue Bayou - our dinner for the night
Blue Bayou - our dinner for the night11-Jan-2015 18:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 19:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 19:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 19:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.926mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 800
 
Looking darkly towards the Pirates ride
Looking darkly towards the Pirates ride11-Jan-2015 19:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Inside Blue Bayou
Inside Blue Bayou11-Jan-2015 19:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 19:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 19:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 19:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 19:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
A slightly better view of the Pirates ride from our table
A slightly better view of the Pirates ride from our table11-Jan-2015 19:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 6400
11-Jan-2015 19:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2500
11-Jan-2015 19:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 6400
 

After dinner, we were getting pretty tired.  But Big Thunder was just staring at us as we left New Orleans Square so we got another ride in on the ol’ BT at night and it was just as awesome as before.  That ride really is the best.  After that though, it was time to make our way back towards our hotel, which is on the DCA side of things.  But of course as we walked back, we went by California Screamin‘.  And so of course, we had to go on it!  You can’t have your one ride on that so far be through a poncho!  So we went on it twice in a row.  As you do.  That first one we got put in the back, and holy shit, that IS the best place to ride this ride if you can’t get the front.  The sheer force of it all as you’re getting whipped around is intense and amazing.  We were in Row 3 the second ride and that was okay, but it’s not comparable to riding in the back.  DAMN.  After that, we were stumbling (as our feet were fucking killing us) by Mickey’s Fun Wheel and I declared that I wanted to really go on this.  Let me tell you…that is a fucking scary-ass ride at times.  I kid you not.  You can get on a non-swinging cart or the swinging cart and we chose the latter.  That first swing you experience is quite a shock and thrill, as you don’t realize what the fuck is happening.  You are not strapped in and when you feel like your cart is close to 90 degrees tilted, it’s quite scary.  I’m sure it wasn’t that bad, but damn, what a thrill.  I think the ride is very similar to Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, so if you’ve been on that, you know what I’m talking about.  We had some good timing too, as while on the Wheel, Disneyland’s fireworks show started.  It was a nice way to end the night.

Big Thunder at night
Big Thunder at night11-Jan-2015 20:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.0mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 3200
11-Jan-2015 20:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 3200
Main Street at night
Main Street at night11-Jan-2015 20:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 
The retro California Adventure entrance
The retro California Adventure entrance11-Jan-2015 20:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.794mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 2500
11-Jan-2015 20:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 20:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 16.453mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 2000
 
11-Jan-2015 20:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 16.453mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 3200
Up close to the Wheel
Up close to the Wheel11-Jan-2015 21:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 1600
The park at night from our hotel
The park at night from our hotel11-Jan-2015 21:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
11-Jan-2015 21:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
11-Jan-2015 21:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2500
 

I was thinking of doing this as one massive post, but I just can’t.  Time for a break and I’ll post Day 2’s pics a little bit later and link it here just to be safe once it’s done.

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