WHO: MadasaHatter and Melody
WHERE: Disneyland Resort/Anabella Hotel
WHEN: Monday May 21 and Tuesday May 22
HOW: United Flight from SFO to John Wayne/Disneyland Express to DLR
WHAT: Fantasmic AP Event
WHY: Why not...I am mad after all.
MONDAY MAY 21- So I'm flying out in the am and took the 9:00 flight and now I'm kind of wishing I took the early bird flight. I am busy putting all my Disneyland pics in a photo album and couldn't believe the minor holes I have in it.....
SKIP AHEAD IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ ABOUT MY PHOTO ALBUM FOIBLES.....
So I am going through ALL my pictures (and not just Disneyland by the by) and putting them in albums. This process is crazy. I have saved all this crap instead of actually putting them in books so I am a man on a mission. The left over pics get framed and given as gifts or thrown out or moved to another category......very long process. The pics must fit in one book (22 Pages) or else. SO my Disneyland pics are copious through out the years.... I was shocked at what I didn't have....never took a pic of POTC or HM ...two of my FAVES! Of course I don't take pictures inside the rides but the outside is cool for keepsake. ALSO I saved two calendars of ATTRACTION POSTERS from the vintage era and that made for very cool back drops but nothing of course of TOONTOWN and NOS and CRITTER COUNTRY........so that was my big quest while I waited for Melody....ok....onward to the report....
My goal was to get a picture of FARLEY and the BILLIES.....I have never got a picture of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies because I have been too busy clapping my hands and enjoying the air conditioning. Just needed one good shot for my FRONTIERLAND PAGES which are awesome if I do say so myself! This was not to be. My flight was 2 hours delayed. YUCK. SFO was crowded. All the LA flights were on time of course. Oh well. Roll with the punches.
So I arrive at JOHN WAYNE around 12:45 and get to the park around 1:30. I take the Disneyland Express. I don't think I will do anything but that shuttle service any more. I will wait longer if I have to. I have had the worst luck on those SHUTTLES and crammed in with lots of folks. I like the big bus seats. I get off at the GRAND and walk over to the ANA BELLA to hopefully get into the room, maybe swim and of course change clothes. I am wearing my warmer clothes for the evening and it is too hot not to change into shorts and a t-shirt. Of course my room isn't ready so I change in the bathroom and go to the parks. Melody is not going to meet me until the evening depending on horrid LA traffic.
I walk through the GRAND and into the DCA entrance with not a soul around me and walk straight through the park and out the gate and into Disneyland. Brilliant. Last trip I did not get to see BILLY HILL so that is my priority of the day since TUE and WED are their days off. It is hot. It is crowded. I make my decision to take all the pics I can and collect souvenirs.
HAUNTED MANSION PIC
I get someone to take my pic in front of the HAUNTED MANSION in my SHAG HM ears by the gates with the sign of HAUNTED MANSION.....brilliant. THen I take a scared close up by the gates (which I photo shop to BLack and WHite....brilliant) Later that night I take a pic of a butler walking up the walkway with the lights shining and only he is in it. THe handicap sign is the only sign of modernity so I block it out with photo shop.) HM success!!!!!!
Melody hates the drop. It is hot. I will be traveling home on TUesday. So it's a no brainer. Single rider line. Pretty long wait for single rider but the real wait is over an hour. Got in the back. Did Thn't get too wet but it is hot. Great way to say hello to Disneyland. And you can all be relieved that I will NOT....I repeat NOT be starting the thread "Who took the tortoise out of SPLASH?" In the tortoise and hare (Br'er Rabbit) tableau the tortoise was gone with a really sad splotch of astro turf where he should have been. In my opinion this is much more blaring than a silly blue/red/ chartreuse crab in POTC but then again...I am mad....
Took a few outside of the sign. Eh. Take one that night of the tower and the sign is illuminated brilliantly. I will pair that with my pic with CAPN JACK a few years back. Brilliant. Also take a pic of the sign of NOS TRAIN STATION for a header. So far so good.
Check in and it is crowded. Want to sit in the front so head to Tomorrowland.
Purchase the rubber R2D2 ears. How cool is that. I try and get people to take a pic of me in said ears in front of SPACE MOUNTAIN....no one can figure out what SPACE MTN. is. Bring ears back for tomorrow.
Go to DRIVERS LICENSE booth and get picture on license. THey are 5 bucks but they are really cool. Hard plastic. You get your option of pictures. Use the one in the middle. The sun was shining on the far right one and it blew out my pics so I did it again in the center one. You can sign your name on it but must use a permanent marker. Very very cool.
Got pics of all the ride logos and MICKEY'S TOONTOWN sign as there are no stickers or anything to accent my book with. No biggie. Cheaper anyway and I get to really take in TOONTOWN. I could have ridden ROGER RABBIT but really jonesing for some Billies.
MAIN ST. USA
Check out the new re-do. Very very cool. THe Penny ARcade does have fewer games but it looks amazing. The candy making kitchen looks great. The Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour still has the soda fountain behind it so my hopes are a bit dashed that they are going to put the FOUNTAIN back in the CARNATION restaurant. No Matterhorn or Snow White or Big Thunder Sundae/?????? Fingers are still crossed.
BILLY HILL AGAIN
Get a great front row seat and share it with a family of 3 and they are delightful. I eat the chicken fingers with fruit and a root beer float while I wait. Not bad. THe service was good at the counter. THe BIllies are playing some new stuff and the lead Billy of course sees me snapping pictures and keeps mugging the camera. I end up picking a pic with the sign behind them as they wave off which I turned to SEPIA....I love love love photo shoppe. Did I say that. I must be mad.
BACK TO THE HOTEL ROOM
Very very nice rooms and in MAY it was under 100 bucks. Got to the big pool. THere are two....one is smallish and one is largish. Cocktail waiters. Fantastic. Melody showed up and we swam. Dressed. THen we went and got our wrist bands. WE went into DCA and entered the GRAND and sat at the bar at the NAPA ROSE>...cheese plate and a nice GRUNER VELTLINER for me and Melody had some silly cocktail and a pizza. We were very very happy and ready to tackle FANTASMIC!
So DCA was closed so we had to use the Disneyland entrance. It was about 9:00 so the park was still open for an hour and EVERYONE from DCA came in so Melody and I were NOT excited about the crowd scene. The DOLE WHIP line was finally about 10 minutes long and I fancied a sweet so we got in line and got our Dole on. THen I said.....well since we are feeling all Islandy Tropicky Aloha-Eh.....let's do the TIKI TIKI TIKI ROOM....I mean all the birds sing words, right? THe flowers croon you know. So why not. Not too packed. We were the only two singing along. Tweet tweet tweet tweet.......tweet. We even gave them a standing O and I took some pics to accent my ADVENTURELAND PAGE. By the time we were done the park is officially closed for the-
So we decide to hit INDY and POTC and HM and I thought the Jungle Cruise was open but alas it wasn't. We also checked the cupcake out and it was jumbo and cool looking but I really didn't want all that sugar that late and I was getting tired. 11:30 was approaching so we hung out on the bridge and I thought getting skewers from Bengal BBQ was a better idea. They are the right price and quite tasty and I had a Coke (something I never partake in) just to give me a wee bit of sugar for the show. A lot of people just camped out before the show which we thought was strange. I mean it WAS crowded but there were never going to be TOO MANY people as it was private. They showed the press footage from the original show and the credits were very cool. They should some of the rehearsals but not enough. The show was the same except for the BIG BAD WOLF and 3 LITTLE PIGS at the end on the Mark Twain. They also had lots of great big MICKEY MOUSE BALLOONS with Fantasmic! 20th Anniversary printed on them. Then we heard that the characters came out on Main St. and waited for them. It was just the Princes and Princesses sans Eric and Ariel. They stood on the station and waved and then we went back to the hotel exhausted.
So here is my review. All my expectations were met. It was fine but I had kind of hoped for something a bit....well.....more. Once the show started the freaky thing was no one walked behind you and the CMs didn't have to do crowd control because we WERE the crowd. That was very cool. No crying kids that parents wanted to watch the show sneaking behind you. Very cool. The pre-show footage was just news show clips and kind of dull. I was hoping the boats would have come back around and they would have taken a bow and maybe sort of had a dance party in NOS maybe??? I mean the show ends perfectly when Disneyland has a regular evening schedule but these are APs and it would have been nice to have given the cast a bow. Came out on the Island and waved off?. OR the entire entourage come around on the train.....even parade onto the train! The first week everyone was not expecting the gang waving at us in Town Square but this week there was a crowd gathered and they played the F! theme over and over and over and over and over until it got maddening.....even for me! Left happy but in the end it was just F! with a pre-show and 7 royalty waving at the Train Station.
TUESDAY MAY 22
So Melody had another long day so we opted to have breakfast at Catal and then enter DCA in time to do TSMM which is her all time fave. Breakfast was good but the coffee was so very weak it was bizarre. I thought maybe it was the pot they gave me so I asked for another. Weak. Should have opted for PEET'S. I remembered it to be good coffee. Everyone is cutting corners I guess. We made it to DCA and took the CARTHAY CIRCLE entrance and we STILL waited about 30 minutes to get on TSMM. I tried a new strategy so Melody won. Then we went back to Disneyland and that took so long that she had to leave. Bummer.
I rode the FIRE TRUCK and got my picture taken with Kevin. He usually drives it and that is my favorite ride. I had tons of pictures with the CARS and OMNI BUS but never one with the Fire Truck. How strange. I got a sticker of Mickey Jr. Firefighter so my materials were almost complete.
I then went to get my picture taken with Merida. I hated taking her time away from the kids but I am also a ginger so HAD to get one with her and thought that the time was now before the film comes out and she is mobbed! She was wonderful and I told her the story how my pal and I were waiting for friends near SM once upon a trip and this little guy says to his Dad in the THICKEST Scottish dialect I have ever heard "DadIH....can weah go on Speeeehs Moontuhn?" and the father replied" Nooooooo yu caaaaaaainT. Yoooooooo're Toooooooo WEEEEEEEEEE!" We thought that was so funny and so did the three bears from the movie. They all giggled and it kind of freaked me out. I took a quick pic and then shot a bow and arrow. Disney really did a fantastic job with this meet and greet.
I then went back to DCA and did the single rider line for SCREAMIN'. It was hot and being in DL alone was not fun so I went back to the hotel got my bags and got a drink at TRADER SAM'S to calm my nerves before the plane ride and popping on the Disneyland Express back to John Wayne. I thought there was going to be JUST me on the big bus but at the last second ONE more fellow joined me. Of course this time my flight was on time and I flew back to SF. The end.