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Trip Reports
10-16-2005, 06:12 PM
* Time of Year: Holiday Season
* Travel Method: Personal Car
* Ages Represented in Group: Adult
* Disneyland Experience Represented in Group: Frequent
* Comments: Joseph Lum and his "SO" visited Disneyland the day after Christmas. Good report of the day's goings-on.

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Hello folks, its been a while, well almost a month and a half since I posted a trip report on Disneyland. It has been RL job, year-end accounting junk that has been keeping me from this newsgroup. Thus I have a lot of catching up to do, so rather than detail all of my trips in November and December, I'll just highlight, then post an awesome report for the day after Christmas, 12/26/96.

November marked the last time the Electrical Parade was to be performed to the general public. It also marked the last time the Lion King will be performed until March. There were a couple things to note. First of all, the crowds for the MSEP farewell was not nearly as bad as it was in September and October. It actually was quite nice. I didn't experience any pushing or being thrown down to the ground. (I guess part of it was because my SO was with me) The Big Thunder Earthquake scene was redone to include a great sparkling gold flowing down as the rocks shake. I also discovered that a pretty nice spot to view the MSEP was in Carnation restaurant on the patio outside. Though the view was not the best, having the parade go by in sparkling lights while eating your dinner was pretty awesome!

In December, we first experienced the Christmas Fantasy Parade, and then we experienced the Christmas Fantasy Parade again, and again, and again ;-). In other words, my SO and I enjoy the parade immensely! Its getting to the point where we start humming the theme song to the parade every where we go. (We don't know the exact words, but we always end it with "You are my Christmas Fantasy ;-)" and then kiss each other. Ummm anyways... I think we have enough of spotted doggies all over the place. And of course there was Michael Ovitz obscene compensation. Hey he can pay for Disney Hall now! But actually , we both love the Christmas Fantasy Parade. We both wondered if the ballet dancers had actual training or not, it seemed they both did. (Yes we liked the one in the blue tutu dancing with the nutcracker ;-) SHe has the best smile) We also found that the best espresso drinks for your money nearby was at the coffee place at the Disneyland Hotel, near Strombolli's. ANd we actually ate at Strombolli's, and it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. And one note to Mortal Kombat players, don't play it at Disneyland...

So , now it is time for the Thursday, December 26, 1996 trip report. For about a week, I had to take in a Swede and entertain him. However, since it was the year-end for the company I work for, I didn't have much time to do anything except take him out for dinner after work. ANd this year, it was awful where sometimes I had to put in days where I didn't come back til late at night. Luckily, my SO was there, so after a wonderful Christmas with my parents and talking til 2am in the morning, we decided to visit the Happiest Place on earth .

We arrived around 10-10:30 ish. And well, it took a long time. This was the busiest shopping day in America, and well it seemed like a lot went to Disneyland. And it seemed like someone partied too much last night or had food poisoning, because yes someone was vomitting on the parking lot at the side of the car. The Swede said , "Welcome to Disneyland ;-)"

ANyways, we parked at WInnie the Pooh, and proceeded to the tram waiting area. Then it seemed it will get chilly, so I headed back to the car to get my SO's coat where a co-worker of mine yelled "Joe!" Yikes, I wanted to escape work as much as possible, so we chatted and then left him with "Don't miss Fantasmic"...

So back at the tram waiting area, and we couldn't get on any tram, so we walked, and danced to the main gate. Since we stopped at the Disney Store and failed to get a ticket for the Swede because of long lines at the DIsney Store, I had to buy the ticket at the ticket booth which took about 5 seconds. Then we entered, which took about 10 seconds. TIP, do not follow crowd mentality and look at all ticket booths and gates for the shortest line.

We entered , and we were all in heaven. We strolled down mainstreet and I gave him a brief tour of where Walt's apartment was, the buildings of main street, the partners statue, the names on the windows, the candy palace with the yummy peanut brittle, ...... well anyways, we first stopped at the Disney Gallery, and showed our guest artwork. Then we took in the atmosphere of the New Orleans area , with the Mark Twain Steamboat going around the Rivers of America. This was beautiful. The Swede was taking pictures of everything, the Swiss Family Treehouse, the house on Tom Sawyer's Island, the steamboat, the Columbia going backwards, the Keel BOats going backwards :-) Well, we then decided to go to...

the Haunted Mansion. Very nice, though it seemed to be very bottled necked at the picture hallway. We sort of lost him, but he found us somehow and was not taken in as number 1000. This ride finally stoppped where I wanted it to, for about 5 minutes , at the Grim grinning ghosts busts singing away. This was great. After the ride, the Swede said that was something.

Since we were all hungry, we went to get a bite to eat at the Turkey Leg cart by the Festival of FoodsEsmereldas CottageFestival of Foods area. These Turkey legs are huge. I felt like I was Conan eating a big feast. We were a sight to see to the people waiting for the festival of fools, for we sat at the Big Thunder BBQI mean the Festival of Foods area near the que for the Festival of Fools. People were laughing at us, but we were having fun. My SO spilt her Lemonade. Lorena was nice enought to give me another cup of lemonade for my SO. The magic is still there...

Afterwards , we headed to the Pocahontas show for the 2:00 pm showing.

We sat near the top, at the center, right in front of the tech people. I have to say that this show is pretty decent. Pocahontas sings the songs with a lot of feeling, and you know, it does bring chills to your skin when you listen closely to the lyrics. As the Swede said, this was something. And he never even seen any of the modern Disney animated films yet (i.e. Little Mermaid on)

Afterwards, we headed to Toontown, . Boy this place is crazy with every kid in the park, which means, a lot of strollers. The bathroom by Goofy;s gas station was pretty smelly. I think all of us were going crazy, so we wanted to go to Star Tours but.....

Well, we were blocked by the Christmas Fantasy Parade, so we headed into the Small World Line and actually got pretty close, actually really close to the performers . We can see the pink tutu ballerina warming up, as well as others, such as the blue tutu ballerina ;-) You know, I am going to miss this parade when it is over. I wish I had the soundtrack for this parade, the lion king celebration, the 35th anniversary pardi gras parade, and yes even the (don't laugh) the Dick Tracy show back in 1990, when I was a CM. (No, not for the Dick Tracy show ;-)

Well, I guess we made the trip through Its a Small World next, the ride regulars fear, but it is a must see for first time visitors. Well, guess what, I think this ride is actually growing on me and my SO. We both enjoyed it immensely. I guess it was the figuring out what country is what, and maybe it is our depression about the world today that we wished that everyone can be happy and get along. Well to the Swede, Once is enough ;-)

Next we headed to Star Tours. The Swede was a huge Star Wars fan, so this was a treat actually for all of us. Why!!? Because, everyone, from the creatures in the controllers box, to C3P0 and R2D2, to the maintenance robots and the little ones you hardly noticed were all wearing Mickey Mouse Santa Hats! Man, someone in maintenance went a little overboard. Well it was cute. Anyways, we sat in the back of the transport. Just a note, the back of the transport is very rough and it gives the best ride. I;m not sure why, but I think you just feel every movement the simulator makes. The Swede was enjoying every moment . He said,"well, I spotted the Death Star and I was thinking to myself, I hope we go in closer and fly there, and when we were going down the trench, I said yes yes yes yes yes yes!" He added,"I would go on this many more times."

Afterwards , we shopped and he bought some star wars trinkets. I forgot I should be paying for the items to get the AP discount. Well next time I will know....

We headed to Indiana Jones Adventure, but while we were in the spike room, the music turned off, and well, it was a shutdown. No problem, I had brought some cards to play while we waited for the ride to come back up. Well it didn't immediately so we were given a voucher to skip the line if it came back up again, which it did.

So we headed to the Festival Arena to watch the 6:00 pm showing of the Festival of Fools.. Yes Yes yes, we got front row seats in Deck 2! I also see that there were Clopin groupies in Deck 3 complete with the Clopin plush and......... WOW the Clopin puppet. I shouldv'e asked them where did they get that Clopin puppet. It is the same one that Clopin uses in the show. They also were making the Clopin plush do circles around the rope since his feet are curled. (This reminds me of my days at Berkeley doing gymnastics ;-) Furthermore, I saw a familiar face in Deck 1 front row. It was a female, but it seemed she was with her mom .

THis show was THE best ever. My SO and I have seen many FoF shows, but this one was great. Clopin acknowledged his groupies in Deck 3, the gypsies came by and shook hands and interacted with us in Deck 2. Wow, I think there is something going on with Phoebus and Esmerelda because they kissed during the Out There number, and Clopin didn't bother to separate them, plus Phoebus did something extra at the end of the show to her. Frollo calling , "Esmerelda" when she first came out. Maybe it helped that my SO and I were very enthusiastic and yelling , "NO!" to each of the participants of the King of Fools contest, maybe it was the Swede smiling and laughing at everything , maybe it was the crowd being so energized. Well at the end of the show, the Swede said, "THAT, was something!" And I said to myself, there is still magic, no need to remember the magic since it is here, right here, right now. TIP: do NOT miss the Festival of Fools, and PARTICIPATE!

We headed to dinner with Clam Chowder pots at the Cafe Orleans. Hey, guess what, the SILVERWARE IS BACK""!!!! THE SILVERWARE IS BACK! THis was a nice break to absorb the great performance of the Festival of Fools,. Of course the Bells of NOtre Dame was ringing through the Swede's head and then he said, "I have to buy the soundtrack!" "I have to see the movies, not just the hunchback, but all of them from the Little Mermaid on." I asked him , "Are you having a good time!?" He said, "YES!" I asked him, "Are you happy to be here!?" He said, "YES! This place, Disneyland, is something.!"

Afterwards, we headed to Toontown to ride Roger Rabbit's Cartoon SPin. This was OK. Actually, it was pretty good, I should ride this one more often. The swede's comment, "Where is the walk around Jessica Rabbit?"

Afterwards, we took the train,at 9:10 pm, just when the First Fantasmic! showing is being let out. We arrived at New Orleans square around 9:40 and we got great seats in the sit down area right in front of the tech people in the last row. I headed to the refreshment bar below the Gallery to get some hot chocolate and coffee since it was quite chilly. By the time I got back it was 10 pm and was time for the band to come out. Well I whipped out my cards and we played Direct, a Russian card game I learned at Berkeley , until the show was about to start. All we told the Swede was that Fantasmic was a fireworks-water show. The Swede told me that the World Championship of Fireworks was held in Sweden, so I was hoping hoping, that Fantasmic! held up to those standards. Welll.....

despite no crocodile and no Ursula, and no Pocahontas , he said, "WOW THAT WAS SOMETHING! Well folks, I am very glad that Disneyland is the only place in the whole world to see Fantasmic! The Swede was speechless. I, myself, was happy to see the Little Mermaid Ariel back in the front of the Mark Twain.

Afterwards, we used the voucher for Indiana Jones to enter through the exit, and we got on pretty quickly and entered the Future door. Hmmmm Indy was sort of lifeless at the gates of doom, but he was there in spirit. Our vehicle was dispatched too fast to see the rats but that was ok, it was still great fun. The Swede said, "That was something "

After that we headed home at 11:30pm, pretty tired and exhausted. What an incredible day. And folks, I get to do this again in a week to a couple from Missouri, and then again with another person from Alabama...

Well anyways, if you are lucky, you may see my SO and I playing Direct in front of the castle New Year's Eve, wearing formal Mickey Mouse Party Hats and maybe I will wear a suit and tie, and she some dress... And maybe, we will start the new year with a bang!

Happy Christmas everyone , and Merry New Year!

Joseph Lum