Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Trip Report

Last Friday, I had to make an unexpected trip to Santa Ana (story to come later) and of course I had to stop at Disneyland on the way home. I figured that during the day, the crowds would still be manageable and that the holiday madness wouldn’t begin until Friday night. Boy, was I wrong. On the positive side, the park sure looked festive with its faux icicles, hanging garland, and poinsettia plants strewn throughout.

My first task was to get some photos for Walter World of Star Trader for comparison’s sake with my recent post showing the Tomorrowland Character Shop. Walter: these are for you!

Aren’t they adorable? Just what every home needs.

I boarded the train at the Tomorrowland Depot and planned to get some lunch in New Orleans Square. This was also another excuse to see the Grand Canyon/Primeval World Dioramas.

I was almost as hungry as these fellas:

Our train had to wait a bit at the Main Street stop for traffic up the way to clear, so I passed the time snapping a few photos of the station.

I was going to eat at French Market, but suddenly had a craving for Chicken Strips. Alas, that craving went unfulfilled as the Golden Horseshoe had no tables and a line out to yonder of hungry guests standing in line waiting to order their food. I meandered back to New Orleans Square and figured I’d satisfy my craving for grease with a Monte Cristo at CafĂ© Orleans.

Bombed again, as they were not even taking walk-ins at this point. Are you getting a mental picture of the crowd level yet? So instead I went back to the French Market and had a delicious Cajun Chicken Salad while I was entertained by The Royal Street Bachelors. What a deal!

I normally don’t associate the season of fall with southern California, but boy did the golden color of this tree in Frontierland/Adventureland make me feel like I was back east on an October day! Absolutely beautiful!

At this point, the lines were too long at The Mansion and POTC, so I just hopped over to California Adventure to snap a few photos of the Tron stuff:

Disney sure is pushing this film and using a lot of park real estate for a film that hasn’t been released yet. I have to say that the preview trailers look damn good.

Cars Land is progressing slowly but surely; you can even see a few faux trees being tested out:

I tried the Silly Symphony Swings; didn’t realize how getting older makes this type of attraction less appealing on the stomach (I felt my Cajun Chicken Salad making a return visit!)

On the plus side, the Swings give you some great views of the park:

And the construction of the Paradise Garden & Goofy’s Flight School:

Time to head back to Disneyland, but not before getting this different angle shot of the Grizzly Bear:

Back at DL, the lines were even worse. 15 minutes my a$%...

Adventureland should have been renamed Strollerland; the amount of those dang contraptions littered up the ENTIRE center corridor. It was every guest for themselves as far as survival goes—I felt as trapped as these poor gents!

The highlight of my visit was catching the Flag Lowering Ceremony in Town Square. Nothing like a sunset and a dose of patriotism to end the day on a good note!

Despite the crowds, it was still a fun day!

In DVD news, DO NOT MISS the “Waking Sleeping Beauty” DVD. A quality production all the way through (even the deleted scenes are worth watching!). In the history of animation, the time period covered by this DVD is one that played an important part in Disney’s return to the top. With the use of vintage footage, the viewer really gets a sense of what it was like back in the Eisner years.

Don Hahn and Peter Schneider have done an amazing job of telling this often uncomfortable (and even sad) tale.

See more Disneyland photos at my main website.


Becky said...

Looks like a fun, albeit overcrowded, day :) I can't wait for Tron to come out!

Major Pepperidge said...

Bummer that the park was so crowded; but you got some good pictures, and that's what counts. I love the Grand Canyon Diorama, for all its lack of gimmicks and thrills.

I read an early review of the TRON movie, and it was pretty positive, so my hopes have been raised. Cars Land sure is progressing slowly. They built the Matterhorn, Subs, & Monorail in less than a year!


Great photos Dave. I went to Disneyland on a Sunday and Monday and the crowd wasn't too bag, especially since rain was forecast. I even had a Pirates of the C. boat entirely to myself! I felt so special!

The stroller aspect of Disneyland is out of control!


Ooo! Realized I could plug my post on Disneyland at Christmas so came back to do so!

Here is my take on the park for the holidays:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great report! Aren't those poinsettia's awesome!

Stroller hell huh? Even when I went on the "slow day" last week strollers were everywhere - my first thought was "Dave would go nuts"...

I like how you were able to keep most of the masses out of your photos, nice work!

The Royal Street Bachelors - that's worth the hassle you had getting some grub! Nothing worse than being unable to spend $$$ for food at Disneyland. "Please take my money, somebody!"

Those fall colors around the Frontierland/Adventureland entrance were enchanting huh? I don't recall them being so vivid last year?

I've got my ticket from TRON: Legacy Imax/3D for Friday night, the trailers look great - lets hope!

pixiegirltink said...

Was that George Kalogridis on the piccolo?!

I think everyone and their grandmother is vising Disneyland at Christmas this year. We were up the first weekend (Candlelight, my bad) and it was a zoo! If I hadn't seen reindeer dancing down the street I would have thought it was a Saturday in the middle of Summer. Still, the park was as magical as all get out.

Loved this post. You are hilarious, my friend!

Christopher A. Klingler said...

Great pics and thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to the new Tron movie as well!

Happy Holidays Dave!

Chris :-)

Chris Jepsen said...

You still got in a good day at the parks even though I monopolized half your morning showing off Downtown Santa Ana! Glad you had time to visit. Sorry you couldn't escape in time to miss the rush-hour traffic.

Connie Moreno said...

Incredible photos and funny story to boot! I was at the Park last night just to soak up some magic.

walterworld said...

Dave---Thanks so much for going back to the former Character Shop to snap those pics for me.

And I hate to ask for more...


I think you took shots of the main floor area instead of the smaller shop space that is directly adjacent to the unload/exit ramp for Star Tours. That is the area shown on the older post. The spot of which I speak is devoted exclusively to Star Wars stuff.

Want to check on this again next time you are at the Park? (which should be next week at your pace!)

You can get those chicken strips then too :)

Daveland said...

No problem Walter—but I am definitely waiting until after the holiday season—those crowds are CRAZY!