Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can it get more perfect?

We head back to the room before 9:00, and the sun has just set. If I thought the view from our balcony was spectacular during the day, well, it was nothing compared to the nighttime view!

Paradise Pier is glowing with neon lights flashing in different colors (and we can still hear the screams from riders of California Screamin’), and the Castle, Matterhorn, Space Mountain, and the Tower of Terror are all glowing in their nighttime lighting. It really is awesome.

The air is cooling down quite a bit – it’s supposed to drop into the 60’s each night, a vast improvement over the “lows” in the 80’s back in Texas – and I love it! I sit out on the balcony in my swimsuit. Fantasmic! should be starting at 9:00 over in Disneyland, and I look out over that wooded area of the park to guesstimate its location. Sure enough, suddenly a beam of light shoots straight up skyward, which I presume is from Mickey’s dramatic entrance.

Hey! I can even hear the music from Fantasmic! up here! Okay, really, I can at most hear that there is music, and it’s awfully hard to make out the specific sounds. Still, it’s pretty cool. I can also make out the crowd applauding and yelling from time to time.

Knowing the approximate length of the show, and how it ends, I am actually able to start following the music and flashes of fireworks leading up to the big ending. I hope we get a chance to see Fantasmic! in person here – everyone I know who has seen both the WDW version of the show and the Disneyland version tell me that Disneyland’s is far superior, and I love the WDW version. At the same time, because the Disneyland show is staged in the park on the Rivers of America, there’s not amphitheater seating like at the Studios park in Florida, and I don’t do well standing for long periods of time.

There’s a final discharge of fireworks, and I hear the roar of an appreciative audience over the distance. It is so amazing to be here!

Now, just a few minutes later at 9:30, the fireworks should begin over Sleeping Beauty castle. Yep – there they go. And... wow. Talk about your good views!

We’ve stayed in some awfully nice resorts at Walt Disney World – the Beach Club, right next door to Epcot; the Polynesian, across the lagoon from the Magic Kingdom; and the Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s own “mountain” resort on the shores of Bay Lake. All were magical, and several times we’d taken advantage of the Polynesian’s beach to watch the MK fireworks across the water.

While I’d stay at any of them again in a heartbeat, and we really love the theming, we’ve never had a view like this. Disneyland is right in view, with fireworks going off! How totally cool!

I know the general outline of the new fireworks show, and am able to spot Tinker Bell as she flies over the castle – twice – and also the newest addition to the show, the flying elephant Dumbo. We’re too far to see them as anything but large floating dots around the castle, but it’s still pretty neat.

The kids and Becky come and go off the balcony, but of course we don’t have to be outside to see the fireworks display – they’re just as easily viewed through the wall-to-ceiling glass doors from within the room. After 14 or 15 minutes of spectacular fireworks – no one does a fireworks show like Disney; our only regret is not being able to hear the music, since they are so perfectly coordinated with the soundtrack – there is a big cluster of finale explosions and the show is over. Multiple spotlights shine into the air around Main Street USA. It’s an incredible sight.

And we get this front-row (kind of) view every single night!

It’s almost ten o’clock, which to my not-yet-time-zone-adjusted body is nearing midnight. I quickly change and head for bed. It’s been a good day of travel and settling in. We will have some fun during the day tomorrow, and then the VM work begins in earnest tomorrow evening.

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