Monday, July 06, 2009

In and around Disneyland

We trace our route into California Adventure in reverse, get our hands stamped and exit the park.

It feels a bit odd leaving a park within a hour of when it opened, but we are just going right across the entry plaza into Disneyland, without any detours. No, wait, scratch that. There are a couple of new Honda sedans on display in the plaza, hybrids presumably, and my dad, Bob, and Ron are drawn to them as if pulled by gravity. The rest of us stand by patiently while they look over these new models.

Okay, car drooling completed. We move on to the Disneyland entrance, scan our passes (the ones that say “CLUB 33” – have I mentioned that?), show our hand stamps, and head on in. Ahhh. I just love being in Disneyland.

What to do first? Well, whatever we do, we need to time things so that we end up in New Orleans Square by 2:00 for our lunch reservation. Anything else we can do in the meantime is just bonus.

I suggest that since we’re by the Main Street station, we could take the railroad on a complete trip around the park – in other words, as an attraction as much as for transportation. Then we can get off at the New Orleans Square station and ride different things until time to eat.

Hey, there’s Mickey! It’s my first sighting of him on this trip. He’s currently greeting a line of people across the square from us. We’ll pass on an up-close visit for now.

We climb the stairs to the station. Yay, stairs. I note a sign that explains that the other stations are disabled accessible. Oh, well. I’m still wheezing and needing to take it slowly, but I am much better than yesterday. I sure needed to catch up on rest, and I’ve done that now.

There’s a train boarding now, but we’re a bit back in the line to make it on this one. We should get on the next train. It’s a pretty nice day today, clear and sunny, and getting a bit warm – California warm, that is. In Dallas in July this temperature in the 82-84 range is often a low, not a high.

I think now that I’m more rested, I’m able to relax and enjoy myself more. Apart from our return travel plans, we only have one more time-sensitive obligation on our calendar, and that’s our lunch at Club 33 – but we’ve received our passes from that, confirming that our reservation is good. It shouldn’t be a big deal to get there. After that… total relaxation, enjoying the parks with no pressure to be anyplace or do anything.

Another train comes into the station, blowing its whistle as it arrives. Time to board. Okay, here’s another difference between Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Florida – the Magic Kingdom trains have seats facing forward, but Disneyland’s face to the right, always inward to the park as the trains circle around.

We claim seats in the second car from the back. Bob wants a front row seat, but those fill before we can get to the car. Once on board, the train chugs ahead, and we enjoy the sights and sounds of Disneyland as we tour the perimeter of the park.

Brandon wonders if the train goes through Splash Mountain, as it does in Florida. I honestly don’t know, but the question is answered shortly after we depart the New Orleans Square station, when we pass through the attraction and are able to glimpse the final scene with the paddlewheeler and all the animals singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

We enjoy the tour, and all particularly impressed with the Grand Canyon diorama and Primeval World, which we pass just before arriving back at the Main Street station. I knew these were here, but had never seen them, and had no idea they’d be as big and detailed as they were.

My dad, who can sleep through anything, and I mean anything, is nodding off as the train rocks it’s way to our final destination. I respect and love the man, but it doesn’t stop me from taking his picture.

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