As we cross the drawbridge and enter the hub, I spot the Plaza Inn restaurant off to our left. No, I’m not at all hungry – we were still at Club 33 just two hours ago – but the Plaza Inn is where my friend Lara, who came to the VM rehearsal last Wednesday night, works. I’ve promised to try to visit her “in her native environment” here at Disneyland, so I ask my family if they mind a brief detour. They don’t.
We cross through the hub, pausing for the obligatory picture of the Partners Statue with the castle behind it, and then we veer left towards the Plaza Inn. My family decides to hang out outside while I approach the greeter cast member. I ask her if Lara is working. She doesn’t know off the top of her head, but sends me inside to ask.
The Plaza Inn is a very nice restaurant, but the smells of the food are not enticing to me like they normally would be since I’m not hungry. I look around. Though there are many different cast members bustling around the buffet area, I don’t see Lara. I catch the attention of one of the nearer CM’s, but she doesn’t know if Lara’s working now either. She goes into the back to ask around, and comes back to report that Lara got off work at 3:15. Oh, well.
I thank her and the greeter as I exit, gather the family, and we walk down Main Street.
Just before Town Square we go into the Emporium. Becky wants to look at shirts, but I’m interested in the pins. I’ve been looking for a specific one that a friend of mine – the same one lending us his luggage – bought on one of his recent Disney trips. It has Mickey on the front and the words “It all started with...,” the opening words of Walt’s famous quote that normally ends in “a mouse,” but the pin opens to reveal pictures of Walt himself. It’s a great tribute to him.
I don’t see that particular pin, but I find another one that pays homage to Walt that I love. It has a full-color enamel Mickey Mouse smiling and holding a gold frame that is a large as he is. Inside the frame is a black and white photograph of Walt Disney. Classic. I’ll take it!
I snoop around a bit more and spot a wall of watches. Hey, my last Mickey watch is broken. Time for a new one? There’s a great selection here, and I spot a nice, simple, classic Mickey watch with a large dial and Mickey’s hands pointing to the time. It has a brown leather wristband. Nice, but I look around some more and find the same watch with a black leather band. Even better.
Becky is still browsing, so I check out and tell her I’m going out to Town Square to sit and wait. I exit the store and spot an empty bench in the central area.
It’s a very nice place to sit and wait. There’s a cast member manning a food cart nearby, and I hear him say that the parade will start at 6:30. Hmmm. I wouldn’t mind seeing that, but it’s been a long enough day – and I’m still not fully rested enough from the Barbershop convention – that going back to the hotel sounds a little better. Of course, we haven’t left yet, but we’ll see.
Every minute or two I hear gunfire. Yes, gunfire, exactly two shots each time, coming from behind City Hall. Having looked at the aerial view of the park many times online, I recognize that the shots are from the Jungle Cruise, which winds around just to the west of Main Street (although its entrance is far away in Adventureland).
The skippers are firing their guns to scare off the hippos. From the regularity of the shots, apparently the hippos don’t learn their lessons very well.
It suddenly dawns on me that we can’t leave yet – or at least one of us can’t. I have the ART passes for our family, and Brandon’s off with his grandparents trying to ride Space Mountain. Oops. We should’ve thought of that before we split up.