Disneyland, Day Two

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Teddy and I started our day with a walk back to Disneyland. We stopped at a breakfast buffet across the street for some food, and then headed into the park. Our first ride was the Disneyland Train. Partly because of Walt Disney's love for trains, but also because it is the quickest way from Main St. USA to Toontown. The train ride is nice and slow with a lot to look at, not just for good views of rides, but also to see dioramas created specifically for passengers of the train. We will try to see the other half of the scenery on our next visit. Once in Toontown, we started at Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. The queue leading in to this ride is like an attraction on it's own. One of the things I noticed over and over at Disney is they really spare no expense. Fans of Who Framed Roger Rabbit will enjoy the walk into this ride and will totally love the ride. We rode it twice in a row since there was no line early in the morning.



We visited a few of the smaller stores and attractions, then found our way to Mickey Mouse's house. This is a fun house to walk around but it is really just an elaborate queue to get you to the place where you can pose for a photo with Mickey. Like most theme parks, they have professional photographers to take your photo and sell it to you, but they also offer to take a shot with your own camera (for free). This is one of the other things I noticed over and over: there is no pressure to spend more money once you are in the park. There are souvenir shops all over, some video arcades, food vendors, etc..., but no hawks or pressure to spend. Nothing in the park is overly commercial. On a side note, I noticed something odd (or not) in Mickey Mouse's house. While walking through one of the rooms, we saw a washing machine with Mickey's laundry in it. One of the items in the machine was red with white polka dots. Now I'm not saying just because Minnie's laundry is in Mickey's house, there's something going on, but it caught my eye. Maybe her machine is broken and Mickey is just helping out a neighbor.


As we were leaving Toontown, I spotted It's A Small World. Teddy wasn't interested, but there's no way were leaving without going on this classic. The wait was only ten minutes and the ride is about ten minutes as well. Katie had warned me that the foreign language singing was replaced with foreign accent singing. I was not looking forward to that, but fortunately, they've since corrected that atrocity, at least partly. Including English, I counted five languages, plus a second accented English, which I took to be Cockney. There were also several culturally-relevant instrumental versions which is better than foreign accents, but not as good as languages. I don't know how many languages there used to be on the ride.


We learned today that the Fastpass ticketing system is free. At Six Flags it costs a lot of money but at Disneyland, your regular park ticket is also a Fastpass activator. Knowing that, we used it a few times today. We used it first for Splash Mountain (a log flume). We got our Fastpass tickets, and then got on line for the 30-minute wait. We knew we'd want to ride this one more than once.


We didn't know what to do next so we just started visiting attractions in order. Based on proximity, the next was the Haunted Mansion. I was surprised that Teddy wanted to go in because ghosts are still scary to him, but he insisted. This was a very fun ride and attraction and showed off some great effects. It's not bloody-corpse scary and doesn't have people reaching out at you to give you nightmares. It's just spooky and fascinating. The holographic dancing spirits and the shadow playing the piano are two more examples of Imagineering at it's best. Robyn told me later that this attraction gets a Nightmare Before Christmas makeover for Halloween. Very cool.


Our next big ride was the Indiana Jones Adventure. This ride was very exciting and very well worth the wait. Again, unlike other theme parks, the queue is all part of the story. Many elements of the first 15 Minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark were used in the design of the long walk into this ride, and other were used for the ride itself. After finishing this ride, Robyn arrived at the park with her son's Jared and Josh. She worked here for years so she knew exactly where we were and were to meet us based on what we wanted to do next.


Next stop: Pirates of the Caribbean. Another classic that Walt Disney himself designed parts of. They updated it a few years ago to add some characters and scenery from the Disney movie but it blends well with the older stuff. As we passed a room full of treasure I said to Teddy that I wished I could steal some of the shiny pirate treasure. Teddy warned me, "Daddy don't, it looks like a trap!"


After Pirates it was time for our Fastpass return to Splash Mountain. We finagled an extra Fastpass ticket for Josh so he could come with Teddy and I while Robyn too Jared to a Winnie the Pooh ride a few times. Teddy and Josh sat in the back seat together and cheered the whole way.


After the splash down we all headed for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a family roller coaster set in a seemingly haunted abandoned gold mine. It was faster, longer, and more fun than Teddy's favorite Six Flags coaster but the line was long so we only rode it once. When we go back, we'll probably Fastpass it and ride it again. This is a historical attraction because it was the first Disney ride where CAD was used.


We stopped to watch Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. I could have done without the giant 3D snake. Then we bought some souvenirs and watched the parade/show on Main Street on our way out of the park. The temperature approached 100 degrees so we decided to retreat to the hotel pool.


After cooling off, we went to Disney's California Adventure. We rode the Monster's Inc. ride, ate dinner, and then rode Soarin' over California which is very cool. We only got to spend 15 minutes in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail because this park closes at 10:00pm. Teddy could easily spend a few hours in that kind of playground. At 10:00, he was still raring to go so we walked back over to Disneyland and went on the Matterhorn Bobsleds again. This time Teddy rode with Josh and Jared (who is four and was a little scared to go on this coaster) asked to ride with me. We tried to ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again, but after the fireworks everyone else had the same idea so after waiting on line a bit, we bailed and headed home. Teddy went to sleep at 1:00am and I'm not sure if he was more tired or more excited.


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