The longest day at the happiest place…

Disneyland Day 2, and the Spring Break fever is in full effect! Today we start with early-opening hours, and (spoiler alert) we go all the way until tomorrow!

We used our early-access time to get to the rides that we can’t “lightning lane” later, to get them while the line is short. The fun part about this is that these are three of the oldest rides: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Toad’s wild ride. We did Mr. Toad first. If you’re going to get sentenced to hell for theft you might as well get it out of the way early in the day. (Boy, Disney morality tales used to be dark! Yes, this is literally the plot of the ride.)

It’s actually pretty fun to do the old rides. They’ve definitely done some minor modernization to these, but for the most part they’re still very old-school original Disney. Personally I love that. Imagining what riding something like “Small World” was like when it was the height of technological entertainment is fascinating. And I love the way they had to be clever with things like mirrors to create effects, rather than the modern rides that just use projections and hidden TV screens.

In a similar vein, we also went on the old “20,000 Leagues under the sea” submarine ride, now with a Finding Nemo overlay over it instead.

I remember being so fascinated by this ride when I was a kid, even without the Nemo and friends aspects! The illusion of diving under the ocean was so fascinating! There was another party with a 5-ish year old in the same ride vehicle with us, and the kid’s surprised exclamations, as well as slight terror at one point, really made me smile.

After our morning snack it’s time for a whirlwind through some more rides! Lightning Lane to the rescue, so we don’t have to stand in lines for too long!

Yes, we’re wearing sunglasses on space mountain. What of it?

Actually it was a test. I had decided I disliked how bright this version of space mountain is, due to the cool star-projector effect. Matt suggested sunglasses might dim it down enough that you get more of the “AHH, WHERE IS THIS COASTER TAKING US?!” feeling.

He was definitely right, however we decided that it dims down the colors too much, and the stars effect is too nice to cover up. Next time: no sunglasses.

Julian has heard from the internet that buying the cheesy pretzel roll from the snack shop by Matterhorn, and then going to Adventure Land to buy meat skewers and putting them on the pretzel roll is quite good. Can confirm: was tasty. Worth another back-and-forth all the way across the park.

After lunch it was time for our mid-day break. Spring-break crowds are in full force right now and the park is a bit crowded, plus apparently we’re all old and infirm.

After a bit of a rest we head back to the park via the monorail!

The Disneyland monorail is much smaller than the World version. Both the monorail network, and the physical cars themselves. But it offers some fun views of the park, and it’s better than walking back!

Time to do Small World, because, well, you have to? You can’t SKIP Small World!

It’s interesting that this version has both more Disney IP (Lion King and Nemo characters, Snow White, Aladdin, etc…) and possible better audio.

Spinal re-alignment is once again necessary, so we’ll ride the matterhorn! Dune has been the topic of humor for us lately, so Matt screaming “THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED!” as we go through the cave after the Yeti was pretty damn funny.

Time to leave Switzerland and head off-planet for more Star Wars adventure! Rise of the Resistance is an amazing ride. You start out walking through a cave complex, and then you board a spaceship to escape!

After you get on the shuttle, it takes off for your adventure… And then you get back OFF the shuttle as a prisoner!

It’s such a fun ride. The entire Star Wars land is themed so well. The only thing they couldn’t theme properly is the fact that in the “real” place there should be two suns overhead. Someday they’ll figure that one out too I’m sure.

Off to pilot the Millennium Falcon!

Next up, more food, before we have food.

Bevin demanded Beignets…

What you really need after a bunch of sugar is a roller coaster! Fortunately for us Big Thunder Mountain is right there!

We made the choice to keep our reservation and go back to Oga’s Cantina for some drinks rather than watch the fireworks, and decided to make a quick detour to the Storybook Land ride. It’s a simple outdoor boat ride through miniatures of a bunch of the Disney stories. Basically: Baby’s First Jungle Cruise.

What we DIDN’T know was that if you’re on the boat when the fireworks start, they stop the boats and you sit there watching the fireworks from inbetween the close fireworks by the castle and the ones further back. You don’t get the audio from the show, but fortunately for us we got stopped right by the Agrabah miniature, so we got to listen to “A Whole New World” over and over while being in the middle of fireworks. It was actually surprisingly fun!

The cast members in here are really fun. There’s a drink called a “Fuzzy Tauntaun” which has a foam on the top of it that has a numbing agent that makes your tongue a tingly and slightly numb. The bartender here was giving the customers at the table a hard time for asking for a straw for their Fuzzy Tauntaun. He kept turning on his headlamp and watching them to make sure they were drinking it without a straw. And there are some little easter eggs that they do too. Poor DJ R3X.

I didn’t get any more pictures here because we were busy singing and clapping to songs and such… Here’s the main playlist for the cantina though, if you want to sing along with us!

(There’s also a 2nd album, but it’s new and doesn’t get used as much.)

After Oga’s it’s now 11PM and we have time for a few more late-night rides! We didn’t actually walk through Swiss Family Robinson, but it looked cool, sadly the camera didn’t really get it. And as usual, on Indiana Jones, Emily looked into the Idol’s eye and doomed us all.

Matt opted out of this one after sugar and drinking and Emily stayed with him. Amusingly, the car we were supposed to get into had to be taken offline because the previous rider had, perhaps, had a little too much to drink before riding? Whoops.

It’s now almost midnight. Just as we get off the ride the park officially closes. It’s still both surprisingly busy, and quite empty. By time we reach the exit gate it’s after midnight, and we started at 7AM. This may actually be my record for longest Disney day ever? Sweet!

What a fun day! Fortunately we don’t have to get up at 5:30 in the morning, our breakfast isn’t until 8:45. I think we all hit the pillow and crashed as soon as we got back.

In case you were curious about the DVC 2-bedroom suite at the Disneyland hotel, here are a couple more pictures, as well as pictures of the rest of the art in our Fantasia themed room!

Breakfast was at the neighboring hotel, the Pixar Place. The restaurant theme was “Maple”, so there were maple donuts, maple bacon, etc… We will all be in food comas for the entire trip home.

After getting back to the room and packed up we waited around a little while before heading to the airport. Of course this meant more playing with lightsabers!

After that it was a ride to the airport, and home we all go!

Well that was Disneyland! An excellent 4 day adventure. As Julian says we “sucked the marrow from it’s bones”. I think he’s right, we did pretty much everything possible to do! And now most of us get to return home and go back to work in the morning. Matt and Emily were smart and get an extra day off.

Here’s a couple more pictures that were leftovers that didn’t get uploaded in the right order!

Lastly, Esme has been quite upset while I sit and write up this blog post at home, she very much wanted me to be playing in a sunbeam with her in the kitchen instead, and is now angrily snuggling on my lap.

So what’s our next adventure going to be? Currently the next scheduled vacation is in 2025, but we’ll try not to make you wait that long!

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