DISNEYLAND - DAY 1

Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
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Trip End Jun 28, 2013


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, June 21, 2013

We were up nice and early, 6.00am to be exact, to prepare for our first day at Disneyland. It was another awesome day on the weather front. Part of the preparation involved wolfing down a feed of bacon and eggs to ensure we had sufficient energy to get us through the day.

We caught the free hotel shuttle bus which had us at Disneyland just prior to the gates opening at 8.00am. Disneyland now has two separate parks, the original Disneyland Park and the newer California Adventure Park. We had decided to spend today at the California Adventure Park.

Unlike SeaWorld, we had no real strategy on how to tackle the rides we wanted to do. All we knew was that there were a couple of must see rides, the Cars Radiator Springs Racers and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

We walked into the park and tried to get our bearings with map in hand. We saw a long queue that had formed which turned out to be the queue for the 'FastPass' for the Cars Radiator Springs Racer ride. Now, for the uninitiated, a FastPass can be obtained for certain, more popular rides and it saves you having to queue for hours. You are allocated a window of 1 hour where you can pretty much skip the queues. Unfortunately you can only get 2 FastPasses at any one time. 
 
We jumped in the queue and it took about 25 minutes to get our FastPasses for the Cars Radiator Springs Racer ride. We were allocated a time window of between 11.35am and 12.35pm to take the ride. While I was queueing for the FastPasses, Wendy had popped across to Starbucks, which was a couple of minutes walk away, to grab us some coffees, and it took her over half an hour. It's pretty sad that you queue longer for shit coffee than for the bloody rides !
 
The first ride we actually went on was called Soarin' over California. It was a simulator ride so I wasn't expecting much. It ended up being the best simulator ride I have been on to date. You basically assume the eyes of a giant condor flying across key California landmarks like San Francisco, Yosemite, Palm Springs, Napa Valley, Malibu, etc. We all enjoyed the ride.

We then hand a bit of wander around the park. We came across this huge roller coaster called 
California Screamin'. Wendy and I decided we were keen to give it a crack. Danielle wasn't having a bar of it. She said she would sit this one out and mind the bags. 

We queued for 25 minutes but it was well worth it as the ride was 'O' for awesome. It was probably the longest roller coaster ride I have been on in duration. Wendy had her eyes closed for most of it however.

Given Danielle had spent the best part of 35 minutes waiting for us to have our ride on the roller coaster, we thought it only fair for her to choose the ride she wanted to go on next. Sadly, she chose Goofy's Sky School Roller coaster which was just a jolt-fest and not much more.

Unfortunately, the next ride, 'The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure', wasn't much better. It was a slow ride set in a clam shell telling Ariel's story, whoever the feck Ariel is ???

Next up was the Grizzly River Run which was a river rapids tube ride, similar to the one at SeaWorld only much better and we didn't get as wet

We decided we should grab some 'FastPass' tickets for The Twilight Zone -  Tower of Terror ride and the good news is that we didn't need to queue for them. We were allotted a time to ride between 12.30pm - 1.30pm which was straight after the time we had allotted for the Radiator Springs Racers ride.

We headed to the Radiator Spring Racers ride and strolled through using our FastPass, past the masses queueing. The ride, based on the movie 'Cars', was pretty cool and saw you racing in a car next to some other punters. I could certainly understand why it was the most popular ride at the park as it was good fun.

Next we headed to The Twilight Zone -  Tower of Terror ride. Now this ride gave me the shits big time. The setting sees you in an elevator in a hotel where strange things start happening. The strange things consist primarily of the hotel service elevator going up and plummeting down at a rapid rate of knots. 

After cleaning out the undies, we watched the Pixar Play Parade which was street parade featuring a heap of disney characters from movies like The Incredibles, A Bug's Life, Toy Story and Monsters Inc. to name a few. Danielle commandeered a front row seat and enjoyed the show. 

By now it was late in the afternoon and as we had pretty much knocked off most of the key rides at California Adventure Park \ so we thought we would do a brief reconnaissance of Disneyland Park next door in preparation for tomorrow. 

We picked up a couple of ice-cream sundaes which were pretty bloody good in the hot sun I gotta say. We had only just finished our ice-cream sundaes when Mickey's Soundsational Parade started. This parade was better than the one at California Adventure Park as it included a lot more Disney characters from my era, including Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, Lion King, Snow White, Mary Poppins and many more.

By the time the parade ended, it was time to catch our shuttle bus back to the hotel. We were pretty shattered but Wendy popped down to the Indian restaurant next door and got us some takeaways. There was a lot of it and it wasn't bad either.

With the guts loaded up, it was time to hit the hay.

Over and out !
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