August 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
Our final days in Disneyland were a blast. Taking a whole week really means that you can take a lot more time doing nothing instead of rushing the parks like a military assault.
We took a full day just to do shows. Being i the Hotel, we got special priority passes for the Aladdin Musical, and got front row center seats. They re so worth it for this show. you have performers, anamatrionic camels and elephants walking around the theater, and they come right up and interact with you. The singing and jokes in the show are fantastic, and as always, Genie steals the show. It is so worth the wait to see.
We also saw World of Color for the second time, and then ran across both parks to see Fantasmic in Disneyland. You can get Fastpasses for World of Color, but you have to pay for good seats to Fantasmic. Unless you know to go to the restaurant just above the river, and get food before the show. Then you can sit in the patio with a great view of the show for the cost of a sundae.
I managed to see all of World of color this time, as the first time I kept turning to get reaction shots of Yulia and Sasha and missed the whole Pirates part (fire makes it good). It really is an amazing show.
We saw Fantasmic years ago, and they have upgraded the whole production this year. The fire, pirate attack, and dragon are all bigger, and worth the time to see it. The sundae at the shop isn’t bad either.
At the boardwalk in California Adventure, Sasha was desperate to win a Dumbo at one of the Carnival Games. Naturally, I had little chance of doing this as most of them are pretty tough to win, but I tried to do it with one of the squirt-gun-target lineups. A family of four girls was against me in the competition, and luckily they were all bad shots. So I won, Sasha got her elephant, and I only had to crush the dreams of four little girls to do it.
Of course, Sasha had never seen Dumbo, and had no idea who he was. She just loves elephants. So I picked up the DVD from the lobby.
I love the fact that we took extra time in Disneyland to relax and not rush all the rides. We had time to really play and enjoy the new parts of the parks, the architecture, music, and fantasy of it all.
The Dumbo DVD made a great thing to watch on our drive up to Sonoma. We decided to take 101 instead of I-5, which might be a little slower, but it is such a better drive. We had a chance to see Santa Barbra, which was THE soap opera in Moscow, and we got to stop on the beach near the pier and marina to lounge about for a bit.
the rest of the drive through farms, silicon valley, and San Francisco, ending with a drive across the Golden Gate was fantastic.
Now for a few relaxing days swimming and tasting wine.
August 22, 2012 Comments Off
Sitting in our room, we wait for the fireworks to start over the park. Our window has the perfect view of Anaheim and the Disneyland park including the full evening fireworks show.
But tonight, high winds end up canceling the show at the last second. We imagine the frustration and screams of those who have been waiting in the park for hours to get the perfect seats. With sleepy children no sadly walking back to their respective shuttles to their hotels.
Staying in the Disneyland Hotel has it’s advantages.
We have been here since – well I’m not sure exactly. There was a lot of squealing and happy chatter, and several roller coasters since then, so I’m not entirely sure. Mai Tais may also be involved, we can’t be sure.
The whole Disney resort has been remodeled, The Hotels, the parks, everything. I’m sure that those who don’t come often might not be able to tell, but we have been often enough that it really shows. So far, we are spending mornings in the park, coming back to the pool for the afternoon, then picking up again in the evening.
When you give yourself enough time, there really isn’t so much pressure to get everything in at once.
This gave us some time to find the ever so slightly hidden Tiki Bar behind the pool. So far, it has proven popular. That, napping at the pool, and trying to catch as many of the shows has been the bulk of our time.
Today also included a trip out to Universal Studios. We got the Front-of-line pass, which is about the only way to see the whole place in one day. All of it is great. Touring the studios I feel a bit guilty as it is hard today for someone like Sasha or Yulia to get exposed to a lot of the films and directors that are classic in a place like Universal. Looks like we have a big rental list coming.
It’s the same problem we have at Disney trying to explain “Song of the South” or “Wind in the Willows” Splash Mountain and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride don’t make sense without these films.
But that’s small potatoes. We are really just enjoying our time, loving the shows, and relaxing.
And laughing at the dorks in the shuttle queue.
August 16, 2012 Comments Off
Well, after a summer of ungodly work and ridiculous stress, we are finally off for vacation again.
I think that forcing myself to write again is probably the best thing that I do to myself each vacation, and I’m sure that I need to translate this into some kind of permanent habit for the rest of the year. But that’s not the immediate goal.
The immediate goal is ROAD TRIP.
Taking road trips to Disneyland has become a staple of our vacation choices, and with the sad destruction of the PAcifica this year, and the purchase of the Magnum, we are well equipped for the drive. Having a 5.7L Hemi to tear up the concrete from Seattle to L.A. should make the trip quite pleasant. Nothing suck more than struggling up a mountain pass in a full car.
We have a few extra days to get down to Disney, we are making stops in both Ashland and Sacramento on the way down. This way we don’t need to rush quite so much.
Tonight we pack, tomorrow WE RIDE!