Tigga, Please…

As expected, the crowds were light on the 5th. Pretty much everyone who had been at Disney the night before was too tired to show up the next day. Except us, of course. The cast members at the park were literally commenting how no one was arond, and Oscar was the frst dog in the Kennel that day, So we were hoping to catch up on some of the rides.

Picture 001 As soon as we walked into the park, Yulia wished out loud that she wanted to see some of the characters, since with the previous crowds, they were impossible to see so far. Right as she said this, a door opened in front of us, and Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto came bouncing out. Sasha had picked up a new autograph book the day before. This one was a lot nicer that the one she has now, it has space for photos, autographs, and a few lines to write notes on each page. We were first in line for Mickey, which is good, because his line is always crazy, even with small crowds. We got pictures with all three, then headed towards the castle.

Since both Yulia and Sasha are big Tinkerbell fans, we went to check out Pi`xie Hollow, which is the new Fairy-thing near Matterhorn. The line was short, but slow, and it turned out that it was just a photo and signing spot, which since we had already started doing autographs today made good sense. There were two fairies there, Tink and one other. I found it interesting to note that Disney is apparently hiring ex-strippers as fairies, either because they are cheap, or because it brings more men through the attraction. I didn’t have enough dollar bills on me to find out.

Lines were low enough to get on the Peter Pan ride with little wait, which rounded out our tour of the Dark children’s rides. It really is amazing how wonderful the artwork is on these rides. Peter Pan is probably the best done of the four, the night flight over London is really great, and the Neverland Island is fantastic. We went through a few other rides, all with short to no lines. At each ride for our trip, Sasha has been using the iPhone Disneyland App to check the rides off. It seems silly at first, but a few days in it helps to let us know what we are missing. We rode the double-decker bus, and for the first time ever for all of us, we went on the Columbia sailing ship.

Picture 028 The Columbia is really stunning. It is supposed to be a sized replica of the real Columbia, which the Columbia River is named after, but I’m not sure how accurate the size is, but it is very beautiful. The rigging and below decks are real works of art, and it is a relaxing and fun tour around the island. Again, if you take the time to appreciate it, the artwork at Disney is really amazing.

We went through the Haunted Mansion, and got stuck. Twice. For a pretty good wait each time. When you wait that long in there you realize how much the air conditioning is turned up. We were shivering as we left, and not from fright. We went over to Critter Country to check the Winnie the Pooh ride off our list. We were lucky again as we exited the ride the characters came out for a signing. Whoever was Tigger was seriously hoped up on something, and was bouncing and playing like I have never seen the character. It totally fit, but hey, Just Say No, buddy.

We ate lunch at the French Market, and you could really tell that the parks have worked on improving the food. very few things were fried, there were vegetarian options and lots of fresh fruit plates, and the fruit was really good. We rested in the shade there for a bit before moving on.

We hit Thunder Mountain next, and were the last seats in the last car, which was much shakier that expected. Yulia and I thought we had concussions after that, so we rode again in the front just to make sure. I think we will heal.

We left the park and gave Oscar his walk, then crossed to California Adventure to try the new Toy Story 4D ride. It’s another one where you shoot at stuff for points, like the Buzz Lightyear ride. But it is in 3D with stuff that squirts and blows at you when you hit targets. Mega fun. We would have done it again but the line was pretty long. We decided to head over and see the Aladdin Musical instead, Sasha’s feet were hurting, so we were running out of energy, but we made the show in time. And lucky we did!

The show was fantastic! Yulia is a tough critic of dance and not a big musical fan, mostly because so many of them are done so poorly, but she was amazed, as were us all. The production was fantastic, the dance was great, as were the sets, and of course, the Genie stole the show. All the jokes were updated with comments like the genie texting and using Facebook and other things that kinds Sasha’s age would get and find funny. The sets were built into the stage and retracted as needed, so the whole act flowed well. It was great. We told ourselves that we had to do more shows on this trip, because we usually just have enough time to get our favorite rides, and that’s it. But this trip we planned enough time to do everything we could, and the shows are the parts that usually fall off the list.

We finished off the day with diner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. This was the second Cajun food of the day (if you count French market) and we noted how odd it is that New Orleans is such a popular city in American culture, with the food, music, Mardi Gras and everything, but nobody really cares that the city is still mostly destroyed. The tourist sections are fixed and that’s as much as people care. A man was playing zydeco on the street below and selling CDs. A bottle of wine rounded out the day, and we were beat.