Photo Finish

20180707_083306We actually got out of the hotel room pretty close to 8 am. We were going to California Adventure today, and thought it opened at 8. There’s always a rush there, it has a couple of pretty hot rides (Cars Land, The Pixar stuff) so it’s best to get in early. I love the fact that the gates of California Advanture use architecture from the Pan Pacific Auditorium. The real Auditorium burned down years ago. I love the architecture because it was the building in the movie Xanadu, it’s amazing Art Deco, and I’m a really old nerd. With the real building gone, this is as close as I can get. (Art Deco is vanishing too fast)

We got to the gates around 8:30, and found that everyone was still lined up outside. Saturdays the parks open an hour later. So we weren’t actually late. They opened the turnstiles at 8:30 so we could line up at rides.

So we were actually perfectly on time for a change. Dang.

I bought another digital fastpass, this got us a slot at the Cars ride, then we went over to watch Soaring over the World. They have redone the video for Soaring over California, and it now has world sights. It’s a real simple ride. Big 360 screen, hanging in chairs over the view, and they pipe in smells of what you are seeing (thank god it isn’t Soaring over New Jersey). It’s a great effect, and we love it. It’s also air conditioned. It was 9:00 am and already hot out. We were only supposed to hit 100 today. That’s not much for cooling off.

We walked around to take a look at the remodeling in the park. The Paradise Pier was now Pixar Pier, with everything redone with Pixar looks. The snack stand was a giant to-go box. The roller coaster is now based on the Incredibles. (but it was down due to the heat) Things still under construction have shipping labels for when the new “toys” arrive. It’s pretty cool.

We went around the pier and found the lines at Goofy’s Flight school short. It’s a regular classic roller coaster, but a fun one. We tend to find that just jumping into a short line is the best plan. Not everything needs to be planned out. (note: I try to plan everything out).

We made our way back to the Cars Radiator Springs Racers. This always ends up having a huge line. So I was glad we had a Fastpass for this. This Fastpass app was well worth the cost. I was really pleased that it also had a full day of the Photopass as part of the app. I used this to get some actual family photos around the park. (Sure beats selfies). This also included the auto-pictures that get snapped when you finish a ride. As we exited the Cars ride I went over to enter the code to get this picture added to our album.

I found our photo, opened my app, and started entering the code for our photo. Unfortunately, the numbers changed too fast, and I put in the last few digits of the wrong picture. So once the photo appeared on my app, I had a picture of a very nice family. Just not ours. The dad did have better hair that I did, so at least that’s an improvement. This system may still have a few bugs.

It was hard to tell if we were getting better at managing the heat, if the temp was down, or what. But we did last longer in the park. Getting doused with water in the raft ride probably helped.  In any case, we headed back once things got hot again. The pool is our friend for this weather.


We rested and met with Roger and Anya later in the day. They drove up and found us at the hotel. We had a walk around the Disney Downtown, and grabbed dinner at the New Orleans restaurant there (The Jazz Kitchen). The food’s pretty good. The beginets are excellent.  What’s funny is that they live less than an hour away from here and never go to Disneyland. Of course, we live right by the huge Chihuly glass museum in Seattle, and have only been there when family from out of town wanted to go. No one ever tries to be a tourist in their home town. 


20180707_211351After they left we went back to the park, and caught the Fantasmic show and some of the fireworks. We didn’t catch all of either show, as we were late for a viewing spot. We also ducked through a few rides with no lines on the way, so we missed the start. The show has really been improved. There’s a whole new Pirate fight, and an anamatronic dragon that’s just amazing. We’ll have to try to catch the whole thing again later in the week.

We found one of the Disney photographers as well, and since we still had time on our Photopass, he took some nighttime shots of us. I’ll be really pleased if we get a good couple of family pictures out of this. (preferable our family this time). Then we went over and took the Jungle Ride in the dark. We love the Jungle Ride in general, but at night its fun with spotlights from the boat pointing out the fake animals (and sleeping ducks). It’s also a bit creepy with the dark jungle canopy overhead. Then our guide turns on disco lights for Schweitezer Falls. Awesome. We’ll need to do that again.

We could feel the humidity creeping up. It had been pretty dry, despite the heat. Now we were getting a bit of late extra heat and humidity, so we went back to the hotel. It felt like a much longer walk with the muggy air. Naturally, the Monorail started running right as we got back (thanks jerks). We have breakfast with Goofy’s Kitchen tomorrow. So we’ll try to sleep in.

Yeah, like that will happen.