Ben and Trish go to Disneyland

Since I was being sent by Intel to IDF (the Intel Developer Forum) in Palm Springs, I thought it would be fun for Trish to come down and have a mini-vacation.  Trish had always lamented that she had never been to Disneyland, so we decided to go to Disneyland Thursday night and Friday, spend the weekend in LA, and then Trish would fly back home and I would continue on to Palm Springs.

Unfortunately, I decided to take the Coast Starlight, Amtrak's train from Portland to LA.  Due to a stalled freight train in front of us on the tracks, I missed a connection, and was about 5 hours late into LA.  We ended up getting to Disneyland at about 9:15pm.

While we were too late to see the parades and shows, we did get to see the tail end of the fireworks, the last show of the day at Disney.

Before we came to Disney, friends of ours gave us a book which has strategies for getting the most out of Disney.  One of the things it said was that when there's a show going on, the rides are pretty empty, so we headed for Star Tours and rode it.  It was really fun! After that, we went to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, the show that replaced Capitan EO (poor Michael).  The 3D effects were very convincing!

After that, we wandered over to the New Orleans part of Disneyland, and rode Pirates of the Carribean, a log ride through various animitronic scenes.  There was a really big drop at the begining of the ride, which was a little to much for me.  Trish loves roller coasers, but I can't stand them.  I got yelled at when I stood up in the ride to see how big the second drop was.

After Pirates of the Carribean, we did the Haunted House, an old favorite of mine.  After that, we went to the newest ride at Disney, the Indiana Jones adventure ride.  Lines for this can exceed 2 hours during the day, but we were able to walk right in (although, even walking full speed through the "staging area" took a good 5 minutes).  We had so much fun that we rode it a second time!

By then, it was getting towards midnight, but I felt pretty good about having gotten to ride all the "big name" rides that have big lines during the day.  We went home at about 12:30am.


One of things most folks don't know about Disney is you can purchase special tickets at some hotels which allow you to get it 90 minutes before opening.  We knew this, of course, because of the book, so we showed up at 6:20am to get in line to get into the park.  We were pretty tired, having gotten only 4 or so hours of sleep.  As soon as got in, we went straight to the big rides that we hadn't gotten to the last evening.  Since I don't ride the coasters, I would wait in line with Trish, walk through the ride and wait for her at the exit area.

We went to TomorrowLand (above), and Trish rode Space Mountain.   Here's a pictue of the inside of the ride (left).  Pretty cool, huh?  Next we did the Thunder Mountain Railroad, and again I wacthed Trish go zoming by (right).

      

It was really fun to be there early, as it was not yet hot out and there weren't many people.  Since some parts of the park don't open until the regular opening time, we spent alot of time in Fantasyland, riding the Snow White, Pinnoccio, and Peter Pan rides.  All of these were slow cars going through the parts of the famous Disney stories.  After these, we had to ride the definitive little kid ride - the Dumbo ride.  It's a good thing it didn't spin any faster - I was pretty close to feeling a little ill.

     

After that, we went to ride "It's a Small World After All".  That was pretty cool, but we got REALLY sick of the song by the end (well, I was sick of it, anyway).

     


Next, Trish rode the Matterhorn.  She said it was marginal at best.  Here she is zooming by, and a picture of her at the end.  For a marginal ride, she looks pretty happy....

     


By now it was 10AM, so the entire park was now open.  We went to "Totland", or whatever the part of the park that is for little kids is called.  I don't like roller coasters, but I was willing to ride the kiddy coaster, called "Gadget's Wild Ride".  I was able to ride it twice, but was then overcome and couldn't do it anymore.


After that, we went into Mickey's and Minnie's house.  Here's some pictures:

     


Upon leaving, we stumbled onto a gas station right outside Mickey's house.  Hopefully Mickey and Minnie haven't been breating fumes....

     


After that, we went over near Splash Mountain, where Winnie the Pooh got fresh with Trish:


Next, we went on AdventureLand, and went on a water ride through a jungle ride kind of thing.  The animals were quite life-like:

     


It was getting late, and pretty hot out, so we wanted to do an inside thing.  We went to the Ricki-Tiki-Room (or whatever its called), and got to see the singing birds.  Trish liked it quite a bit, because she had played it in her day care.  Neither of us knew it was a full-blown show at Disneyland:


On the way out of the park, we ran into the Main Street Trolley and an antique car:

     


At the end of our trip, we decided to check out Cinderella's Castle.  Here's Trish walking up to the castle:

We had a really great time!  Hopefully we'll come back someday when we have kids!


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