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Disney: Day 2

09/09/2011

Day 2 of Disney took us to the original “Magic Kingdom,” Disneyland itself. The park opened relatively late (10 a.m.), which means that everyone and his cousin could get there on time; it doesn’t offer much advantage for an early-bird die-hard like me. But the off-season week compensated for that in terms of crowding.

The only real downside to yesterday’s park adventure was the heat. It was HOT, record-breaking, over-100-degrees hot. At opening time, I think it had already topped 80, so we had to have a sensible plan for the day. We cruised through a bunch of attractions, took a break for lunch, and went back to our hotel to rest through the hottest park of the day. Our 70-degree room felt virtually frigid when we returned.

Since we still had a Magic Morning early entry on our last day, we skipped the core Fantasyland rides and went for the peripheral attractions.

Here’s what we did that day:
Park opened at 10 a.m., late.
Matterhorn, twice: once on each side.
Alice in Wonderland (my favorite Fantasyland ride)
Fast-Passed Star Tours for later.
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Big Thunder Mountain RR (JC’s favorite), twice.
Mark Twain Riverboat (JC had never been on it and the boat was leaving!)
Winnie the Pooh
Indiana Jones
Back to Tomorrowland for Star Tours
Fast-Passed Star Tours for after lunch.
Procured chocolate-covered-strawberry out of season! (a welcome surprise)

Break for lunch:
Manchego Salad at Uva Bar in Downtown Disney: YUM!
Back to the hotel for an air-conditioned rest (and some blogging)
We got back to our room by 2:30 p.m.

At this juncture, I should remind readers that Haunted Mansion is currently closed for the holiday-season Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, and (sadly) Pirates of the Caribbean is down for refurbishment. If they had been open, we would probably have bolted to Pirates after BTMRR and done Haunted Mansion at least once afterward. But Pirates’ loss is Mark Twain’s gain, and there is always something fun to do at Disneyland!

After a break, we returned to the park around 5 p.m. It was still oppressively hot. But did this deter us? Of course not! Apparently, it was in the high 80s back home. As I always say, you can be hot (cold/wet/tired), but isn’t it better to be so at Disneyland?

Our after-5 adventure included:
Star Tours again (see report below)
A ride on the Disneyland Railroad (Primeval World!)
it’s a small world
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Jungle Cruise (twilight cruise awesomeness)
Early exit around 7:30 for dinner.

Star Tours was pretty cool and definitely an improvement over the creaky visuals of the old experience. The 3D element is well-employed, vs. gimmicky, and reminded me of the Spider-Man ride at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure park in Florida. The ride offers a variety of storylines, though I don’t know how many (I should check on that).

Our two rides were very different; though the beginning and premise were the same, the second half of the ride featured different scenes and characters. I was a little bummed (and amused) that our first trip included Jar Jar Binks (we tried prayer against that beforehand, but clearly that didn’t work). Our second, however, featured a welcome appearance by Boba Fett and uber-baddie Darth Vader himself. I definitely recommend this ride unless you suffer from motion sickness or dislike simulation rides. If either of those restrictions apply, you might feel a bit queasy after taking this tour.

Another excellent day in the park. A slideshow of some aspects is available below. Next up, a VERY early day in the park for Magic Morning at 8 a.m.!

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From → Disneyland, Travel

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