After getting back from Walt Disney World late Wednesday night (a whole day early actually!), Dad and I went to Disneyland on Saturday and Sunday. We were supposed to end up home a whole week between going places, but I could not pass up buying the Cars Land preview tickets. It ended up being totally worth it, although we did not get the private World of Color show as expected.
Saturday we finally got to Disneyland around 7 p.m., as we left Tucson later than planned, stopped quickly at Joshua Tree National Park for a stamp for my national park passport, and made a few stops at stores for Shopkick walk-ins along the way, too. I got my new annual pass, since mine and Mik's expired in Disney World. This year we are just getting Disneyland premium ones, as we are not planning to do Disney World again at least until Christmas 2013 or later. Dad's premier pass is good until April, since I only just got his when we did Disneyland in April and knew we had a Disney World and at least one Disneyland trip coming up.
Saturday night Dad and I went into Disneyland for a few hours. We enjoyed dinner at my new favorite, the Jolly Holiday Cafe, and went on Buzz Lightyear and Haunted Mansion before escaping before the Fantasmic and fireworks exit crowd.
Sunday we got a late start not getting to the parks until noon, but that was okay since the event was 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and we knew we would likely stay for the whole event. Plus, we thought World of Color was supposed to show after the event and thus it would be a until midnight at the park night.
The first thing we did was picked up our cool Cars Land wristbands. We then headed into Disneyland to do some rides. We ended up just doing a few Fantasyland rides (Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Toad). Also, discovered the salmon salad at the Harbour Galley by the Rivers of America.
After lunch we headed over to California Adventure to check out the new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and ride Toy Story Mania. It was fun to get a free chocolate square and while frozen white chocolate mocha is not cheap it was tasty and refreshing on the sunny day. When we go back for Mik's birthday in a few weeks, I am going to try the Gold Rush sundae (peanut butter sundae), as that looks awesome and I did not notice it until after I ordered my mocha and I was still full from lunch anyways.
After a ride on Toy Story Mania, it was around 5 p.m. and while our preview time was not supposed to start until 6 p.m. we decided to go line up anyways. The line was already all the way across the Pacific Wharf and starting to wrap up towards the other bridge. Good thing we lined up early, though, as by 5:20 p.m. they started letting us in and we were actually on Radiator Springs Racers for our first time by 6 p.m.
Radiator Springs Racers is an awesome ride and made it totally worth going for the preview. The first thing I liked about it was the Amazing Oil Bottle House part of the queue, which has colorful oil bottles in the walls. The coolest thing, though, is there are some glass insulators up on the top shelf inside. It totally gave us some ideas of things to do with the ~600 glass insulators I have sitting in storage.
Of course, the Radiator Springs Racers ride itself was a lot of fun, too. You go through Radiator Springs and before getting ready for the big race. For the race, we ended up going through a spray paint area, which is made to light up and look like it is spray painting the color of the car you are in, so it changes depending on the color car you are in. At first I thought this was the only pre race preparation, but we later learned there was a tire changing thing for the left side car. Once both cars are ready, you race each other and it random which side will win.
After our first ride on Radiator Springs Racers, we headed over to Luigi's Flying Tires. This is a rather odd ride where you get in a giant tire vehicle and air makes them float. You shift your weight to control it to basically do bumper tires. There are also giant beach balls to pick up and throw around if you want. An interesting ride, but not all that exciting.
Before going on the third ride in Cars Land, we strolled through the shops and I only picked up one thing (a Cars Land antenna topper). I also got some pretzel bites at the Frozen Cone-Coctions cone at the Cozy Cone Motel. They were good, but I was annoyed that the cone places do not give the annual pass dining discounts.
The final ride in Cars Land is Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. It is a wacky tractor ride. The tractors go in circles and switch tracks as you go around making the cart swing side to side. It is really hard to describe, but it is crazy and fun and the video I did while riding is below.
After trying out all the rides, we went back to Radiator Springs Racers and rode it again and again with one short break to take photos of Cars Land lit up at night until our final ride ended about 10:45 p.m. By the end the wait was pretty much nothing, so we got in at least 7 rides on Radiator Springs Racers (yes, more rides on one ride in one evening than I did the whole six days at Disney World!), which is awesome considering they are expecting 5 hour wait times when it opens. I totally plan to fastpass and ride when we go for Mik's birthday, but we are not waiting that long for it.
We could have kept going until 11 p.m., but we thought there was a World of Color showing. We headed over there and found out they canceled that a week ago and instead we were supposed to get fastpasses to the 10:15 p.m. show. I am kind of annoyed I paid $25 extra for a private show that did not happen, especially since no one told us about the early time because we did not get the fastpasses at check in. However, we did go to guest services and I can pick up two fastpasses for the blue section first show any of the dates we are going to be at Disneyland in a few weeks for Mik's birthday. Not sure I will use them, though, as we already are doing the dining package at Carthay Circle for his birthday. The preview was still totally worth it and not going to the 10:15 p.m. show ended up making the lines shorter at Radiator Springs Racers, but I could have gotten in a few more rides if I knew there was no show (I would not have gone at 10:15 p.m. if I had known because it was the public show, which is nothing special like a private viewing might have been).
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