|we're wearing pins that say "Honorary Citizen of Disneyland" :)|
To cheer myself up, I thought I should write a post about the highlights of the day. Because I was trying to take it all in through my own eyes and ears (and hands and nose in some cases!), I didn't spend as much effort documenting the day with photos or videos (especially after the sun went down). I suppose you'll just have to use your imagination where there are no pictures provided!
|bandleader mickey welcomes guests to disneyland; archimedes the owl stands watch at sleeping beauty's castle|
|mickey is joined by pluto, chip & dale, donald duck, goofy, pinocchio, alice and the mad hatter|
Then we went on through Sleeping Beauty's castle to Fantasyland. I thought this would be a good place to start since it had all the classic Disney rides and characters. We rode Snow White's Scary Adventures, Peter Pan's Flight, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I enjoyed noticing all the little details that were spot on from the films!
Afterward, we were unsuccessful in getting onto Indiana Jones Adventure as well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They were both inexplicably closed! Boo.
We did get to go on Pirates of the Caribbean, though. They redid all the Jack Sparrows to resemble Johnny Depp's version. It was a little creepy how lifelike he looked! Was definitely a very fun (and pleasantly long) ride. Thought it was cool that there was a restaurant inside the ride.
|loved the typography for the Pirates sign; Chip & Dale hats; Pineapple Dole Whip!|
On our way over to California Adventure we stopped for a photo op at the iconic Walt & Mickey statue. The Disney employee who took our photo loved our shirts. We noticed that it was mostly employees who noticed our shirts throughout the day. I suppose they are the true Disnerds. By the way, why didn't I ever apply to work at Disney World or Disneyland? Seriously rethinking my career options here.
|surprisingly, it was actually my idea to get my sister to pose as mulan.|
We attempted to go to Sorcerer's Workshop, recommended by Benito, but it was closed too. I guess that was a feature where you find out which Disney character you are, and then you get to record your voice in one of the animated movies! Sad, that sounded super cool.
So instead, we randomly went to this other thing called Animation Academy without knowing what it was. Turns out it was a classroom, with a Disney animator who taught us how to draw Chip (as in Chip and Dale). We each had these large boards with a piece of paper and pencil. It ended up being one of the coolest things we did all day!
|awesome sketches in the waiting area; wendy & lynnette in class; our Disney animator teacher!|
|I was quite proud of how mine turned out, even though the ears and eyes are too small.|
After that, we decided not to go on Tower of Terror and head back to Disneyland. As we got back the parade was just starting. I got a glimpse of a few floats but we decided to try to get on some rides instead. We took the train over to New Orleans Square and got to go on Haunted Mansion, since there was basically no wait. It was creepy and fun! I liked the part where the floor of the windowless room lowers and you don't know how you're going to get out.
|Parade - Princess & the Frog; The Lion King (Simba's mane is out of control!)|
By then, it was nearly time for the fireworks so we headed over to the main area near Sleeping Beauty's castle. It was a wonderful fireworks show, despite the prominence of a certain, ahem, pantsless fairy. One of the best parts was when they played quotes of many different Disney characters talking about their wishes. Aladdin's "Genie, I wish for your freedom!" nearly brought us to tears. It was a magical way to end the day.
|at the entrance before the sun went down; waiting for fireworks!|
I think I could have pushed myself to stay longer but we were all pretty exhausted by the time we left at 9:30. I'm so thankful for the whole day - it was one of the best days I've had in a very long time!
It's strange - I hadn't been to Disney World since 1998 and I never really had an urge to go back. But now after having had one day of Disneyland, I can't wait until the next time. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, especially for suckers like me.
Even though the day was full of fun, laughter and happiness, I had an overwhelmingly empty feeling as I flew back to Madison the following day. I realized that no matter how wonderful a day at Disneyland can be, it doesn't ever fully fill you the way you think it will. It was a reminder that there's only one thing that does.
Check out more pictures from my entire trip to California here!