The happiest place on earth shouldn't be reached by getting up so early but we had a mission. We were up and on our way again early. Anaheim is not far from Long Beach and we got there in no time flat.
Parking at Disneyland LA is one slick operation. Angus was impressed by the six lanes coming into the ground floor and then all splitting off in all directions, the Tahoe was stacked on the sixth floor and the fun really began. There is a tram from the carpark to the park.
We met some elderly ladies who were spending the day at the park. It is not unusual to see all sorts of unlikely folk at Disneyland. The appeal is wide.
Rosie was advised to be getting the Fast-Pass for the Radiator Springs 'Cars’ ride. The Fast Pass is like a booking to return to the ride and only wait about 5-10 minutes before getting on rather than wait through the full line. Some lines can easily get over three hours although they stop counting it on the ride sign at about three hours. We went toward the ride and saw the line for the Fast Pass go back the way we came, and round the corner, and across the square, and grow as we ran back towards it. Woah, this was crazy. It was like a ride queue. The earliest time we could ride was after 4 pm and we were picking it up just after 9 am! Anyway before long all the fast passes for the day were exhausted for that ride so the only way to ride is to sit through the queue system. Well, we had them.
Disney in LA consists of two parks separated by a big public Plaza. You get to purchase which park you want entry to and to get from one park to the required another exit (compulsory hand stamping) and entry queue at the other side (show ticket and hand stamp).
This was a real drag. We had a wild day criss-crossing the parks going from Fast-pass to short queued ride to get as much in as possible today. Rides (and notes) included:
California Screaming – roller coaster, crazy great
The Matterhorn – near original ride, a bit of a rough ride but it is meant to be a bobsled
Space Mountain – indoor roller coaster with lightshow that causes great effects.
Splash Mountain – log flume ride – we got saturated – phones, shoes and cameras. A surprise!
Star Tours – 3D simulator, great bump and ride with 3D screen, really neat story based on Star Wars
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – roller coaster, great fun
Radiator Springs – Cars recreation with animated ‘Cars’ characters and a road race, really great but very popular
Pirates of the Caribbean – near original ride – a good place to relax a bit – the Movies were based on this ride
Haunted House – chair ride through a bunch of haunted scenes – not so much scary as kitschy although some of the old effects are amazing
The Tower of Terror – interior tower plunge and simulator – crazy frightening at moments
We also got stuck on the wrong side of two parades. Some of the costumes and enthusiasm was fantastic. Even the guys driving around in the vintage car singing ragtime were infectious. While we were waiting to cross a parade they were doing a big samba number and looking around there wasn’t a still person in the audience. All a-toe-tappin’.
There were a couple of kids we saw jump a queue who were told off by a Disney ‘cast member’ as they are called. They went on to be caught throwing candy in a ride and be marched off by the same staff. We don’t know what happened in the end but it was good to see that there quick was action taken.
Lots of kids had long days today especially as the park hours were extended to 11pm as it was so busy.
So, this is a thank you to Disney for sharing with us the happiest place on earth.
Tomorrow we fly, sadly away from here but happily back to our family, friends and careers.