Disneyland 2012

On the way to Disneyland!

17 November 2012

Short notice decision two weeks ago led to my DisneyWorld airfare paying for airfare to Disneyland for the weekend! Had a nice dinner catching up with Ben and Marco before they drove Melanie and me to the airport. Boarding our flight momentarily…can’t wait to see Haunted Mansion Holiday for the first time since 2004…woohoo!

Disneyland Day 1

18 November 2012



Our flight was delayed about 20 minutes so we landed at LAX around 11pm, waited for our SuperShuttle, then finally were checked in at the Motel 6 and in bed by 1:30 or so. I realized I had flown through LAX on the way to Australia in 2010, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I left the airport. Still looks like some alien mothership but it was a nice purple at night. 😉 We went to the Walt Disney Travel Co for our cash vouchers then took the Monorail in to Tomorrowland, bypassing the long entrance lines. We got Fast Passes for Space Mountain then headed to River Belle to split eggs, pancakes and fruit for breakfast.




On our way to the Haunted Mansion I spotted Jack & Sally posing for photos! Neither of us had ever seen them before so I stood in line for my chance. Sally stayed silly but Jack complimented me on all my Jack jewelry. I pulled my hair back to show my jack earrings and he said “Sally, even her earrings are me!” 😀





Haunted Mansion here we come! Not too much different from my last visit in 2004, but I still love it! I don’t remember the pumpkin scarecrow out front, nor the stripey bows on the gravestones (GREAT idea!), and I took lots of photos!


After a quick ride on Pirates it was time for Space Mountain. Still one of the best coasters ever! Can’t believe it’s over 30 years old! We got our next Fast Pass for Star Tours, rode Buzz Lightyear’a Space Blasters, and since Melanie already found her chocolate covered banana, I found a Mickey pretzel for my snack. Yum!






The Disney Parks app said Tower of Terror wait time was 13 minutes. LOL! We got into California Adventure and lo and behold the sign did indeed say 13 minutes! Hilarious! Another fun ride that’s a must each visit! After some real food at Pacific Wharf we rode the new Little Mermaid ride which was cute, an all their uniforms were teal! Haha…Toy Story Midway Mania was packed with an hour wait with no Fast Pass, and I had ridden it in Orlando anyway, so we waited only 15 minutes for the revised California Screamin’ coaster. Another great ride but it’s not Space Mountain. We grabbed a fast pass for Soarin Over California, then got back to Disneyland just in time to see the big Christmas tree lighting on Main Street!




I had heard in the spring that all Disney parks were going to be cracking down on Fast Pass windows, not allowing late returns after the window was over. Thankfully that never happened to us! We got on the new Star Tours quickly, got the Wookie planet, Yoda hologram then city ending, really fun. They’ve redone it the same as Orlando but Melanie had it seen it yet. However when we got out of Star Tours, it had gone from heavy mist to actual rain. I got out my teal raincoat from my bag but not soon enough to avoid drowned rat hair, and Melanie’s gamble not to bring her umbrella made her use her scarf as a babushka look. 😉

We headed for Dole pineapple whip and the Enchanted Tiki Room, then I wanted to see the Haunted Mansion at night so we rode it and also grabbed a Fast Pass for later, then headed to California Adventure again to ride Soarin before the World of Color show at 8pm. Thankfully the rain had stopped, and World of Color was quite impressive, choreographed lightshow with the huge fountains in the lake, plus lasers and video projections onto gigantic mist screens. Too fast for even ISO 3200 photos but I did get some good video on my big camera.





We had started walking towards the exit early before the show was done, but we were still caught in the stampede over to the Disneyland fireworks. Even with the lines we made it in time for a good view. I love fireworks, and Disney always puts on a good show, integrated with the castle lighting below.







As soon as the fireworks were over it began to snow! We have seen this before and didn’t want to miss it! I caught some flakes that landed on Melanie’s hair, and if you look closely, you can see the fuzzy snowflakes above us. 😉






We had gotten Fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad so rode that next, then I wanted to have a third run trough Haunted Mansion and we got lucky with no line so didn’t need to use our Fast Passes after all. I resisted a lot of Nightmare Before Christmas shopping, only buying an adorable mini top hat and new shirt…sad there was no Haunted Mansion Holdiay 2012 shirt, but I can’t believe they have a TURQUOISE Haunted Mansion shirt! Our feet were really tired and Melanie hadn’t slept well because she’s still getting over a cold, so we left and walked back around 11:30 even before the park closed. A fun full day!

See all today’s photos by clicking the link below…


Disneyland Day 2

19 November 2012




I fell asleep trying to blog around 1:30am, but I didn’t sleep well, waking up almost every hour, who knows why. At least Melanie got better sleep recovering from her cold. We got ready for the day, checked out, held our bags at the desk, caught the shuttle to the parks since our feet were tired from Saturday, walked over to Downtown Disney, got the free AAA Nightmare Before Christmas Vinylmation (The Mayor) at World of Disney then La Brea Bakery for a breakfast with protein. The Disney fascinators are all adorable, and I had bought the Nightmare one the night before.







California Adventure was first since we didn’t actually enter Cars Land on Saturday. All the themed decor is very cute, but at noon we found out the major mini-coaster racers ride already had no Fast Passes left for the whole day and 2 hour line! The others were kiddie rides but lots of clever auto themed Christmas decor, including hubcaps on a Christmas tree and air filter garlands.







Roger Rabbit is one of my favorites, so we headed for Toontown for a Fast Pass and gorgeous fake-looking blue skies with clouds for great photos, then we stood in the 30 minute line for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and back to Roger by 1:15pm.









The line for the teacups wasn’t too long so we took our chance on the way to the Haunted Mansion again. We were first in our line so I got the teal and aqua teacup…woohoo! We spun as fast as we could until we got the giggles. :)









We just missed Jack & Sally or I would have gotten another photo with my new shirt and hat…darn! Haunted Mansion Fast Passes were already 4:30 which is when we had to leave. The Disney Parks app said the line was equally long for Matterhorn so Melanie went browsing the shops while I stood alone in the line for my last chance at Haunted Mansion Holiday. I have never seen the Haunted Mansion line so long! 45 minutes on the sign really ended up well over an hour. They had expanded the line with ropes around the entire park bench area in front of the train station. At least I was able to take more photos with blue sky and puffy clouds, and I finally saw Sparky’s bone cross gravestone from Frankenweenie had been added to the pet cemetery!




At 3:45 we slogged through the super heavy post-parade crowds to the exit and into California Adventure again for some food before we left. I had a turkey sandwich while Melanie had clam chowder in a bread bowl with enough scraps to feed the birds. I wanted a Ghirardelli sundae so I braved that line by myself, then since there was no bus yet, we walked all the way back to get our bags. Disneyland Resort Express picked up the next hotel over, changed busses at the Disneyland Hotel, then we were at LAX again checked in and through security by 7:15 pm, a full hour before takeoff…whew! I even had enough time to buy a new hardsided TEAL carryon bag from Brookstone! 😉



Since I didn’t bring my laptop but took a billion photos and even video, I’ll put the best of those in a new post after I get home. We had a blast but I think my feet will welcome sitting at work all day tomorrow! 😉 Hope everyone had a great weekend!






See all today’s photos by clicking the link below…