Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ADULT Time: Disneyland's Diamond Celebration

I've been planning this trip for TOO long to not share anything about it on the blog (even though it's not technically Alex and Justin's adventure).  It was my intent to smash every holiday and diamond celebration event into our trip and I DID it!  Enjoy some photos:
We began our day queing for entrance into the new Star Wars "Season of the Force" area in order to ride Hyperspace Mountain right away.  What an AWESOME ride-- being catapulted around space with the Star Wars theme pumping was one heck of a way to start the day!

The castle was beautiful- dare I say 'dazzling'- for the 60th anniversary.  Even though crowds were at an 8/10, I will give a shameless plug for touring plans and their ability to create real-time schedules that didn't have us waiting in lines!

We had lunch at the Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque- food was great and it was a nice spot to just relax a bit and get out of the crowds.  Unfortunately? they are going to raze it soon to make way for the new Star Wars Land.  This was our impetuous to visit, and I'm glad we did.

The unequivocal group favorite.  Haunted Mansion "Nightmare Before Christmas" overlay.  It was four times what I expected it to be.  Every nook and cranny of HM was transformed into another story altogether!

Dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant (inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride) was delicious and another welcome rest.  Bonus was that we got seat cushions to bring to our 'elite' Fantasmic! viewing spot.  Being a chilly day, we REALLY appreciated the insulating factor of an inch and a half of foam between our derriers and the cobblestones!

The facade of Small World was absolutely beautiful with it's holiday lights!  We were planning on viewing the fireworks from here, but it was too windy and they cancelled them.

The next morning we were at rope drop for Hollywood Studios.  The original plan had us only at this park-- the crowd level was supposed to be a 7 and we wanted to make sure we hit EVERYTHING!  However, this was the day that the LA school system had it's bomb scare.  The entire district canceled school.  This had the consequence (we speculate) of some cast members left scrambling for child care and unable to be at work on time.  They ended up not opening Radiator Springs Racers (the CARS ride) right away, so we skipped ahead on our touring plans and were able to do every other big ride we wanted to do that morning before 9:30.  We decided to have a bite to eat at Flo's cafe (delicious) and wandered over to the RSR line just to see if they could give us an estimate of opening time.  It was open.  and it must have been JUST, because we practically walked on the ride.  

After that, we killed a little time before lunch and the Aladdin show.  While meeting the princesses at Ariel's Grotto for lunch wasn't our main goal, it was fun and the food was very good.

We decided during lunch that since we'd managed to knock out the park before 2pm, we'd upgrade our tickets to get back into Disneyland and see if we could catch the fireworks before returning to Hollywood Studios to see the World of Color show.

We didn't have as much luck in the second park-- crowds were massive,  but we rode the railroad and did a few rides before heading back  to HS for dinner at Carthay Circle (the best meal of the trip) and then went back to Disneyland to see the Paint the Night parade again.  Unfortunatley, winds were still too strong for fireworks, so we ran back over to HS (see a pattern here?) and enjoyed the World of Color 60th Anniversary show.  Yesterday Carrie clocked her fitness tracker at 13 miles.  Today it was 12.

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