So today was Disney day. I was a little skeptical, since we are grown people with no children in sight. But why go all the way to California and not visit Disney? I had a few people who have been to the Florida Disney say...'oh no...you don't need kids to enjoy it! Adults enjoy it too!' Welllll, we did enjoy it, but I can see how having kids along would make it much more fun (and this coming from someone who is not a fan of children...maybe I'm just bitter because I would have felt dumb going on the Dumbo ride myself...lol).
So, we got up, went and had a very hotel breakfast - cereal, cinnamon buns that you can nuke, toast, fruit...you really shouldn't complain when it's included, but it was underwhelming compared to some of the other free breakfasts where you could make waffles and there was hot food like eggs/bacon/sausage...oh well, but we're going to DISNEY!
So it was about a 10-15 min walk to Disney (the California Adv Park is right across the road from Disney if you wanted to make a few days of it). The weather report for the day called for rain - after having a spotless weather record so far...so the question was...rain coat or umbrella? I felt if it got warm, I didn't want to have to carry my trench around, so umbrella it was. We had prepurchased the tix online, so it was a pretty smooth entry process. And it was all dolled up for autumn/Halloween. They do an amazing job with the decoration - the leaves/pumpkins/bales of hay/scarecrows/etc...autumn is one of my fav times of year, so I loved the décor. I can only imagine how lovely it would be at Christmas. So first stop in is Main Street, USA. Our first experience was the Abe Lincoln animatronic robot or whatever - that was cool (and creepy too). Very lifelike...
So we wandered thru the shops, but who wants to carry purchases around all day...we can do that when we leave...let's hit Tomorrowland! First ride was the Star Tours...about a 20 min or so wait. Now, I'll start by saying I hate things that jerk around/simulators (still have visions of going to Crystal Palace in Moncton, NB many moons ago, going on a simulator that encompassed flying/roller coaster and other herky jerky-ness...and feeling sick and getting a horrible headache)...but hubby wouldn't go in alone. The lead up was fun - it's like you're in an airport and the droids are talking to you...R2D2 and C3PO included. Then onto the simulator for herky-jerky neck pain inducing ride. Our FIRST ride was this...I just can't handle these things - my neck was pretty achy, but at least my head didn't ache. After that torture was over, we wandered Tomorrowland a little more, seeing a neat display about future tech in households and all the Iron Man suits. After that, we did the Finding Nemo submarine ride (which was basically a 10min retelling of Finding Nemo, except very loud, enclosed and dark.) Onto the monorail for a pass around the park, then it was time for a quick lunch and off we went to...brace yourself...It's a Small World. Wow - they lineup moved fairly quickly, and it is very sedate...but those little singing dolls are a leeetttle bit horror movie-ish...lol. The rain had mostly held off with only a few sprinkles while in Tomorrowland. So we headed for Toon Town...and it started raining pretty good for about 10 min or so. Toon Town is something that def would appeal more the children, but again, the buildings and surroundings were pretty interesting. We didn't do much here other then walk around for 5 min and try to keep dry.
After Toon Town was Frontierland...the decorations here were very cool. Lots of pumpkin scarecrows, farmstead type décor - sunflowers, hay bales. And the Dios de los Muertos display was so bright and colourful! I believe the signature ride for FT was closed for upgrades or repair so we basically wandered around, checked out the shops, then went to get on the steam boat that went around a man made lake. The rain started up again while we were on this ride (well, not really a 'ride' - nothing exciting about it!) and when we went up to the New Orleans section, it was raining pretty good again. (All in all, the rain mostly held off, with a few brief showers). After passing thru New Orleans (which was probably my favourite section) we walked by the Haunted Mansion - no way was I going thru that! Not one for being scared. We did do the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which I had some trepidation about, mostly for naught. Again, the lineup was maybe 20 min (benefits to going in the middle of the week), and there was a part right at the start where you go downhill really fast, but pretty much after that it was sedate. But I think it was one of my favs - the animatronics and the scenes and set up was very very well done. It was like playing - 'spot Jack Sparrow' - lots to look at and take in. Def a winner.
We also took the old steam train around the park as well...it made a few stops along the way at the main entrance and a few other stops if you wanted to get from one side of the park to the other without walking, but we just did the loop and enjoyed the view. So it was getting on to late afternoon (the park closed at 6pm...yes...6pm! that day). We go over to the tropical area (sorry, forget what it's called) and Darrin spots Indiana Jones Adventure ride. The sign at the front says wait time was about 45 min. I really didn't want to go on this ride (it 'warns' you if it's scary or not) and wasn't sure about the wait time. In all, maybe it was a 30 min wait, and you are moving mostly the whole time, and there is lots of stuff to look at on the way. OK, I almost killed Darrin for taking me on this ride...herky jerky, fast moving...it's like you are in a jeep tearing thru Indiana Jones land...there is air puffing in your face, little mists of water blowing in your face, lots of noise, giant snakes and much neck-snapping turns. Not impressed, but Darrin enjoyed it. I may have even screamed once!
So that was pretty much it for rides we wanted to do (or not wanted to do, in my case). I had been sent on a mission to find a certain Disney character shirt for a friend, but no luck a all...guess Eeyore is not popular. We had about an hour to kill so we went back to Main St and looked around there, waiting for the 'parade' at 5:30...which consisted of all the characters going by in cars waving at everyone, while the people inside the costumes are sure as hell glad that another day is over. I felt this need to buy something...anything...but just didn't feel like I'd wear any of the shirts (or if I liked it, didn't want to pay). Coffee mugs weren't doing it...nothing was, but I felt this urge to shop! Finally, as we were heading for the gates, we were stopped and asked if we would do a survey...so Darrin went and did that while I hung out at a little kiosk...and lo and behold...one of those vinyl family things you see on the backs of people's cars...but there was a dog with Mickey Mouse ears! So thinking of my pup at home, that was my one purchase at Disney and I left satisfied. (And not much poorer!). We were there til basically 6pm and the
rain was starting up pretty good again as we walked back to the hotel. Luckily,
Darrin had his hood and the umbrella kept me mostly dry. no fireworks that night - not sure if they weren't scheduled or because of the rain.
So we got back to the hotel and had to decide on supper. There are lots of restaurants in the area, but we had passed Cheesecake Factory the night before and that kinda stuck in my brain. It was only a few minutes walk, and by this time the rain had passed. We've never eaten at CF before, and had only seen it on 'The Big Bang Theory' (there aren't any at all where we live...or even nearby)...well, the place was HUGE! There was a bit of a wait for a table, probably 20 min or so...they gave us a little pager that would go off when our table was ready. It was quite crowded in the front area...but we grabbed some menus and had a look. I was boggled by the huge selection...there were two pages alone of cheesecake! But after looking, I had my heart set on chicken and biscuits and gravy (something I've never had before as a meal...I had these things separately before of course, but I also wanted some potatoes and this came with). Darrin had a chicken penne something or other. When we got to our seat, they give you a menu and a separate one that shows you calorie count (which should be law everywhere)...guess what? My meal had 2100 calories! I near died, but I wasn't going to change my mind. And in the end, I could only eat 2/3rds of it, so really it was 1400 cal...lol. Til I added on the cheesecake to go - lemon raspberry...OMG. I'm not a huge cheesecake fan, but I took it back to the room and ate it an hour later - it was divine! So with a full belly, a long day at Disney and a towel stuffed under the door to mute the street noise, it was off to bed!