Thanks for reading along! I’m glad you are enjoying the report! I would say I’m a middling photographer too, luckily Jared has learnt how to really use a camera and he’s helped teach me some things. There are lots of great courses out there if you ever feel you want to improve your technical skillsI am really enjoying your report! I take tons of pictures, but I am a middling photographer, so I love your colorful photos.
I love the Disneyland parks and can't wait to go back again. While I also enjoy Florida, there is just something about Walt's original park.
Also, congratulations! That's wonderful news!
Thanks for the tour through BTMR, all the way from Perth!Day 16 - Part 4 - From the Old West to a Monorail Future
After Pirates we headed back over to Big Thunder Mountain. The wait had decreased from 55 minutes to 35 minutes, so our Maxpass was a little less valuable than it would have been at 1:30pm! Oh well. We were on the ride in no time, and asked to wait for the front row so we could take a million photos.....Here they are:
Check out the top of Galaxy's Edge in the background here!
I hope you enjoyed that exhaustive tour of the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness! I really love the Disneyland version of this attraction. I can't quite put my finger on what's better about it - I do love the plussing in the "exploding mine" scene. And the town of Big Thunder at the end adds a lot more to this version over the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disney versions. I still haven't been on the Paris version, which I hear is the best, so for now the Disneyland version is my favourite.
We headed to Star Tours next, the wait was only about 20 minutes which was great. We got the exact same combination as our first ride at Hollywood Studios! The Vadar opening scene, Hoth, a message from Yoda and the Death Star over Genonosis. What are the chances of that!! We did fly with a fun crew on this ride, when the safety droid said "bye bye" after asking us to exit, our entire cabin said "bye bye" back! With the same accent and inflection! Too funny! I'm guessing we were riding with a lot of APs who've ridden a number of times and are trying to keep the experience fresh and fun!
After a ride through a galaxy we went to meet up with Todd and Kim again. They had wanted to do a trip on the monorail so we headed over that way.
We wanted to ask to ride in the front cabin, as Todd and Kim were going on about how amazing it had been to do that on their last trip to Disneyland. Sadly, the CMs weren't letting anyone ride in the front cabin because of the heat. Probably a good call, as the regular cabins, even with the windows open, were fairly warm and the front cabins have no ventilation at all.
This was only the second time Jared and I have ridden the monorail. We did enjoy it, though there are a few too many parts that don't allow views over the park which I don't love.
I took a few videos of the best views though. I love that in the first one I caught a Matterhorn bobsled rushing past just as we headed past the mountain!
The gum trees we rushed past just outside of Downtown Disney made me feel at home!
It's so great to see Disneyland from such a different perspective though.
We did a full loop and ended up back in Tomorrowland. After our trip around the resort on the monorail Jared and I decided we needed a snack and I think Todd and Kim wanted a smoke break, so we separated and agreed to meet back up later.
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LOVE the pics of Storybook canals..How cool would it be if you could shrink down and walk through it to size ?!Day 17 - Part 2 - Fantasy Fun - Part 2
Continuing our ride through Fantasyland we headed towards the Storybookland Canal Boats. I love this charming little ride a lot. It's so simple and yet I just love floating past those miniatures of classic Disney locations. Again, I think my love for this attraction might be a nostalgic connection to a favourite memory from my childhood. When I was around 11 my parents took Long Service Leave for 3 months, and we travelled through New South Wales and Queensland for those months in a Caravan. We visited the ACT during the trip (the Australian Capital Territory) and went to a picturesque and quaint garden attraction called Cockington Green. Cockington Green was full of miniatures of towns and cities based on idealised versions of towns and cities from around the world. It was so charming I completely fell in love with it! I always think back to those memories on the Storybook Land Canal Boats, and am even more charmed because this time around everything you look at is DISNEY!
It was also on that 3 month trip I got to visit my first ever theme park, Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It's fair to say that first visit started my LOVE of theme parks and especially, of themed rides and attractions. The park had a ride called the Bermuda Triangle (which has since been torn down) that took you into the spaceship of the Alien's who caused ships and crafts to mysterious disappear within the famous triangle in the Caribbean. I have rode the ride since (as an adult) and it was pretty badly executed, but for a 11 year old, who'd never been on a themed ride before, it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Being drawn into a themed world was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. All these years later, I still love and appreciate a good dark ride experience and love to be taken into a world on a ride. Thrills are fun, but for me theme and story are EVERYTHING. And I think that started in those experiences I had at Sea World when I was 11.
Anyway, back to Storybook Land Canal Boats....There was no line and in no time we were being swallowed by Monstro. Monstro then "deposited" us into a land of Disney stories (that's kind of gross when you think about it isn't it!).
As you can see, it had gotten quite overcast. It was the first really cloudy day we'd had since arriving at the Disneyland Resort.
After we made our way back to the dock from Storybookland, we headed over to the Mad Hatters Tea Party aka the Tea Cups. As I've mentioned before, this was the first attraction we ever experienced at Disneyland and we always love to do it a few times on each trip. It is so iconic that if you asked someone who'd never been to Disneyland what rides they know at at the park, they are bound to say "the tea cups".
Heading off the Teacups we heard the soft sounds of Once Upon a Dream coming from Fantasyland. We love this song (we call it our Waltz song) and we were so pleased to hear it on our anniversary (well our Australian anniversary!).
By the time we were done in the Fantasyland Village area it was only 8:45am, 45 minutes after opening! We were pretty pleased with how much we'd been able to do in that short space of time!
Our final stop in Fantasyland was the Matterhorn. We were headed back to capture the soul of the infamous Fred (aka photograph the Abominable Snowman). I'm not sure when, but at some point we must have gotten a Maxpass for it, because we hopped in the Maxpass queue. It was a good Maxpass to have as, though the standby wait was only 35 minutes when we hopped in line, we soon heard an announcement amending that wait to 60 minutes! At 8:45am!
While we were waiting in line we made Hyperspace Mountain Maxpasses for 9:50am - 10:50am. After consulting with Todd and Kim they decided to join us by getting their own Maxpass.
We tried out best with Fred, but sadly, we could not capture his soul! I was so disappointed and Jared was frustrated. Jared hadn't been ready to capture him because he was looking down at his camera when we came upon him (even though I had told him when to have the camera ready). After a few minutes of frustrated snipping we both realised we needed to get over it, and stop being grumpy at each other because we were at Disneyland. Jared kindly agreed to ride yet again the next day (even though the ride was SOOO rough) so we could try get the photo! I was a little sad that I'd subjected myself to the bumps of the Matterhorn again for "nothing" (it's not like either of us really enjoy the ride), but with things like this it sometimes takes more than one go to be successful. And so we would be riding the Matterhorn and it's bumps again. We'd never ridden the Matterhorn so many times on one trip!
Jared did get a few photos of the caverns on the ride this time around.
Fred is in this photo, but in the distance and he's incredibly blurred!
This is Fred's body double, who you see a little later in the ride. Jared thought there was only one snow monster in the attraction, which is why he wasn't ready for the first (and best) photo op!
After our short bout of grumpiness we decided what we needed was to rest, eat some food and just enjoy the atmosphere of Disneyland. We stopped in again at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I ordered a grilled cheese, as I tried a bite of Jared's the day before and it was really good. Jared got a Matterhorn Macaroon, and of course coffee.
Sadly my grilled cheese was cold. Jared took it back to request a new one and the second wasn't much better than the first, but I couldn't be bothered complaining again so I just ate it!
Todd and Kim found us not long after our food arrived and we enjoying sitting and chatting for a while, whilst we enjoyed views of Main Street and the hub.
Before we continued on we wanted to see if we could find these Star Wars steel model fold kits we told a friend we'd try get her. We hadn't managed to find any since World of Disney at Disney World, and those were coloured and not metallic like we thought she wanted. We headed into Tomorrowland and managed to find the styles she wanted, but 2 out of the three were in colour. We decided to buy them anyway.
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Day 17 - Part 5 - Main Street after Close
We headed back out into the hub after photos in Tomorrowland, trying to get some decent shots.
This next photo was pretty impossible to get! There were so many people around! I think we took about 20 different shots and this is the rest of having merged a number of them together!
It's not a great shot - nowhere near as sharp as I would have liked and a bit piece meal thanks to how many different photos we merged to get it. The ideal time to take the picture would have been the evening we were kicked out early (which was when we were planning to take it). Oh well, a new photography goal for a future trip!
We still had time to kill until the park closed and we could take photos in Main Street. So we sat down on a bench in the hub and just enjoyed the atmosphere.
We waited for about half an hour for the park to clear out a bit. Jared was really tired, and I know he would have probably preferred to just go to bed, but he knew I really wanted to stay and close down the park and he loves me lots, so he agreed.
We headed up Main Street for our first picture, a view of Main Street from inside the firehouse.
There were still a few people around but the park had mostly cleared out.
Sleeping Beauty Castle is SO small at the end of Main Street, but it's amazing what a compression shot with a zoom lens can do to make it appear a bigger against the buildings of Main Street.
We had a few people with lightsabers ruin the empty street vibe of this shot a little - oh well!
Still it was either the lightsaber shot or the one with the ghosts of Disneyland guests past (or perhaps they were present )
This last shot was hard to get, as the Pumpkin is the background for the shot everyone wants to get at Disneyland at Halloween time. While I understand that, I hate when people continue to stand in front of popular photo spots while reviewing their many photos, and getting in everyone else's way.
I really was quite happy with all our Main Street photos (even the one ruined by the lightsabers). We left the park at 12:10pm, which was only an hour and 10 minutes after park close and officially only 10 minutes after Main Street closed. The park was not empty, but security were already moving people along (they were at the Pumpkin by the time we exited) so we wouldn't have been able to have much more time anyway.
This was one of our favourite evenings in the parks in terms of night photography. We really felt like we'd gotten the majority of pictures we'd wanted at Disneyland after dark by this point. We left tired but happy, and headed back to our room. Tomorrow was our actual anniversary day (in the US anyway) and we were looking forward to celebrating at our favourite place on Earth.
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I’m glad you enjoyed the BTTM tour - I was worried it was a bit exhaustive! Hehe and yes, all the way from Perth! You have to ride the monorail to get that angle on the Matterhorn - or at least head up to the Monorail loading platform (that’s where we took thiseThanks for the tour through BTMR, all the way from Perth!
Really like the matterhorn shots over the water, haven't seen that angle before.
that would be amazing! Though the minatures are fun. Love any place around the world that is minatures!L
LOVE the pics of Storybook canals..How cool would it be if you could shrink down and walk through it to size ?!
I love minatures, too, there is an amazing miniature park in Holland called Madurodam that has the whole country in miniature.
I've never done the matterhorn as it has been down all the times I was there. Sounds like I'm not missing much..
Thanks so muchStunning pics of Main St after dark!
Day 18 - Part 2 - From the Bayou to the Frontier
Heading out of DCA to head over to Disneyland we ran into Todd and Kim again. It was funny as we'd already said our goodbyes, and we enjoyed saying them again.
Our next destination was Big Thunder Mountain to use our Maxpass. The problem was, once we got to the ride we couldn't find the Maxpass in our app! Turns out we'd been given a "replacement Maxpass". The ride must have gone down within our Fastpass window, though it was up and running again by the time we got there. The standby wait was only 30 minutes too.
After Big Thunder Mountain we headed over to Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. It also had a 30 minute standby wait but as the wait was all outside in the sun we were pleased to have a Maxpass. There was adorable little boy behind us in line who must have been about 2 or 3 and just wanted to be my friend! He keep hugging my legs. His Mum kept apologising and I told her not to worry, I didn't mind. I think he may have liked my leggings, which I'd bought a few days before. They are fantastic, they have the Sleeping Beauty Castle all over them and they are SO COMFY! You'll see them later too.
Anyway, our Buzz scores were passable - I got 38000 and Jared got 43900. We are still both pretty terrible at this game though! I still find it so hard to work out which laser is mine so I know where I'm pointing!
Once we were done riding rides we decided we needed to find a Photopass Photographer to document us wearing our anniversary Tees on our anniversary. We headed to the hub and hopped in line to wait for photos.
We loved our anniversary photoshoot! The photographer was great, and we got to do something that we'd seen done for Derrick and Becky at Magic Kingdom, that we'd really wanted to do....hold our "Happily Ever After" badges out in front of us!
If you can't read what Jared's T-shirt says, it reads "Most Expensive Anniversary Ever" . As you know, as the budget-er in our house, this T-shirt is so him!
We had booked an anniversary dinner at the Blue Bayou at 5:00pm, but we had a bit of time still, so we sat and chilled on a bench in the hub, taking in the atmosphere of the parks while we waited.
We were getting great feedback on our homemade anniversary shirts. As we waited for a Photopass photos a young girl came over to tell us how much she loved the shirts, and while we were walking over to the Blue Bayou someone, who was on a phone call, interrupted the call to tell us how great they thought the shirts were.
On our way to the Blue Bayou we stopped to take some more photos of us in our shirts (we had spent a lot of time and tears on them, mine was only successful on the third attempt, so we were so pleased they were so well received and we wanted to document them well, as we'd probably never wear them again!).
Hehe budget face!
We saw Dr Facilitor in New Orleans Square as we headed to the restaurant. He was surrounded by his followers, probably ready to cast some dark magic on those around him!
We arrived at the Blue Bayou about 15 minutes early at 4:45pm.
We waited to be seated for about 15 minutes, so we were seated right on time.
The Blue Bayou HAD to be the location of our anniversary dinner, because of the fact that on our honeymoon we had (after seeing it while riding Pirates) SO wanted to eat there. But of course, as we hadn't made a reservation in advance, we couldn't! We love the atmosphere of the restaurant, though I will say I generally think the food and value for money could be better. I think that perhaps eating her will be less of a must do on future trips, but it was the perfect place to celebrate 10 years of us!
This time around the food was actually greatly improved over what I remember from past trips. Jared got the Jambalaya, which he loved. I had a few bites but it was a little too spicy for me. I instead enjoyed a creamy vegetable pesto pasta which was fantastically light and delicious.
We also ate 2 whole herb breads with butter between us! It was so delicious and, given that I have a gluten intolerance, and don't really eat fresh bread (because all gluten free bread options are terrible unless toasted) this was a real treat for me. FYI I was eating a lot of gluten this trip, but only because I was taking medication so I didn't have to be careful! I am generally fine with small amounts in sauces or crumbing etc, but if I eat bread or pasta (without the medication) I get terrible digestive issues. Lately though, and I'm wondering if this has been because I don't eat it much anymore, I've found that I can have it every now and then and be ok. Additionally, I was informed by a Canadian friend that she has friends from the US who have no issues with gluten in America or Canada, but have had problems here in Australia. Perhaps there is something in the way we grow wheat here that's a problem for me, rather than the wheat itself. Either way, I ate A LOT of gluten on this trip and really had very few problems (so YAY)!
I also ordered a Louisiana Lemonade, with Sprite, lemon squash, mango and raspberry juice. It was fantastic! Loved the fruity flavours!
For dessert Jared and I shared an amazing creme brulee, my favourite dessert. It was light and creamy and had the perfect caramelised crust. I really enjoyed the vanilla bean flavour too.
The one disappointment about this meal was that, after a cursory "Happy Anniversary" from our server, our anniversary was not acknowledge in anyway. In the past, on birthdays and other things, Disney has always given us some sort of "pixie dust" to celebrate the occasion. I know I shouldn't "expect it" but I was very surprised, especially after noting with the server that it was our actual anniversary celebration meal.
This was definitely the best food I've ever experienced at Blue Bayou (I often get the chicken which is always a little dry and uninspired). I do wish they'd offer the Monte Cristo's on the dinner menu (I think they do on the lunch menu but we've never eaten at Blue Bayou at lunch).
When dinner was done we had to wait for the sun to set, so we decided to sit on a wall near the Rivers of America and wait for the sun to go down. This was lovely and peaceful, and we enjoyed watching as the S.S Columbia and the Mark Twain headed off backstage to get ready for Fantastic. We were approached by a Cast Member at one point, who wanted to make sure we weren't trying to save a spot for the show, as the area we were sitting would become stroller parking. We assured her we just wanted to take a few photos as the sun went down and then we'd be leaving. She was pleased that we were aware we couldn't stay there for the show. I think she'd been dealing with a lot of un-happy people who had thought they could save a spot for the show in this area (without a Fastpass).
Moving the two big ships through the Rivers of America is a pretty impressively choreographed dance!
We head started to get some great sunset colours coming through as the ships made their way to the back of the Rivers of America, ready for their big moments in Fantasmic. Speaking of Fantasmic, we actually didn't see it all this trip! I was a little sad about that but for me, night photos took precedence and if one nighttime show had to go I was happy enough for it to be Fantasmic.
I find that sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the park is one of my favourite things to do at Disneyland. Disneyland is living art as far as I'm concerned, a beautiful make-believe world that is somewhere you just want to "be". This, is my opinion, what Disney has over all other amusement park chains. There are plenty of thrilling rides elsewhere, there are even some amazing themed attractions at other parks, but there is nowhere I'd rather just be, than Disney!
The sun hadn't completely set, but we decided to set up for our shots over the Rivers of America! They worked out really well, I love the colours we had!
Had some fun playing with the reflections here!
We headed over to Splash Mountain and Critter Country to take a few shots from there. They are not anywhere near as spectacular as the photos we got at the Magic Kingdom, but I still like them. This is partly because you can't get as good views of Splash Mountain at Disneyland.
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Glad you liked the Frozen show, I guess I just missed Aladdin. I have seen a lot of broadway shows and musicals here in Aus and New York so it does take a bit to impress me! It was fine for a theme park show but I thought Aladdin was another level so that’s probably why it didn’t impress me as much.Ooh I love the photo above of splash. Gorgeous colours.
I loved the frozen show- so much that we saw it twice, although the 2nd time was not great as they had technical problems. Loved the dresschanging effect (however we don't see many shows so are probably easily impressed lol).
I absolutely love the frozen soundtrack, too (2nd behind lion king for me), so that makes a major difference.Glad you liked the Frozen show, I guess I just missed Aladdin. I have seen a lot of broadway shows and musicals here in Aus and New York so it does take a bit to impress me! It was fine for a theme park show but I thought Aladdin was another level so that’s probably why it didn’t impress me as much.
Thanks about the Splash photos. It was a pretty time of evening
Also...he is new! Added when they did the Redhead changeover! Also the pirate in the cage above him!Never noticed this little guy before! Just goes to show with these classic dark rides there is always something to discover!
Agree! I wish they would put in the money to update some of those rides. Of course you would have the Disney hardliners who would get all mad about it, but still, it would be a better ride experience!I love the scope and scale of Pirates of the Caribbean. It is truly a standard for dark rides everywhere. Still it can't escape the fact that the age of it's AA figures makes it really dated looking. Adding in a few new figures just seems to highlight the fact the older ones have limited range and motion. Like I said, I would love if Disney spent some time updating the technology used in all the characters in this ride. I know that would probably cost the earth, but imagine fluid figures like that of Hondo Ohnaka throughout the entire attraction! It would breathe new life into it!
Agree! Love the updates for those rides! I can't wait to see what they do for Snow White!Peter Pan's Flight and Alice in Wonderland are, in my opinion, the best classic dark rides at Disneyland. I think the updates done recently really add something to them both. We didn't bother with Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey or Mr Toad's Wild Ride on this trip. We have done those rides before, and felt as though there wasn't much new to experience with those attractions, and that they weren't really important to do again.
Probably also a refresh situation where you initially grabbed one that someone had cancelled, so it went back in the pool! It's annoying though when you get excited about a certain time and then it disappears on you!We had decided, while eating lunch, to check on the Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark Maxpass availability, and the app gave us 5:45pm - 6:45pm initially. Then it begun to play up and when we were able to get back in we had to get a Maxpass for 8:35pm - 9:35pm. This was potentially only about 2 minutes later, that's how fast the Maxpasses were being distributed! Crazy.
Ugh, yeah - MAD is always chaotic at Halloweentime!When we arrived it was UTTER bedlam! The line for the Fastpass entrance was halfway back down the street towards the Hyperion theatre. The standby wait was at 130 minutes! I've never seen a Disneyland attraction so crazy busy. It took us only about 10 minutes to get inside the entrance with our Maxpass, so that wasn't bad. It looked like it would take a lot longer with the number of people in the line.
Perfect!The moon and cloud cover created the perfect creepy atmosphere around the Guardians tower though. We enjoyed photographing it as we waited in line.
They actually did a special song just for Monsters After Dark! I know it uses the same lift/drop sequence as another of the 6 songs, but the only time that particular song and videos play is Sept/October!And then we were off, up and down, bouncing to the sounds of 80s rock (I don't remember which song but I do remember I didn't enjoy the soundtrack as much as the original ride). The monster graphics were INCREDIBLE though, very convincing and much more involved than the regular ride! We managed to save Groot (or at least look distracting enough so that Rocket could save him) and we made it back to the ground floor safely! We had a fantastic time, as you can see here!
Glad you are caught up, I need to go catch up on your report!! I haven’t posted in a while because I was on holidays and chilling and now I’m battling a cold and a UTI (again!!) ... also being pregnant in the first trimester is not fun...Ok, finally caught up!
Also...he is new! Added when they did the Redhead changeover! Also the pirate in the cage above him!
Agree! I wish they would put in the money to update some of those rides. Of course you would have the Disney hardliners who would get all mad about it, but still, it would be a better ride experience!
Agree! Love the updates for those rides! I can't wait to see what they do for Snow White!
Probably also a refresh situation where you initially grabbed one that someone had cancelled, so it went back in the pool! It's annoying though when you get excited about a certain time and then it disappears on you!
Ugh, yeah - MAD is always chaotic at Halloweentime!
They actually did a special song just for Monsters After Dark! I know it uses the same lift/drop sequence as another of the 6 songs, but the only time that particular song and videos play is Sept/October!