Not A Book Tour: Disneyland December 2017 (part 3)

Not A Book Tour

You have read about my first few days in Disneyland and California Adventures.  Today is going to be the last post about being in the park.

Not A Book Tour

For our final day in the park, it was just three of us.  While five people were difficult to coordinate, three people are much easier, especially when there is no plan and you are just winging it.  We knew this day would be the day we did most of the shopping.  I think I was pretty smart about the shopping.  I didn’t really buy anything on any other day.  I did buy a few small things I had struggled to find like postcards (how there are so few postcards is beyond me).  I wanted to wait to buy the souvenirs.  I wanted to see the things I wanted before I spent all my money.  This resulted in me having a shopping plan: pins, scarves, and a second pair of ears.  I love my Star Wars light-up ears that I got when we rode Space Mountain, but I had loved other ears.  The other pair I loved the most was a pair of Maleficent ears.  Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney Movie primarily because of Maleficent.  I would pick them up frequently in the park only to put them back before we left a shop.

The pins I waited to buy mostly because I didn’t know what to expect from the trading experience.  I regret not watching more videos about Disney trips on YouTube before we left.  I’ve seen many since and there were some that would have been helpful, especially about pin trading. I found a bunch of Muppet related pins and there were some sets that I fell in love with when I got home.  I wanted to make sure I had certain ones before we left the park.  I didn’t buy any pins until we were leaving the park to go home.  We spent a lot of the day hunting down cast members with pins and pin boards in shops.  My sister committed her day to eating, especially while Matt and I rode the thrill rides.  We also made a point of riding less thrilling rides for her.

This was the day we saw most of the characters around the park.  It was the busiest of the days we were there and it was a Saturday when most of the families were in the park.  This would be the best day to find characters.  I found Ariel and Jasmine for pictures.  Katie didn’t take a picture with her, but she found Cruella de Vil.  She followed her around for about 30 seconds looking like she found her favorite role model.  That probably says more about my sister than anything else I could tell you about her.

This was also the day we got to go on most of the big rides: Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and the Haunted Mansion specifically.  Like It’s A Small World, the Haunted Mansion was updated for Christmas, around the Nightmare Before Christmas theme.  While I enjoyed the change for It’s A Small World (the holidays being a general theme), it didn’t work for me with the Haunted Mansion.  Part of that was related to the weird problems going on with the ride where it felt like it would stop every few minutes.  I just don’t love A Nightmare Before Christmas enough to find the ride’s changes all that exciting.  I even rewatched the movie recently and still didn’t find it changed my opinion of the ride.

It might have to do with the problem of retrofitting a ride around a new theme.  We saw it with Guardians of the Galaxy too.  I never went on the Tower of Terror.  It was built after my last trip to the Magic Kingdom.  I don’t know what it was like, but the switch didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  The others with me said the old, haunted hotel feel of the original ride really was perfectly done.  That’s probably because the ride was built to serve the storyline rather than the story built to serve the ride.  At least the Haunted Mansion goes back to being the normal storyline after the holidays are over.

I think my favorite section of the park, after Futureland, was New Orleans.  It felt a little like being back in New Orleans.  It has been a long time since I was there, but it was a small way to prepare myself for going this summer.  We had dinner there and ended our meal with Mickey Mouse shaped beignets.  I wish there was more to do there other than eat and shop.  I think, technically, Pirates of the Caribbean is the ride in this section.  We skipped it because the ride was crazy and there was no fast pass.

This trip did something I didn’t really expect and it was reawaken my love of Disney.  I use to love Disney stuff and then something changed and it stopped being something I wanted to do or movies I wanted to see.  Being surrounded by Disney for four days didn’t make me totally embrace it again.  I still have some problems with the movies and some of the history.  I ended up spending a lot of my holiday break re-watching some of the movies.  Then the announcement happened about them buying Fox and I realized it’s probably a good time for me to get back into Disney.  They are going to be much more dominant in my entertainment world.

What about you – what’s your favorite thing in any Disney Park?  What rides have changed that you wish hadn’t?  Tell me in the comments!

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Here are more pictures!

Disneyland 2017 – Days 3 & 4

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