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2:24 p.m. - 2004-10-27

Two days of screamin'

Once I set foot back at my desk yesterday it took me almost all day to find the top of it. That, on top of all the meetings I ended up in, I never got around to scanning those promised pic’s. So, first thing this a.m., bright and early I came in to start part of the process of scanning pic’s.

To begin your reading pleasure today I thought I should start from my previous entries lack of pictures. That is to say a quick picture of my excitement the night before our grand departure.

Look out Disneyland – here I come!!

Little did I know at this point the hours of driving ahead of us. Maybe then I wouldn’t have looked so thrilled.

Now to pick up where I last left you on the previous entry.

Tuesday morning dawned with some sunshine and a little rain. The rain felt great, and it was not long lived. We stood in line at Denny’s for 20 minutes for breakfast before getting seated. So many families with kids that should be in school – not at Disneyland jostling for position for the same rides that we two big kids were vying for. Alas, one must remember that Disneyland is a FAMILY affair, and one must make some compromises for the wee ones.

Breakie took us longer than we had wanted which meant that we were not the VERY FIRST people in line to enter the gates. However, I must say that October was a fantastic time to go. The crowds were not nearly as bad as I thought they might me. We were only in line for 5-10 minutes or so.

We had a spare moment to … catch the moment …

Once in those gates we again stopped for a Kodak moment.

We sprinted quickly to see which rides we could get on first. We found out that the Safari Cruise was down for the count, but – Indiana Jones Adventure was ready, but busy. At this point we decided to make use of the “FastPass” ticket. This is a wonderful invention on the part of Disneyland to aid in the war against line-ups. You get a fastpass ticket that gives you a time window, approximately 1 hour from the time you acquired the fastpass, until you can use. This then allows you to go and do other rides or activities, come back to the ride you have the fastpass for and enter directly without having to wait in the line.

Fastpasses in hand we again sprinted over to Splash Mountain – got thoroughly soaked. Slightly dried off at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. Partially soaked again at the Pirates of the Caribbean. Then chilled, thrilled and delirious at Indiana Jones.

All that before noon! Now that we had the basic rides done that we REALLY wanted to do, we were able to take a breath, slow down and decide what to do again, or next. I believe we managed to get Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones in two more times that day. We sauntered over to Big Thunder Mountain and got one good ride in there. Although this is where (later in the day) we came across the term “waiting time 60 minutes”. You’d be surprised at how quickly you become used to the 'hurry up and wait' syndrome. Most of our vacation seemed to follow that pattern.

We didn’t leave the park until closing time, which was at 8:00pm. Our feet were barking tired, our smiles permanently plastered on our faces, but our clothes had dried from the morning dunking.

The next day (Wednesday) we thought we would tackle California Adventures Park. We were much slower at rising on Wednesday, our weary bones reminding us vividly that we are not as young as we used to be.

Heading over to CA (California Adventures) we skipped breakfast and stood in line 20 minutes before the gates were opened. Once the gate opens they only let you go so far before you come up to a rope barrier, guarded with big burly CA Ushers and Security people. In no way shape or form are you allowed to gain a mob mentality and storm the rides. No – the MAKE you use patience and decorum, and sheep herd to you to your first stop. And for many of us it was …

There’s nothing like being strapped into a seat in a large ‘Service Elevator’ in a spooky, ghost ridden, lightening struck luxury hotel, and shot straight up 13 floors faster than you can say Tower of Terror. The 13th floor elevator doors open and you are presented with a lovely view of the theme parks, but beware, because before you can blink you are immediately plummeted to you impending doom. Only to be shot up again once more. There were times when this heavy weight thrill seeker was straining against her seat belt while her butt was not attached to her seat. Attempting as it was to stay on the 13th floor while the elevator descended at an unknown fast speed, and departure from the ride.

What a thrill – I wanted to immediately turn around and do it all over again, but T paley suggested that we try something calmer before, or ever, attempting this ride again.

What I forgot to tell you about our long rope walk was that while walking this path you have to walk down a street which is liken to an every town downtown street. It has shops, or store fronts that look like shops. This area was CA’s equal to a Studio Backlot. A place where they can film movies without actually uprooting town’s folk. Here is what you’d see.

There’s T standing just in front and to the left of the Hyperion Theatre (which serves as an actual CA stage theatre – I’ll tell you more about that in a future entry). As you look down the street, past the Hyperion you see what looks like a great long street with shops and the like leading up to a beautiful blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds. Do not be deceived! In fact, that street is false and only goes back about 10 feet from the Hyperion’s front doors. How cool is that?

Other areas at CA were “A Bug’s Land”. Titled after the movie “A Bug’s Life”, but with rides that the wee folk could do without fear of heart failure. Although there was a most excellent venue “It’s tough to be a bug – 3D movie”. In an attempt to give you a sense of what it’s like to be the size of a bug, the bugs from the movie give you a song and dance routine (via a 3-D) movie, accompanied by some actual figures that come out and talk to you. Did I tell you that you had to wear those funky 1950’s 3’D glasses? They made it feel so much more real (teehee). This event wasn’t complete until you have your faced misted with bug snot, air pelted at your feet to because of the cockroaches scurrying past. And don’t forget the huge bee that sweeps by and stings you in the back, or the feel of an antenna whisking by your butt, which makes you jump out of your seat.

We left this little land and headed over towards Paradise Pier. Here we found a HUGE roller coaster.

I had to take on this bad boy alone.

That’s me in the middle car, back row, farthest away. And my travel buddy Claire.
Then …

Then mid way through …

You’re only upside down for a split second (that’s because you’re going faster than a speeding bullet), but the sensation is wild!!!

Way cool, and once again –my adrenaline pumping – I wanted to do it again!!! T quietly walked me away and we ‘talked’ about possibly doing it again before we left Anaheim. But that’s a story for another day.

This concludes my 2nd entry. Tomorrow it’s off to Universal Studio’s where I had the pleasure of meeting someone very special.

Cheers - LJ

Footnote: In case anyone was wondering why we didn't mention Disneyland's Matterhorn or Space Mountain Ride - they were closed. Also covered up in a 'veil' of secrecy is the castle. They are repainted in grand style to celebrate the 50th Anniversary in May. I will have a picture of that in a day or two. :-)

This was before - This is now

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