Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Hi, my name is Emily and I think I might be addicted to Disney. Okay, okay - who am I kidding? I am addicted to Disney. After all, I'm attempting to run a half marathon because it gives me an excuse to go to Disneyworld (WDW), and I'm contemplating running one in Disneyland (DL) so I can get the special coast to coast medal. But in the grand scheme of things, that isn't too bad, right?

My original Disney friend, Michelle, was going to DL at the end of December with her family and so I decided to tag along. Mainly to see Michelle, but also because I'll take any excuse to go to a Disney park! :) Michelle was the one who introduced me to WDW for my 30th birthday. Wow, was that really almost 3 years ago now?

We met up at LAX (we being me and Michelle's family - Michelle, Jason, Bailey, Reese and Michelle's parents - Janette & Mark), caught the shuttle and were on our way! We were dropped off at our respective hotels with a plan to meet back up at California Adventures. This was going to be my first time at California Adventures! Surprisingly, I've only been to DL a few times and haven't been since CA Adventures was built.

First was lunch, followed by Mike & Sully's Adventure, Playhouse Disney and the end of the HSM3 Pep Rally. And then it was time. Time for what? For me to face my fear.

(This would be when the foreboding music starts playing)

Michelle's favorite ride is Tower of Terror and she has been trying to get me on it since our first trip together. This ride absolutely terrifies me!! I think it is more psychological than anything. Each time I've said, maybe next time, maybe next time. The cajoling of Michelle, my brother and Jana finally got to me and I rode it with Jana last time at WDW, knowing I was still going to need to ride it in DL with Michelle. Jason, Michelle & I headed over to Tower of Terror but before we got in line Jason & Michelle got fast passes. Me? No, once was more than enough for me on this ride. We stood in line with the dread and anticipation building and building. Finally we were there, sitting down, strapped in and ready to go. I closed my eyes, hung on the hand rail for dear life and screamed. And then it was over. My legs were shaking uncontrollably, but I did it!

I should have known once I definitively said, "There is no way in he$$ I am doing this ride more than once!" that I would ride Tower of Terror again. We finished and Jason gallantly gave up his fastpass so I could face my fears and go again. Note to self, always get the fastpass, even if you don't think you will ride it. The elevator door closed, I held on to the handle with all my might and we plunged. The second time was worse! But I faced my fears and lived through it, twice! Riding it with Michelle was (dare I say it) fun. And Michelle - I'm glad you made me ride it & I'm glad I got ride it with you! :)

We met back up with the rest of the group and started over to California Screaming, another rollercoaster which had me a slight bit terrified. But it was actually really smooth, and only had one upside down loop, which I shut my eyes for. California Screaming just might be one of my new favorite rides!

After that it was King Triton's Carousel, Mickey's Fun Wheel, Mulholland Drive, and Soarin' before ending the night eating a corn dog and watching the Electrical Parade. You know how every once in awhile a hot dog just really sounds good? Or is that just me? And a corn dog? But it was really good. After the parade was over it was time for bed.

The next morning, I met up with the crew at their hotel before we caught the monorail over to Disneyland!! Michelle, Bailey & I rode the teacups. Next it was Pinocchio, Pirates, Haunted Mansion (which was decked out like The Nightmare Before Christmas for the holidays) and lunch. Then it was time for Mark to leave (he was going to work on one of the floats for the Rose Parade). We did a little shopping, watched the Christmas Parade and went for a ride with Mr. Toad. It was then time to say goodbye and goodnight to Janette & the girls. Michelle, Jason & I headed back to the park.

One of my favorite rides at DL that isn't at WDW is the Indiana Jones ride. The line was atrocious, so we decided to brave the single rider line, which we were assuming would be much faster than the 110 minute line. We weren't in line for that long when the ride was shut down for mechanical issues. Darn! On our way out, we were given a magical fastpass!! Hm, what to use it on? We did Big Thunder and then opted to use the magical fastpass on Space Mountain. Note to self, when you are trying to get into your seat on Space Mountain fast, don't lower your lap bar until you are ready. This may or may not be from experience. I may have lowered my lap bar before I was fully seated and gotten my leg caught outside the bar and gotten yelled at by the ride operator. I'm not saying it did happen, all I'm saying is that here is a slight possibility it could happen! :)

Next up was the Matterhorn and Pirates before checking out the Indiana Jones situation. The line was operational and had about 105 minute line. We headed for the single rider line and were on our way in a lot less time than 105 minutes!

We finished up the night with the Jungle Cruise and It's A Small World, which was all decked out for the holidays.

What a great trip!! See ya real soon!

Check out more pictures here.

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