Park Hopping

As promised yesterday, the recaps continue on today. I promise, I won’t write about Disney forever!

After our morning in California Adventure that Saturday before the half marathon, we made our way over to the original — Disneyland.

We went to Disneyland in 2005 (yes, the same trip when we went to California Adventure), which was my first trip to any Disney park as an adult. I didn’t commit much of it to memory, though, and since all of my trips since then have been to WDW, I’m much more familiar with the way things are laid out there. Again, I’m going to try and refrain from making a ton of comparisons… but it’s hard not to! As Wes said after only ten minutes of walking in Disneyland, “Wow, it’s like someone jumbled up Walt Disney World!” Things were in places where they shouldn’t have been (lol!), and the short, tiny castle at the end of Main Street just didn’t seem right. And the plants! Plants everywhere! Those twenty extra years that DL has over WDW has made all the difference in their landscaping as there were real, full, BIG trees throughout the park. I had never noticed how spread out the lack of levels of landscaping makes WDW seem, but at some points, the trees and foliage at DL made the park seem even smaller because the plants were so much fuller. Crazy!

Thanks to the time difference, we were ready for lunch super early, and because he loves his wife so very, very much, Wes agreed to eat at the Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland. (He’s not so impressed by Disney pizza, but he knows I can’t get enough of it, so he usually tries to go somewhere where I can add yet another pizza to my pizza quota. Number of pizzas consumed during Labor Day weekend this year? FIVE. It was a good year, y’all.)

From there, we went and rode Pinocchio’s ride, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and Alice in Wonderland. That’s right — all the big, scary thrill rides. We tried to get in line for the Matterhorn, but it was shut down. Then, we jumped into the line for Small World, and it shut down. We figured the third time was a charm and got in line for Roger Rabbit’s ride, and unbeliveably, it also shut down. What’s the deal?! I told Wes we were too far into that line to turn around, so we waited it out, as others around us went backwards through the line and on to other lines that were probably going to shut down on them. Sure enough, about ten minutes later, the ride was back up and running, and we finally got to ride. Hooray!

As we made our way out of ToonTown, we declared it snack time and had the long-coveted, long-anticipated Mickey Bars.

Mmmm… I love me some Mickey-shaped ice cream, y’all.

We couldn’t leave for the day without riding my absolute favorite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. I had ridden the California version (the original) back in 2005, but again, because we’ve spent more time in Florida, I was fuzzy on the details. I was certain that WDW had a better Pirates… but I was WRONG. Wow, y’all, it felt like Disneyland’s ride was twice as long! There were so many more scenes and so much more detail that I didn’t get it all in on the first ride and told Wes that we’d have to do it again the next day. The only part of the ride that was, in my opinion, inferior to the WDW version was the queue, which wasn’t nearly as well themed as the dungeon atmosphere of the Florida version. But, then again, riding through the restaurant was pretty awesome. (And, on a random side note, we had lunch in that restaurant back in 2005, and I totally failed to appreciate it, not yet loving the ride as totally and completely as I do now. Sigh.)

After a brief stop by the door to Club 33 (because that’s probably as close as I’ll get to ever getting in there), we made our way down Main Street and out of the park… and right back into California Adventure, where we were going to eat huge plates of pasta at the Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta restaurant. After we finished carb loading, we rode Ariel again (no line!), then Soarin’ (no line!), and finished up at Monsters Inc (no line!). Again, it was so deserted in there that I was wondering if we were actually still at a Disney park. I’m sure Cars Land was still bustling at that hour, but the crowds hadn’t made it to any other portion of the park.

We still had a race to run (oh, yeah, the whole reason we made this trip, right?) the next morning, so we called it an early night and got rested up for what shall henceforth be known as the Most. Crowded. Race. Ever. (And we’ve run with more people than that before… just not in such small, tight spaces!)

On the blog tomorrow… how I met Adam Levine at the Matterhorn! Except not! Stay tuned!

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