when i was a kid my mom and dad would load up the ol’ family truckster about once a year and head up to Disneyland. never did we go during christmas. sure, Disneyland in summer was nice and all but (fast forward to adulthood) man was i gettin’ jipped! little did i know back then that disneyland busts out all the best decorations & shows for the holiday season. now that i am older, somewhat wiser, and have an ohana of my own we have made it a family tradition to go every year in december (as well as any other time we can get up there). if you’re not going to Disneyland during the holidays you are missing out on the (albeit tiny) bonus for the millions of dollars you spend just to get in the park. kim will tell you, i am all about getting my nickles worth. when we go to Disneyland we get there when the gates open and don’t leave until the Disney po po’s boot us out at about 1:15am.
without further delay, here’s some stuff we shot on our trip last week.
this Year of a Million Dreams promotion is awesome. on a previous trip we all won “dream fast passes” that let us park hop back and forth all day between Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure (very cool if you’re not from California, but only marginally cool if you’re from here) and it got us past all the crazy lines on every major ride in both parks. it was sweet. this trip we all won Disney pins “that aren’t sold in stores.” not quite as sweet as the fast passes, but very nice just the same.
while i was stowing all our extra gear in a locker kim, rain, and noah took a ride down main street u.s.a. in an antique fire truck. we always see all the early 1900’s modes of transportation go by while walking down main street but had never gone on one. i still haven’t, but at least these 3 can check it off their list.
the driver, not knowing what he was in for, asked noah to ring the bell to alert people walking in front of the firetruck that the truck was coming. noah, being wise beyond his years, knew that with great power comes great responsibility, so he rang the bell as loud as he could for the entire length of main street.
at the end of the trip the driver had maintained his perfect safety record and the kids were… well… um… ok i guess.
the driver rewarded the kids for their hard work with some cool stickers.
(note to self. kids will work for stickers.)
after joining back up with everyone we headed over to my nemesis…
the tea cups.
when i was just a wee lad i had an uncle that spun me in one of these so fast that my head, literally, flew off. ever since the successful retrieval and re-attaching of my noggin i had never gone on the tea cups again until this trip. this time, there would be no evil uncle. the cup still turned, but not nearly at the break-neck speed i recalled from my youth. while still being FAR from my favorite ride, i can now say that i have confronted my foe and walked away (slightly dizzy) to ride another day.
now this is more like it. Pirates of the Caribbean has always been my favorite ride.
the Indiana Jones Adventure is also an awesome ride. if you haven’t been on it (for reasons other than health and/or those recommended by Disney safety officials) you should brave the lines and check it out. when you do finally get into the temple, whatever you do, don’t look into the eye!
the one drawback to going during the holiday season is there are a few billion other people that like it there too. more on that later.
ever vigilant with my canon, i snagged this shot of the girls waiting in line behind me. (that’s kim’s arm between rain and april btw).
now we’ve reached one of the coolest things in Disneyland during the holidays. the Disneyland website says Jack Skellington and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” give the Haunted Mansion an ex-SCREAM makeover! love that Disney humor.
anywho, they convert the whole place and it really is worth the price of admission to see.
don’t forget to look up once you get in.
we had a couple tasty hitch-hikers in our “buggy”
are you feelin’ the love? how ’bout now?
here’s april with her new boyfriend. aren’t they a cute couple?
Disneyland is awesome after dark. i love all the lights and colors.
beware the dark side.
our absolute favorite part of being at Disneyland at Christmas time is the special firworks display followed by a lite southern california snow fall. unfortunately, conditions were not right for the fireworks but they did let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
here’s the billions of people i mentioned earlier.
you know the song. don’t act like you don’t. now it’s going to be stuck in your head all day. :)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is always a good stop after dark. according to rain, it’s extra scary at night.
Fantasmic is a really cool show at night on the Rivers of America. they use “screens” of water to project Mickey’s dreams during the show. there are fireworks, disney characters, a fire-breathing dragon, and lots of other cool stuff.
get there early. it’s always packed.
after about 96 years waiting we finally got on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. i was super bummed when they stopped the old submarine ride years ago and was stoked to see them come back. the lines are longer than ever, but it was nice to see Disneyland’s newest old attraction.
this is why we like to close the place down. it’s so cool being on main street u.s.a. with only a few other people. i love feeling the cold air on my face, seeing all the lights, trying to find a few last minute gifts for friends and family…
smelling the fresh pine scent of the giant Disneyland Christmas tree (yes it’s real)…
and the best of all…
having the castle all to ourselves.