When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are
I had a great night’s sleep. It was just a shame that the alarm was set for 6.10am because today was Disneyland Day. I had three aims for today. Firstly, to survive it! Secondly not to ruin the day for Karen & Neil with my knee and Thirdly to enjoy it.
We were in the car for 7am. Unfortunately, the Sat Nav took us to the exit of the Toy Story Car Park and not the entrance which was a long way around the other side of the block which confused us for a while but we probably only lost about 5 minutes. I begrudgingly handed over the $30 parking fee and we were soon on the efficient bus service to the parks themselves. We joined the queue and were through the gates by the official opening time of 8am.
Neil was our expert with the Genie Plus element of our tickets and ride scheduler for the day. Our first ride of the day was to be the Matterhorn which is one of the original and unique rides in the park. It’s very old fashioned as you just seem to freewheel down the mountain on tracks. The ride is long, bumpy but great fun.
Our first Genie Plus booked ride was then Space Mountain which had had a Star Wars makeover and was all the better for it. This was followed by Buzz Lightyear which had virtually no queue and that I have to mention that I won.
We wandered across the central hub and stopped to look at the castle. I had difficulty seeing it as it is so small. It is nothing like the majestic one in Florida and I might have mentioned that fact a few times during the day.
It was by now getting very hot. The park also seemed very busy. Our next Genie Plus was for Indiana Jones but that was currently down and so we went and rode Mr Toad in Fantasyland which is another original and unique ride. I quite enjoyed it.
Karen & I were now in need of some refreshment. We sat at the Red Rose Tavern and had some hot drinks whilst Neil went off and rode Snow White on his own which apparently had been refreshed. It was so warm that Karen removed her sling for the rest of the day for the first time since her arm had been broken.
By now Indiana Jones was back running and so we wandered over to that. Although this is essentially the same ride as Dinosaur in Florida, this is so much better themed and works really well.
Neil then paid for the Lightning Lane passes for us to ride The Rise of the Resistance as my Father’s Day present which was very kind of him. Regular readers of this blog may recall that I had refused the 90-minute wait for it last year in Florida so it was terrific to be able to literally just walk on it this time.
Not being a Star Wars fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect but had heard nothing but positive reviews. I was not disappointed. You didn’t have to be a fan to enjoy this ride. The story was self-explanatory. It is a ride/experience on a mammoth scale and is totally amazing. It is in 3 parts and difficult to explain but it is more of an experience than a ride. I came out of it with a beaming smile.
The sun was at its full power by now and so we decided to find a table in the shade and get some lunch. We saw some tables on a shady first floor terrace at the Big Bear restaurant overlooking the Lake and decided to base ourselves there. I headed in one direction to get myself some Clam Chowder (OK but the bread bowl was not fresh) and Karen a lobster roll. Neil headed back to Star Wars and brought himself back a Rota Wrap.
In truth I needed a long sit down. I was very hot, my knee was sore and I was tired from hobbling. We had lightning passes for Splash Mountain but Karen wasn’t keen in case she got wet and Neil could see I needed a break so suggested we just sat there longer whilst he went and rode it on his own. Karen used the time to spend ages queuing to get us some more much needed drinks.
Eventually we set off again, firstly on the hunt for some beignets that Neil was keen to try. We found them but it proved more difficult to find any shade in which to eat them. In the end we perched on a wall and Neil kindly shared his bag with Karen.
The Railroad was our next ride of choice but the New Orleans station was very busy so we walked back to Main Street and caught it from there. It was a lovely cooling ride around all the park seeing it all from a different perspective.
Then we went into see Great Moments with Mr Lincoln, another unique attraction at this park. It features what was at the time the world’s first audio animatronic. Best of all it takes place in an air-conditioned theatre.
It was now time for our Thunder Mountain pass and as ever it lived up to its high expectations.
Karen & I were both now flagging again and so we headed for the Enchanted Tiki Room for another show and sit down. This show shouldn’t work but it does. I’m not saying we have watched it many times but Karen sang and quite loudly all the way through it. We all had a smile on our faces.
An extraordinary thing happened whilst we were walking in. An American in front of me turned round and said I recognise that accent. He asked where we from. I said the UK. He asked where to which I replied Norwich. He said I thought so, and said he had lived there for 3 years until 2013. He just wanted to talk about Grosvenor Fish Bar which he said in all his travels was the best Fish & Chip shop in the world. Not a conversation I had expected to be having in the Tiki rooms in California with a total stranger.
We decided that it was then time for some more food. We found a table outside the Stage Door Café. I got Karen & I some reasonably priced Fish & Chips (not up to Grosvenor Fish Bar standard but not bad) whilst Neil got himself some skewers from the Bengal BBQ.
It was then time for our Haunted Mansion pass which we followed by It’s a Small World.
Then Neil pre ordered us some Dole Whip which we took to eat back outside the Stage Door Café.
Neil was keen to see the relaunched Fantasmic Show. Karen & I decided that we would have a good enough view from where we already sitting. Neil though was keen to find a better standing spot and so went off to find one. We ended up sharing our table with a couple of nice ladies who were annual passholders who had come after work just to watch Fantasmic. We actually had a really good view from where we were and Neil re-joined us afterwards and we managed to watch most of the Firework show together from there before leaving.
I had now sat for too long and my knee had stiffened. I struggled to keep up with them both all with the hordes of other people leaving the park and Karen was concerned at times we would get separated.
The bus service back to the car park was very efficient, almost as if they have had over 50 years of practice of providing it.
Neil was very patient with us all day. He was conscious not to push us too hard. I’m sure on his own or with some fitter people he would have achieved many more rides but he seemed happy enough.
So, I survived the day, as did my knee. I know I held up Neil but not Karen as she was happy with our and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We had done everything we wanted and the day was good.