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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

disneyland = conquered

one of the things that we'd never done before (or, at least that we could remember) was to arrive at disneyland early enough for "rope drop."  basically, that means getting up as if it's a regular school day to head down to anaheim and be inside the park right when it officially opens.  you go through the turnstile at the gate, walk down main street, and at each "land" cast members are holding a rope, blocking the entrance.  right at opening time, you hear the official voice of disneyland wish you a good morning and welcome you to the resort.  at the end of the announcement, they drop the ropes and then you're free to play.

we managed to get onto the tram about 20 minutes before the park opened.

as much as we were bracing ourselves for long lines to get in, we were through those turnstiles in no time.  the castle is a lovely sight at 7:50 in the morning.

even the disneyland ducks were out and about.

we look ready for a good morning, yes?

as soon as that rope dropped, we went right into adventureland and made our way towards the bean's current #1 favorite ride - indiana jones.  and with a rarely-seen 10-minute wait...why not?

of course, the ride broke down as we were waiting in the short line.  a bunch of people left when the announcement was made, although literally two minutes later, those imagineers did their thing and the line started moving again.

a couple of weeks ago, the bean announced that she felt like she was finally ready to give splash mountain a shot.  that big drop that you can see from the walkway towards critter country has always freaked her out.  and so when we got out of indiana jones, that's where we were off to.

i was particularly delighted at how empty this area was - on any given day, at any other time, it's insanely crowded.

and we couldn't resist this photo op.

the bean balked a little as we made our way through the completely empty line at splash mountain, but we just encouraged her and told her that she'd have a great time trying something new.

when i say "completely empty," i mean exactly that.  we literally walked right through and were seated on the ride in no time.  doesn't she look excited?

okay, just kidding.  she hated it.  and as we were going up the hill towards that giant drop, i heard her behind me tell her sister "i don't want to do this anymore!" but of course, it was too late to turn back at that point.  two seconds later, it was over.

she admitted that she'd liked seeing the ride itself, with the animals and songs and stuff, but methinks it'll be a very long time before she braves that one again.  and because she'd done it, we agreed to go on something that the old lady and i like about as much as she liked splash mountain - the "finding nemo" submarine ride.  ugh.

this pre-ride photo is a little different from the last one, yes?  heheheh.

and yet they both seemed pretty into it as we started going.

look at what we had planned next!

by the time we got off of nemo, it was time for space mountain.  this is probably MY most favorite ride of all time.

i like this hat.  i may have to splurge on it one of these days.

with our fastpasses in hand, we were around 4th in line to get into the royal theater for the "frozen" show.  this got the bean a front-row seat on the floor in front of the stage, and secured spots for me and the old lady on the middle front row bench.  best seats ever.

i love the shows they put in on this theater.  the piano guy is really good, and the guys that run the show are hilarious.  they always tell the story in a way that's entertaining for everyone in the audience.

by the time we got out of there, it was time for our star tours fastpasses.

as we waited to get in, i noticed stormtroopers interacting with other folks in line.

i was literally the last person to head into the ride, and as i did i got this great photo op.

you can totally tell that he had seen me snap the shot and he was striding quite purposefully towards me.  i don't know why, but this completely scared the crap out of me and i literally screamed and pushed the old lady in front of me to get us safely into the ride.  she had no idea what was going on and looked at me funny as i nervous-laughed for the next few minutes.  i'm so weird.

and then as we all glanced back out the doors, a couple of those stormtroopers were standing there, just watching.  when they realized that they'd been spotted, they started dancing, which made the entire audience start cracking up.

we decided to head over to the plaza inn for some lunch.  because it was still early, it wasn't even open yet.  and so while i stood in the line, i sent the old lady over to grab something for me, along with fastpasses for big thunder.  multitasking at its best, folks.

the bean had her usual fried chicken and grape juice, the old lady opted for the pot roast, and i had...this.

turkey leg SO GOOD.

we managed to squeeze in rides on pirates of the caribbean and the haunted mansion before making our way to the final mountain of the day.

and as we were chatting, we realized that not only had the bean finally conquered all of disneyland's mountains (space, thunder, splash, and matterhorn), but that also meant that she's officially been on everything in the whole park (california adventure not included).  YAY!!

sunday...it was a good day.

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