the girls and i hadn't been to disneyland in at least a week or so. GASP. and so we decided to head out on thursday evening after the sun had gone down so it wouldn't be so stinking hot out there. there weren't too many people arriving at the same time as we did, but finding a parking spot was a little difficult. we were directed to the goofy level of the mickey & friends structure, but there were few spots open and we ended up having to circle around three times - something we've never had to do before.
because it was already 6:30 and the old lady had work the next day, we knew we'd only get to do one or two rides, which we do pretty often. you know us - we just like to drive down, soak in some disney magic, maybe grab a snack and go home. the bean got to decide what we would do, and she chose to wait in line for space mountain. with a 65-minute posted wait time, we mustered up all the patience in the world and headed up to stand in line.
while 65 minutes sounds like a crazy amount of time to wait (and yeah, it really is), it really didn't seem that bad as we stood there and chatted and played with a batch of slime that the bean had packed in her purse and joked and laughed. we were, as usual, stuck with some really clueless people behind us who apparently didn't adhere to the personal space rule. i really hate people who feel like they have to practically stand on top of you at all times while waiting in line.
i have to say, the quoted wait time was dead on. it was exactly 65 minutes from the time we got in line till we were seated in our rocket to blast through space. the bean hadn't been on the OG space mountain ride in forever, what with the longstanding "hyperspace mountain" overlay and halloween's "ghost galaxy" before that. she loved it, as we all did.
when we got out of there, we decided to get in the 20-minute line for autopia. on our way there, we spotted some fun decorations at the tomorrowland railroad station (disney, you've gotta fix that sign, yo):
since the railroad finally reopened this past weekend, i'm assuming that they'd decorated the stations like that for a soft opening of some sort. maybe a media day, or a cast member pre-opening party. i'm excited to ride it again, because it's been closed forever and i can't wait to see the changes and updates that they added to it. i'm sure it'll be awhile before we get to it, because it'll be crazy packed for awhile, but that's okay. we can wait it out.
after we got off of autopia, the old lady and i remembered something we'd read about just a few days ago. the finding nemo submarines have an option for those who don't want to or can't get into the submarines to be able to see what goes on during the ride. if you go up to a cast member at the ride exit and ask to get into the marine observation room, they'll lead you to this door:
and as long as that green light is on, you can go in without waiting in any lines. inside, there are two benches and this screen:
the cast member will push a button on the control panel, and then the show begins. you'll get to see the bubbles as the submarine descends into the water:
and then the room goes dark while you sit back and enjoy the attraction without being crammed in like sardines next to random strangers. you'll see the whole gang - nemo, marlin, bruce, dory.
when it was over and the lights came back on, we decided to look around a little. the lockers on either side of the screen are full of all sorts of fun props.
it's a great way to experience the ride while sitting back to enjoy some lovely air conditioning in a sweet space all to yourself! so if you're cool with swapping out the actual submarine experience for a private viewing of the attraction...definitely go check out the marine observation room.