disneyland officially kicked off their holiday season on friday, but with a busy weekend ahead of us we ended up putting off our first visit until monday. the bean had the day off for veterans' day, so we decided to get up for rope drop and head down to anaheim for the day. we didn't quite make it in time, but we got through the turnstiles just after 8.
our goal for the day was to hit up the rides with holiday overlays first, and then head across the way into california adventure for the festival of holidays. i booked our first fastpasses of the day at haunted mansion, which left us with small world as our first ride. as we made our way onto main street, we managed to catch the fire truck as it arrived to pick up passengers for a ride up to the castle.
since we were seated at the rear of the vehicle, the girls got to ring the bell as we drove up the street.
and i caught my first glimpse of the gigantic tree.
it was a short, fun ride through the crowds.
because it was still so early, we managed to get a castle photo without anyone in the background.
as we made our way towards small world, we came across these tables that were set up for various radio stations from all over the state to broadcast live from the happiest place on earth.
sadly for me, there was no ryan seacrest at the KIIS-FM table.
while the holiday overlay at small world usually attracts crowds of people and the line can be up to 90 minutes long as it gets later in the day, we were able to walk right on without waiting.
and as the ride ended and we headed through the gift shop at the exit, we heard the disneyland train pulling up at the fantasyland station just a few yards away. we slid through the turnstiles and had the car at the very front of the train all to ourselves for almost the entire ride around the park.
after we got through the haunted mansion, we decided to hop onto big thunder while we waited for our next fastpass window to open.
since i had the seat to myself, i got to brace myself by sticking my feet in each corner of the car so i wouldn't slide around on the seat the whole time.
but as soon as we made the final turn and came to a halt just before the loading area, we heard an announcement by a cast member telling everyone that the ride was shutting down for an indefinite amount of time for an undisclosed reason. phew...we were the last ones to ride it for awhile.
the people who were waiting in line weren't too thrilled, and who could blame them? they'd probably been in line for about half an hour by the time the announcement was made. in the meantime, we sat there and waited for the safety bars to be released so we could walk off the ride. we usually rush past these buildings as the ride vehicles take us back to the loading area, so it was kind of fun to get a longer look at the details.
the novelty wore off pretty quickly as time went by and the shade started going away. the sun was blazing and we warmed up in no time. and then finally, about 20 minutes later, we were finally escorted off of the ride.
to compensate us for the inconvenience, a cast member stood at the exit and scanned in everyone's tickets to add two fastpasses that could be used in either park at any time. we'd decided that we didn't want to go on our next ride after all, and headed towards the exit to go into california adventure and find some grub. on our way there we ran into chip and dale.
at the festival of holidays, we bought a couple of the "sip and savor" passes. each pass contains 8 vouchers that can be used for any food or non-alcoholic beverage at the festival kiosks, and if you choose wisely it's a really good deal. game on.
first stop: the merry mashups booth for their lox & everything bagel nachos and a hot cocoa marshmallow macaron. both were pretty tasty and worth having again on another visit.
at spicy celebrations, the old lady tried and liked the nashville hot fried turkey with dill pickles. her only complaint was that the turkey was cold...boo.
our stop at the grandma's recipes booth yielded a serving of beef pot roast on a potato roll with horseradish cream. the bean passed for fear of it being too spicy, so the old lady and i shared it. this was tasty.
the blissfully braised booth offered up some braised pork belly adobo with garlic fried rice. the bean really liked this one.
at visions of sugarplums, the bean happily ordered the s'mores frozen chocolate milk. it was good, but it leaves a weird aftertaste.
and lastly, the old lady stopped at the holiday duets booth for their warm peppermint chocolate float. they offered this one last year too, just without the peppermint. still just as delicious as we remembered.
it had gotten really crowded, which was to be expected given the holiday plus all of the new stuff out, and so we decided to head on out. the bean had cheer practice that afternoon, and we had to take mollydog for her dialysis anyway. on our way to the exit, we stopped at elias & co. where the old lady finally found a jacket that she'd been looking for since last year. she was about as happy as i've ever seen her, heh.
the bean was just as starry-eyed over the softness of the furry jacket, and so with her sister's permission i bought one for her too. twinsies:
i'm sure those things are going to get plenty of use in the coming months. and who doesn't love a fun new disneyland jacket?
we still have plenty of vouchers left for our next visit, and there are still things we want to try. i can't wait till we get another chance to head down. there's nothing like the holidays at the 'land.