it was, as is typical for the holiday season at the parks, really crowded - even for a thursday evening. that's okay. we were just happy to be there at all.
we headed straight to the festival of holidays area to use up some of our food vouchers that were left over from our last visit.
i always love the view from here when everything is lit up.
we repeated our favorite items from the kiosks, so we didn't take pictures of our food except for this one...the milk chocolate candy cane pot de creme.
and then we found out that we'd arrived just a little too late to catch a photo op with santa, who'd headed home at 6:30. so bummed. at least we got to ride one ride:
the following thursday, we went back and this time headed into the disneyland side and arrived just in time to catch the christmas parade.
santa usually brings up the rear with his reindeer, but had had a mishap with his sleigh the week before. did you hear about that? the sleigh broke and left santa hanging from his safety harness until cast members arrived to cut him loose. in the meantime, he sat and waved and called out holiday greetings to everyone, and then when he was finally free he walked the rest of the parade route. what a trooper, that santa. and so he rode in an earlier float while his reindeer closed out the parade without their leader.
we'd been excited to see the "mary poppins returns" exhibit, but we got assed out here too.
that's okay. we got lucky with the soft opening of the new tropical hideaway, located where the old "aladdin's oasis" used to be.
lots of new dole whip options! the bean was stoked.
there were three kinds of steamed bao - chicken, bulgogi beef and spiced vegetable. we took one of each, but it was too dark for decent photos.
there was also a dessert lumpia - cream cheese and pineapple with a dipping sauce that the old lady and her special friend swooned over.
ramen shaker salad that was pretty tasty.
and we were seated next to rosita, from the tiki room.
i managed to snap this of the castle as we headed towards it. what you can't see is the bazillion people crowded around it.
at the red rose taverne, the old lady's special friend happily sipped on this frozen eggnog. he's the only eggnog fan in the group.
our last ride of the night was on dumbo.
both visits were short but sweet, and now we won't get back into the 'land until 2019. thanks for a great year of fun, disneyland! can't wait to see what next year will bring (besides star wars land, that is)!