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Friday, July 16, 2021

so good to be "home"

with disneyland closed for over a year due to the 'rona, the old lady and i had talked about how we weren't really sure when we'd be ready to return even after they were finally given the all-clear to open safely.  the thought of being in those large crowds, even outside...ugh.  

yeah, that didn't last long.  they reopened on april 30th - and we bought tickets and reserved for two weeks later.  and because there are no more annual passes and we were paying for day tickets, we ended up buying two-day passes because the price difference was so minimal it seemed silly not to.  and then because we'd heard that there were no trams running between the parking structure and the main gate, we decided to make a whole trip out of it and booked the best western across the street from one of the pedestrian entrances to the resort.

except that the joke was on us, because when we checked into the hotel the desk clerk told me that we were only allowed to park there till 3:00 the next day and there was no option to pay extra to leave the car there.  so annoying.  but i'd seen that there was another hotel offering parking for non-guests and it happened to be just a few doors down from where we were staying.  it was first-come, first-served and rumor had it that the lot was usually completely full by 7:30. so the old lady and i decided to get up crazy early - like at 6am - so that we could move the car and secure parking for the day.

by the time we got back to our hotel, the bean was already up and ready to go.  we stopped in to check out the hotel's free breakfast situation, but all they had to offer was a pile of pre-packaged danishes, cups of oatmeal and cold cereal.  we ended up at denny's instead, and then we headed across the street to start our journey "home."

it was a chilly, drizzly day - but we weren't complaining.  so much better than heat, right?  

this was our first ride of the day.

it was so good to be back walking around the park, with most of it actually open and ready for action.  and it seemed that the feeling was mutual.

i was the only one who wanted to take advantage of this photo op, and then they chastised me for blocking the shield.  heh.

as we made our way to the guardians of the galaxy ride, we found something new that had been added since our last visit.  apparently this is something called the "kirby krackle," and it dates back to the 1940s from some really early versions of comics.  i'm still not really clear as to how it relates to the ride, but it's pretty and shiny.

once inside the ride's queue, we got to see harold again - the retired abominable snowman from the matterhorn.

along with the loss of our annual passes, we also lost the privilege of free downloads of ride photos.  this is all we get now because i'm too cheap to pay for the photo pass.

there were little changes here and there that were obviously going to be part of the new avengers campus that wasn't quite ready to open at that point.  

inside the disney junior theater, they were rotating characters for socially distanced photo ops.

we walked through cars land, but with the line for radiator springs racers quoted at 90 minutes we just kept on walking towards pixar pier.

after we'd ridden the incredicoaster, it was time for a snack break.  on our way to grab some churros we spotted a familiar figure just above our heads:

it had been a long time since i'd had a proper disneyland churro, so i went big with a fluffernutter.  marshmallow cream and peanut butter topped with mini chocolate chips?  yes please!

we took a drive through monstropolis at the monsters inc. ride.

and in the stage 17 backlot shop, this caught my eye.  i took a picture of it to send to the hub, who immediately gave me the green light to bring it home.

the hollywood backlot stage was the site of more socially distanced character photo ops, mostly avengers themed.  

that is NOT america's ass back there.  it reminded me of the feeling we all had while we were watching disney +'s "the falcon and the winter soldier" and the new/faux captain america debuted.  that ain't no chris evans, by far.

by then, it was past 1pm which meant that park hopping was finally allowed for the day.  on our way to the park exit, we managed to catch minnie on her way to her photo op station.

hello, disneyland!

pluto walked right past us on his way to join his friends at the railroad station.

the trolley just happened to arrive as we walked in, so we decided to hitch a ride to the castle.

i got in trouble for this one because i didn't realize i was in portrait mode, which blurred the girls out behind me.  haha, oops.

we tried to get onto big thunder, but it broke down right as we were seated.  ugh.

we'd managed to score boarding passes for rise of the resistance, but our group hadn't yet been called.  we strolled through batuu anyway and found chewbacca standing high above us, keeping watch.

we'd mobile ordered lunch from plaza inn, so we headed back towards main street to pick it up and enjoy some delicious fried chicken.  

and then in new orleans square we crossed off two more items from our list of snacks - beignets and mint juleps.

we headed back to galaxy's edge when our boarding group was called.  

blue milk for the girls:

while they sipped their drinks, we watched some storm troopers and kylo ren banter with guests here:

next item crossed off the list - dole whip float.

we decided to grab a light dinner at the jolly holiday cafe before we left - salad for the old lady and the grilled cheese and tomato soup for me and the bean.

knowing that we were coming back the following weekend, we saved a good number of favorite rides for next time.  and so we headed back into california adventure so that i could pick up my framed art:

THAT was fun to lug all the way back to the car, parked at the hotel outside the resort.  heh.

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