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Monday, January 23, 2023

living that annual passholder life

the bean and i managed to squeeze in two last visits to disneyland before our passes were blocked for the holiday period.  and for the first one, we got to stay at the hyatt down the street while the hub threw a party for his stinky old man cigar friends at home.  on our way to our room from the lobby we came across an arcade with a ton of claw machines, and of course the bean HAD to shoot her shot.

and i, of course, had to stop for the photo op.

it's hard to tell from this picture, but the bean really does love staying in hotels.

we slept in a bit the next morning, even though i'd really tried to talk them into getting up for rope drop.  or at least a little close to rope drop.  but nope - we ended up taking full advantage of that hotel room and left right at checkout time.  and as we made our way towards the parking lot, the bean couldn't pass these without stopping for photos:

we'd reserved our entry into california adventure, so we stopped for some obligatory tree photos.  first, a selfie:

and then i got the bean to recreate an old photo.

we stopped to grab something to eat at the shawarma palace too kiosk.  this was part of the wakanda forever celebration - the wakandan roasted pork wrap, a flatbread filled with spiced pork and black garlic sauce.  it was a little greasy for me, but really flavorful and the bean really liked it.

the guardians of the galaxy ride is always a good time, even if we do miss the old twilight zone version.

we decided to wait in line to meet santa, something we haven't done in a few years.  he really liked what i told him was on my wish list - a new mixer for making lots of cookies.

over on the disneyland side, we said hello to the disneyland ducks on our way to the haunted mansion.

the standby line for ride of the resistance wasn't terrible - 45 minutes - so we decided to wait.  too bad for us though, because about halfway through the ride broke down (shocker).  a bunch of people left the line, but we figured we'd just wait it out until it was back up again.  by the time we finally got on the ride, the total time we'd killed in there was a whopping two hours.  sheesh.  and we were hungry, so we went over to jolly holiday for some warm comfort food - grilled cheese and tomato soup, plus hot chocolate.

we typically bounce outta there well before the fireworks show starts, because trying to get through the crowds (and then out of the parking structure) is always miserable once it's over.  but this time, since we'd gotten there so late we figured we'd just hang out and spend some extra time in the park.  plus, it's always so pretty at disneyland at nighttime.  we didn't get a great spot for optimal fireworks viewing, so we headed over to the jungle cruise and took advantage of the zero wait time.

i couldn't tell you the last time i'd been on peter pan's flight - probably ten years?  the line for it is always crazy long and usually filled with small children.  but when it's almost 10 at night, the wait is much less so - and so we went for it.  it was just as cute (and now, super politically incorrect, heh) as we remembered.

while we were at it, we hopped onto the carousel too.  hey...why not, right?

more obligatory photos in front of the castle.

and the last thing we saw as we exited the park for the night:

two days later, we were back.  and this time, it was during one of the old lady's shifts at the front gates.  we didn't get to go through her line as she was on a break when we got there, but we met up with her as she made her way back out to take her place at the turnstiles.

and you have to take castle pictures in the daylight, right?

continuing our quest to do things that we don't typically stop for, we hopped onto the pirate ship as it took a turn through the rivers of america.  this, too, was something i hadn't been on in years.  and i'd forgotten all about going below deck to see the living quarters.

and as we continued on our journey, i noticed something i'd either never seen before or had forgotten about through the years - look closely at the rocks:

inside bonanza outfitters in frontierland, we stopped to listen to the music from this old-timey machine.  for just a quarter, you get to enjoy a lively tune that lasts for at least five minutes, and most people walk right past it and don't ever realize what they're missing (there's a similar machine inside the candy palace on main street).

the standby line for the matterhorn was about an hour - but since the seats aren't side-by-side on that ride anyway, it always makes total sense to get in the single rider line.  we were on and off of it in about ten minutes total.

the royal theater was seating for the next show as we walked by, so we got in line and snagged a great seat for their always-entertaining rendition of "tangled."

the bean enjoyed a cup of dole whip:

and then we grabbed a couple of grilled skewers at bengal bbq.

the old lady despises the "finding nemo" submarine ride, and while i don't love it i didn't fight it when the bean wanted to get in line.  still not my favorite, but it was okay.

she happily chauffeured me on a ride around the autopia track:

and while we were in the area, we stood in line for this.

the seasonal offering at the churro cart near the exit sounded good - a warm, crispy churro rolled in hot chocolate dust.  and while it was simple, i think it's my favorite out of all the special flavors they offer throughout the year.

one last tree selfie for the year:

we decided to take one more walk through california adventure.  when we got through the turnstile, the red trolley was just waiting for us to climb aboard.

cars land, so pretty at night.

we went into trolley treats and grabbed some sweets to go.  the bean opted for this marshmallow mickey pop covered in chocolate and candy cane crumbles:

and the last ride of the day...the tram back to the parking structure.

always a good time at disneyland - especially during the holiday season.

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