Cuz is at that age where she thinks she’s grown-folk, yet still wanted a wake-up call from Mickey on Saturday morning. Who am I kidding? I totally wanted a Mickey wake-up call for myself. Cuz woke up for Mickey at 5 am and promptly tried to go back to sleep. That wasn’t going to happen though since we had to get up and get ready for park opening at 7 for hotel guests.
Our Fellowship of the Mouse got to the monorail entrance at 7 and took the first ride in. Me and cuz rode Matterhorn while Mom joined Tink & Peter Pan on a flight to Neverland. The new Matterhorn cars are pretty uncomfortable. I just kept banging my knees against the back of the seat in front of me. After getting the band back together, we traveled across the esplanade to deal with the Cars Land morning madness.
– inside of Manny the monorail
– mustn’t be late
Mom & cuz headed for the rope to wait with the crowd of people while I took our tickets and got in the fastpass line, it was about 7:50. A cast member came and told us that where we were standing we would have over an hour wait. I opted to get out of line and go find Mom & cuz in the scrum. At 8 o’clock, this sea of humanity was led to Cars Land and specifically Radiator Springs Racers. The sign said it was already a 100 minute wait by the time we got there. Disaster nearly struck right as we were entering the queue. An announcement was made that RSR would be down briefly. Nobody got out of line though and after about 15 minutes the ride was back up & running. And a cheer went up through the crowd! Radiator Springs is all about the idea of water to fill up a car’s radiator. The RSR queue reflects this and one of the buildings has a bunch of old radiator caps screwed on the wall for decoration. One of the walls has prices for radiator caps for car manufacturers from the pre-interstate era of motoring. I loved all the little car details in the line. As we neared the front of the line, we were directly behind the next people in line, but still had to snake around one more time. The next couple of groups who were getting on, were apparently groups of 4 or more because they asked us how many people were in our party and like the number of circles used to make a Mickey symbol, 3 was the correct answer. They let us through and we hopped in our open-top vehicles. Radiator Springs Racers is a fantastic ride. It starts off with a nice calm build up outside as you pass the bridge and waterfall. Then you go inside and it becomes a classic Disney dark ride that recounts the first movie. You are either led to Luigi’s for some new tires or Ramone’s for a paint job, we got the tires, before making your way to the starting line. A couple seconds later another car pulled up beside us, and after a brief countdown we were off on a high-speed race against our competitors. We lost, but I think the race adds such a great element to the ride.
– Cars Land morning rush
– Radiator Springs Racers queue
– Radiator Springs Racers
All three of us wanted to hop right back in line, but didn’t want to wait 150 minutes. We decided we’d go flying on some tires even though Luigi’s had a 1 hour wait. The queue for Luigi’s features old style race posters for races like Le Mans and Monza, but with the cars done in the Cars movie style. There’s also a section with big glass cases that have race memorabilia and “signed” photos to Luigi & Guido from the other racers in the Cars movies. Once again, I absolutely loved all the details in there. I seriously want some of those old race style Ferrari posters. I told Mom & cuz to try and disregard the beach balls and just have fun flying around. They rode together while I was alone again. Luigi’s is like a big air hockey table. As you lean forward slightly the front of the vehicle dips down slightly and with the back of the vehicle in the air, the air being pushed up from the ground pushes you forward. It can be tricky to get the hang of at first, and after my 2nd ride I definitely felt much more experienced. If you have multiple people in your vehicle and they lean opposite directions, you’re not going anywhere. If you lean too far you’ll bottom out, and you’re not going anywhere. It seems that most people go for the beach balls. I’m guessing it’s so they can throw them at the people they came with. All in good fun of course. I notice this leads to most of the tires being on one side or the other of the ride area, with the middle mostly free. I didn’t care about the beach balls and had fun just trying to control the tire and go from end to end crashing into people who were more preoccupied with the balls. Cuz said she tried to forget about the beach balls and just fly, but that Mom couldn’t resist the allure of plastic filled with air.
– Luigi’s Flying Tires queue
We all enjoyed our time as tire pilots. After 2 hours of waiting, Mom was ready to sit down and take a break. We left her at Flo’s and went to ride Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. I like the Cars movies, but I’m not a big fan of Mater, and this was my least anticipated of the three new rides. The queue features some real life versions of props taken from the Mater’s Tall Tales shorts. Not yet winning me over. Watching the ride as you wait, it just didn’t look too exciting. Still not winning me over. Me and cuz rode together and after I squished her against the side of the car for the first time, I was won over. Mater’s was really a surprising amount of fun. You ride in a trailer behind these “baby tractors” as they go around on giant discs on the ground. As you go around and as you switch from disc to disc, the trailer swings wildly back and forth and it really whips you around with some force. Watching the ride before doesn’t adequately prepare you for the force with which it whips you. Cuz liked it too despite the injuries she acquired from me squishing her against the side of the car as we flung around.
– Mater’s Grizzly Jamboree
Meanwhile Mom had made her way over to the Cozy Cone for some popcorn and a Doc’s Wild Grape Tonic. It’s Sprite with wild grape syrup and a wild berry foam. She loved it. I suggest you reread that sentence again to fully comprehend her affection for this drink. I had a drink and it tastes like grape soda, but then the lemon-lime of the Sprite comes in at the end. I enjoyed it, but nowhere near the level to which she did. It was decided that Little Mermaid would be the next ride since I enjoy it, cuz hadn’t ridden it, and Mom didn’t remember that she liked it. As we made our way there, cuz wanted to ride California Screamin’. She was going to have to go it alone since me and mom don’t ride it. The wait said it was only 25 minutes, so we figured we’d take another break. While waiting, I went to see how long the wait for Toy Story Mania was, but at 45 minutes I didn’t want to leave them waiting for me. Turns out I could’ve rode it, since cuz wasn’t back for about 45 minutes anyways. It’s okay because I rode another ride anyways, King Triton’s Carousel. After watching it go round and round for 30 minutes I just couldn’t resist to get on it with all the little kids.
– Paradise Pier
– ready for take off
Cuz eventually came back and we once again headed to take a trip under the sea. I wish more people rode this. I think it’s such a good ride and it seems to never have a wait. Oh well, I guess that just means more Ariel for me. Our school of fishes came back up for air and Mom remembered that she liked that ride. We were hungry and it was decided that we would see if Chef Oscar was around and eat at Carnation Cafe.
– Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
– I hear the hotel in the background has horrible service
– Mickey greeting some people we don’t know
Chef Oscar wasn’t there, but lunch was good anyways. Mom had the chicken-fried chicken (none of us really read that and were all surprised at what came out since we thought it was regular fried chicken), cuz ordered the cheeseburger, while I oped for the turkey sandwich and the baked potato soup. Potato soups are my kryptonite. I love sweets, but I can pass up cake & ice cream. I’ve yet been able to resist a potato soup. The soup was fantastic, very thick with big chunks of potatoes. The turkey sandwich was good, but I’d order more sauce next time. The others said their food was delicious. I also got a birthday sundae since I was still wearing my birthday button. By now it was about 2 and Mom had just about enough. She went back to the room to rest while me and cuz continued our journey. It was hot out so we decided that getting wet on Splash Mountain was a good idea. Everybody else seemed to have this idea though as evidenced by the 75 minute wait. We decided to get fastpasses instead. The Haunted Mansion had a wait of about 10 minutes so we hopped in line. I’m glad cuz didn’t become ghost number 1,000 since her parents are quite fond of her and that would’ve been hard to explain. As we were passing New Orleans Square I remembered that I wanted to find Club 33. I’ve never looked for it, and couldn’t really imagine where it was at based on the pictures I’d seen. I found it pretty easily and proceeded to take the same pictures that everybody else does so that I could continue the tradition of not giving any clues as to it’s actual whereabouts. Here’s where it is anyways. It’s between the gift shop that sells Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise and the Blue Bayou Restaurant. Turn left as you exit Pirates of the Caribbean and you’ll spot it right next to the Blue Bayou. After being reminded that we were poor and couldn’t visit the exclusive club, Big Thunder Mountain was calling us, and with a 25 minute wait we answered that call. When we were finally safe from the runaway mine car I saw the Mark Twain Riverboat loading. We got on board to experience another new attraction for both of us. It was a nice cruise around the Rivers of America and it never ceases to amaze me how many small details Disney puts into areas like this that so many people will never see. Such as the fish that jump back and forth next to the boy fishing on a log. We stepped back into the present day and made our way to the future. Space Mountain was our next stop. Right as we entered the indoor part of the queue, the ride broke down. It was only down for about 15 minutes though and soon we were blasted off into the darkness of space. It was now just before 5 and I wanted to see the Voices of Liberty before watching Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and then head back to the room. I failed to inform cuz of my plans though and she didn’t want to see any shows, just do more rides. I was disappointed because a week before we left she had mentioned wanting to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which I wanted to as well, and now she claims to have never made such a statement. I’ll be back before the Voices of Liberty leave Disneyland so we skipped it and went back to the room so I could get my tripod and rest a little.
– the elusive Club 33
– views from the Rivers of America
Mom was asleep when we got back to the room, so me and cuz just relaxed and sat for a spell. I knew we were going to be out late and we’d be tired when we came back, but I wanted to visit Trader Sam’s sometime during this trip. Once the girls had gotten up and started to get ready I headed down for a quick drink. I had a Piranha Pool, imagine a blue raspberry icee but with liquor. We went back to DCA to buy some chocolate we had seen earlier and to see how long the RSR line was. Cuz thought I was crazy because I was excited by the colors the setting sun was casting on Buena Vista Street. I got a mint brownie ear hat and mom got a chocolate dipped marshmallow thing. Cuz wanted a specialty candy apple but didn’t want to pay for one.
– our chocolates with the Carthay Circle Restaurant as the backdrop
– Carthay Circle Restaurant
She wanted to ride Tower of Terror, alone again since me and Mom stay away from haunted places that don’t have grim grinning ghosts in them. On our way we stopped in the Animation Academy so I could show cuz the Toy Story zoetrope. I think this is pretty fantastic and I could see it being missed by so many people who don’t go in that building. Cuz rode ToT and while walking around I noticed MuppetVision 3D was about to start. Being on my list of things I’ve never seen I walked in and took a seat. I’m glad I experienced it, but I didn’t like it. It could be because I grew up with the Muppet Babies and not the regular Muppets, so the non baby versions are just weird to me. The Mad T Party was going on, so I danced my way back to where mom and cuz were waiting.
– Toy Story zoetrope
– it seems this should just be outside of Disneyland
We walked over to Cars Land to find that RSR still had a 2+ hour wait so we decided to go to Flo’s for dinner. Cuz didn’t want any of that grown-up food and wanted some pretzel bites from the Cozy Cone instead. Mom waited at Flo’s and sent me to watch cuz and to get her another Doc’s Wild Grape Tonic. We got back just as Mom was finished in line. Mom had the N.Y. Strip Loin with some sort of sauce with mashed potatoes and corn medley, I had the Citrus Turkey with sauce with mashed potatoes and pasta salad. I preferred her meat to mine, our other two side dishes were good but nothing special, we both really liked the mashed potatoes. After eating the three of us went on Mater’s. This time me and mom rode together while cuz floundered around on her own. By now it was 9:30, Mom’s bedtime and she was ready to go back to the room. Me and cuz stayed to get some rides in. Soaring was a 15 minute wait so we took to the skies of California. I wanted to stay and take some photos of an empty Cars Land after the park closed, but I also wanted to make sure I rode Star Tours over at DisneyLand. I figured with the long waits of Luigi’s and RSR, Cars Land really wouldn’t be empty for a while and just decided to head over to DisneyLand to get some more rides in for cuz since it’ll probably be a while before she gets back.
– Cars Land at night
– dinner at Flo’s
– Buena Vista Street at night
Back in Walt’s park, Fantasmic was getting ready to start so crowds were lined up along the Rivers of America. Splash was a walk on and the right side of my pants got soaked, luckily my backpack with my camera equipment was on the left side of the boat. Pirates was so empty, there were 4 people in our boat including us. After narrowly avoiding a bout of scurvy, we discovered that Fantasmic had just ended and the crowds were getting thick. Indiana Jones had a 35 minute wait and Cuz wanted to look into the Forbidden Eye. Despite mine and Indy’s warnings that it wasn’t a good idea. We escaped with our lives and I made my way to Star Tours. There was a 15 minute wait and since it was 11:50, this would be the last ride of the day. We grabbed our flight glasses and boarded our Starspeeder 1000. After escaping the Stormtroopers, we headed to Hoth to fight some AT-ATs, then Admiral Ackbar gave us coordinates to Coruscant to safely deliver the rebel spy. The new Star Tours is fantastic and cuz liked it too. Then it was Sunday, and that’s a different day.
Would security give me trouble for using a tripod at night? Would we make it home the next day? You’ll have to come back to find out the answer to those questions and many more.