SDCC/Disneyland Road Trip day 5 Sunday 7/15/12: The Long Road Home

Sunday began as Saturday ended.  Me and cuz had just ridden Star Tours and since it was after midnight, the park was closed.  I took out my tripod and set about taking some pictures.  I mainly stayed near the castle and Fantasyland for the evening.  I hear horror stories of security hassling other photographers using their tripods at night, so I was slightly worried someone was going to make me stop.  Luckily, any cast members I saw just walked by and wished me a happy birthday.  Cuz seemed to be bored as we moved from spot to spot.  After 45 minutes or so I decided to call it a night.  We headed back to the room and fell asleep around 1:30.

 – tried to recreate a shot I took on my last trip that turned out slightly blurry last time

 – Snow White’s Grotto

 – Sleeping Beauty Castle sideview

       – scenes from Fantasyland

     – shots from around the Partners statue – I zoomed out while taking this photo to create the effect

 – Main Street USA

 – across the esplanade

I ended up falling asleep with my glasses on and woke up to find Mom standing over me trying to take them off.  I was startled awake at 7 by this turn of events and discovered that Mom was dressed and getting ready to head to the parks to use the early entry to get some more rides in Fantasyland.  The prospect of flying to Neverland, plus a nearly empty park had me up and out the door with her.  We left cuz sleeping since she didn’t have a ticket and probably wouldn’t have gotten up anyways.  Once again we took the monorail in and headed off to visit Peter with a 5 minute wait.  After de-boarding our flying pirate ships, Snow White, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland were all walk ons.  After riding most of Fantasyland, I took some photos of the castle while Mom used the bathroom.

   – castle in the morning

We headed over to Tomorrowland where I once again boarded a Starspeeder 1000 for a trip to far off places.  Mom doesn’t ride Star Tours, so she waited and looked around the gift shop until I finished.  We always like to get a ride on Buzz when we’re there, so we walked right on.  I got the high score of course.  By now it was 8 and the park was officially opened.

Mom wanted to head back to the room to pack and get ready to check out.  I wanted to see if the Lily Belle was running and try and get a quick ride in.  As I neared the station I noticed Chip or Dale standing alone.  His brother was nearby, but had a crowd so I had the lonely chipmunk’s handler take a photo of us together.  The Lily Belle was running, but not until later in the day when we’d be gone.  One of these times I’ll ride in that car.  As I left the Main Street station, the various Main Street Vehicles were loading up and I figured I’d hop on one.  I chose the horse-drawn carriage and had a lovely, peaceful ride up Main Street.

   – Chip or Dale, I don’t know which one

 – Main Street USA

My carriage ride ended back in front of the castle and I didn’t have any other plans so I just started walking out.  As I passed the entrance to Adventureland I decided to see if I could get a Dole Whip this early in the day.  Apparently ice cream is not acceptable at 8 in the morning so I couldn’t get one.  Since I was in the area I figured I’d check on the Jungle Cruise and see if they had any excursions leaving soon.  They did!  I haven’t ridden this in years and I don’t know why.  The skipper was great and he even made a Star Wars reference.  When he fired his gun to scare the hippos he made a comment about hippos scaring easily but that they’d soon be back and in greater numbers.  Loved it.  Upon returning from my cruise I climbed Tarzan’s Treehouse to see what kind of views it offered.  I wonder if they close that off during Fantasmic & the Fireworks, could be neat to watch from up there.  I had bought a toy version of the RSR ride vehicle yesterday in DCA, Mom thought it was cute and wanted one of her own.  I don’t think they had them in any of the Disneyland stores, so I figured I’d surprise her and go buy one for her before we left.  I was feeling a bit peckish as I was passing the Jolly Holiday Bakery and popped in to get a pastry to tide me over.  As soon as I saw it, I knew what my order would be.  A humongous cinnamon roll dripping with frosting.  You can’t have ice cream at 8, but a bucket of frosting is acceptable.  I sat down next to Main Street and just took it all in.  I felt a little guilty to be eating this breakfast alone while Mom and cuz were waiting for me to return so I didn’t mention that I ate anything.  I only planned to make it known to them if they read this or looked at the pictures.  After we returned home Mom confessed that she had stopped and got something in Tomorrowland on her way out and didn’t call me to join her.  Guess we both wanted to eat alone.

   – Jungle Cruise

 – view from Tarzan’s

 – breakfast of champions

After enjoying my secret breakfast I said goodbye to Disneyland for this time and hello again to DCA.  I didn’t get a drink with my breakfast and I was going to stop at the Cozy Cone for another Red’s Apple Freeze, but decided on trying another new drink.  I got Ramone’s Pear of Dice soda, sprite with desert pear and mojito syrups.  Also good, but I preferred Red’s.  I planned to surprise Mom with the car because when I bought mine I only saw blue cars.  This morning in a different store they had other colors, so I had to call and make sure I got the right color.  I finished my drink and bid farewell to the roaring 20’s of Buena Vista Street.

 – quick Buena Vista Street pano

 – the grizzly was calling

Upon returning to the room I was slightly shocked to see that cuz had woken up.  We packed up our stuff and called for a bellhop to store our luggage as we did some last minute shopping in Downtown Disney.  The girls headed out while I waited for the bellhop.  I took a couple more photos of the room before he arrived.

   – Disneyland Hotel room

In Downtown Disney I tried to make the most of my passholder discount.  I bought a few Vinylmations and Mom bought a gift for our neighbor for watching the house.  Cuz bought a tank top she wanted as part of her back to school attire.  We loaded our new purchases up with the rest of our luggage and headed up I-5 to visit Mom’s Nina in Los Angeles.  We had lunch with her and some of her family at Shakey’s, another good place we don’t have here, before getting on the road to head home around 4:30.  We listened to some more comedy albums on the way home and between Patrice O’Neal & Hannibal Burress I had to really focus to keep my eyes on the road.  Good comedy may not be the best thing while driving.  We dropped cuz off at her home and finally made it back to our home around midnight.

It was a trip with a lot of firsts.  First year I wasn’t completely thrilled with my SDCC experience.  I’ll still be online in August trying to get tickets for next year though.  First time staying at the Disneyland Hotel.  Mom really loved it there.  First time experiencing a lot of new attractions at Disneyland.

I won’t presume to speak for the others, but I had a blast.  Disney has something really good on their hands with Cars Land and all three of the new rides are winners in my book.  I still struggle with the balance of a family trip and taking time to take photos the way I want to.  I guess I’ll just have to take more trips to get some more experience.

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