And the Thanksgiving adventure concludes.
It's Saturday and we fly out Sunday morning early. VERY EARLY. So this is our last day in the parks, so we get up early (go figure) and are once again at the main gates at opening time.
But this time, we needed to get a special picture taken for our Christmas card. And it was so cool that Tinker Bell showed up to make it extra special. This picture was taken by a Disney employee. I would recommend that if you are going to a Disney park, that you sign up for a free Photopass. Their professional photographers take your picture with their cameras (and yours), and then you can be in it, without the fear of handing your camera over to that sketchy looking dude from Colorado, who will either run off with it, or crop your heads off. And the more you use it, the better deal it becomes at the end if you want to purchase the pictures.
After our Christmas card picture, we finally made it to Big Thunder Mountain where some dino-bones poke out of the side of a cliff.
And if you are wondering what it's like to ride the Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster, here's a little video I shot on the ride.
And of course, we hit Pirates & Haunted Mansion again. And again.
It's then back to the brier patch and Splash Mountain and a zip-a-dee-do-dah day. (Although later, it proved less than a happy place, but more on that later.)
|Brier Patch||River boat|
One thing that I noticed at various locations around Disneyland was additional corporate sponsorship. It was always somewhat subtle. Never a huge corporate logo in neon or anything, but there are times when you might start to wonder if things have gone to far. Now, I chuckled about the Kodak photo spots that were still around (is Kodak still a viable company?), but when I came out of a bathroom to discover that it was sponsored by Quilted Northern toilet paper, that's when I felt a line had been crossed, you know?
|See, Brer Fox and Brer Bear out running around outside Splash Mountain. I don't know who the kid is, just like he has no clue who the characters are.||However, this group, I know. Especially the bundle of energy in orange. No, not Tigger, silly, Cora!|
After meeting Tigger (Eeyore and Pooh, too), we grabbed a late breakfast where The Daughter got her traditional Mickey Mouse pancake at the River Belle Terrace.
We then headed over to California Adventure, but not before Cora spotted Captain Hook. Hook would not stand still for a picture (seriously, she's so stinking cute, wouldn't you want to pose for a picture?), so I had to run ahead and set up an ambush to capture this picture.
On the way over, we did some shopping, since a number of our food coupons had shopping coupons on them that were good in the souvenir shops only until 1:00. After dropping our booty off at the motel, we made it to California Adventure.
Disney really needs to reboot the park. There is an obvious attempt to be much more of a thrilling, ADVENTUROUS, and sophisticated park than Disneyland across the plaza. They have the equivalent of "Main St. USA" as "Buena Vista St.", but it seems too ritzy and unfriendly. They really need to tone down the "California" and up the "Adventure". The Beast's Library needs to move over to Disneyland proper, the golden age of aviation section needs to become a Star Wars area now that they have it. They need a year round Nightmare Before Christmas attraction of some type. They need to up the Pixar level around "Cars Land", and they need to do something Marvel, too, now that they own that. And as Cora has mentioned, plant some more trees and get more characters walking around. If I wanted the "broiling in the California sun" experience, I don't need to pay the admission fee!
While in C.A., we went on the Soarin' Over California ride (we'd gotten "Fast Passes" earlier, so we breezed right in). The ride is like taking a hang glider over various parts of the state. The concept of the ride is cool enough, but it is really fairly dull. They need to revamp it as some kind of "Star Tours" simulator.
After that, there was a trip thru the Monster's, Inc. ride, which was cool, but just basically retold the story of the movie. And then another trip on the Tower of Terror before heading back to Disneyland.
Back at Disneyland, we took a 1.25 ride loop around the park on the train, including a nighttime pass thru Small World.
We had a quick dinner at the Holly Jolly Bakery, and then I had to go back to the motel room.
No, I wasn't feeling sick, I went back to catch the Notre Dame game. They were playing USC (just up the road from where I was) and the game was close at half, so, as pre-arranged, I left the girls to write postcards, and get our Photopass CD, and generally have fun, and I ran back to watch the game. They won, and I was very happy. (I'll be watching the game tonight, too!)
I ran back over to the park, and met back up with them for a few last rides.
On Splash Mountain, we sat in the front of the logs this time and got totally drenched. Including our stuff, so we were cold and wet the rest of the evening. The Daughter's hand is totally hiding Cora's head. And then, the sadness kind of crept in as we rode Pirates and Haunted Mansion ONE.LAST.TIME.
We then cut thru the crowd as they were watching the Fantasmic show just as Maleficent turned into a dragon and set the lake on fire. It looked kind of cool, but as short timers, we had places to go and last rides to ride.
We hit Star Tours again, and then Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blasters (I totally kicked their butts ), and then, we sadly trudged toward the gates and an ugly long day of travel home very early the next morning. But Minnie was there to say "Good-bye" so that was nice of her.
Sunday? Not a whole lot to show or say. We got up EARLY and waited for our shuttle to come pick us up.
Someone was very cold and tired.
We got to LAX were I spent $45 on 3 turkey sandwiches, 3 bags of chips, and 3 bottles of water. RIP-OFF!
The flight back to Chicago was smooth, and I drifted in and out most of the way. From O'Hare, we caught a L train toward the city, hopped off and immediately caught a bus which dropped us half a block from the condo.
And that was it.
The grand Thanksgiving at Disney was over, except for the laundry and the bills.
And of course for me, doing the "Dad thing" and passing out on the sofa!
Sorry it took so long to tell this, but you know how life just gets in the way sometimes, right?
Anyway, I leave you with one final picture from the trip…