|"I got a rock"|
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
We're still a few weeks away from our trip to Disneyland. This is the time when the brain begins to kick into gear; you begin to think about things like packing lists; and you begin to think about exactly what you plan to bring with you. Like I said, I could probably get ready for a trip to Disneyland in a couple of hours and do just fine but there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. Somehow, there is more satisfaction in making a plan and doing things the right way rather than letting the anxiety build and doing things at the last minute.
We generally drive to Disneyland rather than fly even though we are about 450 miles away (434 to be exact). Driving allows us to bring everything but the kitchen sink which makes the packing list even longer. We bring things like a full size coffee maker and an electric fan along with plenty of snacks and beverages. Don't forget the extension cords and air freshener.
So today it all begins - the preparing. I'll dig out my suitcase even though it is far too early to put anything in it. An empty suitcase at least gets you to think about what to put in it. I checked weather.com this morning and according to statistics, the average high in Disneyland during the week we'll be there is about 75 degrees. The average low is around 52 degrees. Since all my winter clothes have been packed away for the summer, its about time to get them out and see what is a good candidate to make the trip. The Disneyland nights can get pretty cool after sunset in November - experience has taught me that lesson in various ways (lesson: do not ride Grizzly River Run unprotected at 5:00 pm - wet clothes and a setting sun are not a good combination).
So let the preparation begin. Time moves faster than expected when you get to be my age.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
These are my selections as the best themed rides at the Disneyland Resort. The order may change from person to person but this list will probably be fairly consistent as it is made up of the usual suspects.
1) Pirates of the Caribbean: From the time I was about 8 years old, Pirates has been the ride for me. A gift from Walt Disney himself. The Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow add ons were not necessary.
2) The Haunted Mansion: I'm not a huge HM fan personally but no one can say the place doesn't drip with as much detail as any ride in the park.
3) Hollywood Tower of Terror: The anxiety builds the moment you step through the front door.
4) Indiana Jones Adventure: A rollicking fun ride that has theming up the wazoo.
5) Peter Pan's Flight: The quintessential Disneyland dark ride for all ages. There's a reason the lines are always long. You can fly....
Honorable Mentions: Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad - mountains of fun and Disney magic.
Reported on various internet and main stream press sources last week was the story about a breakdown of Mickey's Fun Wheel. For up to 90 minutes, guests were left dangling in the gondolas while Disney maintenance crews manually cranked down the massive ferris wheel one gondola at a time. And this occurred in 90 degree heat. At its peak, Mickey's Fun Wheel is 150 ft in the air. Imagine the anxiety. Needless to say that as each car unloaded, Disney guest relations people were passing out bottled water, food vouchers, and free park tickets for a future visit.
I say all this with a sense of the inevitable. I've been trying to get Mrs. DisneylandTraveler up on the Mickey's Fun Wheel for years now. I keep telling her that the non-swinging gondolas make for a secure gentle ride with spectacular views. Alas, her fear of heights has kept her off the Fun Wheel to this point. After she hears about this, the inevitability is that there is no chance at all to ever get her to go up on that thing.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Some things in life you just can't explain. I'm a Norwegian by heritage with both my parents coming from North Dakota. Snow is in my blood or at least it should be. There have been people in my family with the name Olaf. But I have an dislike for snow, necessary as it may be. Can't stand the stuff. And over the years, I've developed an aversion to snowmen. To me they are just kind of creepy characters no matter how lovable Disney or anyone else tries to make them out to be.
When we make our visit Disneyland in a few weeks, the Olaf character from the hit movie Frozen will have a significant presence throughout various park activities. I kind of dread this. Call it the creepy factor. I expect to see Olaf in my sleep.
But I know this is just me as this winter, children of all ages will be delighted by the presence of Olaf at the Disneyland Resort. I just know I won't be one of them.
This list is subjective for sure but not every attraction at the Disneyland Resort is a hit. There are some misses. Here is my list of overrated Disneyland Resort attractions.
1) Luigi's Flying Tires: Slow and ponderous this ride missed the mark so much it is rumored to be on it's way out.
2) Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage: The submarine ride is still cool but turning it into a cartoon - not so much.
3) Goofy's Sky School: Pull off the theming and this is still nothing but a run of the mill carnival wild mouse ride.
4) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride; People's affection for this maniacal dark ride to the gates of hell still surprises me.
5) The Matterhorn: This once great coaster slid back considerably with some of the most uncomfortable ride vehicles imaginable when the bobsleds were replaced a few years ago.