Sorry this has taken so long, but here it is!
Lex's trip report
Day 3 - March 17th 2009 -
St Paddy's Day!
Another busy day was planned for today - as well as getting lots of Disneyland Park done, there were St Patrick's Day events to be seen. Knowing this, of course we wanted to get in there for the Extra Magic Hours, so we had our breakfast at 7am at Cape Cod.
After stuffing ourselves with croissants, pains au chocolat and other breakfast goodies, we headed out extra-early to get to the front gate. since there was nobody else there, we took a few photos. We even found out exactly how far it is to Disney World...
Only seven thousand kilometres... I wanna go there!
Eventually, of course, they let us into the park, and the first thing we did was rush straight to Fantasyland, by way of the Castle Stage, made up for St Paddy's Day...
Then we decided to do a quick tour around the Fantasyland rides that were open that morning. First up was Peter Pan's Flight, which I was really looking forward to as it was always one of my favourites. Unfortunately, as I commented on over
, it was really dark. Too dark, and I think it spoiled the ride
I know it's called a dark ride, but put a little light in there so we can see, Disney!
After that, we did the tea cups, which was extra fun. I took full control of the teacup, and kept spinning it in opposite directions! Then we went on the Carrousel, where I took a photo of the next ride we went on...
Yes, it was absolutely dead during EMH. All the better for us!
So we went on Pinocchio, which was also fun. It's nice to do all the Fantasyland dark rides in the morning, let out the inner kid ready for the rest of the day
Unfortunately, none of the other Fantasyland rides were open this early... so we went for another go on Star Tours. The fences around the queue area had been removed, so I could get a good shot of the X-Wing today!
As always, Star Tours was fun again, although I think Rex needed a little maintenance... his head wouldn't turn
Anyway, after Star Tours we went back to Main Street for one of my favourite moments of the day. This morning, for his daily meet and greet, Mickey was going to dress in St Patrick's Day gear! So we waited in the huuuuuge line for him to come out. There was no Character Express or Party Train to miss while we were there
but we did manage to catch Good Morning Main Street, with a few characters coming out to say hello.
Finally, after rummaging through his wardrobe for those special clothes, the mouse himself arrived!
Of course, there were lots of families in front of us who wanted to see Mickey, so we had a while to wait. While we were waiting... the Mary Poppins show started in Town Square! Unfortunately, we weren't in a great position to watch it, but I did get some snaps...
And then, after waiting some
... and waiting... and waiting... Mickey went to take a break. Then we waited even more, and when he came out, a bagpipe player and drummer had joined him! So they were there while we were lining up, and finally it was my turn to see Mickey!
I'm not looking at the camera because I'm looking at the professional photographer's camera, as you can see. Also, yes that is my pin collection on my Phantom Manor lanyard
Since we'd finished most of Fantasyland, after meeting Mickey we went to Adventureland to take a ride on...
Yep, the sign was still ripped
We also managed to get a look at where we had our lunch reservation, Blue Lagoon. It didn't look busy this early in the morning, so we were happy, even though our reservation was in a few hours. We popped back to Fantasyland now, to get to those few attractions that were closed earlier. First off...
I made it myself!
I actually took a load of photos here, of the parts that are still in good condition. Those being the parts too high for the kids to reach and break apart. After reaching the castle and then escaping the labyrinth, we went on Snow White. It's another really well-done, and I think underappreciated ride, like Pinocchio.
On our way out of Snow White, we managed to catch another of the impromptu shows - Sleeping Beauty had awakened!
Another nice little show. I'm glad the park has these, even though they're not on the schedule, just as inbetween activities. It's something very unique to Disney
So after watching the Sleeping Beauty minishow, we headed over to do It's A Small World. While we were queueing, we could see a meet and greet happening just on that path to Discoveryland (I think the gate was closed for parade prep, but it was before the gate obviously). Small World was actually a fun ride, it's fun to spot all the countries. And the post-show makes even less sense now it's not sponsored by France Telecom any more!
Now that we'd completed Fantasyland (except for the dragon, which we forgot about! :oops: ) we went back to Adventureland. First we went through the Aladdin walkthrough, which was fun even if not all the effects were working. Though I still think Aladdin looks creepy in some of them!
Then we explored Adventure Isle and the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.
Obviously not from the exploration route, but I like this one. I did get some photos from our exploration, but they're not on Flickr thanks to their upload limit.
Frontierland was waiting for us as we left the treehouse, so we went on, and discovered that the dead-end area is nearly as boring during the day as it was at night. Though at Woody's Roundup, Jessie came out for a while, drawing everyone to the centre area.
(again, random kid luckily obscured by Jessie herself)
Then we went round to see if the River Rogue Keelboats were open today. They weren't
so we took one of the larger boats instead, the Maaaaaark Twaaaaaiiiin. So of course we got to see Old Joe.
And a nice view of our next destination...
I love Phantom Manor. Though the final ghost town scene could be better, the rest of the ride is great, especially the Phantom AAs. And of course Boot Hill is excellent.
It was nearly time for our lunch reservation now, so we went back for another ride on Pirates. We got a lot in during that time, didn't we? I just want to say that going at this time of year is great, since we managed to get a special event, fireworks, fairly nice weather and a lack of crowds. I recommend it to anyone!
After Pirates, it was time for our lunch at Blue Lagoon. We actually arrived early for our reservation, as I realised I'd made it a little late and we might miss the parade. After waiting to be seated, waiting for our drinks, and waiting for our food, we ended up very nearly not being late for the parade. It's a shame it takes so long to get anything at this restaurant, as the atmosphere is great, especially catching a glimpse of people going by on the ride. We didn't get a waterside table, but got a table on the next "row" so we could still see.
Once we were out of the restaurant, we rushed to Central Plaza to try to catch the St Patrick's Day pre-parade. Unfortunately, we juuuuust missed it, which means we didn't get to see the pipe band or the characters in their costumes
But we did see the full parade, apart from the first float of course. One of my favourite photos from the parade was a complete coincidence, I managed to catch the crystal castle just as the sun hit the right angle...
There are LOTS more photos from the parade on my flickr, which I'll link at the end of day 4.
We ended up following the parade around to Main Street, so we could look at the photos we had professionally taken earlier with Mickey. I ended up buying one of the photos with me and Mickey, which now has the prime place in my room
By this time, there was only one show left of the pipe band and Irish dancers. We made our way to the Castle Stage in plenty of time to see the pipe band. They were amazing, and it's not every day you get to hear music like this at Disneyland! But the best bit was definitely when this man got this drum out...
...because it meant it was time to clap along to a very energetic song! Everyone was clapping and having a really good time
Then it was time for the dancers to come on stage and perform. Just like the pipe band, it was something you don't often see at Disneyland, but it was still brilliant. And as I believe is usual, they got Chip and Dale to join them for the final dance.
After that show finished, we decided that we had done nearly everything we wanted to do today, except to see the dancers perform on the Central Plaza stage, and of course the fireworks! So we camped out on one of the benches at the very end of Main Street, had a hot chocolate, and waited. We got to see the pipe band go by on their way to the Castle Stage again...
And the castle start to light up as it started to get dark...
As the crowds gathered, we were glad we had chosen this spot early. The crowds were huge, but I think we got possibly the best spot - we could see everything on the stage, and the whole castle, from our spot, although it was still pretty central. And my girlfriend could stand on the bench to record the fireworks
This is my recording though, on my camera that has no audio
(I know I already posted it, but I wanted to show you again
After the fireworks, it was time to leave for another day
But we had an excellent St Patrick's Day at Disneyland, and managed to do nearly everything we had left to do! Finally, we did our usual nightly shopping at the Village.
We decided that, since we had done much more than we thought we would today, that tomorrow we would have a later breakfast and not worry about Extra Magic Hours so much. So I re-booked breakfast at the checkin desk, they were really nice about it
Finally, we went upstairs to bed and slept, after a fun but tiring day.