Monday, 23 March 2015
23.03.2015 - 23.03.2015
We took our time having a light breakfast and packed our jackets and water for the day at Disneyland. We left the HoJo at about 11:00 and walked about 10 minutes to the Disneyland entrance. There is a huge plaza and bus station to cross and then had our bags checked. Despite the 'early' hour there were already queues for rides and special events. Many of the signs indicating 30 to 40 minutes delay. We wandered somewhat aimlessly towards "Tomorrow Land" while marvelling at the many futuristic buildings and structures.
Inside the Innoventions building there were many futuristic displays and activities but all very dark and loud. We drifted along and found that Honda's ASIMO was due to perform at 12:30 so we stayed there and formed the head of another queue !! Once inside the theatre we were shown a short movie clip outlining the developments of robots over the ages. The curtains parted to reveal a stage set to look like a family room complete with the lady of the house and appropriate furniture and props. She introduced the start of the show as ASIMO walked into the room. He is recognised as the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. He's about 4 feet tall and weighs just over 50 Kg. He performed many tricky moves, kicked a football, walked up and down some stairs, danced and finally RAN across the stage at 6 kph. He's on show six times per day and was one of our highlights for the day, having seen him on TV is one thing, seeing him live is quite a different experience.
We found the Disneyland Railroad and took the train for a circuit of the park. We started at the Tomorrow Land station, there are only three other stops, Main Street, New Orleans Square and Mickey's Toontown. When we got off that train we found that we were close to the Monorail station and decide to try that too. This train makes a complete circuit of the complex including the adjoining California Adventure Park and the Disney Downtown shopping and hotel/resort area.
Toontown was a fun place featuring many of Disney's famous cartoon characters and some of the most unusual structures that truly look like they were lifted from the screen. This area is somewhat of a dead end with only one way in and out. Next was Fantasyland where we had another short 'rest' in the Theatre to watch the performance of the Magical Map. A wonderfully staged and presented show mixing song and dance and great film and live character interaction.
On through Frontier Land to see the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia. Once again the queues for these attractions stretched out for miles with a minimum of half hour waiting times. Adjoining this area was New Orleans Square, the main attraction being the restaurants.
As it was approaching the Parade time of 16:00 we headed in the wrong direction and had to do a U-turn to find our way to the Main Street area.
There were roped-off areas for people in wheelchairs and scooters. Elsewhere we were required to be seated - on the ground !?? Managed to squeeze in between a lady on a scooter and two refuse bins. Turned out to be pretty good spot. Mickey's Soundsational Parade was brilliantly staged and the costumes beautiful with the emphases being on the music of Disney cartoons and films. There were nine floats and many individual street level performers.
After an essential rest-room stop we wandered through one of the Emporiums and arrived at the 'Town Square' for a performance by a military style band. They played a number of tunes and then performed each of the 'marches' of the five US Military Services. Serving and retired members were encouraged to come forward. Just a small diversion. Most countries recognise three armed services, the US has the 'standard' three, Army, Navy and Air Force then adds the Marines and the Coast Guard. I'd not previously realised that being the case. The band then conducted the Flag Lowering Ceremony, playing Taps, the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Jenny still hadn't found those items to take back as presents so we went through the big shop on the right of Main Street. She still didn't find what she was looking for but I bought myself a great coffee mug. One of the themes around the park were various takes on Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs, Jenny felt that the mug reflected my personality (hurt look). What almost more impressive was the packing material to protect our purchase. The mug finished up the size of a football.
I figured there were parts of Fantasyland we hadn't seen so I dragged Jenny back through there. By the time they were setting up for the 18:30 Parade we were done. Time to head for the exit where we elected to have our hand stamped, "Just In Case". In a final desperate attempt to 'find those items' I convinced Jenny that we should call in to Disney Downtown. An interesting area that eases one into the Disney thing without entering either of the ticketed parks. There was a huge store and Jenny found an appropriate 'item' but couldn't get it in the right size. Bugger !!
I decided that best way out of the area was in the opposite direction to the people coming in. Not a brilliant idea as they were coming in from a carpark and was HUGE !! Distances that were no big deal for cars and buses are quite daunting at the end of a long day for pedestrians. We managed to dodge the fences and locked gates and finally found ourselves in the real world but a long way from HoJo. It took another 30 minutes to make it to Mimi's Café where we collapsed in a booth. Didn't have the energy to cross the road to HoJo and unload the backpack and camera first.
A great and HUGE meal again. Between us we polished off five glasses of Diet Coke and almost the last of the fries on the plate. Staggered across the street to the HoJo and decided to just crawl into bed. We did stop to drop our gear and splash some water in the face. A long, 10 hours, and strenuous day with most of the time on our feet.
I wrote this on Tuesday morning based on my best recollection.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony