Friday, March 22, 2013

My adventures in Disneyland part 3

Day two:
Our tickets for Disneyland included a “Magic morning”, which means we got into the park an hour early. This is cool in concept, but it means most of the rides and park itself was closed, so we didn’t have much to do. We did get to see the flag raising ceremony and check out Disney’s latest attraction, the Mideval fair, which featured a little air conditioned room where you could meet princesses. So Andrew Katie and I met Arial, Cinderella and Aurora.
We spent the day much like the first: Going on rides and meeting characters. After a riverboat ride, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster and Indiana Jones we found ourselves in line to visit Pixie Hollow, I having a niece in love with the modern interpretation of Tinkerbelle. The problem though was that the line was 45 minutes long and had little to no shade, so my fairer skinned traveling companions got a bit sun-fried before the end. When we finally got in to meet Miss Belle, we found that she wasn’t alone. Now I know I said that I’m a huge Disney fan, but forgive me for not being acquainted with Tink’s new circle of friends. Who did we meet? I honestly have no idea. All I know is that he was a boy fairy who really liked Katie’s shiny hat. Tinkerbelle was nice enough to not only give me her autograph and photo, but to let us videotape her saying hi to my niece Bella.
As I said earlier, Katie and Andrew didn’t do too well in the sun, so they went somewhere to cool off while I checked out some sort of animal land with Winnie the Pooh. It was fun to explore Disneyland on my own, as I made my way back to Fantasyland and ran into Repunzel and Flynn Ryder, two more of my niece’s favorite characters. More pictures and another video later and I was ready to meet back up with companions.
We decided to hit Downtown Disney to find dinner and the legendary Lego Store, a must-see for a Lego fan. After a brisk exploration through the outdoor mall, we found a massive Lego model of Malificent, as well as giant Lego Buzz Lightyear and Woody and Belle and Beast. Inside was a paradise where I got to build my own minifigures and pick up a Lego Superman key ring. I was like a kid in a candy store, but with candy you probably don’t want to eat.
The next two days we hit the other parks on our tickets: Namely Universal Studios then Sea World. Overall: Universal was pretty cool and Sea World was kind of disappointing.
Let me explain:
It may be that I’d been spoiled by two days at Disneyworld, but Universal Studios was fun but kind of disappointing. The high points included the Simpsons ride, which felt like we had been catapulted right into an episode of one of my favorite childhood cartoons, Jurassic Park ride, which had enough animatronic dinosaurs to make my inner child squee, and the Universal back lot tour, where we got to see the Mule from Serenity as well as the world’s biggest 3D screen and a murder at the Bates motel, all very exciting. The down side was the “big” prop museum, which for a studio that kept harping on how they’ve been making movies for 100 years, you’d think that the prop museum would be bigger than a 711.
Day four brought us to Sea World, home of the giant fish monsters. I honestly thought we’d sit in an audience while some marine biologist taught me about whales and dolphins while they splashed around and did flips. What we got was something much… different. The killer whale show was whales jumping around while a video taught us about saving the oceans, the dolphin show was a 20 minute water ballet with about 2 or 3 minutes of dolphins, and the sea lion show… Well… I don’t think it’s a good sign when a 6 pound sea otter chases off a 400 pound sea lion and the trainer looks embarrassed. The highlights were when we actually got to see the animals without the useless trainers trying to “entertain” us. We saw penguins and a baby whale that was beyond cute.
Wanna hear about the last day at Disneyland when we hit California Adventures? Check out Mormongeeks Monday for the thrilling conclusion!

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