Wedded Bliss at Disneyland

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!  Mine was certainly a little different this year, but more on that later! Right now I want to talk about Disneyland!

The day after our wedding Patrick and I boarded a plane headed for what is normally sunny southern California, but instead we were met with weather a bit more akin to our native Pacific Northwest, with temperatures in the mid-50s and rain.  We did only a half day the first day, since we landed at 1 in the afternoon.  We went to Disneyland City Hall where we received cute little “Just Married” buttons and at the hat shop along Main Street we purchased both classic Mickey ears along with Bride and Groom ones.  These attracted a lot of attention and granted us special treatment at various points during visit. That night we dined at the Blue Bayou and received a free dessert!  Patrick had the enjoyment of eating seafood – something he doesn’t get to do too much since I can’t stand it, and we rarely go to restaurants that serve seafood.

Since Patrick has begun collecting old cameras, he has become especially excited that many of them still work, and we decided to take one camera with us, a Kodak Duaflex II.  We used 120 film and took three rolls (the stuff is fairly expensive to purchase and to develop).  Here are the results!

It was wonderful getting those odd looks from people…It was like people had no idea what we were using! But we did have a cast member come up to us asking us about it, and telling us they hadn’t seen one of those in such a long time, and thought it was fabulous that we were using them.  Read on for more of our trip!

I mentioned that boasting that you’ve just gotten married brings its rewards, and one of them was piloting the Mark Twain!  We were standing waiting to board when one of the captains came up to us, wished us congratulations and asked us if we would like to help steer the boat.  I was so shocked that I just gaped and said “What?”.  We were able to board before everyone else and were given a grand tour of the Mark Twain and we were able to steer and ring the bell and blow the whistle.

It was extremely exciting, and we even received a certificate!  Dan was a wonderfully nice Cast Member who had been working at the park for 25 years.

A perk of visiting the park during the holidays is the chance to get the sought after hand-made candy canes.  We got to the park early and walked quickly (unlike other people, like full grown adults, who were running) to get in line at the Candy Palace to get our tickets.

We were about 50th in line.  And only about 135 are made a day, and they make them once a week during the month of December.  Were they worth it? Yes. They were the most delicious candy canes I’d ever had!  So, if you get the chance I highly recommend doing it!

Patrick had only been do Disneyland twice before and only for one day at time, thus he had not had the full experience of the park – including riding the Jungle Cruise! The Jungle Cruise is hands down one of my favorite rides, especially since it was one of the original rides when the park opened in 1955.  When we boarded I had to point out one of my favorite Disney details – the name Pat in a heart ‘carved’ into the boat.  Rather fitting, huh?  Pat actually enjoyed the Jungle Cruise so much that we rode it four times.  We also rode it while it was dark, which is a different ride altogether.  The boats have lights on them and the skippers shine lights on some of the animals in the ride.  While some things have changed over the years on the Jungle Cruise, it remains a good time capsule of the 1950s.  We also rode Indiana Jones multiple times and visited the birds inside the Enchanted Tiki Room.  I feel as if the Tiki Room has become almost a cult classic among Tiki aficionados, instead of a main stream attraction based on the people there.

Like the frontier itself, Frontierland has also seen its fair share of change.  Long gone are the pack mules, stagecoach and train through Rainbow Ridge, but what still remains is the Golden Horseshoe, which became our refuge to dry our feet during the days it rained.

While there were no can can girls kickin’ up their heels at the  Golden Horseshoe, the current show, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies proved highly entertaining and hilarious. Even though I have lost track of the number of times I have been to Disneyland, there are still a handful of things I have not done, which included the shooting gallery.  I had fun trying to shoot the Boot Hill sign, tombstones and other fun targets.  And while I had more difficulty than I do at home with my BB gun, Pat was a surprisingly good shot!

But as much fun much as I adore the wild west, New Orleans Square remains my favorite land.

With the streets of New Orleans decked out for the holidays, we enjoyed beignets, Mickey shaped of course, not only at Cafe Orleans, but at the Mink Julep bar as well, which recently started serving them!  The Haunted Mansion was of course overrun by the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who with Sally was available for meeting near the Haunted Mansion.  Jack wished us congratulations and said “We were simply meant to be” – I love it when cast members incorporate movie lines into their meet-and-greet sessions.

With four days in the park, we were able to enjoy some of the little, often overlooked things of Disneyland, including the silhouette shop, where we had ours done – twice!

The first go around we had ours done as a couple, and the second time around we were going to get them done separately.  The woman there asked if we would like to do bride and groom ones.  And what better time than now? So we opted for those.  The woman who did our silhouettes has been doing them at the park for 37 years and can cut out your silhouette in about a minute! See her in action here.

But a trip to Disneyland would not be complete without a trip to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Fantasyland.

In all honesty, a fair majority of the rides in Fantasyland scare the bejezus outta me!  I refuse to ride Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice and often Mr. Toad.  Peter Pan though is highly entertaining and well done, and I do enjoy it when the line isn’t too long.

Overall, it was the best trip to Disneyland I’ve had.  I was so pleased to spend that time with Patrick, and to share my knowledge of the park with him, and I am thankful he didn’t get annoyed with me pointing out every detail left and right.  I can’t wait to go back!

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