On our second day we decided to venture over to California Adventure purely to ride Tower of Terror. I’ll come right out and say it – I am NOT a fan of California Adventure. I believe it lacks the charm and history of Disneyland. However, this may change when the new refurbishments are complete, but more to come on that later. To make sure we didn’t waste time in line, we walked over when California Adventure a little before ten to be there when they allowed everyone in. We were stopped near the center of the park and waited for ten o’clock to roll around, chit-chatting with a mother and her son who arrived before us. Eventually one of the security guards approached us, asked the mother and son if they would like to be the first ones on Tower of Terror, and then told Patrick and myself that we could go along too since we were so nice and patient. Near ten, a group of cast members dressed in the Tower of Terror bellhop uniforms along with Chip and Dale in bellhop caps arrive, and escorted us to the Tower of Terror.
We got to sign the guestbook, and were given our own elevator to ride in before anyone else arrived! It was utterly fantastic! And get this – the mother and son were from Seaside, Oregon! Talk about a small world!
As for the changes being made to California Adventure, they are certainly for the better. The new entrance looks exactly like the old Pan Pacific Auditorium, and is simply stunning, especially when lit up at night…
The ideas behind the changes are to make California Adventure feel more like Disneyland and a true theme park, as opposed to an amusement park. The park is getting an idealized pre-war Los Angeles facelift complete with red car trollies and the Carthy Circle Theater where Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered. If you plan on attending the park anytime soon and have the time, I highly recommend visiting the Blue Sky Cellar, which is currently full of all of the concept work regards the changes.
We returned to Disneyland for lunch at the French Market which was serving up their typical New Orleans dishes along with special Mardi Gras items, including tasty desserts! Also, since it was the Mardi Gras season, Princess Tiana was performing along the Rivers of America, followed by a meet & greet in the Court of Angels.
Tiana’s hoop skirt was so large, getting your picture taken with her if you were taller than the skirt made for difficult and awkward times! That’s why I look so goofy! The desserts were fabulous, and my cupcake had gold leaf on it! Crazy, huh?
I really enjoyed this trip because I did a lot of things I hadn’t done before, including riding the Omnibus, the Horse-Drawn Trolly and the Fire Truck! These rides along Main Street provide a good rest for your feet, and were among some of the original attractions when the park opened in 1955.
Our vintage Kodak DualFlex camera got a lot of attention too, especially because each time we finished a roll, we had to go up to a shop and ask for a piece of tape to keep the film rolled up! The film is due to be done on Monday! Cross your fingers they come out okay! And of course I will be sharing them!
When in Frontierland Patrick was taking my picture (with the dual lens) in front of a cactus when Billy Hill & the Hillbillies were walking by and they came over to me saying “You look like you could use a couple of hillbillies in your picture!” and posed with me! They also told me I looked like Jessie from Toy Story!
Also in Frontierland is the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante, which has some imagery that looks suspiciously like Zorro…
However the only true place you can see Zorro in Disneyland is in the lobby of the Opera House, where they are still showing the Disneyland 50th anniversary special hosted by Steve Martin. The special makes reference that in Frontierland kids could meet their western heroes, such as Davy Crockett and Zorro, and shows a very short clip of Guy Williams dressed as Zorro parading through Frontierland when he made his own personal appearances!
Another little tip, ladies…keep your hair simple, because this is going to happen to you…