A while back, I had mentioned that I had been on a trip to Disneyland about six years ago. As it happens, I was reading through my Google Reader, and spotted this post from Chubber Cheekers about a contest where you can win some cool Disney swag from The Disney Blog, including a special edition set of mouse ears.
The trip was over spring break in my Senior year in High School, with most of the marching band, and a bunch of chaperons. I remember gathering at 3am on the Monday to get all of our stuff loaded into buses and trucks and other vehicles to get it to the airport, where we would jet off to LA for our trip. The first day was a light day, with the travel and everything – we went over to Universal Studios Hollywood, and I had the chance to experience the Studio Tour, the Back to the Future ride, and the Jurassic Park ride, where I almost missed the T-Rex, but opened my eyes at the right time to see it. 😉
Then, we went down to Orange to check in at our hotel, the Doubletree Orange, get situated, then practice for our march the next evening. That was followed by a pizza party by the pool in the hotel.
On the Tuesday, we went to Disneyland, for what turned out to be the whole day. The small group that I was in did a lot of the more popular rides like Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (which, while we were on it, actually broke down so we had to walk back to the station). Later in the day, we went over to Tomorrowland and experienced some of the attractions there (I passed on Space Mountain, but went to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and can still remember the feeling of the pseudo-mice hitting my legs). After that, we all assembled in Toon Town, to get ready to go march up Main Street USA, followed by some of the band heading back to the hotel for an early night, and the rest of us deciding to stick around the park to catch the nighttime entertainment – including the fireworks display at the castle, and the Fantasmic! show in Frontierland.
All in all, by the time we got back to the hotel, we were tired and ready to sleep all night. 😉
The next day featured an early rise, as we were scheduled to go to a clinic with Disney musicians at something like 10am, an event that went without any major hitches. That was followed by another day in the park, which allowed our group to check out some of the other attractions, such as the teacups. There was also a jazz ensemble performance (of which I was a part), and the day ended with us taking in the afternoon parade which comes down Main Street. I remember almost being come upon by one of the walking characters in the parade. After having a massive group photo, we then went and had dinner and a show at Medieval Times, and it was a relatively early night back at the hotel.
On the Thursday, we went to Knott’s Berry Farm, which I’ve discussed before, so we’ll just skip it, ok? 😉
Friday was an opportunity to go to the newest park, Disney’s California Adventure. I have already mentioned missing out on Soarin’ over California, but I then went on the large ferris wheel, skipped the loop roller coaster, and the launcher, and enjoyed a lunch at one of the fast food joints in the park’s midway area. Then it was a trip down Grizzly River Run, getting wet along the way. We had another group picture in front of the large sun, and we departed for USC, where it happened to rain.
Saturday, we got all our stuff together, loaded it back on the bus, and shipped out, stopping at the Hollywood Bowl, Graumann’s Chinese Theatre, and seeing all the places where celebrities died along Sunset Blvd. (Yeah, I know it’s more than that, but our guide kept mentioning the deaths and suicides…). A trip up to Santa Monica Pier, and then it was back to the airport for the flight back home.
Thinking back, and thinking of the contest, they have a couple of questions to ask of me 😉 –
1) Have you ever celebrated your birthday at a Disney theme park? If so, tell us about it.
Nope, my trip was in April, almost as far away as you can get from my birthday. 😉
2) What is your favorite or most useful tip for guests of Disney’s theme parks?
A couple of things – first, wear good, comfortable shoes – you will do a lot of walking. Also, try to bring some water in with you; it is probably against rules of the park, but you can always try to do it, just so you don’t have to pay the really high prices on the inside. Lastly, wear quick-drying clothes, especially if you’re going on Splash Mountain or Grizzly River Run.
3) What is your favorite Disney theme park attraction or show and why?
Hmm…Well, based on my recent watching of the first two parts of the trilogy, I’m gonna go with Indiana Jones Adventure – unfortunately I’ve seen the secrets of the ride thanks to Wikipedia, but I still would get scared during the boulder sequence of the ride. My favorite show is Fantasmic! – partly because I can still hear the music in my mind now, but also because we actually played music from the show during our clinic with the Disney musicians.