Unlimited FastPass was definitely better, but that is now discontinued completely (I think maybe it's one of the Year of a Million Dreams giveaways now?), so we had to learn to manage normal FastPass, having only one out at a time. Thursday night we rode almost all the major rides within an hour of getting into the park, and only didn't ride Space Mountain because it was closed for repairs right then. Thankfully that took a lot of pressure off the rest of the weekend, which was good since it was pretty packed with people, and hot enough we were all moving slowly. Indy is still one of the best rides in the park, and Pirates is still fun, with the new Captain Jack Sparrow additions not too disruptive to the classic ride. Tower of Terror is still freaky for people like me who love drop rides, and California Screamin is one of the best paced roller coasters. I had never ridden the Big Thunder Mountain coaster at night, and that is freaky since it mostly isn't lighted! Space Mountain refreshed is still very cool, but still not as cool as the EuroDisney Space Mountain when I rode it in 1996. The submarine ride was closed for many years, but now it's a Finding Nemo ride. All I remember from my one submarine ride when I was 6 was thinking the starfish was real on the wall underwater, and it seems like the same starfish. Could be? I also rode the Haunted Mansion twice, and even though it is still cool, it looks a bit empty after seeing Haunted Mansion Holiday so many times when they cram it full of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay decor. Does that make me a Haunted Mansion "traitor"? ;)
We got an extra bonus of free wine tasting since it was the Food & Wine festival at California Adventure, and I had to try a lobster lollipop, essentially a tiny lobster corndog, which was tasty but not as tasty as I expected. I tried the "gourmet" chili cheese corndog instead of my traditional delicious corndog and it was only okay, but at least was a smaller portion which was probably better for me anyway. The reason we were there was for the Heritage Festival since Kristina took her choir from Pinewood Highschool to compete, so Saturday morning we all went bright & early on the bus to watch them compete. They did very well, winning Gold ranking numerical scores and 1st place out of 2 choirs in their division. Disney making us wait to enter the awards ceremony pavilion with 1000 students in the alley where we could not see the fireworks was really not fun. That was the longest time we stood in line the whole weekend! I'm glad we saw the fireworks from our hotel Friday night so we didn't miss them completely, since I love fireworks. The last ride about 11:15pm Saturday night was the spinning teacups - hooray!
Dale, Britta & Chip
Britta wearing her Jack Skellington mouse ears
Who knows when my next Disneyland trip will be, so I'm glad I was invited to go with this group. I'm pretty sure my first trip to Orlando will be a group trip when the Worlds of Harry Potter opens, then we'll go to DisneyWorld & Universal in the same trip. Hopefully that will work out!