Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Travel: Disneyland - Day 3

Matterhorn Mountain - Anaheim, California
ISO 220, f8, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 11:01 AM.

Disneyland opened later on the third day, so we slept in a little and took our time getting out of the hotel room door. We started out in Disneyland and grabbed a coffee on our way through Main Street.

The weather on this trip had been close to perfect and this day was no exception. It was a little cool (but not cold), with an overcast sky that sometimes became blue.

The first ride of the day was the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and I was happy to see that the line was short. I remember riding this as a young kid and being completely scared. I took my two "older" kids on it and they both thought it was great.
Thirsty - Anaheim, California
ISO 900, f10, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 11:23 AM.
We followed up the roller coaster with a trip on Star Tours. This was the first time we used a "Switch Pass" which turned out to be a great little secret. The way that it works is rides that have age restrictions and a "Fast Pass" line, riders with children that are too young to ride can get a pass that allows another adult rider plus the old-enough children to go through the "Fast Pass" line. In other words, each adults gets to ride once, and the kids get to ride twice.

After that we hopped on the train at the Tomorrowland station. We took a quick tour of "the Grand Canyon" and also traveled back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth (this was a hit with the kids). We got off at the New Orleans Square station and headed to Splash Mountain.

One thing that I never realized is that the "Splash Mountain" story that you see as you go through the ride is very weird. It's based on a 1940's movie called Song of The South. I've never seen the movie, and the ride made me glad that I've never seen it. It's just very strange.
Happy - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f9, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 11:53 AM.
We rode Splash Mountain twice and then rode The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh twice. The former ride was a big hit with the two "older" kids, while the latter was a hit with the youngest.

A great place to eat, we found out, is the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. The food was good. The atmosphere was fun and relaxed. There was a little interactive show. It was a great stop for lunch.

After that we rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad twice. The line was short, but it quickly grew after our second trip. I think perhaps kids were getting out of school and parents were getting off work, and season ticket holders were making their way into the park, increasing the crowds.
Future Design - Anaheim, California
ISO 100, f9, 1/200, 11/12/14 at 11:57 AM.
At the beginning of the day we had secured some tickets to meet Elsa and Anna (from the movie Frozen). This was for our six-year-old daughter, in particular. The tickets had specific times, so that was next on our agenda. My daughter loved the experience, but the rest of us were less-than-thrilled about it (especially my five-year-old son).

The park was already decorated for Christmas, so it was no surprise that the nightly parade through Disney was also Christmas themed. We got the best real estate that we could (it wasn't great) and waited an hour for it to start.

An hour wait with three young children is not fun. They're bored. We're getting frustrated. Anyway, the parade eventually started (about 10 minutes late) and when it (finally) came it was underwhelming. I expected better.
Take Me Back In Time - Anaheim, California
ISO 220, f7.1, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 12:36 PM.
We split Disneyland before the parade was finished and headed over to California Adventure. We had one more thing we wanted to do: Radiator Springs Racers. This was something we wanted to do from the very beginning, but hadn't yet had the chance. It was now or never.

We got to Cars Land about an hour and a half before the park closed and the wait time for the ride was one hour long. I got in line with the two "older" kids and made sure I got a Switch Pass. The wait was every bit of that hour, but the ride was great and the kids absolutely loved it. Because we had the Switch Pass the kids got to ride it again with my wife with only a short wait.

With that done we headed to Buena Vista Street to visit the shops. They stay open for a time after the park closes. Then we left the park and our Disneyland adventure was over.
Elephant Bee - Anaheim, California
ISO 640, f7.1, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 1:10 PM.
We had pushed ourselves and were very tired and hungry after leaving. Thankfully IHOP had open seats and treated us well. I thoroughly enjoyed some pumpkin cheesecake pancakes myself.

When we left I really felt as though California Adventure was more enjoyable than Disneyland. It is slightly less crowded, better laid out and better executed. Disney is superb at creating feelings--making you feel as though something is real even though it is fake. In California Adventure they really nailed this. Sure, Disneyland has more rides and things to do plus all of the classic stuff, but if I had my way I'd skip that park altogether. If I could do the trip over again I'd have spent more time in the "other" park.

That's it! We spent one more night in the hotel and headed back home the next morning. Overall it was a great and memorable trip, plus I came away with some good photographs.
Psychedelic Tigger - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/100, 11/12/14 at 1:11 PM.
Rosamond Tufa - Anaheim, California
ISO 220, f8, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 1:40 PM.
Brilliant Bloom - Anaheim, California
ISO 2500, f8, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 3:07 PM.
Blossom Colors - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f11, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 3:08 PM.
Monochrome Flower - Anaheim, California
ISO 2800, f11, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 3:09 PM.
Tom Sawyer's Island - Anaheim, California
ISO 320, f7.1, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 3:27 PM.
Columbia - Anaheim, California
ISO 900, f8, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 4:09 PM.
Mother & Son - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f4, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 4:24 PM.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Anaheim, California
ISO 1100, f5.6, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 4:48 PM.
Night Castle - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/50, 11/12/14 at 5:24 PM.
Cadillac Range - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/60, 11/12/14 at 7:40 PM.
Ornament Valley - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 7:42 PM.
RS - Anaheim, California
ISO 1800, f3.5, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 7:57 PM.
Gas, Oil, Coolant - Anaheim, California
ISO 560, f3.5, 1/125, 11/12/14 at 8:02 PM.

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