The Happiest Place On Earth

Welcome to Disneyland, California. 

This is some pretty exciting shiz.

You go, Micky!

Disneyland is for little kids (things you find out only by going there, apparently), but it's still fun if you decide it to be so. We did. 

Absolutely everything is themed - starting with the carpark. We were on the Micky Mouse level. Which was the best, obviously. 

Yes, there was more of me driving. And less of Lizzie panicking. I'm good.

You get on a little train from the carpark to the main bit in between Disneyland and California Adventure Park. They're two separate entities, and you can get a day pass which gets your into both, but being low on both time and money, Disneyland it was.

So. Train things:

This was about 9.30am exactly - and these trains were already full of Disneyland-goers. We were a little worried: what about our usually brilliant mid-week, mid-winter crowd advantage?

Just the way I like it.

It wasn't a great day weather-wise, we must've gone in one of California's 8 days of rain per year, but it wasn't that bad.

Clearly nothing is bad and everything is good when you're at Disneyland.

This was...the scifi bit? Rocket ships, Toy Story shooting games, Star Wars 3D rides (got onto that quickly) ...
The wait into the Star Wars...ride? It was a lot like Universal's Transformers and Simpsons rides. Pretty good.

...and Space Mountain! I don't think it's been touched since the 70s. It's so atrociously daggy, it's wonderful. We went on it...many times. There wasn't a whole lot of rides for older people, and here we saw the fruits of our come in mid-winter and mid-week labour. It was good.

Space Mountain, circa when my parents were my age.
About the third time...
Many times after that...

Let's go for a little walk about.

Sleep Beauty's Castle.

The Mattahorn! A bit freaky just because it was so bumpy, plus Yetis screeching at you every now and then, but still fun.

New Orleans - 

Around here was also the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I was so excited, I thought it was the proper ride the movies were based off, but alas, it was kind of like It's A Small World (which was mercifully closed) - you're just in a boat that goes around a few large rooms. But actually completely worth doing -  it went on for a good while, with some drops and sudden stops (and wet, again) and with absolutely phenomenal puppets and robots depicting lots of the movie-type scenes.

The Haunted House - 

It looked fantastic, but wasn't even remotely scary because heaven forbid someone in America actually gets scared and sues everyone or something. 

Next: Indiana Jones. This one was good. Went on this one a good few times too, despite it having the longest wait. Tell you what, screw doing this in the middle of Summer, or any day which is even slightly busier than this day. It wasn't particularly busy, but there were definitely lots of people around. Look at those lines...just waiting...arg.

So they have this ticketing system called a Fastpass - you stick your ticket in, and you get a little bit of paper telling you to come back within a certain window of time; it kind of waits in the line for you, and you go in through the Fastpass line instead of the normal one. It only gets you past those ridiculous lines there, most of which were empty when we went, but once for this Indiana Jones ride it worked quite nicely. I think I mentioned this already, but damn it feels good walking past everyone waiting. 

Atmospheric waiting areas. I should hope so, you're in here for at least 40 minutes.

So it's not a roller coaster - it's a cart all done up like an old timey Indie car - the story is you're posh pommy tourists looking for treasure, look into the wrong statues eyes and drive through a big, firery hell place. It's brilliant - the car rocks and stops and whizzes and spins - through this absolutely massive cavern with a bugs, snakes, a giant skull and a huge ricketty wooden bridge over flames and a spectacular ending where you escape the famous rolling boulder. So good. 

You know who else thought so? One of my favourite TV actresses, Stana Katic from Castle, who was waiting to get into the truck we were just getting out of. I passed right by her. a;sldkfja;sldkfja;sldfkjas;dlfkj 

Careful Tallulah, your geek is showing again.

I would've stopped her and said hi, I really would've - but she was getting into the truck with her friends, and there were hundreds of people waiting, and so awkward. But to prove it, this is her with another fan later that day - 

So yeah. There might've been a 10 minute stunned silence, Ellie-grasping and a mild urge to wait outside the exit of the ride, but all good. We survived. 

Next was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever done in my life, and that's saying a lot. It was a ride that was kind of like bumper cars, but with semi-proper driving, and no bumping allowed. There was one speed, and if you didn't keep your directionally-impaired vehicle in the very middle of the lane things, it screeched and ground against the cement thing in the middle. At least we didn't wait two hours to go on the damn thing.

By now we were running out of things to do, so we just went on everything again, and then went on all the kind of rides where we ignored the fact that there was no one over the age of about 7 going on it who wasn't accompanying someone under the age of 7.

Who cares, because this one was good.

Each thing had its own little pedal and made it go up and down - if you got yourself up then pressed it down really quickly, it was quite dizzying and excellent.


A stop for pineapple juice and soft serve. 

It was starting to get slightly dark, so we figured we'd better hit the area where all the rides were for tiny tiny people. Which soon became for us also.

Care for a cuppa?

Oooh, pink.

This Peter Pan ride was by far the longest line we were in all day. It was cute.
People just randomly left their prams in the specified 'parking' areas in the middle of the walkway...

Night time properly arrived, and everything got super pretty.

There was a lot of time spent at the Disney store.

Milking that Star Wars/Disney shiz for all it's worth.

Dinner time.

Then suddenly - DISNEY PARADE! I don't know how often they do it, probably every day, but it was a very shiny way to end our day at the happiest place on Earth.

Aladdin's princesses.

Ariel's upside down snail. This was basically the highlight of the parade.

Princess float.

Here's a video because atmosphere is a hard thing to communicate. The end with Mary Poppins.

Walt Disney.

There isn't a huge amount to do, really, for us old folks, but I dare you do not make a trip to Disneyland fun. 

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