Tag Archives: California

Disney 2023 – Day 1

So, you’ve gone back to Disneyland again?

Yes, that’s right. Mrs Dim and I have driven down to California to grab three days in Disneyland.

Sorry, just the two of you? You didn’t take the kids?

Well, look, for a start, they’re hardly kids anymore, and when we booked the tickets, all three of them had jobs and no vacation available. We’ve taken them to Disney twice, now they’re able to take themselves. Or will be soon enough. But we are old, and may not have many more opportunities.

You’re fifty.

I’m well aware of that, thank you.

Why drive down?

Flying was more expensive, worse for the environment, didn’t fit with our times, and we like driving together. We listened to some audio books, a lot of music, and we talked. It took two days, and we broke the journey at Grant’s Pass, Oregon.

I like driving the open roads, and we were lucky this time – when we reached LA, it was Sunday evening, so the traffic wasn’t too bad. Still, I know I’m getting old, because the way other people drive is terrifying at times. Indicators are a thing, people! You can use them BEFORE you change lanes!

Enough whining. Is Disney good third time around?

Last time we were here, they hadn’t completed the Rise of the Resistance ride, so that was our first destination. The queue was long – 70 minutes was the estimate when we joined it, but soon after that, they announced they had technical difficulties. Since we didn’t have to rush to get everything into today, we elected to stay in the queue and admire the scenery.

We also chatted with the trio of teens in the line ahead of us. One of the girls just announced that she had never seen any of the movies, and Mrs Dim had to steady me so I didn’t immediately summarize all nine movies, the animated series, the novel tie-ins, and all the Legends stuff that just got THROWN OUT LIKE YESTERDAY’S TRASH….(Breathe…breathe…breathe…)

Anyway, the ride was running fine by the time we reached the end of the queue, and it was as amazing as we had been led to expect. I took a lot of video of the ride, but you can find better filming of it on YouTube.

Another thing we didn’t get to do last time was visit Oga’s Cantina. It’s not actually a sit-down eatery, and unless you’ve managed to beat the odds and book in advance (we tried a week before our trip and every slot was taken), you have to try for a walk-in time. We only had to wait 20 minutes and got shown through to a booth. That sounds neat, but we were sharing it with two other groups. One group finished up shortly after we arrived, so for a while it was us and a lovely trio of ladies who took our picture for us.

I can’t show you that one because it’s stuck on Mrs Dim’s phone, but here’s mine:

We had lovely drinks and snacks and enjoyed the crazy ambience. A few of the patrons looked a bit lost, or confused as to why we had a booth and they had to stand, but most people seemed to be having a good time, especially when the drinks arrived.

This is Mrs Dim’s “Fuzzy Tauntaun”. The foam contains a Japanese flower that was used to suppress toothache, and makes your mouth go numb!

We staggered back out into the bright sunlight and went down the single rider lane of the Smuggler’s Run ride – no waiting for single riders, though the regular queue was at 45 mins or longer. It meant we didn’t share a ride, each being assigned to a different crew, but it was a lot of fun, being an engineer for a strange family. I did very well, scoring a hundred percent for my efforts, though I think the pilots could have tried to avoid some of the obstacles…

Did you only hang out in the Star Wars area?

It’s called “Galaxy’s Edge”, and no, we didn’t. We strolled around to Tomorrowland and lined up for Hyperspace Mountain…

Isn’t that another Star Wars ride?

Well, yeah, it is now, but it wasn’t always. Anyway, the queue was huge, and the ride broke down, but this time it was while we were in sight of the actual coaster. We watched the stalled cars being retrieved from the dark track one by one, and the whole queue cheered and applauded as they emerged. The ride started up again, and we were off!

After all that excitement, we sat in the sun for a while.

People-watching is a fun and harmless activity that Mrs Dim never tires of, and Disney provides a huge conveyor-belt of people from all over the place. We were looking for Disney Bounders, folks whose choice of outfit is influenced by their favourite character. Adults aren’t allowed to visit Disney in costume, except under special circumstances, so Disney Bounders work hard to hint at the character without crossing the boundaries that Disney set.

We were flagging, but happy, so we strolled on round to watch the paddle-steamer go around the pirate island, and then joined the queue for Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride didn’t break down, but they did stop it to clean up one of the boats. Luckily, we weren’t close enough to see what they were cleaning up. We enjoyed the ride immensely, and discovered that we both thought we’d been on it before, but we were wrong about that. The weirdest part of the ride is going past all the folks eating at the restaurant they have in the first section. Unless they were very good animatronics?

We were done, and the evening parade was about to start, so we took our leave. We grabbed a nice meal in Downtown Disney, which is actually outside the park. The food was great, the service fantastic, but the menu made me want to punch kittens. Can you see why? Here’s one page from the online version:

Just as we were leaving, the Manager came over to see how the meal had been. He got a punctuation lesson.

Back at the hotel, Mrs Dim found a way to ease the aches in her feet.

Tomorrow we visit California Adventure, where all the Marvel and Pixar characters hang out. Mrs Dim is getting as many selfies as she can with characters. I’ll do a full round up after our final day in the park on Thursday.