Today (after doing our laundry at the coin laundry mat) we went to check out the other Disney Park right next to Disneyland: Disney's California Adventure. It's like a miniature version of California, only new and plastic and with much more Mickey Mouse branding. There's a Golden Gate Bridge, and Hollywood, and lots of music from my California playlist blasting everywhere. Many of the rides are more your traditional carnival rides, roller coasters, etc, meaning there was a lot more we couldn't go on with the kids. On the other hand, Disney California had a lot more Pixar branding, characters that William actually knows.
First we talked to Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo, and checked out the Toy Story zoetrope. Next we wandered into the Bug's Life area, which had an incredible lame water park. We changed the kids into their swimsuits, only to be told by park staff that William had to wear his shirt, forcing him to wear a wet shirt the rest of the day.
Next a Toy Story Ride, which was also a game. You put on 3D glasses and shoot at targets, and the computer talleys your score. Jadzia fell asleep on me while we were in line, so I had a sleeping baby on me which totally explains why Adam's score was like triple mine.
Adam convinced me to go on the Ferris Wheel. I've never been on a Ferris Wheel that didn't scare me and I've been on some fairly dinky ones. Mickey's Ferris Wheel is huge, and the cars swing back and forth. William kept reassuring me: "It's only a swing Mommy." And for extra fun, I was nursing Jadzia the entire ride.
We decided to go to the real Disneyland to ride the Haunted Mansion (which I remembered was my favourite in Disney World), but before we left, we found out there was a parade about to start so we stayed for that. It turned out to be an awesome Pixar Parade with all of William's favourite characters and some insane floats all of which sprayed water at you for no apparent reason. Wall-E was missing strangely, but included were Monsters Inc, Incredibles, Toy Story, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, and Cars (Mater and Lightening McQueen pretty realistic actually).
When we got to Disneyland, another parade was starting (because Disney knows how to do overkill), which was more of a Dance Party with obscure Disney characters (like Gipetto). We pronounced it not as good as the first parade, and since the way was blocked to the Haunted Mansion, we ended up near a Buzz Lightyear ride. Another shooting game, this time no 3D glasses, just lazers and targets. I lost again, I was off my game today!
By this time it was evening. We headed over to the "New Orleans" section of the park to ride the Haunted Mansion. We passed some people waiting for a show to start. Some guy said it would start in like 2 hours, but the show was just THAT popular. Anyway off to the mansion, which had a fairly short line. If you ever go to Disneyland, go in the evening! The ride was just as cool as I remembered it. Somehow with projections or hollograms or whatever, they make it look like there are real ghosts. Spooky. If only the movie they made of this ride hadn't sucked.
We had a late dinner (honestly I don't recommend any of Disneyland's food), then decided to stick around for the show, even though it was the kids' bedtime. We decided that today was the day we'd actually watch the fireworks, instead of just listening to them from our hotel room. Just then, some staff member was yelling that Pirates of the Carribean only had a 5 minute wait. Sweet! Pirates turned out to be Jadzia's favourite ride, because of all the animatronic animals. Now I can't decide if I like Pirates of the Carribean better than Haunted Mansion. Honestly the animatronics on this ride were eerily life like. And the movies came out after I rode the ride in Florida, so this time I got the added bonus of realizing that Johnny Depp's performance must have been based on the slight jerking and shifty eyes of animatronic characters.
Anyway, the show that everyone was crowded around for turned out to be an insane medley of every Disney animated movie, involving (among other things) a pirate ship, cartoons projected onto spraying water, a large cast of costumed characters, and a mechanical dragon that breathed real fire. All this was supposedly taking place in Mickey Mouse's mind, or was a dream he was having or something. The show was followed immediately by the fireworks, which were set to music and random Disney quotes. William fell asleep on Adam's shoulders and we left. (So did about a billion other people and insanity ensued).