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Disneyland, February 2017 - A Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:41:27 AM
Hello everyone,

Last month I shared with you my report on our trip to Disneyland for AP Days and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. That report specifically focussed on those two things, can be found by clicking here.

In this second and final part of my trip report for our visit to Disneyland, I am going to share with you everything else that we managed to do in the whirlwind less-than-two-day adventure we had there!

We arrived at LAX and took the Disneyland Express bus to the Disneyland Hotel. We weren't staying at the hotel (I wish!), but it was the first and easiest drop off point that would get us to the park ASAP.

With that said, we made a stupid decision at that point. Let me tell you something - I hate using the monorails at Walt Disney World. They are unreliable and inefficient. While this hasn't generally been my impression on my many trips to Disneyland, our Walt Disney World experiences often make me choose walking over using the monorail at Disneyland anyway. Even with Disneyland's somewhat more reputable reputation, I should have known better than on a trip that was booked last minute, and was literally less than 48 hours in length, not to use the monorail, "just in case". So what happened? We took the monorail from outside the Disneyland Hotel to Disneyland, and of course it got stuck - for twenty minutes.

We had breakfast at Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian on our second morning, which is hosted by Chip and Dale. It's one of our favourite character meals to do, though we are sad that these days it seems to nearly always be Kenai without Koda, and Pluto has replaced Meeko. While we love all the characters, Meeko fits much better in the setting of Storyteller's than Pluto does. As always, the food was exceptional, even for us picky eaters!

In Disney California Adventure we experienced the Beauty and the Beast preview, which of course was stunning. An interesting point to note is that at Walt Disney World the same preview is in standard 2D, whereas in California it is in 3D. The other difference between the two is that of course each coast has a different dress - California has/had Belle's village blue dress. We can't wait for the movie to come out in just two days time!

Continuing through Hollywood Land, we met Anna and Elsa, who were fun as always, saw Mr and Mrs Incredible patrolling the neighborhood, and took some photos of the changes being made to the Tower of Terror, ready for its transformation into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction this summer.

In Paradise Pier I took photos of the expanded Cove Bar - the lines for that place are insane, by the way! - and we met Nick and Judy at their new location near The Little Mermaid attraction (they had previously been in Hollywood Land).

Over at Disneyland, we tried some more treats on Main Street USA (I say "more", because if you read the first part of this report, you'll see that we already ate a lot!). That red macaroon is divine, and this is coming from someone who has never been a huge fan of macaroons.

I believe this poster for Autopia was new, too, or at least, I don't recall it being the same the last time I paid attention to it.

Like Walt Disney World, and as I pointed out in one of my recent Walt Disney World reports, the US parks are now selling parade mats. Interestingly Disneyland had a better, more specific design.

We had lunch at one of our favourite places in the resort, Cafe Orleans. We are addicted to the three cheese Monte Cristo, and the garlic fries are amazing! For some reason, I only took a photo of the fries this time!

We met Moana in Adventureland, and the nearby Tiki Juice Bar was selling a new Moana Tiki cup. This was our first time meeting Moana at Disneyland, though we had met her in Walt Disney World several times since her debut.

In New Orleans Square the Christmas decorations were still up, except the wreaths had been removed and some masks thrown on - hey presto, you have Mardi Gras!

Tomorrowland had become "Star Wars Land Lite" since our last visit, with Season of the Force in full swing. While Path of the Jedi and Hyperspace Mountain have been around for a while, some banners and a new sign near the entrance to Tomorrowland, along with switching the old, roaming regular Stormtroopers for the newer First Order troopers apparently makes this a whole new experience. Anyway, we rode Hyperspace Mountain, and of the many versions of Space Mountain, all across the world throughout the years, Hyperspace Mountain in California is by far the best one. We couldn't resist getting the t-shirt on sale at the Hyperspace Mountain store, just to give our endorsement of the exhilarating experience that it is.

At the Royal Hall in Fantasyland we met Cinderella, Princess Elena and Snow White. It was our first time meeting Elena in California (at Walt Disney World we've met her in both Magic Kingdom and Epcot), so it was fun to see her here. On Main Street we met Mary Poppins and Bert, and in Critter Country Tigger and Eeyore.

I have to say, I find Disneyland's character line system quite frustrating. In all the other parks (though, granted I can accept there can be exceptions on occasion), when you're in line for a character, provided you're in before they close the line, you get that character. In Disneyland for some reason they seem to be increasingly going towards a system where you line up, and even if you're in line before the end of the set, you might not get that character - or any character. This has happened on past trips on Main Street, Buena Vista Street, and it happened on this trip trying to meet the Pooh friends in Critter Country. When we got in line for the Pooh friends, Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore were there. We were informed that Eeyore may not return, but that in fact Rabbit would. Great! We love meeting Rabbit! Ok, so they were switching for someone different while we were already in line, but whatever, three for three was fine with us. Minutes later, only Tigger and Eeyore came out. Not even Pooh came back - and no Rabbit. So we had lined up for three characters, and only two came back. While I understand that things can happen last minute, when I tried asking the character attendant about this, I felt that she personally attacked me for no reason, which I totally didn't expect. Without exploring the details of what happened next, I ended up going to guest relations, and they seemed to care enough to give us re-entry tickets for another attraction later that day, so we chose Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland.

As night fell, we took some photos of the castle and Pixie Hollow, before waiting for the Electrical Parade and fireworks.

Finally for this report, we come to the fireworks, Having the "Remember... Dreams Come True" fireworks back at the park is really quite wonderful, and I am so happy we got to see them again. The last time we saw them was back in October 2011, and they are just as good as I remember! In fact, with the refreshed Matterhorn projections and the lasers for Star Wars, they are probably amongst the best fireworks I have ever seen at a Disney Park, though there is some competition for that top spot!

That's it for my Disneyland trip report for our February visit! We'll be back at the resort in July for D23, which we are super excited for. My next report will be on our trip to Walt Disney World for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, also last month!

Have a great day everyone,

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