Monday, September 13, 2010

Disneyland - On A Chilly Day - The Old Trader Sam Sign Off

Face it, most folks get their dose of the Park during nice weather---usually summer.

Sure, there are the October Halloween maniacs and the folks who make Disneyland their destination for Christmas Day and New Years (and there are plenty of 'em, let me tell you).

But most of you out there find yourself at Disneyland on warm California days filled with sunshine and Mickey Mouse balloons.

I say, for you SoCal locals, pick the coldest, dampest, rainiest day ever, grab your Annual Passport and a jacket and hit the road to 1313 South Harbor Boulevard.

Some of the best times at the Park have happened on days of inclement weather.

You may miss out on a few rides---many are under rehab during the time of year when cold rain falls (January - March/April).
Many are not just not fun to ride in the rain---Storybook, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, Autopia, etc.

However, you will make up for the missed rides by being able to inhale the ambiance of a Disneyland sparkling wet and devoid of crowds.
The shops become warm and inviting.
Coffee from the Market House on Main Street tastes better than ever!
Whatever they're making over at the Candy Palace will smell even more amazing than usual when the aroma floats to your nose on cool, damp air.

Come on, let's hit New Orleans Square!
Are you kidding?
Those quaint little streets and walkways become irresistible when you add rain and cloud cover.
Gas lamps enchant.
The Christmas shop seems more, I don't know, Christmas-y.
Lunch at the Cafe Orleans even tastes better.
And just look at that view.
The Rivers of America flow in the distance, with wind billowing the trees along the waters edge.

If you find yourself getting cold, head to the Village Haus or the Plaza Inn or the Emporium or, heaven forbid, Innoventions (gack! At least you'll be out of the wind and rain).
Walk through every shop on Main Street!
Meander.
Take in the trinkets.
Ponder the plush toys.
Ogle the ornaments.
Consider the clothing.
Mull the Mickey merchandise.
Digest the Disneyana.

Peer out through the windows and doorways at the falling rain.
Look at the shining sidewalks and trolley tracks.
The trees are greener with wet leaves.
The flowers splay their colors with a muted fervor and contrast beautifully with the gray sky.
Those famous Main Street street lamps glisten and warmly glow.
Umbrellas bob up and down.
Guests in all colors and sorts of rain gear bustle to and fro.
It's downright Dickens, I tell you.

Get to the Hub and look at Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
It is so brightly colored when framed by a cloudy sky, its conical rooftops slick with rain.
Cross the drawbridge and dry off a bit inside the Castle's archway.
Wander into the shops of Fantasyland.
The Wicked Queen looks a touch more menacing when she peers out from her window atop Snow White's Scary Adventures with a slate gray sky looming behind her.
Toad Hall's many chimneys look all the more inviting.
The Carousel becomes a joy and a refuge.

The Matterhorn looks more mountainous, its snowy peaks, a bit...peakier.

And Toontown.
Well...Toontown's Toontown no matter the weather.

Go if you want.

I'll be in the Park if you need me.

Ooh. That sounded bitter.
Of course, that's what I was going for.

Sorry, Toontown.

Bottom line: catch the Park on a rainy day, it is a real treat.

And, as we approach the dock, I'm reminded of the time Trader Sam invited me over for dinner.
I got there late, so the only things left were finger foods.
The ladyfingers didn't have much meat, but let me tell you,
...as far as flavor goes...they were NAILS!

And don't even get me started on the rump roast...
...or the head cheese...
...or the elbow macaroni...
...or the toe jam...
...or the knuckle sandwich...
...0r the eye rolls...
...or, for that matter, the hand roll sushi...
...or the boneless Patty...(poor gal)...
...or its companion dish, the Patty melt...(poor, poor gal)...
...or the Chef's surprise (never saw THAT ONE coming!)...
...or the "Soup of the Day"...(ditto)...
...or the Sloppy Joe (thanks, Manwich!)...
...or the Stu (and Stu was such a nice guy)...
...or the Reuben sandwich...

...or Sam's amazing array of international cuisine:

...the German mustard...
...the Frankfurter...
...the French toast...
...the Belgian waffle...
...the American pie...
...the Italian dressing...
...the Cajun gumbo...
...the Irish stew...
...the Chinese pot stickers...
...the Polish sausage...
...the Swedish meatballs...
...the Dutch turnovers...
...the Greek salad...
...the Mongolian barbeque...
...the Hawaiian luau...
...the Swiss cheese...
...the Brazil nut...
...the Mexican tamales...
...the Canadian bacon...
...the Welsh pudding...
...the English toffee...
...the Hungarian goulash...
...the Cuban sandwich...or
...the Indian curry (ooh, spicy!).

...or the kid's meal...

...or...

...(wait for it)...

...the baby back ribs.

"I want my baby back, baby back, baby back..." (with apologies to Chili's)

Now that's just gross.
Or is it net?
Well, it all adds up to a fine meal, no matter how you slice it!
Thanks, Sam!
As I've always said, you are truly...
...a CUT above!
You give a whole new meaning to the term: "A Family Dining Experience."

---Mike

7 comments:

Amber said...

I've never experienced the park in rainy weather, being one of those summer/Halloween maniacs myself :) But have heard lots of good things about a rainy day trip!
Always love the "as we approach the dock" conclusions!

JG said...

Rain, we were there once in the rain, i was about six, and hated it.

Now, hearing you describe it, it might be OK.

love the trader sam shtick, never change.

JG

Anne said...

haha I was on jungle cruise and this one teenager was telling a joke close to that it went sorta like this.

I took my girlfriend to trader's sam for dinner one night and we had a really good stew.
I said Sam your wife makes a really good stew, he said I know, but now I have to find another wife.
(implying his was was in the stew)
Then the skipper would go, haha just kidding folks, I dont have a girlfriend.

It wen t alot smoother then that and it was hilarious. FOr the park with the rhino, he was like: look at that! WOW! there must be a million rocks on that beach!

hilarious.

George Taylor said...

I spent a rainy day at Disneyland sometime in 1996. It was amazing. It was a weekday, but it was still a great way to spend the day.

Although, it was my last day there, and the rain made it a little sad...

Connie Moreno said...

LOL, I agree with you COMPLETELY! My favorite way to experience Disneyland is in the rain. It's magical!

Mike said...

Anne:

Here's my take:

"There to the right is my old friend Trader Sam.

I went to Sam's house for dinner last week and I said to him:

Sam, your wife...
your wife makes the BEST STEW!

And he said to me,

(spoken slowly and with emphasis)

Yeah.

But I'm sure gonna miss her...

(Groans from the guests on the boat - I turn back to look at the guests over my shoulder and say...)

I found that one hard to swallow myself!

---Mike

Jonathan said...

Ooooo, I loved rainy days at the park, both as a Guest and Cast Member.

I remember being near Cafe Orleans one cold damp afternoon (1985 I believe), looking toward the Big Thunder area and not seeing a single guest! True story! It was one of those 6pm close days during the off season. Do they still have those? Remember when the park was closed Monday and Tuesday?

Jon Woods