We went to the Park this past Monday, May 31, 2010.
Of my many times there as a guest, I must say this trip ranks among the very best.
It was a perfect California day, with a brilliant blue sky, warm temperature and breezes that kept things just right. The attendance was just about perfect, too. You could see the ground. There were no unduly long lines.
And the Park.
The Park sparkled in a way that I thought I'd never see again. The paint on the buildings on Main Street was shiny. The newly refurbished Rivers of America flowed gracefully again past a dazzling New Orleans Square on this sunny day. Every figure in the Small World danced and sang in neatly pressed clothes without a hiccup or hitch. We were able to find Nemo in a Submarine Lagoon that glittered like a backyard pool in the Holmby Hills. Space Mountain gave us an early morning energy boost. Indiana Jones did the same---with every ride element working flawlessly. We had stage-side seating for Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe. My daughter Caitlin even got a picture with Billy before the show. Our youngest daughter got Billy's attention during the show---she is still missing her two front teeth and he offered her his special set of Hillbilly teeth to the delight of the audience.
We took the Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes for a race around the Island (probably the first time I've done that since my last Cast Member Canoe Race back in 1987!). My wife and I followed our daughters for a spin around the Autopia track and enjoyed its shady twists and turns. We steamed through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World. We cooled ourselves from the afternoon heat with Dole Whips at the Tiki Room lanai, followed by an air-conditioned performance by our good friend Fritz and the boys. I don't know if you realize this, but the Bird of Paradise is an elegant bird. It likes to be seen, but it loves to be heard. That's the word on street---or at least in the Room.
We raced down the icy slopes of the majestic Matterhorn. We asked for (and were cheerfully directed to) the last two rows of the train on Big Thunder (best seats in the house). Seven-year-old Madison breathlessly and toothlessly reminded me to "stare at the goat all the way around the turn at the bottom of the big hill---it makes it better!"
It really does.
I screamed loudly round the final turn---to bemused guests meandering along Thunder Trail---and into Dinosaur Gap. Just for the heck of it.
We boarded the proud Mark Twain and glided past new scenes (and some refurbished ones) along the river. Gone were the rotting mine train and keel boat. Now the Gullywhumper sits, restored and proud, at the old settler's cabin---which has been newly inhabited by a certain Mr. Fink. Deer, streams, jumping fish, a proud Indian Chief, skunks, beavers, even a live horse, could be seen at the river's edge. But wait, what's that? Do my eyes deceive me? Is that Fort Wilderness slowly rising anew on the Island?? Well, I'll be.
Even the Mark Twain had shiny paint on every railing, polished decks and a spanking new paddle wheel at her stern. We ran from one side of her to the other as we enjoyed the sights on each side of the river during our trip. Her whistle and bells as we approached the dock were loud, clear and filled with pride and energy.
We had plenty of time to head over to California Adventure during our day. Madison and I walked right on to Tower of Terror and laughed during every stomach lifting dropped. We rode Screamin' twice in a row! She even kept her eyes open on the loop on her second trip! We all floated and sailed on the Silly Symphony swings, taking in the fine, unobstructed view. We clacked along Mulholland Madness and then headed back to the Park.
As our day drew to a close, we opted for one more attraction.
You'll never guess which one.
Thank you Disneyland---and the team at Disney---for a great day!
As you exit the boat, please don't miss out on our Character Parade this evening. That's when all us cast members line up on Main Street after fireworks and watch you characters head to the parking lot. Goodbye now!