Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happiest Place on Earth

I was in Disneyland last weekend getting my ride on. Dad and I went down last Thursday for a three-day theme park sprint. We wore ourselves out, but ended up having a ton of fun.

Here's how it went down...

We arrived Thursday morning to overcast skies. The weather was a pleasant 65 degrees.

We get to the park and the first ride we decide to go on is... yeah... Splash Mountain. Notice Dad's futile attempt at keeping dry. He brought a poncho on board, but couldn't get it on, so he just flattened it out against him. This kept him dry from the inital sprinkle that came over the front of the log car, but was utterly ineffective when, soon thereafter, a tsunami-sized wave crashed over the right side. Thursday was a soggy day for us, even without rain.

The fastpass is essential to a good, fulfilling Disneyland experience. Without it, you'll spend most of your day in lines. With it, you'll spend most of your day laughing at those standing in lines.

Thunder Mountain Railroad is a classic. It's one of the more rugged rides at Disneyland and if you let it catch you off guard, you'll get a free back adjustment.

In tomorrowland this enormous ball of stone sits atop a fountain of water, allowing it to be spun with little effort. The kids love it.

As we stood in line for the monorail I snapped this shot of the Matterhorn, with the "Finding Nemo" submarines in the foreground. We went on the Matterhorn four times. It's got just enough of that "theres-no-way-in-hell-this-car-is-securely-fastened-to-the-track" feeling to make it fun AND scary.

The caption reads: "The magic of Disneyland may cause the urge to spring from your seats and dance."

Forground: Barry. Background: Matterhorn. Location: Monorail.

That monorail is two weeks old. Brand spanking new.

I wonder if adult midgets take offense at this sign.

We waited 40 minutes in the line for the Casey Jr. train ride. 40 minutes! I was mildly annoyed. Then I saw the amazing miniature landscapes and forgot about my anger. Disneyland is like that. It has the power to push your patience to the limit one moment, and soothe you with little cottages the next.

This guy was our jungle cruise tour guide. He was pretty funny, but most people on board didn't get his humor. And why the white gloves? Did he just take off his Mickey costume? Is he afraid of germs? We'll never know.
Bonus points to you if you can tell me what time this picture was taken...

Ducks. They love Disneyland. It's full of food scraps and free of predators.

One of the best rides in the "California Adventure" park. Check out the video below...

The only time I really, truly, almost dropped my camera was when I took this picture.

Hands down the best ride I've ever been on for the sheer sense of giddy euphoria you experience after the fact.

I'd have my hands up if I didn't have to hold onto my camera.

Foreground: Me and Dad. Background: Thunder Mountain.

Dad and I in the "Blue Bayou" restaurant, enjoying dinner. The restaurant is situated inside the same building as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. So cool! We sat on the waterfront and watched people float calmly by in their boats, soon to cascade down the falls into the actual ride.

Dad surveys the map while we wait in line for something in fantasyland.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. He appears to be checking the weather, no?

It's not that I'm a bad driver. It's just that so many people keep jumping in front of the damn car.

I'm on the Matterhorn Bobsleds here. Dad sat behind me and asked me to turn around and smile in the pitch black of the initial climb. If you look carefully you can see just a little bit of the fake rock tunnel.

So beautiful at night. I wish I had faster glass.

Nothing compliments the fireworks show like a rock-hard Toll House ice cream sandwich. Worth all of the 5.00 they charge for it.

Ohh... the fireworks are great. Every night they put on this fantastic show themed on the park's most popular rides. Dad said he'd pay the entrance fee just to come see the fireworks. I think he was exaggerating, but not by much.

Throngs of weary, but content people leave the park as their Disneyland experience comes to a close. We had a great time. Thanks, Dad!



  1. Nice memories for you and dad! I am content seeing it via blog.

  2. You got some nice pics. I'm sooo excited for my trip, I can barely contain myself.

    I just learned about fast pass, so I won't be the sucker waiting in the lines ... sweet :)

    I'm glad you had a fun little getaway, it looks like you had an A-OK time (I'm glad you didn't drop the camera)

  3. Dearest Barry, this post (among all your other posts) make me happy. I loved it, and this is why:
    1.The video... awesome.
    2.Its no doubt which guy is your dad in the first pic of splash mountain, you both have the same look of "oh crap we're going to get soaked"
    3.Your random swearing is absolutely hilarious I lol.
    4. You're a photographer by passion so you look for those abstract opportunities.
    5. It makes me jealous, I want to go again.
    I'm glad you had such a great time at D-Land with your Pops!

  4. I'm with your Mom, the next time I go I will holding the hand of a grandchild.
    Glad you had a good time, the pics are great, like they'd be anything else?

  5. barry your captions always make me smile! great pictures! you really should come down with us in May!

  6. Awww! Looks like you had a great time! Now I want to go to Disneyland.

  7. 2 things:

    (1) Thunder Mountain Railroad will give you more than a back adjustment. You remember that little girl stood up to check out the animatronic goat like 8 years ago, fell off the ride and then got ran over? Yeah, she died.

    (2) AMAZING pic of yourself on the coaster! What a great sense of speed, and I'm sure you were cussing yourself for almost busting your nice cam. Haha!