At last, we have arrived at the second and final day at Disneyland. I’d like to start by saying that, with the exception of about 1-2 hours of sleep after the Haunted Mansion Anniversary, we ended up staying awake for around 44 hours straight over the course of our trip. How we managed to stem the tide of sleepiness, I have no idea. But we did, so let’s get on with the post.
The very first thing that happened upon entering the park that morning after very little sleep was the Dapper Dans were singing Grim Grinning Ghosts while riding down Main Street on…one of those vehicles they have. Was it the one drawn by a horse…I don’t remember. I was tired. But it was the perfect beginning to the Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary…the part that took place during daylight hours anyway.
Honestly, I was so confused why everyone was making such a fuss about the Haunted Mansion that day. Wasn’t the anniversary yesterday…wait a minute, the event took place early this morning, didn’t it? Weird…
Peter Pan was our first ride of the day yet again and our longest wait time, as it so often is. If you’re waiting for the Peter Pan queue to drop below 30 minutes, well, it never will. We also paid a visit to the Bengal Barbecue, probably our favorite restaurant in Disneyland because of the atmosphere, the delicious meat skewers, and my favorite edible thing in the whole park, Jungle Juleps! (Forget dole whips and corn dogs, the Jungle Julep is the greatest!) After this, we decided to visit the Enchanted Tiki Room, a show Mother Duck hadn’t seen since she was a kid…and one I had never seen before at all. It was very relaxing getting to watch the show while sipping ice-cold Jungle Juleps. Mmm, so purple and scrumptious. (At the start of the show, one young girl stood up, looked up at the talking birds, and started crying loudly. Fortunately, her mother was able to calm her down fairly quickly.)
We also revisited Galaxy’s Edge, where we saw Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, the latter of which we did our best to avoid because, well, he’s kind of intimidating, to be honest.This was also the first ever time I visited Tom Sawyer Island (Mother Duck herself hadn’t been here for quite some time, either). It was pretty cool getting to explore a totally different part of the park, even if the stairs weren’t so friendly to my already tired legs. We had just enough time to explore the caves, cross the rope bridge, and visit the treehouse before we had to return for our Haunted Mansion Fast Pass at 3:25.
We also spent some time in Fantasyland revisiting some rides we don’t do as often, including the Storybook Land Canal Boats, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Scary Adventure, though not in that order. While we were in the queue for Mr. Toad, we were behind a very frustrated lady who had six young girls on a field trip that she had to supervise. The girls couldn’t agree on which rides to go on, while another couldn’t decide whether or not Mr. Toad was too scary for her. No doubt she had her work cut out for her that day!
As far as Snow White goes, is it just me or this the ride with the grumpiest Cast Members? Last time we went, the lady working there was upset that I didn’t know I was supposed to pull the safety bar down myself. Frankly, there is no consistent rule whether or not we do it or the Cast Member does, as it all depends on the ride you happen to be on at the time and which Cast Member happens to be operating it that day. This time, the guy working there scolded me for accidentally inching over the yellow line before boarding our vehicle. Yes, I did step over the line before my turn, but I was also trying to see how the safety bar situation was being handled with the people in front of us! I guess getting yelled at here is unavoidable!
Speaking of being yelled at, we also had a more humorous situation at the Haunted Mansion. This ride was super crowded today because of the anniversary. In fact, the ride’s gift shop had a huge line that went across the bridge spanning over the Pirates queue. During our first ride-through of the day, we used a Fast Pass to skip the lines. Everyone was very chatty for some reason, which all of us hardcore fans tolerated until we entered the stretching room, during which the noisy chatterboxes were shooshed to settle down before the Ghost Host started speaking. Our second ride-through took place during Fantasmic, so we actually got a nice small group like you typically only get when the park first opens.
Small group or no, apparently a guy operating the ride was getting very frustrated at some of the guests. If you’re at all familiar with the Haunted Mansion, you’ll know the Cast Members here are the most in-character in the whole park. With the exception of this guy, who yelled over some sort of loud speaker at least three times for people to behave. The first time, he yelled at people to take off their backpacks before boarding their doom buggy. The second two times, he yelled at us to keep our hands inside the vehicle. I have to assume people were being very unruly all day, and he had had enough. At one point, a different guy repeated his angry spiel, but in a far more calm, in-character manner.
We rode Pirates twice more, as well. I forgot to mention it before, but this trip was our first time seeing the new updates they made a little over a year ago, the updated auction scene and the guy with the octopus right at the end of the caves. During our second to last visit to Pirates, we had a very goofy father and his young children sitting behind us, which was quite amusing. I think he didn’t want his kids to be scared, so he kept doing goofy things, including claiming he was going to leave the boat and get some of the treasure in the caves at the beginning, to which he received giggled protests.
On a side note, is it just me or is the Jack Sparrow animatronic at the very end…creepier than he used to be? I watched him closely, and his mouth didn’t move when he was speaking….
This was also the first day they started selling limited time Haunted Mansion themed food. There were too many options to try everything, but we did get a few select things, one of which was the groom churro, which was covered in chocolate. The other thing we tried was The Long Forgotten Duelist Tacos at Rancho del Zocalo. They consist of two fry bread tacos, one with beef and one with chicken, with sauces and cheese and other goodness. They were pretty good, but the bread was so thick, it overpowered the toppings if you ate too much of it. We also got some tortilla chips and salsa, which was a fun and tasty, little accompaniment.
Once night fell, our day came to a close with various final snacks and ride-throughs, including the aforementioned third visit to the Haunted Mansion and fourth ride-through of Pirates, not to mention our traditional nighttime visit to the Jungle Cruise. We also visited the Bengal Barbecue yet again, where we ordered more Jungle Juleps, the chicken and both beef skewers, and a tiger tail breadstick. The breadstick didn’t really have any flavor, but the rest was as good as usual. We ended the night (after a few rides, not immediately after the Bengal Barbecue) with a visit to the Tropical Hideaway, a fairly new place that we both really liked. We tried the bao, Mother Duck getting the vegetable, while I got the beef. We both agreed that the beef was better.
It was a super relaxing and fun day, and since we had avoided some of the better rides on day one, that gave us even more fun things to do on our final day at the park. The only real issue I wanted to mention was that the park seemed a bit dirtier than I remember. It was pretty good outside, but there was a lot of trash on the ground inside buildings, such as in the Star Tours queue. The absolute worst offender, however, was all the trash inside the Haunted Mansion after you leave your doom buggies. During one visit alone, I found three drink bottles on the ground. It was rather disheartening to see my favorite ride polluted in such a manner. I’m not sure why Disneyland’s cleanliness seems to have gone downhill since our last visit, but I sure hope they take care of it before it really gets out of hand!
Though we had a fun and generally relaxing trip (aside from a few creepy things that happened on day 1), we didn’t actually plan on visiting Disneyland this year because, admittedly, a lot of the magic is lost if one visits too often. I’m very happy to have gotten to attend my first special Disneyland event, but I gotta say, we won’t be going back for quite some time. Well, now that I’ve discussed how our trip went, I’ll be ranking food and rides in the next set of posts, so don’t miss out!