2 years, 8 months…

The title of this post refers to the time span between my most resent trip to the Disneyland Resort and the last time I was there.  This latest trip was a birthday present from my sister and her family, she gave me a “park-hopper ticket” and invited me to go along with her, my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, and their cousins. In one of my previous posts, I admitted that I am a “mouse junkie,” so in preparing for this visit, I charged up my camera’s battery, and set out to take as many pictures as I could.  I was looking forward to this visit as none of us had seen the new changes at California Adventure, which include Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.

In the 12 hours that we were there, we visited both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (DCA).  We arrived at the parking structure about 10 minutes after the parks opened (8:10am), but it took almost 20 minutes before we were directed to a parking spot (5th level, all the way at the end), then we headed down to catch a tram to get to the plaza between the parks.  Since there was seven of us, in 3 different age groups, we mostly split up and enjoyed the parks in pairs, I was the “third wheel”.  My sister, brother-in-law, and I first headed to DCA to get fastpasses for the Radiator Springs Racers.  We had to wait in line for about 30 minutes just to get to the fastpass distribution for the ride, and we were able to get 5 of them (two of our party were leaving early and wouldn’t be riding).  Then we walked all the way back to the entrance of the park, and exited to head over to Disneyland.

Once we got into Disneyland, we realized that this was one of the most crowded day we have ever seen there in all the years of going.  It seemed that everybody and their grandmother was there…  But all in all, we were able to enjoy rides such as The Haunted Mansion (the holiday version), Gadget’s Go Coaster (mini coaster, goes less than 20 mph, and last about 45 seconds), Indiana Jones Adventure (way too jumpy for my likes, but I went anyways), and the Matterhorn and Space Mountain (I sat these two out as I’ve been medically advised to avoid rides like these, with sharp turns and possible G-forces).

We were limited to what rides we could get on as the park was basically filled and most lines were way too long to wait in, in both parks.  But we enjoyed the ones we were able to ride, and I was able to take a little over 130 pictures…

Here are some of the better ones:

on my last visit in April 2011, the population was 500,000,000

on my last visit in April 2011, the population was 500,000,000

soon after we entered Disneyland, my sister mentioned to a cast member that I was there for my birthday, and soon after that, he ran up to me and wished my a happy birthday...

soon after we entered Disneyland, my sister (unbeknownst to me) mentioned to a cast member that I was there for my birthday, and soon after that, he ran up to me and wished my a happy birthday…

I took this shot as we were walking towards the front gates.  Because of the crowd, I couldn't maneuver myself to get a better shot.

I took this shot as we were walking towards the front gates. Because of the crowd, I couldn’t maneuver myself to get a better shot.

heading into DCA, you walk under the monorail line, the new "overpass" is based on the Glendale-Hyperion bridge featured in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

heading into DCA, you walk under the monorail line, the new “overpass” is based on the Glendale-Hyperion bridge featured in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”

not sure if he was waving "hello" or "get out of the way"...

not sure if he was waving “hello” or “get out of the way”…

The Carthay Circle Restaurant with a Red Car Trolley in front.

The Carthay Circle Restaurant with a Red Car Trolley in front.

Walt and Mickey circa the 1930's...

Walt and Mickey circa the 1930’s…

headed into Disneyland, with the crowds, this is as close I could get to the Walt and Mickey statue, with the castle in view...

headed into Disneyland, with the crowds, this is as close I could get to the Walt and Mickey statue, with the castle in view…

we got onto the holiday version of The Haunted House, and as the "stretching room" expanded, Jack Skellington appeared above us.

we got onto the holiday version of The Haunted House, and as the “stretching room” expanded, Jack Skellington appeared above us.

A little later my brother-in-law and I checked out an attraction we both had never experienced: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

A little later my brother-in-law and I checked out an attraction we both had never experienced: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

we then headed back to DCA to explore Cars Land.

I was very impressed with how Disney brought the movie "Cars" to life...

I had to aim high as there was a huge crowd walking down “Route 66”

P1030096

As we were leaving the Pier area, and heading out of DCA for the night, I grabbed a shot of Mickey's Fun Wheel with it's reflection on the water.

As we were leaving the Pier area, and heading out of DCA for the night, I grabbed a shot of Mickey’s Fun Wheel with it’s reflection on the water.

To close up the night, we went back into Disneyland to get a shot of the castle...

To close up the night, we went back into Disneyland to get a shot of the castle lit up…

As I said at the beginning of the post, both parks were very crowded, so it was challenging to stop and take a picture without getting in someone’s way who’s walking behind you.  I really liked Cars Land.  I was very impressed with how Disney brought the movie “Cars” to life.  I did my research and found that the Racers ride only goes about 40 mph at it’s highest speed, so I went on with the rest of the group.  This is now one of my favorite rides at the resort.  I didn’t take any pictures of it, as I wanted to experience it fully without having to stop for a picture.  Maybe next time I go…

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

and, of course, ask:

HOW YOU DOIN?

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2 comments on “2 years, 8 months…

  1. Lu says:

    Hi Joel,
    Happy Birthday!
    As always: GREAT pictures. I particularly like the ones of Lincoln, The Castle at night and the mirror images of Mickey-n-wheel. Nicely done.
    Glad you had fun with family.
    I’ve never been…………but it sounds wayyyy to crowded for me.
    Hope 2014 is an incredible and blessed year!

  2. Sam Gerber says:

    And a Happy and Healthy New year to you and all those close by. Hazel called Helen to thank her for that great picture but the receiving box was full so she left a message…….nice bunch of smiling faces. Thanks from us both……………Sammy G.

    On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM, How You Doin?

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