Thursday, March 14, 2013

Disneyland: The Non-Race Part of the Trip

Still catching up..... We had a whirlwind trip to Disneyland in January to participate in the Never Land 5K and Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Along the way we did a bunch of park touring in a very short amount of time. We really crammed it in on this trip. Pictures are scarce because we ran around so much and forgot to take them.

Dining and Drinks
Our first night on-property we had dinner and drinks at Trader's Sam in the Disneyland Hotel. Dave's cousin and her boyfriend met up with us and we sat outside right in front of the Hawaiian band. Seating both inside and out was tight so we had to hover to get a table and guard our unused chairs (waiting for our guests) with our lives. Good specialty drinks and appetizer-type items. Lots of hidden Disney jokes inside the bar.

The night before the half marathon we dined at Naples (same owners as WDW's Via Napoli) with our friends Gail and John. While here we tried (and enjoyed) the Red Trolley Ale. Holly and I had to carb load so we had generic pasta and meatballs.
Some other dining: drinks at the outdoor bar attached to Catal in Downtown Disney, beignets and mint julips in Disneyland, Hagen-Daz cones, drinks and breakfast at Cozy Cone, lunch at Flo's V8 Diner, lunch at Cucina Cucamonga, lunch at Bengal BBQ, hand-made ice cream bar at Clarabell's, and several beers from the Pacific Wharf beer cart.

We signed up for The World of Color dinner package. By signing up to eat at a particular restaurant we were able to earn reserved standing area passes for The World of Color Show. We chose to eat at Carthay Circle. Even though we had a reservation we were given a hard time by the door lady when we tried to get in early for drinks at the lounge. "Oh it's so crowded in there I don't think you will find a seat" is what we were told. No problems.... Very nice and comfortable lounge. The dining area was also very nice - reminded us of WDW's Brown Derby. Food was very good.

Cars Land
On this trip we spent most of our time in Disney's California Adventure Park (DCA) instead of Disneyland (or as we call it the "prototype Magic Kingdom"). We wanted to dedicate a lot of time to the new Cars Land. Our first glimpse of this area was just before sunrise during the 5k and it was impressive. Very detailed recreation of Radiator Springs. The highlight of course is the e-ticket Radiator Springs Racers attraction. Great modern attraction. There were two other rides: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Flying Tires. Both are cute but not worth a longer wait than ten minutes. We liked all the Cars-themed shops, Flo's Diner, and Cozy Cone Motel (counter service).

Other Fun
We finally got to ride Haunted Mansion (refurb last time we were here). We saw the return of Tiana's Jazz Show for Limited Time Magic.  We rode the Matterhorn with it's new seating configuration.  Holly said it reminded her of a gynie visit.  The Christmas overlay was still up for It's a Small World - We loved it! This ride is so much better here vs. Disney World. Disneyland was crowded that Sunday so we ended up skipping a lot of attractions - we didn't even go into Tomorrowland. We were in WDW the week before so we felt like we weren't missing much overall. We may have really wanted to celebrate the end of the Coast to Coast Challenge with some other snacks and beverages not found in Disneyland.

In DCA we spent a lot of time in Paradise Pier. We rode California Screamin' a few times and enjoyed some good bench time with snacks. We watched Minnie's Sky School show and saw the tail-end of the Carthay Circle Jazz Show. We saw the beginning of the Mad T Party. Didn't get why they mixed techno decor with hits from the 80's. We watched the Wilderness Explorer's badge presentation with Russell. We thoroughly toured all the new Buena Vista street shops and put the cast to the test when trying to get change for a dollar.
We possibly did a lot more. Photos just aren't there filling in the memory gaps. There are a few more priority projects to do before we can go through out Disneyland non-race videos. That means we may have another post coming up....

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