Anaheim Travel Blog

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part of our trip home included a fantastic trip to disneyland. olli is a man who fully appreciates the value of a little disney magic- one criterion of any husband of mine. this was our fourth trip to a disney theme park- we had been once in 2003 and then to disneyworld in 2004 and 2006. it was also a momentous occasion, because it was to be my first time in california adventure. it was also my first time ever going to disneyland for more than a day AND, sadly, the first time in recent memory going without seeing fantasmic.

in my quest for using public transport in america, i had looked at various options for getting there without using our own car. we had thought that we would take the new bus service megabus.com and go from tempe to los angeles for ten dollars each way. and then we'd take the train from LA to anaheim for 2 dollars a piece, for a grand total of 50 dollars for transport. i was pretty stoked for this plan, but hopes were dashed as the megabus.com company didn't have any seats for the dates that we had chosen.

so, we were quite american and rented a car instead. it was a two-door, VERY basic model of a chevy- no cruise control. and as i am not yet old enough to drive a rental car without paying an extra 25 dollars a day, olli had to do the whole thing- including LA traffic. poor kid.

olli did remarkably well driving on american highways/freeways. and apart from a little detour which i blame entirely on mapquest directions and not on my excellent skills of navigation, we arrived at our super deluxe, slightly seedy days inn motel. however, due to our slight detour, i had to pee like a maniac. i ran into the hotel lobby, and crossing my legs like a four year old said, "hi, i'm here to check in, but i really really have to pee. do you have a toilet in the lobby?" yeah, i'm all class. but, since the days inn motel lobby consisted of a desk and a folding table, they didn't have a loo i could use. however, the kind man behind the desk handed me the key to our room and said i could do all the formal checking-in after i relieved myself. it was probably more self-preservation than anything else- he knew he'd have to clean up any accidents.

we started tuesday bright and early- we were at the main gates 30 minutes before it opened. so, they let us into the park at 9:45, but herded us together on main street until the park officially opened at 10. and then we were let loose. olli and i had a game plan: first, reservations at the blue bayou and then over to the nemo ride. reservations were made and then we headed to nemo. nemo, however, had the only queue in the entire park, and i wasn't prepared to wait in line. so, instead we went on space mountain, buzz lightyear (twice), the matterhorn, the snow white ride, the storybook land cruise, and the pirate ship all before noon. disneyland was like a ghost town- totally empty. and while it was nice not waiting in line for anything, it was also totally exhausting. we'd walk from ride to ride, have a thrill, and then walk right onto the next one.

we settled down for a romantic lunch at the blue bayou. and got a fantastic table, right on the water. it was lovely. if you've never done blue bayou, you absolutely must. it's pricey, but so worth it. it's just fantastic.

post-lunch we headed off to california adventure. we hit up the three major rides: soarin', california screaming (olli's new favorite, i think), and the tower of terror, my favorite. my thoughts on california adventure are as follows: i like it, but i'm sure glad i never went to that part instead of disneyland. it's not worth 50 dollars on its own.

because there wasn't any fantasmic OR any fireworks during the week, olli and i were able to leave without guilt as soon as we got too cold and tired to enjoy ourselves. so, at about 5:30 we left the park for the day in search of some quality american pizza. we passed some hole-in-the wall restaurants that boasted the best pizza in anaheim. and, truth be told, probably would have been fantastic. but i wanted straight up, mass produced, overly fatty pizza. yes, i wanted dominoes. and, as fate would have it, we found a dominoes 100 metres from the motel. we stuffed ourselves silly for about 15 minutes and spent the next four hours complaining how full we felt. but it was marvellous nonetheless.

wednesday was more of tuesday, really. the park was still totally empty and we could walk right onto every ride, but we met a friend of mine to shake things up a bit. lisa, my friend from my CSM days in LA, has an annual pass, so she volunteered to drive down, meet us, and catch up on the past four years of our lives over bread bowls and carnival rides in california adventure. the bread bowls were totally not a mistake- fabulous- but the carnival rides totally were- namely the gondola ferris wheel of death and stomach aches that i didn't quite recover from the whole day.

achieving disney saturation at 5:30 again, olli and i left for our hotel. we left anaheim at 11:00 the next morning, stopped at the outlets, marvelled at the windmills, drove through endless miles of desert, stopped at a subway, and made it home by about 9:30. hooray for disneyland!

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photo by: hannajax