Now, eight seems like an odd time for the park to be opening in mid-October, since the park never opens earlier than eight, and it usually only opens at eight on the most crowded days, and October tends to be part of the slightly less on season. But when we went to Disneyland on Tuesday, we got there after the time the crowds start to pick up...and we were still surprised by how crowded it was. The line to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was an hour long! And there was another line just to get fastpasses! I mean, I'll be the first to say that the crowds are getting out of hand these days, but this was just ridiculous. According to Farley, who likes to ask guests where their from, most of the crowds were the result of Arizona having a "fall break" this week. Apparently the whole state figured that would be a good time to cross the state line and go to Disneyland.
So we all decided we didn't want to deal with it anymore, and we fled. Our original plan was to flee to California Adventure, but Farley told us that while Disneyland was at 80% capacity, California Adventure was at 88%. It was madness! So we gave up on that idea and decided to hang out in Downtown Disney for a while, partly because we didn't want to leave the fun entirely and partly because there was food there. We got some pretzels at Wetzel's, and then we realized that oh yeah, they recently opened a hat shop. We were about to go check it out when we noticed a bunch of people crowding (but it wasn't nearly (not nearly) as big a crowd as the ones inside the parks) around what turned out to be a magician.
He was about to do his last trick of the set, and he was a mostly silent magician, so he held up a sign asking for a $100 dollar bill. The other side of the sign promised it would be returned. Nobody gave him one (of course), so he asked for a $50 instead. I think there might have been a taker on that one, but the magician politely declined and pulled out a sign asking for a $20. When he finally got the bill, he called up a kid from the audience and asked him to write his name on the money. I think that's illegal, but I don't know. Anyway, the magician then folded up the money and put it in a tiny envelope. Then he took out another tiny envelope and he switched the envelopes around and around and asked the kid to guess which envelope had the money. The kid guessed, so the magician took the other envelope and put it through a portable shredder. Then he opened the other envelope...and it was empty. Well, hm.
So the magician was going to fix it and he and the kid made some hand gestures and banged on a little table like it was a drum, and there was a covered platter on the table that they banged on, and the magician opened it up and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He unfolded it to find...an IOU! Oh no!
Something had gone wrong with the trick. A robotic voice came on over the speakers and introduced herself as Gerry, I think, and said she was a magic assistant and was going to figure out what went wrong so the magician could fix it. This would require two adult volunteers, and when the magician pulled some people onto his makeshift stage (it was a rope on the ground marking the stage from the regular ground), she informed the magician that the first volunteer liked sunsets and walks on the beach, and the second volunteer was angry to have been pulled onstage and was contemplating ways to hurt the magician when it was all over. But she had figured out that they needed to do an ancient magic dance in order to fix the trick. So they did some silly moves that ended with doing the Robot, and then she said that that actually had nothing to do with the trick; she just wanted to see if they'd do it. And now she'd figured out what went wrong, so I guess she went into "magicians only" mode and the magician continued the trick.
He pulled out the IOU and continued to unfold it, revealing the completed message, "I O U a snack." So he called the kid back up from the audience, then got out a little box. Inside the box was an orange. The magician cut the orange open...and there was some money inside! He let the kid unfold the bill to reveal that it was the very same $20 bill that the kid had written his name on before. Tadah!
So that was pretty entertaining, and then we went to look at hats. This store was pretty cool; it had hats for everyone! It had baseball caps and fedoras and all kinds of ladies hats and hats with cat ears and top hats and fascinators and steampunk hats and hats like the ones Minnie wears on Buena Vista Street and caps with rhinestone American flags. Seriously, something for everybody. It almost makes us want to get into hats, but it also made us realize that hats are expensive.
Anyway, after all that, we went home and watched Waking Sleeping Beauty.
The next day, we tried Disneyland again, but because most of the crowds were from out of town, and not locals with annual passports, the early morning thing wasn't quite as effective as usual (although maybe I shouldn't blame the out of towners; I saw plenty of AP holders, too). But the only reason I even bring it up is that we had the oddest experience on Pirates of the Caribbean. It had been broken down earlier in the day, but it was up and running again when we got off the Haunted Mansion, so we went on it! We had a rather pedantic discussion about the alligator/crocodile in the swamp at the beginning, and whether it was an alligator or a crocodile and stuff like that, and that's why we didn't notice anything to be amiss until we got to the talking skull before the ride starts in earnest.
The problem was the skull wasn't talking. His mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out! Gaston said he was trying to read his lips, and we started doing a Lassie sort of thing: "I think he's trying to tell us something! What is it, boy?"
Then we went down the drop and Gaston was the first to point out that hey, wasn't there supposed to be singing at this point? Clearly something was wrong with the audio. So we decided to make up for the loss, and tried to say all the lines and stuff, which is how we realized that we don't have the ride memorized word-for-word. (Actually, I already knew that.) We thought we could manage when they were trying to drown the mayor for information, because those lines really stand out, and I was looking forward to trying my hand at the auction, but it was right around then that they fixed the problem and all the sound came on all at once. It was a striking difference, and it really emphasized just how much is going on in that ride audio-wise as well as visually. That Walt Disney, he was all about the detail. It was fascinating going through without the sound, though. Maybe a little eerie.
When we got back to the unloading area, Gaston asked if we could go again because of the sound issue, and the cast member asked the rest of the boat, "Do you all want to go again?" and the people behind us had also seemed perturbed by the lack of sound, so they said yes, so we all went again, and that was especially nice because by then the line had gotten a lot longer.
It is a mystery, though. Why would that kind of thing happen?
After that, we used our fastpasses for Space Mountain, and then we fled the madness once more. Gaston went home, and we got back to work.
Today I'm thankful for the fascinating experience of getting to go on Pirates of the Caribbean without the sound, managing to finish our work today without working overtime (the book finally got actiony! yay!), the monster mash flavor being back at Joe's Italian Ice, having a store full of neat hats, and Page once again being adorable.