We had a lovely time at Disneyland, though. It was a rainy morning, but not super rainy, and that probably didn't actually affect the crowd turnout one way or another, because these days, the "off season" really means "any day of the week but before 10:30am." Once you get to about eleven the crowds start to get ridiculous, but at any rate, whether the rain had anything to do with it or not, the park was relatively uncrowded, and it was beautiful. So we went on Indiana Jones, and then we went through Tarzan's Treehouse, which was especially nice with nobody around, because we like to take our time and look at all the displays, and that's a lot easier to do when there's nobody else there. It reminded me how much I like Disney's Tarzan. About halfway through, some other people started coming through, and of course they caught up to us we stop to look at the displays for a long time, but that turned out to be nice, too, because when we were in the room where you can watch Jane sketching Tarzan, one of the groups that caught up to us was a bunch of Japanese tourists, and they kept gasping and pointing things out in delight, and it was very heartwarming.
We pretty much just wandered around the west side of the park and went on all the attractions that were open until we got to Splash Mountain, at which point we turned around. But the point is, we had an odd experience on the Haunted Mansion. It happened just as we were leaving the attic--the ride stopped, which is not uncommon in the Haunted Mansion. We sat there watching the Hatbox Ghost do his thing, and the woman riding in front of us had her phone out taking pictures, with the flash even though flash photography is not allowed on the Haunted Mansion. And as the spotlight thingie shined on the Hatbox Ghost (getting ready to take the picture), we got to see the blank mechanism thingie that they project his face onto, and we got to see when it wasn't there, but the scary thing! was that right as she took the picture of his blank face, all the sounds and some of the lights shut off. She killed the Hatbox Ghost.
Okay, so it probably wasn't her fault, but the timing was pretty funny. We had to wait a while for the cast members to get the ride moving again so we could get off, but they never did manage to fix the sound, so we rode through the entire graveyard scene in silence. Or it would have been silent if we hadn't been talking. Anyway, I think that's the spookiest ride I've ever had on the Haunted Mansion.
We went on Big Thunder, which took us high enough to get some interesting views of the progress on Star Wars Land, and then we went to Fantasyland to see if there was anything with a not too long line. There wasn't, because the people who are up early enough to get to Disneyland at opening are the people with small children, so they're all in Fantasyland. Not only that, but Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Tea Party, and Storybook Land were all closed because of inclement weather, so people let momentum take them to It's A Small World, making that line longer than it normally would have been. (It said it was only a 15-minute wait, but the wait time estimates had been off all day, and it looked longer.) We did go through Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and this time it inspired us to make our own version of it. Y'know, someday when we have time lol.
The crowds were starting to pick up by then, so we wanted to get some ice cream and hightail it out of there, but the ice cream shop wasn't open yet (as if people don't want ice cream for breakfast on a cold rainy morning? please), so we caught a show at the Tiki Room first and then went back to the ice cream parlor. Why was it so important, you ask? Because the night before, one of our acquaintances who works at Disneyland posted a picture of a sign advertising the return of Fantasia ice cream. I had had Fantasia ice cream only once in the past, but I loved it, despite having to pick out all the cherry halves. It's cherry, banana, and pistachio ice cream, and I remember thinking it was delicious, and that my hands smelled like pistachio ice cream for the rest of the day, and it was lovely. So naturally, now that it's back, we had to have it again!
As we discussed the ice cream with the cast member who took our order, she caught on to the fact that I had eaten it before, and said, "Wait a second, you might want to have a sample of it first. The guests who have had it in the past say this one is different." Sure enough, the banana flavor was way stronger than anything else. So instead of each getting our own scoop of Fantasia, we ordered one double scoop of Fantasia and chocolate, so we could each have half a scoop of Fantasia, and some chocolate to make it all better. Upon further analysis, we determined that this one was more watery, or more crystalline? More like a sorbet than an ice cream. The original was definitely an ice cream. And the pistachio flavor was nowhere to be tasted. The whole thing tasted like tangy bananas. Or rather, it tasted like water with a tangy banana aftertaste. We were disappointed. I feel like Disney is taking everything that I loved as a child and remaking it to be less lovable (by me). See also: the "live action" Beauty and the Beast film (I'm thinking of writing a post where I take apart the whole trailer).
So we went over to California Adventure to buy this year's Lunar New Year shirts, we went on the Little Mermaid ride (this time I decided it could have benefited from live action reference, but for all I know they used some), and then we went to buy some of the pins Mom is collecting before heading home. Turns out that particular set of pins was sold out all over the park, and the cast member who told us about it has no idea if they'll ever get anymore. So that was also disappointing, but we're optimistic about that one.
Then we came home and got to work, and we're not getting nearly as much work done as I feel like we should, but we're getting more done than we normally would, so I guess that's something. In the meantime, we opted not to stay for the fireworks show, which is the revival of "Remember...Dreams Come True." That was the show they designed for Disneyland's 50th anniversary, which was by far the most spectacular and amazing fireworks show they've ever done (we can't decide whether or not it's "the best," though, until we see "Believe...There's Magic in the Stars" again). And we have very mixed feelings about it, because saving seats to watch that show was a nightmare even before the Madness started. But that show was awesome, so we want to see it again. But we don't want to be a part of the Madness. But that show was awesome, so we would like to see it again. But the Madness. It's a dilemma.
But it doesn't matter for now, because we still have work to do. (Not that we're going to do any more work today, but the point is we have too much work to worry about going to Disneyland.)
Today I'm thankful for getting to go through Tarzan's Treehouse when there weren't a lot of people behind us, those first couple of hours when Disneyland is relatively uncrowded, getting the Year of the Rooster shirts, Every Second Counts, and perceptive and thoughtful cast members.