Our Disneyland associate (for the purposes of this entry, we'll call him Han) picked us up at about seven, and informed us that he wanted us to go through the giant box of photo prints in the backseat and choose which ones we wanted for our birthday presents. We seem to remember him saying two each, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us, so we're going to have to make sure. Anyway, we didn't go through it then because we were on our way to Disneyland, so the box is now in our living room. We started going through it around lunchtime today, but then Mimsy decided that it would be fun to sit inside the box. She was very cute, though, and just the right size.
We informed him that we decided we were too selfish to spend our birthday money on him and his fiancee, and he said okay with a hint of resignation in his voice. We went on to say that we weren't too selfish to get them a wedding present, so they could still go to Disneyland if they wanted. He laughed at that, and I wondered if we had done something wrong, but then he said he had been to Universal Studios once, and there was a reason he hadn't been again. So he and his fiancee (for the purposes of this entry, we'll call her Leia) came to Disneyland with us.
When we picked her up (he originally planned to pick her up first, but then he was running late, so he got us first because we lived closer to him), she said that yes, she remembered us, and we were like, "Um... but we don't remember you! We're sorry!" And she said that's okay, she tends to remember people better than most, a talent which has scared several people who had forgotten her. I thought about it and realized she might have been the girl who came to see Beauty and the Beast with us when Han took us to see the stage version Gaston was playing the Beast in. We had gotten it into our minds that another girl was that girl, so the whole thing has gotten really confusing in our heads, but oh well is pretty much all we can say about that.
The conversation led to us talking about how we remember facts better than people, like the one time we and our friend from middle school were talking about the rumors for Sailor Pluto's dub name, and for the one name, we said, "That's your mom's name, isn't it?" and he said, "What? How did you know that?" Well, he had told us. And after that little anecdote, Leia said, "Just so you know, I love Sailor Moon." Actually, there are several people in the ward who are passing Sailor Moon fans, and Han had told us that a friend of Leia's was completely obsessed with anime, so we weren't very surprised until Han suggested listening to some of our music. He told Leia it was all Disney, and we said that's not true we have a bunch of Japanese music. And then Leia talked about how she loves driving around with her friends with the anime music blaring. That's how we knew she was a fellow otaku. Yay!
We talked some more about anime (her favorite of all time is Ranma1/2), and we learned that she had a friend edit videos for her so they could watch the more mature stuff without all the really really bad stuff, and Han asked if it was one guy, and she said no, it was Kevin Slater. And that was like super crazy, because that's the exact same name of the guy at BYU who lent us a bunch of anime videos. And his DVD player. And his modified Playstation. It really is a small world after all.
Eventually we got to Disneyland, where we got our Birthday Fun Cards. There are some restrictions on them, so they give you a little piece of paper reminding you what they all are, and it's all very legal sounding, which makes it pretty intimidating. Except that it made sure to refer to the gift card as Birthday Fun Card every time. While they printed out Han and Leia's one-day passes, we asked if we had to use the cards today and learned that they never ever expire (er, until you use all the money on them anyway), which is especially good because we ended up not doing any shopping. That's what happens when we have people with us--we always assume they'll get bored shopping and so we don't go in stores so much. Silly, really, considering last time we went to Disneyland with Han and our other associate, they were the ones looking around the clothing store on Main Street.
We told Han and Leia that they could go off on their own if they wanted, but they chose to stick with us, which was pretty fun, too. On the way there, Han told us that Gaston was really sad to find out that we were going yesterday, because he had already taken three days off this week and couldn't take off any more. Apparently we're the top people on his list of Fun People to Go to Disneyland With. That information gave us warm fuzzies, but also made us nervous about next time Gaston meets us at Disneyland, because we'll have Expectations to live up to. But he's even offered to take us to Disneyland any time we want to go, like he'll pick us up at the train station and let us stay at his and his wife's apartment instead of a hotel. We may be taking advantage. Or we may be too afraid of imposing. We'll see.
Our first order of business was to get churros, because we decided that it's very important to keep ourselves not only well-hydrated, but well fed. And then we went on Star Tours, where I sat in the back right corner. It was the perfect place to see the pilot, so I decided to watch him instead of the movie screen. He didn't really do anything that required more attention than what I'd already seen him do out of the corner of my eye previously. But I did notice for the first time that he turns the seatbelt light on when you go into the field of comets, but he forgets to when you face the Death Star. He must have been too excited to remember. Athena pointed out how incredible it is that every time we try to go to the moon of Endor, they've built another Death Star. No wonder the economy is failing.
We went on the Matterhorn and in one of the tunnels, we noticed that the ceiling had torn away, revealing some rafter type thingies made of wood. That was pretty interesting. I wish I could describe it better, but at this point I'm just mentioning it so I can remember it at all.
Then it was off to It's a Small World, to finally see these changes everyone's been talking about. (And by everyone, I mean us.) We were pretty excited. It took a while before there were any changes to be noticed, which was a little sad, because the ride starts out at the North Pole, where they could totally have Kenai or someone from Brother Bear. We guess they can only have characters from popular movies. Lame.
So the first thing we noticed was when we were getting close to England, and there, flying above everybody, was Peter Pan! Yay! I immediately looked for Tinker Bell, since she's like surgically attached to Peter, but she was nowhere to be found. Not yay. But it's possible I missed her, since other characters had their sidekicks. Alice was there with the White Rabbit, and then in France was saw Cinderella with Jacques and Gus. And as we passed by, we heard "Golden Afternoon" and "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" playing under the It's a Small World song. That was pretty neat, but Athena's worried that they've taken out the part where all the can-can girls say, "Ooh la la!" which is just super fun.
In Italy, we were really excited to see Pinocchio and Jiminy! Except that Pinocchio had strings. They put him in a puppet show type thing, which is very fitting, but his whole thing (you may remember the song) is that he has No strings to hold him down. They should have put the French and/or Dutch puppets next to him so they could have strings, while he remained stringless. The other problem we noticed was that Jiminy had a nose. Or at least we both seem to remember seeing a dark green bulb on his face. But Jiminy is a cricket, and crickets don't have noses, least of all Jiminy Cricket. We thought about it later and Athena remembered a certain Pixar short featuring a bee that had a nose similar to the one we remembered seeing on Jiminy, and we wonder if someone's memory accidentally overlapped the two. Not Cool. Any cosplayer worth anything knows to check the picture before finalizing stuff. Surely professionals working for Disney can do the same.
In Asia, we saw Aladdin and Jasmine being super cute. There's already a bunch of flying carpets in the Middle East area, and I thought they'd just join the caravan, but apparently they're too good for that, and they're all by themselves, just hovering. I wonder if Carpet gets bored doing that. Abu would jump out of a pot. It was very cute. And then of course Mulan was in China, flying a Mushu kite, and Mushu was standing next to her. Mushu gets represented twice and yet no Tink. Hm. She was in her armor, and we're not sure why they would have made that choice.
Latin America was devoid of Kuzco, which was sad, but it did have all three caballeros, so that made us happy. And then Ariel and two of her sisters replaced the mermaids in Oceania. Much as we love Ariel, we're sad that the other mermaids got booted. It's not like they did anything wrong. Nemo and Dory were there, and Lilo and Stitch were surfing in Hawaii (again, the original surfer apparently got axed), and then they moved the rainforest (something we noticed during the holidays) so they could have a United States room. They had some Native American dolls in really pretty costumes, and some... rancher? dolls that were cute, and of course Woody, Jessie, and Bull's Eye. We're not sure how we feel about them adding a US room, because they'd never had one in all the decades of It's A Small World's' existence, and I figure they probably did that on purpose. Also, the style of the song for the room was country, which makes me cringe.
There was one thing that took me a while to notice, so I'm not sure if it's really the case, but I hope it's not. They seem to have turned down the vocal track, so you can't hear the kids singing the lyrics hardly at all until you get to the last room. Come to think of it, I distinctly remember hearing the Japanese dolls singing in Japanese (because I started singing along, little show-off that I am), so it might really have been my imagination.
So overall, we have mixed feelings about the changes. We were really excited to see our favorite Disney characters (I forgot to mention Timon, Pumbaa and Simba in the Africa room!), but... yeah.
I thought I would write about the whole day, but I've been here for a while now. I guess the whole thing is kind of rambly. Anyway, there were a couple things I still want to talk about in depth, but I'm going to save those for tomorrow.
Today I'm thankful for having an awesome birthday at Disneyland, no expiration dates on the Birthday Fun Card(tm), getting to see the changes in It's a Small World (we should have looked for a survey person so we could talk about it to them), the lines being all pretty short (except for Peter Pan's Flight, sadly, but we went on it anyway, and it wasn't super long, just long), and oh right! all the birthday wishes we got from everybody. Thank you all so much!!