Speaking of Disneyland...
The original plan was to go to Disneyland with chibidrunksanzo, and I think probably also pixiepilot, since they had come to AX together, but there were expensive issues and they ended up not being able to go. But chibidrunksanzo had promised to drive us there, and she didn't want to completely bail on us, so she said she'd drive us anyway. Our automatic fear of taking people up on kind offers kicked in, so we were pretty hesitant. Unfortunately, our own financial situation is not in a kind enough place that we can afford to pay for more people's admission, so we couldn't make that offer, alas. But we decided to accept the offer anyway, and since we kept missing each other throughout the convention, it was a good time to hang out a little bit. We had fun singing Aladdin songs and chatting and stuff.
After we were dropped off, it was time to figure out our annual pass renewal strategy. Mainly, I wasn't sure if we needed to go to the ticket booth or to the annual passholder center. Fortunately, there was a guest services counter right by the entrance, so we asked them first! She sent us inside the park to the annual passholder center. It took us a little while to get there, because we're easily distracted by many things in Disneyland, but when we did, we showed them our Costco thingie thing, and they said oh, they can't redeem those here, we need to go to the ticket booth. I was really really angry about being sent back and forth like that (we had already asked!), but I guess I wasn't clear enough at the guest services counter. That's when they're supposed to say, "Wait... what?" but...
Anyway, except for the taking away of our precious Disneyland time, which was limited because chibidrunksanzo had plans with another con friend and thus we had to make sure to catch the bus back to the hotel because we didn't want to be wandering around downtown Los Angeles in the wee hours of the night, our trip to the ticket booth was quite painless. There wasn't even a line! And the guy there was able to print up our new passes on the spot (so we didn't have to go back to the AP center), and! because we renewed the one pass through Disneyland before it expired, we saved $20! Wao!
And to top it all off, we made it back into the park just in time to catch Mickey leading the Disneyland Brass Band down Main Street. He was very cute dancing to Under the Sea.
Skipping ahead to Pirates of the Caribbean, I noticed for the first time that the recording telling you to keep hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the boat at all times also says remember, no flash photography. Thinking about it now, that may not be so new, but it was the first time I noticed it. I didn't remember having too many problems with flashes on Pirates (that sounds a little wrong...), but I figured that with the new(?) warning, I would have even fewer.
So it probably comes as no surprise that one of the guys on our very boat had a camera with a very bright flash. It was blinding! Aaaahhhh!! Not only that, but someone on the boat ahead of us was taking flash pictures, and someone on the boat ahead of them was taking flash pictures! It's easy to notice on Pirates, because the ride is very dark.
One of the things we really wanted to do was go on It's a Small World again, because one, we like it, and two, we needed to confirm if we were remembering correctly that they stuck a nose on Jiminy Cricket. Also, when we were talking with Steve's kids about it and pointed out that Tink wasn't flying around with Peter Pan, they said they'd thought she was, so we had to check on that one, too. It turned out that our memories did not fail us, and that actually made us sad and tired. I mean, it's still really fun to spot all the Disney characters, and we know that they're all stylized, but stylizing Jiminy Cricket doesn't really require the addition of a nose that was never there. We just keep thinking of that bee in the very first Pixar short and wondering if he was a bad influence on the doll design.
We also noticed that, with the addition of the Tribute to America room, there's no representation of the east coast. We were talking about it with Gaston at Han & Leia's wedding reception, and he was like, "Nobody cares about the east coast anyway." But he did pause when we pointed out that, despite having native Americans, there was no Pocahontas. I wonder if she's going to go the way of Brer Rabbit...
And much as we love The Little Mermaid, we're sad that the old mermaids got replaced. I just imagine the main one leaning against a swim-up juice bar, hammered on pineapple juice, ranting about the good old days and how she was a star until this little tramp shows up and gets to take her place just because she has a movie.
So that actually made us a little tired. And with all that in mind, we headed over to Pixie Hollow. The line wasn't too long, so we decided it was time to finally check it out. Now, I said we forgot our beef with Pixar when we were talking to our friends at AX, but It's a Small World had reminded us. And Pixie Hollow... well, it didn't make things too much worse, at least. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: Tinker Bell is a very cute movie and we like it a lot, but it has some world-building issues. And for those of you wondering what that has to do with Pixar--since Disney bought Pixar in 2006, John Lasseter has been made creative consultant over... just about everything (including Imagineering, which is why we connect him with the changes to It's a Small World). And we have a completely unsupported theory that less attention was paid to world-building details because Tinker Bell is a "girl movie."
But since the line, though short, was still a line, we had some time to discuss before going into the hollow to meet the pixies, and of course we brought up the most obvious question: if the garden fairies paint the flowers from paint made out of berries, then where do the berries get their color? And then we realized--we were going to meet the fairies! We could ask them! We had actually heard from some friends of a girl who auditioned to play Ariel that they put potential characters through a rigorous test involving standing them in a room and asking all the kinds of crazy questions any kid might come up with to ask the characters who don't have masks and thus can still talk. So if the higher ups had considered this question (when we brought it up with our home teachers one time, one of them suggested that Lasseter had been bombarded with it and would be like, "I know, I know, I've heard it all before"), Rosetta (the garden fairy) should have an answer.
We didn't know at the time that you only get to meet two pixies at a time, and of course one of them will always be Tinker Bell. The people in front of us in line had their cute little daughter dressed up in her light fairy outfit, and we had a little debate because the queue area has statues of all the main fairies from the movie (except Vidia and Bishounen Fairy; apparently evil fairies and boys don't count, which is dumb), except there was one fairy in the shadow of a rock that we were having a hard time identifying. By process of elimination, she should have been Iridessa, but what would the light fairy be doing in the shadows? Also, she was wearing a one piece dress with a short skirt, while the little girl in her Iridessa costume was in a two piece outfit with a long skirt. Also, they had met Iridessa the previous day, and she was wearing a long skirt then. But the statue also had that annoying sunflower seed (seriously, why?), and it would make a little amount of sense that they put the light fairy in the shadow so they could light her up especially fancily at night. So we were pretty sure it had to be Iridessa, but when we checked all the Disney Fairies merchandise at the exit, sure enough, she was in the long skirt in everything. Finally, we came back later (it was where the nearest water fountain was after we got off the monorail) and checked the back of the DVD, and she had the short skirt and annoying sunflower seed in the screencaps, so we were satisfied.
Anyway, back to our venture into Pixie Hollow. One of the attendants thanked the little girl, saying, "Thanks for bringing out the sun, Miss Light Fairy!" which was really cute, except that (Athena points out) the light fairies capture their light when the sun comes up. They can't make the sun come up and get their light from it at the same time; it's paradoxical. But we also don't remember if that bit's true, so really we shouldn't rant about that until after checking.
We were next, and we got to chat a little about AX with the attendant while we waited. Apparently he's friends with some dancing ninjas.
It was finally our turn, so we went into the hollow and right there was Rosetta! We would get to ask our question right away! (I want to point out here that when we first asked about Pixie Hollow soon after it opened, one of the attendants explained that they sprinkle you with pixie dust, and that shrinks you down small enough so you can hear the fairies talk, but there was no sprinkling of pixie dust. It's just as well, though, because pixie dust makes things fly; it doesn't shrink them.) Anyway, Rosetta was absolutely adorable. I told her right away that I was going to ask her a hard question, and she listened very attentively. I was a little sneaky in my lead up, though. I hesitated when I said, "And they make the paint out of..." because if I could get her to say berries first, she couldn't go back on it. And then I sprung my question on her!
And she put her hands on her hips and tilted her head and said, "You know, I don't know!" It was so cute. After some thought, she said, "I suppose they're born that way." (Incidentally, Rosetta has a southern accent, which makes this even cuter.) Then I said, "But don't berries come from flowers?" and that stumped her. I told her to just say, "I don't know; I just paint them," and she said, "Oh, I see." And then the attendant took our picture and we went off to see Tinker Bell.
Tinker Bell was leaning against a mushroom and scowling. It was great. I said it looked like she wanted to go spend time with Peter, and she said, "I want to go spend time playing in the water!" and I was scandalized! How can Tinker Bell not be interested in hanging out with Peter!? But I guess we can forgive her, because technically she's "pre-Peter" Tinker Bell. Then she noticed we were twins and seemed to get excited, saying, "So I guess you're twins?" And we responded with our usual, "We get that a lot." She didn't seem to like to be messed with, but we're twins. It's what we do. If she really is a twin fan, she should know that. But she was a good sport, inasmuch as you can expect Tinker Bell to be a good sport. And the attendant took our picture and we were on our way. We had lunch at Red Rocket's Pizza Port, and that made us very very happy.
Since Space Mountain was right there, we thought we'd go on that next, but we got to the entrance only to find a group of cast members turning people away because the ride was temporarily broken down. Bummer. But we had decided that, since it had been forever and a day since we'd been on Autopia, and it was also right there, we would go on that. So we got in line, and it was moving pretty smoothly for a while until it wasn't. For like ten minutes, we were just standing there. Ten minutes actually isn't very long, but for a ride where they're constantly putting people in cars and sending them off, it seemed odd. Eventually, a cast member came out and said there had been an accident. They didn't know what happened yet, but they were going to evacuate us. That was pretty strange, because we'd experienced being in line for Space Mountain and Indiana Jones when they broke down, and they usually make you wait for like twenty minutes, and then they give you the option of staying if you want. This time, they just made us all leave. Also, we're not entirely sure what can cause Autopia to stop working.
Well, we had decided to ride the monorail anyway, so we guessed it was okay. But when we got on the monorail, they said there would be a delay because of the accident on Autopia. The Monorail's track does go over Autopia, but the rides are independent. Autopia breaking down wouldn't affect the monorail... unless there was something they didn't want the guests to see? But we'll never know, because we saw nothing. Actually, we saw some people walking along the Autopia track and not covered in blood, so it probably wasn't a big deal. We just have a little too much fun speculating.
We did eventually get to ride the monorail, and after spending a little time in Downtown Disney, we came back to the park and... did some more stuff...? We made sure to head back to the pin shop in New Orleans Square because they have little boxes containing two pins from whatever collection the box says, but it's a surprise which one you get! We're suckers for those kinds of things, and we didn't get any grab bags at AX, so we were determined to get some mystery pins. That and we wanted to change the pins on our Jedi Training Academy hats because the ones we have now are Pixar. It's dumb, I know, but still. We got a box from the heroes & villains collection, and it had Simba and Pete! I'm excited to get more, but alas, we are impoverished right now. And also not at Disneyland.
Then we had to steadfastly ignore the celebration party parade thing that was going on as we left the park to catch our bus. But it was right there at the stop, and not only did we not have to wait for it, but it didn't leave without us as we waited for the stoplight to let us cross the street! We had entertained thoughts of screwing up our courage and taking a late bus so we could see the new Fantasmic! stuff, but we ended up being very glad we didn't. Because of something going on at the Staples Center (either AX or the Michael Jackson stuff; we're really not sure, but the bus driver called it a freak show, so...?), the driver had to take a detour right around where we wanted to get off! Fortunately, she was very nice and let us know when we were at our stop (which was the first place after the detour), but the sun had just gone down, and we weren't sure how far it was to our hotel. Our hotel was pretty tall, but so were the other buildings in the area, so we couldn't see it at first, and it was a little scary. Fortunately, it was only like a block and a half... or maybe three blocks away, but it was really close. And we made it back to our hotel room without incident and played Kingdom Hearts until bedtime.
And then we came home, and thus ended another great trip to Anime Expo and Disneyland.
Today I'm thankful for adorable pixies, not being on Autopia when the accident occurred, friendly bus drivers, having our passes renewed, and finding the strappy thing for the camera.