Monday was a bit of a difficult day, in that we had to wake up at two in the morning. Mom wanted to beat LA traffic to get to the office in Beverly Hills, and leaving super super early was the only way to do it. But we had a nice time talking on the way down south, and the ride was actually quite pleasant.
We arrived at Gaston's apartment around six, and soon headed out to California Adventure! We got there before the park opened, which was nice, but there were already people lining up to get World of Color fast passes! Oh no! That meant no hanging out at Disneyland until the park opened, because we didn't want the line to get so long that we didn't get any passes!
So Athena and Gaston got in line while I went in search of a guest services cast member and information! When I found one, she revealed that, while the picnic lunches were sold out online, they had some that you couldn't buy until two pm the day of the show! We actually sort of knew about that, but we weren't sure if they might go ahead and sell them to people over the internet if demand was big enough. It meant waiting to see the later show, but we decided it would be more fun to do that and spend the couple of hours until California Adventure opened going on rides at Disneyland. And eating breakfast. None of us had eaten, and Athena and I had already been up for six hours.
Now I'll just skip ahead to when we went on the canoes! Gaston hadn't been on the canoes recently enough to remember them, so we decided what the heck, let's go on them. We usually avoid them because they require Work. That's right--the canoes are actually guest-powered. But the guides make it amusing. This time our guide explained the rules: 1)Never stop paddling. 2)Never ever ever stop paddling. 3)No intentional splashing. He also advised us to watch the person in front of us, so we could match them. "If they stroke, you stroke. If they miss a stroke, make two strokes. If they miss two strokes, throw them out of my canoe. They're useless."
There were some dangerous rapids that we ended up "accidentally" steering into. The guide said we must have made Eric (the guy in the back making up for all the rest of us slackers) mad. And he showed us how dangerous they were--look at all that white water! (This is where he used his paddle to splash around. Sadly, the water wasn't all that white when he did it. But it was still funny.) When we got to the part of the Rivers of America where people could see us from both banks, our guide told us he was going to sit down to help because now his boss was watching, but don't break the rules, because he has eyes in the back of his head. He calls them Eric.
As we came up to the dock, he said we were almost there--it was just around the river bend! We started singing, and he looked surprised and said, "Nobody ever gets that joke!"
Also on the canoes (actually before we started paddling), they like to sit everyone two-by-two, and since there were three of us, Gaston ended up sitting next to someone from the party behind us. She introduced herself and asked where we were from, so Gaston asked where she was from, and she said Roswell. So Gaston asked if she had any strange powers, and she said yup, she could turn all that water red. Gaston was like, "Hey, I knew a Jewish guy who could do that. What was his name...?" Then she said to wait while she got out her Kool-Aid packet! XD
The rest of the afternoon was fairly uneventful--mostly just attempts to get out of the sun and heat, all of which failed until we went into the Opera House on Main Street. Oh! But we did get to ride the Silly Symphony Swings, which was fun. Anyway, after Gaston revived, we went back to California Adventure, where they were in the middle of one of their Glowfest presentations. We're still not exactly sure what Glowfest is all about, but part of it involves changing the Hollywood Backlot area into the Bollywood Backlot area. They had a troupe of dancers do a pretty intense routine, choreographed by a Bollywood choreographer. It was pretty cool.
As for the other part of Glowfest... well, I don't know how many of you might have been thinking, "Y'know, I really love Disney, but I wish--I really really wish with all my heart--that they would have more drunken raves," we think your dream may finally have come true. They had set up a few bars, I guess, selling alcoholic beverages (the martini glasses had stems that light up, which was actually pretty awesome), and everything was all in fluorescent colors, and when we walked by after World of Color, it looked like they had some go-go dancers on some miniature stages they had set up. (We didn't stop by to check it out, because we were pretty tired.)
Eventually we met up with Alice, and that's when we decided to buy some popcorn at the candy store. Why not wait until we were leaving? Because with any purchase, an annual passholder could get a pair of spectroscopic glasses! Neat! Some cast members had told us earlier that they were supposed to "enhance" the World of Color show, so we figured if we wanted to try them out, we'd better get them before we saw the show. As it turned out, wearing spectroscopic glasses at night in a place that has lights all over the place is not the safest thing in the world.
See, what spectroscopic glasses do is this: when you look at a light source, it acts like a prism, so you see a bunch of rainbows surrounding it. (We used to get them at Natural Wonders when we were little.) So when you're look at about a hundred light sources all at once, basically all you can see is about a million rainbows. So we kind of think that by "enhancing" the show, they might mean it in the same sense as "enhancing" brownies. We decided against wearing them, but I did try them for a split second, and our theory about our vision being buried in rainbows wasn't too inaccurate.
Anyway. As for the show itself. Oh. my. goodness. Like whoa. It was unbelievably amazing. Thanks to our fast passes, we managed to end up viewing the show from almost as close to the show as you could get. The only downside was that the show is so huge that only a part of it filled our vision, and it was hard to catch everything. But even if we had been further back, there was still so much to see that we wouldn't have seen it all anyway. Seriously, it was intense.
Of course they had fountains that light up (the basic description of the show is a water/light show), but these fountains did all kinds of crazy things. They had this effect where the water would create... not quite a mist; the particles were a little bigger than that... but then they'd shine a laser on it, so it looked like there were colored sparkles hanging in the air. And they had some fountains that would make the water bloom like flowers. And they had flamethrowers! And these weren't ordinary flamethrowers that just shot up a puff of fire. They would send up a whole column that would move, like the fire bar things in Super Mario Bros. And the great and not-so-great thing about all of it is that I can describe them and you still won't have any idea how incredibly awesome they are until you see them for yourself! (Good because now they're not spoilers; bad because it's impossible for me to describe the full extent of fantasticness.)
Unfortunately, the show had some flaws. I call them "storytelling issues," but I don't know if that's appropriate, since it's basically a montage/medley/whatever. There were some parts that dragged. For example, there was one part where all they did was project the part from Finding Nemo where Dory is speaking Whale. Out of context, that's a lot less funny, and it's a lot of talking with nothing else going on. Not only that, but Whale is a veeerrrrryyyyy sssslllloooooww language, which only drags everything out even more. There was another part that dragged when they were replaying Buzz and Woody arguing about whether or not Buzz could really fly. Both of those scenes may be really popular, but when they're in the middle of a show where the whole point is super awesome water/light spectacularness and there's none of that going on, my mind starts to wander.
On the bright side, the Buzz and Woody argument led into a really cool laser projection of Buzz fighting Emperor Zurg. But since this was basically a montage/medley/whatever, they really didn't need the argument to lead into it. In fact, they could have just transitioned into it from the WALL-E part, but then I guess there wouldn't have been as good a place for the "To infinity and beyond!" thing? I don't know.
Then there was the part after the forest spirit from Fantasia 2000 showed up. They just showed a river for what felt like a reeeaally long time as you heard Pocahontas singing "Just Around the River Bend" (we bet it won't be long before canoe paddlers start to get that joke again). We heard her singing, but we didn't really see her. We figured they were waiting for the big "I look once more!" part, where she'd show up with a big splash! But they had rerecorded and rearranged some of the music, and this was no exception. The big "I look once more!" part took extra long to come, and when it finally did, Pocahontas was waaaaaay in the distance. Kind of anticlimactic.
Another complaint was the Lion King part. It's like, "Oh wow, there's Scar! And there's the stampede! Ooohhhh noooooo!!" They had these spotlight thingies that were coming at the audience like a stampede, but a little too slowly to make it feel like we were in any danger, which I guess might be a good thing for the little ones? Anyway, then they had Scar say, "Long live the king!" and Mufasa falling to his death! And all the lights went out for a second and you just hear Simba going, "Dad? ...Dad?" And then the lights come back on and you see the scene where Simba finds Mufasa's body and snuggles up next to it... and it cuts to a scene of Bambi and Thumper in the forest. What!? I mean, I see the connection, since the Lion King was compared to Bambi, what with the parent dying and all, but there was no sign of Bambi's mother anywhere! And did they have to leave us with Mufasa dead? With all those awesome effects, they could have had the scene where Mufasa shows up in the clouds and says, "Remember who you are!" That would have been so amazing!!! Boo.
Eheh. Those are the major complaints, but seriously, the show is incredible. There was one part that was just so incredible I was speechless for a second. Strangely, I can't remember what it was, but that's good because now I won't be overeager for it to come the next time we see the show (whenever that will be). The "Friend Like Me" part was excellent. They used the Ferris wheel to add accents and punctuation, since there are lights all over the wheel, but they didn't overdo it, which was great. And sometimes the water shot up even higher than the Ferris wheel! And that wheel is gigantic! And oh the sparkles... So many sparkles... Nine out of ten, I'd say. Or maybe an eight, if that will motivate them to do better next time (or fix this one!).
After the show, we went back to Gaston's apartment and all went to sleep. And boy did we need it. The next day, we went to a place a pin trader had told us about the last time we were at Disneyland. Across the street from the famous Mann's Chinese Theater is the El Capitan theater, where we used to see Disney movies when Mom and Dad felt like giving us an extra special treat, or when we begged them relentlessly. It's big and fancy, and before the movies start, they have a really cool stage show that we always liked to see. Well, according to this pin trader, they recently opened up a soda shop right next to it, and they have super-limited edition pins there. Well, the pins sounded kind of cool, but the soda shop sounded even cooler, so when we decided the heat was not good for a few more hours at Disneyland, we suggested going there instead!
It was really neat--just like the soda shops you see in the old movies, or movies that take place in old times, like the '50s. I specifically thought of an old Disney cartoon where Goofy and/or Donald was stranded in a desert, and they find an oasis with a genie running a soda shop. They make ice cream sodas and malts and freezes and... it was cool. But expensive! Boo! We decided against getting the sundae that comes with a different limited edition pin each month, because this month it was a Buzz & Woody pin and we weren't interested. If we had been thinking clearly, we would have gotten it anyway for its super tradability. Instead, we got ice cream sodas! With chocolate-flavored soda! That was an interesting taste experience. It was like drinking tangy carbonation with a chocolate aftertaste.
When we finished our sodas (Gaston got a freeze), we headed back to Gaston's apartment, and then eventually to Gaston's sister's dance classes, and then home.
Today I'm thankful for the super amazing awesomeness that is World of Color (though I think I agree with the one guest services cast member who said she liked Fantasmic! better), getting to see World of Color, getting to check out the Disney soda shop, neat little World of Color reusable bags that came with our picnic lunches, and Summer Nightastic spectroscopic glasses!