This Disneyland trip report is brought to you by Oreo.
The trip started out with both of us being slightly exasperated, actually, because two of the people--not one but two--we invited first (the first two people, in fact, excluding Mom) had made it apparent that they really wanted to go after all. This was after turning us down the first time we invited them. One of them was like, "You can't get in until three? Then I totally could have gone!" But when we invited that person, I'm sure I must have told them that it started at three and we would have wanted to leave at around ten at the very latest. For that person to come we would have had to wait until eleven-thirty, and then we most certainly would have hit traffic, and would have been very very late. Argh.
The people who did end up with invitations, Mom and Sarah, told us to stop thinking about it, which we did, eventually, but like I said, it was exasperating. So exasperating that I felt the need to vent about it again here.
Anyway. The trip down was relatively uneventful, and we left early, so we made it with almost two hours to spare! We shopped a little bit in Downtown Disney before seeing if maybe we could check in early. We couldn't, so it was time for more shopping and lunch! We had lunch at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, which is New Orleans-themed, and has Cajun food and, more importantly, beignets. Some of our best friends growing up were from New Orleans, and they would talk about beignets occasionally. We don't remember if we ever actually had beignets at their house or not, but The Princess and the Frog made us want to eat them again. And this was our chance!
We ordered a bag of ten, and the lady at the restaurant put them in the bag, then took a big serving spoon and put three heaping spoonfuls in the bag, which she then gave to us. It was pretty intense.
I should have taken a picture of the table afterward--it was covered in powdered sugar. Oh, but the beignets were sooooo good. We're really regretting not picking up one of the mixes they had on sale. We would have tried them with a sprinkling of sugar and a drizzling of honey, like Tiana does in the movie.
After lunch, there was more shopping (we were really early), and then finally we were able to check in and get our admission, plus our credentials to get us in to the party. Apparently a credential looks like this:
(Photo taken in line to Space Mountain, where I somehow pulled a muscle in my leg.)
One of the first things we did was get a picture of Goofy!
Athena kind of wishes we had gotten a picture of Minnie, because she was having a lot of fun in her cute little witch costume.
After Space Mountain, we wandered towards Fantasyland, and spotted this in the distance:
(We went up closer to take the picture.) I love the idea of the hair wrapping around everything, but it would have been nice if they could have found something that looked better than the material they used. Like if they could get some ultra super hyper long alpha to the max nylon hair, and then painted it with varnish or something to prevent stuff from getting between the hairs. But I guess if they could have done that, they would have (at least we hope so).
Athena and I kind of wanted to meet the resident of the tower, and Mom and Sarah were pretty agreeable, so when the line was a little shorter, we got in it! Bam! While we waited, they gave us Tangled bookmarks! They're so cute! But I didn't think to get a picture. The hard part about getting things with pictures on them is that, since the thing itself is a picture, I figure we already have one. But we don't anymore, because Athena's kept falling on the ground, so she had to throw it away, and I put mine in a bag Mom was carrying, so she has it. Ah well.
When it was our turn to go into the tower (just the first floor though *pout*), we made sure to have our braids showing, and Rapunzel was like, "Ooh! Your hair is as long as mine!" And we were like, "Umm... Not quite." We know that little girls probably love to have those comparisons made, but we can take it; you can give us the truth. But we did tell her something about always admiring her hair (and my goodness, her wig is gorgeous (if a little unkempt; long wigs are really hard to maintain)). She asked if we were twins, and Athena said, "We get that a lot," and she said, "Well are you?" We confessed the truth, and she turns to Flynn and says, "Wouldn't that have been fun? To have a twin, growing up in the tower?"
Meanwhile, Flynn was being all flirty. He's like, "I always liked girls with long hair, in case you couldn't tell." They both shook our hands, and Mom and Sarah were impressed with Rapunzel, because a lot of girls don't have good handshakes, they said. Rapunzel asked if we had magical hair, too, and started to talk about her magical hair, and Flynn was like, "She talks about it like it's such a burden."
The photographer took a picture with our camera, and then one with the park camera, and before the second one, Flynn was like, "For this next one, let's all say 'blondie.'" And Rapunzel got all huffy and was like, "I'm not saying it." We were mean, though, and we all said it anyway (though we haven't seen the movie, so maybe she likes the nickname after all), and Sarah reported that Rapunzel was like, "Thank you..." in the tone of voice that says, "I hate you all."
Notice how her hair is everywhere! XD
After we said goodbye to Rapunzel and Flynn, we weren't sure if we wanted to go check out the carved pumpkins at Big Thunder Ranch or go on the rest of the Fantasyland rides. We decided to go to Big Thunder Ranch first, since that was the direction we were heading, and then come back to Fantasyland. It was a good thing we did, too, because as soon as we left Fantasyland, we stumbled upon Pocahontas!
She was even posing just like that when we saw her. (But she moved as I got the camera out because some other guests had shown up, too, so I had to ask her to pose like that again.)
Then we saw the pumpkins. Here are the two that really caught my attention.
We saw this unusual bird on our way to Adventureland:
But it refused to pose at a good angle.
After some more rides and some more shopping, it was finally time for the party to start! The villains had campaign signs all around Frontierland and New Orleans Square.
We weren't sure if they were going to announce the start of the party or not, so we sat right where we'd get the best view of Tom Sawyer's Island, which would be where they would put on a show if they were going to do that. The Fantasmic! light fixture thingies were up, and we were pretty sure they weren't going to show Fantasmic!, so we thought they probably would have a show. But we didn't want to wait there forever, and just as we decided to ask a cast member what we should do, one walked right up! He told us they would have a show to announce the winner of the election at nine forty-five, so in the meantime, we could go on rides and stuff.
The partygoers consisted of those of us who one the trivia contest on the blog, and people who one various other contests held by various radio stations. There were only about two thousand people there (it may not sound like a small number, but for Disneyland attendance, it is), so we could pretty much walk from the exit of one ride right to the boarding area of the next. Our one regret is that, while we saw the Mark Twain at port several times throughout the night, we didn't see it move at all until it left on its last haunted voyage, and by then it was too late to see what the haunted version of the tour is like. Ah well.
We went back to our place to watch the show, and eventually, we saw a parade of villains coming our way.
I don't know if it's legible in the smaller version of the picture, but Drizella's sign says, "Don't be a heel! Vote for me next time!" I was too busy trying to get pictures to notice what all the signs said, and Athena says they went too fast to register all of them in her mind, but she's pretty sure Frollo's said, "Thou shalt not burn me again!" XD
They all got on a ferry to Tom Sawyer's Island and waited and waited and waited until the show finally started (it probably took about five minutes). When the show started, all the rejected villains (the ones that were there, anyway) walked onto the stage, and then they announced the villains' campaign manager. We think it might have been better to make him something else, like a moderator or something, because having one guy run every candidate's campaign sounds like a huge conflict of interest. But anyway. He announced the first four candidates--the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, and Jafar. The costumes were all pretty amazing.
He tried to announce Ursula, but she wasn't showing up. Finally he found a bottle with a message in it from Ursula. It said something about how she's a very busy woman and she hasn't got all day; battle a prince, go to the party, life's full of tough choices, innit?; blah blah blah; I've got a ship pointing at me now, gotta go; eternally yours, Ursula. The villains started to express their annoyance when FWOOM! Maleficent shows up in a burst of flame! (Literally. It was awesome.) She gets all snippy because she... wasn't invited? I don't know; she was totally a candidate, but it was something like that. Maybe she was judging Ursula. It all happened so fast; we can't be expected to remember every detail.
The other women villains were annoyed with Maleficent, but Jafar was happy to see her (we thought that was a nice touch, since a lot of Jafar's character design is an homage to Maleficent, but then Captain Hook was acting sweet on her later; Athena thinks both of them were flirting with all of them). The campaign manager tried to bring some order to the whole thing, by asking, if elected, what's the first thing they'd do? The Wicked Queen had the best answer: I would throw you down a well! Everyone else picked up on the pattern--Jafar would throw him into the Cave of Wonders, Maleficent would throw him into a dungeon, Captain Hook would throw a cannon ball at him, and Cruella would throw them all... a great big kiss. All the villains were sufficiently disgusted by her answer.
I don't remember how it all happened. We think there was a song next. There was definitely a song; we just don't remember if they sang it before announcing the results. Athena's pretty sure they did. And then it was time to announce the results! The winner is...
Color me not-surprised. Maleficent always wins, just because she has the scariest look. (Sadly, her costume wasn't quite as "oooh"-inducing as the others. They seem to have used the Fantasmic! version, which works great for Fantasmic!, because everything in Fantasmic! is super sparkly and there's the whole light-dark contrast thing going on, but with the spotlight shining on her the whole time, it just doesn't work as well. But since this show is only for fifteen minutes on one night out of the whole year, there's not much point in making a different one. The Jafar costume came from the Aladdin show at California Adventure, and Cruella and the Wicked Queen occasionally walk the parks (the Wicked Queen is also in Fantasmic!). Captain Hook does, too, but with a full face-mask, so we're not sure where his costume came from...)
Then there was more(?) singing and dancing, only with fireworks this time! And it was all pretty darn awesome. I was too busy watching the show to even try taking pictures, but there's a photo and a video at the Disney Parks Blog. (The music in the video is not the music for the song they sang.)
After the party, it was time to head to the hotel and collapse. The way the hotel thing worked out was definitely a blessing. When naming a price with Priceline, you don't always get a hotel room for more than two people, and you can't choose, but we got two beds! This was especially happy considering the multiple times we've reserved hotel rooms with two beds and ended up with rooms that only had one. I know we could have complained about it, but usually we didn't care enough. Also, the hotel had free parking!
The next morning, we went to breakfast with Aurora, which was great because we had invited Aurora, but she wasn't able to come to the party. Then we went to Mom's office in LA to pick up a computer, and on the way back to Fresno, we stopped at Bravo Farms, which is a little touristy place that has a cheese factory, and animals to feed, and a gift shop and stuff. We liked it there so much that we're planning to go again some time when we're less exhausted.
And now here we are. Tadah!
Today I'm thankful for having two beds in the hotel room, hotels with free parking, getting to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, fun character interaction, and fun Disney villain election announcement show thingies.