We left Sunday night for Gaston's house, where we stayed the night and got up early Monday morning to go to Disneyland. Gaston had recently been cast in a local production of White Christmas, so on the way down south, we listened to the soundtrack of the recent(ish) Broadway version of the show. Then, when we got to our hotel (where we had to iron our costumes), we ended up watching that movie...I think it's called Hop? About the Easter Bunny. So we were amused that we went from Christmas to Easter to Halloween so quickly.
Anyway, Gaston made the hotel reservations while we were en route to the hotel, and we got there before our reservations did. Our hotel was right next to Anaheim Gardenwalk, which is a kind of outdoor mall type place, so we decided to kill time by wandering around there. It was pretty neat, because it had some statues with a little bit of Anaheim history. (I thought about taking a picture, but was too lazy to pull out the camera. Turns out it was better that way, because as I was taking pictures later, the camera informed me that the memory card had run out of space. That's what I get for not clearing the memory in two years.) Other than that, there wasn't a whole lot else to see. Gaston marveled at how empty the place always seems to be (he'd been there once of twice before), but since Disneyland is only like a block away (with Downtown Disney on the other side), we really weren't very surprised.
So we went back to the hotel, ironed our costumes, and then put them on to go to the party! Or rather, to go enjoy our three hours in the park before the party started. Our first stop was to check out the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, since we'd been informed that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies had a special Halloween show. What we did not know was that it consisted of an entirely new cast of Billies. We think the leader may have borne some family resemblance to the original lead Billy, but Gaston insists we're wrong about that. I like to think we're a little more observant than Gaston, but of course it's best not to make assumptions anyway. Still, those Billies have been around for a long time, so it makes sense that they'd be getting ready to pass the baton to a Next Generation...
Anyway, the show was pretty good. It's hard to judge it accurately, because there was someone in our party who was so upset by the changed cast that he stubbornly refused to enjoy the show. It's always harder to judge our own feelings on something if a very opinionated person is nearby.
The show started with a song...that I don't know what it was called...that listed a lot of cities that they'd traveled to. The Billies specifically performed it to make life difficult for the newly added element of the show: sign language interpreters. So Billy sings the verse and the interpreters are doing okay, but then he starts listing all these really obscure cities really fast. For the first round, the interpreter (there were two, but just one of them was trying the list) gave up partway through. But after that she persevered, and it was really very fascinating to watch. We also learned that apparently there are, in fact, specific signs for all the places and attractions in Disneyland (or at least the ones that were listed in the song).
Next, they said they were going to have the fiddler do something cool, but he was like, "I'd love to but I can't--my fiddle's haunted!" They were like, "Oh, yeah right," so they tested it by playing a happy Disneyland medley...and whenever they got to the fiddle solo, it mysteriously changed to a minor key. Well, when you have a haunted fiddle, the only thing for it is to perform "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." So that's what they did, and they asked the audience to cheer for the hero, because seriously, who in the audience would want to cheer for evil? Well, of course Gaston had to speak up at that point, and so, as his groupies, we all cheered for the badguy with him. Only problem is he was so distracted that he missed some great cheering spots. We would have cheered anyway, but he told us only to cheer belatedly, after he cheered. It was a great idea; I just wish it had been pulled off better.
They finished up with "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and then it was time to wander the park. We went on Big Thunder Mountain, and checked out the line to Space Mountain. Then we sat in Frontierland for a bit, and watched people go by, and were happy when people recognized our costumes.
Then we went to the hub on Main Street to see if we could get picked to be in the parade again. After talking to some cast members, who gave us varying reports on whether or not there actually had been an attendance cap this year, we found out that they wouldn't have the Grand Marshall car in the parade this year, so we decided to go wandering again, and then we encountered...
To be continued...
Today I'm thankful for getting to see Billy Hill and the Haunted Hillbillies, all the nice comments we got on our costumes, already having our pictures on the computer, having space on the camera's memory card again, and still having those yummy Werther's candies to look forward to.