Anyway, the reason we disappeared yesterday is that we had some information that Disneyland would be "a ghost town" about now, so we wanted to go check the validity of that report. By the time we got home, we were too exhausted to do much other than watch the end of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic. Anyway, I'd say the report was mildly exaggerated, but the park was still pleasantly uncrowded. I think we're going to have to give up Peter Pan's Flight as a lost cause for ever having a short line, though. It may never be under a thirty-minute wait again.
We had a pretty good time regardless of the Peter Pan's Flight line, though. We discovered that the Bootstrappers (the pirate band) are still alive. I was beginning to wonder, because we hadn't seen them around, and there was a Disney Parks blog post the other day highlighting some of the atmosphere performers, and the Bootstrappers weren't on the list. But they were there yesterday, including our favorite Russian pirate and his pennywhistles. As usual, there was a pirate who did nothing but sing and talk to guests. He asked us if he was seeing double and then mused that maybe he should lay off the rum. So we've determined that princesses always comment on our hair, fairies always comment on our being twins, and characters of ill repute such as pirates and
The main thing we wanted to do, though, was go on Alice in Wonderland, because it had recently gone through an extensive refurbishment. We weren't sure if it was just for the facade or if they'd done stuff to the inside of it, too. Turns out they had done stuff to the inside, and it was kind of intense.
You also notice it right away. First you get in the caterpillar car, and you follow the White Rabbit's footprints to the rabbit hole, where Alice does a little narration: "...All of a sudden, I fell! Down, down..." Before, there were some plywood paintings that spiraled around of the other things falling around her, like...the stuff... Come to think of it, I never really paid attention. There was a clock. In the movie there was a mirror. ...Maybe a table? But the point is, now instead of paintings, they were projections! They looked like computer-generated 2D animation. Well, that was very fancy.
Then you run into the Doorknob, who opens the door and lets you into Wonderland...and there's a high-definition animated scene of Alice chasing after the White Rabbit! I think it was straight out of the movie, but I'd have to double check. Anyway, they had effects like that sprinkled all through the ride. The coolest one was when the Queen of Hearts shouts "Off with their heads!" and they changed the background so behind her, it had a wall of cards flying up to attack you! Like in the movie.
So it was a pretty cool refurbishment, but because we're contrary like that, of course we have our criticisms. For example, in the "painting the roses red" scene, they did a really cool thing where they'll project pain splattering onto the backgrounds, so it feels like you could get hit with red paint at any time. The problem is, the figures of the cards that are painting the roses aren't moving fast enough to justify that kind of high-speed paint splattering. And sometimes the high-def animation didn't really blend with the art style of the 3D figures. So it had its pros and cons. And I'm still mildly annoyed that...okay, there's a part on the ride where you go outside the building, and you're on a concrete walkway kind of thing. They decorated it as part of the refurb, but it kind of looks like unevenly cut plywood vines, all painted a solid color. It looks kind of cheap to me.
But anyway, it was mostly a nice upgrade.
We also caught the flag retreat as we were leaving the park. That's always nice to watch, and it makes me tear up every time! I love the old-fashioned patriotic songs.
Then we came home and were sore and tired. The end.
Today I'm thankful for having the chance to really be in this Kingdom Hearts video, getting to go to Disneyland yesterday, getting to see the Alice in Wonderland upgrade, finishing our Noragami 3 translation, and the new cheese sticks they have at the Stage Door Cafe.