Somehow that trip to Disneyland turned out to be a lot more deathful than expected. We still had a really great time--we were just inexplicably exhausted. Our best guess is that we walked across the park more than usual, it was hotter than expected, and we were breaking in new shoes. We also forgot to check our email from Monday night to Wednesday night, during which time we got and missed a new deadline. Eh heh heh... Even after we explained to our editor what happened and got an extension, we got it in half an hour late due to low brain power. Ah well.
Anyway, like I said, Disneyland was a lot of fun, but we're now having to play our Koe no Ouji-sama playlist while I write this because after everything, any silence is practically an invitation for a Frozen song to get stuck in our heads. The danger of this, of course, is that the playlist includes Love Is An Open Door. Ah well.
Gaston had a hockey game the night he came over, and as a result, he didn't arrive until after two in the morning. That may also have something to do with the inexplicable exhaustion, but we tend to deprive ourselves of sleep when we have friends over anyway. We passed the time until he arrived by watching Galavant, which I think we mostly enjoyed, but there was rather more raunchy humor than we liked. And despite the songs being written by Alan Menken, something seemed off about them. I chalked it up to a combination of raunchy lyrics and me being more cynical and jaded these days.
Anyway, we didn't know if there was going to be some sort of special show or something to commemorate the beginning of Frozen Fun, and Gaston didn't want to miss it if there was, so we tried to get to California Adventure at opening. We failed in our attempt by about ten minutes, but we didn't seem to have missed anything, so we started exploring the new "frozen" Hollywood Backlot. First, we checked out Olaf's Snow Fest. We went inside a...I guess it's like a sound stage, since it's in the Hollywood Backlot, but anyway the inside was all done up like the big plaza in Arendelle, complete with the frozen fountain in the center, surrounded by snow--or crushed ice, as Gaston insisted it really was--for building snowmen. They even had a hill for sledding. In the back you could meet Olaf, and around the edges there were souvenirs and themed food items for sale. It seemed elaborate but kind of fake, although that last bit might be because of my bias against the theme.
After we looked around in there, it was almost time for the sing-along thing to start, so we went to what used to be the Muppets Vision 3D theater to watch a show that claimed to be about the history of Arendelle. It was really just a condensed version of the movie, including almost all of the songs for everyone to sing along to, but Gaston pointed out that, as far as Arendelle is concerned, the only history it really has is the movie, so the "history of Arendelle" thing may not be so misleading after all. It's like a stage show movie combination thing, so they have live performers (the historian, her apprentice, Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa), and they show screencaps and clips from the movie. When a song comes up, the words appear on the screen, too. And for the finale, they do a reprise of Let It Go, only with Live Action Elsa (lip-syncing) instead of a movie clip, and Live Action Elsa shows off her ice powers with the help of the screen behind her and other theater lighting effects (a la Tiger & Bunny the Live).
Watching the sing-along gave us greater familiarity with the songs, which, in addition to helping them stay stuck in our heads longer, reminds me why I didn't like them. It's little things, really, but then I dwell on them and blow them out of proportion and make myself angry about them. For example, in the Forever song, Anna says she doesn't know if she's elated or gassy, and I know it's just supposed to be a joke, but we were never into that kind of humor, and it especially makes me grumpy to take something beautiful like being happy and downgrading it like that. Also, when I'm gassy, it feels nothing like being elated. On the other hand, Anna never was the brightest crayon in the box, so maybe the confusion is understandable.
It also made me think that maybe I'd figured out what was off about the songs in Galavant--they seemed to be trying to be like the songs in Frozen. Ah well.
There was some more new stuff in the animation building that I was interested in seeing, because as Terry Pratchett says, hate is love with its back turned, and despite the grumpiness Frozen inspires in me, I still want to see what new stuff is happening at Disneyland. But since we had skipped breakfast, we were all starving so we went to eat breakfast at Flo's instead.
After that and a ride on Radiator Springs Racers, Gaston finally managed to get in touch with his cousin, who happened to be visiting Disneyland with her family this week. She and her twin daughters were waiting for their hair appointment at Anna & Elsa's Boutique (because the princesses hailed as champions of feminism are so progressive they opened their own beauty salon), so we went to Downtown Disney (where the boutique is) to meet up with them. In all honesty, they have some pretty cool braid styles at the boutique, all accented with the girl's choice of fluorescent hair extensions and lots of glitter. When a makeover is complete, they try to get everyone in the salon (or at least everyone associated with the girl in question) to declare it finished by shouting "let it go," which is a practice we can't get behind.
I mean, letting go is an important thing to do, but letting it go in the sense that Elsa let go in the movie is a no. First of all, there's the whole "no right, no wrong, no rules for me" thing, and second of all, she never really lets go of anything anyway. There was no significant change in behavior or attitude from pre-song to post-song. It's the song of self-deception (although I can't really explain why without thinking about the lyrics and I don't want to do that right now), and I don't like the idea of promoting self-deception among little girls.
After having lunch with Gaston's cousin's family, who were all very nice, we split up again because the cousins wanted to do some shopping in Downtown Disney. So we went back to Disneyland in the hopes of going on Storybook Land to see how they made room for the new Arendelle addition. But the line turned out to be really long, so we wandered in search of more easily accessed entertainment. Our wanderings brought us to the Royal Theater, which was waiting until the official start date of Frozen Fun (the next day) to premiere its new Frozen play. In the meantime, it was closed entirely. So we talked to a cast member about it.
She told us the show was very good, and that it would be replacing both the Tangled and the Beauty and the Beast shows, which made us very unhappy. Beauty and the Beast is sticking around for backup, in case Anna or Elsa can't come in or something, and Tangled is gone forever. Apparently the Rapunzel wig is so heavy (25 pounds) that it would give her a headache, and make her arm go numb and stuff. Well, in that case we kind of sympathize, but of course all three of us started trying to come up with ways to make a lighter wig. Our other idea is that, since they're telling the story after the fact in each of these plays, maybe they could, y'know, have short-haired Rapunzel. Ah well.
On the bright side, the cast member we talked to loves her job very very much, and she wants to make sure everyone gets to see the new stuff. So when we said we hadn't been on Storybook Land because the line was too long, she said, "Ask and ye shall receive," and pulled out her special pad of readmission passes. So we got to wait in a short line for Storybook Land and see for ourselves how it had changed. They changed the tour guide spiel in an effort to make it more continuous. We're not entirely sure how well they succeeded, because our tour guide wasn't very articulate, but we were relieved to see that they hadn't replaced Pinocchio's village.
Sadly, they had replaced the three windmills. We actually found that out when talking to the cast member who gave us the line pass, and when I said, "Oh, yeah, because no one knows what they're from anymore," she responded sharply, "That doesn't matter!" The history is important. She said when they get more money, they'll scale back the Giant's quilt and put the windmills back. She also said they used to have a TV for all the Storybook Land guides to familiarize themselves with things like the windmill animated short, but it's sadly gone now.
I have pictures of all the place in Storybook Land, including Arendelle, which I'll post at some time in the future. I think the ice palace would probably be farther away from the other palace, but I'm happier that they didn't tear down Cinderella's castle to put it up there.
After that, we met up with Gaston's cousins again and went on a bunch of rides. Nothing really important to note, but the younger of the little twins started warming up to us and riding with us by turns, and that was cute.
The Wednesday report will have to wait until tomorrow.
Today I'm thankful for surviving that Disneyland trip, getting to go on Storybook Land, Koe no Ouji-sama playlists, finally getting to try the stained glass cookies, and getting to meet Gaston's cousin and family.