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Alethea & Athena
Season of the Force 
21st-Nov-2015 03:46 pm
Well, we've finally done it. We turned in our Noragami translation, including some new and tweaked notes, and I think we've gotten all the Noragami out of our system. ...Well, not out of our system, but we've made it through our Noragami to-do list, including writing a long review of the volume we just translated. I'm kind of impatient to post our review of volume eight, but I think we'll still make it wait its turn.

Anyway, now we can finally post about the trip to Disneyland we took on Tuesday, assuming we can remember any of it. But they've got some new stuff going on, so it might be worth talking about. But it might be kinda slow as I walk myself through what happened on Tuesday.

We got to Disneyland at about noon, and since we still had time before checking in for the annual passholder anniversary party, we headed over to Tomorrowland to take a look around at how they dolled it up for the Season of the Force. The first thing we noticed was that the Stormtroopers were wearing new helmets, which means shouting "Down with the Empire!" is no longer relevant. We couldn't remember what we were supposed to be shouting "down with", so we just let them go by unmolested. (We later found out that it's like the First Order or something? But we figure we ought to wait until we see the new movie before we make any judgment calls about them. We're planning to adamantly Not see it on opening weekend, so there's no telling when that will be.)

We walked by Hyperspace Mountain, and the line was miraculously short! (Only 40 minutes for a new Space Mountain experience!) But we wanted to make it to check in for our party without having to worry, so we mistakenly chose not to take advantage. We did get fastpasses, though, and then we went to Red Rocket's Pizza Port to see what Star Wars menu offerings they had. They had a bunch of stuff with vegetables that we promptly forgot because ew vegetables (I found an article about how to overcome that, and I keep meaning to share it on Facebook because we need some help with it, but not wanting to take the effort because we're so busy), and they also had some kind of Wookiee-inspired cheesecake that looked really good but we do not like cheese in our desserts. But most importantly, they had a parfait called Darth by Chocolate, which looked indeed very chocolaty. The bottom was inexplicably red, so we thought maybe they added strawberry sauce, like how they had strawberry gelatin in the Black Widow parfaits, but then there was a cast member there who saw us inspecting it, and she informed us that it's red because it's red velvet. What. Definitely gotta get us some of that.

But not right now, because we're still exploring. So we continued to explore the outside of Tomorrowland, and walked by the place that used to be a hat shop but now sells nametags with your name in the Star Wars special alphabet thingie. We thought hey, we could use some nametags! but if they don't have our names in a legible font they'll be useless, but if we get them with different emblems people can tell them apart by color anyway, but neither of us wants the Empire symbol (or is it First Order now), and the Star Tours logo is boring, so we really should just both get the Rebel Alliance symbol, but that would defeat the purpose, but can't people tell by the fact that Athena's name is one letter shorter anyway?, and who cares it's just a fun souvenir and if nothing else we can wear them when we're enjoying Disneyland with friends. So we ultimately decided to get some.

But not right now, because we're on our way to check out the check in situation. We went to Frontierland, where check in was supposed to be, and saw nothing in the way of check in...ness. So we went on the Jingle Cruise instead! It was pretty much the same as other Jingle Cruises, so I don't really have anything to say about it. By the time we got off the ride (about half an hour later), the check in booth had been set up, and there was a line stretching all the way to the Royal Theatre. So we got in line twenty minutes before check in even started and once again cursed the camp-out mentality that has somehow made its way into our culture. On the other hand, we didn't need the gratuity, so there was really no reason to get in that line. But on the bright side, we now have two more Disneyland 60th Anniversary backpack thingies, as well as some Paint the Night postcards.

Then it was off to California Adventure, because we knew it was going to be a cold night, and we wanted to try some cocoa floats from Ghirardelli's before the chill started to set in. And the verdict is...! They were alright. The milkshakes are better. But now that we know chilled cocoa is a thing there, we're going to ask if we can get chilled drinking chocolate, because that would be The Best (I assume).

We hung out in California Adventure for a while and then it was about time to use our fastpasses, so we finally got to experience Hyperspace Mountain. And the verdict is...! It was alright. We'd have to go on it again to know for sure. We figured we'd have plenty of time to do that during the annual passholder party, when there should be fewer crowds.

But as for how Hyperspace Mountain works. First, you go through the line where you're always passing by monitors that explain The Mission. We're supposed to go help the rebel forces attack the Star Destroyer Jakku (we like to call it Jack, but technically it's pronounced ja-KOO), but be careful because the flight can feel like "a high-speed, turbulent roller coaster in the dark" (<--the safety spiel for regular Space Mountain). When you get on your space ship, they check your safety restraints, and then send you up, at which point the main Star Wars theme starts playing in the speakers behind your head. One of the awesome things about Space Mountain is the music that plays along with the ride, and how it matches what you're doing...only it didn't match so much with this one, because they started playing really tense rebel battle music when you're still making the slow climb up to the top of the roller coaster. It drove me nuts, because the music was telling me exciting things were happening RIGHT NOW, but the motion of the roller coaster car was telling me not so much.

Anyway, the way Space Mountain overlays work is that instead of just being in a giant dark room with disco balls making stars all over the place, they show projections on the walls at key places to make you feel like something is going on. Like with Ghost Galaxy, there was a space ghost chasing you all through the ride, and if you kept facing forward, the projections were timed just right so, for example, it would seem like the ghost was just about to grab you, or it's climbing on the track that you're about to turn onto. So for Hyperspace Mountain, I used the Ghost Galaxy experience to remind myself to keep facing forward, that's where they designed the show to take place.

But they tricked me! For Hyperspace Mountain, they don't only have music playing through the speakers, they also have your fellow pilots communicating about what's happening. And more than once, you hear somebody say something like, "They're on my tail!" The second time that happened, I thought, "Oh, maybe there's something behind us!" So I turned to look behind me just as they introduced a cool new effect that made it look like TIE fighters were shooting at us...from the front. Sigh.

Also, the music wasn't as nicely coordinated, as previously mentioned. I wanted to bring it up again, because once you break out of hyperspace (part of the trip up takes you through a long tunnel that's perfect for launching effects, like the ones you get in a jump to hyperspace...which would be more perfect if you went up the tunnel quickly, which of course you don't, but I can't think of a better place to put the hyperspace jump, either), you immediately hear Admiral Akbar say, "It's a trap!" and I think that's why they had the tense music playing prematurely. I don't understand why it's so important to have him say that line everywhere. (We also recently watched a Studio C sketch that insisted on quoting that line.)

But the laser effects were cool, and they kept getting cooler and cooler as the ride went on, so by the end, you're like, "That was awesome!" even though it's not that awesome at the beginning.

After that...stuff happened. I don't remember the order of everything, but I do remember that we had dinner at the Galactic Grill, which was offering more Star Wars themed menu items. We went with the boring Cheese-3PO burger, because the First Order burger and the Jedi Order burger were waaaaaaay too fancy for our picky tastes. But they put sauce and onions on the burger we got, so next time we're thinking of going with the even more boring Han burger (it's on the kid's menu and comes plain). We were adventurous enough to try the fancy new beverages, the Dark Side and the Light Side. The Dark Side is just strawberry lemonade, so no worries there. The Light Side is apple lemonade with yogurt-flavored pop-boba "meteors". And most importantly, they each come with a light up thingie--Dark Side has a Death Star and Light Side has a Millennium Falcon. They were both pretty good. The yogurt boba blended nicely with the tangy lemonade.

We didn't get dessert at this time, even though the Galactic Grill also had Darth by Chocolate, because we wanted to get it at the Pizza Port, and we wanted to save it for later because of our new "avoid starvation mode" strategy of preventing headaches at Disneyland. So off we went to enjoy the rest of the park while we waited for the regular hours to end and the passholder party to start. It was fun. We went on It's A Small World Holiday, where I discovered that, with my camera on the right mode, I can take some really good pictures even without a flash. This is GREAT news for when we go to DisneySea. So the third or fourth time we're on Sindbad, we can take pictures to show people.

But we also had a really bizarre experience on the ride, because our boat just stopped, right in the middle of the ride. We were going through the Africa room, and I was noticing that we seemed to be going awfully slow, and then we weren't going at all! Other boats came up behind us and got stuck because we were blocking the way. It was so bizarre! We don't know if it was the big boat pileup, or if it was our own efforts that got the boat moving again. We did like a lean-forward-really-fast thing over and over again until the boat made it to the next set of water jets to push it forward. We're just a little bit sad that it worked, though, because we were kind of hoping to see what happens when they have to send people to rescue you. Maybe next time we'll be less assertive.

And we went on Indiana Jones twice, and got to go through the Observatory of the Future both times! This was exciting because the Observatory of the Future is by far the most interesting of the gifts of Mara.

Finally, we watched the fireworks from the Rivers of America, which was nice. Without the projections to distract us, just looking at the fire in the sky, it's really a pretty nice show.

And then it was time for the party to start. They had a dance party at Fantasy Faire, which was interesting because it had guys on stilts and jugglers (sometimes the same person), and they had a ton of characters from Cinderella--Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, the Fairy Godmother, and the Duke's assistant guy who carries around the pillow with the slipper. It was also weird, though, because they were playing super modern Christmas music, like, "All I Want for Christmas is You". It didn't really match the ambiance. We stayed and watched the performers for a little while, and then we realized we hadn't been to Fantasyland, so we went on some ride there. The Peter Pan line was still as long as ever. This was frustrating, because you'd think that at an exclusive party the crowds would be a little smaller, but no, they were pretty average for the most part.

The exception was that some lines were a LOT longer than average. (Although we did manage to almost walk on to the Winnie the Pooh ride.) We went to Tomorrowland to see if Hyperspace Mountain might possibly be a viable option (it wasn't), and then, since we didn't really care about anything else anymore, we figured we might as well get our parfaits and go home. Of course, the lines for the Galactic Grill (the Pizza Port was closed, despite event reports that it would not be) were also several times longer than usual, so we waited approximately forever...to find out they had sold out of Darth by Chocolate parfaits. Boo! Boo, I say! Fie! Fiiiiiiiie!

And then we went home. But before we left, there were a couple of things that made us feel better. First, we stopped in the restroom on the way out, and for once it wasn't super crowded--it was empty. Yay! And second, they were handing out Christmas tree ornaments at the exit. Those two things assuaged my seething anger, and we had a pleasant, if tired, walk home. The end.

Today I'm thankful for getting to go on Hyperspace Mountain, getting to go on the Jingle Cruise, getting to try out cocoa floats, getting to ride the caboose on Casey Jr., and figuring out how to set my camera so it can take nice pictures without a flash.
22nd-Nov-2015 02:32 am (UTC)
I always always love your Disneyland posts! When I was a kid, I think my goal in life was to go to Disneyland, but it wasn't one of my parents' goals, I guess, because we never went (either that, or, most likely, we just didn't have the money to go). I have never been to your California one (or, sadly, to California), but I've been to Disney World in Florida three times. Have you ever been, and is the Magic Kingdom there the same as Disneyland? (I've been told that it is, but I suspect that yours may be more expanded, since you have Indiana Jones, and other things I can't remember, and I know that Indiana Jones is in a different area in Disney World). At any rate, I haven't been there since 1999, so I'm sure a lot of things have changed. Last time, I was brave and I went on Space Mountain, so I was interested in hearing about Hyperspace Mountain (that, and the fact that like almost everyone else in the known universe, I'm a Star Wars fan, and I'm old enough to brag that "I saw it when it first came out in the theaters!"). However, I am also afraid of heights, and afraid of roller coasters, and I thought I'd be okay because it is in the dark, but I saw a flash of the tracks during the first part, and that was it - I kept my eyes closed through the whole thing, after waiting in line for SO long. *sigh* People never get over teasing me about THAT! Hee. I feel like you might understand, since you don't like certain foods and avoid them, but I'm not sure if that's quite the same as having a fear of them.

Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, if I ever do get to go to your Disneyland (and California!) I will perhaps get to meet you! But the chances of that are slim unless I win the lottery, and I very rarely buy a ticket, so the chances are slimmer still. ;)
22nd-Nov-2015 03:52 am (UTC)
We're glad you like them! Sometimes I worry that the ramblings are really only fun for us. We would love to go to Disneyland with you! It would be so cool if you could come one day and we could go on the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour! (Even if it's unlikely, it's still fun to dream!)

We have not been to Disney World, much to our chagrin. We keep thinking we ought to go, but as soon as we get some money saved up, we buy video games. From everything we've seen and heard about it, we're pretty sure that the Magic Kingdom is very similar, but not the same. Like they don't have a New Orleans Square, so Pirates of the Caribbean is in Adventureland. We've also heard there's a lot more walking than at Disneyland.

There is nothing wrong with closing your eyes on Space Mountain--it's in the dark anyway, so you're not missing much. We totally understand, though. It was a long time before we would go on any of the roller coasters. In fact, it was years before our parents could convince us even to go on the Snow White ride (it's called Snow White's Scary Adventure; why would anyone deliberately experience something that bills itself as scary?). And there's one roller coaster at California Adventure that we have never been on and still refuse to try, so you're not alone in disliking roller coasters.

Anyway, I hope our description of it was easy enough to follow! Sometimes I get carried away with tangents or the idea that everybody's heard all about it, so I might leave out important details.

No worries about rambling; we really do love your comments! And if you're interested and ever have some time to kill, we have some very detailed reports on our trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea from back in 2008. We're going to go read some right now, because Facebook failed to entertain us sufficiently. The first one is here, and then you can click on the link to the next day at the bottom. But of course I feel a little too self-important suggesting that someone might want to read our old reports, so no worries if you're not interested or don't have the time (they're long; we love talking about Disneyland).
23rd-Nov-2015 03:41 am (UTC)
I will go and read your Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea reports when I get time. I AM very interested. ^__^ Thanks!

Oh! Concerning my icon, I also love your description of food anytime, anywhere, (*G*) but especially at Disneyland. The things you try always sound so yummy!

I am happy that you find my (sometimes long) commentary interesting, and also that you would want to go to Disneyland with me! I love that I have friends of all ages online! When I first came online, many years ago, I had some people make a quick exit when they found out how old I am, especially those in the anime/manga fandoms. I do understand, but I'm glad that I don't have that problem so much anymore, if at all.

Edited at 2015-11-23 06:43 am (UTC)
23rd-Nov-2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
We hope you enjoy them!

Aww, thanks! You're making me want to finally upload pictures. Right now, we're still at a point where the busyness trumps that desire, but maybe someday...

Of course! We love to take people to Disneyland, especially people who really like Disney (as you seem to) and people we like (like you). Man, those people who bailed on you don't know what they're missing out on.
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