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Posts Tagged ‘disneyland’

Finally.

29 (damn near almost 30) years in the making, and I finally see Disneyland at Winter Time.

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This dream coming true was made possible by my boss. He took the entire office to a Disneyland weekend Holiday trip instead of throwing a traditional office party. We were provided two day park hopper passes and two nights at the Grand Californian Hotel. It was pretty awesome.

The Lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland

The Lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland

The Grand Californian does not look very Disney inside…although I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. Maybe more Hidden Mickeys?

However, it still delivered with their usual customer service and atmospheric awesomeness. For example, every couple of hours they had carolers, actual carolers, singing acapella Christmas songs in the lobby. There are pianists that fill the lobby with Christmas music.  There is a GIANT Christmas tree all decked out in the middle, and of course, the service is always phenomenal.

  1. Have I mentioned that it was FREE?

My boss wanted to forgo the usual Holiday party and got everyone in the office a weekend in Disneyland instead. He paid for the hotel, the park hopper tickets and for those who ran into him, drinks and dinner, or $100 gift cards, or random little gift shop presents. He actually paid for a fabulous dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria (I had some extremely delicious lamb shank).

And if you have the prixe fix menu at the Wine Country Trattoria, you actually get reserved viewing for the World of Color water show. As far as I was concerned, even if we had to pay for it, the good food and great show is well worth it.

Gotta admit, that World of Color show puts the Bellagio fountains to shame. I think my jaw dropped a couple of times, and my front teeth were dry from smiling so much throughout the show.

World of Color Show

World of Color Show

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The Grin that dried my teeth.

           I also got to experience Magic Hour. If you stay in one of the Disney hotels, you are allowed into the parks an hour before anyone is even allowed to breathe in any disney air. This meant that we got on all the rides we wanted with practically no wait, and also let us get the fast passes for the new Cars Land car race before everyone else.

Then, there’s getting on Disney rides at almost-midnight. There’s something pretty eerie about rides in the dark, especially the Jungle Cruise in Adventure Land. In the daytime, all the creatures are clearly plastic and mechanical. At night, the croc swimming up to your jungle boat, looks pretty darned real. So do the piranhas. And the hippos. Uh…yeah. Creepy cool.

I also forced myself to get on California Screamin’, the one and only real roller coaster in Disney’s California Adventure. In essence, the BF made me promise that if he would be a good sport throughout the Disney weekend, I had to get on ONE scary ride. Fine.

I still refused to get on the Tower of Terror though. And in exchange, he watched the broadway-esque production of Aladdin without complaint. He liked it. He totally did.

And, did I mention that my firm hosted a CHARACTER BREAKFAST? Yeah…more cheese on the weekend of cheesy fun already! It was surprisingly fun acting like a kid again with these characters. Tigger was there…of course.

TIGGER and I

TIGGER and I

NO matter how old I am, Disneyland always delivers.

I’m glad I get to see this Winter Wonderland and cross it off my list of things to do in Life.

Character Breakfast!

Character Breakfast!

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Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be about fun, surf, barbecues, friends, frisbees, and visiting loved ones who have fallen in the wars. Not for me this year.

On Saturday, I studied.

On Sunday, I studied.

The highlight of both days? Watching Harry Potter reruns on ABC Family. I won’t deny it, I’m a huge fan even though I never got past the halfway point of the 5th book. I started law school, okay. You can’t blame me for never having finished it.

Anyway, on Monday…well, I took that day for myself. So really, I had a Memorial Day. But I did good with it.

As usual, I woke up between 7:30 and 8. I don’t usually need an alarm clock because I’m one of those weird people who just wake up. My eyes open and I can’t go back to sleep. I laid in bed and contemplated what to do with my morning of nothing. I flipped through the channels on tv, but there was nothing on. A quick check of the weather told me that it was going to be fairly warm, so I decided to tan. Hey, it’s summer. Even though it’s Bar Prep summer, it’s still summer.

I put on a bikini, grimaced at the weight I still need to lose, mentally checked myself to eat healthier and check the gym schedule, then headed down to the pool with my handy blackberry, notepad, and a couple of torts flashcards. I guess I can’t ever really fully justify a full day off. Type A personality really does get in the way sometimes.

Our pool isn’t amazing. I live in an older building in dtLA and we really only get a few hours of sunshine over the pool area because when you’re surrounded by high-rises, the only time sun really hits you is when it’s directly overhead.

I picked a spot, laid my yellow McCormick Barstow, LLP beach towel (courtesy of the white water rafting expedition with @Sigh last summer–what a difference a year makes!), popped in my headphones and listened to music from my blackberry.

It’s hot.

Needless to say, I spent about a half hour face-up and another half hour on my stomach, at which point I memorized a few elements for some quasi-intentional torts. It was so hot I actually took a dip in the pool to cool down. I did a couple of laps. I always lament that I never really took proper swimming classes. I don’t even know how to do that little dive-flip underwater. I always have to stop and turn around. Yeah, lame. I’ll figure it out one day, I swear (–> ooh! One more thing to add to my life list!).

After the brief swim, I went back to my apartment and got ready to go to Disneyland with Mushy!

Lah You

I don’t really know why I like Disneyland so much. It’s really tiring and standing in line isn’t the most scintillating thing to do in the world, but there’s just something about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve totally bought into the “Happiest Place On Earth” trademark. I don’t know. I like how freakin’ nice everyone is. Or maybe it’s the opportunity to be a kid again and be excited for no apparent reason at all.

I used to be this wide-eyed, everything-is-so-new-and-fascinating kind of person. But then I dated someone who wasn’t all too supportive of that and just made me feel gauche and lame for never having tried or done a lot of the things he had. Now, I’m very cautious about what I put my heart into and what I want to show excitement over. Disneyland just kind of makes it okay for me to skip around, eat churros, and race children half my age to get to the front of the line (shhh!).

And I’m always excited to see Tigger.

Hugging Tigger (Disney 10.2008)

Mushy and I hit Disneyland at around 3:30pm. We both have annual passes, so it’s not really a big deal that we arrive late. We have been utterly spoiled by this season pass and the iPhone app that allows you to check the wait times at all the rides. We’ve got going on rides down to a science.

In fact, we were so impressive we hit SIX rides in four hours. That’s amazing in Disneyland time, considering how some people wait almost an hour for just one ride. Our standby favorites are Space Mountain and Grizzly River Run. We also got on Mulholland Madness because Mush hadn’t been on it before, and Soarin’ Over California (because I haven’t seen it before). We went on Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

She still won’t try Splash Mountain, and it’s gonna take a lot of prodding or guilt-trips to get me back on that. Hey, it doesn’t have seatbelts!

We tried to end the night with some Daikokuya Ramen (the BEST Ramen in LA). But to no surprise, even at 9pm, the wait was over 2 hours long. We were already starving, so we headed down the street and got our fix at…another restaurant whose name I can no longer recall. That’s how disappointed I was not to get into Daikokuya.

And that, folks, was how I spent my Memorial Day.

Space Mountain

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