:: Monday, March 28, 2005 ::
Yay, I'm home. After arriving at the Los Angeles airport at noon on Friday, my sister picked me up and we drove to USC, where she is considering going for college. We walked around USC and took pictures. It's a really pretty campus, and it was nice to see students wearing t-shirts and shorts on the warm day. Yay for SoCal.
We had lunch nearby, and then we drove to the Brea Mall, where my sister wanted to go shopping. She had been there before on a band trip, but it was my first time at the mall. I saw a lot of cool stores, but it wasn't terribly different from anything in Boston. There was a Disney Store, however. It didn't have that much cool merchandise, though. Lots of children's clothes.
We then started driving towards the Disneyland Resort, but we serendipitously passed by the Disney Character Warehouse in Fullerton, so we stopped by to check out what was on sale there. I had heard about this store, but I didn't know where it was... what a coincidence we stumbled upon it. I found a really cool Pluto t-shirt, as well as a fun Mickey Mouse Steamboat Willie key chain. We then drove to Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort to have dinner. We had Mexican food from Tortilla Jo's. We then saw the nighttime "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks. So beautiful! We then drove to our hotel room and stayed for the night.
Saturday morning, we got up bright and early to go to Disneyland! Yay! Our first ride was the new Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, which just opened last week in Tomorrowland. It's a slower-moving "dark ride" based on the Buzz Lightyear character from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story films, and it is interactive because the vehicles have laser guns you can use to shoot at targets in the ride scenes. They take your picture in the ride, and this time instead of selling it to you at an exorbitant price, they have little kiosks (I love that word) where you can e-mail your picture to friends!
Here's my sister and me on the new Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters!
We then went on a bunch of other rides, from the classic Matterhorn Bobsleds to the thrilling Indiana Jones Adventure. Since this summer will be its 50th anniversary, Disneyland has been preparing by freshening up its rides and adding new things. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room just reopened a couple weeks ago from a major, nearly year-long refurbishment, and the show was dazzling. It had been looking very dusty in previous years, and now everything is in working order, looking as good as it did when it opened in 1963. The Haunted Mansion also got a couple of new special effects, and they were amazing. Also, the castle had been repainted, and it looks brilliant. Speaking of repainting, Tomorrowland is getting a new color scheme! Instead of the un-futuristic earth tones, the land is getting new white and blue paint. Yay for that.
In the afternoon, we hopped across the plaza to Disney's California Adventure. I hate Disney's California Adventure, and each time I go, I am, once again reminded of how much I despise that "theme" park. I'll concede that it does have a couple of fun attractions, though, such as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (which just opened last year), the California Screamin' roller coaster, and the Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular stage show. So we saw the Aladdin show and rode Tower of Terror and California Screamin'. We then headed back to Disneyland proper to have dinner and check out the nighttime entertainment. We saw the fireworks show (currently the short and low-tech yet still dazzling Fantasy in the Sky – they'll be putting in a huge new fireworks spectacular this summer for Disneyland's 50th). Then, we saw the amazing Fantasmic! nighttime show.
Because it was such a busy day being spring break and the day before Easter and all, they added a third Fantasmic! performance at 11:30 after the 9 and 10:30 shows. We caught the last show, and the park was surprisingly empty during that time, so it was almost like a private performance of the show. We saw it from such a great location and didn't have to be bothered by people crowding around or pushing. We then did some shopping and left the park. Yay for Disneyland. I can't wait to go back. Things are really starting to look up for Walt Disney's original theme park, and I can't wait to see what more things are going to be added in the future.
Oh! I forgot to talk about all the mullets I saw at Disneyland! I swear I saw a hundred people with mullets at Disneyland. I seriously want to take pictures of them all and then publish them in a book called "The Mullets of Disneyland." What is it about Disneyland in particular that attracts people who have mullets? You'd think that, with this being Southern California, people would have better fashion sense, but noooo.
On Sunday, we slept in and then went back to Downtown Disney to the World of Disney store, where I got a t-shirt I wanted to get but missed the day before. We then to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Express at Downtown Disney and for a snack got beignets (I hope I spelled that right!), the New Orleans deep-fried dough treat that's covered in powdered sugar! It was so amazingly sweet. I'm going to have to go on a diet now after consuming that much sugar and oil. In the early afternoon we left to drive home to Morro Bay. On the way, we stopped by small Danish village Solvang to get a kringle pastry. At home, I unpacked and had dinner. At night, I went to visit my grandparents at their home.
Today, I ran some errands, helped my parents by going to the bank, worked on my website, and watched some random TV and movies. It was kind of boring and quiet, but that's the way home is. Hopefully I'll be doing a bit more starting tomorrow!
:: SL 9:35 PM [+] ::