Star Wars Light Side – Friday

I was wide awake at 4:30 am. Since I thought Debbie was still sleeping, I read until about 6 am. Then Debbie got up. I jumped in the shower and was mostly ready before our 7 am wake up call. Mickey’s voice provided our wake up call. We were both extremely happy we got new shoes as ours shoes from the night before were still wet. Soon after that, we headed up to the E-ticket club for breakfast.

It was nice to have a leisurely breakfast while people watching.

Incidentally, the green tents you see at the bottom of the last picture are the security checkpoint I mentioned earlier. After we finished, we went back to the room to gather what we needed which did include the GoPro. We also had to put on our ears that were custom made by Nicki.

We planned to go to early opening at DCA. We ended up getting there about 15 minutes after the early opening started.

Since we had already ridden Radiator Springs Racers, we headed over to Soarin’.

There was NO LINE!

We walked right down and got in a grouping just as the instructional messages started. I hadn’t been on this since they changed it to Soarin’ Around the World. Both Debbie and I really enjoyed this new version. Next we continued around passed the closed Rapids ride to Paradise Pier. We went to Midway Mania since it is the other normally long wait. It was only 10 minutes.

I could not believe our luck.

I love this ride.

With sore arms, we finally exited. About this time, the park officially opened. It was time for us to head over to Disneyland and check in for our tour. We passed the long line for Radiator Springs Racers FastPasses on our way. We also saw Oswald. Once we crossed the Esplanade, we didn’t have to wait long to enter Disneyland.

We made our way around to the left

and checked in at the desk.

They gave us our choice of lunch options and then told us to wait for our guide.

Shortly after, another lady explained the headsets to us and gave us each one. We talked to the other guests while waiting. We found one couple from the Carolinas. The husband was wearing a Clemson hat and noticed Debbie’s Carolina Panthers backpack. Soon, our tour guide, Jessie, came and introduced herself.

We discovered my headset was on the wrong channel and Debbie’s ear piece didn’t work. After replacing it, we were all good. The tour started. This tour is called Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps. The tour started at the Firehouse.

Here she talked about the construction and planning of Disneyland. This included the history of Walt’s apartment which is the window above the firehouse. After talking about the opening day of the park, we continued down Main Street to the Hub.

The Hub is the circular area in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It was also our first chance to see the castle. Those of us used to Walt Disney World sometimes refer to it as the tiny castle because it is so much shorter than Cinderella’s castle. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite princess so I love it even if I call it tiny.

After explaining the Hub concept and talking about opening day, we ventured into Fantasyland. We stopped at the carousel to talk about its significance in the vision for Disneyland.

After hearing about Fantasyland, we walked over to Alice in Wonderland and got to skip the line. Debbie and I were in the last car of our large group with the couple from the Carolinas. This was my first attempt at using the GoPro. I knew this was a black light ride and probably wouldn’t turn out well.

Once we got off Alice, we reassembled. Then we walked back around the carousel and into Frontierland.

We learned about the history of it including some of the original attractions that are no longer there.

Then we wandered over to New Orleans Square.

In this area, we found out all about the history of how New Orleans Square came about. It was not there when the park originally opened but was around in Walt’s lifetime, long before the Princess and the Frog. We also learned all about Club 33 which is an exclusive members only area on the second floor of this building.

I believe it started as a place for sponsors but has turned into something similar to a country club. They have a lounge and restaurant on the second floor.

We also found out about the area Walt was building for his family to use once he had lots of grandchildren and the apartment wasn’t big enough. Unfortunately, it was not finished in his lifetime. However, the initials in this terrace are a nod to the original intent.

After learning about this, we got to skip the line on Pirates of the Caribbean. Normally, this would be a huge time saver. When we rode, the line did not look too long yet. Although this is technically the same ride as in Walt Disney World, the two are very different. I once again attempted to video the experience. You can’t see enough for me to include it here.

I should explain, part of the reason for the videos is my 8 year old son. He was texting us telling us we better not ride anything he would like. I figured we’d take him with us through video.

Our group was large enough that we took up the whole boat. When we got off the ride, it was time for our one built in potty break. Most of us made our way to the bathrooms.

We met back up by the old entrance to Club 33.

If I remember correctly, after the last remodel this is no longer a working entrance. They kept the door in place for the historic value. Once we had everyone back, we made our way to the train station. Due to the Star Wars Land construction, the trains are not currently running. They did have a train sitting in the station. We all hopped on a car to have a seat during the next part of the tour.

I suspect if the trains were running you would ride them over to Tomorrowland. Instead, we got a nice walk through Adventureland.

Finally arriving in Tomorrowland.

We made our way over to what is now the Launch Bay area. Our tour was temporary interrupted but a couple Stormtroopers.

We learned about the attractions that had once been a part of Tomorrowland here but are now gone. In this building, it was the Carousel of Progress. This can still be seen at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. From here, we walked around to the Nemo submarine area where we not only learned about the boat rides, but also the history of the Matterhorn.

We walked around the Matterhorn and took a little break by It’s a Small World for a technical issue.

Jessie had it fixed in no time. We learned about the history of It’s a Small World and how that almost wasn’t the song. Then we went back out to the Hub for the end of our tour. I should say throughout this whole tour we got to hear clips of Walt talking about the park. During the last of these, one of my fellow Princess Posse members saw me. I wish I was in a better position to say hello. She spotted me because I was wearing my group skirt.

Then, Jessie led us to Jolly Holiday where our lunch was waiting.

They had everything set up for us on a roped off section of the porch area.

Debbie and I both got the Chicken Salad sandwich with chips. We both agreed it was really good. For dessert, we went with different things. I got the Matterhorn macaroon which was ginormous.

Debbie got the Chocolate cake that was really rich.

It wasn’t over the top sweet because it did have some dark chocolate. However it was rich. We wrapped up eating and grabbed our drinks. Another cast member took over from Jessie at this point. Jessie did accompany us, though. She led us back to the Pirates of the Caribbean area and to the entrance of the Dream Suite. In Disneyland, the Dream Suite is the second floor above the Pirates. We went up an elevator so we had to break up in smaller groups for the ride. This is the elevator.

Once up the elevator, no pictures or video are allowed. We did get the back story again that this was originally designed for Walt and Roy’s families but was never completed. It did do a couple things in between before being turned into the Dream Suite for the Diamond celebration. The main hallway had some concept artwork for the original space for the Disney family. I will say, some of the areas really copied that art when they completed them. The themeing is amazing. The bedrooms all have a kiss goodnight. The clock in the main sitting area triggers different things in the sitting area at different times. There is a mostly enclosed bathtub that I would be in every night if it was mine. It was domed in blue tiles and even had a way to look like you were under the stars. One bedroom was themed like Frontierland and had a train that went around the top. It was the kiss goodnight and as it passed different clusters of things, they would come alive for a few seconds. It’s all surreal. I’m sure I’ll never stay here, but I could see how that would be an over the top experience. They did take one picture of us by the fire before we left.

We exited through this door which leads to the sitting room.

Here are a couple views from that terrace of the surrounding area.

We had to get a selfie of the crowd below us.

This was the bottom of the stairs. You can see the door at the top.

From here, we walked to Winnie the Pooh. I’m not a big Winnie fan, but know Debbie’s girls are.

We were in the very back of the car.

Overall, it was a cute ride and something good for non-thrill ride people. It is also somewhat different from the Walt Disney World version.

We saw Tigger as we exited the ride.

We walked back passed the Haunted Mansion at the edge of New Orleans Square.

It was unfortunately closed. If you can’t tell, they have a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay in place during Halloween and Christmas. Apparently, this week is always the time it is closed to remove it. So, I’ve never been on this ride at Disneyland since all 3 of my races here have been this same weekend.

Next we decided to walk through Tarzan’s treehouse.

Here are some pictures of that journey of many stairs.

Tarzan’s treehouse is something that is exclusive to Disneyland. The treehouse in Magic Kingdom is Swiss Family Robinson. After exiting the treehouse, we grabbed FastPasses for the Indiana Jones ride. Debbie isn’t a thrill ride kind of person but I was thinking she would be okay. We caught sight of Moana greeting people as we wandered.

I know I’m not the only one whose wondering this… Why did they change Jasmine’s costume to be fully covered but introduce Moana with a bare midriff? Aren’t both characters showing skin in their respective movies? I’ll never get it. I understand Jasmine was having issues with wandering hands, but how does this make any sense?

Okay… off my platform and back to the recap.

Next we walked back to It’s a Small World since I knew Debbie would really enjoy it. I must be honest, I’m not a fan of the one in Walt Disney World. Luckily, the one at Disneyland still had the Christmas version open during our visit. I really do enjoy that one.

Since it was next door, we wandered over to ToonTown. Somehow, I have absolutely no pictures of this. I think it was because I was planning on coming back with my medals… which never happened.

I did persuade Debbie to ride the Gadget Coaster with me. It’s a kiddie roller coaster but does whip you around a little.

Once we got off that, we headed over to my favorite show in the park, Mickey and the Magical Map. Once again I’m missing pictures which I could have sworn I took. It’s a really nice stage show with Mickey, Mulan, Rapunzel, Tiana, and Pocahontas in it. There might be a couple other characters that I forgot as well.

Once the show was over, we decided to go back to the room to take a break and recharge. I also wanted to get some warmer clothes.

I just remembered why I didn’t have any pictures… my phone was dead. I brought the charger with but forgot the cord. So, that was another reason to head back to the room. We relaxed on the beds and I think I checked in with my family back home.

Soon, it was almost time for our Indy FastPasses. So, we headed back over to Disneyland. We headed over to Adventureland and went through the FastPass line. The wait wasn’t bad at all and it was mostly the walk through the winding line. Once again, the themeing is amazing in this. I wish I could visit with my friend Heidi because she’s an Indy fanatic. She would absolutely love this ride. I was a little afraid it would be too much for Debbie, but she seemed to enjoy it. For those DisneyWorld people, the ride system is similar to Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom.

Once we got off Indy, it was getting dark fast. We decided we were both super hungry so we started looking for a place to eat. We both decided we didn’t want burgers. We stumbled upon the Rapunzel show at the Fantasy Faire theater. We stood up just outside and were able to enjoy most of the show. I highly recommend catching one of the many shows here. They are highly entertaining, comedic, and slightly interactive.

When the show was over, we continued our quest for a place to eat. We ended up at the Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. We each got a slice of pizza and a drink.

Since we were in the area, we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

As you can see from the sign, the wait time was only 25 minutes. I honestly don’t even think we waited that long. The Disneyland version is slightly different from the one at WDW.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the guns are not mounted to the car. They have a short cord that allows you to point them where ever you want. You can still spin the car. We got stopped in the middle for a few minutes so our scores were higher than they would have been.

I was meeting one of my Facebook friends, Kristyna, soon so we didn’t have a lot of time. I decided we needed to do something I hadn’t done before (mainly because I didn’t even know it was there). So we headed through the castle.

And entered a walk through of it.

If you know me at all, you know Sleeping Beauty is my all time favorite princess. So, I just had to walk through her castle. This was one of the original attractions. It’s a lot of vignettes that go along with the story of the film.

There are book pages to tell the story just in case you don’t already know it. It does include stairs.

Here’s an example of one of the scenes.

Some of them do have movement. Especially this section.

This spear head moved back and forth in front of the window.

I had to get a picture of the back of the castle after we exited.

At this point, I needed to go meet Kristyna. I told Debbie where I had heard was the best place to view the fireworks. She confirmed and then I left her to enjoy. I walked back to my room. It was Kristyna’s birthday earlier in the week, and I had picked up a few things for her before I even knew that. I had to put everything together in the bag since I had packed it in my suitcase. She texted me when they were in the lobby and I went back down to meet her and her friend. I took them up to the E-ticket club to enjoy desserts and the fireworks with me. We gathered our plate of desserts and got a table by the windows. Soon, the cast members went around and turned off the lights. The generic music was still playing. After waiting an extended time, the fireworks did finally start. However, we did not get any specific music with them. Debbie confirmed the next day that there was not any music in the park, either. The display was nice and we had a great view. Once the fireworks were over, I said goodbye to Kristyna and her friend and went back to the room. It was going to be an early wake up the next morning for the 10k.

This is what the bed looked like at turn down this night.

I pulled out my costume and got my bib pinned on. I had a hair piece to complete this one. I had to do a few things to prepare it. Once all my things were laid out, I turned off all the lights, turned on the TV, and got into bed. I fell asleep pretty quickly. I didn’t even hear Debbie come in.

About kristincooke

I am a mother of 2 that started running in 2012. I also enjoy baking and some crafts.
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