Monthly Archives: February 2012

Construction and Corndogs

Well I finally, finally made it back to the park today! Twice, actually. I mean, Theo and I went to the park for a couple of hours this morning, and then once I got home I checked my phone and had a text from a friend saying, “Hey, me and your other friend are at Disneyland, wanna meet up?”

Seriously. Right as I walked in the door coming back from Disneyland.

And I was so proud of spending quality time with Theo that I stayed off of my phone basically the whole time. And then, as it turned out, it wasn’t quality time after all. Theo wanted to go on Small World but the wait was a bit long and he was being really antsy, so I said no. Then he wanted to go on the Jolly Trolley in ToonTown, except that the Jolly Trolley doesn’t actually move or go anywhere anymore, unfortunately. He got to play in ToonTown but didn’t get to ride any rides.

So when we got home, Kevin asked him what he did at Disneyland, and he said, “Mommy said no rides. Got time out.” Way to make me look like the bad guy, kid! And for the record, he did NOT get a time out, he was just threatened with one when he wouldn’t get back in his stroller. But if you followed his logic, it was pretty much the worst trip to Disneyland ever.

Whatever. That’s what you get with a 3-year-old.

Anyway, here’s a picture:

Right above the East side entrance arch

I figured I needed to throw a picture in there. That’s the Lilly Belle, the private train car I didn’t even know existed until I started this blog.

February and March are generally a good time to come to Disneyland. The crowds are low, except on holidays like President’s Day. However, the drawback is that you can run into a lot of things down for refurbishment.

They did finish up the Jolly Holiday Bakery back in the building that used to be the Annual Pass headquarters called the Plaza Pavilion. In exchange, they shut down the Blue Ribbon Bakery:

With a giant tarp too, talk about shut down with extreme prejudice!

The Carnation Cafe and the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor are also shut down. They both will be returning, but the Blue Ribbon Bakery will not.

Let us hold a moment of silence for the Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Feeling better now? Yeah, me neither.

They also blocked off the opening of the Penny Arcade

I have no idea why

Really, I don’t. I don’t think it’s part of the Carnation Cafe expansion, but I suppose we’ll know soon enough.

Probably the biggest refurb going on at Disneyland right now is the Matterhorn.

Does the real Matterhorn have scaffolding?

This is a major refurb, with everything from re-doing the exterior to replacing the bobsled cars.

Yes, I said replacing the bobsled cars.

Back in the old Matterhorn you sat in your bobsled car with another people sitting between your legs. I mean, it was awesome for Date Night and all, but a bit awkward with your friends. The new sleds have individual seating for 3 with two sleds per vehicle. This should increase the ride capacity (yay!) which means quicker lines (yay!), but less opportunity for groping. I believe they are also fixing the track to be less jerky and bumpy (a welcome improvement) as well as the abominable snowman (or snowmen, as the case may be). What’s not changing is the fact that the two sides are slightly different, with the Fantasyland side being better than the Tomorrowland side.

Insider tip there. If you go when it’s actually open.

Anyway, other than the refurbs, I also wanted to point out one of my favorite eating establishments in the park.

Yes, I consider a red cart to be an "eating establishment"

The Corn Dog Cart is found on the hub at the end of Main Street. The corn dogs are hand-dipped, which makes them delicious but also takes them longer to cook, so you end up with this:

There were actually more people in line but I was getting funny looks so I had to pretend to photograph something else, and then I just got this shot and called it a day

I also think the Corn Dog Cart is one of the best values for your money at Disneyland.

And I'm not talking about the $2.79 bottle of water

Corn dog and chips? Pretty good!

If you don’t feel like waiting for the cart, however, you can get the exact same dogs over at the Stage Door Cafe¬†which is usually faster and less crowded.

And that rounds up our miscellaneous pictures for the day!

Court Des Anges

New Orleans Square is such a lovely place to walk around. Little details everywhere are just delightful.

So it makes me feel incredibly guilty that I’ve spent so little time there in all my time at Disneyland. Although that’s what this blog is for, right?

For example, I had no idea this existed.

Court des Anges!

 

Tucked away close to the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean (and speaking of feeling guilty, because as many times as I’ve ridden Pirates, I’m pretty sure I never turned my head left coming out of it) the Court des Anges is a cute little courtyard.

With a staircase

 

If you enter the Court and turn around, it looks like this

People subject to change without warning

 

To the left of the Court sign, there are stairs and a few doors

Also, lights

 

The main staircase, which is pretty much the focal point of the Court, starts out looking like this.

Potted plants and everything!

 

The steps continue

Up up up

 

To a Cast Members Only door up at the top.

There it is!

And unlike many of my other entries in which I kind of flail around pointlessly, I can say that this is actually part of Club 33. Ha! I knew something! I think.

But speaking of knowing things, or not knowing them as the case may be, partway up the stairs there’s one of those thingies that’s a recessed half-circle with a little statue of something.

In this case, a little boy

 

And I’m sure there’s a name for this type of thing, but I have no idea what it is. Anyone?

Also, much like Main Street, you can do various fictional things in this Court.

Like take music lessons

 

I’ve often thought that it would be awesome if some of these things were real. Like if you really could go to the dentist in the shop by the lockers on Main Street. I mean, I would totally do that. Or take music lessons or something. How cool would that be?

 

L’Ornament Magique

Let’s hang out in New Orleans Square for a while, okay? There’s so much to see in there, and to be completely honest I’ve most often just blown through there on my way out of Pirates of the Caribbean (which, by the way, they renovated to widen the exit–badly needed!). Anyway, for those who love to stop and pay attention–smell the artificial roses, as it were–New Orleans Square is the place for you.

And among the shops in New Orleans Square is

*Blurry people not included

L’Ornament Magique sells, shockingly, ornaments.

I know–I didn’t see it coming either.

It's a princess tree!

Now I have to say, Disneyland was a little disappointing on the ornament front this past year. We’ve got a few Disney ornaments but didn’t buy a Disneyland one because we couldn’t really find one that struck us as THE ornament.

Plus we got one from the Mouse-in-Law AND from the cruise, so you know, it’s not like we were hurting for mouse ears or anything.

For a while they had these princess ornaments that were just the princess dresses. Like all pink and blue and yellow, etc. just the dresses. Which was not inherently a bad idea, but the execution was, well, it looked like an execution. You sort of had these disembodied dresses hanging around that were frankly quite creepy. You almost expected another tree of severed princess heads.

Ew.

Oh, back to the shop!

It’s small.

The picture up there is one side,

And this is the other

Like the rest of Disneyland, the details are fully realized. Looking up:

I'll have a blue Christmas without Disneyland ornaments

And I’ll be honest here, the ornament shop is not my favorite. It’s tiny and the displays are a bit overwhelming. But if you’re looking for an ornament year-round–well…

Port Royal: Curios and Curiousities

Back over to New Orleans Square, we have the Port Royal shop.

Look, Ma! It's a mediocre cell phone pic!

The Port Royal is located in between the place where you get gumbo and clam chowder, and the exit of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Port Royal also has the rest of its name, so here’s a picture

Almost as good of a picture as the last one!

The Port Royal is primarily devoted to dead people, specifically the Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion merchandise. I believe at one time (and I know someone will correct me if/when I’m wrong), that this merch used to be at Le Bat en Rouge, but Port Royal is a larger store, and dead people are apparently a big seller.

Skeletons and Skellington

Apropos of very little, when I went to the Mouse Next Door with my friend Lyn a few months ago, we hit up the Animation Academy and learned how to draw Jack Skellington.

I’m telling you, my artwork rivals that of any preschooler. It actually makes me feel better that I’m only slightly more talented than my just-turned-3-year-old. In another six months he will likely exceed my skill, and I’ll go back to having depressingly low self-esteem.

But continuing on that tangent, because I know you care, I actually took and Intro to Design class at our local community college to get over my fear of my own art. For some reason, my instructor was extremely into fish, so basically all of our projects were fish-related. I did get an A, but it did not solve my fear of art, and perhaps even exacerbated my fear of artistic fish.

But I digress.

Anyway, like all of the other shops in Disneyland, but particularly in New Orleans Square, the decorations are even better than the merchandise.

Behind the registers, the Christmasy wreaths and garlands are up year-round

I kind of want this, if I owned a house that had these things on the wall.

Thing!

Incidentally, did you know that Thing has his own Wikipedia entry? Sometimes I worry about the internet.

Is there anything cooler than people taking flash photography of themselves in a mirror?

It's completely annoying, but the mirror is cool so we'll overlook that one

And of course, things above doorways.

There really are lots of cool things above doorways in Disneyland

Even if you’re not a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan, or a Haunted Mansion/Dead People fan, the Port Royal store is pretty darned cool.

 

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