Monthly Archives: July 2012

Clarabelle’s Ice Cream

You know what’s awesome? Ice cream. I mean, I’m not a huge huge ice cream person but sometimes you just gotta have one, and sometimes that sometimes happens in Disneyland.

Buena Vista Street has an amazing ice cream offering for you–Clarabelles.

And beautiful stained glass over the doorway too.

Clarabelle’s is part of the larger Elysian Arcade on the West side of Buena Vista Street. It’s got a nice little rest spot outside.

I love that they planted fully-grown trees here

Look! Here’s another doorway you can use!

And some random guy!

The line is all nice and orderly.

A bit better organized than the Gibson Girl parlor

Here’s a great sign

Even the type makes me think of ice cream

The menu is diverse but basically what you’d expect from an ice cream parlor.

Lots of YUM here!

And one thing I particularly love–hand-dipped ice cream bars! You can get a variety of topping, but I went with the traditional sprinkles.

So good!

So when you’re at CA Adventure and it gets really hot–just remember Clarabelle’s!

 

 

Disney Pillow Pets and Big Top Toys

I get quite a few blog hits for Disney Pillow Pets, so I thought I’d add some more to the stash. These Pillow Pets you can get inside Disneyland:

Minnie and Pluto

Tigger, Eeyore, and Dumbo

I actually really like Dumbo. He’s so cute!

Elephants fly!

From Toy Story, Woody’s horse Bullseye, and Lotso, although I don’t know why you’d want a Lotso, since he was kind of the bad guy in the movie

Simba and Stitch

How much will these bad boys cost you?

This much

There’s also a Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb, but they were out of stock when I took that particular picture. You can find these guys in the Big Top store on Buena Vista Street.

Over on the East side

Here’s a wider view of the store.

And pillow pets. This is what happens when you take pictures at different times.

There’s also a wide selection of Perry and Agent P merchandise. If you’re not watching Phineas and Ferb, you should be!

And other toys too

And when you’re all done, here’s where you’ll check out!

With a circus big top in the back!

Mad Hatter–Fantasyland

Do you know where the name Mad Hatter came from? Well, Lewis Carroll borrowed it from an old saying, “mad as a hatter.” Mad because mercury was used in hat making and over time, hatters became exposed to increasing amounts until some went kind of insane.

Disney just borrowed the kooky part, not the actual insane part.

I think.

A hat store is properly called a haberdashery. I mention this because I think haberdashery is just a really awesome word that needs to come back into the common lexicon. I may be alone in this feeling. But over in Fantasyland, we have…

The Fantasyland Haberdashery!

Seriously, haberdashery. Just say it out loud. Awesome, huh?

Also awesome are the hats you can get at the Mad Hatter.

Like characters

I’m kind of coveting that Agent P hat. And if you don’t know who Agent P is, you really need to start watching Phineas and Ferb. Seriously, great show. Not just for kids.

The Mad Hatter has awesome details just like everywhere else.

A bunny theme?

There’s also a secret! Can you find it?

No, it’s not the hat writing machines. The Cheshire Cat appears in the mirror if you look closely enough.

And again, no, Lewis Carroll didn’t completely invent the grinning Cheshire Cat–apparently (according to the highly reputable wikipedia) the Cheshire Cat was first mentioned in print in 1792.

(the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865, in case you were wondering)

(admit it, you know you were)

Appropriately, the Mad Hatter sells a variety of Mad Hatter hats.

I’m actually not a huge fan of these

And as always, the ear hats

Love the ears though!

If the Mad Hatter haberdashery sounds familiar, it’s because there’s another one on Main Street in Town Square. Need a hat? Now you know where to go!

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

One of the original rides at Disneyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a dark ride in Fantasyland with a very cheerful ending.

And by cheerful ending, I mean you go to Hell.

No seriously, I’m not making that up. Hell.

It’s heated, too.

Welcome to Toad Hall

Isn’t that pretty, all lit up like that?

Mr. Toad the character is from Disney’s 1949 animated feature, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Now I feel a vague sense of certainty that I have, in fact, seen this film, but honestly I can’t remember much about it. But according to the highly-reliable Wikipedia, this film had two segments–one based on Wind in the Willows and the other based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Which seriously, if I try to think of two stories that belong together, those would DEFINITELY be at the top of my list.

Not really at the top of Walt’s list either, since apparently in 1958 the Sleepy Hollow segment was separated and produced as its own film (which I distinctly remember watching on television around Halloween as a kid). That’s the one I remember being quite terrifying. But we’re way off topic now.

Here’s the queue for Mr. Toad. This picture was taken a few months ago so it’s a wee bit more crowded now.

Where is everyone?

In case you were wondering, I generally shoot a number of blog entries worth of pictures at any given visit, and then they sit around in a file waiting to be posted. Or sometimes they get lost and I only find them much later. This would be one of those times.

Anyway, I love the queue for Mr. Toad. Even thought it’s smack in the middle of Fantasyland and not even covered much, it’s so tucked away you really feel like you’re in an English country garden. And you get to know various Mr. Toad characters on your way in.

Like Mr. Toad, for example

I think what I love about Mr. Toad is that his affect is so danged cheery.

Look how friendly I am!

Even once you get inside, you’re treated to his jovial demeanor

Plus, he’s short, which makes him extra-cute

Since the ride building is supposed to be Toad Hall itself, you’re treated to some nice murals and stuff.

Peaceful country scene, fancy light fixture

Your ride vehicle is an old-fashioned motor car.

It’s even got a little steering wheel, which does not, in fact, work.

And you start your journey with a bang by crashing into the library.

Shortly before crashing

At this point the important thing to remember is that in the story, Toad has a motor car and he’s a really reckless driver. As such, so are you. You basically go careening through Toad’s life.

I think of all of the rides at Disneyland, Mr. Toad remains one of the lowest tech rides in the park. It’s been spruced up, but basically you’re in a car on a track and the ride consists of painted plywood boards that you almost run into but either yank into a turn or the board is pulled away (or both) at the last minute. I actually avoided Mr. Toad for a while because when I was younger I remembered practically getting whiplash from the speed with which you avoided objects. Now the ride is easier on the back and neck, but the sense of danger just isn’t there. It’s a bummer, really, because in my memory, you could practically touch things seconds before it was yanked away, and now it doesn’t have that feel anymore.

It does not, however, go slow enough to take good pictures too. Heh.

So the ride is basically like this:

Crazy guy

Pedestrian you almost mow down

and so on. Then you swing by the pub and have one for the road.

Tastes great! No, less filling!

Apparently there’s some kind of open container law, or you’re just a really bad driver, because you end up in a courtroom, and things don’t go your way.

GUILTY!!! (of what???)

Now here’s where the ride veers from the actual story–both the film and the book it’s based on. Because for some reason, after you’re pronounced guilty, you are suddenly driving on train tracks and it’s not your lucky day, because you get hit by the train and go to Hell.

Hell is hot and steamy (REALLY uncomfortable on a hot day) and there are dancing demons and such and the judge dude come back and he’s a demon too and basically it’s kind of miserable, as you might expect Hell to be. I have a bunch of pictures like this one:

I AM AN AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER!!!

And then you get spit back out into Toad Hall and the real world again. The end!

I really like Mr. Toad. For all of its zaniness and simplicity, it’s just a fun ride with a bit of nostalgia and a bit of “whaaa???” and a lot of laughs.

 

 

 

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