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Photographer, self proclaimed foodie, blogger and regular contributor to The Disneyland Gazette podcast.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Main Street Electrical Parade

It's home!! It's finally home!!!! Geez, just typing these words makes my eyes water and a huge lump is now in my throat.

I arrived at Disneyland at 4:30 and simply enjoyed the Park atmosphere for a spell. Then I got hungry. I debated whether to eat right away or wait and see if anything special would be offered during the preview event. I decided to eat right then and there. The Carnation Cafe was quiet empty so I was quickly seated outside as you can see below.



I mulled over the menu and finally decided on the meatloaf dinner. I can tell you that I was not disappointed. It had been about a year since I had the meatloaf and it was still very good. I'm not crazy about the vegetables and mind you, I love vegetables but these just don't thrill me. I think next time I will ask if I can get a double serving of mashed potatoes instead!



As you can see, I enjoyed my meal.



After dinner, I browsed in the shops a bit and was so excited by the uber cool merchandise being offered all over Main Street, especially for women. I really wanted to take pictures of everything but since I only had my phone with me and not my camera (I know, right?) I needed to save space for later that evening. After browsing a while, I sat on a bench and once again, simply enjoyed the ambience.



It was at this point that I decided to leave Disneyland and go to Starbucks to use the WIFI to make space in my phone for photos and upload everything to my Google Drive. I had forgotten to do that at home the night before. Not good, right? Thank goodness for Starbucks WIFI!

Around 6:30 I headed back to the Esplanade and found a humongous line stretching from the Disneyland entrance gates, all the way to the DCA entrance gates! I had no intention of standing in line so I went into DCA and did a little more window shopping.

I sat down and listened to the Buena Vista Street music loop and then watched the 5 and Dime perform a set and then it was time to go to Disneyland.



As each guest went through the turnstile, a castmember handed out a lanyard that would light up and you could set it for a steady glow or have it blink. The lanyard also had a large plastic medallion that was dated. Now that's what I like! I walked into the Emporium to scope out the special parade merchandise but...I couldn't get near it! The throngs of people, in some spots four deep, acting like the stuff was being given away was too much for me. I knew that most of that stuff would be on eBay the next day if not that night. Disgusting.

I used the light in the store to take a picture of my lanyard so y'all could see it. (Don't forget to click on the pictures for an enlarged view!)



I decided to go ride Big Thunder Mountain so as I made my way down Main Street, I noticed that people were already grabbing and saving spots along the curb. I debated whether I should do the same but decided that no matter where I ended up, I would have a great view because the crowd was very small that night. I'm sure the rain had an adverse effect on ticket sales and I'm also sure that those who had tickets debated on whether or not to drive out there that night. I know I did! But I decided to think positively and hope that the rain would subside for the parade. (Miraculously, it did. The rain stayed away until I was in my car, exiting the Mickey and Friends parking structure!)



This is very dark but it gives you an idea of what it was like as I walked down Main Street. I love all the blinking lights.


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Well...never made it to Big Thunder. Instead, I ended up in an 8 minute line for Peter Pan! But before doing that, I got my AP pin, then took a selfie in front of the castle.


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There were some people dressed in 70s clothing which was really cool...and there were some who thought they were dressed in 70s clothing. I got a kick out of this couple because they were having a blast but to me, it looked more like they were wearing late 60s attire and I should know; I lived it, LOL!

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A few shots around Fantasyland.




I have fond memories of this old ticket booth. I can distinctly remember my Dad giving me a quarter so I could go buy a ticket. I just can't remember which attraction I was buying the ticket for!


And then I made my way to a viewing spot for the parade.




The bummer about going to an event like this by yourself is that you have to gather up the courage to ask a stranger to take your picture. And then you have to hope that they took a decent shot. Luckily, the guy next to me took six shots so I had something to pick from.

First you see me all aglow...



And then you don't. (Sheesh, I should have worn makeup.)



I got to my spot around 8:15 and the parade started at 9:00 so I had to entertain myself for a bit. Luckily they were playing some totally cool and awesome 70s dance music so not only was I happy, I was also enjoying all the memories that came flooding back to me because of the music!

Another look at the Matterhorn to my right...



And the crowd eagerly awaiting the parade to my left. I must say this:  If you are hoping to see a full length video of the parade, you're not gonna find it here. You need to go to YouTube for that. This post is for those of you that are like me, fans of Disneyland, fans of the parade, people who just want to know what went on and get a taste of the experience.



And then...


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I'm not gonna lie. The tears immediately started streaming down my face.

At the very end of this clip you can barely hear me say that I won't be filming anymore because I wanted to pay attention to the parade. I wanted to be completely in the moment and savor the experience. And for the most part, I did. The parade seemed to run a bit slower and I think that was done on purpose so that we, the audience, could drink it all in and pay notice to every little detail. There was nice spacing between floats so I did manage to take a few small video clips and photos to post on Twitter. I was going back and forth between my Twitter account and the Disneyland Gazette's Twitter account and having a blast while doing it.





Let's be honest, the pictures do not do justice to this fabulous parade but at least, you, the reader, can get a sense of what I experienced that night, and the magic that was in the air.




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Purists might flame me for posting some of these out of order. So what. Get over it. I was there and you weren't.


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I didn't realize I took so many of these, LOL!

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The last video clip of the night is of my favorite float. It was too long to load here so I uploaded it to YouTube to post here.
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Once the parade ended, my feet were killing me and I needed to sit down for a bit so I rode Dumbo! It was getting late and I was tired so I decided to leave the Park. But before I did...they brought out some floats for photo ops!



I noticed this and thought it was adorable. I might buy one the next time I go to the Park.



And last but not least, here is the brochure from that night.


Don't worry, I'll flip it for you!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

I went to Disneyland

Nothing new, right? Ah, but there IS something new! Most of you know that I am on a podcast called The Disneyland Gazette. From time to time, I record reports from the Parks and share those on the podcast. However, many people don't listen to podcasts and I wanted to find a way to share those audio recordings via Facebook and Twitter so that people could get a taste of what our show is all about. I found a way! But let's get back to Disneyland and I promise to give you more info on hearing my audio reports at the end of this post.

By noon, the Mickey and Friends parking structure was already full so I ended up at the Toy Story lot.



Christmas was till everywhere in the Park and I was glad I got to see the decorations one last time before they were gone for another year.




I was meeting my friend, Alicia, so I made my way to Big Thunder Railroad where she was waiting for me.
 


We took the obligatory selfie and then met up with the rest of our group and had a great day. It was crowded but not enough to make me want to go running down the freeway against the flow of traffic.







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The ladies had fast passes for Indiana Jones so I rode the Jingle Cruise. So glad I did! They have added so much more this year and it is really festive.

While in line, I spotted this.


On the second level, I found a cool Christmas tree!


Once we got back together, it was time for a group photo.




A couple of hours later, Alicia and I left Disneyland and went to the Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian Hotel to meet Mallory and have a drink.  We found a nice sofa and chairs by a window and relaxed while we enjoyed our drinks and made plans for a couple of road trips!





Our next stop was over at the Disneyland Hotel. We found a comfy spot on the terrace at Trader Sam's where we enjoyed a couple more drinks and a burger. This is where we recorded our field report and discussed a few things including the elusive alcoholic Dole Whip that we all wanted to try.


Here's a little bit of ambience for you...

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And here is the mysterious alcoholic Dole Whip which we did NOT get to try. Boo hoo!



Soundcloud enables me to upload the records and share them. The only minor drawback (VERY minor) is that if you want to listen you have to sign up but it's free and only takes 30 seconds! If you sign up with your Facebook account, it's even faster!


I strongly encourage you to give it a shot. Thanks!