I Can Only Use My Bravery for One Ride

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Tuesday was the Magic Kingdom – honestly, the park that feels like “THE” park when it comes to Disneyland. I suppose because for so long, it was the only park at Disneyland. The weather on Tuesday was another day of blustery and gray, so I was glad I’d brought along my Jungle Cruise pullover; I paired it with my newly purchased Beauty & the Beast ears and headed for the park.

I have to confess – I’m always slightly underwhelmed by Sleeping Beauty Castle. There is just something less than inspiring about the size of the castle…and when you’ve seen Cinderella Castle just months earlier, well…it just doesn’t seem as grand. Nobody throw any glass slippers at me for that opinion – alright? We once again had a plan for the morning and it went off without at hitch – get Fast Passes for Space Mountain and then hit Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Peter Pan’s Flight and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey before heading to Tomorrowland.

I joked in the title that I can only use my bravery for one ride – and that’s the truth. Once we finished the smaller rides in Fantastyland, we headed for Tomorrowland and grabbed a spot of breakfast before hopping into rockets and blasting through Space Mountain. I don’t normally ride Space Mountain but I hopped on and whizzed along and apparently that ride just sapped all the bravery I had for the day – because when it comes to amusement park rides, bravery is not is large supply. We managed to round out the rides in Tomorrowland and hop on Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear before making our way to other lands. I tried not to look crazy freaked out on the Space Mountain photo…and Star Tours remains a personal favorite!

The lines somehow had not grown to an exorbitant length and so after we finished the rides in Tomorrowland, we still had 45 minutes before our lunch reservation and so we made our way to Adventureland and hopped on Indiana Jones (I passed – because again, I used up all my bravery on Space Mountain – the struggle of the wuss is real) before we made our way to Orleans Square and the Blue Bayou.. what might be my favorite spot to dine at Disneyland! The restaurant is indoors but is made to look like a gorgeous patio on the Louisiana bayou with lights strung, cobblestone floors and the bayou in the distance with crickets chirping, fireflies winking and boats gently passing by – it’s sort of (for me) fairy tale like.

Sadly – Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for refurbishment (sigh) and so there weren’t boats drifting by as we dined, but the whole meal was still just my favorite. I got a Mint Julep because I feel like when in (Disney’s version) of N’awlins, you must get a Mint Julep to sip on while you dine on your fanciful bayou patio… it’s just what you do. I also had the much talked about Monte Cristo that was incredibly delicious – I’d definitely recommend everything about the Blue Bayou to anyone planning a trip to Disneyland – the food is fabulous and the setting is just – picture perfect. Can you tell I love it just a little bit?

When we finished up our delightful lunch, we made our way back to Adventureland and hopped on another favorite of mine – Jungle Cruise! I love the cheesy jokes…I mean, I purchased a hoodie emblazoned with one of the cheesy jokes and you better believe that I snapped more than one picture of myself with the ride in that hoodie. Ha-ha!

After our cruise through the jungle, we headed back to Orleans Square and my personal favorite ride – The Haunted Mansion! I love both versions of the ride and while my Mom and sister were adamant that the stately southern home that serves as the ride in Disneyland is their favorite… I honestly couldn’t choose between the two! I love them both and I absolutely love all the story and detail and spookiness of the Haunted Mansion! But wait – before our Fast Passes for the Haunted Mansion, we checked another item off our Pixar Fest food checklist – the Presto Carrot Cake Churro with cream cheese frosting. And yes – it was just as good as it sounds!

I always try to take pictures on the Haunted Mansion – and shocker – they don’t always turn out that great! I mean…I guess ghosts don’t really like to be photographed? One last picture of my favorite – the glorious Haunted Mansion…and it’s 999 happy haunts!

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We spent the afternoon wandering between Frontierland, Orleans Square and Adventureland and got in a few more rides: Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, Big Thunder Mountain…and more importantly, we found Nemo cake pops and we were able to check another item off of the Pixar Fest food checklist! I’m kidding – the food wasn’t the most important part, but it was a pretty big deal.

After our afternoon snack, we discovered the pin store and made a plan to circle back around later in the evening. We then made our way to Fantasyland to get on the rides we passed up earlier in the morning: Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Tea Party, the Storybook Canal Boats and my Dad’s personal favorite, It’s A Small World…ha-ha! I’m 100% kidding about that one – we have to drag him on it every time we visit a Disney property. The Storybook Canal Boats are a ride that is only found at Disneyland and while there isn’t really much to them – I love the miniatures of so many animated film locations that the boat slides past as you ride!

Of course – I took so many pictures of the perfectly replicated miniatures but I was a bit offended to see that Belle’s provincial French village and the Beast’s castle were not featured among the may miniatures… *sigh* When we finished our ride, we did pop over to the Red Rose Taverne for (another) snack and I got – THE GREY STUFF! What a joy – to have the Grey Stuff twice in less than six months; it’s really an embarrassment of riches and moreso because I also got a handy dandy 32 ounce beverage container emblazoned with Belle and the Beast – sure it was $9.99 – but it came with a beverage and I will love it forever, ha-ha!

Of course – I also took quite a few pictures while we cruised through It’s A Small World because it’s different from Disney World’s version (I think…) in that it contains actual Disney characters scattered throughout the ride! I love seeing all the characters from Disney animation pop up in each scene – and honestly; even though the song does get a bit monotonous, I do love the ride and it’s theme. The world in this day seems to be reminded that we are more similar than different…

After we disembarked from the happiest cruise that ever sailed, we made our way to another type of cruising… zipping down the mountainside on the Matterhorn, another favorite of mine. I am not a coaster enthusiast by any means but I would ride the Matterhorn over and over again – I love it! Please note the before…after…and a little bit after (our bobsled got paused for a bit at the bottom, still not sure why…) And yes, I removed my ears for the zip down the mountainside – I didn’t want the yeti to snatch them off!

Evening crept up on us and we made a few more rounds – we took a ride on the monorail decorated with the Incredibles, grabbed alien macarons from Pizza Planet and some pictures, my sister popped into a store to grab a much sought after Thanos pin and then we popped back to Frontierland to grab some dinner. I really wanted a corn dog for some reason and the Stage Door Cafe was the place to grab them – it was seriously one of the best corn dogs I’ve ever had…perfectly battered and fried to perfection!

My Mom decided that she wanted to return to the room for the evening and relax, so she headed out of the park and Lindsey and I returned to the pin store to peruse and make our purchases. The evening fireworks and projection show didn’t start until 9:30 and Lindsey had a hankering for delicious Dole Whip, so we made the walk from the Frontier to… the Adventure (land) and into the Tiki Room waiting area, where Lindsey joined the line and I grabbed a seat among the tikis. The timing worked out perfectly for Lindsey to finish her Dole Whip and allow us to catch the 8:30 Tiki Room show – delightful!

We stood in the longest line of the day (I’m not even joking about this…) at the Starbucks on Main Street; we always get the Disney mugs, and we joined a line that snaked through the cafe, out the door and down the side of the alley. We easily waited in the line for over thirty minutes but we emerged with our mugs and found a place along Main Street for the fireworks and projection show – new for Pixar Fest and called Together Forever, all about the friendships from Pixar movies. The show is projected along the castle and the buildings of Main Street… it was hard to watch both the projections and the fireworks, so my sister and I tag teamed a bit on the pictures…

I loved that in this show – as opposed to seeing Tinkerbell fly across the skies, Buzz Lightyear whizzed away from the castle as the show started…and a bit later in the show, the house from Up, secured with it’s balloons also floated across the sky. It was hard to capture pictures of both of those things, so I kept to photographing the projections on the sides of the building.

The show was touching and sweet and brought day two of our three days of park hopping to a close.

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