Spring Vacation 2023 – Day 4


I went to bed at about 2:00am after my unsuccessful bid to reschedule our flight(s) home.  Sunday was now going to be all day at Disney and then straight to the airport for our 12:50am flight.

We were up at 6:00 and showered and packed up our stuff.  We left at 7:00 and drove to Anaheim where we met up with Kevin.  We got through security and made it to the park entrance at about 7:45 and they were already letting people in.

Disneyland!  I have been to the Magic Kingdom and other parks in Florida several times over the years, but I had never been to Disneyland (or California Adventure) until today.  I was looking forward to seeing the “original” and comparing and contrasting it with Walt Disney World (which will be a separate blog post).  I was not disappointed.  The entire operation runs like clockwork, of course.  But what is most striking is that Disneyland is in the middle of a city, but you have no idea that that’s where you are once you are in the park.  If you’re really paying attention in certain areas you might catch a glimpse of a taller building outside the park.  I heard a siren once, but only because I was near the edge of the park.

Here’s a list of the rides we were able to experience (in order):

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    • The wait for this was only 15 minutes!
  • Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run
    • The wait for this was also only 15 minutes.  Probably because we were there so early.
  • Thunder Mountain
    • There was no wait to speak of.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • About a 15 minute wait.
  • Haunted Mansion
    • 15 minutes
  • Splash Mountain (we thought it had been closed (or “cancelled”) and were pleasantly surprised to find it open!)
    • There was practically no line for this, and the one that was there moved quickly.
  • Disneyland Express (train)
    • TRAIN!
  • It’s A Small World
    • The original, and one of my favorites.  Once inside, it seems basically the same as the Florida version.  But the outside is incredible!
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
    • A Disneyland original.  We went on it just because of that.  It doesn’t exist anywhere else.
  • Lunch on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Monorail
    • `Monorail!  The original, but a shadow of its cousin(s) in Florida
  • Monsters, Inc.
    • The wait for this was 45 minutes, and they seemed to be having trouble as the line moved very slowly.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • We waited an hour for this one.  It was in the former Tower of Terror, which I did not realize until we were about to board the carriage.  I had previously avoided that “ride”, but my body handled it much better than I expected it would.  Not sure I’ll ever do it again, though.
  • Soarin’
    • 40 minute wait for Amanda and me while Kevin nursed a sore knee.
  • Cars Land
    • We just walked around Cars Land but I honestly could have spent most of a day there just sitting on a bench and taking it all in.
  • Pixar Pier
    • This was the end of our day and we were tired.  I would very much like to return and explore this area of the park more thoroughly.

We said our goodbyes to Kevin at about 8:30 and made our way to the car and drove to the hour or so to the rental car return at LAX (airport).  We boarded the bus provided by the rental car agency and were on our way to the airport.  We got close, and then just basically sat there for about an hour giving encouragement to our beleaguered driver who was clawing and earning every inch she could as traffic came to a standstill about a mile from the drop off loop.  Drivers in L.A., by and large, seemingly 1) are all beginner drivers, 2) have no idea where they are or where they are going, 3) have little to no respect for other drivers.  The result is frequent gridlock.  As soon as the driver got to the first terminal where she could safely and responsibly open the doors we all got off.  Amanda and I still had plenty of time but did not want to chance it.  We walked all the way to our terminal; this after having walked 11 miles already at the theme parks.  We checked in, made it to our gate with plenty of time to spare and waited for our flight.  We boarded and took off without incident and arrived at JFK earlier than scheduled.  As I write this we are sitting in JFK waiting for our flight which we have been informed has been delayed by about an hour.  With any luck we will be home in Potsdam by 6:00pm or so.

We are exhausted.  I think I said it before: Vacations are great!  But traveling sucks.  Our “vacation” was shrunk from what was supposed to be 5 full days to only 3 due to weather and the fallout from our flight being cancelled.  Yay.

Oh, and did I mention that when we get home we’ll have no hot water?  The boiler died on Thursday while we were on our way to L.A. and apparently nobody stocks parts anymore and so we are at the mercy of Cornerstone Services, who services the boiler we rent from Liberty Utilities.  If we are lucky, the part will arrive tomorrow (Tuesday). Who knows when it will be installed! This will likely be fodder for a separate rant/blog post.  But right now I’m just too damn tired.

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