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Southern California 2012 – January/February 2012



Jaunuary 29 Sunday Anaheim, Disney

Slide Show

Today we're off on a trip to Disney.

It's about 75 miles north on the I-5.

Everything moved along without a problem until we hit the new Disney parking structure.

The sign at the left says, "let the memories begin".

As we know from Disney World in Florda, that means mostly memories of long lines.

This parking facility is huge. Akin to the Universal Studios parking garage in Orlando.
There must be about 12 lanes of cars waiting to pay the princely sum of $15 for the privilege of waiting in some more lines.

To be fair, Disney held a marathon earlier in the day, so they didn't open the parks until about the time we arrived.

Even so, it took over a half hour to get to the pay booth.
We have Disney passes so we did avoid the $15 chargs.
We even had a handicapped parking sticker, but it didn't help much until we got to actually park.

Then we were fairly close to the escalator down to the tram loading area.

The tram loading area was another great waiting event.
There were not enough trams so it took maybe another half hour to get on a tram.

But we do finally arrive at the entrance plaza.
One way is Disneyland and the other way is the California Adventure.

Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Orlando are pretty much twins and we haven't been to the California Adventure yet, so we go that way.
The guy on the left is Nick.
I don't know how he did it but he was at a Taco Bell when we got to the parking garage.

He got to this point in the main plaza about 40 minutes before we did.

I think the secret was, don't use the parking garage, there's other ground parking that goes faster.
Anyway, we finally get in and you can see some of the bizarre group I'm travelling with.

There's some major renovation going on so most of the park is behind temporary walls like the one in the background.
Remember these guys? that's when gas was 25 cents a gallon.
A nice waterfall near the entrance.
It's lunch time, so we make a bee line for the Mexican food.

We get 2 burritos, which, with a 20% discount for our Disney passes, comes to a measly $23.00.

Olga goes straight for the Margarita line and only has to pony up $8 each.
Yep, they reeled her in just like the other fish in the food and beverage lines.
So we woof down the burritos, which are mostly flour tortilla wrappers and 1/3 pound of rice.

And we set off on a bit of a walkabout.

We see the lines for the roller coaster and ferris wheel and do a little calculation.

I think 99% of the people in the parks at any one time are either waiting in a line or in transit to the next line.

"Paradise Pier"

Not so much paradise for the visiting folks, but definitely a paradise for the Disney money counters

Here we go folks.

For all you corn dog goumets out there.

Not much of a line.

Maybe because the corn dogs are $8.

But condiments are free so far.

Olga had a mission to see the California version of Soaring.

We have it in Florida.

It's very nice, I've been maybe 20 times.

It's a simulated hang glide over some of the best parts of California,

But I think she thought it would be a hang glide over Florida.

Where the tallest mountain in Florida is Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.

And a glide over the Everglades would be mostly scenes of tall grass.

Perhaps a glide through the condo canyons of Fort Lauderdale and Miami might be interesting.

Or perhaps the nude beach at Playa Linda.

But no, just another trip over California.

When the ride was over, we were in a section where the lock on the seat belts would not open. So we sat for about ten minutes while they tried to scare someone up from maintenance. After ten minutes they announced they were still waiting for someone from maintenance.
After another ten minutes, they announced that would give us a treat for being delayed so long. And they were still waiting for maintenance. Perhaps they were being flown in from Orlando.
After another 10 minutes, the guy from maintenance shows up and unlocks our seat belts.

But they don't let us go.

They make us wait another 10 minutes for our treat.
Which we all obediantly line up for.
That takes another ten minutes to get to the treat.

They give us a global fast pass which will let us on the next ride without waiting.
We were on the way out, so we talk them into making it good for another day.

On the way out, the tram situation to the parking garage is out of control.

Very few trams, many people in a bad humor from an entire day of lines, 30 some languages being spoken, mostly complaining.

But we perservere and make it back to the parking garage.

These are the escaltors going to the different levels in the garage.

We get to the car and leave the parking garage, find the entrance to the I5 right away and spend the next hour waiting in a 75 mile long, five lanes wide, line back to Vista.