Sunday, September 20, 2009

So after a long half-day of touring the city, we finally went to Disneyland. I could tell from the start that we only have limited time but I didn't expect that we would only have 5 1/2 hours to experience the whole of the amusement park. We arrived at the parking lot at about 2pm and proceeded to walk the almost 1 km distance from the parking lot to park's gates. It was hot and humid and I wish I had brought a scrunchie to tie up my hair. After about 15 minutes of walking under the furious sun, we finally reached the ticket booths and the entrance to the house of mouse.

Disneyland arc and mansion upon entrance of the park.

Since it was past 2 and we still haven't had our lunch, we proceeded first to a small food kiosk inside the park and ate hotdogs, some kind of seafood rolls and iced tea. In a true Snow White fashion, I was surprised to see flocks of birds circling our tables and pecking up scraps of food. I thought they were so cute and brave because I'm used to birds terrified of people here at home.

Birds the Snow White Way.

While eating, we found out through the pamphlets we took from the entrance that the parade is going to start any minute. So after eating, we waited for the parade to come to our place while trying in vain to stay cool under the scarce shade of some random tree. Waiting was a mistake I have only realized after leaving the park later that day. This was the time that we should have visited the shops near the area and bought something (anything!) because we weren't going to be able to go back to them later on because of lack of time. I did, however, got to visit a small store full of Disney crystals. It was the one store I got to visit amongst the probably almost a hundred inside the park.

Disney crystal maker.

After a, more or less, 15 minute wait and a big dose of preschool tantrum (in Disneyland, of all places!) the parade started. I was clicking and recording like mad. I was alternating between recording the whole thing and taking pictures of the floats and dodging heads and other cameras held high to capture a clean shot.

Start of the Disneyland Parade.

Alice in Wonderland and Disney Princesses (feat. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella) floats.

One thing I noticed was that there were tons of Filipino dancers on the parade. It almost felt like Enchanted Kingdom on parade. Ha.

The Little Mermaid Float and the finale of the parade, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy.

After the parade, we walked around the place, past Sleeping Beauty's castle, took tons of pictures , rode the carousel and ended up in a garden where random Disney character mascots were available for picture taking. We got to pose with Minnie Mouse and Goofy. Unfortunately, while in line to pose with Mickey Mouse, Minnie decided to show up and take Mickey away. It was so cute seeing mascots visit each others gazebos, still in character. In reality, they probably need to change the person inside the costumes.

After the picture taking, we decided to watch PhilharMagic, a 3D feature in a nearby theater. I actually envisioned my experience in Disneyland to be full of rides and shopping rather than settling down and watching shows but since we were bordering on having heat strokes because of the sun, sitting in an air-conditioned room seemed like a pretty good idea.

And it was. The 10-minute show was well worth it and mom and my sister had a great time because it was their first time to watch a 3D show. After that, our tour friends insisted on watching a 30-minute Lion King show and since it was still so hot outside and the heat was starting to take effect on us, especially on my mom who was already having palpitations and headache from all the walking under the sun, I didn't contest the idea even though I wanted to ride as many rides as possible with the limited time we had.

Disneyland map and a snapshot of The Lion King Live.

And again, the show did not disappoint. If it was only me, I would have not spent 30 minutes out of the less than 2 hours that we have left before the fireworks watching some show instead of further exploring the park even under the extreme heat. But since I had no choice, at least I didn't waste my time watching some boring production. The play was really good and it featured a really cool fire dance, a gymnast hanging from the ceiling and really good actors and singers.

Upon exiting the Lion King theater, since we're already on the jungle part of the theme park, we decided to ride the Jungle Log-ish ride ride with a group of Caucasians who complained later on that the tour boat guy was too fast. Ha.

After walking back to the center of the park, we rode some kind of circling space thing for kids because my sister wanted to and I have to accompany her. This was the time when I knew I'm not going to be able to do the things I've always wanted to do in Disneyland. I wanted to ride the It's a Small World fun ride and that Astro ride for thrill seekers. Heck, we didn't even get to explore the Tomorrowland part of Disneyland. There was simply not enough time. And like clockwork, the park's speakers announced that the fireworks was going to start in 5 minutes so we scurried to find a good spot for the display.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at night right before the fireworks display.

All the rides close right before the fireworks which starts at 7:30 and we were supposed to be on the bus at 8pm sharp. With the uber long walk to the bus parking lot, it's safe to say that we should leave the park right after the display.

The fireworks display was amazing. I have the whole thing on video and I'm glad my camera decided die on me after the show. Both my cellphone camera and my digital camera perished that night and it was a waste that I didn't get to snap shots of the park with all the pretty lights on. Everything's prettier in the evening, a general rule in picture taking that every tourist should know about.

We bought pastries for dinner as we proceeded back to the bus that would take us back to our hotels. It had been a very long day and we were all exhausted. Me and my sister were still on a high as we reached our hotel room, but we needed to sleep as early as possible, because tomorrow, we're going to Macau. :)


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