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California Vacation Day 7

Time for part 4! Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 for other California stories 🙂

After the Airbnb debacle, we were pretty happy with our decision to scrap that idea and stay in a hotel in Anaheim. Like I said in my last post, the hotel had amenities that we hadn’t thought about, since we’re still new to this whole vacationing on our own thing! We grabbed a decent breakfast and hopped on the shuttle to go to Disneyland! Our shuttle driver tried so hard to keep his passengers engaged in conversation, but Corey and I and a couple others toward the front were really the only ones paying attention. He didn’t seem to mind though. He was just happy to be there 🙂 We rolled up to the shuttle drop off area, and our driver got everyone’s attention to make sure we knew what stop to come back to. Then, he turned us loose and we got to make our way into the park!

Since we went in October, the park was decorated for Halloween, which was pretty cute. It mostly consisted of fake pumpkins carved into the different characters. I was definitely a fan of all the orange! (Go Pokes).

This was a decorated lamppost that we saw right when we walked in. The whole park was decorated for Halloween!
This was a decorated lamppost that we saw right when we walked in. The whole park was decorated for Halloween!

We grabbed Fast Passes for one of the rides, and hopped in line for Space Mountain. On our way into the park, we had been handed a map of the park marking the attractions and such, so we pulled that out to help pass the wait time. Corey was lamenting the fact that we hadn’t brought a pen to make notes or anything, and I just laughed. I’m an engineer, so of course I have writing utensils and paper in my bag at all times!

Of course I had a pen with me! An engineer always does :)
Of course I had a pen with me! An engineer always does 🙂

The day was pretty much smooth sailing after that. We’d grab Fast Passes for the rides that offered them, and go wait in line for others. It worked out pretty nicely.

Throughout the park, various ‘iconic’ spots were marked as ‘Nikon Picture Spots,’ which I can only assume means that everyone stops there to take pictures. There was one in front of Tomorrowland, one by the Matterhorn, and, of course, one in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey. At a few of them, like the one by the castle, the park actually had photographers stationed that would take the picture for you. You could have them use their camera, and you could go online and purchase them later, or you could hand them your own camera, which is what we did.

One of my favorite pictures from the day - Tomorrowland!
One of my favorite pictures from the day – Tomorrowland!
The photographer suggested this pose, and I'm really glad she did.
The photographer suggested this pose, and I’m really glad she did.

Around 1:30 that afternoon, we came out of one of the attractions and heard live music from around the corner. We meandered that way, until I figured out it was a marching band. A Disney marching band!! We hustled over there to catch the tail end of their ‘Let It Go’ performance, after which they wrapped up. On their way out though, they played ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ from Guardians of the Galaxy! Such a catchy song, and hearing a marching band arrangement of it made me really happy.

Hooked on a Feeling as performed by the Disneyland Marching Band!

We found a spot over by the Matterhorn and munched on the apples we brought with us, rather than finding ridiculously expensive snack food in the park. It was a good break. Then it was time for Mickey’s Soundscape Parade — a 30min affair that featured a few characters on jazzed up floats. Kinda neat. We had picked up Fast Passes for the Haunted Mansion attraction, so we headed there next.

On the way over there, we ran into a merry band of pirate musicians! These guys were pretty talented, and they had fun interacting with the crowd and with each other.

This guy was great. Very much a performer.
This guy was great. Very much a performer.

40 Fathoms Deep

 

Corey took the opportunity to play with some of the settings on his camera. He set it to take the same shot at 3 different exposure levels, and then he overlayed the exposures in Photoshop. It made for some pretty fantastic pictures!

It looks animated, but I promise it isn't!
It looks animated, but I promise it isn’t!

Since we were there for the rides and the attractions, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time taking pictures with characters. We made an exception for Tigger though! Tigger and Eeyore were set up when we got over there, but while we were standing in line, Eeyore needed a break. So Rabbit came over to let Eeyore off the hook. Tigger was a little flirt, and Rabbit’s handler was jealous of Corey’s hair!

Our one picture with characters.
Our one picture with characters.

As the day wound down, we got one last ride in on the Matterhorn, and enjoyed the way everything changed at night. As difficult as night photography is sometimes, we got some pretty cool shots.

This was really pretty in person. The picture turned out alright, too!
This was really pretty in person. The picture turned out alright, too!
The park's Halloween decorations featured lots of pumpkins and characters from 'The Nightmare before Christmas.'
The park’s Halloween decorations featured lots of pumpkins and characters from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas.’
The castle was more majestic and impressive after dark! They did a really neat job with the lighting.
The castle was more majestic and impressive after dark! They did a really neat job with the lighting.

We hit the gift shop to pick up Christmas presents, and then we hopped on the shuttle back to our hotel. It was a long day, with a ton of walking, but I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience at Disneyland! I can’t wait to go back some day 🙂

Next post will wrap up the California vacation, and then I’ll tell y’all about other quick trips we’ve had since then. Sound good? Cool 😉

Later,

Aiden

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