This is the 3rd of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to South California. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a ¾ year later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and during that had an Eastern Canada trip that didn’t go that great, so I was already pretty tired before the trip began.
As I was nearing the bus stop this morning so was the 47 bus (Orange County Transportation Authority/OCTA). Made it to the stop before the bus did It swung east from Garden Grove to Orange and then went to Anaheim where I got off. I walked to Harbor Blvd and looked at the hotel I stayed at last time (Howard Johnson's) and the main two restaurants my dad and I ate at Mimi's and Millie's; the latter was dark and not open when I passed). I ate breakfast and won a free month of Hulu, sadly not good in Canada. I walked to the entrance to Disneyland Park. There were only a couple of other people there then so I was the first at my particular turnstile. Part of the park opened before the rest so I walked to the bottom right section of the half circle at the centre and waited for the park to fully open.
[NOW: I left from Orange Mango Hostel in Santa Ana. Looking at Google Maps I see now that I was not actually in Garden Grove that morning, though Garden Grove was very close to the bus stop in Orange. Millie’s is definitely closed.]
When the park opened proper I walked to Fantasyland. I rode Peter Pan's Flight (minor but nice track ride), tried to ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (mechanical issues), rode Alice in Wonderland, rode Storybook Land Canal Boats (nice smooth boat ride; real ducks didn't want to get out of the way), rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster (got brave and even took photos), tried to ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride but it broke down again (after a couple more checks gave up). rode Pinocchio's Daring Journey (minor track ride), and rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride.
[NOW: I realized that the photos I took in Peter Pan’s Flight weren’t that good so I later revisited just to try to get better photos. I did manage to ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride on a later day. Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Snow White’s Scary Adventures I just rode this day this trip].
I walked to Tomorrowland, passing Captain Hook, Alice, and Mad Hatter en route. There I rode Space Mountain (roller coaster; put away camera; Halloween horror effects are great), Star Tours (I like the old version better with a robot pilot on first journey, but the new one with R2D2 and C3P0 trying to smuggle a spy is still okay, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (track ride shoot up).
In Adventureland I rode Indiana Jones Adventures (high action jeep ride), then in Frontierland rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (western themed roller coaster; took photos) and rode Sailing Ship Columbia. This is a nice boat ride around Tom Sawyer Island.
[NOW: I had to split my initial reports into two halves because my mini-notebook’s power was running low and I didn’t want to lose anything. The rest was sent after the second half.]
Rode the flume ride Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, Made a couple attempts off and on for Splash Mountain in Critter County (mechanical issues), rode Haunted Mansion also in the Square (for the holidays made to look like Nightmare Before Christmas; much prefer normal graphics), rode Jungle Cruise comedy boat ride in Adventureland, did the minor walkthrough Tarzan’s Treehouse same land, had lunch at the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierlandland where I caught the tail end of a drag comedy act, saw Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland (singing/dancing birds), The Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln in Main Street USA (bio with animatronic Abe at end), saw Pluto, returned to Critter County and finally rode the flume ride with bug drop Splash Mountain.
[NOW: Unfortunately unlike Space Mountain, the garish Haunted Mansion graphics don’t revert after Halloween but stay until after Christmas. I only visited Tarzan’s Treehous and Disney Story the one time this trip.]
Same land, saw Tigger and Eeyore and rode the minor track ride Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, got a Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (lets you go on shorter line later), did the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough in Fantasyland, rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds again (both times used single line entry, which I also did with Splash Mountain), redid Star Tours, redid Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, got another Fastpass for it, redid Splash Mountain, redid Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with Fastpass then without, then did a long wait at Space Mountain (said 50 minutes but that way I got say a little after the park switched to the pricier Halloween Party). I left the park and had dinner at same McDonald's as before. This time won a drink coupon I could use (Smoothies) I took a 47 bus back to the hostel and gave the hostel owner the Hulu voucher and petted the dog.
[NOW: The 47 bus was again OCTA. On the way back it does briefly pass through Garden Grove. The dog's name is Smokey.]