Happiest place

See if you can guess where this picture was taken earlier today. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

— Dum de dum —

Okay, I’m back. If you guessed Disneyland (link warning – Happiest Place music) – the Happiest Place on Earth – you’re right! We spent the day there today, and we’re in a nice Marriott Fairfield Inn across the street from the park tonight. Fortunately, they have free high-speed internet service, so the daily Morrowlife post can happen.

We had a lot of fun, as you would expect from the Happiest Place on Earth. Several things were exactly as we remember them – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan (the longest line in the park, incidentally), Pinocchio, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, the Tiki Room, and probably a few others I can’t remember right now. They were all great.

Then there were the rides that are new since we last went there (in approximately 1993!) – Indiana Jones and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, chiefly. They were both entertaining. Worth trying out, especially the Astro Blasters ride, which takes you through several Buzz Lightyear-themed rooms and lets you shoot an “Astro Blaster” at targets for points that add up on a screen in your car. There’s also a control to swivel the car back and forth, allowing you to line up on your targets more easily. Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two both beat me at that game.

There was a special Holiday-themed editiion of the Small World ride, which was a great improvement over the original. In the new one, they sing the Small World song followed by a bunch of Christmas carols. That’s way better than hearing that stupid Small World song over and over and over again for the ten minutes it takes you to get through the ride. Even the way it was today, we heard kids singing the song throughout the park all day.

And then there were the disappointments. First and foremost was the Haunted Mansion. They had a Very Special Holiday version of that one too, featuring characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. They’ve put the new characters in front of the traditional Haunted Mansion Ghosts, and it’s a vast non-improvement. The ride went from cool and spooky to neon-colored and stupid. Don’t bother.

Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t as good as before either. They’ve added Captain Jack Sparrow in several places, made it more politically correct in a few places, and darkened it up. The storyline is much less coherent and it’s generally less entertaining. The upside of it was that we literally walked onto the ride. Of course, we pretty much walked right onto just about everything. The later it got in the day, the longer the lines became, but nothing was more than about 20 minutes, which is outrageously short by Disneyland standards.

We tried another one we’d never heard of: Innoventions. What a crappy “attraction.” It’s nothing more than a big room “showcasing” sponsored products. Totally annoying waste of time. Don’t go there. Its one redeeming feature is that it features a robot named Tom Morrow.

All in all, we had a pretty good day at Disneyland today, thoroughly enjoyed the old rides we loved in the past, and had a great time trying some new rides out. A few changes were annoying, but it’s still the Happiest Place on Earth.

We had snow on the ground when we woke up this morning in Big Bear, and it was still coming down when we left at about 7:30. It rained on us most of the way to Disneyland, but stopped just about the time we were getting there. Good fortune for us today!

And now to bed. I’m exhausted. See you tomorrow.

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