April 5, 2006

My Trip to Disneyland Part 2

Filed under: My trips — movie_critic @ 5:40 pm

The Frontierland was opening before me with the mountains and what looked like a mine – another roller-coaster ride, I thought and decided to pass it up in favor of the town square ahead of me. The town square was basically a small place in front of the “Golden Horseshoe” saloon. As I later found out, inside was a nice café and it also had a stage, so I figured they might be having some shows there now and then. A real show was actually going on right in front of the saloon. The local mayor was trying to get a young cowboy to marry his daughter (both were actors, of course, and not bad at that). Apparently, the list of the local eligible bachelors was running rather short, so the cowboy seemed like the only available option. It was also apparent by the cowboy reaction that the bride-to-be was not such a treasure as the father was portraying her, so he’s suggested to expand the pool of potential husbands by selecting them from the spectators. By that time the lady in question appeared before the crowd and “she” turned out to be a “he” – a man in the dress and the blond wig with the hairy chest and in a rather bad need for a shave. The show was, in fact, really funny, but I had to cut it short as I noticed a grand sailing ship Columbia approaching the pier on the right. I love to watch sailing ships, but never had been on one, so I ran to the pier to get a place on the ship. It actually even had a sort of exposition below the deck on how the sailors of the 19th century lived and worked. It had a nice historical feel to it, a balm for the eyes of such a museum rat as me! The trip itself was relatively short and the views on the way were mostly related to Indians – Indian chief, Indian village – though there were a small crashed engine on a railroad and the red longjohns drying in the wind, as if reminding of the presence of the white miners in the area – yeah, I know that’s only make-believe, still it was a nice touch, though! J

After I descended from the ship I’ve decided to explore the adjacent area and stumbled upon the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Being a great fan of the movie, I just had to try it out. As a matter of fact, the ride had nothing to do with the movie and, after I found my Disneyland guidebook of 1993, I’ve also realized that it was already there at that time, so it’s much older too. In any case, the only thing that mattered was that I’ve really enjoyed it. The line was long (again!), but it was worth the wait. We finally got into the boats and took off for the parts unknown with the scenes from the pirates’ life unfolding before our eyes. Here they lay siege to the forth, the cannonballs flying over our boats, there they have taken the city and are plundering it. All scenes were mostly recreated as though they were happening at night and I thought they left more vivid impressions because of that. Too bad I could not make any pictures, it was too dark there. L
A funny thing happened to me on the last and fastest leg of the ride – as the boat suddenly accelerated, my baseball cap flew off my head in a blink of an eye. I actually remembered a warning they give you at the Universal Studios and thought it could have come handy on this ride too, but it was already too late! I really thought I’ve lost it forever as there surely was no way to retrieve it in the darkness… I did not have the time to grieve my loss, though, as all of a sudden a hand with my baseball cap appeared from behind me! Totally bewildered, I turned around and a slightly confused lady, sitting behind me, said: “Excuse me, is this yours? I accidentally grabbed it when it flew past me”. Next thing you know, we both were laughing like crazy, it was just totally funny!

“The Pirates of the Caribbean” ride over, I walked a bit around the New Orleans Square and headed back towards the Fantasyland, accidentally finding Tarzan Treehouse in the process. Climbing the trees may not be my favorite pastime, but the view from above was certainly worth it.

I was running out of time, it was getting late in the afternoon and I did not check out the Tomorrowland yet. And so I’ve headed there with the utmost speed, even forgoing all the souvenir shops on the way (which I would visit all under normal circumstances J). I did not get far in the Tomorrowland when I saw the “Star Wars” attraction. As one can guess, being a huge fan of the movie space saga, I could not pass the opportunity to visit it again, though I’ve taken this ride a few years ago in Euro Disneyland in Paris. It was quite enjoyable in the California Disneyland too, though I’ve forgotten how bumpy the ride was at times and it’s got my adrenaline pumping as though I’ve been riding it the first time. The story there is that you get into a spaceship where the pilot looks just like R2-D2. He warns that it’s his first flight and, of course, everything goes wrong from the very beginning: the ship launches from the wrong pad, you end up in a battle between rebel and Imperial fighters, go through a meteorite cloud, etc., etc. A few minutes of an almost real fun in space!

With my head spinning from my space adventure I went outside and noticed a big round building in front of me, which looked rather promising. It seemed to be an exposition of futuristic things and it turned out to be a combination of that and some computer games and other fun, and it also had a Honda Theater inside. I’ve hung around till the next show with the robot ASIMO, and it was incredible. Sometimes it really looked like there is an actor inside the robot costume, as the robot movements were so much like humans.

All that seen and done, it was really getting close to the night and I still had an hour long drive back to L.A. It was also getting rather chilly, so when I went to California Adventure park after leaving Tomorrowland, I’ve discovered that I can’t really enjoy being out there in the cold and thinking of finding my way back in the dark of the night. It’s a shame, really, because it did look like barrels of fun. Next time I go to California I’ll be sure to allocate more than one day for Disneyland alone! I did make a couple of pictures, like the one of the street that is really mostly painted on the wall behind a couple of the buildings, yet looks very real – but that was it and I’ve promptly left for the trams back to the parking lot.

My next journey was planned for tomorrow, I was going to take a scenic route to San-Francisco, but that will be my next story.


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