Friday, December 20, 2013

Holidays At Disneyland: Our Night Of 5 Firsts

How many times have you been to Disneyland? I don't have an exact count, but if I had to guess I'd say we've been there close to a hundred million times. It never, ever gets old – especially for my girls – but we do tend to do a lot of the same things whenever we visit, whether it's visiting the same attractions or eating the same foods. For example, I always clap loudly and embarrassingly whenever I get on my favorite ride.

Last weekend we were there for Holidays At Disneyland – where the entire resort gets transformed for the holidays – and we did some things we hadn't done before. Here they are – see if you can make it through the entire post without singing Foreigner's 'Feels Like The First Time' in your head.

1) We rode the first-ever holiday version of the Jungle Cruise – the Jingle Cruise!
For the first time, the Jungle Cruise gets transformed for the holidays! I'm not going to lie, this is one of my favorite rides and my girls', too, and I was ridiculously excited to ride this new version. The dock has been decked out in lights, and the skippers have added some holiday humor to their comedy routines – don't judge, but we actually love all of their slightly corny jokes. Which leads me to another first – for the first time ever I followed a Disneyland ride on Twitter. And you should, too because then you can read things like this:

2) For the first time, someone else besides me took the photos
We just bought Kiyomi a new camera, so she was happy to document our visit. She did an amazing job and took all the photos you see here (except for the pics accompanying item numbers 3 and 4. Those slightly blurry, over-filtered Instagram pics are all mine.)

She did a photo essay of Kira and her Santa hat throughout the park. Here are a few:

I highly suggest this idea of putting your kids to work documenting stuff so you don't have to. It helps you to see things through their eyes, and also frees you up to enjoy things, like bacon-wrapped asparagus. (See next item.)

3) I ate bacon-wrapped asparagus skewers at Bengal Barbecue
That's a big lie. This is the eightieth time I've eaten these, not the first. But I have to keep mentioning them because some of you out there haven't tried them yet, and I won't stop until every man, woman and child has tasted one of these amazing pairings of meat and vegetable. (However, in keeping with the spirit of the 'firsts' theme of this post, I will say it's the first time I left without wishing I had another one – this is the first time I ordered TWO skewers.)

4) I rode the Red Car Trolley in California Adventure
I'm used to having people yell at me to get out of the way as this thing comes at me while I'm texting in the middle of the street. So this was a much more pleasant experience. The trolley takes you for a short tour through the park – starting in Carthay Circle, up Buena Vista Street, through Hollywood Land and ending at the Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror. Along the way the nice conductors (that's one of them there) tell you stories about the the park and Hollywood, including the history of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, the basis for the Tower Of Terror ride. Want to hear the story? You'll have to ride the Trolley yourself. (See how I did that?)

5) For the first time, we did NOT ride 'It's A Small World'
One of our Disneyland mottos is, "No visit is complete without a ride on 'It's A Small World,' especially during the holidays when it's transformed into 'It's A Small World Holiday.' (Our other motto is, 'Don't eat the corn dog until after you ride the Teacups.') Usually our tactic is to wait until later in the evening when the line is shorter, but this time the wait was estimated at 90 minutes. After we were done cursing everyone who had stolen our tactic, we decided to move on. But not until we had stood in awe for a few minutes and snapped some pics of the gorgeous facade, of course.

Holidays At The Disneyland Resort runs through January 6, 2014.

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