On Tuesday, April 19th we left today and entered the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. It’s the happiest place on Earth — Disneyland!
And we WERE happy, because getting there was no easy task. Before we left I knew that our two hour drive (by distance) was never going to take a mere couple of hours. Traffic backing up is normal going from Palm Springs to LA, but this day was a holiday — I figured it would be a particularly good day to travel, avoiding the typical commuter traffic. Not to mention, we were setting out at noon, a time one could assume to be easiest to make the journey. Well, unfortunately, it turns out we were embarking at the worst possible time. Tens of thousands of Coachella concert goers were returning to the city on the Monday after Easter. The freeway was like a parking lot. Our exasperated three year old daughter put it best as she exclaimed, “We’re moving like turtles!” Slowly and steadily (and 5 hours later) we arrived at our destination in Anaheim.
From Main Street USA to Galaxy’s Edge The Sounds of Disneyland has all the music from the Walt’s California based theme parks (Disneyland and California Adventure).
A lot of the music only works as a short diversion in nostalgia but I particularly like playing the song Rancho Del Zocalo (from Frontierland) as background music when I’ve cooked a Hello Fresh recipe for the family. There’s something about the mandolin and guitar duet that simulates the restaurant experience.
If you’ve ever been to King Arthur’s Carousel in Disneyland you’ve probably imagined what it would be like to pull Excalibur, the “sword in the stone,” from its anvil.Image from my 2002 trip to Disneyland
Last week, using sheer brute force, a Disneyland guest successfully did just that, removing the iconic sword from its anvil “stone” in front of the King Arthur Carrousel. It was first thought that the sword was removed as part of a planned refurbishment but then a guest shed light on what really happened.
The sword is not removed for refurbishment. My friend Sam broke it last week on the 8th when we went to Disneyland. He literally ripped it out. The staff said that it was really old and that’s why he was able to do so. It was his first time at Disney and he’s a pretty buff dude, I told him if he pulled it out he’d win a prize and he just used brute force I guess lol. It was broken and jagged. The staff said they taped it off so no one would stick their fingers in and cut it on the broken piece left inside.
Unfortunately, the guest didn’t become king. The prop has since been updated with a shiny new sword and anvil.
Find photos of the ducked taped anvil and replacement sword at WDWNT.
After dabbling into my family’s genealogy, I learned that my Grandpa Marshall Milner was first cousins with former Governor of California, Goodwin Knight.(Which means he and I are first cousins 2 times removed.))
Goodwin is the grandson of John Brewitt Milner and Ester Elizabeth Yardley Thurman. (John B. Milner was the first Milner in my family to immigrate to the American continent.) his parents were Lillie (Milner) Knight and Jesse Knight. Jesse was the nephew of the mining magnate Jesse Knight who founded the town of Raymond, Ab.
My dad told me a story about how one time his parents, Marshall and Sarah travelled to California to visit their daughter Joyce who was on a church mission. It was at this time that Goodwin was the governor of California. They found themselves not far from the governor’s mansion and Marshall having never met Goodwin, wanted to knock on his cousin’s door. However, my grandma insisted that the governor was too busy and that it would be a bother to disturb him. They never did meet and everyone agrees, it’s really too bad.
Here is Goodwin at the opening of Disneyland in 1955.
Here he is again speaking after Walt just gave his opening speech. He has a look that reminds me of my Grandpa Marshall:
When it comes to Goodwin Knight, however, possibly more interesting to most is the fact that he was closely involved in the Warren Commission, officially titled The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. The Commission took its unofficial name—the Warren Commission—from its chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren, whom Goodwin served under as the 35th Lieutenant Governor of California in the years before he became the Governor himself.
Day two at Disneyland. Because we hit the park hard yesterday we felt it in our legs today. That didn’t hamper our spirits though and we strolled over to the park after a couple of continental breakfast pastries. I was thinking about an early morning dip in the hotel pool but it doesn’t open until 9am pretty much guaranteeing any serious ride goer like myself won’t be taking advantage of their facilities.
Today was a chance to catch-up on rides and attractions that we missed on day one. We were not disappointed! Rides we went on today included:
On our third day in California, we rose bright and early to hit the road pretty much exactly when the rest of Calfornia was on their way to work. While I knew that it was going to be a driving adventure, navigating that many lanes (at times as many as 8 going our direction) was something I hadn’t totally expected. Luckily we arrived without incident.
Once in the park, the secret to getting the biggest return on investment is knowing which rides are worth waiting in line and which are better to get a Fastpass. The newish Radiator Springs Racers Cars is a very popular attraction, so first things first, we found the Fastpass station and got hooked up! The thing about Fastpasses is that you’re only supposed to be able to get one at a time, however, we raced over to the line for Fastpasses to the World of Color because I had read that it isn’t on the same system as the other Fastpasses and, just like that, we were already working the park like pros!
Having secured our afternoon and evening at Disney’s California Adventure, it was time for our first ride and since we were standing next to the 110-foot Grizzly Peak, it was an obvious choice. Our first ride would be Grizzly River Run, the white-water rafting adventure at the mountain’s base.
Being early in the day, and a bit cool still, meant that we wouldn’t be waiting in line for very long. After a mere 10 minutes we found our selves strapped into the giant rubber rafting tube, slowing ascending the rickety conveyor belt, wondering who would get soaked first.
I came away from the ride only a little wet, Andrea got it worse than me, but one of the other guys on our raft was almost completely soaked. It was a lot of fun.
The rest of the day was great too. Next we popped over to Disneyland and discovered we could hold Fastpasses for one of the attractions in this park at the same time as we held them for DCA. We made some great memories as we hit up:
The Jungle Cruise
The Pirates of the Caribbean
The Haunted Mansion and
Then it was back to DCA for our chance to race one of the cars from Cars.
Probably my favorite ride of the day was California Screamin. Here’s the video.
The last ride of the night was Space Mountain and then it was a well deserved rest back at the hotel so we can do it all over again tomorrow.
It’s been over ten years since the last time I set foot in Disneyland, and I’m so excited about my trip next week that I can barely contain myself.
Disneyland won’t be the only place we’ll visit but it’s certainly the one I’m most excited about. I’ve been researching which days will be the busiest (they will all be equally busy), which rides to rush in and get fast passes for (the new Radiator Springs ride tops my list), and even which route we’ll drive when we get up early next week (it’s still up in the air between the California 91 Express and the 60) I guess I will decide based on that morning’s traffic report.
Here’s an animated gif of fireworks from the last time I was there. Back then, the closest thing my camera had to video capabilities was burst fire mode.
The Disneyland Resort Paris music site is offering used to offer free downloads of music from the park. The songs are available for two weeks and then rotated.
I’ll be interested if they offer any music from the attractions themselves or just area music. A while ago I started searching for some Pirates of the Caribbean music, but so far my search has been unsuccessful. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it here. (Yup, I got them)
Remember that you’ll have to unzip the files and enter the password they give you (www.dlrpmusic.com) but the downloads are free. You can also find more downloads in the bonus section.
Oh, and a word of warning, they have background music that plays automatically, ala webdesign 1996, but at least there is a stop button to turn it off.
(Leave me a comment if you’re looking for these files, I might still have a copy somewhere)
Rumours abound that Disney is buying up property to build another theme park next to Disneyland. It seems more likely the company just wants to build more hotels, but if they did build another park… I would love it!
The [Disney] company has slowly but steadily amassed 460 acres in Anaheim, including a prime chunk of strawberry fields down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland that is the designated site of a third park.
And someone is approaching the field’s neighboring landowners, trying to buy up land. Corona del Mar resident Benjamin Kraut, 81, said Disney offered to buy his 5 acres several years ago. Then, six months ago, a suitor Kraut declined to name offered him $14.5 million for the land where he co-owns a 90-unit apartment complex. He said it is not for sale.
Disney hasn’t unveiled plans for the Disney Resort—those typically come amid fanfare and orchestration&8212;but top executives have hinted at expanding existing markets and increasing its time-share offerings.
It’s fun to think about a new Disney theme park, but it’s safe to say that even if considerations for a new park are being thrown around, it will still be a good 25 years before anything comes to fruition. Disney’s California Adventure still needs more E-ticket attractions for one thing, and certainly in Disneyland itself they’ve got plenty of room to redevelop some of the less popular and less operational rides. (For example the revamping of the old Submarine Voyage into a Finding Nemo attraction.)
My brother and I started working on it as a summer project, but since he was only here for one afternoon, we didn’t get very far. Lately he’s been back visiting and it got me back working on it again. Today, it’s finally finished and it looks great!