Day 9: One Day at Disneyland… with The Roots!
I think this will be the most protracted retelling of a single Disney day in the history of Disney trip reports! Although I am an editor by trade, I am completely unable to whittle down the number of amazing Disneyland photos the Roots took that day (and here I’m talking about the scenery, not the shots of us!), so I will just have to put them all in!
How we came to meet up with our Orlando-based wedding photographers in Disneyland just days after seeing them at Walt Disney World was a happy twist of fate. Our double date at WDW had been on the books since they got sick and we missed them during our honeymoon. But then they decided to take their belated honeymoon to Disneyland, and the dates just happened to coincide with our 2 Parks, 1 Day trip to both parks!
We decided to meet for lunch at Disneyland that Sunday. However, about two weeks before the trip, it finally dawned on me that we would be at my all-time favorite place with my all-time favorite photographers – and we’d be crazy not to do a photo shoot! The idea of getting pictures of me and Patrick in my favorite corner of the park (and the place where he proposed) – New Orleans Square – had me giddy. The Roots very graciously agreed to give up part of their honeymoon (and some sleep!) to meet us at Disneyland at 7am, when it opened for Magic Mornings (our pale imitation of Extra Magic Hours – you can only go once during your stay).
So that’s how I came to wake up at 4:30am after falling into bed at 1:30am. Because any time I know the Roots will be around and holding cameras, my vanity requires me to hire a little professional help in the looks department!
The Roots almost didn’t make it past security with their pro equipment due to some paparazzi-related paranoia surrounding Miley Cirus’ upcoming birthday party at Disneyland…
September 28th and the Halloween decorations were up…
I’m stealing Jensey’s caption for this photo:
First ones in the park? Gotta start with the Hub.
Necking in front of the Tea Cups (because it’s physically impossible to neck while on the Tea Cups!).
More glorious submarine shots later… We stopped at Patrick’s fave place in Tomorrowland, the retro-futuristic stage at Tomorrowland Terrace that rises from the ground for Jedi Training Academy and cheesy cover bands on the weekend.
We paused to prepare for The Future…
…And welcome it with open arms!
Another of Patrick’s favorite places is, well, anywhere people like to toss coins….
He likes to fantasize about collecting all of it for our Disney Jar…
This little guy hides equipment for the fireworks show!
I forgot to put some commentary in earlier, but it was pretty mundane. Like how my makeup turned out WAY too heavy for my taste (fake eyelashes? no thank you!) but ended up looking great on film. When we got into Disneyland at rope drop we tried to rush to New Orleans Square for photos before anyone got there, but they had a rope up. I tried to jump it in my enthusiasm and got yelled at – grrrr!
Anyway, it all worked out, because even when it finally opened, there was still hardly anybody there!
At last… the Court d’Anges! This is my favoritist spot in all of Disneyland – or any Disney park I’ve been to! Patrick knew this, and that’s why he proposed there. Buckle up – there’s a lot of smooching ahead….
Let’s take a break from smooching for a mo’…
So we’d done my favorite spot in the park – next it was time for Patrick’s favorite spot: The Tree House!
We waited for Nathan to get up close and then triggered the cheetah’s scream – he jumped about a foot!
Patrick wants to live in the Tree House…
After we climbed down from the tree house, we made our way toward an area of the park that’s become a favorite since our vaguely Moroccan wedding, the Aladdin storytelling spot that replaced the Tahitian Terrace restaurant adjacent to the Tiki Room. It’s a pretty dreadful show, but the theming is great and there’s beautiful courtyard waiting area.
As he frequently does, Patrick found a penny…
The Enchanted Tiki Room is another of our favorites. A lot of people think it’s cheesey, but we LOVE tiki stuff and the fact that it was the first attraction with Animatronics and just find it charming. I think Nathan and Jensey were not similarly enthralled, but they dutifully took amazing pictures of the place for us!
Those are the last shots of us you’ll have to endure for a while. At this point, we all took a break so they could have alone time and we could go swimming in the Disneyland Hotel’s Neverland Pool. But don’t worry – there will be more gorgeous Root shots of Disney later in the day when we all meet up again!
After we bid the Roots a temporary farewell, Patrick and I walked back to the Disneyland Hotel through Downtown Disney (at Disneyland, you can *walk* to your hotel!) and, apparently, the World of Disney store, because these pictures turned up in our camera…
Oh wait – now I remember why we went in the World of Disney: to get Nathan & Jensey some Free Dessert Magnets (a.k.a., wedding mouse ears) for their honeymoon! I wasn’t sure they actually wanted these, but I felt proud to be the one to indoctrinate them in the ways of Disney Honeymooning – and those babies are required wearing! Plus, hello, free desserts!
We had a little bit of time to go swimming before we had to check out, so we hit the Neverland Pool. Unfortunately, their slide policy is even lamer than the Polynesian’s: it doesn’t open until 11am – checkout time! Booo….
On the way out, we opportunistically tried to get into the Concierge Lounge with our room cards as we passed the door. No such luck!
We sat in the hot tub a bit, paddled longingly around the base of the slide a bit and finally got out just in time to freshen up before we checked out and stashed our luggage at Bell Services. I scrubbed off all my makeup, which means you’ll see no more Root photos of me for this report. Well, OK, one. The only one ever (I’m really building it up, eh?).
The plan was to meet the Roots at 11:30 for lunch at Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square. Along the way we saw some newlyweds and I had to snap their picture.
We had a few minutes to kill and were hanging out in New Orleans Square when – hey, wait a minute….!
Cafe Orleans is one of my new favorite restaurants in Disneyland. We used to go to the Blue Bayou every single time we went to the park, but then they jacked their prices way up and only marginally improved the quality of their food, so we had to find a new hangout for non-special-occasion trips.
Fortunately, Disney simultaneously converted Cafe Orleans, across the street, to table service and started offering the Blue Bayou’s famed Monte Cristo sandwich there for a mere $16 (I know…) compared to the BB’s $22 (plus a $4 split fee if you wanna share). The cafe has a nice patio where you can sit and people-watch along the Rivers of America. And then there are the amazing garlic fries….
So anyway, Nathan & Jensey called us, and as we all tried to find each other in the crowd outside the restaurant, somebody in front of me moved, and there they were standing right in front of us the whole time.
As you can see, they very gamely put on their Free Dessert Magnets for me, although we later heard they got lots of congratulations, but no free desserts! That made me sad. Bad show, Disneyland… bad show.
We got a nice table right by the railing. They took a picture of us….
…We took a picture of them (with their camera – ooh la la!)
…and we all chowed down on amazing garlic fries….
It was so nice just to sit and gab and hear about their honeymoon and how they liked Disneyland (they liked it! They really liked it!). I’ll let their pictures do the talking for the rest of our day in Disneyland.
The most amazing Jungle Cruise photo ever taken (sez I!)
Patrick asked the Roots if they could try to get pictures of one of his favorite attractions, the Primeval World from the World’s Fair, which you pass on the train. We always try to get a shot of it, but with the darkness and the moving train, our pix never turn out.
Behold, the Roots’ Primeval World!!!
This next part was one of the highlights of our day. There’s a Disneyland history exhibit in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln that includes lots of neat old photos, props, and maquettes, and, best of all, a huge scale model of the park as it looked when Disneyland first opened. Nathan spent a good deal of time taking shots of the model from all angles, and the results are amazing.
Our last stop was a table at Rancho del Zocalo, where we all enjoyed Dole Whips and talked about our plans for their visit to us in L.A. (the pix of which I wish I could find an excuse to post here – again, amazing!).
We saw this lil’ guy…
Back to harsh reality – namely, the discovery that the Zippy shuttle I’d scheduled to come get us at 4pm so we could make our surprise date at the Staples Center was mixed up and not coming til 8pm! I freaked out (but couldn’t tell Patrick why cuz our tickets were a surprise), the shuttle guy said they could come but it would be at least 30 minutes, we canceled them, and then we grabbed an exorbitant curbside cab.
We white knuckled it all the way home, tipped the cab driver way too much, dropped our bags inside the front door, and discovered we’d won five pairs of Year of a Million Dreams mouse ears from sending in postcards every day:
In the end, we got to the Staples Center in time, and I surprised Patrick with a 7th-row ticket to see….. Walking With Dinosaurs: Live!
This was a big deal because when we’d gone the first time, our seats were in the nosebleeds and we couldn’t see anything. So when I learned they’d added an L.A. show on the last day of its run here and it was the day we got back from Disneyland, I went for it. I almost fell asleep a couple of times during the show from sheer exhaustion, but it was all worth it cuz Patrick was having such a great time!
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