Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holiday With Trooper: Day 6

This was our third day in the Disney Parks and we were becoming old pros at getting around. No longer were we going to waste time in line-ups or wear ourselves out walking around the whole darn place. We had to be strategic about the allocation of resources to make the most of our vacation. Plus Disney does provide several forms of transportation that pass themselves off as attractions.


We made a list of the rides we hadn’t yet seen: The Haunted Mansion, Star Tours and Pixie Hollow being the biggies. Being Halloween, the line-ups for Haunted Mansion had been huge so that was one to use a FastPass for early. Star Tours was all the way on the other side of the park. So here was the plan.


  • Get to the park early
  • Take the Disneyland Train to New Orleans Square
  • Get the Haunted Mansion FastPass
  • Back on the train to Tomorrowland
  • Do StarTours
  • Meet Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow on the edge of Fantasyland
  • Visit Peter Pan and Snow White on our way back to The Haunted Mansion
But you also learn very quickly in The Magic Kingdom to amend a plan based on changing circumstances. Sometimes you just have to roll with it. When we arrived at The Haunted Mansion, there was hardly any line up. Plan B. Go on Haunted Mansion use the FastPass for Star Tours. Engage!

The Haunted Mansion was good, but I was disappointed with how it had been changed for Halloween. Gone were the 19th Century ghosts and in their place were Jack Skelington and the gang from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The kids liked it but it’s hard to replace something as classy and clever as the Hitchhiking Ghosts.

Back on the train, and with little effort or time wasted, and we were on our way to Tomorrowland. The line-up for StarTours was also not heavy but I could see the crowds building. While Mrs. Trooper and the kids waited in the queue, I zipped to Space Mountain and got FastPasses for later. StarTours is excellent by the way and well worth a 30 minute wait. You are entertained for much of that time as you weave through the “departure” space station. As we were to find out later, there are up to 50 different variations in the ride, so don’t think that it’s not worth repeating.

Peter Pan was a real treat. The ride must be 50 years old but is still charming and magical even in its simplistic effects. Snow While is so-so and has an unsatisfying end. The Dwarves spot the Wicked Witch in the woods, but there is no confrontation nor is there a scene of Snow being awakened. You suddenly reach the end to learn they all lived happily ever after. But how, dammit? How?

Our afternoon was spent enjoying repeated rides like Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain since the crowds were oddly sparse. And it was there I had my best Disneyland experience: the Turkey Leg! As many readers will know, I’m a big fan of meat. This tasty snack is well worth the $8 for its juicy goodness but it sure doesn’t taste like turkey. The meat has the flavour and consistency of ham but the leg has the supporting integuments of poultry. Rumors abound on the Internet that it’s actually emu meat, but I would think it would be the size of a fungo bat then. Any readers who know the real story behind the Turkey Leg are welcome to comment. Bottom line: I wasn’t sure what I was eating but didn’t care.


As day wore into evening, we had ridden and shopped ourselves to exhaustion and, despite intentions of having a shorter day, we still found ourselves walking back to the hotel after 7 pm. Tomorrow is a non-Disney Day at Knott’s Berry Farm and Medieval Times. Stay tuned!

7 comments:

tammy said...

I love it when you get to a ride and find very little line. Big Thunder Mountain is one of our favorites. We caught it once when it had just opened from being closed for a couple of hours and were able to ride it 3-4 times in a row without waiting. That was the best!

We often go to Disneyland this time of year, but can't this year and your vacation posts are killing me! I so want to be there!

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