Day 12 – Disneylast

I can’t believe I’ve actually milked this trip report out so long! I thought at first that I’d just do a quick synopsis with a few photos, but then I realized, DUH, nothing I ever write is a synopsis. My synopsis aren’t even synopsis’s (is that even a word?). See, I can’t even write an opening paragraph about nothing without getting all wordy.

So, here we are at the last day of this vacation. Well, of course it’s not really the last day, that’s tomorrow, but I’m definitely NOT going to bore you with a report of our drive home (booo-ring).

We got up bright and early and headed to the parks. I did forget to mention the one other nice thing about Fleabag Flats, there’s a Starbucks next door. I had a freebie Birthday drink waiting for me, so we stopped in and I got a gigantic Frappuccino. I don’t usually drink this much caffeine in a day, so by the time we get to the gates I’m jittery as heck. I probably should have eaten some breakfast to soak up a little of that sugar and all. Fortunately I’ve got some protein bars in the pack so I eat one of those and the DT’s go away.

We used our Disney-fu to find a gate with no line and created our own. Of course soon we had a bunch of sheeple behind us, while the gate next to us remained without a line until they actually opened and people finally realized “hey, that’s an entrance too!”

Last thing I told Mike as I handed him the camera, “Don’t forget to get the top of the building in the picture!” Either I was talking Swahili, or he’s deaf.

Disneyland and California Adventure do an internal rope drop (gate where they hold everyone) – at DL they rope off the pathways out of the hub, so we got in and found a nice bench near the rope. A cute mom with her two daughters and their grandmother came along and I said they were welcome to share if they wanted to. The little girls were 3 and 5 and had such a great time telling me all about their vacation. I got to hear about their favorite rides at Universal, and how they had their faces painted (not scary like some of the boys!), and they were going to see Anna and Elsa first thing this morning because yesterday mom said the line was too long (the mom chimed in – it was 3 hours).

First on our list this morning are all the Fantasyland rides, Peter Pan is of course base alpha. I love the artwork and the interior of this one and seems a bit brighter than the WDW version. It’s over too soon, but there’s time for another round before the line starts building. Anna and Elsa are meeting nearby, and the line for them is making the entire hub area seem much more busy than normal this early in the day.

Our next ride is one of my all-time favorites, Alice In Wonderland. I love the artwork, the neat way the ride exits above the pathway, and the fact that it actually does a decent job of telling a liner storyline – unlike some of the Fantasyland rides where one minute you’re in Hell and the next everyone lives happily ever after.

This is also one of the few rides that the CM is always happy to take a photo if you ask.

The Queen doesn’t look too thrilled about her backseat drivers.

Next up is Autopia, which is worlds better than Indy Speedway. I mean, it even has an offroad section!

Wonder if they ticket at 6.8 or give you some leeway to 7?

Way more awesomer than the MK version.

I really wanted to ride the Storybook Canal boats, but the line was already about 20 minutes – that one is such a slow load/unload that lines build quickly. I also couldn’t talk Mike into squeezing into Casey Jr.

A little trip through Pinocchio is in order. This one is another great tale of warning to children – if you’re going to run away from home, at least be smart enough to listen to the cricket instead of the wolf:

And sure, working at a carnival sounds awesome and all, but with offers like that there’s always strings attached:

We wind through the Anna and Elsa line to get to Snow White’s Scary Adventure, which of course has zero line. I can’t imagine why parents don’t want their young’uns to experience a ride that starts with this:

And ends with this:

I mean, after all, it’s a great way to scare them into never taking food from strangers, right?

Speaking of scary strangers, I will admit that the clientele in California is somewhat different than the Florida guest list. There are many more twenty-somethings here, some who seem to be touching the edge of the cosplay scene. I’m not complaining, I think it’s cool, and Mike says he doesn’t mind either:

As we’re walking, we notice the Colombia has been taken over by Pirates:

Wonder if they stormed the gates or paid to get in?

This is Mr. Rat, he tried to cure Mr. Toads’ Motormania:

I wonder if the cure would work for motorcycle collector-mania? I might need to talk to Mr. Rat about “curing” Mike.

We spend quite a bit of time today in between “big” rides wandering into Fantasyland and re-riding one or other of the dark rides. They never get old to me, and other than Peter Pan and Alice there’s rarely a line. I love the artwork and the beautiful original features that have been so lovingly taken care of over the years.

We took quite a few spins on Matterhorn. The lines are non-existent so we ride both sides, determining that the right side is somewhat smoother but the left side is more fun. I miss the old cars where you got to snuggle up with your seat-mate and squish them in the bumpy sections.

I love the “racing” aspect of this coaster. It’s fun to be going along in a tunnel, only to pop out next to a car on the other track, then diverge again for awhile.

The park is nicely crowd-free, even though Mike still complains about how many people are here. It’s funny when CM’s mention how “dead” it is. I feel like poking him in the ribs and saying “see!!” but I refrain. Although there are a few rides that do build some lines, overall it’s an easy day to tour the park with no real itinerary (and a fussy husband who may or may not want to ride certain things that his wife would probably enjoy…ahem).

We’ve been talking about Radiator Springs Racers, and Mike asks if there’s any way to ride. I knew that FP would most likely be all gone for the day (it’s around 4pm), but I know that Single Rider is an option so I mention that to Mike. Usually he’s not that excited about the ride, he’s just there to enjoy it with me, so I’m surprised when he agrees.

We head over to California Adventure, and RSR standby is 70 minutes, with Single Rider at a mere 20.

I’m getting a little concerned because we’re losing light fast, and I think Mike will probably be less prone to motion sickness if he’s able to do the fast parts in the daylight, but he’s still game.

In no time we’re at the front of the line, he wants me to go first so I can be there if he’s woozy getting off. It’s a really fun ride, and a perfect way to end our park days even if we’re not experiencing it together. Mike says the corners and the little hop do bother him a bit, but he’d gives it his stamp of approval and says he’d happily ride it again – if we ever come back (correction Mike, that’s WHEN!).

We hang out and watch a few cycles of Luigis – definitely NOT Mike-friendly, but still fun to see everyone trying their best to control their cars.

It’s nearly 6pm, and I know Mike will be setting the alarm for 2am tomorrow so we can get on the road early, so it’s time to head out. We grab another loaf of that great sourdough bread, and make our way to the exit.

And that’s it, my final picture from our vacation. Mike leaving California Adventure. Boo Hiss.

This felt even more final since I know that it’s the end of our last real vacation until we no longer have the “cat problem”.

When I was shopping today I saw a guy with two prosthetic legs tapping his way down the aisles with the aid of a white cane. It reminded me again of how lucky we are, and what a wonderful life we’ve been given. How can I whine when we have our health and a great life? Was this a perfect vacation? No, but all that was really wrong were a bunch of little irritations, no major problems, and most of them were literally in our heads.

I wish sometimes we could be better at living in the moment. Forgetting concerns we can do nothing about and just enjoying the things that are right in front of us. I guess that’s my takeaway from this trip…stop worrying and start appreciating.

Thank you all for following along. You’ve read more than 17,000 words (see, told you I was verbose!), I appreciate your tenacity – and really appreciate all your comments and input!

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