out & about

It’s a New Year Afterall

Happy New Year, my little ponies!

I know we’re five days into the new year, but I hope 2015 is treating you kindly. I think I may have gotten a little bug from traveling, but despite the fact that I’m having a hard time breathing through my nose and feel like I’m gonna collapse whenever I get up, I believe I’ve had a good start so far!

My family and I headed down to SoCal on New Year’s day and I ended up getting to go to Disneyland that evening with my sister, her boyfriend, and my cousin and his wife. Disneyland is one of the only places in the world where I don’t care if I’m a third wheel, let alone a 5th wheel. Plus I ended the first day of the year with a churro and hot chocolate. 😀

I’m super happy that I was able to go while all the Christmas decorations were still up. Disney during the holiday season is my absolute favorite! I also got to celebrate mine and my mom’s birthdays a bit early at Goofy’s Kitchen for breakfast. I’ve always wanted to do a character breakfast and it was THE BEST — despite the fact that they only sing “Happy Birthday” to kids and not adults. I mean, agist much? But that’s okay, two cast members at the park later called me “Princess Nina.” 😀

OH! And the bananas foster’s crepes at Goofy’s Kitchen… ERMERGERD. I had three because they were that deloycious. <– I should really be a food critique.

My sister told me Goofy’s Kitchen was a lot better than the character breakfast at Carnation Plaza inside the park, soooo if you’ve never had a character dining experience at Disneyland and plan to do so go to Goofy’s Kitchen! It’s so much fun because Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Minnie go around while you’re eating and you can take pictures with them. Sometimes they like to mess with you too; Dale stared at me for the longest time while I was digging into my waffle and Pluto kept putting Ryan’s (sister’s boyfriend) tiger hoodie up. And Minnie was dancing like she was up in ‘da club.

– le sigh –

Good times. Good times.

We also got to meet Baymax and Hiro from Big Hero 6 before they left the park for good (I think their last day was today). It was definitely worth the 1 hour wait to meet them because I got to hug Baymax AND do a fist bump with him. I wanted to cry tears of joy because he was so utterly adorable! Yes, I’m going to be 29 next week. Yes, these kind of things bring me to tears. 😛

Hopefully more Disney adventures await this year before my pass expires in August!

Cheers,
Nina

out & about

T-Rexes and Dragons and Jedis, OH MY!: Part 2

Jedi Training Academy @ Disneyland

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I was out and about and didn’t have a computer handy. Sooo, here it is, part 2!

For our second full day at Disneyland, we headed to Tomorrowland to watch the Jedi Training Academy show. I’ve seen it in bits and pieces from previous visits as I passed by, but it’s actually a lot of fun to watch. Jedi masters pick kids out from the crowd and teach them how to battle with lightsabers.  They call the kids up by what they’re wearing — some kid had R2-D2 Mickey ears on and the Jedi said, “You, with the r2 unit on his head.” 🙂

The way he talked reminded me of the Old Spice guy — very charismatic with tons of machismo. I think this is probably the raddest job a person can have at Disneyland — you get paid to be a Jedi and play with lightsabers!

Darth Vader, a couple of Stormtroopers, and Darth Maul (not pictured because I couldn’t get a decent shot of him) came out, and the little padawans got to duke it out with them. My nephew Jacob NEEDS to do this the next time he goes to Disneyland. He would go to town with a lightsaber and kick Darth Vader’s ass. I’m sure of it.

Force push!
Darth Vader!
Even if you don’t have kids, any Star Wars fan should watch this.

After the Jedi Training Academy, Tim and I picked up Fast Passes for Space Mountain, and then the four of us watched Captain EO. What’s a trip to Disneyland without some Michael Jackson in space?

“Oh boy, my first 3D movie!”

Since my sister had to go back to work the next day (booo), her and Ryan left after we took pictures with Eeyore, Tigger, and Pooh.

Tim’s favorite!
The one and only T-I-DOUBLE-GA-ER!

It didn’t occur to us until afterwards that we could’ve taken a group picture with one of the characters. So here we are by Splash Mountain:

Basically the one and only decent group shot of us.

After they left, Tim and I headed back to Space Mountain and looked around the gift store near the exit with all the arcade games. In there, I saw a claw machine full of Beanie Babies! Tim was determined to get one, so he got enough tokens for each of us to have a go at it. He went for a little non-Beanie Baby black bear, but missed. For my turn I decided to go for the little black bear as well, since he seemed attainable and was really the only cute thing in there. And I GOT IT! I’ve won a toy from a claw machine once, I was probably 6 when it happened. As I saw the claw scoop it up (this claw machine had a nice scoopy-thing going on, which is way better than the traditional claw because it makes it feel like you have a chance), I tried really hard not to jump up and down out of excitement for fear of possibly shaking the bear out of the claw’s grasp. And when it landed in the slot, I did my little happy dance. “I got it! I got it!” I think I was more excited about this win than the first time I actually won one when I was 6. Tim said there was some girl behind us that said in a somber voice, “She got the one that I wanted.” Is it bad that that made me even more excited? o,0

So where’s the bear? You’ll see him in a bit.

We watched The Muppets 3D show. It’s nice way to escape the SoCal heat.
GONZO!

Decorations for the Mad T Party are already in place near the Monsters Inc. ride. Unlike elecTRONica, the Mad T Party doesn’t take up most of the Hollywood Backlot, which is nice because I hated how it overpowered the area… not that I don’t like TRON or anything. It just took away from the rest of the place!

Don’t worry, White Rabbit. You’re too early.
House of Cards.
Mickey Mouse pretzel!!!
Tim’s Mickey ears.

I didn’t know that some changes were made to The Little Mermaid ride recently, but it was a pleasant surprise to spot them. There are two bits of an animated Ariel that were originally CGI, so they looked nothing like the Ariel that we know and love from the movie. Those were changed to look more like the hand drawn animated version of her, so she looks more familiar to riders. And more bubbles were added to the part of the ride that stimulates a decent under water.

The biggest change I noticed was Ariel’s hair during the “Under the Sea” part. Before, her hair looked like a big giant red tornado, or a Treasure Troll. Take a look here. It was just all kinds of awkward. And apparently John Lasseter thought so too, hence why all the changes were made to the ride.

Ariel’s new ‘do. Less Treasure Troll, more mermaid-y.
Kissy kissy.

After visting Ariel and co. we went to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail so I could find out what my spirit animal is! I’m kind of obsessed with spirit animals. I keep trying to find places that will tell me what my legit spirit animal is, but I always wind up with funky online quizzes.

Redwood Creek Challenge used to be themed around ‘Brother Bear’

Tim and I didn’t see Kenai’s Spirit Cave the last time we went, so we went exploring and eventually found it. Yeah, we could’ve used the map, but what’s the fun in that?

Tim’s spirit animal is a wolf.

I got confuzzled when I went to go see what my spirit animal was. At first a skunk appeared, but then a moose quickly showed up after. Thus, I have decided my spirit animal is both a skunk and a moose. 😛

What, no deer?
Remember that bear I won in the claw machine? Well, here he is! Griswald Spaceman (spa-che-men, like Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock).

Peter Pan’s Flight was our last ride of the night, but they had some crazy technical difficulties going on about a half hour into our wait period. But we stayed anyway!

Best ride in Fantasyland, hands down.
I love carousel horses! They are pretty much one of my favorite things.
Jingles, the lead horse, was dedicated to Julie Andrews in 2005. I love her. I wish she were my grandmother.

The next day we checked out of our hotel and before heading back up north, we decided to go to the park for a bit. On our way to Toy Story Midway Mania, we saw this Doctor Who and Mad Men art! Crystal Webb, the artist of the DW stuff, talked to us for a bit and we basically nerded out about the Doctor and what companions we liked, and some other random stuff. I think we talked to her for a good 15 minutes. Maybe even 30. I don’t know. Always nice to chat with a fellow Whovian though. You can check her out her art here.

Doctor Who art by Crystal Webb, Don Draper by Orlando de la Paz

As usual, the line for the Toy Story ride was a 45 minute wait, but it’s pretty much the best ride at California Adventure. I’m usually really good at kicking Tim’s bum on this ride, (and Astroblasters, Wii bowling, and Wii tennis too), but when we went in March, HE TOTALLY SCHOOLED ME. I had to redeem myself. We made a bet that the loser has to buy lunch.

Rex & Potato Head
Rex fits right in!

There came a point where we were neck and neck, but Tim won in the end. Hot dogs were on me. :/

DAMMIT.

After lunch we learned how to draw Phineas and Ferb. I don’t have our doodles, so I couldn’t take pictures of them to share with you all. Sorry! They didn’t turn out too shabby though. And since you can’t see them, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Or don’t. Whichever. I don’t care.

Concept art from Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tarzan

Before we embarked on our 7 hour drive back home, we hit Disneyland one last time to grab snacks at the Jolly Holiday Cafe. I think that’s my new favorite eating spot at the park. They have soooo many tasty pastries and soup and sammiches. And the decor!

Stained glass penguin.

And that was my trip! Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures. 😀

click here for part 1