Disneyland Resort in Anaheim - April 9, 2004 trip report

Since Good Friday is a holiday at the company where I work, I was able to spend a rare Friday at the resort. I got to the parking structure at about 12:45 and got a really good parking spot in Mickey-and-Friends-parking-structure-lotto. After I got off the tram, I headed over to White Water Snacks for some lunch. It's apparently not a best-kept-secret anymore because it was quite busy, with more people enjoying lunch there than at any other time that I've been there. It was nice to see that it's currently open from 6am to 10pm. It must be because of the spring break period. It still puzzles me when they close the restaurant at 7pm during certain times of the year. As I sat having my lunch, I happened to hear the people at the table next to me talking. The father had gotten up and come back and said that he'd noticed they'd just put out several new tuna fish sandwiches that looked fresh and full of tuna. He said it in a tone that suggested that he'd had a tuna fish sandwich, and it wasn't as good as the new ones looked. Something I noted for the future: if the sandwiches in the case don't look that good, ask to see if they can make new ones. Couldn't hurt, I suppose.

After lunch, I headed into DCA through the entrance from the Grand Californian. I had a purse and my normal backpack, so I opened them for the CM to check. When she saw my backpack, she made a comment about me being loaded down, so I must be the mom. Ummm, I have a purse and a half-filled backpack - that makes me a mom? Ooooohhhhhhhhkkkkkkkkaaayyyy....

I went to Ariel's Grotto to check out their menus. Their lunch and dinner menus haven't changed much, but their prices have been increased by about $2 since the last time I checked.

I then went to Engine-Ear Toys to check out some more of those "collector pack" toys. The CM behind the counter mentioned that he had three he could trade, so I ended up trading two of my duplicates for two of the ones he had. So this is what Disney wants me to do, right?

I then met up with a friend at DL and we headed to the Fantasyland Theatre because she hadn't seen the Snow White show yet. (On our way there, we noticed how long the lines for "It's a Small World" were. The queue extended up into the area where there are normally character meet-and-greets. I'm not used to seeing this long a line for that attraction other than during it's holiday make-over.) For the 4:45 show, we got in line at about 3:30. They let us into the theatre at about 4:10, and it turned out to be another packed house. She liked the show a lot, and I still enjoyed it on my third viewing. I did notice that the CM playing Snow White this time was different than the CMs on my other two previous viewings. I still like the CM who's in the commercials best, but this Snow White was very good as well. After the show, we sat in Fantasia Gardens for a while before heading off to meet my husband for dinner.

We enjoyed another wonderful meal at Catal. They got a new executive chef earlier this year, and I'm really enjoying his creations. There is a daily three-course "chef's special", and I've had the special on my last couple visits there, so I haven't even been able to try everything off the new menu that sounds good. As usual, the service and food were great.

After dinner, we headed over to take another look at Tortilla Jo's. We noticed that the walls around the restaurant had been taken down since Sunday, so the entire restaurant is visible. The place looks great. There weren't very many structural changes made, but it's amazing how much different the place looks, especially with a new non-Pepto-Bismol-pink paint job. There are heaters in the outside bar eating area, and all the tables are set up in the inside eating area. Since both locations will be serving different items, we're definitely planning to try both. We also took a look at the taqueria area and noticed that the menu is up for that. With a number of inexpensively-priced items, we figure it's going to be very busy and especially popular for the movie crowd. They're definitely going to be giving Wetzel's Pretzels a lot of competition. One of the items that particularly interested us is what's best described as a waffle cone taco of sorts. I should have pictures up of the menu on Sunday night. With the expected early-May opening of Tortilla Jo's, we're definitely looking forward to it.

We took the monorail back into DL and headed over to Small World Mall to wait for Believe. It's been a while since I've seen it, so it was definitely a treat. We did notice that some of the fireworks were a bit off. Their comet-launching machine is apparently not working, because in the four instances where there are supposed to be comets, they instead used fireworks that went higher and faster. It looks odd for someone who's seen the show many times, but for others, it probably doesn't make a difference, though I must say that the effect of the last comet doesn't work quite as well this way. The hidden Mickey firework didn't work AT ALL, so we laughed at that. One other thing different we noticed is that right before Tinkerbell's flight from the Matterhorn, the CMs on "It's a Small World" shouted out for people to turn around to see Tink launch from the Matterhorn. I guess a lot of people missed that, so I wonder how long they've been making that announcement.

After the fireworks, we sat around for a few minutes before our friend left. We wandered over to Big Thunder, but all the Fastpasses were understandably gone, and the stand-by wait was more than I could handle, so I'm still trying to get my first ride of Big Thunder in several years.

Figuring the rest of the park was just as crowded (it had been quite crowded in DCA earlier in the day as well), we decided to just head over to Rod's and listen to him play for a while before heading home before the crowds from the second Fantasmic let out. The park was open until midnight, but we were both too tired to stay quite that late. As we left at about 10:30, we noticed that the lines to get into DL were really long, probably about 20 or 30 deep, partly because there were only a few lines open. We figured it was mostly people coming back over from DCA, which had closed at 10pm.


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