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Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

A couple weeks ago, my sister and her friend came to California for their spring break. While I didn’t get to participate in their full week of LA festivities, we DID spend the first weekend of their visit at Disneyland in full-on tourist mode.

Jen’s friend had never been to California or any Disney parks, so for the first time in pretty much forever (and especially since my CP days when I learned how to run around the parks like a crazy person) we did Disney the super touristy way. And it was SO. MUCH. FUN.

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We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel (which has recently finished a huge remodel) on Saturday night so we could make the most of our two days at the parks- including the Extra Magic Hour you get when staying on property.

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This turned out to be a HUGE blessing, since not only is it a great hotel, but it down poured most of Saturday and it was really helpful to have a place to go dry off and recharge in the middle of the afternoon. (We seriously used the hair dryer on our clothes and filled to tub with hot water to warm our frozen feet.)

The rain chased most of the crowds away, so we actually ended up seeing most of both parks.

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Surprisingly, there weren’t long lines for Splash Mt on a rainy day

Sunday, we started off the day with some Fantasyland rides and then The Plaza Inn character breakfast with Minnie and friends! I love character meals and it had been way way too long since the last time I’d been to one. Nothing says breakfast like Mickey waffles!!

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Max loooooved us

Finally, since it was Jen’s birthday, and Jessa’s first visit, I took the opportunity to use a Disney service I’d never tried before- their gift basket service! I called a couple of days in advance of our arrival and they brought the (somewhat customizable) baskets right to our hotel room!

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We had a great weekend- it was so fun taking things a little slower and taking part in some of the things we tend to skip when we’re dashing around the park at light-speed 🙂

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I LOVE parades, as I’ve mentioned here a few times. So I was incredibly excited that Disneyland was debuting a new parade as part of their Soundsational Summer — in fact, the Soundsational Parade is kind of the theme for the summer itself!

It’s a really fun and original parade, with GORGEOUS floats, and fun music. As you may have guessed from the name of the parade, this one is ALL about the Disney songs we know and love.

Suffice it to say, I took a LOT of pictures. Here’s a look at a lot of the characters you’ll see in the parade!

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Minnie, Mickey & the gang are on the 1st float

If you’ve seen the Disney Sing-a-Long Song videos you’ll recognize the detail on this float:

Sing Along Songbirds :)

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Arabian dancers announcing Prince Ali's arrival

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I love this guy. He is ba-na-nas (literally!)

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Ariel's Under the Sea float

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2/3 Caballeros

All of the other princesses share this Tangled inspired Princess Float.

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musical ladies-in-waiting

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Some snazzy jazz girls

Well, all the other princesses were on the Tangled float, except for Tiana, who gets this gorgeous boat float, and a whole section devoted to her jazzy New Orleans music

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...and KICK!

Peter Pan and Captain Hook, in sync for once

Kiss for Peter

Kiss for Peter

I think the last section of the parade is my favorite though — the incredibly detailed, dainty Mary Poppins section:

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Bert & Mary on carousel horses!

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Chimney sweeps!

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Great end to a wonderful parade!!

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…is where the new Star Tours attraction is located! Well, technically it is in Disneyland (and Disney World) but, well, I was being witty and Star Wars-y so bear with me here.

That’s right — for the past couple of weeks the updated and much improved (not that the old one was BAD, since I loved it) Star Tours has been offering flights.

I’m hoping that the lines have subsided some since I went to Disneyland with my friends a few weeks ago. We showed up EXACTLY at park opening (hello 8 AM!) so that we could get a Fastpass — which we were luckily able to get because the wait was already 75 minutes long! When we came back at our designated time (11:10 AM) Fastpasses were already gone and the wait was roughly two hours. Eek!

We checked out the new merchandise in the store nearby…

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…and then headed to the boarding gates!

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The R2D2 and C3PO scene in the line is pretty similar to the original waiting area.

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The biggest change is all of the new videos promoting the locations you might visit on your flight — and that’s because you really CAN visit different locations in the updated ride.

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Each flight makes 3 stops, and there are (I believe) 5 different options at each stop. So every time you go on Star Tours you’re in for a different experience.

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Another different experience? These super snazzy 3D glasses. I’ll let Alex & Rachel model them for you (the pic of the 3 of us is blurry…):

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The 3D technology in the new attraction is REALLY cool. It’s so immersive you barely even notice the 3D, if that makes any sense.

And while Rex has been relegated to the storage bins…

It was really dark, but there's ol' Rex!

C3PO makes for a really entertaining pilot! I definitely miss a few of the old parts, like George Lucas appearing on the landing deck (someone let me know if I just didn’t see this??) and the crazy lady with the weird side buns in the safety video, but the new Star Tours is a DEFINITE must see.

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