My second day at Disneyland started at 5:30 a.m. Damn you, jet lag! Doug and I were both wide awake at this ungodly hour and couldn’t make ourselves go back to sleep. So we made the best of things and got up to get ready for the day and to move hotels. We bunked at the Best Western the first night to keep the budget in check and today we’d be moving to Disney’s Paradise Pier.
Since our friends with cars are sane and adjusted to West Coast time they were all sleeping when we were ready to move hotels so we just grabbed a cab. Checking in went pretty smoothly, but our room wasn’t ready so early so we checked our bags with bell services and we were ready for another day in the parks.
Again, being able to walk to the parks from your hotel is awesome. This time we strolled through the Grand Californian to enter DCA. Having a resort entrance directly into the park is pretty sweet. DCA’s recently renovations brought a Starbucks into the parks. Thank the sweet, baby Jesus because Disney coffee is notoriously awful. Doug and I made a stop to grab some to go while on our way to Disneyland. Of course, I picked up a chai for Kev while we were there since he was waiting for us on Main Street.
I asked him where he was and he gave me points of reference I didn’t understand since I don’t know my way around Disneyland at all. Nonetheless, we managed to find him and then the fun could really begin. If you haven’t met Kev, let me try to sum him up: ball of energy who is super excited about all things Disney parks. There are many reasons to love him, but his nerdy enthusiasm is definitely one of them.
Anyway, he was dying to get me on Space Mountain so off we went to Tomorrowland where we had a moment of silence for the Carousel of Progress. It is such a tease to have a round building with now Carousel, Disneyland. Come on. Also, Space is so much cooler on this coast. We did a few other attractions and accidentally skipped the line at the Matterhorn which I would tease Kevin about for the rest of the day.
After a bit of running around, mostly in Tomorrowland it was time for a snack at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. This place is adorable, by the way. I dare you to go in there and not get Jolly Holiday stuck in your head for at least an hour. It’s a jolly holiday with you Bert… Whilst having our goodies we spotted non other than Mary and Bert just hanging out near by with no one around.
The character meet and greets at Disneyland baffle me since I’m accustomed to the ones in Disney World. In Florida characters are always accompanied by some sort of handler. Here they just roam free which in some ways is pretty cool. I’m not a huge character person, but I think it’s fun when you just randomly see one wandering down the street. However, it’s really weird to see Mary and Bert just shooting the breeze while no guests pay them any attention. It is even weirder to go talk to them because you feel bad for them and then have to hunt down another guest to take your picture.
After our visit with Bert and Mary we did a few more attractions before meeting up with the rest of our friends. Anything with air conditioning was very pleasant. We also made a stop at the Big Thunder Ranch cause we don’t have one in Florida. Who doesn’t want to pet a goat while their roaming around a theme park? The goats were actually really cute and sweet. We don’t have a lot of those roaming around North Jersey.
We hit some other rides and then everyone was hungry so it was lunch time. The counter service food in Disneyland really is better than in Disney World. For starters there are real plates and real silverware. Crazy right? I grabbed a salad, but every one else’s prepared food really looked tasty. Come on Disney World, keep up.
We had a Fast Pass for Indy so we did that before we headed out of the park for a bit. Doug and I needed a break from the heat and we had to go back to our room to get ready for the evening festivities anyhow. It was so nice to just get off our feet for a little while and grab a quick shower so I didn’t have to put my dress on being all sweaty and gross. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a midday break when touring Disney parks is a beautiful thing.
Anyway, we got ready to roll and made a stop at the TouringPlans meet. I’ve never attended a meet whilst wearing a dress before, but I seemed to manage ok. The heels I tried to wear couldn’t say the same thing. I wore then for like 10 minutes of walking through the park before bailing in favor of my flats I brought with me just in case. It wasn’t the height that was the problem it was the way they were rubbing and I knew it wasn’t going to end well if I tried to keep wearing them.
Heels or not, the meet was fun and I met a couple West Coast staffers and caught up with some other familiar faces. We had to leave the meet after a little while to head over to 1901 for a different sort of experience. 1901 is the private lounge in DCA reserved for Club 33 members. Luckily, friends of friends of mine are members and got us in and also brought us to Club 33 that night, but more on that later. 1901 is really lovely with lots of Disney nerd artifacts decorating it. If you get the chance to go, take it! We spent a while just hanging out, having a drink and chatting with old friends and new. It was a really nice break from the craziness of the parks. After seeing Walt’s shadow go by on the wall (yes, it is as creepy as it sounds) and a nice break, it was time to head over to Disneyland for Club 33.
For those reading this who may not be Disney geeks, Club 33 is a private restaurant reserved for members. I call it the Disney country club. It costs and insane amount to join and another good sum to keep your membership yearly and there is a crazy long waiting list. It is a big deal for Disney geeks to get to go to this restaurant since not all of us get the chance. And for me to go on my first trip to Disneyland was a special treat.
When we arrived our table wasn’t ready so we hung out in the lounge for a while and had a drink. The guys who brought us seemed to know everyone there and when the chef came out for whatever reason they greeted him like and old friend. They had a chat with him and he agreed to prepare a special menu for our table. Hot stuff.
Well, when someone asks you if you’d like a wine pairing with your fancy chef’s table meal, you say yes (even when you’ve already had a couple drinks and have no tolerance anymore since you hardly drink cause you’re all healthy and stuff). Five glasses of wine and five courses later I was was pretty much hammered. Whoops. You apparently can’t take me fancy places cause I get bombed. Although I’m pretty sure most people at my table were bombed too. At least I’m a fun drunk.
Aside from the getting drunkity, drunk, drunk part the meal was fantastic. Five courses of deliciousness with great service and even better company. It turned out one of our hosts lived in New Jersey when he was a kid, Kim’s mom lives here, Lou moved from here just a few years ago, and obviously I’m love my homeland. We were having some serious Jersey bonding moments. I promise to bring bagels to Lou the next time I go to Florida. I’m sure Beci thought we were insane, but she got a good laugh out of our silliness. It was a pretty wonderful night and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it.
But the fun didn’t stop there! Our friends who didn’t get to partake in Club 33 were all at Trader Sam’s so Kim, Lori, and I made our way there to meet up with the boys. Upon arrival I declared that I was “shnooked” (I like Yiddish ok?) and it became a thing for the rest of the trip. There may have been some talking with my hands involved that really made the statement better. Of course, the boys bought me another drink because why wouldn’t they? I have no bloody idea what it was that I drank, but it was fine. We closed down Sam’s whilst being loud and laughing a lot. It just topped off an already great night. The West Coast nerds are a lot of fun.
I totally stole some of these photos from Kev. Thanks, love!