Hello Runners (and Disney fans),
Today I've decided to recap the adventure I had at the Disneyland Monstrous Summer 24 Hour Day! I've been running but since I've been moving, park hopping, and working a lot lately things have definitely settled down a bit as far as my running schedule is concerned. I think it was good timing too, I think I was getting burn out. I went for a 5 mile run yesterday and my legs felt great and well rested!
Lesson learned: It's okay to not run as much for a week to revive yourself. Listening to my body definitely paid off. Granted I did a TON of walking while dialing back my running miles so that also helped.
So off to Disneyland we go!
I work in the Bay Area so Thursday I packed up my car and went to work, hoping to leave work at around 4:30-5 to make the 6-7 hour drive down and hopefully miss the rush hour traffic. That was the plan. Because of some things outside of my control I didn't leave work until 5:45, hit rush hour traffic on 101 (ugh), and took me a solid 7 hours to get down to DLR. I arrived here...
My Swiss Chalet for the weekend!
The Alpine Inn sits on Katella right behind DCA (I could hear the screams from Tower of Terror during the day). It was about a .75 mile walk to the plaza area between the 2 parks which was great. Not too far. Honestly, I would definitely stay here again. The price was right, the quality was a good value, and the staff was very friendly. It doesn't have a lot of frills but I just needed a place to rest my head and grab some simple food stuffs in the morning and this fit the bill.
Now on to the real fun. So I went to sleep (aka took a nap for 3 hours) and rose at 4:30 and was out the door on my way to DLR at 5:10.
Walking over! I think only run Disney has gotten this face at this hour of the morning.
I arrived at the plaza area and there was a large platform for media and overall it was less crowded than I expected. Disneyland had set it up so people could start lining up at 10 pm the night before so I thought I was going to arrive and not even make it into this area until after 6. I was pleasantly surprised that even the Disneyland locals weren't that crazy. I got a pair of Mike glasses and got in a line to enter Disneyland.
Plaza between the parks
Feeling monstrous at 5:30am!
So then the waiting began. I ended up making friends with a mom and daughter who were in line next to me and that helped pass the time. There were fireworks to do the countdown into the park, but no train and not a ton of characters. There was a really cute voice over from Mike and Sulley that played as we got closer to park opening and then for park opening which was a fun little touch. They actually used this throughout the day. Every once and a while you would hear Mike or Sulley come on over the sound system park wide and get you pumped for Monsters University with some band pep rally music playing in the background.
So first thing first, MERCHANDISE! I got both ear hats, the shirt, and an antenna topper as well as gifts for others. So once I got through all that, there was fun to be had!
Partner's Statue at 6:30am
First stop? Indy! After Indy, I blasted through space on Space Mountain and then hopped into my bobsled on the Matterhorn, quick trip to the Caribbean with the Pirates, then a spin with some happy haunts at Haunted Mansion, and then jumped in a honey pot to experience the hundred acre wood. I was moving slow so this took me until about 9.
Later in the day, I was going to be park hopping with a friend so I decided to leave DL and head to DCA. First stop, Monster's Inc ride of course!
MU hat? Check. Goofy grin? Check. Wanting more than anything to be a monster? Absolutely! Off to Monstropolis!
At this point the lines were starting to get longer so I took a lap around the park to see what the wait times were looking like, and most were longer than I really wanted to tackle as a single. So I took a quick spin under the sea with Ariel and then decided to go back to the hotel to rest for a bit. I still had lots of fun hours to enjoy!
At around 1:30 my friend was off work and on her way to DLR! So I packed up and walked back over to the parks.
Plaza at 1:30, still not too bad.
Honestly, this is where my memory is going to fail me. We went to Disneyland first and did a few rides there, including Pinocchio which still in my opinion is the scariest ride in the park, and my friend agrees with me. We did some other rides and walked through the Sleeping Beauty castle (which I hadn't done since I was little) and then headed over to DCA. We walked through Carsland, thought the RSR single rider line was still a little long so we decided to head to Toy Story. After Toy Story we grabbed some food and then decided to go back and wait for RSR in the single rider line. While in line, we made some friends with the couple behind us!
While in line, we saw a guest relations guy come up with a few people, and in general, I don't pay much attention to these because usually it's no one I know. But this time we swore we saw Richard Simmons! Upon more snooping, it was! As he came down the ramp, he was very friendly, and people got pics with him and he gave our new friend a fist pump! Awesome!
After a spin on RSR, we decided to slow it down and check out the lounge in the Carthay Circle restaurant. OMG! This might be my new favorite spot in any park. It is BEAUTIFUL and so quiet. You really are transported completely out of the park and into a different era. It is awesome. Definitely going to try to save my pennies so I can eat a real meal here next time.
By this point it was about 9 and we decided to park hop back over to Disneyland to catch the fireworks. I was completely surprised! I hadn't seen the fireworks in a few years and was surprised that the Park Album I had bought last summer didn't have the current fireworks track on it (it was still the 50th Anniversary track with Julie Andrews). I loved this fireworks show. It was classic, lots of music from the movies, and I really liked it. Super fun!
We then ventured out into the park (again my memory is failing me) and did a lot of classics. We also made a B-line for some rides she had never done like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Casey Jr Train. It was getting really chilly and we were fading fast. We hit Small World and then decided to ride Roger Rabbit and then call it a night around 2am. We decided that suffering through the next 4 hours would not be fun for anyone.
Toon Town was super fun for the all nighter. They had the face paint artist out, karaoke, and all the characters were out in their PJs. It was like a giant slumber party! It was super fun. I almost waited for Goofy, but sleep and tired feet were winning. So we called it a night and said bye!
Overall, the 24 hour day was awesome! It was crowded but they managed the crowds a lot better this year and if I hadn't been so sleep deprived leading up to it, I would've had a blast bopping around the whole night long!
The next day I met up with another friend and some high school kids he mentors and we hit the parks hard. We managed fastpasses and did a lot of rides! The best part was seeing the new show "Mickey and the Magical Map" though. It was very cute and definitely a good fit into the Disney Parks family of shows.
Spoilers and Pics ahead!
The basic premise of the show is that Yensid is a Master Map Painter and Mickey wants to prove himself by painting this spot, but the spot has personality and doesn't want to be painted. While Mickey is trying to get this spot painted he ends up going on adventures into the Disney stories. The whole theme is that you are painting the Disney Movies and bringing life to them. There is a very clear "afterschool special" moment where Mickey learns that the spot just wants to be a spot and everyone has their role and has the choice to be what they want to be. In this case, the spot didn't want to be painted and just wanted to be a black dot. (Honestly, this part felt very forced and awkward.) The show is very fun and the dancing and singing were top notch!
Sing it Louis!
Then Pocahontas and Mulan...
Then Pocahontas, Mulan, and Rapunzel! I didn't realize how well their stories fit together until this show.
Some Flynn Rider just for fun!
Mickey trying to paint the spot.
Under the Sea with Sebastian!
Off to Hawaii!
Wake up Yensid!
Mickey is now a Master Map Painter!
And the grande finale! Tiana singing Dig a Little Deeper (isn't that Mama Ode's song? This really bugged me for some reason)
So after another long day of park hopping, World of Color, and lots of fun it was time to say good night once again to this sight and grab a churro to finish the night!
The next morning, I decided to head out for one last hour of park fun! I jumped on Indy, the Jungle Cruise, and Alice in Wonderland before saying my final good byes to the Happiest Place on Earth.
I had a blast and so glad I went down to the parks for this weekend! The weather was great, I had so much fun, and got to see friends!
Only 90 days until I'm back for the Disneyland Half and the Dumbo Double Dare!
That's all for now! Faith, trust and pixie dust!