Before I get to our evening at Disneyland, I wanted to mention that we went back to the Festival Showplace to try the Artisanal cheeses, a quesadilla, and a glass of wine from the Star Lounge while observing some of the wine talks from afar. Rich had the “XYZin,” which we thought was a clever name, and I had the “Magicale” that the CM recommended in the Festival gift shop. Magicale is a sweet, Disney sparkling wine, best with dessert, I would think. Anyway, this was a pleasant break from things, and we enjoyed the atmosphere. For a full list of F&W offerings, check out the list on Allears.
For additional pics, see Laura’s blog on Allears. BTW, we met Laura standing in line at the Sweet Sunday event last year and every once in awhile you meet somebody who you basically disagree with on everything – lol – so the profiterole she thought was too dry was heavenly to us. She also posted videos of the new World of Color she was able to observe being tested from her DVC GVC (Grand Californian Villa) – so check them out.
This was the first time we’d seen what it’s going to look like during the day and we were a bit unpleasantly surprised at how you can view the mechanical part of it during the day. Guess the water wasn’t all that deep when they first built this area. We’re disappointed that this seems to have ruined what little water Disneyland has compared to Disney World.
Anyway, on to Disneyland. We waited long enough for the 6:30 parade to be over, and then headed into the park. We arrived at that magical time when the sun is setting and the old-fashioned lamps are lighting up on Main Street. We strolled through the mark and got in the short line to ride Pirates. It was a blast, as usual, and it’s hard to ride the teeny tiny version of Pirates at WDW – on our last trip to WDW in January, we couldn’t help but notice how obviously lacking several scenes are – how could Disney be content with such a mini-version of such a popular ride?
We took the back way past Big Thunder Mountain, Big Thunder Ranch and to Fantasyland – a favorite route at Disneyland to us. We got in the always long line of Peter Pan (about 30 minutes), and noticed how we were the oldest people in line – lol! We were the grandparents without the grandkids – ha! We feel much more in our league at WDW with more people our age (and way older) enjoying Disney without kids.
From Peter Pan, it was a short walk to the Carnation Plaza Gardens where a band was playing and the crowd was dancing. Yep, it’s “Date Night at Disneyland” – a long-held tradition that Disneyland keeps alive. There are Southern California Big Band Dance Clubs who meet there every Saturday night to dance. Casual dancing there is also my tradition – I’ve been dancing there from way back when. So, we jumped in and bopped around a bit ourselves, and it was such a blast. Ah, I could just live there. Sigh!!!
After strolling, riding, dancing, and browsing, we found our way to my favorite place in all of Disneyland – Rancho del Zacalo – yes, it’s a restaurant but it’s a dining experience – dining al fresco next to the Big Thunder Mountain ride where you can hear the crowds (kids) laughing, screaming, and having a great time with bits of the BTM soundtrack (the mining town) in the distance. It’s simply magical sitting there in the dark. We find it hard to ride BTMR at DL because it just feels better at WDW – somehow the seats are padded more and you’re not thrown around – but some may prefer that effect – lol!
Here we each ordered the Carne Asada/Enchiladas combo plate – we could have shared this, in retrospect. We noticed the heat lamps were on – we were sweating – guess those poor southern Californians were cold – lol! Ironically, we feel extra warm coming in from Vegas because, and this really shocked us, it feels so humid in SoCal. We always thought of SoCal as dry, but when you’re living in the desert where the humidity is as low as 7 percent at times, you really feel the humidity in CA.
We had another fabulous day and night at one of my favorites places on earth – it really is my “happy place.”