Thursday, May 5, 2016

Results- Disneyland April 2016 Bucket List

There are moments when you count your lucky stars and this past week has certainly been one of them for me.  I'm still reeling from my wonderful Disneyland trip.  While it was short, I had a fantastic time.  We packed a lot of fun into three and a half days.

Not only did we have fun, but I also accomplished most of my trip bucket list!  I'm pretty proud of that since it was a shorter trip.  It proves that a lot can be done in only a few days!  Here's a look at how I did:

Melissa's Disneyland April 2016 Trip Bucket List:

°o°  1.) Attend the Pearls in the Park event
This was the main purpose for our quick weekend getaway.  We had a great time at the event.  It was fun to meet some other Disney fans and to see a few of our Key to the World Travel friends!  I also enjoyed getting dressed up in my Disney best.  The Rose Court Garden venue was beautiful.  It was definitely worth the trip out!

°o°  2.) Eat a Tigger Tail
Tigger tails are my favorite Disneyland treat.  You can only get them at Pooh Corner in Critter Country.  The candy store is located right next to the Winnie the Pooh ride.  I always try to grab one each trip since I can't get them anywhere else.  Yum!  This time I bought one and enjoyed eating it while waiting for one of my shows to start!

°o°  3.) Watch Paint the Night Parade
This is one of my favorites at the Disneyland Resort.  In fact, it's probably my favorite night time parade at this point.  The lights and technology are incredible, and you can't help getting the music stuck in your head.  The first time I saw it this trip, I couldn't see very well, but the second time I got front row seats on a corner!  It was a great view of the front and sides of the floats!

°o°  4.) Go to Carthay Circle Restaurant
This trip was all about trying new things and dining was at the top of that list.  Carthay Circle Restaurant was amazing.  We had a World of Color dining package which gave us special saved viewing of the show later that night.  The food was delicious, fancy and rich, but it was so good.  I'm still dreaming about that lemon dessert.

°o°  5.) Attend Spring Dapper Day 
This was another main goal of my trip.  My girlfriends left early Sunday morning, but I stayed for a solo day especially for Dapper Day.  I cannot say enough good things about this.  I'll write up a separate post (or a few) about it, but it was worth the crazy short trip across country just to experience this!

°o°  6.) Watch Mickey and the Magical Map
I love this show and there's nothing like it at Walt Disney World.  Eliot had told me it was amazing and I fell in love with it last fall.  On my solo day, I enjoyed the show while munching on my Tigger tail.  It was another one of those surreal moments where you feel like you're dreaming but you're not.  Magic worth every second.

°o°  7.) Go to Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
I've heard great things about Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar.  I did order a drink and it was great, but it wasn't everything I expected.  The full experience was inside and the bar was so crowded we sat outside.  Worth the drinks, not really worth the hype- at least not this trip, but I'd definitely try it again!

°o°  8.) Bring Home a few Candy Apples
This is one of my new goals for every Disney trip.  It's a great way to bring a little magic home!  This time I brought home Mickey and Minnie Diamond Celebration candy apples.  But a word to the wise, I've gotten stopped and pulled aside at airport security both times I've brought candy apples home.  (They show up as liquids on the x-ray scanner since they're so full of water!)  The nice lady at security told me she didn't blame me one bit for bringing a few home with me though!  Yum!

°o°  9.) Go the Steakhouse 55 Restaurant
This was a dining must do.  After a day of traveling, this was just what I needed.  The food was amazing, and I might even be able to convince Eliot to go!  I had the wedge salad and steak.  The three of us split the chocolate cake.  It was delicious!

°o° 10.) Watch Disneyland Forever Fireworks
So close, yet so far away.  On my solo night, I was ready to watch the fireworks after the parade, but due to winds at higher altitudes, Disneyland had to cancel their fireworks. It was a little depressing, but at least I'll be there again in June!

°o° 11.) Get a picture with Diamond Celebration Mickey and Minnie
Now that I'm back from my trip, I can disclose the real reason I wanted another picture with 60th anniversary Mickey and Minnie!  My Dapper Day Disneybound outfit was of Diamond Celebration Minnie Mouse!  Mickey loved my outfit and jumped up and down when he saw me.  Minnie Mouse looked flattered that I dressed up as her.  The photos are adorable and I'm so thankful for this opportunity.  (Insert happy tears of joy!!!)

°o° 12.) Explore the Disneyland Hotel
I definitely got to explore the Disneyland Hotel during my stay!  I loved my room and the subtle hidden Mickeys.  The hotel was really nice and I fell in love with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad model in the Frontier Tower.  I also went to Steakhouse 55, Trader Sam's and the Disneyland Hotel pool while staying at the resort!

°o° 13.) Scope out Disney art work at Wonderground Gallery
This place was packed both times I went in.  But I did a quick loop to scope out some artwork.  I also grabbed 5 or 6 postcards for the art collage I plan to make in my office!

°o° 14.) Go to the Blue Bayou Restaurant
I've wanted to eat here ever since I first went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.  The restaurant is at the beginning of the ride and I've always admired it from afar.  We got there right as it opened and were lucky enough to get a table right on the water.  The food was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible.

°o° 15.) Check out the Dapper Day Expo
This was also packed when I went Sunday afternoon.  I wasn't shopping for anything but I really just wanted to see what it was all about.  There were so many booths with the cutest retro clothing.  There was an antique car.  And the music definitely set the mood.  I'd love to explore it again someday!

°o° 16.) Watch World of Color
The three of us girls had awesome seats thanks to our Carthay Circle World of Color dining package.  This was probably the best view I've had of the show so far.  (I've seen it three times now.)  We were towards the back, but standing on a raised level towards the middle.  I took less pictures this time and just tried to enjoy the show.

°o° 17.) Check out the CA Food and Wine Festival
We were so busy this trip that we barely even acknowledged the Food and Wine Festival.  The surprising part was that the booths weren't crowded at all like the ones at Epcot.  I wish we had more time!  However, I heard that the event was a success, so hopefully it will be back again sometime in the future!

°o° 18.) Go on Radiator Springs Racers
This has been a goal of mine for two trips now.  I finally went on the ride this trip.  Oh my gosh, it was incredible.  The girls and I were really impressed with it.  It's a lot like Test Track, but everything is Cars themed.  I get really nervous going on things the first time, but this ride was totally worth it.  Now I can't wait to go on it again!

°o° 19.) Scope out merchandise for our June trip
This trip I didn't buy much.  It's hard when you know you'll have a 20% off annual pass holder discount in about 35 days when you're back!  I did however purchase a few things that I wasn't sure they'd have again.  (I'll tell you more about those below!)

°o° 20.) Get my picture taken with Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde
This was a goal, but not a necessity.  We were doing so much other stuff that I didn't even get a chance to think about my new Zootopia friends.  Eliot and I definitely want to do the meet and greet when we go in June though!

Overall, I'm really impressed with my bucket list results!  17 out of 20 isn't bad at all, especially since I only had three days to accomplish these!

I also did a few things I had hoped to, but didn't put on my official bucket list:

°o° Disneyland Hotel Headboard
That was the main reason I was so excited about staying in the Disneyland Resort.  I'd heard about the light up headboards and I was really excited to see them!  It was so cool.  The fireworks light up over the castle while "When You Wish Upon A Star" plays.

°o° Swim in the Disneyland Hotel Pool
Although it's spring, it's still freezing here in Maine.  I'd bought a new bathing suit and I was going to use it if it was the last thing I did!  On my solo day, I took a break mid-day to take a quick swim in the pool.  The pool area was awesome and I'd love to explore it more someday!  Monorail slides, I'm coming for you!!!

I also crossed off a few things on my general Disneyland bucket list.  These are things I've always wanted to experience and I was able to this trip!

°o° Try a Mint Julep
I've always wanted to try a mint julep!  While I didn't think I'd get to this trip, they were offered at the Blue Bayou so I made sure to get one!  It was like mint soda, but not too sweet.  I'd definitely get one again!

°o° See One of the Disneyland Cats
I've always wanted to see one of the feral cats at Disneyland!  This trip, I actually saw three!  The first was a black one in the bushes near the Disneyland Hotel pool.  The next was a white and gray cat at Trader Sam's.  He kept walking back and forth the edge of the bar and even let a few people pet him.  The last cat was an orange one I spotted inside the track of Grizzly River Run where they'd drained the water.

I also experienced a few other things during my trip that I wasn't expecting:

°o° Animation Master Class
We decided take an animation class and little did we know we were doing one of the advanced "master classes".  We drew Captain Hook from Peter Pan and he was definitely more difficult than the characters I've drawn in the past.  But it was still fun!

°o° Meet Kylo Ren
Tara and I went to explore Star Wars Launch Bay and happened across the Chase credit card meet and greet.  We decided to check it out and we ended up meeting Kylo Ren.  It was hilariously intimidating.  Right from the beginning of the meet and greet, he said Tara "sympathized with the light side" and he didn't like her.  When he gave me the stare down, I said I was team Kylo Ren and he seemed ok with that.  (He's completely ignoring poor Tara in the photo so I cropped her out at her request.)

°o° Get a BB-8 Souvenir Cup
I've seen these all over Instagram.  I love BB-8!  I'd seen people with them all over Disneyland, but I had no idea where to buy them.  After a little bit of internet sleuthing, I discovered that they were sold at Pizza Port in Tomorrowland.  So, my solo night, I had pizza for dinner with my date BB-8!

°o° 60th Shoe Ornament
I'd seen these when Disneyland first released the 60th anniversary merchandise and I didn't see one my entire trip there in September.  I spotted them at a few locations this time and I was sure to bring one home with me.  I didn't care about the 20% off discount.  I wanted to make sure I got one while they had it!  And it's probably a good thing- the cast member at the register said they keep selling out of them!

°o° Mickey's March Along
I didn't know there was a march along.  Apparently, it goes from Sleeping Beauty Castle down to the train station.  The marching band and all of the characters march down Main Street in their Diamond Celebration gear.  Then, the marching band and the Dapper Dans performed on the train station steps which brings me to...

°o° Dapper Dans Singing "Live the Magic" on Dapper Day
Seeing the Dapper Dans perform on Dapper Day, with the marching band playing while the characters dance around in their Diamond Celebration outfits while I was dressed like Minnie Mouse in her 60th outfit had to be a highlight of my trip.  It was another one of those surreal moments where I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real.  Not only that, but they were singing "Live the Magic", the anthem to Disneyland's Diamond Celebration.  (It's the song played during the Disneyland Forever fireworks.)  I won't lie, I definitely teared up in this moment.  Thankfully, I was aware enough to make sure to record part of it so I'll always be able to go back to that moment!

All in all, it was one amazing trip!  I really can't wait to be back in June.  We've got just over one month to go!  I'm hoping to experience some of these things again with Eliot and his family.  I'm definitely checking out Mickey's March Along again!  Of course, I'll be prepared with another trip bucket list!  I've got plenty of things to add!!!  °o°

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