Thursday, July 14, 2016

Disneyland Trip Recap 5/1/16

Sunday morning, I allowed myself to sleep in.  I was a little sad that the girls had left.  I was on my own, but that also meant that for the first time ever at Disneyland, I was on my own schedule for the entire day.  I could do whatever I wanted to.  The world was my oyster.  Most importantly, I wanted to take advantage of my extra Disneyland day.

Of course, my main reason for staying Sunday was to attend Disneyland's Spring 2016 Dapper Day.  I've always wanted to go and it happened to align perfectly with my trip.  I took it as a sign to go, and I'm so glad I did!  It was incredible!

I won't recount all of the Dapper Day details since I've already written about it.  (You can read all about that part of my day here.)  But I will say that it was one of the most amazing Disney experiences I've ever had.  It was definitely worth staying!

I left off from my Dapper Day post telling you that I went back to my hotel room.  I really wanted to take advantage of staying at the Disneyland Hotel, and that meant checking the pool out.  It was only the first day of May, and it's still too cold to go swimming here in Maine.  I got changed into my brand new bathing suit, and made my way to the pool.

It was so busy there.  It was on the cool side for Disneyland, but that didn't stop all the people from enjoying the pools.  Yes, pools.  I didn't realize there would be so many of them.  What I thought was a giant pool was actually a bunch of smaller ones.  I found a quiet spot in the pool under the bridge and enjoyed some pool time.  I did a few laps, but mostly, I just relaxed and took in the atmosphere.

Getting out of the pool was a total different story.  The breeze that I loved so much in the parks made me freeze when I got out of the water.  I went back to my room as quickly as I could.  Once I got there, I took a nice warm shower.  

I'd been eyeing the Disneyland Hotel bathrobes in the closet.  I've never ever used a hotel bathrobe before; I decided I was going to pamper myself and I grabbed it.  But it wasn't as luxurious as I'd hoped.  The bathrobe was great, but I was badly sunburned from being in the sun during my Dapper Day adventures.  I mainly wore the robe around after applying liberal amounts of lotion to my sunburnt skin.  Owwie.

But I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I got dressed in my new Disneyland shirt and I prepared my bags to go back into the park for the afternoon and evening.  It suddenly dawned on me that by the time I got "home" to my room, it would be really late.  Then, I'd be leaving my room super early in the middle of the night.  This was the last time I was in my room where it was ok to make extra noise.

Ever so gently, I pressed the button on the lamp at my bedside table.  I sat and listened to the music box while my headboard lit up with Mickey fireworks.  I watched it in the dark, and I played it again with the lights on.  I even video taped it a few times.  I really wanted to enjoy the moment.  Who knows when I'll stay there again?

I went back to preparing my park bags for my last few hours at Disneyland.  Eeyore, Brother and Duffy had kept me company in my hotel room, and I decided it was time to bring them into the park.  I carefully packed them into their traveling bag and then made my way through Downtown Disney and back over to Disneyland.

After entering the park, I took photos with my Mickey Mouse Diamond Celebration ticket.  The next time I'd be there with my annual pass!  It was pretty quiet, so I also took a few PhotoPass pictures in front of the train station.

I made my way towards Sleeping Beauty Castle and stopped to take pictures at the Partner's Statue.  I saw a momma and baby ducks walking along.  They were so cute!

I decided to get my Tigger tail since I hadn't had one yet.  In all of the Dapper Day excitement, I also hadn't really eaten anything all day.  After purchasing it, I took pictures in front of a waterfall next to the Winnie the Pooh ride.  It was so serene there.

I wanted to see the final show of Mickey and the Magical Map and I still had a little bit of time to kill.  I slowly wandered across the park, stopping to take a few pictures along the way.  First, I stopped at Splash Mountain.

Then, I stopped to take pictures of the Matterhorn.

I also made my way over to the tea cups.  I love the leaves and lanterns there!

When I approached the Fantasyland Theatre, there was still time.  I watched the time presentation and all the dolls at It's A Small World and then got in line for the show.

I took a seat near the back of the theater.  I got my little friends out of their bag to take a few pictures for their Instagram account.

Then, I sat contently and enjoyed my Tigger Tail while waiting for the show.  It was one of those simple, serene moments where you really just enjoy the moment you're in.  All around me were friends, families and people enjoying Disneyland with others.  Then, there was me, all by myself, yet perfectly happy sitting there, being thankful that I was able to have this amazing opportunity.  Life really is what you make of it.  It was a beautiful moment I won't ever forget.

Before I knew it, the map makers were dancing across the stage and I was whisked away to explore the magical map with Mickey.  Mickey and the Magical Map is a wonderful show.  I love it and wish we had something like it at Walt Disney World.

After the show, I made my way over to It's A Small World.  My little fuzzy friends and I took a few more photos before enjoying the ride.

Once I was done with that, I didn't really have an agenda.  But I knew I probably should eat more than just a Tigger Tail.  I decided that I really wanted one of those BB-8 cups everyone had.  They must have been in Tomorrowland so I headed in that direction.  I stopped along the way to take some pictures of the submarines.

When I arrived in Tomorrowland, they didn't have the cups at the burger restaurant.  I was perplexed and decided that I better do a little research.  After a quick check online, I realized they were sold over at the Pizza Planet.  Pizza for dinner it is!  I still wasn't starving, but I could definitely eat a slice of pizza.

I went into the restaurant and was greeted with a little army of BB-8 cups.  Success!  I grabbed a slice of pepperoni pizza, and picked out a BB-8 to call mine.  I filled him with orange soda, paid for him, and found a quiet table to sit at.  Dinner time is usually the most awkward part of traveling alone, but BB-8 kept me company.  I even sent my family and Eliot pictures of my "droid dinner date."

After dinner, I had a small moment of loneliness.  It was getting late in Disneyland, which meant it was really late back at home.  I'd said goodnight to Eliot and my family at dinner time, and now, I truly was alone.  But there was still things to be done.  I went into the giant Star Wars store to check the merchandise out.

Then, I made my way over to the hub to get a spot to watch the parade.  It was too late to get a really good seat, but since it was just me, I was able to fit into one of the roped off areas.  I passed the time by playing on my phone until the parade started.  That wasn't the main event I was there for anyways.

After the parade, I was ready to move into the center of the hub to see the Disneyland Forever fireworks.  Unfortunately, the breeze that kept me cool earlier was too windy at the higher altitudes and they couldn't shoot the fireworks off.  They did a small part of the projects onto the castle, but it was only about 2-3 minutes long.  Boo.  I comforted myself with the knowledge that I'd be back in about 40 days.  (And if you read my June Disneyland bucket list results, you know that I failed that trip too.  Ugh.)

Everyone was clearing out, so I made my way across the hub and over to the castle.  It was lit up beautifully so I took a few pictures while it wasn't too crowded.  Then, I set off to find something to do before the second Paint the Night Parade.

Of course, I always try to start and end my trip with the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, so I wandered off towards New Orleans Square.  First, I went on the Haunted Mansion.  I also took some great nighttime photos of it!

Then, I went over to Pirates.  Those photos didn't come out as well, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.  I was happy ending my trip with those two rides, so I went back towards the hub to find a place for the parade.

I'm always attracted to the castle... and this was no exception.  I found my feet taking me towards the Partner's Statue so I stopped and took a few night photos.

Then, I went back to the castle to get a few more photos of it lit up at night.  Stunning.

I was going to walk over to Eliot's and my parade spot in Fantasyland, but I realized there weren't many people in the hub.  I stopped at the PhotoPass photographer to take a few pictures.  Then, I ended up standing behind a group that was sitting.  It was perfect.  I could see the parade turn the corner at the hub, and then pass by me on it's way into Fantasyland.  I could easily see the fronts, backs and sides of the floats.  And the people in front of me sat the entire time.  I had a Front. Row. Seat.  Awesome!!!

I really enjoyed the parade this time.  In fact, I took a few videos of the floats since I had such a great view!  My iPhone takes such crisp photos and videos.  It was hard to deny the urge so I caved.  I had plenty of battery life thanks to my battery pack.  And I still had plenty of space on my phone for photos and videos.  It was perfect.

After the parade ended, Disneyland was closing.  I went to purchase the few items on my list.  (There were a few things I was afraid they wouldn't have my next trip so I forfeited my 20% discount to ensure I'd get them!)  I made my way down Main Street and took one last look at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Then, I said goodbye to Walt and thanked him for another magical trip.

With a heavy heart, I walked under the railroad bridges.  I stopped to take photos of the train station lit up at night.  Then, I took a deep breath and walked through the turnstile.

I paused to take a quick photo of California Adventure's gates.  It was eerily quiet over there since the park had closed a few hours prior.

I made my way through Downtown Disney.  I wasn't in a hurry so I stopped to take a few more photos.  Eventually, I arrived at my room and entered it for the last time.  At that point, I resigned myself to the fact that my magical trip was basically over, and I actually had to finish packing my luggage.  I didn't go to bed until around 12:30 am.

At 2:30 am, my alarm woke me up.  I got out of bed, took a very quick shower and finished packing up my stuff.  I took a few last photos of the details around my hotel room before heading to the hotel lobby.  It was really quiet- like I was the only one at the hotel who was even awake.  It felt like I was.

In fact, when I arrived at the lobby, no one was at the front desk.  The only person I could find was the man polishing the floor.  Thankfully, he saw me and he went out back to grab someone.  A girl came out and checked me out of my hotel room.

I took a few photos of the empty hotel lobby and of the flowers outside before sitting down to wait for my transportation.  Around 3:30, the shuttle pulled up and I crawled inside.  Before I knew it, I was at LAX and checking in for my flight.

The trip home was a blur.  Thankfully, I slept for a lot of it.  I had a layover in Baltimore to stretch and get some food before the last leg of my journey home.  I was thankful when we touched down in Portland.  Eliot picked me up and I was home!

I truly had a magical Disneyland trip.  I had so much fun with Tara and Linda.  I'm so glad they asked me to come with them.  I'm also so incredibly grateful to both of my parents for making this trip happen.  It was like a dream.  °o°

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