Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Lion King Celebration at Disneyland

Continuing our Lion King celebration weekend, we're at Disneyland! And now everyone is wearing hats. I'm not sure if mine is intended to be Simba or Mufasa. I think it's supposed to be grownup Simba, but when you've got all these hats together it's easy to say it's Mufasa. Ian is wearing a young Simba cub hat. It wasn't easy, but I found Alli a Nala hat. And brand new from Disneyland Paris is Theresa's Timon and Pumba headband!

A closer look at the headband.

We're getting a late start today, arriving at 9:30am. The drive to the park today we listened to the Lion King soundtrack as well as some songs from The Lion Guard.
The crowds so far aren't bad. Parking was quick, but the lines for security and the tram were backed up like usual. And per usual we decided to walk in from the parking structure. I'm looking forward to the completion of the pedestrian bridge so we don't have to wait at multiple crosswalks to get in.
Every week I swear these planters move and that there's no way the stroller will fit through the middle.

But every week I manage to squeeze through with barely any room to spare; just a couple scrapes on the sides.

I'm liking the general busyness of Downtown Disney too. Let's hope the parks are similar.

For over a month now, Ian has been begging to go measure himself at Indiana Jones. We've been at Disneyland, but mostly staying at DCA, so he hasn't had the opportunity. Today we start in DL so we made sure to tackle it first.

And wow, he's a lot closer than I thought he'd be. I don't even know if it's a full finger-width away. He was really excited at being so close.

Hey look! Uncle Jacob is joining us!
Our very first ride of the day. What should we do? After a little arm twisting everyone hopped on Splash Mountain! Ian wanted the front row, Alli wanted to sit in the back with Mom. Even though it's 2 hours after park opening, Splash is still a walk-on, so we ended up getting the entire log to ourselves.

The end drop will definitely get you wet, but there's a lot of other areas through the ride that will surprise you with a wave of water coming over the edge.
After rounding the bend here and seeing a backup of logs all the way to the lift hill, I was really hoping to finally get walked off Splash Mountain. We must have sat there, listening to the doom and gloom message for Brer Rabbit, for 4-5 minutes. But it was not to be. Ian surmised that they were probably just adding more logs to the ride so more people could ride it.

Down we go! Some of us kept our hats on. As soon as we crashed down at the bottom I looked forward at Ian's head and didn't see his hat. After a quick bit of panic, I looked around and found it soaked with water and in my lap. Phew.

Nothing like starting the day off with wet clothes.

Alli was very proud of herself how she kept her hat completely dry.

Winnie the Pooh is a favorite of Theresa's and there were still no lines to speak of. We walked right on and got our own honey hive.

After a brief stop at Pooh Corner for a treat, the Haunted Mansion was calling our name.

It's not often I see something new on the ride. Getting a picture of it was difficult, so you'll mostly just have to take my word for it. Immediately after the ballroom scene and continuing all the way to about where the caretaker and his dog are, the track that the doom buggies travel along was lit up from below. Normally I don't think twice about looking down along the track because it's always pitch black. This time though whatever area is underneath this portion of the ride had all the lights on. As best as I could tell there was lots of cement and industrial pipes going on underneath. Interesting. I really wish Disney offered an Engineering type tour showing what goes on behinds the scenes of your favorite rides.

It was a fun ride through the Haunted Mansion, and I'm looking forward to celebrating the Mansion's 50th birthday next week.

Suspect Lion Fact #1: Some lions have been known to enjoy fruits and vegetables instead of meat.

Suspect Lion Fact #2: Although primarily found in Africa, some lion species can be found on The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness.

Our walk to the other side of the park passed in front of the castle so it was the perfect opportunity to get some group photos.


And while we were getting photos taken, I was visited by a little bee. Just like the big green Fig Beetle the last couple weeks, we've got to show the kids we're not scared of such things. I let her crawl on my leg, then crawl onto my hand, where we looked at her until she decided to fly off. Successful encounter.

Back in Toon Town, despite showing a 20 minute wait on the sign, Gadget's Go Coaster was a walk-on. Because of it, Ian wanted to wait for the front row.

I still love how expressive Alli is. And holding her hands up big in the air.

Theresa is glad to have Jacob here so she doesn't have to ride it.

And because a short line demands a re-ride, we circled back around and this time Alli wanted to wait for the front row.

Roger Rabbit is fun, though when you ride with Alli it's Roger Rabbit's Car Toon no-Spin.

We love setting off fireworks.

Though Ian was disappointed not to find any money stuck inside the plunger.

And the kids still get such a kick out of ringing the doorbell and watching the dalmatian puppy bark angrily at them. Though something looks different than usual. Anything look different to you?

I don't ever remember seeing those puppy paws at the base of the window. Looking through some of my old photos, even as recently as April 2019 they weren't there. My quick web search didn't find any other pictures in the past of those paws either. But it's odd that Disney would add something new and random like that. The paws stay on the window sill, even after the puppy has lowered back down.   Interesting.

It's lunchtime, and our favorite place to eat these days is over in the Pacific Wharf area of DCA. T and Jacob like the Ensalada con Pollo from Cocina Cucamonga. I'll stick with my sliced bread loaf and butter. 

Ian showing off his "hidden mickey" he made from bread.

Suspect Lion Fact #3: Lions often feed bread crusts to other thankful animals.

I like that Disney has a merchandise stand devoted to the Lion King for the celebration. I do wish they had more interesting hats. And I would imagine they'd sell. I was asked no less than 5 times today by random guests wondering where I got any of our Lion King hats.

Lots of plush characters available to buy. Each of us finding the character that matches our hats.

I've been passing this by each week until I could plan our Lion King hat day, but now it's finally here and now we can go. It's the AP corner where we can get buttons and photos.

And finally get that elusive AP car magnet. Theresa and I have been passholders for something like 15 years now and haven't ever received a magnet in the mail. Now I can finally pick one up.

Getting a photo by the Lion King display.


Alright, let's go on a few more rides.
T took Alli over to the Jumping Jellyfish while Ian and I took on the super bumpy Goofy's Sky School. For our first ride, I pretended to be asleep, snoring and flopping all over Ian for the whole ride. And it's a little bit more jarring of a ride when you've got your eyes closed and don't see what's coming.

So for the second ride, Ian also pretended to sleep through the whole thing.

We caught up with Theresa and Alli just as they finished their 3rd time on the jellyfish. Ian and I hopped on for a ride.

Nice views from up here.

And like before, short lines demand another ride. That makes 4 times in a row for Theresa and Alli.



There's only a couple more things on our list to do today, and we've got time before they start.
The kids both really wanted to go play at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trails. First was the ziplines. I think Ian was intentionally trying to swing himself upside down at the end.
Suspect Lion Fact #4: Lions can often be found ziplining from tree to tree in the African bush.

Suspect Lion Fact #5: Lions are naturally gifted rock climbers (except Mufasa. We all know how that turned out).

This is starting to become a favorite. Now T has dreams of a rock wall at home.


Racing down the Rock Slide.

Crawling through the shake-a-log.


Hopping across the stones above the water in the creek.

Sliding down the Hoot-N-Holler logs.

Having lots of fun on the suspended rope bridge. It's almost like a trampoline.


Here's the other main reason we're celebrating the Lion King today. It's the "Tale of The Lion King" at the Palisades Stage (World of Color viewing area). The first showing is at 2:50pm and normally we've left for the day by now. Speaking to a cast member earlier in the day, she suggested finding a place to sit about 30 minutes before the show. When we arrived at 2:20pm, the benches were all filled, but that's fine with me. I want to sit right up front. It is a warm day though so both us and the pavement are getting hot.

Hey Ian, how are you staying so cool on that hot pavement?

Ah-ha. Sitting on ice packs from the cooler.

And downing beverages from the cooler too. Good plan.

The cast members had also mentioned that they'd be giving out mats to keep people from having to sit on the hot cement. Unfortunately these were passed out about 5 minutes before showtime, so a little late for us.

Let's start the show!

The performers all came out and we got to see them really close up. Scar was especially animated.

Time to hear the Tale of The Lion King.

I intentionally try to avoid spoilers for any of the new things I'm intending to see in person, but I had heard that there was an interactive portion where the kids would get to go dance. Thus, the cute hats and the front row seats. I'm wanting some fun pictures with the kids and the performers. I suspected it would come during the Hakuna Matata song, but the song came and went with no call out for kids to join them.
Checking out a previous video from the June 7th Opening Day, it looks like they've gotten rid of many of the additional dancers from the show and also cut the kids portion out. D'oh.
Here's the opening day video from laughingplace.

Thanks for the fun show!

Being the good citizens that they are, the kids helped collect the sitting mats and gave them back to the cast members.

It's been a long hot day and it's time to head home.
For dinner we'd rustle up some grub, and by grub I mean pizza, not grubs, and continued our viewing of the Lion King Trilogy. We watched the original Lion King and the Lion King 2 the week before. Now it's time to check out The Lion King 1 1/2. I don't remember liking it originally, but after all these years, I'm back to being okay with it. It's not a classic, but it was still funny and kept my attention. And portions of it are presented Mystery Science Theater style.

It's been a fun few days. Tomorrow the week starts again, but I'm always looking forward to the next weekend. 

1 comment:

  1. All the "plushy" hats plus the headband (really cute seeing Timon & Pumba on the band) are adorable...I can see why guests were asking about them. Ian's expression in the 1st photo of his Indiana Jones height measurement was so hopeful...can see his questioning eyes "Am I there yet?" Very interesting that you can see the pipework and other stuff beneath HM during the ride. Lots of nice family photos...especially like the big "family hug" photo in front of the castle...very fun vibe and "togetherness" are reflected in it. Good thing you prefaced each "Lion Fact" with "Suspect"...otherwise, you may have started to lead me astray again (lol)! What special, playful "Daddy and Son" moments...something Ian (and Daddy) will look back on with fondness as Ian quickly grows up. Alli displayed "nice form" on the rock slide...she had her own special technique...like it! I read about the cutbacks to "Tale of the Lion King" from MC a little while ago...apparently, it was due to cost cutbacks throughout the resort (ever since it became clear the resort was "under performing" from summertime expectations...looks like the SWGE effect wasn't as big as management expected)...too bad the dancers along w/ the kids' participation were cut...the dancers added a lot of energy and more fun to the entire experience. Way to go, Ian & Alli, on being good helpers with collecting the sitting mats! Quite a Lion King weekend! That was fun! EOM

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