Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's my birthday!

  Yeah, we're back at Disneyland! We went a day early, since my birthday was on a Saturday this year, to avoid the crowds. It was still pretty busy, but not enough to be bothersome. And after uncharacteristically raining for the last few days, the weather cleared up just in time!

  We started the day with Indiana Jones, of course, because, hey, it's me! The wife had never been on it before, and she loved it.

I even got to be in the driver's seat

  Then we did Pirates, which is also fun. Afterward, we journeyed over to Tomorrowland, which is mostly Star Wars stuff now. There, I finally got to meet the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

Probably should check that kid's pants

  Once we finally got in to see him, I completely got nervous. Your brain tells you this is just a dude in a costume, but after seeing him on screen all these years and how evil and terrifying he is, you're not prepared to just be cool standing next to him.

He didn't really have a lightsaber, I just thought it would be funny to add it in

  Other than this picture above, I pretty much fidgeted and kept my distance. Kudos to the actor in the suit. He silently pointed to where he wanted me to stand, and said a few Vader-y things to me, like "Today, you are a friend of the Empire." I had no idea I would have the reaction I did. Freakin' awesome.

  After we rode on Star Tours, which was also super fun, I met a couple other characters over on the California Adventure side:

  Obviously, I wasn't intimidated by these guys. They're on our side! Captain America was pretty cool. Amazing suit. We talked Indiana Jones a bit, since they're from the same time period, and then I met Spidey. He was the coolest of all. A total sarcastic smartass, just like me. We made fun of Captain America for being old. Good times.

Then we had lunch at this AMAZING place in Downtown Disney called Trader Sam's. Apparently, it's a thing, but I had never heard of it. It's an "enchanted tiki lounge." Basically it's just a dark, really amazing bar with a bunch of jungle-exploration type artifacts, pictures, and props. The drink menu consists of things like "the shipwreck," "krakatoa," and many others. The thing is, when you order one of these, they yell and scream things like "ATTENTION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE'RE HEADED FOR A SHIPWRECK!" and ring bells and the lights flicker, and a model ship above the bar sinks into the ocean. It's really, really fun. Also, the drink I ordered, Shrunken Zombie Head, got me midday drunk.

And now I can drink my coffee out of it

  In the afternoon, we went over to California Adventure and rode Soarin' Around the World, which is a fave of ours, and we did Midway Mania, which I had never seen. It was a virtual 3D arcade where you shoot darts, rings, paint pellets and all kinds of things at targets. It was ridiculously fun. I can see why it had such a long line to get in.

Got my game face ON

  In the evening, just as the sun was going down, we went up on the giant Paradise Pier "Mickey's Fun Wheel." It was an amazing view!

  After a hilariously entertaining "A Bug's Life" show, we capped off the night with some very fine dining at Carthay Circle Restaurant. Now, stupidly, I didn't get any pictures. The place was beautiful, and is a mostly accurate recreation of the Carthay Circle Theatre from Hollywood's "Golden Age." Unfortunately, it was torn down in 1969. It was at this theatre (the real one) that Walt Disney first premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Here are a couple photos of the one at California Adventure I found on Google:

  The food was delicious. I would totally go back there again for a special occasion. Pricey, but not enough to put you in debt. Lots of great pictures from 1930's Hollywood, and a lot of little hidden Disney touches throughout that our waiter was kind enough to point out.

  And after that, we were pretty much spent. Lots of walking, lots of adrenaline. Good, good times, and a fantastic birthday celebration.


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