The Happiest Place on Earth

So I went to Disneyland on Tuesday with my floormates from my dorm building at Berkeley. It was the most fun I have had at Disneyland, hands down. Why? Because 18 people – most from Clark Kerr Campus, Building 12, Floor 1 –  showed up, from places such as San Diego, San Francisco, and New York. What made the day even better was that there were so few people at the park…wait times were all five minutes or less. What a great day.

Don't forget where you park.

My roommate Daniel picked me up at 9:45am, and we arrived at Disneyland with no traffic problems. We met up with some floormates who had driven up from San Diego – Anthony, Kevin, Mitchell, Nandan, and some others – and bought our tickets. Once we entered the park, we headed immediately to Tomorrowland. Space Mountain, here we come!

I must admit that I had never ridden Space Mountain before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard stories about how amazing it is, as well as stories about certain accidents. As soon as the ride started, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. The awesome visuals before the drop, plus the pitch-black and twists and turns that followed, left a smile on my face. Plus, the on-ride picture turned out great. We went on it again.

The Famous Space Mountain.

Space Mountain was followed by Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, a laser-tag ride, and Indiana Jones Adventure. Another group of friends arrived soon after, and we went on the recently updated Pirates of the Caribbean to wait for them to catch up.

I guess what Disneyland meant by “updated” was to put in three animatronic Johnny Depps in random places throughout the ride, because it was pretty much the same as I had remembered. Not to mention it was incredibly long.

With everyone in our group finally at the park, we headed to Splash Mountain. And while others got pretty wet, I was sitting in the back and was spared save a few droplets of water. Soon, we had ridden Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Matterhorn Bobsleds, both very fun rides. The yeti was a nice touch on the Matterhorn, and I can still hear Dow’s screams echo in my ear.

Beware the yeti who lives on top.

Next came a trio of car rides – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Peter Pan’s Flight. These rides involved sitting in a car and going through a maze of cardboard cutouts and light effects. Sure, it sounds lame, but they did a pretty good job. In Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, you actually visit Hell, where you can feel blasts of hot air. Interesting touch for a kid’s ride.

By this time, it was well past 2pm, and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Some of the people in our group had 1-day park hopper tickets, so they decided to visit California Adventures while the rest of the CKC kids stayed and ate lunch. Meet up again at 4:30.

I stayed and ate lunch at the pizza place in Tomorrowland with Megan, Lauren, Rachel, Dow, Jessie, and Jon. We had delicious chicken alfredo pasta and just relaxed for a bit. In order to “digest” our lunch, we decided to ride on Star Tours before Space Mountain (they hadn’t gone on it yet). That didn’t turn out to be a very good idea.

Slightly sick, we headed over to Space Mountain. This was the third time today for me, but I still had a blast. It was surprising how much of a difference sitting in the front seat made. And yes, we went on it again (walking through the snake-line was longer than the wait). That made four times on Space Mountain. And I would gladly ride it again.

Decorated for the holidays - pretty sweet colors.

Four-thirty passed, we met back up with the group, found out they wanted to go on Space Mountain, and decided to split up again. Our group went on Pirates of the Caribbean. Again for me, but no problem. Some time to rest my feet and enjoy the smell of chlorine and the animatronic pirates.

Since it was Megan’s first time at Disneyland, we took her to It’s a Small World. By now, it was dark, and as we approached the ride, we were surprised to find the structure decorated with holiday lights. It was beautiful and awe-inspiring. The ride was great too. It brought back some good childhood memories and huge smiles to all our faces.

Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

We visited Toon Town next, where we went on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Gadget’s Go Coaster. We walked through some buildings and took lots of pictures. One of the buildings was Mickey’s house, and at the exit, a lady told us that we could take pictures with Mickey. How could we pass up such an offer?

By now, it was nearing 8pm, the closing time. We decided to go on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters one more time. This time, I beat my previous score with 80,400. As we walked towards Main Street, we ran into the a parade, filled with songs reminiscent of Hanna Montana and High School Musical. Soon, we are out of the park.

Thanks for the fun day!

We walked around Downtown Disney for a bit and looked for a place to eat dinner. We finally found an Italian restaurant that looked pretty tasty and didn’t have a long wait time.

What’s the perfect end to a perfect day? An entire BBQ chicken thin crust pizza, baked to perfection.

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