This was an Early Entry day at Disneyland (when Disney resort guests and others holding 3- or more-day passes can get in an hour before the park's official opening time), so we were there, lined up and ready to go in at 9 a.m. with a ton of other people. Our plan was to get a Fast Pass for Indiana Jones Adventure, but we soon learned that this is not one of the rides open during Early Entry, so we beelined it over to Fantasyland and rode the Matterhorn instead. mr. lo was surprised to find out that this isn't the same as the Expedition Everest ride at Walt Disney World, but he enjoyed this vintage Disney ride nevertheless. We thought we'd try to get on the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage next, but the wait time was already at 75 minutes, so we passed and went on "it's a small world" holiday instead. This ride is delightful. Way better than the Magic Kingdom version, especially in this holiday version.
Now it was time for the park to open to regular entry guests, so we hightailed it over to Indiana Jones again, only to find this time that the ride was down, so we went on Haunted Mansion Holiday again. mr. lo says we have to ride this one every time we're in the park and I'm fine with that. It really is a great ride.
We decided it was time for breakfast, so we stopped at the Café Orleans where I had the famous and decedent Monte Cristo French Toast and mr. lo had scrambled eggs. A pirate came by and chatted for a while and a Dixieland jazz band marched by and beaded mr. lo. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean - today there was hardly anyone in line - and then started to head to California Adventure. This time when we passed Indiana Jones, it was finally running, so we got in line - it took about 20 minutes - and we finally got our chance to experience this ride, which is unique to Disneyland. The theming is as great as we'd heard and we both enjoyed it.
It was at this point, as we were leaving for California Adventure, that I had my impromptu gig with the Disneyland Band. When I was done signing autographs [not], we were finally able to leave Disneyland for our first look at California Adventure.
This shiny new park has lots of thrill rides, a great layout, and fantastic theming. There are four "lands" - Hollywood Pictures Backlot, "a bug's land", Paradise Pier, and Golden State. We briefly checked out the Hollywood area, but decided to move on to Paradise Pier, where the rides are all different from those at Walt Disney World. We watched the coasters, California Screamin' and Mulholland Madness, but decided that they, along with the Orange Stinger and Jumpin' Jellyfish, were a little too "thrilling" for us. We did ride the giant Sun Wheel, a Ferris wheel with cars that slide along a rail and swing back and forth as you go around. You can see all over the park from the heights of this ride and it isn't nearly as scary as it looks. We walked through the rest of Paradise Pier and into the Golden State, where we watched the rafters on the Grizzly River Run get drenched. We watched the film Golden Dreams, featuring Whoopi Goldberg.
We had to leave the park at this point to go back to the hotel and print out our boarding passes for our flight home tomorrow, but we returned to Disneyland later to see "it's a small world" holiday lit up and the "icing" of the Castle. After that we had had enough of the crowds, so we called it a night. Tomorrow Disneyland opens at 8 a.m. and we plan to be there to try and finally ride Nemo and get in our last rides on our favorites before leaving for the airport.