February Day Trip to Disneyland

Lee and I took advantage of a Friday off work to spend the afternoon/evening at Disneyland. It was a gorgeous day, though chilly by southern Californian standards – only in the upper 50s. You may have heard about the freak winter storm that hit southern California on Thursday, bringing cold air that dropped the snow level to about 1000′. There were still some signs of that at Disneyland. 🙂

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The floral Mickey just inside the entrance was re-done earlier this year – though you can’t see it in the photo, there are also sparkling lights, which of course look more impressive at night. And the Tinker Bell figure was added, too.

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During the month of February Disneyland is celebrating the Lunar New Year, and there’s a special display set up in Town Square. Mickey and Minnie, wearing Chinese attire in honor of the Chinese Year of the Mouse (really the year of the rat, but “rat, schmat” to quote our Muppet friend Rizzo) greet guests, and there’s a large sign which describes the new year celebrations of Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese families. My favorite part is that at the top of the sign there’s a “What Year Are You?” timeline from 1919 to the present, where they represent the twelve different “year of the <whatever> animals with a different Disney character. Mickey of course represents the Year of the Mouse, there’s Thumper for Rabbit, Mushu for Dragon, Abu for Monkey, Tramp for Dog, etc. I don’t recognize the choices for Ox and Sheep…I think Horse is Prince Philip’s horse from Sleeping Beauty, though. (I’m a Mouse/Rat, myself.)

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It was the Friday before a long weekend and the park was fairly crowded – lines for the major attractions were an hour (or more) – way too long for us. The food lines were insane – 15-20 people deep for things like Dole Whips, the Corn Dog Wagon, the ice cream, shop, and even McDonald’s French Fries. So we wandered around enjoying other aspects of the park instead. Like these colorful tulips planted around the Partners Statue:

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Since lines were long we decided to enjoy some of the live entertainment…and we weren’t the only ones listening to the ragtime pianist outside the Refreshment Corner!

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The Disneyland Band was performing in Town Square – in addition to marches and patriotic music, they also performed medleys of songs from Lady and the Tramp and the musical Oklahoma.

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We had an interesting surprise on our way out of the park – Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, Aurora, and Belle were sitting around one of the planters just inside the park entrance and Cinderella was telling her story to the kids crowded around them. It was really very cute. After a few minutes Cinderella finished her story and told the audience that she and the others had to go and get ready for the parade. A nice way for them to pass the time while waiting for the parade to start!

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We had lunch at La Brea Bakery Cafe (yum!) and dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – I’ll have reviews of those later.

Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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