Disney 2012

Well, we are back to work after a three day trip to the happiest place on earth. Sad. This time we went with a few friends and despite getting over a terrible flu I had a great time.
When I was in high school I dreamed of working for Disney. Who knows, it could still happen but until then I am content painting with my little water colors and staging themed parties for my friends and family to enjoy. Another creative outlet has become our own home which I hope to show you details of in the coming year. 
California Adventure is now a day trip in itself. The food selection and shops are far better than before and the rides and attractions have really improved. Don't forget to fast pass the World of Color in the morning (after  you fast pass the Cars Ride) so you can get the best seat possible without having to stake your claim on a spot across the street and wait for hours before it starts. 
When I get a bit too tired we make our way to the Hollywood side to the Animation Studio just past Off the Page and rest white taking in the amazing scenes and music that surround you on giant screens. 
With the new Cars Land up and running since June California Adventure is attracting so many more people so expect crazy lines. We always plan for the week before Thanksgiving to avoid crowds, but to still be there for the Christmas decorations. Without the greenery and the light it's just not as magical. 
Though we live in Oregon the trip down is really an easy/cheap one so frequenting Disney is one of our favorite things. One of our dearest friends was able to come with us who had not been for 16 years. Mark was eager to play tour guide. Sure, we don't know every hidden mickey but we know how to avoid lines, the best and thriftiest places to eat, and how to park hop to eek every moment out of your ticket.

I adore The Nightmare Before Christmas so it is a great treat to see the mansion change to a snowy wonderland. And because I am an Arts and Crafts geek I had to take pictures of wallpaper along the way. Many take pictures of friends and family but my phone is full of wallpaper, ceramics and woodwork. On my way home I got to sketch a bit on the plane...another pumpkin. I have a problem and I need help. 

I was drawn to these two prints but am not thrilled with the quality of picture. The print on the left reminds me very much of the wallpaper we chose from Bradbury and Bradbury for our recent bathroom update.  The photo on the right was a bit awkward to take because it was in the ladies bathroom. In fact that is where most of the best tile work and wallpaper can be found. 

It was to my GREAT delight that California Adventure now hosts a Starbucks. As I entered the authentic box beam ceilings and scalloped knees caught my eye. But there was no time to waste as I scampered to the counter for my fix so the next day I came back to take these pics. This year we will  install something like it in our dining room but on a far smaller scale.

If I were to make a top ten list of what to do/see in Disneyland & California Adventure it would probably be:
1. Watch anything that lights up. This includes: Fireworks, Fanstasmic, World of Color, the lighting of both the castle and It's a Small World building. Some of these are seasonal only. 
2. Eat at the Mexican restaurant Rancho del Zocalo  at night next to the Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is especially nice to dry off under the heat lamps after getting off of Splash Mountain. Everything on the menu is tasty and affordable
3. While we're on the subject of eating; eat a dole whip every day, a couple times a day. Sorry, that sounds extreme so mix it up with a dole whip float.
4. Relax. Ride the train, monorail and sit in the Disney Animation Building.
5. Ok, back to eating. Go get a corn dog by the Plaza on Main Street. Watch your husband though. He may eat the rest of yours while you turn your back thinking you were "done with it" or "too full". I'm still bitter. 
6. Thrill rides back to back. Run from Tower of Terror, use your fast pass on Scream'n (because you are smart and proactive) then hop over to Goofy's Flight School which is NOT a kids ride. At least that is what I believe.
7. Take time after Lunch to see Aladdin. It's still fun to see though they no longer let them fly over you on the flying carpet 
8. If you have kids find a way to do any type of character dining you can. This is something mine have been too old for, for a long time and I miss it. If you can't get in to any last minute in the parks then have brunch at the Story Book Cafe in the California Grand Hotel. No kids? Still Eat at the Story Book. It is quite nice. 
9.Use your early magic morning hour to book it to either Space Mountain or (like us) Peter Pan. Mark get's a bit serious about this one. I have footage.
10. Interact with the staff. They all have hints and tips for us every time we go. Even the janitorial staff hand out buttons and tell jokes! Many of the cool things we have been able to do are because of what we have gleaned from ride and shop attendants. Now if we can only get them to give us a tour of Club 33! 
On our final night we were so tired but still sad to say goodbye. The castle is lit up so beautifully each night before the fireworks and the park is nearly void of strollers. If you plan on going this month to be part of the festivities have a dole whip for me.

Hoping you have a magical day, 

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