Monday, July 21, 2008

Downtown Disney - Anaheim, CA!

You thought we'd never make it, right? Well, we did. The wife and I, in our penultimate Calif. activity, finally got to the place where the empire started. Disneyland, Calif.

We got in late afternoon the first day, and were TIRED. But we weren't going to waste a day ticket on a half day's sport anyway, so we drove over to Downtown Disney, the shopping area of most Disneylands, and spent some quality time there shopping, eating and just looking. We also bought our tickets for the next day. Just 1-day tickets, because I'd been there once when I was 10, and I knew it was small. If it looked small to a 10-year-old, it wasn't going to look bigger to a man at 37.

We had a lovely dinner in Rainforest Cafe. We'd been to these all over (the worst was in Tokyo Disneyland; the best was here and Orlando) and were never disappointed. This was Super. Equal to the one in Animal Kingdom perhaps. We started off with tri-colored corn chips covered in taco stuff (beef, sour cream) and split a macademia-crusted fish dish, which really Is big enough for two. (Most places we go, we split a dish. Less to eat and/or lets us have the room to try a thing or 2 more.) Of course the atmosphere was fun because every 10 minutes some animal in the jungle comes alive, and every 30 or 60 minutes, the whole jungle comes alive when the sound of a storm brews.

After and before that, we spent some time walking around all the grounds that didn't require a ticket, including the beautiful hotel with its locked up Peter Pan pool and unlocked waterfall below. Then stores. The bookstore, which isn't owned by Disney, had many non-Disney published Disney books there, and I was/am jealous. I need to find time to crack stores like that. I bought a book or 2 - Mouse Tales was 1 of them. Just haven't had time to read it yet.

Just walking around was lovely. In a way, it's too bad we did this the first night, because it ended up being The best part of Disneyland. It really is. Once you've lived with Disneyworld in Orlando your whole life, coming to this smaller place can be a let down. But! I wasn't let down. I enjoyed Every moment. It was DIFFERENT. Downtown Disney looks nothing like the Orlando version; in a way, it's better.

Tomorrow, we take you into the park!

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