Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Day 8 - Time to Head Home, But First...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Today we planned to spend the morning in the Park before beginning the long trip home. The Park opened at 8:00 AM today so I did a little packing first and then we headed on over. Usually people tend to race over to the E-ticket rides, such as Indiana Jones or Splash Mountain, when the rope drops. Not us. We headed straight for Fantasyland and the Peter Pan ride. Peter Pan always has a really long line. I think this is because it is the least scary of all the dark rides in Fantasyland, with Alice in Wonderland being next. Snow White and Pinocchio are a lot scarier so there usually isn’t much of a line. We rode Peter Pan twice, then went over to ride Alice in Wonderland. We managed to ride most of the rides in Fantasyland, including Dumbo, within the first half hour of the Park’s opening.

After Fantasyland, we stopped to ride Big Thunder Railroad on our way over to Pirates. We wanted to ride Pirates one last time to try to spot some of the hidden Mickey’s we learned about from Melinda, our Tour Guide from yesterday. We were unable to spot any new hidden Mickey’s.

The Park was still pretty empty and we were amazed that we had been able to accomplish so much in just one hour. Since we hadn’t had breakfast yet this morning, we decided to stop in to the River Belle Terrace for some Mickey Mouse pancakes. This restaurant is buffeteria style. You place your order at the head of the line and then as you move along the counter you can watch them cook the Mickey Mouse Pancakes. We each ordered a pancake and orange juice, and I added a side of bacon. We found a table outside with a nice view of the Rivers of America and ate our breakfast. The pancakes were good, but you only got one pancake and it really wasn’t that big. For what we got, it was a very expensive meal. The Mickey Mouse waffles at Carnation Café are a much better deal and way more filling.

After breakfast, we decided to do some last minute shopping at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney before heading back to the hotel to finish packing. We were sad to say goodbye to what really is the happiest place on earth.

We checked out of the hotel and headed to the Target down the street to restock our food supply for the trip home. After filling the car with gas we drove the ½ block to the I-5 freeway and began the long trip home. Within minutes, traffic on the freeway ground to a complete halt. I turned the radio on and searched the stations for a traffic report. The slow traffic was caused by a chemical spill up ahead and one lane was closed down while it was cleaned up. For the next two hours, we inched our way along, barely covering 12 miles. Finally, we passed the spot that was causing all the trouble and began to make better time.

It was at this point that we started talking about how much fun it would be to go back in December to take the Holiday Tour that Cast Member Debbie from City Hall had told us so much about. I still had 4 days of vacation left that I needed to use up before the end of the year. The sure-fire cure for the depression that follows a wonderful trip to Disneyland is to just start planning your next trip. I was pretty sure I could get the time off. Jason wasn’t quite so sure. He works in retail and December is a really busy time of year for the store. Hopefully, they wouldn’t just laugh at him when he submitted his vacation request.

We planned to stop for the night in Santa Nella, at the same Motel 6 we stayed in on the way up. We rolled in before dark and settled into the same rooms we were in before. I’m not sure what we did for dinner that evening. I believe we had stopped at a Jack in the Box earlier that afternoon so we probably just snacked on what we had in our cooler.


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