The last few visits the Fresh Baked Disney team made to the parks were to capture the Christmas decorations and festivities. So this week we took the time to do what we do best, and that’s go to the parks and enjoy the rides and attractions as a family. So grab your Mickey ears and dole whip and enjoy another Fresh Baked Disneyland trip report.
With that in mind, our first goal was to see if we could get fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers. Our last Fresh Baked Family trip saw us get fast passes quite easily. We showed up at 8:15 am and got fast passes for noon. But this is the Christmas season, so we weren’t that lucky. In fact, the line was enormous. One of the longest I’ve ever seen. So we turned right around and headed to Disneyland.
When we got there the rope was just dropping. Candi had gone ahead to get fast passes for Space Mountain, and when we re-joined we decided to hit Astro Orbitor. I have mixed feelings about this ride. I don’t like spinners, but whenever I show up at Disneyland for rope drop, I always get to watch the magic morning guests riding while I wait, and they always looks so happy! So naturally I want some of that happy and take the ride on. And as it happens, Candi had *never* been on the ride, so of course we had to do it. The video of our visit kind of tells the whole story.
Next up was Star Tours. Again, not one of my favorite rides. Love Star Wars. Big Fan. Don’t like the ride so much though. Simulators are not my thing. But I go as often as I can because of my son, who loves the ride, and I love him. Oh, and I love Star Wars too, so I feel like I need to be supportive.
And then it was Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters. I got my butt kicked again by the Disney Ninja. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong on this one. I try hard. I’m not trying to let him win. But every single time he gets the best of me, and I’m sure it has to be some kind of secret.
So we did all of that in 37 minutes! Awesome, right? Well, it wouldn’t be that good for the rest of the day. But before we did anything else, we got some breakfast at the Jolly Holiday bakery. Candi got some kind of croissant with egg and cheese that looked more like chili dog to me. The Disney Ninja got his usual chocolate croissant.
All your Fantasyland are belong to us
From there we took a walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to catch a view of the decorations, then headed straight right for a wish at Snow White’s wishing well. This is one our Fresh Baked Family traditions. I personally love the idea of Disney and Disneyland being a conduit for making dreams come true. From tinkerbell and wishing stars, to the various wishing wells throughout the park, it helps one believe. And a lot of my wishes have come true!
Off to Matterhorn we went, looking to try to take advantage of the quiet time for this one. It went well and we were able to nearly walk on. We took the right side this time and it was pretty good. We’ve been trying to balance the left with the right, because we used to *always* take the left. But the thing, the left side is better. It just is. Especially the second Yeti on the left. It has a much better effect in my opinion. Here’s our ride through of the Matterhorn.
We were then off to Fantasyland proper for some dark rides. And let me tell you, as I’m sure most know, they’re still very dark. Very. We were going to try Peter Pan first, but the line was very long. Longest I’ve seen in a while. So Pinocchio it was. This is a good one, but scary. Why are these scary again? Snow White too. Now I get why Snow White is scary, as the story itself is of a darker nature than Pinocchio. But that’s ALL it is. It’s basically the evil queen/witch trying damned hard to get Snow White to eat an apple. Badly. And then it’s over. But not before we see skeletons, ugly witches, and scary looking trees. But everyone lived happily ever after, so….that’s good.
Our Disneyland trip report continues with another darkly ominous dark ride of darkness, Mr. Toads Wild Ride. This one is more fun, but it does have Mr. Toad getting hit by a train and going to hell. Wheeee!!! And finally, it’s Alice in Wonderland. Thankfully, the source movie was quite a bit funnier and zanier, so the ride itself, while dark, is more fun than scary. This, in my opinion, is the second best dark ride in the park behind Peter Pan. Here’s an Alice in Wonderland ride through.
We closed out this side of the park by cashing in our Space Mountain fast passes. This was our first ride since the Ghost Galaxy overlay, and I was very grateful the original was back. I love the music. I think it blends in perfectly with the ride itself, while the Ghost Galaxy overlay is a bit forced. And the ride was good, as always. Here’s a Space Mountain ride through if interested.
New Orleans Square Round Up
The park was now pretty darned crowded, and folks were getting a little less…Disney. But we pressed on and made our way to New Orleans Square for a ride on the Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare overlay. I simply love the Nightmare version, though I’m usually ready for the traditional ride to return by Christmas. But they really do a magnificent job with the art direction. These guys are really very talented and deserve a little recognition. It’s just amazing. By the way, don’t be put off by long lines for this ride. It’s one of the fastest moving lines in the park, even when super crowded. The line just keeps moving, which is great.
Pirates was next, and this one never gets old. If you’re ever in need of a rest or a comfortable ride on a busy day, Pirates is it. But what I really want to talk about now is the French Dip at the French Market. I’ve been hearing about the new dishes there for a while now, and I was desperate to try the French dip.
There’s also the new Po Boy sandwich and I believe the Beef Stew is new as well. But the star of the show was the French Dip and it was awesome! I love French Dip’s, and I have a rather discerning palette for them. There’s a right way and a wrong way, for my tastes anyway. This one was full of beef, and seasoned expertly. Not bland, but not too salty. And the au jus was perfect, but ask for two dippings, because you’ll be doing a lot of it! Great job Disneyland! Oh, and the French quarter chicken was great as always too. The mashed potatoes and veggies are great, and the chicken is delicious.
We had one more stop at this point before calling it a day, and that was for Big Thunder. It had been a long time since we’ve ridden it and we had a real hankering. On the way, we ran in to Jack Skellington. The cast member playing him was quite good at it too. I love when they totally get in to the character. It really makes all the difference. He had an effective accent, and was deliberate in his mannerisms, which is consistent with the character.
And with that we headed to Big Thunder to finish our day. We had fast passes, so we were able to walk on. They’ve changed the line configuration again though. I’m not sure why they keep doing this. Now the fast line has to go all the way around the queue in the same way the stand by line does. Anyway, here’s the Big Thunder ride through.
What are your thoughts on Big Thunder? Personally, I think it is one of the more underrated rides at the park. It’s exciting enough as a roller coaster alone. Especially for a guy like me who doesn’t have the stomach for most rides. But it’s the theming that I think separates itself from the rest of the pack. It’s totally immersive and brings you in to the story line immediately. I can’t help but talk with a western accent and feel western as soon as I enter the queue. On your next visit, take a look around and try to get a look at as many details as possible. They’re really quite impressive.
Disneyland Trip Report
Well that does it for this Disneyland trip report. Thanks for coming with the Fresh Baked Family and we’ll see you next time. We’ve got lots more for you if interested. Here’s the complete 3 part video trip report. These are so much fun to make. I hope you enjoy!