Happy New Year! Another year has passed and a new year begins. I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating. This year Nick and I went to Disneyland to celebrate. It’s the last big place we’ll be visiting in California before we move in February to what we’ll be calling home for the next year: Austin, Texas.
We almost backed out and stayed home because we didn’t want to deal with Los Angeles’ horrendous traffic and travel time to Anaheim, and because we dreaded the crowd at the popular theme park. But having already reserved and paid for our hotel, we knew we shouldn’t waste our money. In the end, we were glad we went. The traffic was as expected, but the crowd at the park didn’t turn out to be as bad as we expected — and we had a great time!
Disneyland is a magical place for kids — and for some adults, too. There were shows and events throughout the day and so much to see and do. The place was plastered with Christmas lights; music blasted in the background while parents danced with their little ones; people stood in lines for rides; long lines poured out of restaurants; and herds of people huddled together to watch the boat show Fantasmic and the fireworks spectacular “Made With Magic”.
Disneyland also really knows how to put on a firework show. My pictures only show the fireworks from an earlier show and not at new year’s countdown, but the pictures really don’t do it justice. The fireworks were up close and grand, magnificent displays of colors and explosions. They really don’t mess around there as they make great effort to please and wow the crowds.
We went on several rides there, one of them being the Haunted Mansion. It was different from the last time I rode back in 2001, not as thrilling but super cool Jack (Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas) theme and filled with great special effects and features of the animations. The longest wait we experienced was with Indiana Jones, which we waited in line for about an hour. A fun experience, but we regretted not using that time for Space Mountain instead as we never made it there with the long wait time. Nevertheless, we were content with the rides we rode. I think my favorite may have been Pirates of the Caribbean for superb pirate characters ensemble from the movie series, and the Space Tour ride for an entertaining 3D thrill and experience.
At the end of our cold night, we succumbed to and indulged in some vegan hot chocolates at Starbucks. It was a very late night for us, but we had fun and was grateful for the ‘mellow’ environment without the chaos and drunks usually encountered with a massive crowd during new year’s festivities. Disneyland turned out to be a great end of the year celebration for our time in L.A. And now we look forward to our time in Austin!