Part 6 -- Disneyland Grand Finale(Aerial Views, Fireworks, and Fantasmic!)Friday, September 14, 2018
At last, the final day at Disneyland awaits! Our four-day trip to the original Mouse House was coming to a close. And yep, that means I'm finally finishing up the never-ending string of Photo TRs from Anaheim!
Early in the planning stages of the trip, we were just going to do three days, intending to skip out on Friday entirely. I'm glad we decided to do four days instead, as it provided more time for photography, and an easier pace on Thursday and Friday. We pretty much got through everything we wanted to, and I got a whole bunch of good pictures -- including a final batch from the last day which I'll be sharing here. Of course, the biggest reason to stay for Friday is that the fireworks (Remember Dreams Come True
) and Fantasmic are only performed on Fri-Sat-Sun during the offseason.
So, here's how the day began. While some of the family slept in, I headed over to California Adventure in the morning to do some photography.
This was an interesting photo set for me because I treated it like a traditional amusement park set -- lots of action shots of the coasters, aerial views from the Ferris wheel, and so on. Disney parks are very much about atmosphere and theming, but it was fun to do more of my typical style of photography too.
I rode a few things -- including the Incredicoaster and the swinging side of the Pixar wheel -- and then we headed over to Disneyland for lunch at Rancho Del Zocalo. They were all out of their special Halloween Horchata, and that was not the first time on this trip that I'd been to a restaurant that was out of the holiday specialty item. That was a bit disappointing.
After lunch, we checked out a few attractions we'd missed on the first few days -- Tom Sawyer Island, Tarzan's Treehouse -- and then did re-rides on Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates. In the late afternoon, we made one final trip over to California Adventure for a ride on the Monsters After Dark
version of Guardians, and one final spin on the incredible Incredicoaster. Oh, and while some of the family went shopping, I hopped on the Red Car Trolley for absolutely no apparent reason. It's a good time-killer if you've got nothing else to do!
That was about it for rides, as we headed back to an increasingly-crowded Disneyland for the fireworks and Fantasmic. We set up just off the hub on the right side, with a partially tree-obstructed view of the castle, but a perfect view of the fireworks. I had some fun setting up my mini-tripod on a fire hydrant, which actually ended up working out pretty nicely! Sometimes you have to work with the tools you've got, and photography is all about improvising. As soon as the fireworks ended, we headed over to the second showing of Fantasmic, for which we'd already acquired Fast Passes. I would charitably describe the process of entering the Fantasmic viewing area as a horrifying mess of a stampede, and didn't particularly enjoy that part of the experience. It all worked out -- I ended up second row, a bit right of center, with a clear view of all the action. I've seen the Disney World version, but this one was different enough to keep my interest!
Once Fantasmic was over, so was our time at Disneyland. I'm not sure when my return to Disneyland will be -- it's probably more likely I'll be back at Disney World in the coming few years -- but it was great to experience it for the first time with my family, and to have enough time to do just about everything we wanted to do.
Finally, that wraps up this segment of the report. Things get a little more varied from here on out!
But let's not forget about the pictures...