“One More Disney Day” Disneyland Trip Report Pt 5

For previous installments in this Disney trip report, visit its index


Unlike Part 4, which was heavy on text and light on photos, this installment of our “One More Disney Day” Disneyland trip report will be heavier on photos and lighter on words (I can almost hear the collective sighs of relief!).

The caffeine (or the shock from how disgusting it tasted) from the Nescafe gave me exactly the jolt I needed to make it through the rest of the day.  Our next stop was Star Tours; the wait there had finally subsided after being one of the longest waits only a few hours prior. We still had a bit of a wait, but it was well worth it when we saw Shaun White and his entourage in line for the Starspeeder next to us. He was a lot shorter than I expected, and seemed very down to earth as we creepily watched him interact with his friends. Unlike Leonardo DiCaprio, he did not have an escort (at least that we saw–maybe the Cast Member waited outside the attraction?) and was truly just goofing around with friends. Sarah, once again, was very excited to see a celebrity!

After we exited Star Tours we noticed that the end was near! At was around 4:30 am at this point, and the crowds had really started to break up. Given that, we all decided that it was time to start focusing on photos again!

We each headed our own ways at this point, and Sarah and I encountered Henry–unsurprisingly, he had made it to the park! We hadn’t seen him since the previous November, so it was nice to catch up briefly.

Henry had a shot idea for me that he just couldn’t wait to share. Sarah felt that I should ignore him, but I knew the best course of action was to humor him. Sort of like you do with your kid when they offer career or wardrobe advice. “Oh really, you think I should do that? Well, that’s a VERY good idea, thank you for your suggestion!” Here is what his idea yielded:

Not too bad, actually, but a tough shot to get. Definitely would have been better with a longer lens. I guess I can’t give Henry too much grief. Unlike his previous Pirates of the Caribbean queue shot ideas, this one was actually pretty good in concept. I failed a bit on the execution.

We made our way over to “it’s a small world,” which apparently was a meeting ground for every other photographer in Disneyland. A casual passerby probably wondered why the paparazzi were so keen on two dolphin topiaries. Little did they realize that these were celebrity dolphin topiaries!

We moved from dolphins to whale. I prefer manatees, but Disneyland is surprisingly lacking in that department!

From there it was on to the rest of Fantasyland. Sarah did some attractions here while Henry supervised me in photographing the facades of all of the Fantasyland dark rides.  After about an hour of doing this, we joined her for our last attraction of the day, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Fitting, as “One More Disney Day” had been one (toad-filled?) wild ride!

From there it was to the hub to wait for the 6 am announcement. Every hour, on the hour, there had been a countdown announcement that had drawn cheers from the crowd. We expected some real excitement for the 6 am one, so we wanted to be on Main Street for it. This worried me as I thought I might not be able to get to New Orleans Square (where I wanted to photograph the sunrise) afterward, but I was willing to risk it to hear that 6 am closing announcement.

The crowd, unsurprisingly, went nuts at 6 am. It was really cool–and odd–to hear people get so excited when told it was time for them to leave the park. It was certainly unprecedented, as the end of the day is usually not something that guests anticipate with excitement.

As soon as that announcement ended, I darted over to New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America. Luckily, Disneyland didn’t sweep the park right at 6 am. I guess they really couldn’t, as there were still lines of people at Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, and a few other popular attractions. Plus, some restaurants were still serving right up to close, and they had to cycle those people out.

This area of the park was a veritable ghost town. It was clear that no zombies had actually been here, as this part of the park was basically in pristine condition (how?!) and no longer littered with bodies. After I snapped a few shots here, I decided to head back towards the hub to see if I could do any shooting in Tomorrowland. People were still lingering there, too, so I snapped a few shots.

Then, it was back to the hub to close out my “One More Disney Day.” It was such a beautiful and peaceful morning waiting for that second sunrise.

There are two pages in this post. Check out the conclusion of “One More Disney Day” by clicking Page 2 below!

Pages: 1 2

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18 Responses to ““One More Disney Day” Disneyland Trip Report Pt 5”

  1. Melissa says:

    It looks like you had an amazing day. I can scarcely imagine the sense of connection and elation you and Sarah must have felt with the other guests experiencing such a monumental day. I hope you’ll be reporting on the rest of this visit as well! I look forward to reading (and seeing) more.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yep, the rest of the trip will be reported on. I’ll have a lot more photos for those days, too, since those photos aren’t in the eBook!

  2. Adam says:

    This was a great trip report and sounds like the day was pretty incredible from start to finish. Curious, did you go back to the parks after this or sleep the whole day? :)

  3. Agnes says:

    This might sound a little cheesy, but your trip report has actually made me want to visit Disneyland during the next Leap Year celebration! I always thought big events were overcrowded and rather stressful, but now I really wanna go and just enjoy the ambience. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm!

  4. Katie says:

    Thanks for the great trip report (and the e-book, which is full of amazing pictures)! I completely agree with your assessment of the event–it was fantastic. It was really Disney at its best, and it was a day I’ll never forget.

  5. Brett says:

    Glad to see that you both had a great trip, it looks like it was a fantastic day! Even the one friend that I had out there (who isn’t into Disney like myself) had an awesome day/night during One More Disney Day.

    Glad that you mentioned the “vocal minority!” It’s annoying that it’s always, always complaining by them and never anything positive. It may be that I don’t love everything Disney does, but it’s still the most magical of places and I’ll love all the trips I can take there (DL, WDW, hopefully elsewhere)!

  6. Valerie says:

    I just bought and read the eBook and it was amazing! I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was little and this definitely made me want to make the trip out there and see it again! I would love for you to make a Disney World one, as I’m in full Disney trip mode for my Honeymoon in August! Can’t wait! Thanks again Tom for the eBook and this amazing blog!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Glad you enjoy the eBook. I put a LOT of work into it, as it definitely was a labor of love! I may be a bit biased, but I think it turned out really, really well, too!

  7. Amy says:

    Really enjoying the trip report! Every DLR trip report I read strengthens my resolve to make a trip out there happen in the near future (maybe 2013 will be our year!).

    I absolutely LOVE the pink flowering trees around the hub! They added so much to every shot they were in.

    I would love to hear Sarah’s point of view or commentary too.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Disneyland is awesome–you’ll love it.

      I keep trying to get Sarah to post more; perhaps she’ll respond to your comment!

      • Kait Rose says:

        I agree–I’d love to hear Sarah’s point of view too! (though I do find your commentary quite entertaining Tom)

  8. Randy Crane says:

    Great photos and trip report. I really wish I’d stayed all the way until the “kicked me out”, but I left about 6:20 a.m. :(

    Do you know of anyone who recorded those hourly announcements & songs? I missed a couple and didn’t think to record any.

  9. Jen says:

    I loved reading this!!! I can’t wait till May 24th!! What do you think the crowds will be like at WDW?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Insane.

    • Ashley says:

      I was at the Magic Kingdom for the Monstrous Summer event, and it too was magical. Yes, it was filled to capacity for a while, and the lines were prohibitive from 5pm – midnight or 1am, but other than that, I wouldn’t say it was insane at all.
      It’s near impossible to describe what it’s like to be at an event like this; the early morning hours before and celebratory end of the event are especially something special. It definitely is addicting, and I can’t wait to do it again.

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