Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Day at Disneyland

Most people who know me know that I am a big Disney fan, especially a Disneyland fan! I was fortunate enough to have parents who bought us passports when we were kids and my brother and I grew up going to Disneyland quite often. Some of my times at Disneyland with my family were the best of my childhood and I will always have long lasting memories of Disneyland. Even to this day my wife and I both have Disneyland passes as well and we go quite often but up until just a couple of weeks ago I hadn't been for quite some time (i.e.: probably 2-3 months). My wife on the other hand has gone quite frequently with her girlfriends and enjoyed their Girls night out at Disneyland. This blog is about my most recent trip, yesterday Thursday, 5/27/10.

My wife's company that she works for scheduled a work event at Disneyland where they got to enjoy a lunch at the exclusive members only Club 33. Originally I had thought I might be allowed to join her for this luncheon so I took the day off of work but later found out that was not the case but still kept the day off anyways. We had just renewed our passes a week earlier so I figured since I had the day off anyways why not head to the park and take in some rides myself before meeting with my wife after her lunch.

I got to the park at about 9:30am and by the time I parked, got off the tram, and into the entrance it was about 9:45am. I obviously headed towards the ride board (i.e.: where the list the queue times for each ride) and noticing that Indiana Jones Adventure was the long line (20 minutes) I opted to go get a FASTPASS for that and then head over to Space Mountain. By the time I got to Space Mountain the wait time went from 10-35 minutes so I skipped that and went on Star Tours which I practically just walked on to. I then headed to Matterhorn which ended up being closed so I thought Id head to some Main Street shops to browse at before going back to Indiana Jones. I found myself hanging around the Candy Palace the longest and watching them make Rocky Road Chocolate Chunks and then headed over to drool over the endless amounts of specialty sweets including Pecan Clusters, Assorted Mini Cupcakes, and Extra Large Chocolate Covered Strawberries drenches in peanuts. In case you are wondering this is the absolute worst place than an individual on a diet should be but don't worry I didn't buy anything, as tough as it was.

After that I briefly met up with my wife and walked over with her to Indiana Jones where she went to her luncheon and I used my FASTPASS to go on Indiana Jones. Always a great ride!! After that I browsed through a shop to check out some of the Alice in Wonderland merchandise right outside Pirates and then headed over to The Haunted Mansion. Another favorite of mine. Any ride that can tease my brain into thinking it is Halloween gets 2 thumbs up from me! I then headed over to Critter Country and went on the Winnie the Pooh ride, yes I said it. I hadn't been on it in like forever because ummm I don't have kids but I had some time to kill so I approximately killed about 3 minutes with this ride. Needless to say there was no line at all. After that I enjoyed my lunch at some benches under some tress over back by the restaurant that has the awesome Clam Chowder bowls. I had made my lunch at home and it consisted of 2 Chicken Sandwiches, a small bag of Baked Cheetos, and a Powerade. Yes I didn't purchase anything this entire day and that's pretty miraculous if you ask me.

After lunch I thought to myself Ill head over to Fantasyland to see if there are any short lines for any of those rides that I can go on. My all time favorite Fantasyland ride is Peter Pan so I waited about 15-20 minutes for this one. As I exited this ride I noticed waiting in line was a very familiar face. It was LeAnn Rimes with her new beau Eddie Cibrian with three kids as well. I believe two of them are hers and one his or the other way around, not too sure? Anyways they had a Disneyland escort with them so since I knew they would be finishing the ride and exiting right there I decided to get my camera on my phone ready for when they exited. I asked LeAnn if I could get a quick picture with her and she was very sweet and nice about it even though it was bound to bring attention to her when I'm sure they did not want that. Lets be honest though, it was LeAnne Rimes, I guarantee I wasn't the only one asking for a picture of her that day. I didn't meet her beau Eddie Cibrian because I didn't want to bring anymore attention to them then I already had but she was very cool and friendly and sans the 6 pack abs Eddie looked just like me. haha. Obvious joke there. After letting my wife know of the situation she stated, you should have gotten a picture of her boyfriend. haha.

After Peter Pan I hit up Big Thunder Mountain and then Jungle Cruise before meeting up with my wife. After meeting my wife I met some of her co-workers and we spent the rest of the day with them going on some rides. In all we went on or shall I say went on and watched Captain Eo, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and then over at CA Adventure Soarin Over California and Toy Story Mania. On a side note Id just like to say that to this day I still have no beaten my wife in Toy Story Mania. I always think I'm going to but I just cant but one day I'm due for a big victory!! haha. So all in all it was a great day at Disneyland and in 7 hours time I managed to get on 11 rides, browse some shops, meet a celebrity/singer, and ended up not spending a single penny.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this weekend on bluray and I must say I really really enjoyed it. Anyone who has a bluray player I would highly suggest seeing this one on bluray because it is exceptional. My wife did not think that there were as many bright colors as she expected however the vividness of this film on bluray was amazing. It was probably the most vivid bluray I have seen to date. With that being said below is my review of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Bluray comments aside (since we already know how I feel about that) I thought this movie was very good. I personally don't recall much of the original Walt Disney film myself so it was kind of of like a new movie all together for me. Knowing that Tim Burton was behind this was interesting too because you knew it would have some quirkiness involved and it did. I thought the story was original and kept the audience's attention and contrary to some reviews I read I did not feel it was too dark or scary for children. I thought that the actress who played Alice was wonderful, very natural and unassuming and she was a perfect fit for this movie. Johnny Depp was obviously my favorite with Tweedle Dee & Dum a close second. I would have personally enjoyed about 10 more minutes of screen time for these creepy looking dudes but oh well I guess it wasn't meant to be. Carter was awesome as the queen and a perfect fit and I couldn't help but think of Hans Gruber in Die Hard every time the caterpillar spoke and puffed. Die Hard fans will know what I am talking about. Anne Hathaway's hand motions and constant movements made you think she was in slow motion and became irritating the more she did it, which was always!! She was easily my least favorite character.

Back to the story. I felt the stroll through the forest was very cool but could have been a bit longer and I thoroughly enjoyed the Table scene where Alice first meets the Mad Hatter! Those characters were awesome and I love how Depp created a miniature dress in a second. There were plenty of other visual treats in this movie and one of my favorites were the floating heads outside the Queens castle!! Those were awesome. The hat tryout scene with Depp and Carter was cool and could have lasted a bit longer but was funny to watch but the beheading scene was classic - loved when the Cheshire Cat appeared.

Overall I think the visual effects were amazing and the characters were quite original for a remake, sort of. You can always expect the unexpected with Tim Burton and this was nothing different. The entire story leading up to the battle scene at the end was entertaining and unique and there were enough visual pleasures and odd characters to keep anyone involved and I thought that along with a pretty good (yet quite familiar) score from Danny Elfman made this movie a must see. It leads me to wonder what Tim Burton will remake next? Any suggestions?