Our son arrived home from college late last Thursday night, and today the six of us headed to Disneyland for our annual "all-day" Christmas visit.
It was a damp, drizzly day, but fortunately nothing like our visit of two years ago, when a strong wind mixed with heavy rain cut our visit short. Instead, the weather and the seasonal decorations combined to give the park a cozy feel; this is as close to "Christmas weather" as California gets!
We have a tradition of eating breakfast at River Belle Terrace on this visit which dates back over two decades now!
We also like to photograph our children each year at Court des Anges in New Orleans Square.
More New Orleans Square Christmas decor:
The rides we enjoyed included the refurbished Indiana Jones ride, the Jungle Cruise, and It's a Small World Holiday:
When we rode the Matterhorn, there were some technical problems in the unloading area which necessitated a lengthy wait in our bobsled -- we were then offered the chance to ride again, instead of getting out! Needless to say we were happy to accept that unusual offer.
This was my first ride on the Matterhorn since it was refurbished, and I have to say that the new bobsled seating is as terrible as I've heard rumored. The leg room is extremely cramped -- the men in my family have trouble squeezing in -- and the angle of the seats is akin to someone in front of you on an airplane leaning the seat back right into your face:
Let's hope a similar "improvement" isn't made to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad next year. We took our final ride on Big Thunder today ahead of it being closed for a major overhaul for most of 2013:
There are rumors that the Rainbow Ridge buildings from the old Mine Train ride may disappear during the rehab, so I snapped a couple of photos:
We ended our day by heading to California Adventure for a couple hours to enjoy a bit more of the first Christmas in the remodeled park:
The flags at half-staff on Buena Vista Street were a stark reminder of the families which will have a very sad Christmas this year:
On a more cheerful note, here comes the Red Car Trolley, decked out for the holiday:
With Bing Crosby singing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" on the street's Christmas music loop, the period atmosphere couldn't be more perfect.
And here's the park's beautiful tree at busy Carthay Circle:
Previously: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.