Thursday, July 02, 2009

Today at Disneyland: Independence Day (Almost!)

It was another beautiful summer day today at Disneyland!

We've been at the parks more often than usual for a variety of reasons, hence more Disneyland posts recently as well.

We had read online that for the first time Disneyland is spreading its 4th of July fireworks over four consecutive evenings, rather than just the special show on Independence Day. It didn't take long to decide that heading to the park for the fireworks would be a good way to start our holiday long weekend!

First, the flowers on Main Street's Town Square -- I love the red and white stripes in honor of Independence Day!

Fresh summery flowers in the baskets at the Hub -- the Matterhorn's waterfall looked so cool in the afternoon heat.

And a few more summer flowers, this time near the Carrousel:

We noticed new statues surrounding the castle:

Since we are sticking close to home this summer, we thought it would be fun to make a list of things we've never done at Disneyland and see how many we can accomplish over the next couple months. One of the things on our list was to eat at the Bengal Barbecue. We've heard good things about it but somehow had never, ever eaten there.

We shared three different skewers to try a variety of sauces and really liked it! We'll definitely be eating there again.

The Market House dressed for the 4th of July:

This is one of my favorite places in the park. It's tucked away behind Market House and unlike the big ice cream parlor across the street, it usually has short lines. The outdoor tables provide a nice vantage point for watching the parade go by while enjoying a snack.

One of the nicely themed seasonal windows at the Market House:

We staked out seats for the fireworks a couple hours before the show.

Crowds of people fill Main Street on the Castle side of the hub:

Darkness falls and it's almost time for the show:


The show was called CELEBRATE AMERICA! A FOURTH OF JULY CONCERT IN THE SKY. The fireworks were set to patriotic songs including "This Is My Country," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "Stars and Stripes Forever." I really enjoyed it, although I did think it was roughly 3-5 minutes too short and was surprised it ended when it did.

Al Lutz at MiceAge shares that the show tonight was indeed on the short side: "Team Disney Anaheim's dirty little secret is out; there are two versions of the Celebrate America fireworks this weekend. The shows on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th are just 9 minutes long using leftover pyro shells from this past winter's cancelled Remember shows. The version planned for the 4th is the real deal at 13 minutes long using custom ordered pyro shells."

After the fireworks we headed for Pixie Hollow while some of the crowd emptied the park:

The light and water show, set to music, is very special, with some great "atmosphere." As much as I miss King Triton, I thought Pixie Hollow was beautiful at night.

Definitely magical!

The Crystal Arcade as we headed down Main Street toward the exit:

We'll be back again soon, as next week we have reservations for another item on our "never done before" list: the Character Breakfast in Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Recent related posts: Today at Disneyland: Almost Summer; Disneyland: Almost Summer, Part 2; Today at Disneyland: It's Summer!

Update: This post contains a nice YouTube link for a video of the Pixie Hollow show, for those of you who might not be able to see it in the near future.


Blogger Irene said...

Sigh. Oh well, just have to wait until mid August.

I love the light show in Pixie Hallow and think the music they selected is spot on.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was just there, I felt ripped off. We have a deluxe annual pass with 3-5th blocked so we thought if they did the fireworks on the 2nd we could see it. Sure enough they did. We went just for the day (July 2nd), and waited 4 hours to get a good seat to see the fireworks, and then it was like less than 10 minutes and not even as good as their regular fireworks show? We're from Oregon and that was expensive and a long drive. Probably won't be doing that again.

10:04 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

Laura, I came here to see what you had to say about Sarah Palin, but saw you said nothing. It reminded me that I had some interesting night shots of Disneyland that you may be interested in. They are about 15 photos down from the beginning, if you are interested. They are taken with long shutter speeds AND a flash for an interesting effect.


6:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Eric,

Thanks for being interested in my opinion re Palin -- I really don't have one yet, like a lot of people I'm just kind of baffled and trying to figure out what her plan is. How about you?

Your photos are gorgeous! I hope everyone who enjoys Disney will go take a look at them. Were they taken this year? I would have enjoyed the chance to see you.

Your photography is very impressive! Beyond the Disney photos, I especially like the one of the market scale.

Best wishes,

6:32 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

I really don't know what to think about Sarah. I don't think it has anything to do with heading off a scandal or anything like that. I think she really has something interesting up her sleeve, or she just wants to spend time with her family, makes speeches, and take it easy. Robin's mom has a theory that I hope is true: she is starting a new political party. That would be very interesting!

Thanks for your kind words about my pictures. It is so interesting to see what people like or respond to. I have never had anyone say they liked the Market Scale. Never. Not even to humor me.


P.S. Those were taken in June. We thought we were going to see you and a lot of other folks, but time got away from us. We only saw my parents.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hey Eric,

Maybe it's the "foodie" in me that responded to the market scale, but I found it very appealing and looked at it for quite a bit. :) There's also something sort of "old-fashioned grocery store" about the image that evokes cozy feelings.

I hope you had a great Disney visit. Maybe we can meet up on your next trip down here. It's been way too long since we all got together!

Best wishes,

7:35 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

Well, "old-fashioned grocery store" is definitely what I was going for. Glad it struck a cord for someone! It was at a huge flea market in Modesto and there was a large area with produce for sale. This particular scale caught my attention because of the rust and wear it exhibited. I spend quite a few minutes shooting it from different angles. The produce vendors thought I was nuts.

10:27 PM  

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