Visiting Uncle Sam – 13 – LA – Dazzling Disney and Captivating Universal Studios – Part 1

Continuing with my travel records 🙂

I ended with my trip to Monterey , Mystery Spot and 17 mile drive. The next weekend, it wasnt much except that we went to a Shiva Vishnu temple in Liverpool, the day being Diwali for us, and had lunch in Saravana Bhavan in Sunnyvale and went to watch the movie “The Due Date” [Very Average….]… The next day we decided to go to Muir Woods, but the weather was really very very crazy. It was raining by the time we started @ around 9 am and I wouldnt have driven even 10 miles, it started pouring heavily and I wasnt able to see a thing in the road. And no marks for guessing that I panicked and the other guy had to take over and we ended up going to Pier 39 after too much of deliberation. We were just three of us and the other two hadnt been to Pier 39 and Golden Gate Bridge. So I became their guide. It was raining and by the time we were in SFO, it stopped a little and began to drizzle. We had to buy a Poncho and cover ourselves. And one thing we saw there , out of the ordinary was the plumbing issue right in the middle of the Pier 39 road and water gushing out of the drains due to excessive rains…. Wow it isnt a very perfect place afterall isnt ?

I took them around, had snacks in Hard Rock Cafe (I wanted to do that for a long time, Did you know that the Aadiye Kolludhe song from Vaaranam Aayiram was taken there ???.. I took a snap there 🙂 ) and then we went around in that cold weather and later decided to take a cruise. By the time the cruise started, in a godlike effect, the Sun shone…. Oh the Sun God gave his blessings to me all through my trips there. You have no idea how much helpful he had been. You cannot imagine that there will be Sun with the kind of weather that was prevelant there. And it was amazing during the cruise. More than me, the other two enjoyed a lot, coz they havent been in that and it was really exciting for them. They in general are fighter cocks and chatter boxes, but during that cruise, they were friends (only during that cruise) and were calm too !!!

After that it was my turn to drive, as the rain wasnt bad, it was more of drizzling and not pouring. So we started off to Golden Gate Bridge @ around 4 pm after our cruise. We kept going inside and outside the actual city of SFO and ended up in a Park and then finally got our way around to the Bridge view point. It was as usual a very very nice walk in the bridge. And @ around 6.30 pm we started back and took the way inside the city and via El Camino Real came to the hotel. Even though it started on a highly scary note for me, it ended up well. I was in the bridge during a sunny day, a cloudy day too 🙂

The next week, there was this plan of going to Los Angeles. Myself, the other guy, his manager and his wife. The girl who was with me on most of the trip was scheduled to leave on Sunday. But she couldnt resist visiting LA with us, that she postponed the trip to Tuesday 😀

So it was decided that the 5 of us will be travelling on Friday evening and we also pre booked the Motel 6 near Disney Land for the stay and managed to get a discount of 10$ for Universal Studio’s ticket via AAA membership. I completed my work on Friday ( I had only two more weekends which ended up in the demo!!!) and started by 4.30 pm and finally we left Belmont @ 6 pm on our way to Disney and I took the charge of driving first and that was a very bad decision, coz I had to cover the Santa Cruz mountains (Thankfully it was dark and I couldnt see a thing) and as usual I was slowing down in the curves and taking my time a little bit more to be careful. After hitting I-5 , approximately after driving for almost 3 hrs I gave the control, because I was already running some fever and my eyes were watering very badly that I wasnt able to concentrate well enough for the trip. When I sat @ the behind then only I realized how much I was shivering with fever. I had very severe cold and cough but didnt expect a temperature rise. But luckily I was able to manage it well. I-5 was a nice drive, just one straight road for almost 4 hrs.. it was cool. I decided that I will drive in that while returning back.

We ended up in LA @ around 1 am and checked in and had a quick sleep. At 7 am we got ready and made our way by walk (just 10 mins walk) to Disney Land Park (not the California Adventure). On the way grabbed a bite in iHop and entered in to the Disneyland. I should be perfectly honest here. I wasnt much of a fan to go to Disneyland as I was sure that I wouldnt enjoy the rides there ( I am not a ride person , remember my scare of heights !!! yes, that is the reason I never go for rides) So I was a little hesistant to take this chance. When I went inside the park and went to get our tickets, I felt that there might be some surprise for me or rather I might enjoy this more than I even thought of. It was such an amazing place. It was such a HAPPY-TO-BE place. You get the feeling that all things in this world are so fairy and nice and cute. If you like fairy tales, if you like good rides, if you like being a kid for sometime, dont miss Disneyland. If you want to see very amazing laser shows and fire works, dont miss Disneyland… in general Dont Miss DisneyLand.. Its a place you have to visit once. Everyone would have loved the Mickey, Minnie and their series atleast at one part of their life. And this place is much more than them. Oh my God… I was so so much enjoying myself there.

The place was so well made up for the Christmas & Thanksgiving, that it just blew my breadth away. Its like being in a fairy land among the fairies. And all those cute little kids playing around…. OMG.. its really a very very happy place (Definitely not so happy for the parents to keep up to the expectations and demands of the kids 😀 , but all in all , its a very peaceful place, inspite of the chaos)

The castle you would see in the Walt Disney Pictures Logo was there.. it was so cute 🙂 and I was having so much fun seeing it in person. The first place inside the Fairyland that we visited was the Sleeping beauty’s castle. Very well made up. After that we saw that there was a huge crowd waiting in the Peter Pan ride. We werent sure what it was, but it was mentioned as the “Not to Miss” feature in the map that they give in the gate when you get the ticket. So we stood in the Q for almost 45 mins and finally went for the ride.. It was awesome. It was like being a Peter Pan, how he travelled in the space, visited the places, fought the pirates all of that.. I cannot do any justice to the pleasure and the feeling of these rides in Disneyland. You have to experience it to feel it. And coming from a person who hasnt gone in any rides (like Tora tora, Giant wheel etc) all of her life, this is surely a big thing I would say. It was amazing.

There was one inicident though which I would like to record out here. 3 out of 5 of us were so tired walking through that we decided to sit for some time while the other two went for the “Its a small world”. The place we were sitting was a staircase behind which there was a queue for another ride. At that time there was a very cute girl who came running to the place where we were sitting. Behind her was her mom. I wanted to take her photo coz she looked very cute. So I asked her mom if I can take her photo and she smiled..And obviously I took it for her yes and took her snap. She then left with the kid and after a few mins another lady with the same kid came to me and asked me if I was the one who took the kids photo. I agreed and she asked me if I could delete that photo coz her mom was going crazy on why I wanted the photo of her child and wanted to make sure I did delete it. I was shocked for a sec but then regained my composure and deleted the kids photo before her and showed it to her. She went away. I wasnt sure why or what made her afraid. But guess she must have her own reasons. I left it @ that. But my friend who was witnessing was so scared after that to a level that she forbade to take any photo if a kid was even remotely on sight 😉

After this incident we went to the Toon world and made our way in the Mickey’s house and took a picture with Mickey himself 🙂 I was really very happy , dont know why, coz I havent been a very great fan. I used to like Mickey and Donald but didnt have the crazy interest to take a picture with him in person. Of course, Mickey is a fictional character, but somehow when the photo came , I felt happy. And the whole of toon world was so so cute. There was a small ride there which was very funny.

Sparing this incident, I really had a good time in Disneyland. The Space Mountain ride, another mountain ride , go karting like car race etc.. all were fun. Slowly it was becoming dusk and the sky was amazing with beautiful colors. There was to be a Christmas parade by 6.30 pm and it had become slightly darker by that time. And they started making way for the parade and to our astonishment, people already were seated in the pavements and other places possible to get the closer look of the parade. You should see the way they had lighted up the whole of Disney land during Christmas.. God, it looked like Paradise. We watched the Christmas Parade with so much AWE !!! It was so so nice. To watch our own fairy tale creatures come alive and walk before you, it was awesome. We know that they are artists who are made up to look like them.. But we forget that when we see them (atleast I did). They looked like the life sized dolls. It was so so so good.. I was feeling so happy like a child. When that was over, we again went to Pirates of the Carribean and Indiana Jones and enjoyed those rides too. To be really in such a place where you feel a part of it like the Pirates and to watch the fights between Jack Sparrow and others 😉 and to watch Indiana Jones in his adventure and to be a part of it including a scary ride which in the first hand looked so harmless.. These are unforgettable memories. And these will always bring a smile to my face when I remember them.

I think I should thank my friends who persuaded me to go to Disney land with them and made me go these rides almost overpowering me 🙂 because without their persuasion I would have skipped it and missed an important place in my life when I had the chance. You never know unless you tried 😉

After the rides we got our dinner and then went to find a place to watch the Fantasmic show @ 9 pm. Seems like people gather around the place (its a small lake sort of thing where the show happens) almost an hour before to find a proper seat. I instantly knew that it would be like the Songs of the Sea show in Sentosa Island, Singapore. But with the Disney Creatures and Mickey against the Snow white’s Step Devil mother it was a very very nice show. And at the end you have all the Disney live creatures coming in a big ship 🙂 …. Man!! it was wonderful. We felt so relieved at the end of the day. Even though we had to stand in many shows for a long time say almost 1 hr or so and we were tired of walking it was worth it. We should have got the Fast Track pass which would have enabled us to reduce the waiting time , but we werent sure if the extra dollars would really help. Since it was a Saturday there was enough crowd too. We returned back by walk to our Motel and went to sleep straight away as we had to start early to Universal Studio and Hollywood the next day.

In short, if you are even in California, do take a ride to LA’s DisneyLand. I know that there are other Disney’s too. I am not sure how they are but any Disney Land will be a very Happy place. So dont think for a sec that its for the kids. Nope, if you ever like fairy tales or just want to be a child for a few hours, be there, even if you are alone, you will enjoy being there.


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