Today was our day to tour California Adventure. We woke up at 6am (ARGH!) in order to meet in the lobby of our hotel at 7am, After a quick walk to the Disneyland Hotel, we had breakfast at godforsaken Goofy’s Kitchen (AGAIN with the character meals!) at godforsaken 715am. Today’s characters were Goofy, Chip, Dale (those two get around!), Jasmine and, oddly enough IMHO, Brer Bear. The food was, as expected, typical Disney, and although the Peanut Butter & Jelly pie absolutely ROCKED, the rest of the meal was so-so at best.

Part of the food layout at Goofy’s Kitchen

Eating breakfast with Goofy & friends

With breakfast finished, we headed over to California Adventure and met up with Heather, who was a Lead at the Soaring Over California attraction. She explained the back story of the attraction – how it was designed by Mike Sumner with his Erector set. After the quick story, we again divided into Mickey & Minnie teams. The Minnies got to ride the attraction while the rest of us got to go backstage, behind the movie screen! We could see the movie ahead of us, along with the Minnies’ feet dangling above us – VERY fun! After their flight was done, we switched places and since we now knew where to look for the door, we saw the Minnies entering and exiting the backstage area.

Once our flights were over, we went back outside, where Heather gave us some random statistics about the attraction…there are 2 theaters and the ride holds 87 people per theater. Each screen is 27′ wide x 57′ high and you are lifted 40 feet into the air in order to view the Imax screen appropriately. There are 3 flavors of scent beads used during the show – pine, orange and a water smell (although a lot of people tend to remember the orange scent the most) – they are housed in a special compartment and are wafted to the Guests’ respective face areas by a blast of air at appropriate times. The scent beads are replaced every 3 to 6 months.

Walking towards the Animation Building – no one is in California Adventure. Picture taken at 3:00pm. OK not really (grin)

In front of the Animation Building at DCA

Next we walked over to the Animation Building, where we had an appointment for a private show with Crush, from Turtle Time. Nothing out of the ordinary and no backstage secrets revealed but chaw, it rocked, dude!

After our meeting with Crush, we met with Aliah, a Disney artist who taught us how to draw Mickey Mouse, step by step. Joe’s MM didn’t look too bad but mine looked more like Goofy. Yeah, an artist I’m not.

ABOVE & BELOW: Aliah teaching us how to draw Mickey Mouse

After we were done with Aliah, we had free time for the rest of the day. But not before Julie and Quinn (but especially Julie) did something very special and unusual that we all promised not to repeat on blogs or the boards. But let’s just say that they totally rock!

Anyway, before we broke up, we did a Group Do on the TZTOT. Well, most of us did – some of the group opted out. Chickenshits (grin).

THEN we had free time. There wasn’t much that we wanted to see in California Adventure but we made good use of our time there…we went on Monsters Inc. twice in a row, then walked to Paradise Pier so Joe could go on California Screaming (I didn’t go on – chickenshit!). After that we visited Toy Story Mania.

Paradise Pier

After we were done with TSM, we went back to the room because we were pooped (remember we woke up at 6am!). After we woke up, I went shopping while Joe decided to go back into the Magic Kingdom. As it turned out, total coincidence, we met up at the same turnstile, with Joe just 3 people behind me. Gee, with coincidences like that, it’s a good thing we’re married!

We had to meet in front of the Hyperion Theater at 5:55pm for a 6pm dinner buffet inside the Hollywood & Vine restaurant area. The food was decent, with catered salad, pasta, chicken, veggies, etc. Stacia Martin, a Disney historian, drew pictures of our favorite requested characters for us (except me – she’s never had a request for the Yo-Yo Flamingo from Fantasia and it wasn’t in her repertoire – but she promised to tell Eric Goldberg that someone actually requested him!) Quinn & Julie had been taking pictures of us throughout the vacation and turned the shots into a montage of memories (you may recall that Chris and Mike did the same thing for everyone last year. It’s a nice touch, especially when we get a copy of the video a few weeks later). Finally, towards the end, Mickey & Minnie came to visit and take pictures with us.

Eating dinner

Stacia drawing Joe’s requested character

Us with Mickey & Minnie

Minnie, Quinn, Julie, Mickey

The whole group of us

With dinner done, the only thing we had left was our VIP seating for the Wishes fireworks. We still had some time so a bunch of us went into The Enchanted Tiki Room first, then met at our private seating area, which was nearby.

Waiting for the fireworks

We all split up after the fireworks. Our last official event was tomorrow’s breakfast but not everyone was going to be there at the same time, since there were planes to catch, so we did unofficial goodbyes, in case we didn’t see each other in the morning. The park wasn’t closed yet and Joe and I still had some energy, so we went on POTC and Pooh before calling it a night.