Disneyland – The Shows and Rides

Began my visit at The Enchanted Tiki Room as Jose is always an interesting host, there were no lines, and the Room air conditioned.

What more could a girl ask for.

Jose, the Master of Ceremony

The Finale..

Next to this event was The Jungle River Cruise Ride but with screaming children, and a 45 minute wait I nixed this for later in the night. What I don’t understand is why the boats aren’t loaded to capacity, or even more why Disney hasn’t figured a different way to handle the crowds, and shorten the lines…..

New Orleans recreated with creole bands dancing through the area at various times. What fun…

And get a fortune from the pirate – makes no sense but a laugh, and the best bargain at Disneyland…

Next on the agenda – a train ride around the Park. No wait, got to sit a bit, and assessed the crowds of many other events yet unseen. Good way to take a break, enjoy, and better plan your visit.

Train in front of It’s A Small World

The Mark Twain of Disneyland is authentic to the “last detail.” It is a paddle wheel steam boat which travels around Mark Twain’s Island. The Riverboat is 28 feet high, weighs 123 tons, and has 80 horsepower. No lines, a nice breeze, and friendly staff add to this attraction.

Views of the Indian Village from the Mark Twain

On to It’s A Small World

Surprisingly, this event also had short lines, and gave time to enjoy a Disney Princess. Throughout the Park little girls are dressed in Princess finery. And as an added bonus they maintain Princess decorum.

It’s A Small World – always leaves a smile on your face, and a song in your heart..

Stopped at the carousel after this. What beautiful horses..

And for Star War Fans…

This immense area has much to offer. There is also a ride, however, need to dash there as soon as the Park gates open to ensure a space. While not a Star Wars fan, I even enjoyed this venue.

Perhaps the most exquisite ride was The Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, camera demise occurred and no pics, only memories. It is much different from Disney World. If possible get reservations for the Blue Bayou Restaurant which is adjacent to the ride. It is sublime.

And now for the grand finale….. drum roll please….. The Haunted House. Lines for this ride were long, but worth it. Around the time when folks are obtaining the best view for evening fireworks the lines lessen. Only a half hour line at this time. I took advantage and was able to see the Haunted House, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise, however, need to scurry.

And Night time..

The Haunted House had a combination Christmas/Halloween theme. It is a must see.

Next: Across the street … Disney’s California Adventure

4 Days In California – Disneyland Main Street

Started the 4 days with a super early flight out of Salt Lake City. From there went directly to Disneyland after renting a car. As this was Labor Day weekend Disney was swamped with tourist and the weather hovered at 100 degrees.

LA from the plane window

Unlike Disney World in Florida with acres of parking lots, Disneyland has a parking garage. Cost $25.

I parked in the Minnie area and whenever parking in a large garage or lot I always take pictures of the signs near the parking spot as well as a picture of the car with the license plate. This helps after a long day when your memory falters. Taking pictures of the license plate also avoids attempting to get in the wrong car.

While I investigated much of Disneyland prior to the trip found reservations were needed once there. A young security guard navigated me through the Disney site for reservations. Thankfully there was an opening so I could visit. WHEW! After flying out with Disneyland as my major destination can you imagine if I didn’t get in??? What a disappointment that would have been. While the security guard also downloaded the AP for me I was unable to understand how to use it so hopefully if you bring children they will know. From the parking garage to the main gate is a very long walk, wear comfortable shoes, and bring an empty water bottle for refill as water at the park is $5. Visitors are allowed to bring food into Disneyland so do so. Prices are high, my ticket was $160. for the day, however it’s once in a lifetime.

Main Entrance

Disneyland was ablaze in decorations for Halloween.

Main Street – some sites not to miss with no waiting. Recommend catching them when leaving the Park, but be sure to stop. #1. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

#2. The Firehouse

#3. Cartoon theater with early Disney.

And the rest of Main Street…

The Castle is at the end of Main Street. How beautiful.

Next: Attractions..

Utah State Fair

Attended this Fair on its last day. Wanted to see all Utah had to offer. Such fun!

Many shops and food vendors were available.

Free shows with ticket purchase.

One of the free shows – the winds were fierce, but the show went on with this juggler.

There was a children’s farm area and many rides..

Some 4 H Displays

State Flower Quilt – What a work of art!

And the animals – very few were present as most were sold the day before.

And my favorite..

The Butter Sculpture

For next years Fair dates check out their web site http://www.UtahStateFair.com.

The Fair is located at 155 N. 1000 W. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Evanston Railroad Hub – Wyoming

Cruising through Evanston came by this building and decided to investigate. Knew Evanston had long been a hub of railroad activity, however, wasn’t aware of what was being done by a devoted group of railroad retirees to develop an Evanston Railroad Museum.

Visitor Center
The Tour Guide

Let’s start with a little history – In 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad began grading the area for Evanston railroad entry. A town rose from a tent and with a saloon and restaurant later built Evanston was born. On December 1st the first train arrived and a passenger depot opened June of 1869. The town was named for a railroad surveyor, James Evans, and a roadhouse and machine shop came later. These renovated sites remain with the machine shop used for area events such as weddings, proms, meetings, and the like.

The Machine Shop and memorabilia of the era

The Roundhouse was another interesting part of the tour. Trains were brought from the tracks via this turn style piece of equipment into the Roundhouse for repair.

The train would roll onto the tracks and the machine would turn delivering the railroad car into the roundhouse. Our guide gave us a ride on this machinery. What a hoot!
Final destination for train repair – The Roundhouse.
Interior of the Roundhouse

From here our tour led to where the real work was being done by those dedicated volunteers.

A bulletin board of activities.
Fixing the train from underneath

What a beauty – can you imagine what stories she could tell??

And for the future the volunteers are in talks with Union Pacific to acquire this structure. Wouldn’t it make a great brew pub? Such character.

For more information on this phenomenal tour – VisitEvanston.com or 800-328-9708.

This Is The Place Heritage Park

After leaving Salt Lake City Airport visited This Is The Place Heritage Park, a historical representation of the Mormon journey, and life in their early Utah days. This Is The Place was the claim Joseph Smith made when he brought his fellowship to Utah. He instinctively knew this was where his flock should reside.

Visitor Center staff stated the best way to see the Park was to ride the tram around the entire Park, then get off and explore. Great advice.

Kids love this train and the jokes of the female guide.

One of the many cabins on the property.

Some of the industries of the town.

The Pharmacy

Other Resources in the Community

Early Mormon Church

There also is a farm with livestock in the Park, a playground, and much for children to enjoy. Make sure to try the donuts.

The Mormon trek across the plains was filled with hazards. The statute depiction is moving and a visit to this portion of the Park enlightening.

Taking the wagons across many of the waterways.

Offering thanksgiving for arrival

And for the children who did not make it, a special memorial.

Learned much history during this visit. You will as well.

Laugh Factory

Spent my last night in Reno enjoying a comedy performance by 3 separate comedians. Recommend this as an event for all to attend. Humor was clean and funny. Cost via Groupon was $30. with drinks available. The shows are Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 pm.

The Venue

Pictures and taping of the performance was not allowed, however, let me reveal a few insights. The show began with a young performer warming up the crowd regaling his dating scenarios. The second performer was a 6 foot 295 # former Mormon married 27 years with 3 children. His routine surrounded family life and his obesity.

The main performer was Spencer James whose performance was varied chatting about everything from working a cruise ship to his family anomalies.

A night of laughter for all. Great way to end the visit.

The Reno Riverwalk

Not far from “The Row,” of casinos, Silver Legacy, Circus-Circus, and the El Dorado Hotels, is the Reno River walk located on the Truckee River.

It is a restful walk filled with much beauty and activity.

Even Fishing

And while there are homeless present, they stay to themselves. Police patrol the area.

Returning from the Riverwalk noted much building art. The Circus-Circus Casino has devoted a side of their building for this. Interesting building art is located throughout Reno.

Quite a variety.

Rancho San Rafael/Wilbur D. May Arboretum

Visited this Garden area and was impressed. They have much for children – a playground, dinosaurs to climb, and a ranch to visit. The Ranchero in the early 1900’s was a farm where pigs, sheep, and chickens were raised. For an adult visit there are many shaded places to sit and view the garden’s beauty. It is a lovely place for a picnic or walk with ample parking. They are having a Symphony Under the Trees on 9/24 from 6-7.

While I loved this place sadly my cell phone did not cooperate, and only have 2 pictures from the visit. However, here was something I had never seen – a wild poinsettia climbing on a tree.

A Must See

Animal Ark

Great ratings on this place and understand why. Animals are well cared for in appropriate habitats, employees friendly, well informed, and dedicated. Only 20 minutes outside Reno, a nice distraction from gambling.

All that said, let’s explore the place.

The Bears

This happy camper was enjoying the sun. Asked staff how they handle hibernation. In December they begin to decrease food, and by January the bears retreat to a hut next to their habitat. By that time they have increased their body fat 20%, and sleep till March. During that time they do not poo or pee. Go figure.

Gibbs is a new addition to the Park. A new habitat is being created for Gibbs as their bears can’t live together. He’s a pacer, and hopefully his new home will be ready soon.

Further down the way..

Also at the Park is a picnic area and playground for children.

Let’s check out a few more animals..

The 10x cell phone zoom really captured this guy snoozing..

Visit early as animal are more visible at that time. The Ark is open at 10 a.m. Tuesday- Sunday, closed Monday.

The Visitor Center has some interesting gifts, and while there caught this sweet creature, a marsupial, being cared for by Ark staff..
What a fun visit..

Reno Accommodations

Stayed at this hotel in Reno. Two other hotels are joined with this hotel – Circus-Circus and El Dorado, all owned by the Caesar Casino Corporation. While each hotel has their own casino they share a restaurant and shopping complex in their lower levels. Have found this to be a neat way to get around avoiding street concerns. Rooms are recently renovated, spacious, and decorated in a modern theme, but mainly comfortable and relaxing with wide windows giving mountain views.

While not receiving remuneration for this blog, I endorse the small town feel of this area and continue to enjoy my visit. It’s not over yet folks. So if thinking of a gambling vacation with some other attractions thrown in, consider Reno.

Caveat: Free parking in a nearby, safe garage.