Girls' Day at Disneyland - 5/18/97

Four girlfriends (Lauri, Kristina, Erin, and Janet) and I decided that it would be fun to go to Disneyland on Sunday and break the day up by attending the "Practically Perfect Tea" at the Disneyland Pacific Hotel in the afternoon. Janet's brother Jeff came along as our "Token Male". :-)

(I *don't* want to hear anything about "Political Correctness" - *we* call ourselves "girls", and so this is "Girls' Day", and not "Women's Day", or "People of Feminine Gender Day". So there.)

Since it was the weekend *before* Memorial Day, and Light Magic hasn't started yet but the California Residents' discount was over, I was hoping for rather light crowds - it wasn't too bad.

We had a very nice day for it - it was overcast, but quite comfortable to be in shorts and t-shirt. It was a very nice evening, too - I was plenty warm with just a sweatshirt and shorts, and I am notorious for being cold at temperatures everyone lese thinks balmy.

Janet and Jeff picked me up a little after 6:00 and we drove up to Anaheim, had breakfast, and met Lauri, Erin, and Kristina outside the gates at about 8:15. We were actually in line *before* the parking lot even opened, and got to park in "Bambi" - I've never been in that area of the lot before!

We got into the park when they opened they gates at 8:30, but the rest of the park didn't open until 9:00. I got my Annual Pass (I'm now an AP Holder, yay!!!) at the Main Street bank while the others got a locker, and then we did a little shopping in the Emporium.

We had some very important purchases to make - friends for Tigger! I brought Tigger with me, and Lauri and Kristina decided that he needed some pals to share adventures with. So Lauri got Eeyore and Kristina got Figaro. Later in the day we added Owl (for Janet, who was just selected as Outstanding Classroom Math teacher (High School level) in San Diego County), and Goofy for Erin.

We had thought about going to Indiana Jones first, but it seemed that's where *everyone* was going, so we did Big Thunder Mountain instead. Had less then a 5 minute wait. We sat in the back three cars - the best place! It wasn't running terribly fast, though - it was much better when we went back later.

Then it was off to Splash Mtn, another 5 minute wait, where we got pretty wet - I've never gotten wet sitting in the second row before, but the right side of my shorts and my right shoe and sock got pretty wet. Tigger, Eeyore, and Figaro got wet, too. :-)

No line for Haunted Mansion, and about 10 minutes for the new, Politically Correct Pirates of the Caribbean. I think the "pirates chasing women for food" thing is totally silly - oh yeah, a good meal was what was on a pirate's mind when he bought a bride at the auction! Puh-leaze.

Things did look a little spiffier and brighter inside - and we saw the shadowy sword fight in the ship room - also noticed that there are several pirates who peer out from the ship, rather than just the one that does all of the talking.

The line for Indy was still long, but the Aladdin/Jasmine Storytelling at Aladdin's Oasis was about to start, so we went in to see that. It was a lot of fun. The guy who plays the storyteller isn't Robin Williams, but he did a good job.

We walked over to Toontown - the line for Roger Rabbit was the normal hour, so we skipped it, and played around Toontown, taking lots of photos of Tigger and his pals.

Lauri and Kristina and I (and Tigger and Eeyore and Figaro) rode Gadget's Go Coaster, which is really a lot of fun - I just wish it was longer (and had a shorter line...)!

We went over to Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain (20 minutes). Janet hadn't been on it since they had added the stereo soundtrack, and she agreed that it really makes the ride a lot better.

Circlevision is closing this fall, so they are showing "America the Beautiful" as the farewell performance. I hadn't seen that in years, and wanted to catch it one last time. In the pre-show area they have all of the U.S. flags hanging on the walls (in alphabetical order), and the CM went around the room asking those who were out of state to point out their flag - though that didn't work with the two different parties that were from British Columbia. :-) She warned us that the film was made in 1967 so it would seem a little dated, and made some comparison to life then versus now - like the average annual salary was $6000 then, a car cost $2000, gas was $0.32/gallon, and you could buy a hot dog at Disneyland for $0.25...(I find it interesting that the cost of a hot dog has gone up more than the cost of a gallon of gasoline...)

We enjoyed the film, which has some beautiful scenery, but we had to laugh at the cars and the way people were dressed...not a woman in pants to be seen anywhere, and you gotta love those beehive hair dos...It was also interesting to see the shots of Cape Canaveral and the rockets, and to realize that at that point in time man had NOT walked on the moon yet!

By then it was time to make our way over to the Disneyland Pacific for tea - we decided to take the monorail over to the Disneyland Hotel and shop/sightsee around there before walking over to the Pacific.

We got a hand stamp when we got off at the Disneyland Hotel - though we felt more like we had gotten slimed than stamped - the ink was kind of wet and took a while to dry.

We found a "Disneyland Sheriff Jeff" badge for Jeff, since we hadn't been able to talk him into a stuffed animal. He wore it proudly the rest of the day (though maybe he was just indulging us).

The "Practically Perfect Tea" started at 3:00 - I thought they might begin seating at 2:45, but they didn't open the doors until until almost 3:00. When I originally called to make reservations for tea they told me they didn't have a table for 6, and would have to put us at three tables of two. Fortunately, there was a cancellation, and we were all seated together around a coffee table.

The room is decorated quite nicely as a Victorian parlor, and the servers are all dressed in period costumes. The room only accomodates about 32 people, so it's a pretty intimate setting. Most people were making an occasion of this, and were dressed up (there were quite a few little girls in pretty party dresses), but there were two other groups like us that were more casual. (And most groups were celebrating an event of some sort, like a birthday or bridal shower.)

When were were seated, we were each served a plate with some dainties on it - an apple pillow, an orange scone, and some sweet cream butter and raspberry jam. At that time our server took our tea orders - we had our choice of:

English Breakfast - Strong and simple...a good cup any time of day. To be truly English a dash of milk is recommended.

Darjeeling - Considered the best tea in the world. A slight Muscatel flavor.

Earl Grey - A blend of four teas from China and the Indian sub-continent. The perfect afternoon tea.

Black Currant - A blend of black teas that are flavored with Black Currant. This makes for a very fruity flavor.

Hot Cinnamon Spice - A blend of black teas, orange peel, three types of cinnamon and sweet clove (there is no sugar).

Lemon Verbena (herbal) - A traditional French herbal (tisane). The big green leaves produce a full-bodied herbal lemony flavor.

Green Tea (Sencha) - From Japan this green tea is clear and bright. It has little carreine and may have great health benefits.

Peach Fruit (no caffeine) - A light fruit cup perfect for our younger drinkers.

Decaffeinated Orange Pekoe - A classic blend of strong Assam and smooth liquoring Ceylon.

(Soft drinks and juices were also available.)

Each of us received our own little teapot, which we were instructed to allow to steep for a few minutes. We each had a little tea strainer to place over our cup, to catch the loose tea leaves.

After our tea was served we each received plates with "Assorted Finger Sandwiches" - crust removed, of course! There were 5 different types: sun-dried tomato and cream cheese, ham and cheese, shrimp and onion, turkey and mango (my favorite) and, of course, watercress and cucumber. (I think watercress sandwiches are synonomous with tea...) The sandwiches were good, but not very big, and we hadn't had lunch, so we were pretty hungry.

After we had all been served, there was a change in the wind direction and our hostess blew in - Mary Poppins, complete with umbrella.

She sang "A Spoonful of Sugar", and then went around the room to each table, greeting all of her guests, and telling us how lovely it was to see all of us. We noticed that we were the very last table to be greeted, even though she had to go right by us to visit three other tables. Hmmm. We couldn't figure out if it was because Jeff was with us (there was only one other man, plus about a 7 year old boy) in the room, or if it was because we didn't have any kids with us (one other party was also all adult) or if it was because we were dressed more casually (two other parties were also casually dressed), or if it was because we had Tigger and all of his buddies arranged on the end table next to us - even though they were quiet and very well behaved.

When Mary finally came to see us she asked if there were a special occasion - we told her it was "Girls' Day", with Jeff as our token male, and she commented on his Sheriff Jeff badge, and how delightful it was that we had an escort to protect us.

After visiting us she sang a song in honor of her friend Bert - who was watching Jane and Michael so that she could be with us instead - and she even dabbed soot on her nose as she sang "Chim Chim, Cheree".

Then she made an exit, promising to return later, and we were served our "Sweet Surprises" - there was a white chocolate tea pot, (considerately wrapped in cellophane so that we could save it for later), a teeny little custard tart, a Mickey shortbread cookie, and some sort of brownie/cake bar. All very good, just not terribly filling.

Mary came back, dressed in the white and red dress from the "Jolly Holiday" country outing, and began escorting people from the various tables to pose with her for photos on the sofa. They had a number of hats and feather boas for people to borrow to wear for the photo.

After posing for a while she got up and led us all in "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and for the people who were already done with their photos, the tea was over. We were again the very last group, though Mary realized that and did say that we were "last but not least" - we were also the *largest* group! We had fun with the hats and boas.

We left just about 5:00, so it was a pretty long event. We enjoyed it, though, and it was a nice break to our day - it felt good to sit down and relax for a couple of hours before heading back over to Disneyland.

Some Comments

We headed back over to Disneyland on the monorail. When we got off, the line for Matterhorn was considerably shorter than it had been earlier, but after we'd been in line about 5 minutes the ride broke down, so we bailed out and went to the locker to get our sweatshirts, since it had cooled off a little bit. Then we went to get in line for the 6:15 Festival of Fools Show.

This show is always a lot of fun, and we enjoyed it. After the show we headed over to Adventure Land - and the line for Indy had shortened considerably - we kept walking, and walking, and finally found the end just inside the bat cave. It was less than 20 minutes until we were in our "transport". Went in the left hand door again - I still haven't managed to go through the right hand door. The snake is still broken. It's still a great ride, though.

We got dinner at the Bengal Barbecue, which was good, and had something for everyone. (Lauri and Kristina were disappointed because they were sold out of smoked turkey legs when we left Festival of Fools - but this was the next best thing.)

We did some penny squishing and headed back over to Fantasyland to try on hats in the Mad Hatter. Their selection was disappointing - they had better hats at Christmas time.

Still a short line at the Matterhorn - plus by then it was dark, so we had a good ride on that. Then we headed over to Thunder Mtn. to ride that in the dark. Janet and Erin bailed out on us. The line was about 20 minutes, and they were still only running one side of the tracks. The ride was MUCH better than it had been in the morning, though - faster and we got a lot more air.

At this point it was about 6 minutes until the start of Fantasmic, so we tried to find a spot. We made our way over past the French Market to a spot where we had an obscured view of the one water screen through the trees - couldn't really see the main stage, though. Jeff and I stuck it out, but the others went for coffee and said they'd meet us at the castle drawbridge after the show.

I don't know if there were just a lot fewer people or if they are doing traffic management better, but we had a much easier time getting out of the area after the show than I have ever had before. We met up with the rest of our group - Lauri had been to the "Commemorative Pieces of Eight" machine outside Pirates and had "Girls Day 5/18/97" pieces made up for all of us. A nice memento of the day.

We were all ready to leave at that point, so we made our way to our cars and joined the taillight parade out of the parking lot. :-) There really wasn't much traffic out on the roads, though, and it didn't take much time at all to get out to the freeway (I've had it take me 20-30 minutes to make it to the freeway...).

Jeff drove while Janet and I slept :-), and they dropped me off about 11:15.

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Copyright © 1997, by Laura Gilbreath. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.

Laura Gilbreath, email: lgil at lgil dot net
Last updated 5/25/97