Saturday, May 25, 2013

Disneyland All-Nighter 2013 RECAP - Part 2

The Morning

The day began like any other day at Disneyland. The only differences being, I was there at 6:00 AM, two hours before the park is normally scheduled to open. The other, I wasn't going to leave for 24 hours.

The lines to get into the park were quite underwhelming. There seemed to be consistently no waiting all day and night, to enter the park. The day began with a firework countdown for the gates to open, hosted by Mike and Sully from Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and the upcoming Monsters University.



As we came into the park, hundreds of cast members lined the sidewalks of Main Street with arms outstretched, all wearing Mickey Mouse gloves. As I ran down Main Street, I was high-fived and welcomed by every one of them. Several complimented my sweatshirt (go Dodgers!) and said good morning, making it a truly welcoming and happy experience to kick off the day. For at least the first 4-5 hours of the day, none of the rides had so much as a 20-minute wait, with the exception of a couple of the more popular rides like Space Mountain and Star Tours. I was the first rider of the day on Pirates of the Caribbean, along with two other passengers who sang along with the lyrics the entire time. It was awesome.

Tons of cast members giving out high fives

Pirates looking empty as ever
As I waited for the rest of my party to arrive, I thought I'd check out Splash Mountain's standby wait time. Nobody was in line. I casually strolled to the front and was allowed my own boat. I decided to just kick back and enjoy the ride to myself, with no one else even in sight. When the ride was over, the ride operator asked if I'd like to go again. Since I am rarely afforded this opportunity I rode Splash Mountain again. And again. Yes, I rode Splash Mountain three times in a row without anyone else and without getting off. After completing the hat trick, I headed to Tomorrowland.


An hour's time allowed me to ride Space Mountain, Astro Orbitor (twice), and Astro Blasters. An additional 30 minutes later I had rode the Finding Nemo Submarines and Autopia. All in all, the daytime was an easy and pleasant experience, even more laid back than usual.

The Night

By night time, I had been with the rest of my group for about 12 hours and we were starting to get hyped for the all-nighter. I drank a coffee to ensure that I wouldn't begin to fade randomly at any point during the night, and we just sort of walked around and rode whatever we wanted, like a typical day at Disneyland. Only, it was past midnight.


Main Street was lively all night
Matterhorn was awesome at 2AM, and the music was loud and blaring at the Tomorrowland Terrace. People were passed out on the ground and benches, and there were all kinds of crazy shenanigans at the Sleeping Beauty Castle area. I can safely say that having been to Disneyland many hundreds of times over the past 17 years, I have never experienced anything like this. Nothing compares to riding Indiana Jones late at night, only to know that you could ride it a second time. Usually I am put off by hours of waiting, but when you have 24 hours, 45 minutes seems like nothing out of your day.

I started slipping away around 4AM. I was sitting on Jungle Cruise in the dark as the skipper was lighting up the scenes and pointing at things with a flashlight when I started to drift off. Even though he was constantly yelling to startle the easily frightened guests, I was too exhausted to be startled. By the end, I was barely awake when he asked if anyone had been here since 6. I raised my hand and to my surprise, I was the only one. That's when I knew that I had been there for too long.

We only spent an hour at DCA
Don't get me wrong though. I rode at least another 5 rides before I left. Around 5:15 I got on Star Tours without waiting (I accidentally went in through the handicap area and was too tired to notice) and at that point the cast members seemed pretty nonchalant. I could hardly keep my eyes open as we traveled to Kashyyyk and Naboo. By the end, I just wanted to go home, and the final stretch seemed impossibly long. I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and was ready to get it over with. Barely anyone was left in the park by 6, and a very small number of them had been there for 24 hours. It was an experience I'll never forget, and hopefully next time I'll be able to arrive at night so I can get some much-needed rest beforehand.

3 comments:

  1. This made me laugh because I too was the only one in my group that had lasted the full 24 hrs. Right around 3am I rode Soarin' and fell asleep for the few minutes that the ride lasted lol. After that I was awake and ready to finish off the remaining few hours.

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    Replies
    1. It was torture. Probably the longest I've ever stayed awake. Definitely going back next year.

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  2. I had very beautiful experience with disneyland rides and been there for couple of times. But unfortunately I never knew about these disneyland secrets and now I am desperately searching for more information on them!

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