Monday, October 31, 2011

Disneyland Day 2

We started our second day at Disneyland off bright and early on Main Street, ready to dash off to Peter Pan. Because of the age of our kids, the fact that we had already ridden most of the other rides that we wanted to, and that there was no magic morning on Friday, we decided to go for Peter Pan first off, and we were able to walk right on. And may I just say that our group seemed to appreciate the bright yellow shirt I was wearing--it made it easy to spot me in a crowd. Keith rode with Finley.
Grandma rode with Isaac.
Which means that I rode with Sareny, but there was nobody to take our picture. :) After Peter Pan Keith, Sareny, Isaac, and I rode Big Thunder Mountain.
This was a huge favorite of both Sareny and Isaac, so we decided to ride it again while the lines were non existent. I stayed off with Finley. Then we found out the ride broke down while they were on it, so I took a few pictures of Finley while we waited. It was perfect, because the Mark Twain Riverboat was just coming around the bend.
Then it blew it's horn right as I took a picture.
And one more cute/silly little smile. The background is so perfect, it almost looks fake.
Then I took a picture of both of us.

And then they got off the ride, and we headed over to ride Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. On the way there, we stopped for a family picture in front of the Rivers of America.
 Then we did Haunted Mansion, which the kids found much less scary in the daytime. I love how they have the house all decked out for Halloween, but we all liked the regular attraction better than the Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday version.
For Splash Mountain, we pack everybody a pair of flipflops and a cheap dollar store poncho. Because I like this ride quite a bit, but there is very little that is worse than walking around soaking wet and in squishy socks and shoes. We may look a little silly, but I heard more than one person ask a ride attendent where we got the ponchos at. Isaac totally loved Splash Mountain and wanted to ride again, while Sareny didn't so much and Finley was asking to ride the "merry go round." So I took the girls to the Carousel while Keith, Nancy, and Isaac rode again. This time Finley got to ride Jingles.
This picture is from inside Fantasyland showing the back of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Although if you know your Disneyland trivia, you'll know that this was originally designed to be the front of the castle, but someone had placed it backwards on the model, and Walt liked it better that way.
We went to ToonTown and did some things we had missed the day before. The kids all quite liked Gadget's Go Coaster. I remember being supremely unimpressed with this ride the first time I rode it, but I was a teenager, so it was pretty lame. For small children, it is perfect. Exciting, but not too scary, and the whole ride is visible. We took some pictures just playing around.
On Donald's boat.
Then we toured Mickey's House.
We haven't waited in line to see Mickey in years, but the line was almost nonexistant, so we stopped by to see him in his movie barn. I wanted a picture of the kids, but once again, Finley wasn't having any of it.
So we did a family picture instead.
We went back to the hotel to nap for a few hours, and it was an extremely dissatisfying and frustrating experience. Isaac quietly watched shows, Sareny watched shows for a while, and then went to sleep, and Finley walked around the room talking, getting into stuff, and being a bit of a nuisance, making it so Keith and I weren't really able to sleep either. She finally fell asleep about 20 minutes before we were heading back to the park. She didn't really even stay alseep for long in the stroller. The rest of the group headed off to ride something she wasn't tall enough for, and I took her to Snow White's Grotto to make a wish and to do the Castle walk-through diarama. I noticed that while at the hotel, she had taken out her cute little piggies and Minnie ears, but oh well.
Disneyland closed early because of a separate admission Halloween party, but California Adventures was open late. We spent the rest of the evening over there.We rode the new Little Mermaid ride, which was pretty cute. You can sort of see Mickey's SunWheel in the background between Keith and Nancy.
We rode the SunWheel as well. I guess I was so busy focusing on the two cute little munchkins, I forgot about the adults and chopped their heads off.
We rode in the seats that swing and slide on a track. It made it rather exciting.
Sareny and Isaac wanted to do the Silly Symphony Swings. Which I found interesting, since we coudn't convince Sareny to go on them last time we went. At any rate, I thought the swings at the AZ State Fair were better--they went quite a bit higher.
We had tickets to see World of Color, which was a pretty good show. But I don't particularly want to see it again any time soon because you had to stand in one place for an hour before the show started, and stand for the whole show. The kids were able to stand on the stroller to see, thank goodness, because there is no way I could have held a child up for that long so they could see the show. I also had an extremely tall man standing directly in front of me, so I had to contort my body around to try to see. So anyway, the show was reasonably good, but my legs were just too tired to enjoy it much.
After the show, we rode Goofy's Sky School, which is really just Mousetrap re-themed. Sareny really liked it though, and I did actually think the re-theming helped the ride a bit. Then Grandma took Finley back to the hotel, who fell asleep on the way. She woke up just enough to say, "Boo" to Grandma when she changed her diaper. The rest of us rode Grizzly River Run, again utilizing ponchos and flipflops. The kids loved this one, and we rode it twice in a row. I did not love this one--the continual spinning was making me feel rather sick, so I was pretty happy to get off of it or we probably would have ridden it three times. Anway, we had a really fun second day at the park.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Disneyland Trip Day 1

We went to Disneyland October 20, 21, and 22. Grandma Nancy flew down from Spokane to spend a few days with us before we all loaded up in the van and drove to California. Our first day there was a Thursday. Anyone who has gone to Disneyland with me before knows there are a few ground rules for the trip, the most important being: We will be in line at the gates waiting for Disneyland to open at least 20 minutes before the park opens. All three mornings they let us onto Main Street to wait at the end before taking off to our rides. Here we are waiting for Disneyland to officially open.
We had kind of a rough start to our first morning. Our original plan was to ride Dumbo first so we went right past Peter Pan, which we could have walked on, and got to Dumbo. Where we saw that it was closed. Bummer. By the time we got back to Peter Pan, there was already a huge line, so we headed to Alice in Wonderland instead. Not anyone's idea of "The First Ride" of the trip, but it was still fun. This was our magic morning, so only Fantasyland and Tomorrowland were open. After Alice we rode Matterhorn, which all of the kids seemed to enjoy, although I don't think it was Grandma's favorite. Then we did the carousel, which turned out to be Finley's favorite ride.
Sareny got to ride Jingles.
Isaac showing "no hands." Poor Isaac got totally scraped up when he dismounted his horse. It was kind of bad, but he was pretty brave.
Then we headed over to ride Dumbo, which had finally opened.
The kids all posed in Dumbo.
Then we headed over to the other side of the park where we had big plans that included Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, and Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately, those plans were dashed to pieces when we got over there and found out that every one of those rides and Indiana Jones to boot were all shut down. Pirates was also shut down for maintance, but we knew about that one beforehand. This basically meant that half the park was broken. We tried to make the best of things, but it was pretty annoying. We rode Winnie the Pooh and Jungle Cruise.
Jungle Cruise is actually Keith's favorite ride, and I thought they had a few fresh new jokes I hadn't heard before.
After Jungle Cruise and the fiasco occuring in the rest of the park, I was ready to get the heck out of Dodge. We headed over to California Adventures, where they had attractions that were actually operating. I took Finley to ride the Monster's ride while the rest of the group did Soarin' over California. When we got off, she said, "I don't want to ride scary ones." I asked her if Monster's was scary, and she said, "Yes." Then we saw Sully, so we got in line to have our picture taken with him. She does not like to get too close to the characters and tried to run away from him, so I grabbed her and a worker took our picture. Later she was telling me that Sully can't close his mouth.
Isaac had been talking about riding Tower of Terror for months leading up to the trip, and even wanted it to be our first ride. Okay, so my Dr. may or may not have sort of suggested that I not ride this one, but this was the first time Isaac was tall enough to ride it, and I just didn't want to miss it. Keith and I took him, and I was a little concerned about how he would do. Especially when I looked around in the line and he was by far the youngest child I could see. He ended up loving it though! He was totally grinning in the picture they took, and all the people crowded around the pictures pointed at our picture and were like, "Look at that little guy! He loves it!" It was pretty funny. Even though he loved it, he didn't actually want to ride it again. Keith took Sareny on it, and she did not love it.
While we rode Tower of Terror, Grandma took Sareny and Finley to ride Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and Francis' Ladybug Boogie. Then they took a few pictures. Finley used her fingers to make her smile bigger.
While Keith drug Sareny on Tower of Terror, I took Isaac on the rides the girls had done earlier. For reasons unknown, Finley opted to wait with Grandma at the Tower.
We rode Toy Story Midway Mania, which everyone in the group really enjoyed.
Finley saw the Merry Go Round, and there was no way we were walking by without taking her on it.
While Nancy and I used the switchoff pass to ride Soarin', Keith took the kids to the Redwood Creek Challenge area. They had a blast running around.
They saw this dog whom I can never remember his name, but he is from the movie Up. I like how Finley is looking at him so suspiciously and making sure her hand is far from him.
Then we headed back over to Disneyland to ride some of the things we missed earlier, including Star Tours which we had fast passes to, and Haunted Mansion which we did not, and sure wished we did. I have always loved It's a Small World, and the kids were singing along and loving it too.
Since the park closed at 9:00, we decided to tough it out and not go to the hotel for naps. (Not that Finley would have napped if we had gone there.) But in the Tiki room she leaned her head on my arm, and a few minutes later I looked over and saw her head bobbing. I grabbed her just in time, and she spent the next couple of hours like this.
And just in case you are thinking this sounds like the perfect time to visit Disneyland, let me put those silly notions to rest. It was packed. The lines were so long just to get a Dole Whip, we didn't manage to get one. I think people were waiting over an hour for that line. Basically, Utah had fall break and the entire state decided to plan their family reunions for that weekend at Disneyland. I am only slightly exaggerating. Despite the crowds though, we had a great trip. Okay, interjection done. We also went to Toon Town and rode Roger Rabbit.
Isaac busted out of the Toon Town jail.
The kids got a little crazy in this car.
Finley did not appreciate their craziness.
Then we hurried back to Fantasyland where we got perfect seats to watch Mickey's Soundsational Parade. We actually got to sit on a ledge with a back, so it was surprisingly relaxing and comfortable. The parade was awesome and we all really enjoyed it.
We had a great first day and stayed until the park closed. At this point, I told Keith to take the kids back to the hotel and I would meet them there, because I wanted to talk to someone at City Hall about our morning. He really didn't want me to. I think he is embarrassed that I speak up if I am not happy about something, but at any rate, I did it anyway, and we were all glad that I did. The guy at City Hall was really nice and gave me several readmission passes which would allow our whole group to ride any attraction we wanted, including those that don't have fast pass lines. These were a huge help for avoiding the gigantic lines for the rest of our trip. Which once again validates my theory--if you're not happy about something, say something to the right people, and they will almost always do something to make it right. Much better than just fuming amoungst yourselves.