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.


Sam said...

We feel for you about the ride closures...sorry!

By the way, the dog's name is Doug

cassidy said...

That looks like a jam-packed day, even with all of the closed rides. I wish I were brave like you and had the nerve to talk to people when I'm unhappy with their services. It totally paid off for you! I loved seeing all of your photos...your kids are at such fun ages for Disneyland trips. I can't believe Isaac rode Tower of Terror!

bethany said...

I love that you complained and got passes. Good for you!! What exactly are readmission passes? Like you go through the exit?

I love Disneyland.

shauntel said...

wow. i don't know anyone who loves disney like you. the dog from up is doug.

lexi said...

oh how i wish i could have come with you guys. i was on fall break along with the rest of utah you know. but it looks like you guys had a good time despite rides being closed. isaac is so brave!

Jolynn said...

Good for you! We always need to have you around on our trips because you are the one who will speak out. I'm the next best one after you, but I think you are the queen of getting free stuff. Sounds like your trip was fun, in spite of the crowds. Can you imagine me complaining when you had to have Alice for your First Ride of the Morning! That is way worse than Buzz Lightyear!!!! Next time we all go, Isaac can ride Tower of Terror with me!