Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Disneyland 2013

Disneyland is pure magic.  We love it and have wanting to go back since our last trip.  We were scared of the crowds and heat when Cars Land first opened so we didn't go then.  We kept saving and waiting for the "right" time.  Finally, about a month ago, we bit the bullet, picked a date, and bought tickets.  To save a little money, we bought 2 day tickets, one park per day.  I have loved the anticipation and planning leading up to the day.  We were all so excited.  

Day one was Disneyland.  Just walking up and seeing the decorations was a thrill.  We had a hard time choosing what to do first.  I insisted on a couple of pictures before running off for the rides.  The boys begrudgingly obliged.  

(I have to note that it was Jack's idea to take this picture.  He declared that we were going on "Star Wars Tours" first.)

After Jack's declaration and my pictures, we were off for Tomorrowland.  

There was less than a 5 minute wait when we arrived at Star Tours.  The line went so fast that Jack was disappointed that he didn't get to look at R2D2  and C3PO longer (or RDD2 and CfreePO as Jack says).  The look on the boys' faces pretty much sums up how they felt about this ride.

Next was Buzz.  

I rode with Ryan and he completely beat me.  Phil said Jack didn't fire his blaster once and instead, smiled and stared at everything on the ride.  

The boys picked the rockets next.  Again, the wait was minimal.  

Jack was my driver.  He said he was a really good driver because we went up and down a lot.  

Autopia was the next ride of the day.  Phil and Ryan drove in front of Jack and me.  Their car was super slow.  Jack and I kept yelling, "Get the lead out," and bumping the back of their car as Phil put on the brakes.  Ryan feared that I was going to be evicted from the park for breaking the rules and was really upset at me when we got off the ride.  Jack and I laughed the whole time.  Luckily, I was able to stay at Disneyland.  

We went on the Nemo submarines next.  We had not gone on this ride the last time we were at the park because of the heat and the long line.  It was a really cute ride.  We really liked it.  

After Nemo, we went to the Matterhorn.  We had the longest wait of the day at this ride.  It was about 45 minutes due to one of the tracks breaking down.  Ryan LOVED it and declared it to be his favorite ride of the trip.  Jack hated it and said he was never going on it again.  He said it was way too scary.  

At this point, we were all pretty hungry so we headed for the corn dog cart on Main Street.  They did not disappoint.  I still think they are the best corn dogs ever.  The park was getting really busy at this point.  We wanted to go on Pirates next.  The line for this ride was tremendous.  After waiting a few minutes, we were told that it was broken down.  We checked the line for the Haunted Mansion and it was over an hour.  We knew the boys were getting tired and we would have to go back to the hotel for a break soon.  We decided to go to Peter Pan.  On the way, we went on Tarzan's Treehouse.  

Ever since Disneyland redid this attraction and made it Tarzan's Treehouse, I have been disappointed.  I adored the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and wanted to live in it and recreate it in the Mulberry tree at my grandma's house.  To see each room and the tree torn up to look like gorillas and Tarzan live there makes me feel like Disneyland vandalized one of my memories.  I say bring back Swiss Family Robinson!

We also went on the Jungle Cruise.  Jack really liked it.  He got really nervous when the guide shot the gun, but at the end, he wanted to go again to see the "cwock-a-iles" (an improvement from his previous pronunciation of "caca-iles").  

Finally we made it to Peter Pan and Fantasyland.  As a side note, I have to point out as a mom to boys, they seem to have no use or appreciation for Fantasyland.  I had to talk them into the rides we did go on there.  I think they would altogether skip it if I wasn't there.  As a girl, this a major disappointment for me.  (As I am reading this to Ryan, he wanted me to note, that given more time, he would have gone on more rides with me. )

Peter Pan was very fun, but the boys were tired by the time we were done.  We went back to the hotel for a break.  After the boys had a rest and I had a glass of wine, we were ready for our evening in the park.  At this point in time, I was starting to regret not getting the hopper passes.  Disneyland has so much to offer and I felt crunched to get it all in in one day.  In hindsight, if we would have had a day two in Disneyland, I think we would have relaxed a little more instead of trying to do absolutely everything we could in one day.  

Anyway, we got there during a parade.  Instead of watching, we made a beeline through the crowds for Pirates, enticed by the hope that the line would be short.  When we finally made it through, we did indeed discover a short line.  Success!  We LOVED pirates.  In fact, Jack has been singing the song all day today.  

Argh, Matey!

Next, we headed to the Haunted Mansion.  It was a bit of a wait, but not too long.  I loved the Christmas decorations and all the pumpkins.  

Disney overlooks no detail, which was most notable in the dining hall of the mansion where the scent of gingerbread and pumpkins was in the room as the dinner ghosts/guests danced around a giant gingerbread display.  

After the Haunted Mansion, I really wanted to go on some rides in Fantasyland, but the fireworks were about to begin and most rides were closed in that area.  A helpful cast member told us that we could get to it through Tomorrowland.  Jack said, "Yeah, that's the right way! Star Wars!"  Again, because of the fireworks, there was virtually no line so we went again.  

Jack took the safety rules on the monitor very seriously.  

The second version of this ride was even better than the first.  We got to fight with x-wings and dodge At-At's.  We went through the gift shop again where Jack found his R2D2 ears and lightsaber that he had been asking me about since the morning.  He had worn me down at this point so I gave in and got them for him.  

Ryan built his own droids.  

Finally, I was allowed to go on my "girl" ride.  Ryan said he'd go on It's a Small World only if it was long and he could sit down because he was tired.  I think they enjoyed it anyway.  The boys were pooped at this point since it was 10:30 at night.  We got a ride on the train, caught our shuttle, and got back to our hotel and called it a night.  

Day Two:  California Adventure

We had a rough start to day two.  Phil and I were exhausted and so were the boys.  My brain was barely functioning as I helped the boys get ready and Phil went to find a Starbucks.  He proclaimed that he would find the biggest coffees ever to bring back.  He did not disappoint.  He also brought back breakfast sandwiches.  The boys protested and barely ate.  

Next, we headed to California Adventure.  The boys needed a jump start and since I couldn't imagine giving them coffee, we went with the next best thing and got them, as our good friend Lorie calls them, "breakfast cookies" and chocolate milk.  Hey, it's Disneyland, so it doesn't really count, right?  Their mood improved slightly after that.  

We then got our fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers and snapped a couple of pictures.  I need to note, that Jack did not want to take off or let anyone touch his R2D2 ears and would get mad if anyone did.  It was a big deal every time Ryan would touch them.  

Next up was Soarin' Over California.  We loved that ride.  We followed that with Monster's Inc.  The decorations were so cute.  We had fun looking at everything on this ride.  

We even enjoyed Roz admonishing us that she would be watching in the end.  

We walked through Radiator Springs after that and Jack was star struck when he saw McQueen.  Sadly, Ryan was a little over it being the grown up seven year old that he is.  He posed for the picture anyway.  

Jack was even more star struck over Mater and just stood and watched and laughed at everything he said.  He couldn't even get in the picture line.  

We rode Luigi's tires.  We hadn't heard great things about it, but we enjoyed it even though it was slow.  It's kinda like human air hockey.  To make the ride move, you have to lean in the direction you want it to go.  The decorations for this ride were fantastic.  I loved them.  

We then saw Red and took a picture with him.  I was feeling kind of bummed at Ryan's grown up attitude at this point.  

We finally got to use our fast passes from the morning and rode the Racers.  This ride did not disappoint.  It was amazing.  Ryan lost his entire cool guy attitude while on this ride.  He belly laughed as Frank the combine chased us and yelled when were in danger.  He laughed and held up a number 1 sign as we won our race.  This ride was great.  (And contrary to the picture, Jack loved it.  We happened to be going over a bump when the picture was snapped which was Jack's only cause for worry and it also gave me that "big hair" illusion).  

Lastly in Radiator Springs, we went on the Mater's tractor ride.  Mater's junk yard was the best.  I loved all the memorabilia from his Tall Tales.  The ride was really fun.  

We ate at Flo's V8 cafe, went on Goofy's Sky School, Mickey's Fun Wheel, and one of the Bug's Life rides before calling it a day.  Because of the late night the day before, the boys were really running out of steam and so were we.  When we left California Adventure, the boys looked over at Disneyland and asked if they could go in one more time.  Again, I wished for hopper passes, but I knew we were tired.  We headed home.  Jack continued to wear his ears and at one point, had them on like this.  

Disneyland was the best.  I know I can't wait to go again.  Time to start saving.  

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