I realize that most people (not all) have been to Disneyland before. I will probably go through an extremely detailed day of what we did for my own memory. I suggest you just scroll through pictures unless you are very dedicated. In regards to the pictures, Tyler was our main photographer last time we went, (and he was MIA this trip) so I tried REALLY hard to be on the ball. I was not perfect, but better than I hoped.
Tuesday morning we got up early. Tyler had to leave first thing for his conference. We wouldn't see him again until 4pm.
We had access to the Extra Magic Morning Hour. I would like to bash on it for a moment. It is ANYTHING but magical. When I was a child they would open the park an hour early for a select few. And by park, I mean just one small area, like Tomorrowland. And by select few, I meant that I remember going on Space Mountain six times in a row because you could just walk on. It was awesome.
Fast forward to present day. The extra hour was such a good idea that they opened it to more and more people. Now, it isn't special at all. The Incredibles' Syndrome said it best, "...And when everyone's [special]...heh heh heh heh...nobody will be." Everyone at any Disney hotel has access to the extra hour and I believe anyone who buys a pass for more than one day also can go. So...that would be....almost everyone. The line to get into magic morning was huge. The park was PACKED. We checked out the Matterhorn line, but it was already wrapped all the way around the mountain. So we opted for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. At least we got our classic picture out front. Compare our picture from last time we were there. (Oh, and we dressed them all the same again in matching orange tank tops. We got a lot of comments.)
By the time we finished that ride, it was time for the park to open. Yep...Magic Morning = One Ride. (It doesn't get more magical than that.) I decided we should go to Indiana Jones first thing and get that out of the way because the littles couldn't go on it and we had Grandma at the ready.
Nice segue to Grandma. My mom was able to join us. She rented a scooter cart for her time in the park like last time. There were pros and cons. Pro: she was super speedy. If there was an open stretch of road, we had to run to keep up. Most of the time crowds kept her at a normal walking pace. But because she was super speedy, we almost always sent her to get fast passes for things. She would take off and be back so quickly. She was amazing!!
Okay, back to Indiana Jones. I had pre-measured the kids and knew exactly what rides they could go on. Ivory had not been tall enough last trip, but I knew she was golden this time around. The crowds were crazy, but we got in line and I decided at the last minute to measure Ivory, just in case. And she wasn't tall enough!!! What!?! I was in disbelief. I measured her again, but she wasn't even close. How could I have messed that up? The older kids were moving quickly in line and grandma was already gone. I told them to go ahead without us, and Ivory and I took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. (I'm sure she was thrilled because that is what she went on last time she couldn't ride Indiana Jones.) She was such a trooper. She didn't complain a bit. Love her.
The end of that story was that the ride was very badly labeled at Indiana Jones. Ivory was plenty tall (just like I measured) but we didn't get back to ride until later that evening. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we found Grandma with her cart. The kids loved it.
Grandma had gotten a fast pass for Indiana Jones so we said we would wait for her and tour the treehouse.
And then we waited some more. And a little more. Um...Grandma?? She finally called and said her cart had died in the bowels of the ride. She was stuck for a while. (That would go under the con list.) They were bringing her a new scooter, but it might be a while.
So we toured Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Grandma caught us there. She generously went to get us fast passes on Cars and Soarin'. We went on Splash Mountain. I tried to get a picture of us at the end. (You know where everyone takes a picture of their picture so they don't have to buy one?) But I missed it. In fact, I missed almost all of them. I think I got ONE the entire time.
To make up for it, I took a picture of us in line at the next ride.
Then it was off to meet up with Grandma. Previous to coming to the park, I gave each of the girls a punch card. They were allowed to get two treats at Disneyland, their choice. All our other food was brought in. I had plenty of snacks on hand, but I didn't want them feeling they couldn't try anything from the park. Robyn opted for a churro, and four punches later, we had a bench of churro eaters. (June is holding up her punch card to show that she still had two punches left.)
Then to Soarin' Over California.
That is Grandma's favorite ride. Pearl liked it too. She didn't like the coasters as well, although we made her go on everything with us.
Since we had jumped parks, we figured it was a good time to explore California Adventure. Some friends had told us about Turtle Talk with Crush so we went to check it out. The Incredibles were signing autographs outside.
Inside we went to the Beast's library to find which character we were most like.
Daisy- Merida from Brave
Robyn- Tiana from Princess and the Frog
Mom- Elastigirl from the Incredibles (She's my fav.)
Sorry Pearl, we didn't stay long enough for you.
Then it was almost time for Turtle Talk. While we waited in the lobby, Daisy was exploring. She is mighty curious. So curious that she went and stuck her face in a crack in the wall. I don't really know how to explain it. There was a gap for some back lighting and she wanted to see what was in there. She got stuck and couldn't extricate herself. The wall won this battle. She came to me sobbing. I saw this dent in her face which proceeded to become redder with the passage of time. Check for it in later pictures. Poor little duck.
Turtle Talk with Crush was awesome. He is on a big screen and he speaks with audience members. He chose June first! He called her Jammin' June, and asked her questions about where she was from and taught her to talk like a turtle. If he says, “You so totally rock!” the correct response is “Dude.” Also, you can say “Cha” for “yes.” He then asked to speak to her 'parental unit' so I was up next. He called me Malibu Maleen. (And yes he pronounced Maleen correctly.) It was really fun speaking to him. I think all the girls loved it. (Except maybe Daisy who was probably distracted by her throbbing face.)
Next to Monsters Inc. I remember taking a picture of Ivory climbing on the railing three years ago, so we took another shot here.
Grandma was kind enough to take the littles to Bug's Land (Pearl's favorite place) while the older girls went on Tower of Terror. Have fun. See you soon.
They were all tall enough to ride the tower, even Pearl, but I have rules about that ride. This time around I enjoyed it much more than last time. Ivory loved it. (She was banned last time.)
While in line June said, “Mom, can you please complain about your sunburn now?” (Lest you forget that we were all wandering around in pain. They were all so amazing. My little troopers.)
We reunited the gang and ran into Phineas, Ferb, and the Fireside Girls on our way to the Little Mermaid ride.
It is really fun to see the characters walking around the parks. I didn't take many pictures, but between our group we saw the following: Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Tigger, Belle, the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Mulan, the Incredibles/Frozone, Sully, Princess Sofia, Mickey, Phineas/Ferb, Green Army Men, Jack and Sally, and Maleficent. Not a bad showing, and that doesn't include parades.
Somewhere around this time, Tyler rejoined us. There was rejoicing all around. Except from this one. Zzzzzzz. (The scrape is on the other cheek.)
The kids frolicked with Dad. They went on the swings while Mom and I watched the snoozer. And some army men. Love my mom. I'm so glad she could come.
Daisy missed Triton's carousel as well.
And Luigi's Flying Tires. Although I am proud of myself for getting this picture with everyone in it. (Not that you can really see anyone.)
The rest of the evening slowed down quite a bit. Tyler took the kids to Bug's Land again (Daisy awake now) and I went back to the hotel to make some dinner. Somewhere coming back I could feel two blisters forming on my toes. Mom's scooter was sounding like a good idea. I stopped to rest at our meeting place and loved the mosaic wall next to me. One of the things I love about Disneyland and California Adventure is all the detail.
The big event of the evening was the cars ride. Mom got fast passes earlier but it was so popular we weren't scheduled to come back until the evening. I sent Tyler in my place since he wouldn't have a chance to ride the next day. (He only could visit one park a day.) And then I sat and took pictures of 186 cars before my group came along. But I got them.
Radiator Springs was really cool. It looked just like the movie.
The evening was winding down. Mom courageously took the three littles back to the hotel for jackets while the older kids rode California Screamin'. (That was also better than I remember. And yes, I missed the pictures at the end.) After a few more small rides, we met back up, but California Adventure was quickly being taken over by the graduates. Apparently it was 'Grad Night' and it was only going to get louder and crazier the longer we stayed. We thought about taking Tyler on the Tower of Terror, but the line was already 90 minutes long.
So bed sounded like a better option. However, I had one little girl who I owed a ride on Indiana Jones. So Ivory, Grandma, and I ventured back into Disneyland. I thought it would be the perfect time. The fireworks should be going and we should sail right onto the ride. Instead we met a river of traffic flowing out of the park. The fireworks had been canceled. Which made walking difficult and the line long. We lost mom at the gate and I figured she might go home. Ivory was tired, but she decided she could make it through the line. She said she hoped she wouldn't fall asleep on the ride. I told her there was little chance of falling asleep on Indiana Jones. We made good time. And Ivory was so funny. While on the ride, we were jouncing all over the place and she yells, “I don't think I could fall asleep on this ride!!” Agreed.
No pictures at this point because my phone was almost dead. We exited and there was Grandma waiting for us. I felt bad, but she didn't want to leave without calling and with my phone out of commission she had searched us out. Apparently it was even harder fighting traffic on the scooter. She was like a fish going upstream.
But we celebrated our reunion by going on Pirates of the Caribbean once more. (Her first for the trip.) Then one more long walk back to the hotel.
Look, a couple of sleeping beauties.
We followed shortly thereafter. The older girls bunked in Grandma's room, and we had the littles. It worked out well.
I know this was the longest post ever, but there are a few more things I want to remember.
- This trip was notorious for two things. Everyone measured Pearl because she was just over 40 inches. And EVERYONE asked Ivory her age. If you are seven or younger, you had to ride with someone 14 or older. I had Pearl and Daisy with me on almost every ride. But Ivory was so short they always asked her how old she was. Good thing she was 8.
- Tyler and I brought walkie talkies so we could find each other after 4 o'clock. We had to change the channel because someone was sending lewd messages over the radio. Classy people. You do know that other people can hear you right??
- We were super impressed with our kids behavior. They were so good. Tyler said he was listening to other parents threatening their kids. “One more word out of you, and you're not going on the rides!” (Seriously, you're going to go all the way to Disneyland, buy the exorbitantly priced tickets, then not let your kids go on the rides? Tyler laughed and called their bluff. And rightly so! A few minutes later we heard something to the effect, "So you're telling me you don't want to go on the rides? Is that what your telling me? One more word out of you and...") I'm glad I didn't have to discipline anyone. The most I did was use reverse psychology to cheer Pearl up on Splash Mountain. (That wasn't her favorite ride.)
Phew. You still with me? Just reading this post is exhausting me. So much fun and so much energy expended.
To be continued in...Lost and Found