Monday, January 31, 2011

Disneyland Day 3

Our last day in Disneyland we explored more of California Adventure. We started the day in Paradise Pier where Ashley went on her first BIG roller coaster California Screaming with Mike and Alysha. She thought it was scary but ended up going on it again later in the day. Owen and I went on King Triton's Carousel and got Woody's autograph while they were on the roller coaster. We went on Mickey's Fun Wheel which was a bit more exciting than a normal Ferris Wheel with a nice view of the park. We did some shopping then headed over to ride the swings and another ride on the Jumpin' Jellyfish. We also did Soarin' Over California again then had lunch at the Pilot's Grill. After lunch we headed to Hollywood Pictures and watched the Muppet Vision in 3D. Which was really more like 4D since we got wet and bubbles fell on us from the ceiling. Then we hit the Monsters, Inc ride and did some Turtle Talk with Crush. Our last stop in Hollywood Pictures was to watch Playhouse Disney Live, which was more fun then just watching Mickey's Clubhouse on the Disney Channel.

Once we had a quick snack we headed back to Disneyland and hit the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for another ride. Then we went to check out all the cool new ideas for the future at Innoventions. Where we got to play with new technology for our homes and lives. You could easily spend hours in there playing with new gadgets and fun games. The kids had been bugging to ride on the Monorail that we had been seeing gliding above us for the past few days so we boarded it in TomorrowLand not really sure where it ended up. It was a quick trip through Disneyland and California Adventure then stopped in Downtown Disney. We took a short walk and reentered California Adventure for the evening. Where we rode a few rides in Paradise Pier again while they were all lit up for the night then decided to head back to our hotel before the crowds started coming in for the World of Color light show.

Enjoying Mickey's Fun Wheel.

Mickey's Fun Wheel.

Autographs and photos with Woody and Sargent

In front of Paradise Pier

Ashley after a ride on the swings.

Jumpin' Jellyfish.

Muppets in 3D

Owen's favorite animal on King Triton's Carousel. The pink seal that he pet the whole ride.

Mickey's Fun Wheel again in the evening with all the lights below.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Disneyland Day 2

Our second day at Disneyland was Ashley's 8th birthday. We had a few presents for her to open at our hotel in the morning. Then we headed to the gate with our Magic Morning passes to get into the park one hour before regular park hours. We got to see Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Chip n' Dale and Pluto all on Main Street where we got their autographs and photos with each of them. Then we headed to FantasyLand and rode on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Alice in Wonderland, King Arthur Carousel, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White's Scary Adventure and the Mad Tea Party twice. We then went to see the Princesses at Disney Princess Fantasy Faire where the girls got more autographs and photos. Last but not least we went to Mickey's Toon Town and rode on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin then checked out Chip n' Dale's tree house, Goofy's Playhouse and Donald's Boat. We decided to ride the Disneyland Railroad back to the front of the park so we could cross over to California Adventure. While we were in line for the train we met another little princess who was celebrating her birthday, turning 4. The birthday girls were so cute we asked if we could take their pictures together.

Once we got into California Adventure we picked up a FastPass for Soarin' Over California then walked to Paradise Pier where we went to lunch at Ariel's Grotto for Ashley's character lunch with the princesses. We had a wonderful lunch and got more autographs and photos with the princesses. Followed by a little jewelry box birthday cake and we all sang Ashley happy birthday.

After lunch we went on Soarin' Over California which was like actually flying with feet dangling over different parts of California - very cool. The kids had been bugging to use the pool at the hotel so we took a break and went swimming while it was still warm and sunny. One very nice thing about staying in a hotel only one block from the entrance. Afterwards we went back to California Adventure and explored A Bug's Land, where we felt like we were as little as bugs. By the time we were almost done with Bug's Land it was starting to get dark and everything really started to look cool. We wandered over to Hollywood Pictures and went on the Tower of Terror. It was like riding in an haunted elevator that drops from the top to the bottom of the tower then back up and down again. Not sure if I would do that one again. After our tummy tickling ride we picked up our World of Color picnic and found a table to eat at. We had a little time left so we rode the Jumpin Jellyfish and the Golden Zephyr. Then we found a place as close to the front of deck as we could to watch the World of Color water and light show. It was a really cool show but a little to crowded and was hard for the kids to see. It was a great day and a wonderful birthday for Ashley.

All the Disney employees throughout the day told Ashley happy birthday and we ended up calling her Princess Hollywood since she picked out big Hollywood style sunglasses. One employee asked her what princess she was since she wasn't wearing a traditional Disney princess costume. We told her that she was an original Princess Hollywood. She said she would keep an eye out for her movie in the future.

Princess Hollywood at Disneyland

Meeting Mickey Mouse

Meeting Chip

Meeting Pluto

Goofy of course.

Don't forget Donald

Our first ride of the day, Dumbo.

Photo with one of the Mad Tea Cups.

Girls on King Arthur's Carousel.

Princess Fantasy Faire.

Visiting Toon Town.

Birthday Princesses (Penny turned 4 and Ashley turned 8)

Photos with more Princesses at Ariel's Grotto

Ashley's cute Jewelry box cake.


Visiting Lighting McQueen.

A Bug's Land

Last photo of the evening in front of Paradise Pier.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Disneyland Day 1

Our first day at Disneyland was a holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) so I knew the park would be the busiest out of our three days there. So I used to figure out which rides would have the shortest wait and what order to do them in. It said if you wanted to do the Nemo Submarines first to arrive an hour before the main gate opens. So we started our day at the gate at 7am. We were the first in line on our side of the park, which ended up being our longest wait the whole trip.

Once we finally got in the park, we quickly walked to TomorrowLand and walked right onto a sub for the first ride of the day. Owen loved it! Then we went to Autopia where the kids each got to drive their own cars with only a 5 minute wait in line. We went and got a FastPass for Space Mountian then went on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. Then we stopped in Pixie Hollow to see Tinker Bell and had a snack and bathroom break. Space Mountain was a little to much for Ashley, Owen and myself but Mike and Alysha loved it. We then headed to Critter County where Mike, Alysha and Owen went on Splash Mountain and got soaked. Ashley and I skipped it and went shopping in a little shop by the ride exit. We then ran into Winnie the Pooh so the girls got his autograph and a photo while Owen hid behind me. After some complaining about having to do things on my RideMax list I decided to dump the list and just went on anything that the wait was less than 15 minutes or got a FastPass (which are awesome and more people should use them) so we went on the Jungle Cruise, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh then had lunch at the Hungry Bear Cafe while watching the ships sail by. Our afternoon was filled with rides and a fun visit to Tom Sawyer's Island where the kids got to explore caves, tree houses and find treasure. We went on Pirates of the Caribbean, Mark Twain's Riverboat, Davy Crockett's Canoes, Tarzan's Treehouse, Disneyland Railroad, Enchanted Tiki Room, Astro Orbitor - not exactly in that order. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was a big hit and we ended up repeating that ride a few times.

We ended the evening with Disney Light up Balloons (the most expensive balloons ever!) while we watched the fireworks over the castle and then saw Fantasmic water and light show in AdvertureLand.

My favorite moment from our first day. While in line for Indiana Jone's Adventure the little boy in front of us was told he wasn't tall enough to go on the ride then Owen was measured and he was tall enough. He did a double fisted "YES" and was so happy.

Nemo Submarines first thing in the morning.

Owen driving his own car in Autopia.

Alysha driving with Ashley and Mike behind her.

Pixie Hollow where we met Tinker Bell.

Girls with Winnie the Pooh.

Mike, Owen and Alysha headed down Splash Mountain.

Kids on the Disneyland railroad. It goes around the outside of the park with a couple tunnels with animals and dinosaurs to see.

Eating lunch at the Hungry Bear Cafe.

Exploring Tom Sawyer's Island.


The girls were captured.

Owen in front of Mark Twain's Riverboat.

Waiting to see the fireworks at the end of the evening.

Ashley with our Disney light up balloons.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Southern California Adverture!

Thanks to my AWESOME Grandfather we booked a week long vacation to sunny southern California. After months of planning and waiting it was finally time to head to the airport. Which was Ashley and Owen's first time on an airplane and they did great. Only three hours of flying and we were in California. We checked into our hotel which was right across the street from Disneyland's entrance. Then we went for a short walk to Downtown Disney for a wonderful dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe where there were tons of things to look at while having dinner. Even a thunder storm every 20 minutes that would make the animals all very excited. It was a great way to start off our vacation.

Kids at the airport, headed to wait for our airplane.

In front of the Rain Forest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

We enjoyed watching the fish while waiting for our table to be ready.

Kids after a wonderful dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe.