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Old 04-02-2007, 09:26 PM   #1
minmate
I can show you the world... Don't you dare close your eyes!
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Minmate's "Amusing" California Adventure (3/27-4/2)

Our "Amusing" Disneyland Adventure:
WED, March 27 through MON, April 2

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Minmate: Me (mom)... THE FAMILY DISNEY QUEEN
Joe: DH... first trip to DL was with me, in 1994. We later got married there.
Our children:
Cali - 8, Thrill-ride lover. Disney aficionado in bloom.
Meg - 7, Sensitive. Sweet Meg.
Brayden - 6 -- on this trip. Our only DS
Jayleigh (Jay) -- 4, Princess Jayleigh, with the attitude to go with it.
Mike -- my dad
Stacy -- his wife -- who grew up in Pasadena
We all live outside Minneapolis now... about twenty minutes from each other.

WHY THIS TRIP... WHY NOW?
March 29, 1997… Joe and I got married at Disneyland. This was back when we lived in Ventura County, Calif. with the plans made before they’d officially started the Disney Dream Weddings in Florida. Calif. made sense as we lived there anyway. It was the best!

If you notice the date, that was just ten years ago. We’d moved out of Calif. and I had returned only once for a friend’s wedding. During the past ten years, we’ve moved 4-5 times, had four kids and other changes. But with our ten year wedding anniversary, our son’s 6th birthday the very next day and the kids all on Spring Break, going back to Cali seemed like ‘Our Destiny.’ (insert evil laugh here……)

Thanks to countless words of wisdom from the disboards, during our three trips to WDW in the past few years, I knew just where to look for DL tips. It felt a bit strange to be researching DL b/c I have been there so many times. But this was the first time I was planning to bring my kids and experience it more as a “tourist” so to speak. So, plan I did. I even decided to give Ridemax a try because I knew it would be packed during Spring Break time.

From the beginning, “I should’ve known” this was going to be “one of those trips.” Let me just back up and say, that I believe in the power of the mind and attitude. I think a person creates their atmosphere and has a lot of influence over whether it is pleasant or otherwise. So, I get that. However, that being said, I have had this little black rain cloud hanging over me for the last couple of weeks. I was just riding high… everything at work, with the kids, etc. had been going well. I had even been managing to keep up with housework and all that lovely stuff! Then little “bombs” started to explode here and there – with work, the kids, at home, etc. Some a little more major than others, but singularly, fairly manageable. But by the time our vacation was upon us, I was sooo ready to escape the real world for a couple days. Only, IT didn’t want to escape me!
I had to work the night before our trip until 11:30 p.m. But I had packed the weekend before, so I was pretty set to go.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27 ... GOING BACK TO CALI
We got up with everything seeming fairly typical. Kids dressed and I went through the list my mom left me good-naturedly. I joked with dh about why, even though I’m in my 30’s and a mother of four, my mom feels the need to leave me a list of what not to forget to pack! It was kind of funny. With everything seemingly covered, we set out to the Minneapolis airport. For some reason it seemed like it took FOREVER to get there. But that’s fine. We got there with enough time to sit down and get some McD’s for the kids. Brayden started in with wanting a cheeseburger (I believe it was 9:30 a.m.). Dh managed to stave off of the tantrum, convincing him pancakes was the way to go. My normally highly entertaining, laid-back, funny son, was just beginning to show us a taste of his attitude for the rest of the trip – extremely single-minded, high-maintenance and low-tolerance. Who knew that our son would be the one to bring all the “drama.” Just as I picked up our order, the menu changed to lunch. Thankfully, Brayden didn’t notice, and I was smart enough to catch myself from saying anything! I’m not always so quick! While we ate breakfast, my dad showed up (he was going on the same flight as us, but flying in first class with his wife, Stacy). After breakfast we made our way to the gate only to find out our plane was delayed. It ended up being delayed for more than two hours. Still, I was pretty zen about that. I figured we hadn’t planned much for the evening. We were going to Medieval Times, but we were originally scheduled to be in at 1:25, with MT set for about 6. There would be plenty of time! Or so I thought!
We boarded the plane, walking past my dad and Stacy who sat comfy, cozy in ROW ONE. While we were surrounded by 100 band/choir teenagers who were apparently under the impression that this was not an airplane, but their own private party bus. On the one hand, I was glad to know that should my four kids act up, it would got unnoticed compared to the raucous teens on the plane; however, I was a little annoyed by the four hour running litany of “I’m scared, what if the plane crashes. I’m too young to die!” crap coming from the two teen girls behind us. It was making my kids paranoid and nervous.

Our bags must have been stuck behind all the oversized band equipment b/c they were the last stuff off. In fact, we were pretty sure they were lost because the carousel stopped a couple times and everyone else was disappearing. Thankfully, no. All was there and we’d be fine. Until we got to Hertz. They didn’t have my dad’s name up on the board (he’s a gold card member). But things got even worse when we got to the regular Hertz place. Now, it’s about 5 p.m. and we had been told we should arrive to MT by 5:30 – not happening. 6 would even be pushing it. We’d reserved a minivan (six people) and they couldn’t locate one. We were there about a half-hour and the lady’s attitude behind the counter was just making me lose my patience. I tried to remain calm realizing it was the build up of all the little annoyances that was making me frustrated. Then, my credit card (it’s a new one) was denied. That kind of pushed me over the edge. I was sure I’d checked it to be sure it was activated. Thankfully, dh showed up and took care of it while I went back outside to wait with the kids. Rush hour wasn’t too bad, but dh lamented that we had to drive in it at all b/c we’d planned to be in to beat it.
We got to MT without a problem. I couldn’t wait to get a drink – a pina colada – my favorite. Except that they were out of pina colada mix. Figures, right ?! So, Stacy and I are just trying to laugh this off and trying to find some other mixed drink we figured would be work $14.00. We wound up JUST missing the knighting ceremony – which my dad had wanted to do for Brayden, as a birthday gift, and we even missed submitting his name to be announced for birthday wishes. Later, we figured that wasn’t such a big deal because there were a thousand and one people there celebrating SOMETHING… so whatever. We were in the evil green knight section which bugged the kids out – because they didn’t want to be “evil.” I had to reassure them they weren’t (evil). Meg had a tummy ache and didn’t eat much. Between her tummy troubles and the other four kids, I spent a good amount of time field tripping it to the bathroom. They are quite nice! The show was decent. It’s changed some and doesn’t feel as interactive as I remember. Maybe we were just having an off-night. Meg caught a flower and let Jayleigh hold it. The food was decent. I even ate the soup though I do NOT like soup. I was probably just starving. The dessert wasn’t good at all though.

Brayden loved the fighting and Joe bought him a wooden sword and shield as a birthday gift. The night turned out pretty decent after all. I was still nervous though, because with our luck, I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I held my breath as we rolled into the Residence Inn Maingate. Yay! They DID have our rooms! I figured, they wouldn’t or something awful like that! So, I was ecstatic and so thankful to the woman behind the desk who gave us a bunch of great maps and was so nice. Our rooms were in building 22, next door to each other. Dad and Stacy had a one bedroom. I actually never even went in it with the lights on. We had the two bedroom – with the bunk beds and the loft upstairs. It was great. We immediately called for extra blankets and pillows and they arrived with them in just minutes! The beds were comfortable and everything was clean. I really, really liked the hotel. It reminded me of some apartments I used to live in up in Ventura County. We had a spa right next to our room, but the pool was over by the front… just a few minutes away. The only complaint about the hotel was that dh didn’t like the parking. He always had to park way far away on the other end of the hotel. I didn’t think it was such a big deal, considering the large amount of walking we’d be doing all week. Really, I don’t think it was that far. Just inconvenient.

Once in the room, I organized my stuff for the next day and set up a schedule of “who gets to sleep where” because the bunk bed and the couch in the living room were the primo locations. Everyone was agreeable and we were off to dreamland.

Oh... the title for this "Amusing" California Adventure -- comes from our airplane delay. At one point -- and rightly so -- Cali was getting a little wired by all the waiting. I started talking to her about trying to amuse herself. I was waving my hand in front of my face - fingers spread -- saying, try to "amuse" yourself. So... at vrious times during our trip -- we'd all find ourselves doing that -- a finger wipe in front of our face saying, "Oh I am soo amused." or "Mom, you are so not amusing!" It was pretty funny and I am glad to have this family joke.

More on the first day at Disney coming up in this thread!
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:42 PM   #2
minmate
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DAY TWO: Ten Year Deja Vu....

TEN YEAR DEJA VU....
THURSDAY, MARCH 29 (Happy 10th Anniversary)


I was – as I always am at Disney – too excited to sleep. I was up at 5:30 a.m. – an hour before the wake-up call. I showered, checked the maps, did all that good stuff, and started waking the troops. The plan was to go to EE at DL and then meet my dad and Stacy at DCA in front of Soarin’ at 9:30 a.m. I intended to hit a good number of the Fantasyland rides – Ridemax in hand. We had complimentary breakfast and were pleased with the quality and variety of food. I noticed the same girl who was there last night at the front desk was there again. We chatted for a bit and I empathized with her situation. Working ‘til midnight and having to be back at 6 a.m. I wished her an easy day and time to relax later that day. Nope, she said. She has three small kids at home! Boy, I bet SHE could use a vacation too!

Off we went, to Mickey and Friends parking lot. Only one wrong turn. As we showed up, I remembered the lot doesn’t open until 7:30 and that I should’ve gone to the gates and held us a place in line. Too late now. We got a good parking spot and I was patting myself on the back for insisting on bringing our own stroller. Sure, it was a bit of a pain to have to fold it up here and there but we soon learned the drivers didn’t care if you didn’t fold it up in the front spot on the tram – as long as there was nobody with a wheelchair/ECV that needed the space. Plus, we didn’t have to wait to rent a stroller. Saved us money and time. Because I didn’t need them, I didn’t pay much attention, but I think they had the strollers temporarily moved so I’m not sure if that would’ve been an even bigger pain! But anyway, we got there, and stood in what would be the longest entry line of our trip. With everyone having access to EE, it is not as much the same bargain as at WDW. The park was pretty packed that early already. I convinced Brayden we would have plenty of time later to ogle the Walt and Mickey statue – something he normally wouldn’t care about but in his newfound single-mindedness, really wanted to sit and appreciate. I understand that but hey, Dumbo and Peter Pan are waiting pal! Well, Ridemax was out the window from the start. First, the times weren’t realistic – the waiting, walking or initial arrival times, though we did try to follow from the beginning. Peter Pan was already backed up out the ropes so we did Dumbo – which worked great b/c apparently, according to the girls, that is our tradition – to do Dumbo first. We then did Mr. Toad’s, which Brayden absolutely LOVED! I have a friend that said she had to cover her dd’s eyes during the devil scene in there – which I had forgotten about. (Her dd was probably 6 at the time too)… Sure, my ds LOVED that part…. “I love the little devil ride.” Hm…. Now what’s that REALLY say about my parenting? Let’s not explore that here!
We also did the teacups. Cali informed me that was the last time she would ride them with me b/c daddy does it better – oh well. I liked that they were outside. I was anxious to see them with the lanterns lit up later at night.
Alice had a line already as did Matterhorn, but we decided to get in line for Matterhorn. I ran over to Space to get FP’s . I was sure it was 9 by then, but no… I had 20 minutes to go. A line was already forming waiting for FP’s. What was with that? The stand-by line was only a 15 minute wait, but the FP distribution line had to wait 20 minutes just to open to start getting FP’s… Didn’t totally make sense to me… unless they’d ridden once already and were waiting to get FP’s for later in the day? I joined my family in the Matterhorn line. Now, I am a daredevil, will go on anything, try anything, but put my kid(s) on the ride and I’m nervous as a turkey in November! Kids loved it! By now it was 9 so I grabbed the Space FP’s – there was still a short line but it went pretty fast, though some teenager shoved her way right in front of me. Yes, I must be getting old – “Some teenager!”
I was a little disappointed by how little we accomplished in the hour-plus we had for EE. But it was time to head over to DCA. We met up with my dad and Stacy outside while waiting in line. Though we were back some and took a few minutes to ogle the new surroundings (our first time for all of us in DCA), we made our way to Soarin’ for a short line. I waited to get FP’s to see if we liked this ride. Of course, we loved it! We sat in the middle, second row. We grabbed FP’s and headed to Grizzly River Run. Ridemax had suggested Soarin’ GRR, Monsters, TOT… and we actually did them in that order. We didn’t get wet really on GRR – which was totally fine by me. I was freaking out and my kids laughed at me the whole time b/c I was the nervous one about getting wet! After being in DCA for an hour – maybe less -- my dad decided he just didn’t feel well enough to hang out with us so he headed back to the hotel. Yes… he spent $63 for an hour in the park! He left his ticket with us though. If he had decided to come back, we could always have exited and bring the ticket to him. I knew he wouldn’t be back though. He’s got some medical problems. His knees were really hurting him too. So it was the seven of us.
I thought Monsters, Inc. was cute. I would’ve even done it again at some point but Cali did say it was kind of boring. It didn’t seem any more or less “boring” than Alice or Pinnochio or PP, if you ask me. It just all depends on what movies and characters you like I guess. I thought all the doors flying around was cool.
My kids had been SOOOOO psyched for TOT that they’d made up a song and were going out of their mind with anticipation. Meg and Cali had been on it before. Cali loved it. Meg – at 4, did it but only once. She was willing to give it another shot and was as excited as the rest. When we got into the lobby area with the movie, dh said he knew then, she was scared. Her little heart was racing. I hadn’t known this because I was standing with my 4 yr old. Meg sat in the back row btw dh and Stacy and she nearly hyperventilated from terror… red faced and not just crying but that deep down, gutwrenching, heaving kind of fear. It totally sucked b/c I wanted the ride to be over so she would be okay. Meanwhile, I was sitting btw my 4 and almost 6 yr old. I think they would’ve liked it better if Meg hadn’t freaked out. They have this domino effect on each other. Needless to say, I love it but the three of them did NOT and decided it wasn’t something they wanted to do again. I felt bad b/c it was the first time Stacy had been on it and I think she would’ve loved it – but it’s hard to have fun in that situation. She was just clinging onto Meg trying to calm her down. So… no FP’s for TOT!
We headed back to Soarin’ to do our FP’s and to eat at Taste Pilots. I thought it was cool, ordering on the touch screen. Dh thought the prices were NOT cool. He was determined to make a grocery store trip later in the day to save on food costs. Normally, we just splurge for the week, but with the kitchen and with this being kind of a last minute – not really saved for trip but still paid for in cash trip – we tried to cut some corners. We went to Bug’s Land – I grabbed Screamin’ FP’s during part of that. I think I missed some time at the Puddle Park and the Flik’s Fun Fair… whatever. It was sooo cute in there but the rides weren’t really worth the line waits – with that said, the lines were only 15 minutes or so. We went over to Screamin, where Joe rode with Cali. Brayden and Meg were tall enough but refused – still a little freaked by the TOT experience. We hung out and watched the take-off. It was getting hot and the breeze off the little lake there was great. When I first stepped into Paradise Pier, I really liked it, but I grew to love it quickly. It reminded me of a Disneyfied Santa Monica Pier… laid-back, colorful, clean, safe and well-kept. Stacy and I went on Screamin’ next – only we’d grabbed the wrong FP’s – Mullholland ones I guess (we got them earlier, I forget when) – so we booked it over to the Orange Stinger, which is where Joe had taken the kids, and got the right ones! Duh! I’m wearing the pants with pockets tomorrow!
We LOVED Screamin! We loved our pic too but neither of us had our money b/c we left it all with Joe. So, no pic. By now, Stacy was worried – and annoyed – b/c my dad hadn’t been calling her back. They’d taken the ART shuttle and she wanted to know if he was coming back or if she should go back to the hotel. We met up with Joe and the kids, went on Mullholland and got FP’s for it again as they loved it. I really wanted to catch the Aladdin show but the kids voted to go to the pool and swim. It was hot and I figured the break might be good. Stacy went to catch the ART shuttle and we went back to Bug’s Land b/c dh’s phone was missing. I suggested he may have lost in on the bumper cars. We hung out in the Puddle Park while he went back there to get it. (Yay – I was right. He found it!) – Now, the kids were soaked and I was thinking – maybe we could skip the pool – NOT! So off we went back to the hotel – but first, I went to guest services to get Brayden’s birthday button for the next day while dh went back into DL to grab more Space FP’s. The Space FP’s were already gone so he got Buzz. It was probably 2:30 by the time we got there. We all spent some time in the pool. It was nice, but a bit crowded. In addition to families, there were cheerleaders and other types of groups staying at our hotel… no big deal to me though. We met up with my dad and Stacy and the kids enjoyed about six zillion S’mores… something the hotel put out complementary. It was cool. Joe and I decided to run to Target up the street. It was a bit further away and not as well stocked as I’d hoped. They just have basics. We have a super Target here so I was hoping/figuring we’d find real groceries. We managed though. Mainly, we got cheez-it’s and indiv. Bagged stuff for snacks in the parks; water, soda, some pizzas, mac and cheese (got milk and butter from breakfast buffet) and some Kid’s Cuisines. We also got push-ups b/c we bought ice creams for the kids earlier this day and two boxes of push-ups was cheaper than one ice cream treat.
We stopped at Jack in the Box (ick) but that’s the quickest place we saw -- and brought food back. By now, I was envious of my dad and Stacy’s lunch at Tony Roma’s. They’d watched the kids while we went to Target and offered to watch them while we went back into the park for the night. Looking back, we really should have let them. We could’ve used the time as “our time” on our anniversary day and the kids could’ve gotten some rest -- but I felt guilty about NOT taking them. Although, Jayleigh and Brayden had already put their pj’s on. (It was about 6:30 now). We were debating what to do and Jayleigh didn’t want to go – she wanted to stay at the hotel and watch some Peter Cottontail movie. Dh pointed out that we already have that movie at home and she’s seen it many times. Okay, the kid had a momentary lapse of priorities…. Stay at the hotel and watch a movie you own and have seen dozens of times or go to Disneyland? Duh!!! As it was, all six of us went back. As soon as we got to the park we went on Mr. Toad’s again – as Brayden was single-minded about doing this – then it was off to POTC… which I loved – we all loved! Except Cali was telling me she didn’t want to go on any roller coasters. Her tummy was feeling icky. We had FP’s to Space and I had been hoping to ride Big Thunder. Well, with four kids, one of them having a tummy ache or needing to go potty at inappropriate times is nothing really new. So we tried to weather the storm.
I used to be really good at remembering all the details, but I was so tired every night I didn’t write them down and now am going off my failing memory here. So, sorry if I can’t recall all that we did Thursday night. I do recall at one point crossing in front of the castle around 8:45 p.m. where the crowd had already amassed. Poor dh was navigating the stroller. Ugh! I had thought we might try to catch the fireworks from in front of the castle at some point but not tonight. We wound up in Fantasyland. Probably on Mr. Toad’s yet again. PP’s line was still long. I was not interested in standing in line for it. So we got in line for Small World. It was a little long – but in reality prob only 15/20 mins. Dh was a little frustrated that there were still lines, with it being late and most people trying to jockey for a view of the fireworks. We enjoyed Small World but I do miss the pink and other more colorful façade. As we were getting off the boat – which got stuck for a little bit – the fireworks started. I vaguely remember reading about this – but they flash movies up on the Small World façade too. It wasn’t the view at the castle but it was definitely cool – we hung out there for awhile and somehow wound up right by the carousel a few minutes before Tink made her flight. We had an awesome view of her. She spent more time flying around up there than we remembered from the FW show at WDW in 2005. So, as we stood there, we realized all those people were waiting to line up again for Toad and Pan… um, we aren’t waiting in that long line. Sorry. Our kids were starting to tire out so we went over and did Buzz and Space. We had the FP’s which helped b/c even at 10:30 p.m. with an 11 p.m. park closing, lines were long. This was Jayleigh and Brayden’s first experience on Space. I will always remember Jayleigh when she jumped out of the sled and started dancing around waving her arm in circles saying, “We did this and this and went this way then that...” She’d held her hands up the whole time and had such an awesome time! I loved that! At one point I realized that ten years ago, at approximately the same time, we were doing the exact same thing -- going on the same ride (Space) -- just Joe and I. Little did we know that ten years later, we'd be back doing the same exact thing -- with four kids in tow -- with all the changes that life has brought us! It was cool! I had wanted to buy some of the wedding ears like we had that day but I never did get to the store to do that! Oh well! Dh wouldn't have wanted to wear them, I'm sure! Though, he'd said all trip how he was meaning to buy a hat!

That is how we ended our night. Which was cool! I was so excited – but we were all dead dog tired too – for Friday – Brayden’s Birthday! What could be better than celebrating your birthday at Disneyland?

Oh, I forgot to mention... the crowds never did die down. Dh was so befuddled by this as he recalls a night we had in WDW where we walked onto like ten-twelve rides in a row -- in April b/c there were no lines -- no crowds, despite warnings there would be. I finally realized it was the EMH night he remembered.... which I do believe makes a big difference. EE at DL is not the same advantage as EMH/EE at WDW. It's an extra hour but practically everyone gets it.
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:14 PM   #3
minmate
I can show you the world... Don't you dare close your eyes!
I mostly just like the pretty colors
 
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Friday, March 30

Where is the Force? The Force Has Left the Building….
FRIDAY, MARCH 30: BRAYDEN’S 6TH BIRTHDAY!


Although I was up early, nobody else wanted to budge. Come on people, not only is this Brayden’s birthday, but the early bird catches the worm here at Disney! Don’t these guys know, “Mom Has A Plan” and mom’s plan always works… Okay, so we were running late getting up. Brayden didn’t even want to get out of bed. He didn’t care that it was his birthday. He wanted to sleep for his birthday, not go to DL. Ugh!!!! I was secretly cursing that we kept them out so late last night. Dh was so gung-ho for that b/c he thought we’d have light crowds – but that is not even what happened. So, we had a rough start to the morning. He wouldn’t change out of his pj’s. Didn’t want to wear his new yoda t-shirt and didn’t want to wear his birthday button. Hm…? I was so frustrated. Like I said, we were running late so we grabbed a bit of breakfast in the room – which meant we now had tired, crabby AND hungry kids… and off we went. The plan was to have DH drop us at the entrance while he parked the car to save time in line at the gates. Only, he kept missing the turn to drop us off, so we eventually got out at Disney Way, where it meets the entrance of the Timon/Pumbaa lot and walked. He made his way to the Mickey lot and though there was still a line of people, we were the third family in our line. He made good time and joined us. We figured on a good day – despite cranky kids. Brayden had settled on wearing his pj’s with his t-shirt over it and his button… thanks to Meg persuading him he would make me cry if he didn’t. So the countdown started and the day was about to begin… except we were in the line that “didn’t work.” So we wound up being “Stuck” for a bit. Great….
We made our way down Main Street and Joe got on Mr. Toad’s first with the kids – Brayden’s favorite new ride. Okay, I know I missed the first ride of the day – of his bday – to get Indy FP’s, but I was sure he’d love Indy and by now, we’d been on Mr. Toad 3 times! That was their fourth time! I hopped into PP’s line just as they got off Toad… Just a few minutes wait – cool! We enjoyed it – but still couldn’t understand doing a 40 minute wait for it! We did teacups, Alice, Matterhorn. I grabbed Space FP’s and we went over to Pirates. Then Joe and the three older kids rode Indy while Jay and I shopped and ate a Dole Whip. She insisted on finding a lollipop but of course, no shop near us sold them! I got her to settle on a bag of Cheetos – because we all know what a neat, clean snack those are for a naturally slobbish/dirty 4 year old! Hey, it kept her happy since she was ticked she was too short for Indy. The kids liked the ride and promised to go with me later – although they thought it was kinda scary and a little gross! Off we were to do Space. I stopped at the Plaza Inn (?) that restaurant where they do the Happiest Birthday Celebrations on Earth. Originally, I’d planned lunch at the Blue Bayou but DH wasn’t really hopping up and down over that. He was still in the “let’s save money on food” mode. Well, this is kind of where I lost it. The lady at the check-in place was so rude and that combined with the crabby birthday boy and all the struggles from the last two days really pushed me over the edge. She was being rude to others, not just me. But off I went, in search of a pen. I stopped another CM who helped me get a pen and she asked what can I do to help you? Well, I wasn’t trying to “get something for nothing.” My friend later told me I should’ve complained harder, asked for FP’s or something… but really, I just wanted to have a smooth trip. I know that’s impossible and that things happen, but all the little things and this woman’s rudeness really upset me. I think we had too high of expectations for this being our 10th anniversary/son’s birthday trip. There’s a lot of emotion tied up right there.
We headed over to the Jedi Training thing and I tried to explain what it was to Brayden. I really expected him to love it. He LOVES Star Wars and LOVES light sabers. That is just totally the kind of kid he is… a “boy” boy – a big goofball – entertainer. Well, he turned shy, and refused to volunteer. We’d sat there for a half-hour in the blistering sun, while his sister, Meg, melted down b/c she couldn’t “See” though nothing was happening yet – just so we could watch this show he didn’t even “TRY” to be a part of. None of the girls were interested in being in it either. The parents of the kids who did get picked all jammed up in front of us to get their pics and then when it was over, Brayden did wish he’d done it and got mad at me for not telling him he’d like it… WHAT???!!!! It aggravates me that they refuse to listen and trust me in those kinds of situations! But I know I’ll have plenty more to deal with as they get older. They are all strong-willed – like me! Want to learn from their own experiences and mistakes. But we weren’t going to stay for another Jedi show… it was hot and everyone was way too cranky.
On our way out, we noticed it was almost time for the Sword in the Stone ceremony, so we lined up for that. Before it started, I ducked out to get Big Thunder FP’s. On my way back into FantasyLand, I got dreamed… a free 5x7. Cool! So I joined my family at the Sword in the Stone and hoped that the “Birthday Button” would work some magic – Brayden would’ve loved to be picked for that! But… of course, he wasn’t. In fact, this is where research got the best of me… I’d hoped he would get some extra attention for it being his birthday. He didn’t get a party this year and I hoped a super-special something…. Anything… at Disney, would make the day special. The only CM to even wish him a Happy Bday was the tram driver. What’s up with that? Well, on our way out, we did the pic in front of the castle thing and Jayleigh had fallen asleep in her stroller and was totally cranky. We got the heck out of the park and made our way back to the hotel for a rest. We all needed it! It was probably 1 p.m. by now. I was just so frustrated that every step of the way had been a struggle. We'd had so many good experiences traveling with the kids to WDW and to other places, this was just throwing me... not to mention we were all feeling a bit under the weather -- be it allergies, fatigue, or whatever... and I just wasn't feeling "The Magic" --
At the room, housekeeping was cleaning up and vaccuuming, so we waited for her to finish, then I made chicken nuggets and pizza and we napped for a couple hours. I complained on the Disboards and got some feedback. And after the rest, we all seemed better and ready for a second try in the parks.
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Friday Night -- I Love A Parade...

FRIDAY NIGHT, MARCH 30
DH really tried to rally my spirits b/c I had fallen into an “I don’t even care if we ever come back here again!” mode. He knows how special Disney is to me – to us – and he wasn’t about to let this trip fall apart… if he could help it. It was his single mission to make sure I rode Indy b/c it if we decided not to return to DL (and just do WDW from now on) – Indy isn’t there. Well, of course, Indy was down when we got into the parks. So we checked out POTC… LONG line. Wow… What is up! Oh, yeah. It’s Friday Night! Eeks! It was so packed! I saw a number of annual passholders and locals (with the driver’s licenses out) heading into the parks that night. The line at the gates was even long. Now… I have nothing against locals because I used to be one… but I did not appreciate the chick who complained about kids being at the park… “Icky picky poo… more kids. Icky, I hate kids!” she said it right in front of my kids loud enough for them to hear! “Um, you’re at Disneyland, not a nightclub! What do you expect?”

We decided to head out… we checked out FL but all the rides had long lines. So we went to the 50 Years of Disneyland Movie with Steve Martin. We all liked it. It was nice to see Brayden laughing too.

So, we went over to DCA, which was much less crowded. We decided to see the Electrical Light Parade. I had originally planned to catch it our last night – Sunday, but lines were so crowded everywhere I didn’t feel like waiting for anything. We’d used all our FP’s for everything. I was so frustrated when we’d left that afternoon, I hadn’t bothered to run in and get the Soarin’ FP’s like we’d planned. We’d been on it twice on Thursday, so I figured we’d live. We spent a lot of time in Redwood Creek Challenge. The kids liked that. I like the music they play in there and it was a good way to decompress from the crowds at DL. Meghan just HAD to have a churro. So we bought some, but I don’t think any of the kids really liked them, which meant, more for me! Mmmm…
Dh, Cali and Meg went to Burger Invasion to bring back food while we sat near the Golden Zephyr to save a space for the parade. The kids made friends with a little boy while I chatted with his mom. They had all kicked off their shoes and were playing tag. It wasn’t crowded so it was nice. Brayden also pulled out his sword and put on a show for us. We took pictures and just hung out. Our newfound friends were from L.A. and wanted to get back home before traffic… so they left. We ate our food and Jayleigh spilled her lemonade all over our “space.” Well, I guess that’s a good way to keep others away from it! Dh took a couple of the kids on the Zephyr while we waited for the parade. We lined up a good hour before the parade but really woulnd’t have had to be hter until maybe 20 minutes early, even though it was a Friday night.

We loved the parade! It was just awesome. It was the single most important thing for me to do while we were there. I know that may sound silly, but that music… I just LOVE it. And I loved sharing it with my kids. It kind of restored my faith in the trip and Disney… the way we enjoyed the parade together. DH worked hard to record the whole thing on video.
We walked through Grizzly RR and ended up beating the parade to the front. Soarin’s line was still long and DL was open til midnight. We were planning a sleep-in the next day so we headed back into DL. We’d had a nice rest with waiting for the parade.

We checked back at Indy and all three kids came on with me. Even in FP line the wait ended up being nearly 30 minutes. Wow! We wound up in the front row but the people who were there before us came off back towards us – to retrieve a cane, I think, but it made us late getting on the ride and my son freaked… screaming, b/c the car started moving before he was buckled. I hadn’t been on it in such a long time, and I wasn’t buckled yet either so I was trying to get him buckled. Thankfully, the car stopped at the next checkpoint – which in his panic – I didn’t know for sure there would be. But, all was well… Off we went to help Indy fight another day!

We went on Big Thunder because Jayleigh could go on that too. She loved it. I think it’s better than at WDW, but I can’t remember. We were in the front this time and hadn’t sat in the front at WDW.

Then, we checked FL but still long lines – at 11 p.m. so we just left. I forgot to mention, we walked onto Pinocchio and Alice earlier this morning… I thought they were both cute enough… but my point was we actually did more rides Friday morning in FantasyLand than we did on Early Entry morning Thursday. Weird.

We went home, where Brayden – the birthday boy – got the top bunk for the night. I felt kind of bad we didn’t make it back in time for the Birthday Celebration. We were about a half-hour late, but we all needed the rest more than we needed cake. Though, it’s hard not to have cake for your son on his birthday!
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:30 PM   #5
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SATURDAY, MARCH 31 - THE FORCE IS WITH US... and Brings a Sense of Humor!

Okay, before I write about our Saturday – I need to also say I forgot to mention we went on Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin Friday morning. I thought it was cute but not worth it if the wait is long. It’s got the typical twisting turning deceptive Disney line too – you think it’s short then you turn a corner and there’s a whole big line again…. I love the Look of ToonTown, though we didn’t spend much time there. I think the kids would’ve enjoyed exploring it a bit more. Dh, on the other hand – not impressed with any of it really.. But that’s just him – pphhooo-eey!
Also, Friday night we did Star Tours – Jay’s first time on it. She had a blast! There were some (I’m assuming locals) that were on it pretty much making fun of the ride the whole time – which annoyed me some b/c even though it’s their bazillionth time on it, it was my kid’s first time. Don’t spoil it for them!

I also forgot to mention, we sat in the spa next to our room after getting back to the hotel. It was super hot! DH and the kids outlasted me (which is unusual). But since we were sleeping in the next day, why not splurge and stay up super late – again!!!!!

SATURDAY, MARCH 31 – BEACH BUMS
Today was our “do nothing in particular” day. I had gotten in touch with a friend from San Diego and one from Santa Ana. We were in high school together and they were at our wedding ten years ago. We decided to try to meet at Huntington Beach around 1 p.m. The weather had been turning out warmer than I’d first expected, so this was going to be great, I figured.
I was looking forward to seeing my friends, but had taken on a zen mode because the whole “We must do this and it must be perfect” thing just wasn’t going to work.
Other than that, we had nothing planned.
We woke up around 8:30/9 and just took our time. I went to breakfast on my own b/c the kids and dh were still lounging/sleeping. When I got back, he took the three that were awake while I stayed with Sleeping Beauty (Calista). My dad called to let me know he was in Malibu on the beach watching whales, dolphins and sea lions. Was I interested in driving up there? Sounded great, but nope. I was too lazy. Huntington would be far enough. They had headed up there Friday a.m. Besides with my friend from San Diego coming up, I didn’t want to tack another 45 minutes or so onto her drive and make her go up to Malibu (though I do remember loving Malibu and almost went to Pepperdine).
Anyway, Sleeping Beauty roused herself in time to grab some breakfast to eat poolside while we just chilled out and swam. I visited with a couple from Oregon who were previously from California. They were not happy with the crowds and so I shared some tips about FP and the like with them. It was a beautiful day, once again – I do miss the 9 out of 10 chance that it will be 72 and sunny… nope. Not in Minneapolis. Here, you get 9 out of 10 that it will NOT be 72 and sunny! I had checked the weather to see it had been raining the whole time we were gone, so I was extra glad to have the sunny weather.
We dragged ourselves away from the pool to take a little nap. I made some lunch and we headed to the beach. We decided to take surface streets. First Brookhurst but that was backed up so we went to Beach Blvd. It took longer but it was kind of cool to drive through Main Street right down to the pier. “Very O.C.” as my San Diego pal would say.
Needless to say, DH had a chuckle when we all three called each other to say, “just 15 more minutes and I’ll be there” only to find we were all more like a half-hour away!
“You’re all late!” He laughed. “Yeah, but we’re all the same amount of late! So it works!”

We spread out by the pier and our friends arrived shortly. Her two sons, 3 and 5, got along really well with my kids. There were five adults and six kids. I kept trying to get pics of my kids with surfers carrying their boards around in the background and seagulls overhead! Yes, I am such a dork! Dh teased it wasn’t the Surfer “look” I wanted to capture, but the surfers themselves… yeah, okay! Silly!

It was an awesome day. I did, however, get sunburned on my shoulders and chest. My own fault for not getting the sunscreen on. It was just so pleasant out and I was so relaxed. I could’ve done a whole second day of that! The kids had a blast and didn’t want to leave either. But around 4:30 we headed down the pier to Ruby’s – the 50’s style diner at the end of the pier. It was getting windy on the pier and Jay was getting cranky. We didn’t have the stroller but I wish we had b/c she didn’t want to walk the pier.

We waited at Ruby’s for a table longer than any ride at DL! How funny is that! Well there were eleven of us! We had a seat upstairs and ordered the yummy malts for everyone. Most of us had cheeseburgers, though one of my friends had shrimp tacos and the kids had various assortments of the typical – chicken fingers or mac and cheese! It was all good – big portions… got nice and full! The waitress – who was totally awesome and got everything on our order – as convoluted and changed and crazy a big table we were – she got it all right! She was great! She had the group come out and bring Brayden a sundae and sing Happy Birthday to him! He was a little bashful about it… and said he was full. He’d asked for a chocolate shake and when he found out the girls order Oreo, he wanted to change his but they’d already made his chocolate one so we made him keep that one. Well, our waitress made sure his sundae was made with Oreo ice cream! How awesome was she?! Even though he “said” he was full – he ate the whole darn thing!

It was very chilly and windy when we got back outside. We were at the end of the pier trying to decide what to do next… should we go sit in the hotel hot tub or hang somewhere else? Our friends from San Diego were going to stay with their cousin in Huntington Beach and come to DCA with us on Sunday but she wasn’t really feeling well and didn’t know if she wanted to go into DCA. During dinner I was telling my friends about the different plays my dd8 (Cali) has been in and how she wants to be an actress. We both are going to be in James and the Giant Peach this June. Well, here we were standing at the end of the pier and some woman walks up to us and gives us this spiel about how darling our kids are and that any of them over the age of six should come to a casting call tomorrow – to see if they can be cast in commercials/shows. Wow!
She gave us this paper and off she went. I was sure it was some kind of hoax thing but my friend said no, they do that sometimes to bring in raw talent that don’t have the “actress moms” who are pushing their kids and all crazy and stuff (ok, I know that’s stereotypical, but I didn’t say it!). Then she said, it must be the blond hair and blue eyes of my kids – which they all are. Well, as nice as that would’ve been, to say, “I was discovered at the pier on Huntington Beach while on vacation at Disneyland with my family…” we decided that, um… no – we weren’t going to pursue that and pray that this isn’t her one and only shot at being an actress in life… if that is even what she still wants to be ten years from now! But still… there was that silly old “Force” coming back with a sense of humor!

We ended up coming back to the hotel saying good-bye to our friends for now and figured out how to take the 5 back home. … which was way faster than the surface streets. We got back and settled in to watch a movie. The kids picked, “Night at the Museum.” It was $15 for on-demand! You could buy it for that! Well, at least it was good – and funny. The kids liked it and it was good, quality family time in our cool hotel room. Just as the movie was over, the fireworks started. We looked out the window and low and behold, we could see them too!!!! How cool! As soon as they were over, I got everyone ready for bed because Sunday would be our last day in Disney and I didn’t want a bunch of cranky-pants kids!
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:34 AM   #6
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Sunday, Sunday, it's our Fun Day

SUNDAY, APRIL 1ST – MAKING FOOLS OUTTA OURSELVES!
We have “do nothing” days at home. We used to have them more when the kids were in Kindergarten or younger. I would keep them home and we’d stay in our pj’s and literally, do nothing. Now, I don’t keep them home… but if it’s a weekend we’ll just hang together or on a weeknight, we’ll skip all our evening activities, put on pj’s and hang out. Keeping commitments is important, but so are “do-nothing” days. Our “Do-nothing” day at the beach totally rejuvenated us. It was a welcome breather. I was now looking forward to our last day at Disney, knowing that no matter what we did, it could be a good day.
We were up for breakfast and early. DH figured out how to drop us off at the maingate with making only one turn around! Woo-hoo! See… he claims he listens to me when I give him directions – but, well, after ten years of marriage, sometimes you just nod your head and say, whatever honey.
We were the second family in line in what I was praying would be a line that “worked” today! My kids were off playing with Jayleigh’s Robo-Pluto right under the monorail, by a tree. They are line-waiting snobs like their mom too! It sounded like the family behind me was new to Disney so I started talking to them and this was their first day – down from Washington. They asked for any advice and I gave them a few tips – courtesy really, of you guys at the disboards. With ten minutes to opening, I called DH to see where he was. He’d gone to try to park in the Timon lot only to find it was closed and got re-routed to Mickey lot. Hey, he got there w/o me having to tell him each turn … I was proud! They opened the lot late and at 7:58, he was still waiting to get aboard a tram… so we revised our morning plan. Instead of all of us riding Space (B/c he didn’t want to miss that) – I’d go ride Pirates with the kids and then figure out where to meet him once he called. He was going to have to wait in the long, long line that was formed behind me so I figured it would be a couple Fantasyland rides later. Well they opened the gates late actually! We were in under the RR and I was standing there throwing away the hot chocolate cups we’d brought from breakfast – because they were spilling all over the stroller with every bump and dh is right there behind me! Whoa! How’d that happen! Guess he just jumped right in line behind me… “I kinda cut off the people behind you,” he said. “Well, they were happy to get my DL hints and tips and were commiserating with me when they realized you were running late, so I’m sure they didn’t mind,” I said.
So, now the kids had it in their heads to do Pirates, so they stopped for pics with Donald and headed to POTC. I went to Space for the FP’s and walked as fast as my legs would carry me, without running, to Pirates. I’d wished I’d had the presence of mind to tell them to meet in Fantasyland. But off we went onto Pirates. I guess while they were waiting there, the CM called out to some people going into the ride to, “Stop!” and then she said nothing for a minute. “Sorry. You can’t go on this without kids.” The people just looked at her and for a minute believed her. Then she said, “April Fool’s!”
We walked right on the ride but our boat got stuck – coincidentally, right under the barrels at the end of the ride where we got stuck when dh’s brother came to visit us when we were living in Ventura County twelve years ago! This day we were only stuck there for a couple minutes. But 12 years ago, we were stuck there for almost 20 minutes. In fact, we started to fall asleep. But that song – yo –ho, yo – ho – (gunshot) – kept startling us awake! Ah good times!

I then peeled off to get the Big Thunder FP’s while dh headed to FL. While walking back through Frontierland to Fantasyland (in the same spot as the last time people – only about an hour later!!!!) – I got dreamed again!!! This time with a dream fastpass!!! Cool! Wow! Oh wait…what about the other five people in my family? Nope. They have to be here with you! So I call dh’s cell phone six times, he doesn’t answer. Finally I get him as I’m almost at them – in line for the Canal Boats. “Get out of line RIGHT NOW and come here!” Alas… they were too late! So now… “the force” is having it’s sense of humor moment with me again. I get this cool Dream Fast Pass but nobody else in my family has one so it’s really not that much of use as you’d think it would be! Darn it!!!!!!! It’s like the casting call thing – it would’ve been cool if we lived in the area and really could’ve pursued that… but no!

So… we get BACK in line for Canal boats and the kids end up being ticked off at me for having to wait in the line twice! Geesh! DH says, well, you can at least use it to go on TOT and some other stuff – try to get a ride switch pass when you go and then we’ll still all get to do some stuff… Okay… well, we see how it goes! We finished out the FL stuff… got FP’s for Autopia and headed over to DCA.
Got Soarin’ FP’s. We started doing this strategically. It was a math thing. But I could use my Dream FP, while dh and kids used their tix to get FP’s and one of our tix would be free to get a diff FP – for say Screamin’ – then we’d be able to ride switch it and only Calista liked going on that with us so we were able to hold a couple extra FP’s b/c of the Dream FP. We hung around Paradise Pier doing the Jellyfish (Dumbest ride ever… very cute but what, like 20 seconds long?) – and did Mullholland Madness like three times in a row. No lines on those rides over there. We then got some McD’s for the kids and those Screamin’ FP’s. We were going to ride the Sun Wheel but decided to go wait for the High School Musical Show instead. It was blazing hot already at 11ish. Wow! We took some pics around the pier and the kids enjoyed HSM. They were all asked to join the crowd to learn the dance moves. The girls went but Brayden wouldn’t. Then we were going to go to TOT but I said, no, I’d do it later. We got FP’s to Grizzly and went on Soarin’.

DH went and got FPs for Buzz and Screamin’ while we explored the animation building. We also went to redeem our free 5x7 dream photopass at California Greetings. As soon as the CM realized I was getting a free 5x7, his attitude noticeably worsened. What’s up with that? Who knows if I’d have bought more? Well, not now! I’ll do it in the comfort of my own home. I don’t know if they work on commission or what his deal was. But I ended up standing in four different lines to get that 5x7. Sort of annoying – even if it was free! So now, we’re back in the car heading home by 1:30 with the dream FastPass and holding enough FP’s for all of us to six or seven rides between the two parks.

We were moving pretty slowly. I made some lunch and was just starting to doze off when my San Diego friend called. They came up (from her cousin’s in Huntington) and we swam in the pool and ate ice cream for a little over an hour. Something was up with the pool b/c the water was like bathwater.

We went back to the room and changed for the evening. We decided to park in Timon b/c it was closer to our hotel. We started off in DCA heading to Screamin. We had a 8 FP’s and Brayden and Meg decided they wanted to try it too – Jay was too little. If they liked it, they could go on it twice – once with each of us. On our way there, I remembered I’d made a PS at Ariel’s Grotto for 6 p.m. Look at that, it was 5:45 p.m. In dh’s money-saving food thing – I’d forgotten. We decided to go. Jay and I waited for our table while dh took the other three on Screamin. They made it back just as we were getting seated. We got our kids’ pic with Ariel – the one they tried to later sell us for $33. But why? I took the same pic – for free! We ate out on the water. It was lovely! The princesses were nice enough. I noticed they didn’t spend much time at our table even though we had four kids, compared to other tables with just one or two kids. I don’t totally understand that. Even when Calista asked Belle what’s her favorite book, she kind of answered the question as she walked away to the next table. The kids didn’t seem that fazed, so I didn’t worry too much. It just didn’t seem totally fair is all. I mean, we paid over $100 – basically for cheeseburgers and mac and cheese – and the character interaction and only got a fraction of what tables with just one kid got.
Still, the scenery – the sun setting over the water was beautiful. Someone offered to take our family pic on their water – it turned out so nice.
So, off we were to do Grizzly. It was 7 p.m. and chilly but we didn’t get that wet the first time… sooooo --- FAMOUS LAST WORDS! As you know. We used our FP’s but didn’t really need them this time. We also got quite wet! However, Meg had the foresight to take off her coat and pants (had on shorts underneath) – so we all did – and we had dry stuff to change into afterward. We went over to Screamin and Meg decided she didn’t want to do it again. She liked it but was nervous about doing it after eating. So dh took her and Jay on the carousel while Cali, Brayden and I did Screamin’. We had the FP’s and a rideswitch pass – so we went twice in a row. It was totally awesome! I would’ve bought the pic but Brayden was too short to see! Rides like that are so much scarier when my kids are on them – I get so nervous for them!
Well, after three rounds on the carousel, dh , Meg and Jay were done with that… so dh told me it was time for me to do TOT. I decided I didn’t need to take up our family time doing that so we left as everyone else was lining up for the parade. I noticed it was more crowded in the front than where we’d sat.

We said our goodbyes to DCA and headed over to DL. Walking out of DCA for the last time was sad. It’s a great park. I understand why some people may not totally love it – but I personally, DO! I need more time to digest our whole vacation to be sure, but I’d say it’s one of my top three favorite parks! I loved the laid back feel… the wider open spaces. I absolutely LOVE Paradise Pier. It is just sooo cool! I also love the close proximity of the two parks to each other. When I was planning this trip I was skeptical of the walking back and forth because I didn’t understand they actually share the esplanade entrance area. It’s really just like one big park but you have to officially exit and enter one half to get to the other half… and there is definitely a different feel to each. But I truly enjoyed DCA!

Jay suddenly wanted to do Haunted Mansion. We’d stayed off it b/c she said she did NOT want to. Well, sure enough… we walk all the way back there and the ghosts are acting up so the ride is closed. We decided to use our Big Thunder FP’s. At first I thought – oh 15 minute wait, the FP’s are kind of worthless… but that line looked way longer than 15 minutes to me! The ride was super fun and we’re walking back to the stroller by the front of the ride discussing what’s next b/c Calista always needs to know the plan – and we turn around to see we’re short one child. Brayden is missing. Dh immediately hightails it back to the ride exit as I’m asking Cali – who rode with Brayden and is supposed to be his Extra Eyes Buddy – they each have one they’re always supposed to know where they are… for an extra set of eyes. She’s not answering me. She can’t remember what he did or when she saw him last. Meg starts crying. She’s terrified. DH comes into view but has no Brayden he turns back around and goes back to the exit again… he also has my cell phone along with his own, so now I don’t’ want to move but I also want to tell him I am going to go look in the other direction, but I don’t want to lose him too. So I tell the ride entrance CM we’re missing our son. He’s calm. I’m calm. Meg is still a wreck though. I describe what he’s wearing and looks like. He goes off and comes back a minute later to tell me he’s got a call out on him. It’s been about 5 minutes now, but as a mom it feels like a lifetime. Finally I see dh and tell him to start walking ahead – as if Brayden ran ahead of us. And at that moment the CM I talked to said they’d located him. He was just up at the Columbia boat entrance. He’d done what he was supposed to do – when he realized he’d lost sight of us… to stop and stand still and look for a CM with a nametag. Well, the CM actually found him, but he didn’t keep walking and wandering around. He was brave but the second he saw us he started crying and was saying he was so scared he was never going to see us again. I felt so bad, but happy that he listened to what we’d told him he should do if he gets lost. I also knew that Disneyland was a much safer place to “get lost” than say, LAX. That was the last time he ran off ahead of us too. Okay, so we tried to shake that off and went on Pirates again.
Then we went over to Tomorrowland and did Autopia, Buzz and as the grand finale, Space… all using our FP’s – though the only one with a significant line at that point was Space. We were tired and still had to shop. The kids had Disney dollars to spend. We spend about 45 minutes at World of Disney, where I found a wedding Mickey and Minnie snowglobe along with a picture frame. The kids got their trinkets and we head back to the car… When you wish upon a star was playing in the esplanade as we crossed from World of Disney to the Timon parking lot tram. I had to fight back the tears in my eyes…. Even though the trip had it’s ups and downs – I still enjoyed it. I had tired feet and felt like we’d done a lot, but I know we’ve made some good memories. Usually, we leave Disney saying, we know we’ll be back and we usually have an idea of when. But this time, we didn’t do that. I honestly don’t know when we’ll be back and to which coast we’ll go. But I do know, I have not given up on Disney and I do know that it’s still what Walt meant for it to be – a great place to spend time with your family.

MONDAY, APRIL 2 – AND JUST BECAUSE I HAVE THIS KIND OF LUCK…..
I was so tired Sunday night, I fell asleep and left the packing to dh. Oops! He was sure he got everything but when we got to the airport I asked him where the camera was and he couldn’t remember. He rode the car rental van back to the lot and scoured the minivan. Nope. We called the hotel. Nope. We both are pretty sure we saw it in the van after we left Sunday night. So where oh where could it be?

I’m just sick about it! It’s a digital video camera and digital camera and I use it for week. In fact, I need it Thursday to take pics for work! What the heck! To top it off… when we got to the luggage claim, my dd4 wrapped her legs around me and said, “I love you momma” and some awfully rude woman next to us flipped out b/c my dd was standing too close to her crap … she claimed to have some very fragile stuff in her purse that was sitting on the ground. She yelled at my daughter and told her to go away. I was like, “Wow!”
I then watched as three other grown people actually stepped over her stuff and she didn’t say a word to them. I have had enough… So after we got our bags I said, “Okay kids, let’s go over here and get the stroller… away from that very rude lady.” She looked at me and gasped and I said, “Yeah, I’m talking about you. The way you spoke so disrespectfully to my child was absolutely rude.” So gasp away if you must. I’m calling you like you is….. R-U-D-E!

And now, as I sit here writing this… already fielding calls from work and staring at a boatload of laundry, I am missing the sound of fireworks popping in the distance, and the little hands reaching out to grasp mine as we walk through the parks discovering new things about it… and about ourselves.

so now it's time to say good-bye ---- la la la ... la la la... please keep in mind, I am absolutely exhausted and this is more a pouring out of the details I actually DO remember... sorry for any typos or big gaps in it! Bottom line - we did everything we wanted to do -- and then some (except for see the Aladdin show... had the time I just didn't push it -- chose to just chill and do more pool/hotel time instead). During this time of year, when it's so busy... Early starts to the day, Fast Passes, and a sense of humor are essential. In the future, I will avoid DLR on Fridays and Saturdays like the plague though!!!! It was still manageable but after awhile, that many people, bumper to bumper foot traffic, is wearing on the psyche. I'm used to my Minnesota wide open spaces now!
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Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=

Last edited by minmate; 04-03-2007 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:09 AM   #7
momto2nenas
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Wow! I LOVED your trip report! I know it was probably not humorous at the time but it was fun to read! We are going in June and I am expecting big crowds, long lines, etc. But I will remember your words of wisdom and not take that "dark cloud" w/ me and just ENJOY our time at Disneyland!

I'm so sorry to hear about your camera! Were all your pictures on it?!
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:55 AM   #8
minmate
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The only real frustrating part was that Friday morning when the CM was so rude to me at the restaurant. But I came home to some "issues" at work -- already... so I guess I'm just in that particular "phase of the moon" where everything is going to be a little more frustrating for me. Hopefully we'll pull out of this soon!
Fortunately, I'd dumped most of my pics onto my laptop each day b/c I'd fill the memory card and had to recharge the camera's battery anyway. It was a camera/digital video combo cam so we lost all our video footage -- of the parade, the beach, the kids swimming, etc. And the last day of the trip -- which included some very nice family pics (b/c I don't often get in the pics) and the pics from our pricey Princess Dinner. The kids were so bummed about that b/c we didn't spend a lot of time visiting characters -- those princess pics were the ones they wanted to scrapbook.
I don't know that I'm qualified to give advice, but ultimately, we DID do pretty much everything we set out to do - skipping things not really due to lack of time but b/c of changing our plans on the fly. My ultimate advice for busy seasons would be to get up early and get those FP's -- take midday breaks - either at the hotel pool or in places within the parks that aren't as crowded or line-driven (Redwood Creek Challenge -- seeing some shows, etc) -- I know that's nothing new -- dis'ers here have been preaching that strategy for both DL and WDW forever... -- hope you have an awesome trip!
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Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:58 AM   #9
momto2nenas
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I'm sorry about your pics of the last day but thank goodness for the laptop! That's what I plan to do as well (and did last year).

We did the Princess Dining last year and it was expensive but my DD LOVED it! I did have to ask them to pose w/ my youngest (then 7 mos) or else they would have completely ignored her.. but it was still great for my oldest.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #10
minmate
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I think it's so pretty there dining on the water -- in Paradise Pier! DH bought us a new digital camera last night. It is just a still picture camera. Now I have no video camera, but it's a start! They are an expensive thing to lose!
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Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:00 AM   #11
sharoncity
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Great Trip Report Minmate!! I really enjoyed it. We will be at DL in two weeks and I can not wait. I never thought about downloading the pictures each night, but great idea. Sorry I had to learn it at your expense. How great that you just kept a positive attitude though the whole trip - VERY important when traveling, especially with kids!!
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:42 AM   #12
minmate
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Great -- Ironic -- News --- sort of! DH bought me this awesome new camera -- not a video recorder, but digital camera... millions times better than our old one... not that we really had the extra cash laying around but b/c I use it for work, it's considered a work expense... well, the next day, I noticed a Disney shopping bag that was still sitting in the living room. Hm, where'd that come from? I'd unpacked everything.... I peeked into the bag. Oh, it must be trash, or just a bag the kids are playing with b/c it has the crowns and flags from Medieval Times in it. I picked it up and it felt kind of heavy for just paper in it. So I looked in it again. I remembered we got CD's from MT, so I figured I should fish those out and save them... and yep, lo and behold, under all the MT stuff, was my old camera!!!! Wow! That is strange! We'd ransacked everything in search of it at least twice! Now, here it appears mysteriously in a bag, the very next night after dh buys a new camera?!
So, now we need to decide if we're going to keep the new/better one for still pics or not! You know... it is my birthday in two weeks!!!!!
__________________
Numerous DL Trips as a kid, and a few WDW ones too!
Our Disney Family was Est. 3/29/1997 at Disney Land! DD 15 , DD 14 , DS 13 , DD 11
Family Trips include April 2004 Pop; June 2004 GF; April 2005 Pop; March 2007 DL Marriot MainGate; Sept 2008 ASMusic; March 2014 Caribe Royale


April 2005 WDW Trip Report: WDW w/4 Kids: 4/5/05-4/12/05 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=794269

March 2007 Trip Report to DL: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....275&highlight=
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Old 04-07-2007, 03:40 PM   #13
Illuminations_Rocks
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Thanks for sharing your trip!! I enjoyed reading about it. I think we all go into things with too much expectation sometimes - but it was good that you eventually just went with the flow and enjoyed yourself!
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