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Old 09-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
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A long-winded trip report for a 3-day trip with pictures! (Updated - Day 3)

We just finished up our three day trip to Disneyland. This was part of a 10 day trip to So Cal visiting friends and family We are WDW vets, but have never visited DLR before. It was a fantastic visit.

This is my first real trip report, so bear with me. I hope it's not TOO long-winded.

Me: The family dis-er. I love planning all kinds of vacation. Have been on the disboards for a few years and after my first trip to WDW with the kids I was bitten hard by the Disney bug. Last year, I convinced my DH to buy into DVC so I can ensure that we keep coming back.

DH: My reluctant companion. He comes along to keep us company but it's really to keep the family happy. He does love thrill rides, though!

DD5: My daughter still loves everything princesses. I hope we can keep the magic alive for her as long as possible. She is also a daredevil and so far has loved every ride that she has tried, with the exception of WDW's Tower of Terror.

DS4: My son is a big Cars fan, so I knew that Carsland would be a hit with him. This is his first trip over 40", so I was anxious to try some of the more interesting rides with him, but... you'll see how that works out.

Here is a picture that we took at this year's Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Last edited by zeferjen; 09-10-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Day 1

We left my cousin's house in Longbeach at 5:30 and arrived at the Grand Californian by 6:15. I checked in and heard the great news that my theme park view request had been granted. We stayed in a DVC studio, since this is a short trip. I put the luggage in bag check and parked the car in the lot across the street. We stopped at Whitewater Snacks for breakfast (very large breakfast biscuits, an egg burrito, and Mickey waffles) and joined the queue to enter California Adventure by 7am for the 8am early entry. There were a lot of disgruntled people in line who thought early entry started an hour earlier... This was the first day of limited hours and apparently the front desk staff were not giving out the correct information.

Here is the pic we took while we were waiting for Bag Check.

Shortly before 8am, the bag check line started moving and they very quickly scanned our tickets and let us into the park. This process is much quicker than at WDW, maybe because they do not have to do the fingerprint scan. We followed the crowd to Carsland and tried to use the wide right technique, but didn't seem to gain anything from it.

An Empty Carsland

Thankfully, RSR was up and we only had a very short wait and it was off to the races! This ride is amazing! Truly the best in Disney imagineering. This was my DS' first 'big boy' ride, since it is first trip over 40" and now the bar is set very high - he loved it!

The walk onto RSR

Ds' first big boy ride

Because who doesn't love a good potty joke?

We spent the rest of our early entry on Luigi's, Mater's, and then riding TSMM. Dh joined the RSR FP line at about 7:40 and got a return time of 10:30.

We loved Luigi's

A still-empty carsland

In case anyone is curious what the RSR FP line looks like

We then rode the rest of the kid-friendly rides on the pier It was starting to get really hot, so we took a break at The Cozy Cones (popcorn, churro bites, frozen apple juice, and the Pair O Dice).

A more crowded Carsland shot, to give you an idea of the difference between early entry and not

Cozy Cones

We stopped to watch a youth choir and went to the Monsters Inc ride. We moved on to the Animation building to enjoy the air conditioning and at about 1:20pm received the text that our room was ready.

We stopped to see the Aladdin show, which was every bit as good as everyone on the DIS promised! I had these Preferred Seating tickets that I got with my AAA ticket order, but apparently you need to get there earlier than 5 minutes before the show to use them. I didn't want to take a chance on coming back another time, so we sat with the masses. We had very good seats, considering our late arrival time. The Genie in this show is hilarious and keeps the content fresh with very timely current event jokes.

On our way back to the room, we caught the Pixar parade and stopped to watch it, despite the fact that we were really hot at this point.

Pixar Parade Shots

The kids and dh took a nap, while I went off to explore downtown Disney. It is so great to have everything in walking distance! I bought a few gifts at World of Disney and browsed the other Disney-related shops.

Finally we were ready for our 5:30 dinner at Carthay Circle. This restaurant is lovely and I could imagine Walt dining here, along with his contemporaries. We had a bit of a wait to get seated, so ordered cocktails in the lounge. When our table was ready before the drinks, there was some confusion as to whether the drinks could get sent up directly to our table or not... Eventually they did make their way up. Dh had the pear martini and I had the Pims drink. We switched and then both of us were happy


Pims Drink

The kids were both overtired, despite their naps. They held it together with the help of an iPod movie and the server very helpfully brought out their buttered noodles immediately. She also explained that for the WOC tickets, dh and I needed to order either an appetizer or a dessert, along with an entree. The stuffed biscuits do not count towards your appetizer. The kids only need to order an entree.

We ordered the biscuits first. They were really warm, gooey, and spicy. Dh and I both loved them. We decided the pork satay appetizer to split. The waitress warned us that this could be fatty. We were delighted to see that it was made from crisp pork belly. It was very good.

Pork Satay

Next we traded our cocktails for wine. Dh ordered a glass of malbec, and I ordered a glass of the John Lassiter wine. It's not on the menu, so just ask your server. It is a blend of red grapes, very good. It was $15/glass.

For entrees, dh had the bacon wrapped shrimp. He loved it, but I agree with another reviewer who said that the bacon flavor overwhelmed the shrimp. I ordered the udon noodle bowl, which had a wonderful curry broth.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Udon Noodle Bowl

For dessert, the kids each ordered a scoop of ice cream and dh and I split the seasonal pie. I think this was also good, but perhaps the cocktail plus wine was too much for me, because I don't remember much about it :D

Seasonal Pie

We had a little time between the end of dinner and WOC, so we went back to Carsland to use or RSR fastpasses. Carsland at night is even more beautiful, with the neon lights and the lighting that highlights Cadillac mountain. After winning the race again, we settled in for the WOC show.

Carsland at Night

Getting to WOC an hour(ish) in advance and using our FP from Carthay Circle, we were able to get a pretty good view of the show. The four of us were amazed at what could be done with lasers, water, and projections.

We didn't get very good shots of WOC, but this should show you our view

After a very long day, we finally called it a night.

Last edited by zeferjen; 09-06-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Nice review! Your pictures are great and even though it's only 8am, my mouth was watering over the bacon wrapped shrimp. It looks so good!

And your kids are adorable! Good looking family all around.

Childless doesn't mean that we're not a family. MLA RLA

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:24 AM   #4
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Great start! Looking forward to the rest. Your kids are adorable!
Armand & Ziva

Oct. 1990 WDW honeymoon, off site; Oct. 2000 WDW 10th anniversary, P.O. FQ; Nov. 2002 WDW Nephew's B-day, Allstar Movies Dalmation; Dec. 2004 WDW 14th (and X-mas) P.O. Riverside; Oct. 2006 DCL Magic 16th Anniversary, 1st cruise; Dec. 2008 DCL Wonder pre-X-mas and Parent's 1st cruise; Dec. 2010 WDW Secret trip and 20th anniversary,CSR; Oct 2012 WDW 22nd Anniversary (and Halloween), CBR. Oct.2013DCL Fantasy, 23rd anniversary
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Looks like a fun first day! I've only been to DL once and Carsland wasn't open yet, so I love being able to see it finally complete!

Glad you liked the Aladdin show...that is my only interesting story from Disneyland...when we were there during "A Whole New World" the carpet flipped over and Jasmine and Aladdin were upside down suspended from the ceiling. The show was immediately cancelled and we were filed out. It was weird though to see people just sitting and staring at them O_O Jasmine also screamed and seemed pretty traumatized. We found out it was resolved and they got down ok Still pretty weird though. Anyway, I'm glad you didn't have to see that!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kelleigh1 View Post
Nice review! Your pictures are great and even though it's only 8am, my mouth was watering over the bacon wrapped shrimp. It looks so good!
Yes, I really enjoyed the food at Carthay Circle. Excellent dining choice!

Originally Posted by ArmandXG View Post
Great start! Looking forward to the rest. Your kids are adorable!
Aww, thanks.

Originally Posted by PrincessShea View Post
Looks like a fun first day! I've only been to DL once and Carsland wasn't open yet, so I love being able to see it finally complete!

Glad you liked the Aladdin show...that is my only interesting story from Disneyland...when we were there during "A Whole New World" the carpet flipped over and Jasmine and Aladdin were upside down suspended from the ceiling. The show was immediately cancelled and we were filed out. It was weird though to see people just sitting and staring at them O_O Jasmine also screamed and seemed pretty traumatized. We found out it was resolved and they got down ok Still pretty weird though. Anyway, I'm glad you didn't have to see that!
OMG! How scary. They actually do not do the flying carpet part any more, which is disappointing. Probably it is still not safe for the actors. The sort of just float around the stage a few inches off the ground and that's it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Day 2

This was our early entry day for Disneyland. We followed the usual plan of trying to finish Fantasyland before the first hour is complete.

Unlike California Adventure, there is no private entry to Disneyland from the Grand Californian. You enter Disneyland via a walk through Downtown Disney. This was a fun start to the day and allowed us to stop for breakfast at one of my favorite places: Jamba Juice!

Empty Downtown Disney

We arrived to the bag check a bit late - maybe 7:30 for the 8am EE. Again, the bag check and ticket scan process went very quickly and we were still in Fantasyland not too long after 8AM. We started at Peter Pan's Flight, which had a few minutes' wait already. Next we went on to Alice in Wonderland,
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and Snow White's Scary Adventures. Peter Pan was about the same as Disney World, and the others are new to me. I thought they were ok, classic dark rides but not terribly entertaining. I don't think we had any wait for any of these rides, however.

A different Main Street than WDW

Next to the Partners' statue

At that point, DH and I split up so that DD and I could ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds and he and DS could ride the carousel and Pinocchio's Daring Journey. I had been debating the Matterhorn for many weeks. I heard here on the DIS that the new ride is uncomfortable and jerky. I also heard that it is a tight squeeze. Well, I am less than 5' tall so that last part was less of a concern than the rest. The wait was about 10 mins. DD and I really enjoyed this! I am glad that we did it, since it is such a classic Disneyland ride. We were not at all bothered by the jerkiness and had no problems with sore necks afterwards. DD even wanted to go again, but I didn't want to use up the rest of our early entry on just this ride. I am glad that I didn't take DS, however, because I think he would have been scared.

The Matterhorn

Later in the day, there were actually people mountain climbing on this mountain. My kids could not believe that they were real!

Matterhorn Climbers

The Carousel

We all met back up again just in time for DD to join DS and DH in line for Dumbo. I didn't join in, since I didn't want to jump the line. Honestly, it doesn't look like I missed much, since the DW ride at this point is superior.

After this, we quickly made our way to Tomorrowland via a short-cut that I found here on this DIS. I will cut and paste it here, in case anyone else wants it:
When you hop off the carousel and start walking back thru the castle towards Main St., the passage is to the left....you walk by those pretty statues of Snowy & her buddies - the dwarfs. Continue walking and you walk right into the back of the Buzz ride.
A picture of the shortcut

We rode Buzz Lightyear, which is better than DW, since you can pull the gun out and aim/shoot better. I never score well on these games, however, and DH kicked my butt. I don't think there was any wait for this ride either.

We picked up a Fastpass for Space Mountain and rode Star Tours. Again, we had maybe a 5 minute wait. All four of our family really love this ride. It is pretty much the same as at DW, but that's ok, why mess with awesomeness?

At this point, both of the kids were completely burned out. It was only 10:00 or so, but we were ready to go back to the hotel to swim. Dh also had to take a conference call at 10:30, so the timing worked out well.

The pool at the Grand Californian is great. The reclining chairs have these really comfortable cushions and it was not crowded at all during the trip. The slide was great fun for DD, DS, and I. The water was a tad bit cold, but we were very hot from the morning's adventure so it was a refreshing break. We spent about 1.5 hours playing, lounging, enjoying the hot tub and recharging our batteries.

Our pictures are not complete for this day, so here is a picture from smallworldvacations.com of the pool for you to see

At noon, we went back to the room to get changed to return to the park in time for our Cafe Orleans reservation. We arrived a bit early, so we went directly to Big Thunder Mountain, which I thought would be a good 'starter' rollercoaster for DS. Unfortunately it was down, so instead we went to Splash Mountain. DH sat this one out because he HATES getting wet. DD and I love this ride at DW and the version at DL is basically identical. We had a wonderful time. DS... not so much. The ride at DL has you sitting one in front of another, where at DW you are next to each other. I think DS was afraid that he was going to fall out during the big drop and it scared him pretty badly. He claims that he is never ever ever ever going to ride this again. I hope he will try the DW version!

Splash Mountain

You can't see poor DS in this image. He is so small that he is completely dwarfed by the lady in front. DD and I are screaming, though!

Finally it was time for lunch at Cafe Orleans. While we were waiting to be seated, DD fell in love with the parasols, so we ordered one to pick up later. Lunch at CO was yummy! DH and I split the Monte Cristo and the Garlic fries. The kids both got the mac and cheese kids meal. The Monte Cristo is like a wonderful donut that someone stuffed ham and cheese inside. What's not to love? I am glad we split the meal because it was a lot of food and it was still quite hot outside, which kills my appetite.

Again, how can I not have an image of the Monte Cristo??? This was stolen from Disneyfoodblog.com

While the rest of the family was wrapping up lunch, I ran out to get FP for Big Thunder Mountain to use later in the evening. We stopped at Pirates on our way out of the park. Pirates is much better at DL than at WDW, although it's been a few years since I've ridden it. At this point, we again went back to the hotel for a nap. We are so tired that we take the horse drawn carriage down Main Street.

Horse Drawn Carriage

I think DH went down to the conference center to take another call while the kids and I rested in the room. After he was done, he came back to the room to nap while I took the kids back to the park.

This kind of screwed my plan up at this point because most of the rides I wanted to do require two adults. I decided to hit some of our lower-priority rides to kill time while we waited for DH to join us. We went to Toon Town, which is cute and now sadly gone from WDW. We visited Minnie's house, went on the duck boat, and rode Roger Rabbit, which is fun in a goofy way. We then stopped at Mickey's house. It said that there was a 40 minute wait to meet him, but we went through to the back and there was literally no one in front of us. That was a neat surprise.

We went from there to catch the Soundsational parade in front of Small World. This parade was fun and it's always great when the characters wave to the kids. I also enjoy that we see different characters here that we don't typically see at DW. We went on to ride Small World and that was also neat. I like that the ride goes outside in DL!

At this point, I am STARVING. I call and wake DH up, since it's 7PM and I am ready to start gnawing on one of the kids' arms. We meet up at the Plaza restaurant to get the infamous fried chicken. This meal is HUGE and dh and I could have probably split it, but we weren't in a sharing mood considering how hungry we were. I think the kids got the fettuccine Alfredo with chicken.

Another food picture stolen from disneyfoodblog.com

Once we were finally satisfied, we set out to ride some rides. Being in the park after dark is a new experience for us. On all of our past trips, the kids were too young to stay up past dinner, so this is fun. We went to finally use our Fastpasses on BTMRR. Well, maybe this ride is scarier in the dark, or maybe DS just doesn't like roller coasters because we found ANOTHER ride that he doesn't ever ever ever want to go on again. Then DD and I went back to Splash Mountain for another soaking. It's ok because even at 8pm it is still pretty hot outside. We also stop by to pick up DD's brand new personalized pink parasol that I am now questioning whether it will fit in the suitcase.

We start to cross back over to Tomorrowland, but DD and DS are insistent on a visit to the Tiki Room. Now I HATE this attraction at DW so I am hesitant but for some reason both kids are insisting. I agree with one caveat: I get a Dole Whip. So I get in the longish line in front of the Tiki Room while the family watches the preshow. Finally they start letting people in for the show, but I am almost at the front so I make the ultimate sacrifice and skip the show for the sake of Dole Whip floats

By the time the family is out of the show, I am standing parked on the bridge with three drinks watching the fireworks show. It isn't a great place to watch the fireworks, but at least it is not crowded.

A blurry shot to show you the view of the fireworks from the bridge

Once the show is over, we decided to go back to Tomorrowland to ride Autotopia (WHICH SUCKS but the kids love to drive). The plan then was to split up so DH and DS can ride Star Tours and DD and I can go on Space Mountain. We are surprised to find out that the park is closed. What kind of a DISer doesn't know what time the park closes??? Well, as I said I have never had to worry about this before. We have never been in the park until 10pm!

Autotopia at night

We start to head back to the hotel when DS finally loses it. He doesn't think it is fair that DD got a parasol and he didn't get a toy. He wants the remote-control Ferrari that we saw at World of Disney earlier that day. I promise that we will stop by on our way back to the Grand Californian. This is mistake #1. I know that I shouldn't negotiate with terrorists, but I do see the unfairness and make this stupid, stupid promise. But guess what? World of Disney is closed!!! Mistake #2. I was very surprised that they would close at the same time as the park and not an hour later. But that is why I am a bad DISer! I now make mistake #3. I tell DH to take the kids back to the room and I will try one more thing to get the toy. I walk back to California Adventure to see if maybe they are open later than Disneyland. They are also closed. At this point I am overtired and just want this dumb toy so that we can all get to bed. I pick the gate attendant that looks most like a mother and go to her to plead my case. She is the world's nicest lady because she lets me in to see if California Adventure stores are still open, even though the park is closed. THEY ARE! Hallelujah. I find the car, pay $1000000 for it, and hoof it back to the room. We all fall into immediate comas and that concludes day 2.

The world's greatest toy. Image courtesty of FAO.com

Overall, this was a good day with low crowds. I think we ended the day with a pretty healthy collection of Fastpasses, partly due to the fact that there were really no crowds at night and they weren't needed and also due to a few unplanned changes in our itinerary. The heat in particular was unexpected and took a lot out of us, so the extra breaks were appreciated.

Last edited by zeferjen; 09-07-2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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Day 3

Once again, we woke up early and relatively brightly. Last night's late night slowed us down a bit. This was also checkout day at the hotel so I had some organizing to do before we hit the park. I sent DH down to hold our spot in line at the entrance to California Adventure while I got everyone dressed and packed a bit. We joined DH at about 7:45, just before the lines start moving. We werere back much farther today but it makes no difference at all, since we heard that Radiator Springs Racers is down that AM. This was actually a blessing, because we got a chance to really slow down and enjoy Carsland.

We did one last trip on Luigi's Flying tires and Mater's. I still really like Luigi's. I think my research on the DIS helped because we knew how to lean, that we needed to make sure the kids move with us, etc and we were really flying.

Luigi's Flying Tires Technique

DH went back to be the RSR Fastpass hero while the kids and I went to the Cozy Cones for breakfast. I got the eggs verde cone, which is fantastic. I heard a review on the Disneyland podcast where they say that there is not enough verde sauce. Maybe Disneyland is listening because they put verde on the bottom, then the eggs, queso, and then more verde sauce. It is served in a pretzel cone that is also edible. For the money, it is an excellent value.

Our Cones Food

Since there were no lines, we stuck around also to meet Lightening McQueen.

We then went into Bugsland to see the more 'kiddie' rides. This area is something that be completely skipped unless you have little kids, like DS. The rides were typical amusement-park rides, although the theming in the land is neat and consistent with It's A Bugs Life.

These photos should give you an idea of the difference in crowds during EE and after the park officially opens

Finally at this time, DH has four fastpasses in hand to use on RSR later, once the ride is back up and running. We stop at Blue Sky Cellar to see some of the history of Carsland and to pick up our free AAA pins and lanyards.

After Blue Sky Cellar, we then moved on to Soarin', which is another ride I was excited to share with DS, now that he is over 40". It is a very short wait and the line is nicely themed with history of aviation on all of the walls. The ride is in better shape than at WDW. The screen is pristine and the quality of the film also seems better (although I missed this the last time I was at WDW, so maybe it has been fixed there). The whole family loved this ride.

Another good potty joke

We started to make our way back across Paradise pier, near where we sat for WOC. We stopped on the Ariel Adventure ride that will be similar to the ride being built at WDW in the new Fantasyland. This ride is another classic dark ride, but the animatronics are really nice and I really love this movie, so for me this was a winner.

After coming out of the ride, we happened upon the Phinneus and Ferb dance party. I kept encouraging the kids to jump up and join in, but they were either too shy or too tired to join in. It was still fun watching the action and it was nice to sit down for a bit.

Dance Party

Lastly, we went on Grizzly River Rapids, since we wanted to get wet and then return immediately to the hotel.

Grizzly River Rapids

Now it was time (or almost past time) to check out of the Grand Californian. We went back to finish packing and I left the luggage with Bell Services. The kids and I changed into bathing suits and headed to the pool while DH heads back to the conference center for (yet another) conference call. We bought some lunch at Whitewater snacks to enjoy poolside (turkey and cheese sandwich, Mickey head shaped pretzel, and a fruit plate). The kids and I again recharged our batteries by lounging, swimming, and hot tubbing. I put a swim vest on DS so I could practice a little benign neglect by reading my Kindle and chilling out while both kids swim.

Some shots of the Grand Californian Lobby

DH caught up with us at about 1:30 and he was starving. Poor guy didn't get breakfast or lunch. He really wanted Jamba Juice, but our plans were taking us back to California Adventure. So we 'compromised' by getting milkshakes at Flo's instead. I have been wanting to check out this restaurant ever since seeing the pictures. It also has the added bonus of air conditioning. DH and I enjoyed chocolate milkshakes and the kids each got strawberry. There is seating both in the back of Flo's (facing Cadillac mountain) and in the front (facing Route 66). The back seems to fill up quickly but I think the front seats are harder to see from the cash registers, so don't forget to check there!

After enjoying our milkshakes, we returned to RSR for our final ride. It was still very fun. We again got a red car and again won the race. Either we are very lucky or maybe the red car wins every time? We proceeded back to Buena Vista street, watched a show with newsboys singing in front of the trolley ala Newsies and rode the trolley back to the front of the park.

Farewell Trolley!

Now it was time to cross back to Disneyland for something we have been waiting for all week - Jedi Training Academy. For those of you who don't know, this is done differently at at DL than at WDW, because kids are picked at random from the audience to participate. As a DISer who had done my homework, I knew that kids who hold up signs are more likely to be picked. So both of my kids had a piece of 8x11" paper that said "The Force is Strong With This One". They had done the sign decoration themselves, and they looked super cute. Before the training started, both of them were a bit nervous, but they really got into the spirit, once the Jedi master started pulling kids up. They were jumping up and down for attention and waving their signs about. Both were picked!

DS the Jedi

DD the Jedi

The Jedi training is very cute. They each get a brown hooded robe and a lightsaber and all of the kids are led through a simple set of lightsable fighting moves. Then the bad guys come! The littlest ones are pit against Darth Vader and the bigger kids fight against Darth Maul. Both of the baddies are creepy, but Darth Maul is really in character and makes mean faces to the kids and the audience. Both of my kids (thankfully) fought Darth Vader and won. They both defeated the dark side and yay! live to fight another day. At the end, all of the kids are given little diplomas and the parents get a Photopass card with all of the pictures.

A few extra Jedi Training Pics

We celebrated our kids' successful battle by stopping by the gift shop outside of Star Tours to make the kids' own lightsabers. It is very confusing in here and I just randomly screwed a few pieces together and went up to pay. Apparently the lady working the cash register is a lightsaber expert because she sent me back to do it right Even after getting professional help from someone who works in the store, she still wasn't happy because she went back to get different parts and then reconfigured them again. It was much appreciated by my kids, who wanted them to be perfect. I think the people behind me in line were a bit less happy.

At this point, it is getting late, so we only have time for a few more rides. DD and I really wanted to try Space Mountain, so we went to do that and DH and DS went back to ride Star Tours one last time. I don't think I have ever been on Space Mountain at DW, but I heard that the ride at DL is much smoother. I was a bit nervous that DD wouldn't like this. The first minute or so of the ride, she was completely silent and I prepared for a freak out. Then she turned to me and screamed: THIS IS SO AWESOME! Then I settled in to enjoy the ride. And it was, indeed, awesome.

We stopped by Buzz Lightyear one last time and returned to the Grand Californian for our last meal.

I had reserved Napa Rose for dinner. In an ideal world, I would have put the kids in the Pinocchio Workshop Kids Club so that the adults could enjoy a romantic meal. Unfortunately, the age limit at that club is 5-12 and they are very strict with the cutoff. So I braved it out and took both kids with us. Of course the minute we sat down, DS spilled a glass of ice water and most of it landed in my lap. Since I am still wearing park attire (in this case a golf skirt) it wasn't as bad as it could be and most of the water beaded off. The waitstaff was very nice and got it all cleared away quickly. It wasn't, however, the romantic meal I had in mind.

We started off by ordering wine for me and a martini for DH. The waiter recommended a very nice glass of California Chardonnay. We also ordered The Sizzling Beach Rock as an appetizer. This appetizer looks very fancy with different dishes surrounding a piping hot rock with a shrimp cooking on top. But I wasn't quite sure what the purpose of this rock was, other than to keep this one shrimp warm. The food was pretty good, but not outstanding.

Bread Basket


The kids (AGAIN) stuck with pasta as their main dish and it was brought out promptly, which helped to keep the peace. I ordered the pork chop with mango salsa (which was really excellent). I think this had bacon wrapped around it. I mean, who wouldn't love bacon-wrapped pork? DH had duck, which was again ok but not spectacular.

My Dinner

We left without ordering dessert, partly because everyone was just exhausted from the long park day with no nap and also partly because it was really time to head back to Longbeach. Overall, I would rate Carthay Circle higher than Napa Rose. Maybe it was due to our differing moods, maybe we just ordered better on the first night. But the bill at Napa Rose was higher and I enjoyed the Carthay Circle food much more.

At this point, we had to retrieve our luggage from bell services and our car out of the parking lot across the street. Getting my car out was a cinch, I just had to use my room key to exit the lot. Bell services was very nice and loaded all of my luggage on a cart and had it waiting for me when I pulled up with the car. I collected a sleeping DH and kids from the lobby of the Grand Californian and we all headed back to my cousin's house.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:14 AM   #9
just skippin' around, amusing myself...
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scotch Plains, NJ
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Your kids are so cute! Don't worry about your son never ever riding again- i had one of those too, and now he goes on everything- although he still is not a big fan of ToT! thanks for sharing- I hope to be going next summer!
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