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Old 06-14-2013, 03:01 AM   #16
luvflorida
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Day Three- continued

I love this series of photos of Carter and Goofy. Goofy was being, well, goofy! He spent a lot of time playing around and being silly, which Carter loved. At one point, Goofy took Carter's hat off his head and placed it on him backwards. Well, Carter thought that was very funny.















As I mentioned earlier in this report, shortly after last year's trip to Disneyland, Carter figured out that the characters aren't "real" and that there are people inside the costumes. He was only three, and I guess I was hoping he'd believe in the characters at least a little bit longer. So I was very glad to see that he was still very excited to meet the characters, and that it didn't matter that he knew the truth.

After spending time exploring Goofy's Playhouse and play area, it was time to leave Toontown and head over to something Carter was VERY excited to experience!
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:34 AM   #17
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Day Three- continued

Only recently has Carter become interested in Star Wars, and that interest lead us to his next adventure...the Jedi Training Academy! We talked about this show before our trip, and he was very excited to see it and said he wanted to be picked to be in the show.

We got to the show area around 2:15 for the 2:30 show. There were only a few kids/families lined up on the blue line, so we parked the stroller and took a spot in front, right on the blue line. By 2:25, the whole front row was filled, and many more people were filing in behind us. As more and more kids arrived, I was thinking that Carter's chances of getting chosen were slowly diminishing. I explained to him that not every boy or girl who wanted to participate would get picked, because they just didn't have enough space to fit everyone in. He didn't seem worried or concerned about not getting to go up, which then made me think perhaps he was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Then I started to worry that if he did get chosen, he might change his mind halfway through the show and be looking for me to rescue him. Yeah, I'm a worrier! I couldn't help but think of these scenarios!

Well, the show started and when the performer asked the boys and girls who were interested in being in the show, to wave their arms and stand up, Carter raised his hand and then stood up. And he was chosen!

Here he is in his Jedi robe waiting for instructions.


Learning how to activate and deactivate his light saber.


I thought when he saw this guy, he might change his mind about fighting him!


But he didn't! He was the last participant to go up and battle Darth Vader.


He loved his battle!


Carter is the littlest Jedi, right in the middle with his hood up.


Good defeats evil! Yay!


I had so much fun watching Carter in the show. I was taking pictures and trying to watch it all at the same time. I also took a few pics with my iPhone so I could send them right off to his mom and dad so they could see him. There was a photopass photographer also taking photos of all the kids.

After that very exciting experience, we caught part of the afternoon parade.


Then we headed over to Adventureland to the Jungle Cruise. What a deceiving line that attraction has!?!??!? It didn't look like it was long at all, but wow, it took forever to get to the boat. Around and around, up and down stairs...it was crazy! Anyway, we finally made it through the line and took off on our cruise. Carter liked it, but it wasn't a favorite of his. I think he wasn't too sure about what was real and what wasn't. And our guide was very good and very enthusiastic, which I think added to Carter's confusion!

Our enthusiastic guide, Kevin. He was a very good skipper and very, very funny. Although most of his jokes went right over the kids' heads!


After the Jungle Cruise, we rode Winnie-the-Pooh, which Carter loved. So did I!


By this time, I could tell Carter was getting tired, so I told him we'd find somewhere to sit down and grab a bite to eat. He hopped in the stroller, and we headed out of Critter Country. He was sound asleep before we got to the Main Street!
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:18 AM   #18
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Still loving your report - Carter looks like he had such a wonderful time, and you covered so much ground!
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:18 PM   #19
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Your grandson is so adorable! So many of your photos look like they could be in a DL brochure! Looking forward to your next entry!
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylieh View Post
Still loving your report - Carter looks like he had such a wonderful time, and you covered so much ground!
Thanks for following along! Carter loved his trip to Disneyland, and so did I. We did get to do quite a bit, which was surprising considering how many times we rode Mater's Junkyard Jamboree!

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Your grandson is so adorable! So many of your photos look like they could be in a DL brochure! Looking forward to your next entry!
Thank you! We love him to pieces! and my husband and I are LOVING being grandparents! We are so blessed to have two beautiful grandchildren and a third on the way! Any day now, in fact!

I always take lots and lots of photos when on vacation (and not on vacation!) so hopefully I'm at least assured of getting a few good shots. I've always liked character photos that are more interactive rather than having someone just stand and smile at the camera, although I have plenty of those, too.

Day Three- continued-
Like I said at the end of my last post, Carter was so tired, he fell asleep in his stroller within minutes. This was good for two reasons- he would get his rest and be able to stay late in the parks without being tired, and I could take some time to wander around the shops on main street.

Carter ended up sleeping for about two hours. I did some shopping, then decided to grab something to eat while he slept. I got a hot dog and Mickey soft pretzel at the Refreshment Corner and found a table on the outside patio. I enjoyed listening to the ragtime piano player and watching the people on main street.

Carter continued to sleep while I relaxed at the Refreshment Corner. I really wished I had brought an older, reclining stroller that we have, because he didn't look too comfortable in the stroller I did bring.

The evening parade was making its way down main street and I thought for sure the noise would wake up Carter, but it didn't. He woke up toward the end of the parade, so I got him some dinner from the Refreshment Corner, then we did some more shopping. It was also getting chilly, so I was glad that I had a pair of long pants for Carter to change into.

Carter wanted to buy everything he saw in every shop we went in (typical four year old!) so I told him to look around, and then decide what he wanted the most. After changing his mind numerous times, he finally settled on a Lightning McQueen car. Not just any Lightning McQueen car, but a Gear Up and Go Lightning McQueen. Carter loved the fact that the car came with parts that could change the look of the car. He was thrilled with his new purchase, and of course, couldn't wait to play with it. He also wanted to go back to DCA and Cars Land, so we headed over there.






We walked over to the animation building and watched the zoestrope.


Carter was chomping at the bit to get back to Cars Lands, so that's where we went. First stop was at the Cozy Cone Motel for snacks.


What could be better than a drink from a traffic cone!


and popcorn to go with it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:41 AM   #21
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As we ate our snacks, the lights started coming on in Cars Land. It was a fun sight to see, and it really made Cars Land seem even more magical, and authentic. The neon lights really make you feel like you're back in time on the old Route 66.




Carter REALLY wanted to open his new Lightning McQueen car, so I figured it was a good place to let him play for a bit. You'll notice from here on out, that Carter has the car with him in almost every photo.


Next up...Mater's Junkyard Jamboree! Surprise! On our way to the ride, we saw Mater, so we got in line for the meet and greet. Carter was excited to show his new car to Mater. When Carter held up Lightning McQueen, Mater said, "That's my best buddy, Lightning McQueen!" He also made some kind of truck noises.

This is another of my favorite photos from our trip. Carter was so excited and delighted to show his car to Mater!


Carter and Mater


We stopped to watch DJ's Dance Party, then headed over to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.


As we entered the line for Mater's, one of the cast members said something about Carter's car, and he proceeded to tell them all about how it worked. He's a friendly little guy and loves to talk to people!


Waiting to ride Mater.


After several rides, we did a little shopping on Buena Vista Street, then headed out to the plaza to see the fireworks. It was the perfect way to end our day!




When the fireworks ended, we joined the crowds heading out of the parks, hopped on a Toy Story shuttle and made our way back to our car. It was after 10:30, but we were hungry, so I did a late night drive-thru at McDonald's before hitting the freeway. I figured we'd get back to healthier eating when we got back home!

I drove back to the Universal Hilton where Larry was waiting in the lobby to carry a sleeping Carter up to our room. The next day Carter and I would get to sleep in and hang out at the hotel for the morning while Larry attended a few business meetings.

Next up, I'll wrap up this trip report with pics from the following day, and some final thoughts on our trip.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:39 AM   #22
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Day Four- We slept in this morning! Well, until 8am, but considering our other early mornings, I looked at 8am as sleeping in! Larry left around 7:00 for Woodland Hills on business and would return around 11:30 for check-out.

We enjoyed a nice, relaxing morning in the room. Carter played with his toys and watched some cartoons while I organized and packed. Room service arrived around 8:30 with our breakfast. We had been eating on the fly for the past few days, so sitting down to a hearty breakfast was delightful. I had to laugh at Carter's reaction, though. Here we had a beautiful spread of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, toast, juice, milk and assorted jams and jellies. Carter looked it all over and casually remarked, "I guess he forgot my steak." Um, we didn't order steak. I'm not sure where he got it from, but he's mentioned lately that "guys" eat steak. When I told Larry about Carter's breakfast comment, he told Carter that he and Carter and his dad will get together soon and have a guys' night out at the Longhorn Steakhouse. Too cute!

After a shower for me and tub time for Carter, we went for a walk around the hotel grounds.

Carter and, of course, his new car!



This photo makes me laugh, because it reminds me of another comment by Carter. He very much wanted to pick some of these flowers, but I explained to him that the flowers were planted outside the hotel to make the grounds look really pretty, and the flowers were there for people to look at and enjoy. Carter's response: "Well, I'm not enjoying them." I guess he figured if he couldn't pick them, he certainly wasn't about to enjoy them.


Playing with his car in the pool area.






Larry returned from Woodland Hills, we checked-out, then took the shuttle over to City Walk for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Carter thought this particular chicken tender was shaped like a guitar.


After lunch, we took the shuttle back to the Hilton and hit the road. We arrived back in Phoenix around 8 that night.


So there you have it! Two days at Disneyland with a four year old (almost five!) making most of the decisions! I loved it and he loved it, and I will definitely do other "Gramma and Me" Disney trips with our other grandkids when they're around the same age as Carter.

I asked Carter what his favorite attractions were and he said: "All of them!" Well, okay! He then told me that he wished he could ride the Radiator Springs Racers all day long. I asked him what his top three things were at Disneyland and he said, the Radiator Springs Racers, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, and Disney Jr. Stage Show.

He definitely preferred DCA over DLP, as we started and ended both days at DCA. His favorites at DLP were the Jedi Training Academy and spending time exploring ToonTown. I thought he'd like Toy Story Mania and Pirates of the Caribbean more than he did, and I thought he'd want to spend more time in Fantasyland. We were there a year ago, though, and covered quite a bit at DLP, so maybe that had something to do with it. Of course, we covered Cars Land a year ago, too!

I have to say, I feel so blessed to be a grandparent and to be able to spend so much time with our sweet grandkids! Carter and I had a wonderful time!
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:21 PM   #23
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Thank you so much for sharing - really enjoyed your trip report. No rushing, on the fly touring! It is what we're hoping to achieve on our next visit.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #24
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Really enjoyed your trip report! I can totally relate because I have a 5 1/2 year old grandson. He's not much into the Cars theme anymore (more of a Transformers kind of guy lol) but I am hoping he and his mommy, daddy and new baby sister can come out for a visit so I can take them to DL and DCA. I think he would love Cars Land too! You are a great Grandma - looks like you both enjoyed your visit even at his pace (which is what I would like to do with my grandson)!
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:17 AM   #25
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Great report! I'm hoping to do a similar trip with my grandson in a couple of years. I'm glad you both had such a wonderful time!
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:00 PM   #26
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I loved reading this! One on One trips sound like so much fun, especially when they're child led!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #27
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Loved coming along on your TR. It was a lot of fun to just see and "do" things through a child's eyes. Congratulations on your next grandbaby, whom I'm guessing is here by now? Can't wait for your next Gramma and Me TR.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylieh View Post
Thank you so much for sharing - really enjoyed your trip report. No rushing, on the fly touring! It is what we're hoping to achieve on our next visit.
Thank you! Yes, it was a relaxing, no pressure trip!

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Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
Really enjoyed your trip report! I can totally relate because I have a 5 1/2 year old grandson. He's not much into the Cars theme anymore (more of a Transformers kind of guy lol) but I am hoping he and his mommy, daddy and new baby sister can come out for a visit so I can take them to DL and DCA. I think he would love Cars Land too! You are a great Grandma - looks like you both enjoyed your visit even at his pace (which is what I would like to do with my grandson)!
Oh, I hope you get to take your grandson to Disneyland! It's truly a different experience seeing everything through the eyes of a grandchild! Carter is also into Transformers and I was VERY tempted to take him to Universal Studios on our last morning there, because I know he would have LOVED to have seen the Transformer guys that hang out near the ride. However, there really isn't a lot at US for little kids, so I figure I'll wait until he's a bit older for that park!

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Great report! I'm hoping to do a similar trip with my grandson in a couple of years. I'm glad you both had such a wonderful time!
I hope you get the chance to take your grandson!

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Originally Posted by cptmemo View Post
I loved reading this! One on One trips sound like so much fun, especially when they're child led!
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and I are now best friends!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briarrose1306 View Post
Loved coming along on your TR. It was a lot of fun to just see and "do" things through a child's eyes. Congratulations on your next grandbaby, whom I'm guessing is here by now? Can't wait for your next Gramma and Me TR.
Thanks for following along! And, no, our new grandson is taking his time getting here! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I don't like this waiting! Of course, my daughter is more than ready for the little guy to make his appearance!
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:48 PM   #29
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This trip report is so touching! I just love it! I love that you got to spend an awesome trip with your adorable little grandson. I have a recently turned five year old boy and a three year old boy and really related with a lot of your trip, especially the multiple times riding attractions and carrying around a new found favorite toy. This is so special and something he will remember forever! I cannot wait to be a grandma and take my grandkids on amazing trips like this! Thank you so much for sharing, you are an awesome, fun grandma!
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:01 PM   #30
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This is excellent! I am glad you had such a great time!
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