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Old 05-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #1
momto2nenas
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TR - Final Trip as a Family of 4! May 4-8 2009 *Complete!* Lots of Pics!

Hi! We just got back from our magical week at Disneyland! We as always had a BLAST! My girls are at the perfect ages for Disneyland, I don't know who enjoyed it more, them or me!

I was *so worried the week before about the Swine Flu "pandemic". I had to go out of town for 3 days and instructed DH not to take the 3 yr. old out of the house and to basically hose down my 6 yr. old when she got home from school, lol. Thankfully we made it to our travel day with no illness!

I'm uploading pics now and will post them as I go along. If you haven't read my PTR check it out and I'll be sharing our magical week with you soon!

Thanks for reading!

PTR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2102765

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Old 05-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Share, share, share! Can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:06 AM   #3
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Looking forward to seeing the pics & report!!
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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Yay--looking forward to it!
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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Can't wait to read your report
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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May 4, 2009 - Travel Day

Our trip had finally arrived! I spent the final day before we left packing all our bags (yes I waited till the last day). And what was SO important to have on this trip?... and arsenal of course:

I was SO paranoid about getting Swine Flu the week before we left that's all I could think about! I had to go to a convention in Houston for 3 days before we left and I basically instruced DH to stay home w/ the girls until I got back, I didn't want them exposed to anything! DD#1 still had to go to school of course (especially since we were pulling her out the entire next week!). But we made it through and no one got sick before we left!
Monday, May 4th finally dawned and we were up and at 'em ready to go! We left for the airport around 7:15am never knowing what San Antonio traffic is going to be like, but got to the airport no problem. DH dropped us off at the terminal and went to check the car into long-term parking for the week. And guess what, because we were taking the Disneyland Express from LAX we didn't have to take any carseats! I am a carseat fanatic so my 6 1/2 yr. old still rides in a full sized 5pt. harness so leaving both the seats in the car was so freeing and made checking in at the airport so easy!
Here's the girls at the airport all ready to go!


We flew Southwest and it was a direct flight to LAX. We had tons of turbulance and had to keep adjusting elevation so it was a "bumpy ride" in all ways possible but the girls did great and ate their snacks and did their activity sheets I had packed for them.


We landed at LAX around 11:35 Pacific time. We got our bags and waited for the Disneyland Express to arrive. I knew exactly what shuttle we were looking for so do NOT be fooled by the scary little "Disneyland Express - Mickey's Spaceshuttle" that tried to pick us up. My word it was scary. I should have taken a pic of that.. lol

So we boarded our bus at exactly noon and we were off to the HoJo! We made a quick stop at the Disneyland Hotel and then we were the next stop.

My youngest had fallen asleep on the bus and refused to open her eyes when we got off at the hotel, lol

We were WAY early for check-in which isn't until 4pm but they were super nice at the front desk and let us check all our bags in and gave us a key to the pool to use until our room was ready. We were starving though since lunchtime had long passed for us on Central Time and went to Mimi's across the street to eat. The food there is always good and the girls were excited to have "Mimi's pancakes" that look like Mickey heads!

We walked back to the hotel and its now only about 2:30 but guess what, our room was READY! So we checked in and were excited to be heading to the pool when it dawned on me........................ I had forgotten my Entertainment Card and they needed that to give us the Ent. rate for our room. DH was not pleased when I told him I had forgotten, it was the ONLY thing I had forgotten and I knew exactly where it was at home but I had forgotten to put it in my wallet. The front desk said just have it faxed to the hotel and it would be no problem, they just needed to see the numbers. SOUNDED like no problem right? Well I'll let you know how that goes later..

For now its OFF TO THE POOL!

Pirates Cove was amazing for a hotel pool! We are used to one similar at Sea World so the girls jumped right on and started playing. It was barely in the 70s our first day so I knew they were freezing but that didn't stop them from playing for over an hour.





The slides looked so fun and were the perfect size for my kiddos! They also enjoyed the kids wading pool:


The spash park:


And of course the bucket that dumped sheets of water on them!


Finally we had to drag them back to the room (but they weren't cold! Only their lips were shivering and goosebumps all over their arms and legs...) to get showered and dressed for dinner in DownTownDisney!

We were supposed to meet up w/ some friends of ours that live in Fullerton, but he is an Air Force recruiter and they had a big inspection that day so it did not work out

We ate at the ESPN Zone as is our tradition on our travel day. At 6:15pm there was barely a 10 min. wait and we were seated at a table w/ tv view that was playing the NBA Playoffs much to DH's delight. He found out the hard way that the HoJo does not have TNT in their cable line up, he was basketball deprived all week!

Dinner was... decent. Our server was seriously lacking in the service department and after 3 request for mustard, a cold cheeseburger, and 1 manager visit later my food was sent back and 15 mins. AFTER the rest of my family had finished their meal I got mine and finally got to eat.

We left around 8pm and I don't know if it was b/c Disneyland had just closed or b/c the Lakers were playing next in the playoffs but people were lined up out the door to get in. Thank goodness we ate early!

We trekked back to the HoJo and got ready for bed, we were going to DISNEYLAND in the morning and couldn't wait!

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Old 05-13-2009, 09:38 AM   #7
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Loving your trip report! My family and I were actually at the HOJO's from 5/4-5/10 so we probably passed you at some point LOL
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great trip report. I love all your pictures and your daughters are adorable.

I had to laugh when you mentioned freezing in the low 70's. For our family (from Washington) anything above 73 is way too hot with 70 being perfect swimming weather.

Please let us know what you thought about HoJo's. I will be there in a month and am interested in reviews. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WA Kay View Post
Thanks for the great trip report. I love all your pictures and your daughters are adorable.

I had to laugh when you mentioned freezing in the low 70's. For our family (from Washington) anything above 73 is way too hot with 70 being perfect swimming weather.

Please let us know what you thought about HoJo's. I will be there in a month and am interested in reviews. Looking forward to reading more.

HoJos was great! You get SO MUCH for your money! Our room was $69 a night w/ the Ent. rate and even adding the resort tax of $10 it was still less than $80 a night, you can't find that many places! I somehow forgot to take pictures of our room but it was spacious enough for the 4 of us, all our luggage, 2 strollers and you could still walk without tripping over anything. The fridge in the room was a HUGE plus as well! The grounds are beautiful, the smell of the flowers in the morning is wonderful! (Reminded us of when we lived in Hawaii.) And the pools are great -if just a tad too cold for us living in Hawaii and Texas the last 5 years.

The staff was also really great and the hotel provided free WiFi in your rooms and they also have 2 computers w/ internet for use in their lobby.

Can't say enough about the HoJo!
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:24 PM   #10
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Disneyland Day 1! May 5th

Today is the day! After a decent night's sleep (29 weeks pregnant and in a strange bed on a different time zone.. ) we all woke up around 6:20 am... I had the alarm set for 8am but we were on Central time and that was that. The sun does rise EARLY in California, some mornings before 6am I could see the sun peeking through the curtains!

I had packed lots of breakfast foods in our luggage so I wouldn't have to make a trip to the grocery store and it all traveled nicely. I froze the yogurt before we left and it stayed frozen the entire trip! The girls got to pick their "vacation food" and of course it was junk they do not get very often at home: Cocoa Puffs, chocolate poptarts, and juice boxes. But it was so nice each morning, they could make their own breakfasts and eat in by the patio doors overlooking the pool in the mornings.


I was a little concerned b/c they barely seemed excited that we were going to Disneyland in just a few hours... but I figured they would get excited when we got to the gates and I was correct!

We left the HoJo at 9:10am and made it to the gates by 9:20, the lines were under the monorail at this point. It was a MM and b/c we had military discount tickets our 3 day park hoppers did not qualify . I was amazed at the people entering MM up to 9:45 and then standing around taking pictures of the train station... Get a move on people you could have finished Fantasyland by now!

Here's my girlies waiting in line - these sweaters were taken off before we even entered the gates and were not needed the rest of the week.. it was HOT all week and we live in San Antonio where its been in the 90s for a few weeks now!


I had to stand at the gate for over 10 minutes waiting to get this picture without MM people in it...


At 9:50 they opened the gates and let us onto Main Street! We went through the left tunnel and passed under this:

Possibly one of the best quotes ever!

And my girls got their first look at the castle in almost 2 years (too long!) and FINALLY got more excited! At 10am they dropped the rope and we headed straight to Adventureland and Critter Country!

DH and DD1 jumped in the non-existent line for Indiana Jones as DD1 was FINALLY tall enough! For months before our trip if her height was mentioned, she always said "Tall enough for Indy!". DD2 and myself walked back to Critter Country and were probably the 3rd people of the morning to get on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.


My baby loved this ride! We rode it twice without getting off and then went back to Indy to find DH and big sister. They were just exiting when we walked up and I was excited to hear how DD1 like the ride... she kept her eyes closed the whole time, lol. I said "you missed the snakes?" - Yep. "you missed the big rock?" Yep. "You missed Indy hanging on the rope?!" Oh, I did see that.

DH and DD1 then went to get in the short line for Splash and DD2 and I went to meet Tigger and Pooh! We were 2nd in line for Pooh when she needed to go potty "really really bad"... this became a trend the ENTIRE trip! Whenever we were just getting ready to do something she had to go in the worst way. I guess 3 1/2 year olds don't know how to tell you before its in the emergency stage?! The nice lady and her DD in front of us let us go ahead of them . We hugged Pooh and Tigger then went off to the Hungry Bear restroom. By now we've crossed back and forth Critter Country 4 times!

Here's DD2 and the "critters"



Eyeore was supposed to be there they said but we couldn't hang around to wait for him w/ a potty emergency!

We were lucky to run into DH and DD1 right after that and we all went to ride Haunted Mansion!


I love the cool air that surrounds you in this ride (or is it just the 999 ghosts?) but I do tend to get creeped out by some of the pictures and the scary clock on the wall. Once you get to the actual ghosts I am okay, lol. They girls were excited to see which ghost was going to "hitchhike" with us at the end and DD2 proceeded to beat them over the head in the mirror.

Its only 11:15 at this point but we had 11:30 PS at Blue Bayou and I was already starving! We couldn't wait to try out this restuarant. We normally eat at Cafe Orleans, the Monte Cristo being the BEST taste Disneyland has to offer IMO, but when I called for PS was told it was under refurb the week we were there This turned out not to be the case but we wanted to try BB anyway so we checked in and requested a water side table and at 11:30 sharp our name was called!

The atmosphere here is so NEAT! I was concerned how the kids would behave being that its so dark but they were better behaved than they ever are anywhere else. I think dark restuarants is the trick! If only we could always afford to eat in such places, lol When the server came to take our drink orders he told us their soda machines were not working so we would have to order water or tea to drink. This was fine by us as it was already turning into a hot day.

It was hard to get a decent picture w/out using the flash and I didn't really want to ruin the ambience w/ my flash so this is the picture I got:


DH and I split the Monte Cristo (paying the $12 fee! yikes) and the girls shared the Mac-n-Cheese. The salads were okay. I was a little scared when he told me there was chicken sausage in it?! He said that's what gives it the Cajun influence... so I picked it out for DH and passed all my tomatoes to the girls. The Monte Cristo was of course delicious! I ate every bite and all the potatoes that were also really good.

DH had long ago decided he wanted to try the Flying Dutchman cookie boat so that was shared by the 4 of us. Dh and the girls tried a bite of the mast but determined it was better off for looks even though it said "edible" on the back, lol. Who wants to eat something that looks like plastic anyway?!


Watching the boats go by while we were eating got us all excited to ride POTC next as this is the by far family favorite! So after lunch it was a walk-on to POTC! This ride became a lifesaver for me over the next 3 days because there was never a line and I got to sit and relax for over 10 minutes.

When I took this picture (without flash!) the CM said: Remember no flash photography please - looking at me. I wanted to say HELLO! I am not one of "those people" lol.




The 2nd 1/2 of Day 1 will continue shortly..

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Old 05-14-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
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Love the girls outfits!! They are too cute! I cannot believe the split plate fee is $12. Ouch! I had heard it was $5 or 6? That's a big jump.
Can't wait to hear more. I am going in September. Can't wait.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #12
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Day 1 May 5th - Cont.

Back for finishing up Day 1! We've had a busy week and I finally got the suitcases unpacked and put back in the attic today.. its only been a week. And I can't believe its been a whole WEEK since our trip. Its safe to say the whole family is "homesick" for Disneyland. Several times this week I'd notice the time and think "Last week were were riding IASW right now, etc."

Moving on!

We rode POTC right after lunch and the girls decided they wanted to climb Tarzan's Treehouse. They've never seen the movie, I don't think they even know the story but they've heard the music from the Treehouse a million times off our Disneyland CD we got last trip so they were excited. I was NOT about to climb this thing, especially knowing it has a swinging bridge so I sent DH w/ the point-and-shoot camera and took a break (probably in the bathroom... we got to visit every single one at least twice I believe during our 3 days in the parks. A pregnant lady and 3 yr. old will do that, lol).





DH said the views from the Treehouse were pretty cool, I may have to make the hike next time for some good pictures.

Next up was Jungle Cruise! Again there is really not waits for anything this day, we had to wait for maybe 1 boat to load and it was our turn! This is a really fun ride, I felt a little bad for the CM b/c no one laughed at his jokes but I'm sure he says them over a 100 times a day and is used to it. Here's a guy who would appreciate the humor:




DD1 was excited to ride BTMRR, she remembered it well from our last trip when she was tall enough and wanted to search for all the animals, mainly the skunk and the goats. The posted wait time was 15 mins. but DH said the line split along the way and he was able to pass up a lot of people who were giving him dirty looks, lol. DD2 and I found a bench in the shade to wait for them and watched train after train go by. We did see them fly by us after a little while and DD1 had her hands up screaming w/ the rest of them! It was too cute! She really is our adventure seeker!


We all wandered back to Big Thunder Ranch, which I have never noticed on our other trips and went to peek around. We saw lots of critters penned up and these 2 were loose for some reason:

The DDs thought they were cute so they wanted a picture. I didn't feel like waiting around and washing hands so we skipped the rest of the animals.
On our way towards Fantasyland we saw Celebration Roundup and decided to peek around there as well. We were planning on eating lunch there the next day and I wanted to see if it was worth it. Woody was out walking around and although my girls were 2 feet from him the CM would not let them go up to him or get a picture. I realize he is part of the "Roundup" but thought that a little harsh. The CM said we'd have to come back for the BBQ if we wanted to meet Woody. The place was EMPTY and she wouldn't allow Woody to say hi to my kids?! That fact and the cost of the meal made up my mind we would NOT eat there afterall. I think they had a good idea w/ the whole thing but its not panning out the way they hoped. Making Woody "exclusive" to the BBQ isn't going to bring in the people they were expecting I'm sure. (He has also been pulled from the Drawn to the Magic show in CA we later find out..)

But I have easygoing girls and they were not that upset that they didn't get to "meet" Woody so on we went and I felt no guilt in cancelling the BBQ in my head for the following day . We came into Fantasyland (kindof a bummer not doing it through the castle) and my little one saw the carousel right away and said That one, That one! So we hopped right on! I can't remember the music that was playing along but I was surprised by it, I wish I could find the whole soundtrack somewhere! The one of the CD we bought is only "Once Upon a Dream".


Of course being midday the rest of Fantasyland was a mob scene. We knew we were hitting it first thing the next morning so I hustled the kids along w/ promises of their EARS! We went in Mad Hatter and boy did this take forever! My oldest just could not decide on which ones she liked. She liked the Bride Ears the best and looking back I should have just let her get them but I told her those were special for new brides and maybe ONE DAY she could come back and get those she liked the idea and moved on finally picking a polkadot baseball cap w/ ears and my little one picked pink princess ears w/ a crown. SUPER CUTE!

P.S. If anyone has an idea of how to store or display their growing number of Ears it'd be greatly appreciated, lol. For now there is a growing stack on the top shelf of their closet.
I also picked out a tiny pair of pink ears for our Baby-to-Be, and DH took a great picture of me w/ them that I will post later.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:54 PM   #13
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Day 1, May 5th - CONT.

The Teacups are one of my favorite rides and definately a family favorite and the line seems to move along quite fast so we took a quick SPIN! Or I should say a mini-spin. I get motion sick easy so the girls are instructed not to spin while Mommy is riding. I think they like going w/ just their dad better...


Its now about 3pm. I'm starting to "feel" the parks. Up until now I was feeling great and decided we didn't need to go back to the HoJo for an afternoon break like we'd planned. The girls were still bouncing w/ excitement so I knew they still had several hours in them so we went to ask about the wait for Princess Fantasy Faire. I know the *best time to do this is soon as they open but we just didn't have enough mornings this time to do all the "first thing in the morning" things. The CM said the line was only an hour and 15 mins. A 1 hr. 15 mins. break sounded AWESOME to me so I herded DH and the girls into the line, doled out some Goldfish and juice boxes, promised DH I'd be back to "relieve" him soon and went and got a spot at the snack place right there at PFF. Of course my break involved each girl running over at some point needing the potty - the one right there is a nice big one! and DH tapping his watch eventually so I took over as line holder.

Now you never know which Princess you are going to meet, and I purposefully did not ask the girls which ones they hoped to see or thought they would see b/c I didn't want anyone disappointed. Our turn was up and we got to meet....
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Cinderella! She is definately a favorite! A trip to Disneyland isn't complete w/out seeing Cinderella!


We also saw Jasmine (DD1's favorite)


And Belle! We've never gotten to meet Belle in her yellow dress before, we usually run into her wearing her blue dress and white apron. DD2 was very happy to see Belle! I guess she is her favorite?


On our way out we ran into 1 more Princess going in for "shift change", Ariel:


She paused just for a moment to say hello and hurried into the "walled area" lol.

We now wanted to head to California Adventure and what better way to get back to Main Street than the Disneyland Rail Road! Both DDs love the train especially the dinosaur scene! They are really into the T-Rex and noticed for the first time the babies hatching from their eggs. so cute.

Unloading at the Main Street depot I saw several characters out and about in the flagpole area. (Is this area called Town Square? I have no idea...) So we jumped in the lines and got to meet:
Minnie: (Is it just me or is she especially short?!)


Pluto: (DD2 wanted to touch his tongue?!)


and Goofy:


The Big Cheese wasn't around so we figured we'd catch him another day and headed across the way to California Adventure! This was the only day during our 3 day visit that the Pixar Play Parade was running so it was a must-do. It was only around 4:30 so we were still fairly early, I don't think the CA parades draw the same crowds as the DL parades. DH wanted to ride Monsters Inc. (yes DH, lol ) and Mommy was kinda fading after all the walking and the heat so I took a rest on the benches in the Drawn to the Magic area while they went to ride. It felt great to take my shoes off (Crocs even!) and sit w/ my legs up for awhile. I saw Mr. Incredible stroll by being chased by about 10 different children and then my own showed back up excited to tell me what Roz had said to them on the ride.

We went by to "meet" Wall-E (even though I thought the movie was whack and I'm VERY into saving the planet, just didn't think portraying us all as fat lazy Walmart shoppers was the way to do it...)


Then on to get a spot for the parade b/c, you guessed it, Mommy needed a break! DD1 and I staked out a spot right across from the Entrance gates beside a palm tree that provided just the right amount of shade for the 4 of us and DH and DD2 (in the stroller) went to Corn Dog Castle for my requested dinner. I am a big corn dog fan and had to try one this trip since I've read so much about them hear on the Dis.
It seemed like they took forever and then I wondered if maybe DH was having a problem carrying it w/ DD2 in the stroller... I was right, lol She had fallen asleep though so he just propped it all on top of her, lol! I should have taken a picture of THAT but didn't think of it till now. The corndogs were HUGE! (And $30 for 3 corndogs, chips, apples, and 3 drinks!) I knew it was going to be good though and was not disappointed. I slathered mine w/ mustard right away so I wouldn't have to share w/ anyone else..


DD2 woke up to eat her 1/2 of their shared corndog (they were SO big, did I say that already?) just in time for the Play Parade to start! It was a really cute parade.



As soon as it was over we hightailed it back to Disneyland w/ the Nemo subs as our mission...I'm not sure what the wait time was but the line *looked longer than I wanted to stand around in so we asked to watch from the observation room (that I read about here on the Dis!). They went about it so cute! First the CM was like oh yes, let me get a captain to help you. Then another CM came by and was acting all official and said right this way and led us into this LOVELY A/C room w/ 2 bench seats and a wide screen tv in the wall of the "sub". My oldest was not thrilled that we were not getting into a real sub and I tried to reassure her that this was just "like" the subs but she was not convinced. Finally I pulled out the cotton candy I'd bought at CA and they settled in to watch the "voyage". It was a cute show, a big long, but I was definately glad I was not in a crowded claustrophobic sub at that point in the day. (The first CM also made a joke about avoided the confined space w/ the Swine Flu outbreak, lol).

As if this day wasn't already long enough, we still had a few hours before the park closed and I'd made it this far I wasn't going back to the hotel now so we pushed on and headed back into Fantasyland. DH and DD1 got in the short line for Matterhorn and DD2 and I ... probably went in search of a bathroom and waited around the Alice ride and Teacups for them to finish. DD2 tried for several minutes to get this door opened:


but it did not want to budge so she finally gave up. and soon enough DH and DD1 showed up and we got in line to ride Alice. We waited around 5 mins. when it broke down. After about 5 more mins. we said lets just try another day and got out of line, w/ most everyone else following suit.

Pinnochio had no line (as usual) and its a really cute ride so we rode it. DH and I actually go to sit *together* for once w/ the girls together in front of us. When we came out the final door DD2 exclaimed "That wasn't scary at all!" and we all laughed, she's so funny at this age!

Snow White's Scary Adventure was next, again DH and I got to sit together! And we twisted and turned through the "scary" ride and then abruptly "lived happily ever after"... DD2 was a bit confused by this (LOL!) and looked right at the CM when our car stopped, threw up her hands, and said "That's IT?!" that was even funnier than the "not scary at all" she said on the last ride!

Okay by this time, I am really really exhausted so we headed out through the castle, noticing the walk-thru entrance. DDs of course want to go through so I oblige even though I know stairs are going to be involved... they weren't too bad and it was a quick walk-thru. The scenes along the way tell the story perfectly and DD1 almost fell down the stairs at one of the windows when something jumped out at her, lol. I think it was a jester or something? Not sure but it was cute they added some surprises since otherwise it'd be pretty boring.

We walk across the draw bridge for the 1st time even though its the end of the day and go to the right of the castle (facing Main Street) for some photos ops. I LIVE for photos at Disneyland, I think that is the best part for me. That's why I do all the outfit planning! We got some great shots at this location on our last trip and even though the sun was washing out the castle a tad they all still turned out really good:



This being my favorite picture w/ the baby's Ears, I had the idea for this as soon as I got pregnant! What a perfect pic for the baby book!


I also turned 29 weeks pregnant this day so it was nice to have the "progression picture" taken at Disneyland!

I bought a frozen banana from one of the carts in the Hub on our way towards Main Street to eat on the walk back to the HoJo. What seemed like no time at all that morning seemed like the never ending mile(s) on the way back.... I KNEW the next day we would have to come back to the hotel for a mid-day break or I wasn't going to last 3 more days of walking. We also decided we'd bring the 2nd stroller for DD1 the 2nd 1/2 of the day b/c she was struggling on the way back too.

As soon as the kids heard the dinging bell at Pirate's Cove splash park though they were energized and wanted to go swimming! DH took them to the kids pool and I attempted to try out the garden pool but it was freezing! The water felt great on my aching feet so I did stand around on the steps for a few minutes but never braved it to actually swim.

After quick showers all around the girls were tucked in and fast asleep by 9:15pm, DH was asleep by 9:30, and I last remember seeing 9:45 on the clock.

What a great first day we had!
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:11 PM   #14
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It was barely in the 70s our first day so I knew they were freezing but that didn't stop them from playing for over an hour.


I knew you would be cold if it was 70!
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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You should give Wall-E another try, we love it!! I've watched it with Zaylor a dozen times now!
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