Let's Book a Disneyland trip...that's 3 weeks away! (Halloween time!) COMPLETE


Jan 23, 2015
I figured it out! Alright, onto the show...

Arrival Day: Getting a table for 11 at Downtown Disney on a Sunday Night!

We left our house on Sunday morning around 10am. We (mostly my husband) wanted to surprise the kids but since my daughter already knew and some of the boys found out from their cousins...it didn't work out! Even my youngest didn't seem very surprised. But they were so excited! I packed everything up Saturday night, taught some classes for my online teaching job (it's thanks to that job that we could do a last minute trip like this!), and got some sleep. My husband is very go-go-go when we have a trip, so we actually left before 10am. I had just gotten gas and an oil change, so we didn't need to stop for awhile. We did stop for gas and food just before the border into CA from AZ (gas is much cheaper here).

We made good time and only had a little bit of bad traffic when we got into the LA area. I think we arrived at the hotel around 4:30pm. I was so excited to get settled in and get to Downtown Disney! We had a bit of a line to check in, but I think it's just the time of day. It was a fun atmosphere and there were at least 3 families/couples from other countries in line with me. So fun! After I checked in I called my husband and he came back around and I hopped in the car and we found a parking spot.

Oh! We stayed at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. We stayed there once before, and I really like this hotel. It's an actual hotel, not a motel like the ones on Harbor, and just has more of a themey resort feel than the other surrounding hotels. And it wasn't expensive. I forgot to take a picture of the room, but it was spacious and seemed like it was recently renovated- nice and cool too! We hung out and watched TV, because we were waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. P and A arrived with their son shortly after us, but MIL and FIL were taking awhile. B and J and their kids were WAY behind us but they didn't leave Phoenix until 1pm. MIL wanted us to wait for them to go into Downtown Disney...you guys, this basically killed my dreams of doing some shopping, and next time I will ask them to meet us later. I missed out on a few things I would do differently next time.

Here we are in the lobby once MIL and FIL arrived-


If you don't know, this hotel is designed like a castle. It's really cool. We finally got on the (free) hotel shuttle and made our way to DTD. We arrived sometime after 7pm, and went through security, and saw this:


There is nothing like arriving at Disneyland! So much anticipation!!pixiedust:

There were 11 of us (6 of us still to come later that night)- so what do you do with 11 hungry people in DTD on a very busy night?? You hope a restaurant, any restaurant, has room! We first tried the Naples place, and it was an hour and a half wait. We thought we'd do some shopping while we waited for a text (yeah, I wish...) But some of the group wanted to try another place. We made our way down to the new bowling place, Splitsville. Now, this was the ONE place I didn't want to go. We weren't going to bowl, and I didn't want to eat in a bowling alley. I wanted a real restaurant. Well, they seated us in 15 minutes so we ate there. Most of us got pizzas to share, and they were ok...not bad, really. And there was plenty of seating and empty tables. However, they sat us right by a couple lanes and so we got to hear the sounds of balls hitting pins while we ate. I didn't like that part.

After dinner we stopped and watched a fun group of "ghosts" singing Halloween songs. They were good! I think my husband got some pictures but I don't have them on my computer. Then we tried to go into World of Disney, but there was a LINE to get in. Uh uh. No. We would be waiting in enough lines soon enough...so we skipped it and went back to the hotel. More TV, then we crashed to get ready for a 6:30am wake up!! Next up- Day 1!



Jan 23, 2015
Day 1: I thought we ate breakfast at the hotel?...and also Carsland.

*I totally forgot! When we got back to the hotel the first night, we had a perfect view (and perfect timing) of the fireworks! We watched them from the hotel pool. :)

We set our alarms for 6:30am. The time zone in CA is the same as AZ (for now...) and I am used to waking up at 4am for my job, so this was not really a problem...for me. My husband and kids? They had a harder time getting up. But I made them! There were several back and forth texts with the group, and we decided to try and get on the first bus to the parks (7:30am). We made it just in time and I think they had a few buses running so our entire group got on together! Yay! Most of our family does not like to get up early so I was happy everyone made themselves do so. However, Adam's oldest sister and her family had a fiasco with getting pizza they ordered...I guess it came really late and they didn't get to bed until 3am or something. I have no idea how they functioned that day, but they did fine.

So we got on the bus and 5 minutes later we were at Disneyland! We decided on DCA for our first park, and even though it was early entry and we weren't there for that, I am glad we did it. It was Columbus Day and although the security line was long, it only took maybe 15-20 minutes to get through it. The line to get into DCA was nonexistent, and we walked right in! We had scanned our tickets into the app so it was quick. I was super excited to try MaxPass for the first time. I immediately purchased it and went to book an RSR fastpass (my BIL , P, had already booked theirs, but he didn't realize the rest of us weren't ready...) Well, when I tried to book the FP it said I wasn't in the park yet! What???

I went over to my MIL and to my sil J, and both of them were having the same issue! At this point I had grabbed a coke because I needed caffeine, and I don't do coffee. J gave her phone to MIL for some reason and went off to get her own coke, and a castmember was very patiently trying to help us. I got helped by a different CM and successfully booked my FP. It took longer for the others (and it was very frustrating!) but finally we got it all sorted out (they had to scan their tickets into the app all over again, so this whole thing took about 30 minutes). Obviously we are NOT pros at getting to the parks early, doing rope drop, getting on a bunch of rides, any of that, lol! Oh and then someone had to go to the bathroom so everyone went.

At this point I was getting antsy (ok, let's be real, I have zero patience and at Disneyland I like to get moving) but we finally made our way to Soarin'. I think it said 30 minutes but was more like 15. I love this ride and it was fun experiencing it with B and J's family, since they had never done DCA. After that I was ready to head to Carsland and do some rides before we could use our RSR FP.

This is my 2 oldest kids and my niece (in the mickey shirt)

*Let me pause this TR to give you all some important info. People say that RSR FP's go very fast, but I think Carsland has been around long enough that you can still get them into the afternoon. We had booked ours at 8am, and I think the return time was around 10:30? So there were still plenty left!

Okay, back to the show. The park wasn't super busy yet, which is exactly why I had wanted to get there early. B and J do not go to Disneyland as often as we do...P and A go as often as we do, and MIL and FIL have started going with us every time as well. So they know the drill and our Disney style is the same. B and J are a little slower though and they love to do a sit down breakfast...I thought we would just grab some snacks to hold us over until lunch! We had eaten granola bars and pop tarts that morning (so healthy, lol!) because I did not want to stop.

Well, B and J wanted to stop. They went to Flo's, and Adam and I went over to the Cozy Cone. Unfortunately, the pretzel bites cone was not open yet!:sad:

But fortunately, we watched as Red the clown took off, and Cruz took his place! We were the first in line! We took pictures with Cruz (whom my youngest, Eli, loves), and then moseyed over to Flo's.

The line at Flo's was ridiculous...I knew this breakfast thing would eat up tons of time, so we took some photopass photos! These were the only ones we got, so honestly the whole thing was a blessing in disguise, and I am glad B and J and their kids got some food in them! They had had a rough night. Here's our awesome photopass photos:



After everyone finally ate all their food, we were ready to do the rides in Carsland. In hindsight, I wish we had taken the kids on the Luigi ride, because we had plenty of time and it would have been our only chance. But I didn't realize that at the time.

Next up was Mater's ride, the tractors, a favorite of the group. We just have so much fun, and the Halloween songs were playing! So here are a bunch of pictures from that ride:


My 7 year old, Jude, is on the right in this one. He is with his best buddies, his cousins- all 3 are within a year of each other.

Don't you love that my husband didn't even bother bringing any Disney shirts this time? Not even Star Wars??

After this ride we stopped and got the pretzel bites I wanted while everyone went to the bathroom. No drinks because our kids were wearing hydro packs and so we had water. But I do wish I had gotten a Red's Apple Freeze...I would come to regret the lack of fun Disney drinks I consumed on this trip. I mostly drank coke or water. What's wrong with me?

And the Cozy Cone:


Next up will be Day 1, Part 2!



Jan 23, 2015
I updated today!! I am going to try to get on here every afternoon this week, not sure how many posts it will take to do the whole trip because I took A LOT of pictures!
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Jul 22, 2005
    So much fun!! Sorry your tickets didn't really work at first. That would have stressed me so much! It sounds like you still got a lot done, even though it was going to be a busy day though. I love your Photopass photos, especially that Dinoco magic shot. I haven't seen that! :) And my husband would totally do that, except he knows me and Disney now, so he asks, "What I am wearing which days?" Which is quite a concession, since he's kind of picky about his clothes. :)


    Jan 23, 2015
    So much fun!! Sorry your tickets didn't really work at first. That would have stressed me so much! It sounds like you still got a lot done, even though it was going to be a busy day though. I love your Photopass photos, especially that Dinoco magic shot. I haven't seen that! :) And my husband would totally do that, except he knows me and Disney now, so he asks, "What I am wearing which days?" Which is quite a concession, since he's kind of picky about his clothes. :)
    Well, if we had more time to plan I would have bought him a new shirt, etc. He just does not care, lol. He loves Disney but he's not into the shirts and all that. Good thing I am!


    Jan 23, 2015
    Day 1, Part 2: Mickey Beignets....used to be my favorite.

    Finally, we were moving at a nice pace! We've done Carsland many times, but the first time we took the kids to Disneyland was actually a few months before it opened. I remember hearing how crazy the lines were and we were so glad that we had no idea it was even opening (guys, I was a terrible Disney fan back then!). Anyway, it wasn't for another 2 years that we would finally visit Carsland, but we've been back every year since. So it was another nice Carsland visit and now we were heading to...

    The Little Mermaid! Here I am with my girl and her BFF cousin, G. I had so much fin with these girls on this trip!

    The Little Mermaid is of course a cute ride, and honestly, I really wanted to do more stuff around the pier, but first...most of us had gotten a maxpass for Guardians! Okay, a little backstory on my history with this ride. When I was 14 and we went to WDW (Yeah, that trip comes up often, lol) I rode Tower of Terror. Somewhere on this earth is a picture of me in my Hanson t shirt (I was super cool) screaming my head off while my dad laughs next to me. But...I loved it. I probably rode it again. And I was never a thrill seeker. Then I grew up and a few years ago we rode it (I wanted to because I knew it was going to be changed to Guardians soon). I hated it! It was too scary and too many drops, and my poor children were traumatized (except my oldest). Last year, I made myself try Guardians. I LOVED IT!!!! I mean, it helps that we are huge fans of the movie. That ride is so so so fun. My favorite along with Soarin and the Incredicoaster (yep, I love DCA!) We made all our kids ride it last year and nobody cried but no one was really a big fan except, again, my oldest.

    Back to our current trip. My MIL and my SIL A did not want to ride, so I let Eli off the hook (he's 4, guys), and said he could chill out with them. They were going to go on Monsters, Inc. He loves that ride!

    So we got in line and it took awhile even though we had FP. I wish the line moved faster because Ally was freaking out. She started crying but I encouraged her to be brave, and so did her cousin. My nephew, L, who is 8, was also freaking out. So it was a fun line to be in!

    We got on the ride and I had a blast, but we always get the same 2 songs. Does anyone know if there are more songs than "We want the funk" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"? No? I have no idea, but I was laughing and screaming anyway. And then I put my arm in front of my face in the picture...


    Ally was fine, she kinda shrugged when it was over but did not want to do it again. My nephew loved it! He got a fun toy as a souvenir for being brave ;)

    After that we met up with the others, who had not ridden Monsters, Inc. The line was apparently way too long! :( I wasn't ready to go to Disneyland, but some of the others were, so off we went. I am pretty sure we had Haunted Mansion maxpasses for later that evening.

    Our first glimpses of Disneyland!



    I think we stopped for lunch at this time. We ate at Red Rose Tavern and of course I forgot to take pictures of the food! I got the grilled chicken sandwich and it was SO good...the fries were amazing too. I forgot to order the Grey Stuff, but my MIL had ordered 2, so I had some of hers and it was yummy! Adam got the Beast Burger I think? I am not much of a burger girl so I didn't try it. Kids had kid food, boring.

    At this point we decided to go to Adventureland and we first rode Thunder Mountain. *NO WE DID NOT...my memory is bad and this happened later!*I am pretty sure we had maxpass for that, and the line went very quickly! This is a favorite of everyone in the group, and it's fun, but...for me it never feels very "Disney" if that makes sense. Like, I just feel like I am on a fun rollercoaster with good theming. But everyone loved it and then we did Jungle Cruise! I love puns, so to me it's a great ride.

    A fun view from the line!


    Eli (you can see his head behind my oldest son, Odin, right here) loves this ride but he does NOT like when the skipper shoots the gun. That's most of our group on that bench.

    After this it was nearing time for Haunted Mansion! I wanted Beignets so we took a bathroom and snack break. Here's the thing, the Mickey beignets have always been my favorite Disneyland snack. So I hopped in line and quickly got a bag each of regular and pumpkin spice.

    We sat down to eat and they were...just okay. Have I lost my taste for them? They were kinda bland and just not as good. Granted, last time we got some at Cafe Orleans, but I've had these ones from the little stand before and they were always good. Oh well, I would try many other delicious treats!



    I am going to stop here for now, but next up is Haunted Mansion Holiday!! (Also known as Day 1, Part 3)...how many parts will each day have anyway? Well, the park was open until midnight that first night...

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  • whitneyebz

    Jan 23, 2015
    Day 1, Part 3: Can we Make it to Midnight??? And I have a new favorite snack!

    Alright, so I didn't update last night, because we ended up taking the kids to the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden. It's here in the Phoenix area in Cave Creek (my favorite little town) and we wanted to go on a weeknight because it gets very crowded. We go every year, and the first year was so nice- no one knew about it! If you're ever here in October, check it out. It's really cool.

    After the disappointing beignets, it was time for Haunted Mansion Holiday! We took a bathroom break at the bathroom back behind the beignet stand...it seems we use this bathroom a lot! Oh! And I totally forgot we had gone on Pirates just before this. We had an entire boat to ourselves, something we had hoped for!


    After pirates we found ourselves in a tiny gift shop where Eli bought a mickey mouse pirate ship (and promptly broke it...but I super glued it at home later). Jude bought a pirate skull keychain. Later on he would realize that buying a bunch of things on the first day meant he could not get another thing he wanted, but we'll get to that later.

    After our long bathroom break (traveling with a big group really slows you down, and I felt kind of bad, because I think we were trying to move too fast for B and J, but I don't think they understood that when it's this crowded you gotta keep moving!), we headed to HMH! I love this overlay and am not honestly a huge fan of the regular Haunted Mansion. I don't really like creepy stuff. :confused3

    Here we are in line. We had a maxpass so it went relatively quickly (although I wish we could bypass that room after the stretching room where they herd you like cattle...I HATE that part of the line.) Anyway, we got on and I think I rode with...um...probably Ally and my niece, G. I was usually with those 2 girls or Jude or Adam and Eli...Odin (my oldest) was pretty much always with his older girl cousins the whole time! Everyone loved this one, and my older 2 wanted to check out the little stand with Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. Come to think of it, that might have been earlier, before the beignets. Either way, Ally was eyeing Zero and Odin wanted Jack Skellington. They are smart though and decided to keep looking before committing to these purchases. Ally is my indecisive one so that did not surprise me. I told them we would be back tomorrow!

    After HMH, everyone wanted to ride Indiana Jones. I might have said we rode it earlier, but if so, I apologize because this was actually when we rode it! My memory is not great, but the pictures help, lol. I think we had FP for this one so everyone but me and Eli went on it and I was going to just go sit somewhere with Eli, but he really wanted to go on Jungle Cruise. He might be 4, but his memory is sharp as a tack and he KNOWS Jungle Cruise is very close to IJ. The wait time said 35 minutes and I wasn't loving that, but I couldn't say no. So we got in line. He was so well behaved and just played with his pirate ship while we walked. It was kinda claustrophobic but it moved quickly and was more like 25 minutes.

    Here we are on Jungle Cruise!


    He noticed a baby on the ride (like, a newborn! I can't imagine bringing a newborn!) and he told me he thought the baby would cry during the gunshot part. In fact, Eli held his hands over his ears when that part came up (told you, his memory is amazing) so he wouldn't get scared by the gunshot. But he had fun. When we returned, everyone was already done with IJ and they ditched me to go to Fantasyland! What!

    Luckily my husband did not ditch me. He waited with Ally and Odin so I could ride IJ with them again. They were so excited because apparently they love this ride even though Ally cried on it probably last year. She's my brave one though and so I am not surprised she likes it now. Also, side note- WHY is the height limit 46 inches for this one? It seems less intense than a lot of other rides that are 40". And another thing...do they not take pictures on this ride? Did they ever take pictures on it? Because there's a flash that goes off. I wish more rides at Disneyland took photos.

    While we were in line my husband texted me that they had all gone to Jolly Holiday and did I want anything? Um, yes! Macarons, please!! He texted me a picture and I told him the ones I wanted. After IJ we headed towards Jolly Holiday and Adam texted me this picture-


    Hey, save some for me!!

    These were raspberry and Micky Mummy...both so good!! THIS is my new favorite snack. Sorry, beignets. I especially liked the Mummy one but there was barely any left so I only got 2 bites...it was cookies and cream. (I really regret not going back for more, to be honest).


    I believe after this we backtracked to Thunder Mountain because we had a FP. The line went super quick and then we ate dinner at one of our favorites...Rancho Del Zocalo! I got the taco trio, Adam got a burrito, kids got chicken tacos. We really should have gotten Eli the toddler meal (rice and beans) because he didn't eat his taco. Honestly, we should have gotten him a side of mac and cheese or had him share with Jude for most of the meals. So we overspend a little because he didn't eat much!

    *Side note- if I said earlier that we went on Thunder Mountain, I was wrong! I know this is when we went because we ate at Rancho right after. See, bad memory! This is why I should take notes.

    I was getting some energy back at this point. I still was not totally sure I could handle staying until midnight, but I said I would try. B and J are late night people so I knew the would plan to stay, and everyone else said they wanted to as well. My feet were killing me but I pressed on. Sacrifices! Next we went to Fantasyland to ride everyone's favorite...Mr. Toad! (hahaha I kid, it's so weird but I love it). princess::smickey::tinker:

    While in line Eli said he needed to go potty. This kept happening and thankfully he hadn't had an accident yet. We made him wait because the closest bathroom is by Alice and that's not super close. He made it fine through the ride and then Adam ran off with him to the bathroom.

    Earlier in the day, Fantasyland was super crowded! We had skipped it because of that, and we predicted by nighttime it wouldn't be so bad. We were right! The lines were much better. I was so tired though, haha. I know we went on the Storybook boats, and that was really nice and pretty at night. MIL and FIL ended up on a boat with all the kids, and the rest of us got on another boat. I promise we didn't plan it! :rotfl:

    We had a FP for Buzz Lightyear so we did that next.


    This ride to me is honestly boring. I'd much rather do TSMM (an actual fun shooting game!). Well, I got a terrible score which is just normal for me and Adam got a good one...he is so good at these games, so I just give up and have fun. Does anyone know why BOTH toy story themed rides are shooting games? Why did they do that?

    After we got off, I saw that Star Tours was a 30 minute wait. Odin really wanted to go on it so I was ready to do that next, but of course we had to wait around for everyone to get off the ride, and by the time we had figured out plans (most of them wanted to do Nemo which I hate), the wait time had gone up to 45 minutes. I couldn't handle that, and it was almost 10pm by now! Adam and I decided to take our kids back to the hotel. Everyone else stayed and I think they did Nemo and Teacups. I don't think they stayed until midnight, but maybe 11pm?

    It was so nice to get in bed. The kids watched a little Disney channel but we fell asleep quickly. One mistake we made was not deciding when to meet up the next morning...uh oh...

    Bonus picture of all of us (except J who was taking the picture) in front of our hotel!


    It was taken the first morning, I just found it so I wanted to include it! Oh, those ear hats the cousins are wearing are from their first trip to Disneyland several years ago...I love that J kept them and made sure her kids could wear them again!:earsgirl::earsboy:



    Jan 23, 2015
    Day 2, Part 1: I need a Mickey Pumpkin Picture!

    We had set our alarms for 8am, knowing we just weren't going to make park opening. Our feet were too tired. These 8am park openings are too early, lol! So around 7:30am I woke up naturally and thought "Hey, I better check my phone! We never talked about what time to meet up today!" I rolled out of bed and across the floor, because of course there was no available outlet on the nightstand (come on, really??). I checked and yep, there were a barrage of texts!

    "Meet you at the 7:30 bus!" said one.

    "On my way down!" said another.

    I sighed, shook my head, and decided we better get up. I sent off a quick text- "We couldn't get up that early today. We will meet you there!"

    *Side note- I am now looking at texts from that day which we sent a lot of, because we did more splitting up. This will help SO much with remembering what we did, and when!

    A and P and nephew C and MIL had all made it down to the bus, so they took off. I knew we were starting at Disneyland on this day, but otherwise our priority was Tomorrowland. Not sure about the others. B and J woke up at the same time as us but their toilet was having issues. I don't know why they didn't just call the front desk to take care of it, because B decided to work on it himself for a bit? :confused3

    According to my texts, we got on the bus at 8:39am. That's pretty good for making my family get up, shower (yep, all 6 of us!) and eat some quick donuts and granola bars. The buses were supposedly only leaving every half hour, but they must have had multiple going at once, because we got on quickly. J said they would hopefully catch the next one.

    Honestly, at this point I was kind of excited to have an hour or 2 just our family. We arrived at the parks before 9am, and the line for security was nonexistent, pretty much. Same with the line to get in. Sometimes it pays to be lazy, but also...this day would prove to be much, much lighter crowds.

    We walked into Disneyland and immediately I said I wanted my pumpkin picture!!


    The line for photopass was longer than we wanted to wait, so we went off to the side and I also got a lovely Disneyland trash can in the shot! Ha! But I got ky picture!!:banana:

    After this we checked the app and Star Tours was only a 25 minute wait. :chewy::darth:We ran to that and got in line. At the same time, P texted and said we should wait to get a FP until B and J were in the park so we could coordinate. I was fine with that.



    You guys, I love this ride. I am a big fan of these simulation rides (if you haven't been to Universal Studios and ridden Forbidden Journey, you don't know what you're missing!!!) We got a sequence I am pretty sure we've never had, we were jostled around, it was fun. Our family is never the rebel spy, sadly. Oh, and the wait time was like 15 minutes not 25!

    After this we looked around Star Traders a bit because I thought Odin would find something he wanted. He did not, but Jude bought a Tsum Tsum and Eli bought an R2D2 car (both of them had bought something on the way out the previous night as well...and neither Odin nor Ally had bought a thing yet!)

    Next we got in line for Space Mountain. It said 35 minutes so I thought it wouldn't be too bad. I was wrong.

    We texted with the group about how light the crowds were, and B and J had not arrived yet, so we figured standing in line was fine. But this line took foreveeerrrr to move, and I wondered if something was up! We texted about getting RSR for our first FP, since it was starting to get later and later. I think everyone was wanting to time that one for nighttime, but they weren't making it clear. I just went with what they wanted, even though I didn't care if we did RSR again. Once the fastpass was showing 5:45-6:45 we all booked it, because B and J were finally in the park by then! This was at a little after 10am.

    Finally we got to the front of the line, and...it broke down. We decided to just wait since we were SO close and had been waiting awhile already. I wondered if it had broken down earlier as well...we couldn't figure out why the line kept coming to a dead stop for several minutes at a time. Luckily it took less than 10 minutes for them to start running the ride again. (We watched as they sent each car down individually, and those people all got to ride again). We had waited for at least 45 minutes, which was ridiculous, but it was the only long wait we really had for this trip. And worth it, because I love Space Mountain. Our first time doing Ghost Galaxy!


    Of course my head was blocked by my husband's arm!!! Oh well...you can see my 3 oldest loved it. But look at Eli's face. I die. :rotfl2:

    We got off the ride and he said, "That ride was stupid." This is how he covers up his fear- he just acts like things are stupid.

    Next we headed to the Teacups, and everyone else went to Thunder Mountain RR. We planned to meet up after that. DH's family loves Thunder Mountain, as I've said before, and I do like it but we had already ridden it and I wanted to do the teacups! So we did :)





    Sorry (not sorry) for all the photos, I just love the scenery here. If you look closely at the last one, I am wearing my Disney KEEP (As in KEEP collective, which I am addicted to, and their Disney line is amazing. My bracelet has a blue teacup, a mickey head, a Beauty and the Beast book, the word "magic" (with a hidden mickey over the eye), and I am wearing another bracelet with a dangly minnie head. It came in the day before we left and I was so excited! Hahaha!

    And excuse the picture with Odin's eyes closed...I just love how the sunlight is reflecting off Ally's ears. (Not her real ears).

    Here we are heading over towards Thunder Mountain....


    Woody was walking and signing autographs, but not stopping pictures. You can see my Jude in the corner. We didn't really do character meets, mainly because my kids and husband don't care...but I do so I hope next time we can do a few!


    Oh, here is my TRUE favorite Disney snack. Mickey pretzels!! We stopped here because everyone else was still on Thunder, and so we took our pretzels into the outside eating area at Rancho del Zocalo. We got 3 pretzels and I wish we had gotten more!! We really like to eat at Disneyland. And here is yet another coke. :drinking1I love coke, yes, but I wish I had thought about getting some different yummy Disney drinks! Why didn't I? Not sure...

    After enjoying our pretzels we met up with the rest outside Thunder...and my nephew L forgot his mickey ears on the ride! Oh no! Would he get them back??



    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Jul 22, 2005
    So much cuteness! And I'm glad the crowds were lighter for you that day!! Monstro always makes a good back drop. :)
  • whitneyebz

    Jan 23, 2015
    Day 2, Part 2: Meeting a Friend for the First Time!

    We text everyone where we were and SIL came over and met us. I don't know if that was before or after they went back from L's Mickey ear hat, but they DID find it and get it back! Then everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get over to Pirates because the wait was only 15 minutes. It was MUCH short than the day before...on Monday the line went back towards Haunted Mansion and wrapped around several times! But even then it moved quickly. Once again, the line was shorter than expected and we were on within 10 minutes.

    The rest of the group (except B and J, who had only had time to ride Thunder so far) were telling us how uncrowded it had been that morning (they got there at 8am unlike us lazy bums) and how they had ridden some Fantasyland stuff, and Haunted Mansion again, etc...I was happy for them, but I wasn't regretting the extra hour of sleep one bit! And we accomplished what I wanted to that morning...Star Tours and Space Mountain! I knew those rides were not a priority for most of the group (In fact, A and P and MIL and FIL didn't end up riding either one), but for us it was important. Our family is probably the biggest Star Wars fans in the group.

    Here we are on Pirates, but we did have to share our boat. I know, so lame!

    :boat:Always a favorite ride, this one. Afterwards Jude really wanted another skull keychain (there were 2 versions) but I told him it was not a great idea because he had one already.

    My friend met us outside the ride! I was so excited to meet this friend. We are in a small Christian women's facebook group and I had wanted to meet up last time but it didn't work out. So much fun seeing her! We went off to ride Indiana Jones.


    Also, I love the jungley atmosphere here. While in line, we gotten separated from my kids and the rest of the group (Adam and Eli were off doing something else. Actually I think they got Dole Whips??) We politely excused ourselves past the couple of people in front of us so I could rejoin my kids, and they were super rude about it. I always let people by who need to join families...and it was only 2 of us!

    We did not have FP's but the line was short, maybe 20 minutes?

    Adam texted me to tell me he ran into our neighbors! Of all places! So fun and wish I could have seen them, we love that family. They actually moved to another (nearby) neighborhood, which makes me sad.

    After this ride Adam met us at the exit and my friend went off to do some stuff for a bit. We had FP's for Thunder Mountain (yes, this would be at least the 3rd time for some of our group!) I got this picture, which I try to do every trip-

    I think I rode with Jude both times on this one, the rare times he wasn't riding with his cousins. I LOVE that all our kids except Eli can now ride alone/with other kids! We only have one under 7, which is weird. I think we wanted to ride HMH again at some point, but we couldn't get a FP that would work for us and the line was pretty long.

    We decided it was lunchtime, and we couldn't really agree on a place. People kept suggested Hungry Bear, which was NOT sounding good to me (side note- I am not big on burgers or fried food, unless it's french fries!) They did have a turkey caesar wrap on the menu, so I ordered that. We decided to try mobile order (halfway through our second day, lol!) and we were not sure when to hit "I'm here, make my order" or whatever it says. I think my SIL J went ahead and hit it so we hustled over there. The rest of us waited until we got there to press the button, but I wish we had done it sooner. We had to wait a bit for our food, but we got to do it while sitting down!

    I had never been to this part of the park before. At least, not since I was about 20 years old because I think we did splash mountain (that was my first trip, I think it was 2005?) That was another ride we wanted to do, but again we couldn't get a good FP time (we didn't prioritize it and I kinda wish we had) and the line was loooong. That happens every time we go, either that or it's closed. So we picked up our mobile order and there was plenty of seating, and it was a really nice place to sit. Shaded and we watched the boat go by. My food was...meh. I don't like waffle fries, and the wrap was just okay. The kids got boring kid food like plain burgers and nuggets as usual.

    This is where we had our only meltdown. Overall, our kids do pretty well at Disneyland. Jude though, if something is wrong, instead of speaking up he keeps it inside until he starts crying. Ally and Odin had just bought a stuffed Zero and stuffed Jack Skellington, and Jude really wanted a Jack Skellington apparently. You guys! He NEVER told me this! If he had said something the day before when we first saw them, I would have reminded him to save his money but he used it on a stuffed Porg and those darn skulls (Adam went and got the 2nd one for him when we went on Indiana Jones).

    We finally calmed him down but this was a lesson learned for him, I think. (My friend, the one I met on this trip, is actually going to grab a Jack Skellington for him tomorrow and mail it to me! I will save it for Christmas.)

    Next we rode Winnie the Pooh which is adorable and I can't believe we never rode it before! Adam was in the bathroom so we met him after. We did mobile order for Dole Whips, and that was lightning fast.



    We all decided to head over to Fantasyland, and there was some major confusion here. Oh, I know what happened! We stopped to do this:



    Adam didn't want to wait in line for photopass, so we did these quick on our own. NOT the best castle pics, but last wear we got a great one so it's okay. Everyone else went on ahead, unaware of where we were. There were some confused texts, and we ended up at Alice in Wonderland and everyone else went to Snow White. We had been talking about Alice, but apparently they went there because the line was short. The line is ALWAYS short for Snow White! I was trying to take advantage of a 20 minute wait for Alice. I think some people need more education in how to prioritize wait times. :earboy2:

    Okay so we went on Alice and everyone else joined us. Then my friend met up with us again and we took a bathroom break at Red Rose Tavern. We all stopped here to rest for a few minutes. Oh, and FIL had joined us at lunchtime so he was there too.

    We did ride Snow White after that, and then B and J needed to use their FP for Space Mountain. Oh, and we had all gotten FP's for soarin (actually, we just got these for our kids) and for us we got Guardians (just Adam and me. I HAD to do Monsters After Dark). Once an hour and a half passed, we got FP for grizzly (for our 2 youngest) and Incredicoaster (Adam, me, Odin, Ally). The benefit of a big group is we could split up like this and someone could take our kids who didn't want to ride the big rides!

    MIL and FIL went to DCA so FIL could ride Soarin, his favorite. He didn't ride it with us the day before and he wanted to ride twice.

    A and P suggested the train. I'd like to ride it at some point, but were super close to a little shop by the castle that sold Christmas ornaments, and I wanted one!

    Adam offered to take all our kids with A and P, and they went off to the train. My friend and I went to the shop, and I bought a little ornament with a dome and the castle the lights up.

    This is the one I got, but this is not my picture:


    Funny story...I had seen this picture posted on facebook, and I KNEW I wanted it. And then I forgot about it because we weren't going to Disneyland anytime soon. But then we planned this last minute trip! I went into the ornament shop, saw it, and bought it...but I still didn't remember that I had even seen it before, until I got home and saw this picture saved on my phone! Anyway, I am so excited to put it on my tree or maybe just set it out somewhere :)

    My friend and I walked over to the train station to wait for the others. It ended up taking a looong time for them to get there (I guess the trains were all full!) so we sat and talked, and watched the Flag Ceremony for veterans. It was really cool to see. And we had so much fun watching people trail in for the Halloween party in their costumes!

    Next up...DCA to finish up our trip!


    Jan 23, 2015
    I know I have been slacking! I will come back and finish this week :) It just makes me sad that it's over! I did finish up my shutterfly album for both this trip and my youngest son's first year (yep he is almost 5). I don't do photo books beyond the first year though, lol, so I am done! Yay! I will, however, keep making them for each Disney trip we take...for some reason I never made one last time, not sure why!


    Jan 23, 2015
    I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Halloween! My kids were Starlord, Addisen from Disney's Zombies, The Greatest Showman (PT Barnum), and Darth Vader (my 4yo, lol!)

    Day 2, Part 3: Now It's Time to Say Goodbye...er...See you real soon! (I hope)

    When I left off, I had been hanging out with my friend watching the flag ceremony. I just love how Disneyland honors veterans! We saw some cool costumes (including 2 grown men as Slinky Dog!) and finally my husband, children, and P and A and nephew came off the train! They seemed to really enjoy it, and hopefully I can do it next time, but I really think everyone should try just sitting on a bench for a half hour, at least once, while at Disneyland! We never stop to rest and it was so nice.

    My friend walked with us over to DCA. It was around 5pm and we had plans to reunite as a group around 5:20pm for the Grizzly Peak FP's. DH and I were planning to take our Odin and Ally with us to ride Incredicoaster. Last year, when it was still California Screamin', we finally convinced them to try it, and halfway through they were screaming, "This is the best ride ever!!" We are turning them into thrill seekers (last summer at Silver Dollar City we bribed them with money to try all the rollercoasters and it worked!)

    I will be honest, at this point we started to feel the time crunch. As much as my feet hurt, we knew DCA was closing at 9pm and this is where a 3rd day would have been nice. We still wanted to do Toy Story (didn't happen) and more of the pier rides, but there was no time! Waaaah!


    I think this lady was trying to not be in my picture, lol. We were waiting for the rest of the group by Grizzly Peak. Jude LOVES water ride so he insisted on doing this instead of trying the Incredicoaster, and Eli was finally tall enough! But...we forgot our ponchos at the hotel. Oh dear.

    As soon as MIL and FIL and B and J and their kids met up with us, we split into 2 groups. We handed Jude and Eli's paper tickets to P so they could use their FP's for Grizzly, and we took off for Incredicoaster.


    We are HUGE Incredibles fans, and this did not disappoint. I love the new theming!

    On our way back to Grizzly, we stopped in a store so Ally could buy a stuffed animal...it was the otter from Finding Dory.

    Back at Grizzly, my kids were soaked!! Jude was thrilled about this, but we had to take off his shirt and put his sweatshirt on him so he didn't freeze. Sigh. Oh, and we kept seeing people dressed in costume which confused me...by now, the party had started so why weren't they over there? But DCA was not nearly as crowded as people said it should be on a party night. Maybe because it was Tuesday?

    Our next maxpass was for RSR, and we did our best to time it at night...I think the latest we could get on was 6:45? I can't remember. But I do know we arrived in Carsland and decided to do the tractors while we waited for it to get darker. The line was a little long, and Eli had to go to the bathroom, but we made him wait. Once again it was really fun but I am scratching my head wondering why we didn't ride Luigi at all?


    I ran and took Eli to the bathroom and told Adam I would meet him in line for RSR. Our FP's were about 5 minutes after everyone else's, so we had more time and they didn't. The rest of the group went on ahead. When I came out of the bathroom with Eli, the song they play for Halloween when it gets dark was on and all the lights came on too! Yay! I met Adam and we got in line and it was super quick, maybe 5 minutes. Here are the ride pictures I got, some from Day 1 and some from Day 2:




    You can see Adam filming Eli as we rode, so this is day 1. He made some hilarious faces. He LOVES Cars but is always unsure on this ride.

    We left Carsland and got a family picture:

    I love all the purple lights in DCA!

    We were all hungry so we went to Smokejumpers. Incidentally, you can see the parade route from outside this restaurant, and they were setting up for it, but we finished our meal before it came through. Oh well! I got the buffalo chicken sandwich which is awesome but burns your mouth off. Adam got the same and we shared a (tiny) side of chili- not sure why they skimped so much on the portion size there! The kids got probably burgers and chicken fingers, whatever. I do kind of wish I had gotten the salad they have there...I've had it before and it's amazing! Finally, I got this s'more thing for dessert and really liked it.

    I was getting sad, the trip was almost over! We had one more FP, except for B and J and their family...not sure what happened, but they never got the maxpass for Soarin' with everyone else. Adam and I had a maxpass for Guardians instead. I had been waiting to do Monsters After Dark!! We scanned our kids into Soarin' and they actually let B and J and their kids go with the family (I have noticed that if you are in a big group and some people don't have the FP, they might let them in anyway).

    We saw parts of Paint the Night as we walked, so at least I got a glimpse of it! We used our maxpass for Guardians and I don't know what happened, but once we got to the part before you get on the elevator, the line came to a dead stop...there was NO castmember at that elevator and we waited forever! I think it ended up being a 30 minute wait for Guardians, even with our FP. I was annoyed. According to our texts, we got on at 8:44pm...I cannot remember when we got in line though.


    It was awesome! I did think there would be more monsters, but I love it. The little girl in the green shirt was so cute. She was super brave and actually seemed to enjoy it! I was shocked!

    After this we took a bathroom break and the others texted us that they were getting on Goofy's Sky School. Ally was so happy they got to ride this! We didn't want to run over there and join them, so we walked over to the central area toward the exit...I think near Carthay Circle. We met up with the family and FIL wanted to get the kids each a souvenir. We went into the gift shop on the way out, but...it was just nuts. And FIL wanted to spend $5 on each kid? He should have just done pressed pennies, lol! You can't get anything for $5. We decided to skip it and head to the bus.

    After a long day we crashed at the hotel! We slept in and left around 10am the next day. I was kinda grumpy on the way home. Just so sad to leave!

    Overall, we had a wonderful time and I am so happy we did Maxpass and mobile order, those were such time savers!

    Thank you all for reading my Halloween time trip report!



    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Jul 22, 2005
    I'm glad you had a great time, mostly! I'm sorry you didn't feel like there was quite enough time for everything you wanted to do! Maybe next time you can do 3 days? I know, it adds up so fast with a big family! We're trying to decide if we're just going to do one day in May, or make two days work out, and I'm still not sure. The Incredicoaster looks fun; I'm super excited to see the new theming in person! And that $5/person for souvenirs is funny. You could totally find something small for $10 each, but everything is so very expensive! I encourage my kids to only buy something at Disney if they're really excited about it and can't get it elsewhere, because they'll get more bang for their buck at Tartget or the Disney Store outlet...


    Jan 23, 2015
    I'm glad you had a great time, mostly! I'm sorry you didn't feel like there was quite enough time for everything you wanted to do! Maybe next time you can do 3 days? I know, it adds up so fast with a big family! We're trying to decide if we're just going to do one day in May, or make two days work out, and I'm still not sure. The Incredicoaster looks fun; I'm super excited to see the new theming in person! And that $5/person for souvenirs is funny. You could totally find something small for $10 each, but everything is so very expensive! I encourage my kids to only buy something at Disney if they're really excited about it and can't get it elsewhere, because they'll get more bang for their buck at Tartget or the Disney Store outlet...
    There's never enough time for everything I want to do, but that's why we go back! And yes I think we may do 3 days next time...we usually do 3 days, and now I remember why, lol! As for souvenirs, I agree. My oldest actually only got one thing and he saved his money and bought stuff back home with the rest of it. They don't typically spend their allowance unless we are going on a big trip though.


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