(our kids') California Dreams! (COMPLETE)

DorkyDisneyMom

I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request.
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Such a great report so far! Your shirts turned out great and the kids are adorable!
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
On to day two of our marvelous first-Disney experience. It didn't matter to me at this point if things started going a little wrong. We still had a nearly-perfect first day, and I was already satisfied with our trip. That being said, we were all a little worn out from the traveling (sleeping in different beds, mostly) and the big day we'd had the day before. Except maybe this little sweetheart. She was still full of energy and excitement and fully entrenched in the Disney Magic from the get go. All of her dreams were in the process of coming true!



Sidenote: My feet were actually doing pretty decently, unlike our trip before, where I had to buy a pair of Disney Crocs (at the Disney Warehouse) to switch to because I was in so much pain! This time I had been working HARD to walk a lot and lose a little extra weight (I'm 5'3, and carry around probably 35 extra lbs, which is 5-8 less than last time at least) before this trip so I could enjoy it! (and not hate the pictures) Anyway, the first day I wore my falling-apart tennis shoes that need to be replaced (but they're only a year old!) with brand new Dr. Scholl's inserts with arch support. Pretty spiffy; my legs were tired, but my feet weren't hurting! To be safe, I switched to my new Croc flip flops that I got at the Disney Outlet for the second day. I had been slowly breaking them in (ie. getting my feet used to them) for about 2 weeks now, and felt confident I wouldn't run into trouble. I had band aids in our first aid kit just in case, and knew we could go back to the room for a rest and switch them out if needed. But they didn't give me any trouble. A tiny hot spot where the band rubbed the top of my foot on each side by the end of the day is all. It was nice to wear shorts and flip flops (even though my kids were in jeans and tights for their own protection from falls and scrapes - they are NOT tough kids if they get hurt!) because it got up in the high 80's on Thursday!

We had debated using our Magic Morning this Thursday (our only option) and just not worrying about all the hectic Carsland hullabaloo, but since we had done almost everything that would be open during MM on the previous day, decided to skip it and go for the Radiator Springs Racers fast passes. So we got in line for California Adventure (which -didn't- have EMH this morning) at 9:10 AM (for a 10 AM opening). Look at all those people!



Not as early as the day before, but still, the lines were pretty crazy at opening that day! They already stretched pretty far back. Still, we were in soon after 9:30 (their system was down for pics, so they checked one ID from each group) and I got in line with the stroller and DD2 (I gave her my phone to play with) for RSR FP's. It was wrapped by around Carthay just shy of the Playhouse Disney building. I heard differing things: 10 minutes from that point once it opened. 30 minutes. I wasn't too excited about the 30 minutes and was second guessing our decision. But I called DH and they were waiting at the rope to ride Tower of Terror, and were content, so we just stayed in line while I chatted with another "Disney-freak" who was the self-appointed FP-runner and planner of her family. :) She said she is mostly on TouringPlans, but checks in on the DIS sometimes too. (I didn't get her username though)

After rope drop it actually only took me 9 minutes to get my RSR FP's (they had CM's there handling the actual transactions, to keep things moving right along) with a return time of 11:30 to 12:30. Not too shabby. I walked with the little one into A Bug's Land and we met Flik at the entrance. I'm not 100% sure she knows who Flik is (though they've watched A Bug's Life a couple times, I think) and she was really cute with him. She climbed down out of the stroller and gave him a big long hug, then posed for a few pictures. :)



Then I took her on Heimlich's Chew Chew Train (I will probably butcher some of the names here, as I've never spent much time in it!) and by the time we got off, they were off Tower of Terror and came to meet us. My brave little souls hadn't tried to back out or anything, but they were both adamant that they would NOT be repeating that one this trip. :) (This picture is from -before...- )




We ran...er, walked as quickly as little legs could go over to the Pier to get in line for Toy Story Midway Mania without -too- much of a wait. There was absolutely no line for Screamin' (It's probably 10:30 at this point?) so DH sent me on it really fast while they got in line for TSMM. It was so much fun! I absolutely love that coaster, especially with no wait. It's not as much fun to go by yourself, but still a blast. I actually waited for a couple coasters to go through to sit in the front. Why not, right? And I got some fun video of myself as it started, because I knew the kids would get a kick out of it. I chatted with a couple behind me that lives in CO (a 14-hr drive) but have AP's because they're from the area and get back at least twice a year with their kids. :)



I ran over to TSMM and found my family, but they were firmly entrenched in the part of the line it's -not- easy to join with. I considered just not going with them, because I know it's rude to cut in line if you can avoid it, but then I realized DH couldn't fit in one side with -3- small children, and that they needed me. So I waited until they were getting close then asked the nice CM if I could possibly join them. He had no problem with it and sent me in the exit to stand and then board with them. I helped DD2 "aim" while she shot a lot. She's really too young for it, and a little short to even be able to see well or reach the gun, but she enjoyed herself and I practiced my self control to let her keep some control over her gun... ;-) The older two (and DH, as always) loved it, of course.



They wanted to go on it again right away, but the line was already at 30 minutes, so we opted out. We decided to do the "Fun" Wheel while it was still a super short line. DH and I could happily skip this one, but the kids were enamored with the giant Mickey-headed Ferris Wheel, so off we went. We did not, however choose a swinging cart. With DH having an above-average fear of heights (especially when our kids are involved, and even with completely enclosed cages) and having experienced my only Disney-induced motion sickness in one of the darn things before, we chose a "stationary" ride. DD5 was less than impressed, but they all still enjoyed it. Except maybe DH. There was very little enjoyment on his part, but he's a trooper. (Doesn't he look excited?)




We decided to head over to Carsland and just check it out while waiting for our FP return time (which was coming right up) but as we headed around the bend (going towards Goofy's Sky School from the "Fun" Wheel) we were stopped to let an event come through. It was Phineas & Ferb's Dance Party! This was actually something on my "to do" list since the kids have recently become big fans of the show. (I had always been turned off by the style of animation and figured it was kind of rude, but I actually really like it too!) I couldn't figure out how we were going to catch it though, so I was super excited that it happened right then. The kids enjoyed following it all the way around the where they set up their "stage," we watched for a few minutes, and then continued on to Carsland. :)

Now our RSR window was open, but as we headed up the main road we could see they were turning people away at the end! No bueno. They said it was down, but that they would honor our FP's later any time. (Score! I was thinking of a nighttime ride!) So, at a bit of a loss, we went to check out Flo's, since we were all ready for some lunch. One look at the menu though, and I decided the kids and I would not be eating there. I was only about 30% sure they would eat anything up there, and for the prices, I'd rather just fill them up on yogurt, pretzels, and graham crackers... I could have eaten most of the stuff there, but if I was going to pay that much for counter service, it was going to be something I was really excited about, and I wasn't. So I ate snacks too. (protein bars and the like) I encouraged DH to get something anyway (because I had heard it was really good) and he enjoyed the pork loin with... some sides. I think beans and stuff (which I just can't like... I've tried!) I should have paid more attention, if just for this report! (Because I know people are into that.) I tasted a bite of the pork and it was really good.
After Flo's we drifted over towards A Bug's Land (because it was getting really warm, and it's shady there...) Mater's and Luigi's had extra long lines, since RSR was down, and Luigi's looked a bit like torture with how hot the sun was at this point.



We were going to do the bumper cars (DD2 just -barely- made the height requirement) but it wasn't going to work. Only 2 could get in a car at a time, and each child had to ride with an adult, so we would have had to leave a child off while we rode with 2 others (I guess we could have done that with DS6?) or ride 3 separate times. No, thank you. So we rode the Ladybug Boogie, and the kids enjoyed it. They loved any ride where they weren't restrained much and were slipping and sliding around.

We checked MouseWait after that and RSR was shown as being up, so we headed over. We all went to the line entrance so we could collect a child swap, and they honored our FP's. DH took the two older ones on while DD2 and I tried to stay cool and still watch for them at the same time. He texted me when they were almost there and texted me the color of the car they were going to be in, so we were able to spot them. You know, for about .5 seconds. ;-) DH said it took them a little longer than he hoped because they had to -leave- the line to take DS6 to the bathroom at Flo's and then go back. I forgot to ask him exactly how that worked...




DS6 and DH loved it. DD5 was a little more unsure, and it took some convincing and deciding if she wanted to go on it again (DH didn't want to wait around until night; he just wanted to make sure we got on it and get on with our day). She finally decided she -would- try it again and I took the two older kids on. It took us at least 20 minutes to get on the ride with our child swap (and extra FP). Maybe 25. I enjoyed the ride, but was too busy taking some video and making sure both kids were okay (DD5 was a little nervous about "the ups and downs") to really enjoy it. I look forward to riding it much more in the future, when the lines are a little less crazy!




Pretty much as soon as we got in line DD2 had sacked out in the stroller again, so DH wheeled her over into the Animation Studio to rest. They stayed there for 30-40 minutes before a little girl was running around in there screaming really loudly and kind of woke her up. Annoying, but it's not like you can expect anywhere to be quiet in Disney... At this point we were about to meet up with them anyway, so it worked out. It was just sad that she couldn't get a longer nap in. Much better than no nap, though! On the way back through A Bug's Land and into to Hollywoodland? (is that what they call it now?) we saw Red doing Meet 'n Greets and for some reason I really had to convince DS6 to be in the picture with us. I have no idea why. Was he nervous? Just being grumpy? Who knows. Despite being "the boy," he is my most emotional and intense child...



We wanted to go on the Monsters, Inc. ride, and there was no wait at that point, so we did. It was fun and the kids enjoyed it. We had decided to park hop over to Disneyland, but as we were leaving they were just starting a showing of the Oz premiere (DH was really bummed that Muppet Vision was down; he thought the kids would love that!) and DH wanted to see this, so we ran in. I was nervous that it would be too scary for the kids (and for me) and it was a bit intense, but we all survived. On our way down toward Buena Vista Street some of us were taking a quick bathroom break when we spotted Jake (from Disney Junior). The kids were excited, but he was just leaving. His handler said, "Quick Mom, if you have your camera handy we'll sneak a picture back here where they can't see." That was nice of her, and the kids were excited. Why did DS6 gladly get in this picture (he's been saying he's too old for the Disney Junior stuff) but didn't want to get in one with Red? Interesting.




I'm really looking forward to having a little more time next time maybe to check out Buena Vista Street next time. It looks really cool, and I want to ride that trolley! (okay, not the ride so much as getting my picture taken on it!)




Video Finally Added! Day 2, First Half
 
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julydeya

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Jaina; They wanted to go on it again right away said:
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p80/ctrsara/Disney/2013%20Trip/DSC00770.jpg[/IMG]
I think I will have the same look when it is my time to ride it :rotfl:
I love that you are sharing your experiences with your kids since I can have an idea of how my DD4 will react in our upcoming trip. Thanks! :thumbsup2
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
I think I will have the same look when it is my time to ride it :rotfl:
I love that you are sharing your experiences with your kids since I can have an idea of how my DD4 will react in our upcoming trip. Thanks! :thumbsup2
I'm glad! It really can be SO much fun, especially if you stay flexible. (And feed them often! ;-) )
 

Kansas Mom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
I am enjoying your trip report so much. I am planning a college grad trip for my DD 23 in June. My DS 13 is coming along too. I like the details you give, such as how long it took to get a RSR fast pass and even down to the shoes you wore:) Very helpful to an over planner like me. And all the great pictures just get me so excited for our trip.
 
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I am enjoying your trip report so much. I am planning a college grad trip for my DD 23 in June. My DS 13 is coming along too. I like the details you give, such as how long it took to get a RSR fast pass and even down to the shoes you wore:) Very helpful to an over planner like me. And all the great pictures just get me so excited for our trip.
    I'm glad you like it! Sorry it's going a little slowly right now, but it's hard to work on while we're away from home (just hanging out at my parents' for spring week) especially since my little brother (he's 15) has been home sick and on "his" computer most of the time. I meant to bring my tablet, but couldn't find it as we were leaving the other day...
     

    sophies*mom

    A dream is a wish your heart makes.
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2011
    Your family is adorable! I love the video snippets. Looking forward to reading more! :goodvibes
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Your family is adorable! I love the video snippets. Looking forward to reading more! :goodvibes
    Thanks! I haven't forgotten about this, we've just been pretty busy with everyone being sick!

    Working on getting the video up to go with that last entry...
     

    OhioStateBuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2007
    Great trip report :thumbsup2 I am having fun following along, and we were there at the same time so its neat to read about the same day from your point of view.
     
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Great TR! :)
    Thanks for reading!!

    Great trip report :thumbsup2 I am having fun following along, and we were there at the same time so its neat to read about the same day from your point of view.
    That is awesome! I am excited to read your TR! I AM working on mine more (the video, at least) right now! Kiddos keep getting sick around here... nothing serious, thankfully, but they need a little extra attention. :)
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Finally finished cutting the video (first half of the second day) down (from the longer version that goes in our own family videos!) and just posted it on YouTube. I also updated that post and added the link. :) Will work on the second half of our second day tomorrow hopefully!

    Second Disney Day, First Half!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    It was about 4 PM when we hopped over to Disneyland. There was no wait or trouble at the gate, and first thing we saw as we walked through the turnstiles was Aurora and Cinderella! We had already met Cinderella, but Aurora is DD5’s –favorite- princess, and I was relieved there would be no discussions about needing to wait in that long, hot ride-less line to meet her now! Both of my girls were excited, but DS6 wanted nothing to do with princesses again. He is so silly. He’s really teetering on the edge between little boy and regular (big) boy, and I’m so glad that we made it to Disneyland while he could still enjoy most of it through little boy eyes. Just not princesses. :)




    After that we rambled on over to Tomorrowland, possibly got Star Tours FP’s (it really was a favorite!) and then got in line for Buzz. The line was almost the longest I saw it, outside the building and wrapping back and forth through the chains a couple times, but still didn’t take long. DS got to run under the chains and high-5 a stormtrooper, so he was excited. 8)



    Everyone enjoyed the ride, especially DS, who got to sit in his own car in front of us (so everyone could shoot). He thought he was pretty hot stuff. And –I- thought I was hot stuff because I hit just shy of 300,000 pts, which was a high for me, I think. :cool1:




    After that we still had some time before our ST FP’s were valid. We had our child swap pass for Space Mountain from the day before, and I wondered if they would let us use it. DD5 had still been asking for her turn to try it, even though it had not been a hit with DS6. So I ran over with her, and the CM didn’t even bat an eye at our day-old pass, but sent us through the FP line. I was so nervous about DD5 being scared the whole time (she was clutching me for dear life, and completely silent) that I had a hard time enjoying the ride. I kept making fun, excited noises to let her know everything was fine and that this was supposed to be fun, but I was sure she was petrified! To my surprise, she said she liked it, especially all the turns, and she was willing to try it again sometime! Blew me away! I wish I had known that –during- the ride…



    We exited, had some quick snacks (it was dinner time for us) and DH ran over to Star Tours with the big kids. Since we had a little wait, I decided it was finally perfect timing for me to indulge in one of the things I had been craving for many weeks. DD2 and I headed over to the little red corn dog cart! We (well, I did. I don’t know about her!) had a great time sitting on the curb of Main Street, people watching and eating our corn dog and apple slices.




    The rest of the family joined us in time to taste a few bites of my corn dog, and then we decided to try the Jolly Holiday Bakery, which I had heard had gluten-free treats. Sadly, they weren’t fresh, necessarily, but packaged. Still, DH said it was the best cookie he had eaten since he stopped eating wheat about a year ago. We were going to have the kids split one thing (we don’t do a lot of sugar) but DD5 had her heart set on the blue-sprinkle Mickey head cookie while the other two wanted the chocolate Mickey head cookie. So my softy-of-a-husband bought both of them, and the kids and I shared them. Pretty tasty, especially the blue-sprinkled sugar cookie!




    After we had our dinner/dessert we wandered over towards Adventureland and stood in a slightly ridiculous line for the Jungle Cruise. At least the weather had cooled off and it wasn’t uncomfortable, even though we spent a lot of time on the second floor winding all over the place for at least 30 minutes. That line is impressive with how deceptively long it can be! The kids enjoyed the Cruise though, and I’m glad we scratched that itch…
    When we got off, IJ was actually pretty short, so DH sent me on, while he took the kids through Tarzan’s Treehouse. I’m glad I knew how much work they’ve been doing on IJ, or I might not have been looking for all the improvements. I think the rock has almost always been working when I rode, and I never noticed it being run-down. But I hope I would have noticed the fire! It was everywhere and so cool! Never completely sure how I feel about that ride; it’s a bit much for me. But it didn’t give me a headache this time, so I enjoyed it.
    (a pic DH took around the Treehouse)



    It took me a few minutes to find and meet up with my family. For some reason DS was grumpy about something or other. He’s more of a reactor than a pouter, but he was doing a fairly good job…



    We were having a hard time deciding what we wanted to do, but the weather was nice (now that the sun was down) and all the lights were pretty, so we headed off towards Fantasyland. (with a slight detour, since we didn’t realize the walkway behind BTMR was closed…) We did the castle walkthrough, then realized the line for Snow White (which we had missed the day before because it was down) was almost walk-on. The kids all enjoyed it, though I think it’s a bit scary. Here is DD5 being a little nervous about the scary stuff in the queue beforehand.




    The older kids had been asking and asking about riding the Matterhorn again, so I reluctantly took our day-old rider switch pass over and asked both if I could use it, and if I could bring 2 instead of 1 with me… No problem again, and they sent us through the exit! The kids enjoyed riding it in the mostly-dark, but that thing is bumpy as all get-out, and I might have enjoyed the view if I wasn’t trying to brace myself so I didn’t knock my neck out of alignment. Why in the heck is that thing so rough?
    DH was taking DD2 on the Carousel again, so we met them there and walked on to ride it one more time, since the older two hadn’t been on it yet. I love, LOVE this Carousel. It is my favorite ride in some ways, and I hope I never “outgrow” it!



    It was around 6:30, so we went over to It’s a Small World to see how things were looking, seating-wise for the Soundsational Parade. Almost deserted still: Score. So we detoured over into Toontown in case this was our only chance to wander around in normal temperatures. (Remember, we were expecting nearly 90º the next day, and that place gets hot fast!) The kids enjoyed it, and I regret not having just a little more time to let the kids play and explore in there. We just walked through Minnie’s house and checked things out a little before walking back up to Small World to get settled for the parade.



    Our kids love, Love LOVED the parade. It was so much fun, and we had great seats. We had snacks and chatted with a nice CM while we waited for like 10-15 minutes for it to start. DS informed her that he had lost his “First Visit” pin sometime during the day, and she managed to go backstage and get him a replacement (and take a picture for us) before the parade started!



    There is some fun footage that DS6 recorded of us waiting. He thought he was so big that I let him hold the camera and actually record something!



    My favorite part of the parade didn’t actually happen with my own kids (though I was loving DD5’s reactions especially) but with a little girl a few people down from us. She was wearing the full Cinderella get-up and hair and when Cinderella saw her on the float, she acted all amazed and excited that they matched. The little girl was completely starstruck, you could tell, and I still tear up when I watch that moment on our video footage, (though I just have Cinderella’s reaction, not the little girl’s). It was definitely magical for me!




    After the parade we decided to ride the train, since we were right there by the Toontown Station. I swear we got most of our must-do’s in, but at times it seems like we had to scrunch them in at weird moments. Four days would have been a little nicer, pacing-wise… The kids were fairly impressed by the dinosaurs. :) Main Street Station was completely under construction, so we rode it to New Orleans and got off there. And decided we had just enough time to ride Winnie the Pooh before the Park closed, since the older kids hadn’t been on it. It was fun; we sat in the back and put all three kids in the front of the car by themselves. They thought that was pretty cool! Such random timing for that ride… We thought about jumping in line for Splash or POTC or something, but we just missed it and all the lines had just closed. Just as well. We were pretty tired after a long, extremely full day!





    Video clips from the 2nd half of our 2nd day. :)
     
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    OhioStateBuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2007
    Every time I see Aurora I always wonder if she will get a hair/dress update like some of the other princesses. The shoulders on her dress just kinda seem off to me.

    I think corn dogs at a Disney park are just the best :thumbsup2
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Every time I see Aurora I always wonder if she will get a hair/dress update like some of the other princesses. The shoulders on her dress just kinda seem off to me.

    I think corn dogs at a Disney park are just the best :thumbsup2
    I know - I think she looks a little weird in both sets of pictures we have, and I didn't feel that way so much with the other ones.

    I don't even eat corn dogs in "normal" life, but the hand-dipped, fried ones there... ack, making myself have cravings which absolutely can't be scratched for a few years. Must stop thinking about them! ;)
     

    OhioStateBuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2007
    I know - I think she looks a little weird in both sets of pictures we have, and I didn't feel that way so much with the other ones.

    I don't even eat corn dogs in "normal" life, but the hand-dipped, fried ones there... ack, making myself have cravings which absolutely can't be scratched for a few years. Must stop thinking about them! ;)
    Yeah I try to eat healthy at home, I can't even remember the last time I had a corn dog besides Disney World.
     

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