The Last 5th Birthday Trip Report (June 5-19, 2022) - Completed 7/7/22

CO2CA

Perpetually Planning
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Still getting caught up, but your family is adorable! Glad you guys had a fun time.
 

deejdigsdis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Sounds like a great beach day! That sunburn looked really painful. That is very interesting about everyone saying the beach, and why they said the beach.

I'm getting sad that the park days are coming to a close.
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Still getting caught up, but your family is adorable! Glad you guys had a fun time.
Welcome to the report! Hope you are enjoying it so far :)

Sounds like a great beach day! That sunburn looked really painful. That is very interesting about everyone saying the beach, and why they said the beach.
It did hurt a little. DD15 got the worst of it and needed tylenol to sleep that night. It healed up pretty quickly though. I think the kids, especially the younger ones, would say whatever it was we were doing most recently. The older two I think were just a bit done with the parks by that point, and wanting to be left alone. They can only take so much family time instead of being with friends.

I'm getting sad that the park days are coming to a close.
Me too! Currently fighting the after park blues, but doing the trip report has helped! For the first time since 2010 I don't have a trip I am actively planning with firm timeframe in mind. I have 3 that are wishlists though!
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Day 10: Last DL Start​

Day 10: Tuesday, June 14
Park Hours: DL: 8am-midnight; DCA: 8am-10pm

Plan: This is our cleanup day. We won’t have any firm plans, and will just play it by ear and take it pretty easy.
Reality: The night before I did a quick check of our priorities, and noted what we hadn’t done. We didn’t have a set plan for the day, but I wanted to get the rest of the top priorities done. DD5 and done all of hers. DD8 was missing Tiana. DS10 was missing Galaxy’s Edge. DC12 and DD15 had nailed all their priorities. DH and I were missing RotR. So I had a rough idea of what we should do in order to consider the trip complete.

Morning:​

  • Early coffee & very light breakfast at the house.
I don’t remember if we actually had coffee at the house or not, but the kids did grab more granola bars as they were getting ready to go.

  • Head to DTD - stopping by DLH for coffee if we haven’t had a chance yet and/or if we loved it so much we want it again.
We never did manage to get coffee at DLH this trip. Maybe next trip we’ll actually stay there and do it daily!

  • Explore whatever lands the kids want to most and/or what we haven’t started with. I feel really confident that I have good tactics for any land in the morning, and honestly that it is more about making sure our priorities have already been taken care of. In the off chance that somehow I haven’t managed to ride Space Mtn yet, that will be the very top most priority!
We scanned into the park by 8:08am. I checked wait times in Galaxy’s Edge, and MFSR had a short time listed, so we headed there. I mobile ordered Ronto Roasters and coffee and we made it to the standby line by 8:40am.

DD5 & DD8 enjoying the view of MF and the theming in the queue:
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Group pic in the queue - we enjoyed taking more time going through it, all the details are fantastic:
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We all loved the ride again. I tried being a pilot this time with DS (who did NOT want to be a pilot and nearly melted down but managed to hold it together). We were not great, but I had fun. DH reported the other ship had fun too. I planned on grabbing a LL for this, but couldn’t get the time to line up. As soon as we got off the ride at 9am, I decided to bite the bullet and buy ILL$ for RotR for around 10am. At $140, I knew it was pushing my budget out (I’d planned on using the souvenir budget for it, but DH bought several more items than I expected, so all the ILL$ were their own over-budget line item). I just hoped everyone would enjoy it and think it was worth it.

We picked up our foot at Ronto Roasters after quite an experience trying to find it. Based on the map, I thought the counter was Docking Bay 7 - so I walked right past it several times. It was a bit frustrating for me navigating Galaxy’s Edge at first - I know the other lands so well I rarely have to consult a map, but even with a amp GE was a challenge with so many round buildings, the two levels, and not a ton of signage. This led to some backtracking, which the family was not used to (especially DH). We enjoyed our food at Ronto Roasters though, and once everyone had some food and drink in their tummies, we were ready to explore some more on purpose! No pix, but we ordered two Ronto Morning Wraps (Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Pork Sausage, Shredded Cheddar, Peppercorn Sauce, wrapped in Pita - $12.49), two Meiloorun Juices (Pineapple Juice, Minute Maid® Lemonade, with Blueberry, Cranberry Juice, Lemon Juice, and Desert Pear - $5.99) and black kafs (regular coffee - $3.49). The wraps were delicious, and I wish I had ordered a third. The juices were also well received and the kids drank them up quickly but did a good job sharing. The coffee was a tiny bit disappointing, as I was trying to figure out how to get the Cold Brew Black Kaf, but was still good coffee and DH and I needed caffeine more than anything else.

We finished eating and wanted to absorb some of the ambiance and explore before our ILL$ at RotR. As we went down the front ramp with the stroller, DS10 suddenly froze. He’d spotted R2-D2! He gave us a quick glance, nearly squeaked with delight, and rushed off to get close (with my mom voice ‘no running please’ ringing in his ears). It was one of the best moments of the trip - the pure joy in that kiddo surpasses what the pictures were able to capture. He had a whole conversation with the little droid, with the CMs helping to interpret. DS did some beep booping too. It was exactly what I mean when I say Disney magic!

DS and his favorite droid:
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  • Snack break mid-morning - there are so many snacks I want to try, I’m debating making a list and then hitting whatever is left this last day. That might be one list too many for me though, and is rather low on my to-do list.
With the amazing R2-D2 encounter done, DS10 was so hyped and nearly begging to build a droid. We had plenty of time before our ILL$, and I also wanted a cute little droid, so of course I said yes! DH went through the process with DS10 who loved every second. Unfortunately for my budget, I didn’t get the spiro card to DH in time to pay (I didn’t realize it was before the process and while I was fumbling for it he whipped out his card and paid before I could say anything). While they were doing this, I mobile ordered the green and blue milk from the Milk Stand, picked it up, and grabbed some great pictures of the droid building.

I took way too many pictures of the droid process, and none of the milks. I got the regular Green Milk (Plant-based blend of Coconut and Rice Milk with zippy citrus and tropical characteristics - $7.99) because I didn’t think the kids would enjoy the chili lime on the special one, but I got the Blue Milk: Mon Cala Swirl (Blue Milk with Blue Mango Sour Jellies and topped with a Sour Shimmery Mango Gel - $8.79). The kids thought the green milk was just ok, and we didn’t end up finishing it. But they nearly fought over the blue milk! I had to take it to ensure DH and DS got a sip! Next trip it is a must-do, and I’ll probably try the special Toydaria Swirl instead of regular green.

DS selecting his parts - he went with a blue body, 2 white legs, 1 reg leg, and a silver & purple top:
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Father & son assembling the parts:
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Learning how to use the tools was a bit of a challenge, but DS dealt with his frustration well and DH helped explain it:
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DS wide-eyed as he gets some professional help:
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We checked the droids and pets at the droid depot so we could head to RotR without worrying about them.

We parked the stroller near the return queue, and re-applied sunblock before getting into a very short LL line for RotR. No spoilers, but RotR was incredible. DH turned to me as the ride began after the pre-show and said worth every penny.

Next we headed back towards Docking Bay 7 so I could try the special black kaf. I mobile ordered as we went so it was ready when we got there. We wandered past the door 3 times before realizing it was a door! I think my next experience in Galaxy’s Edge will be even better because I won’t get lost as much! DH and I got Cold Brew Black Kaf (Cold Brew Coffee topped with Sweet Cream Cheese and Chocolate Puffs - $5.99) and I ordered two or three Moof Juices (Simply Fruit Punch®, Simply Orange® with Pineapple, Chipotle-Pineapple - $5.99) for the kids to split.

We didn’t manage to get reservations for Oga’s Cantina this trip and I didn’t manage to get a MFSR LL to line up so we headed out of GE and to Frontierland. I thought while I was looking for MFSR that I’d grabbed a LL for BTMRR for 10:50, but as we neared the LL entrance I discovered it was for 11:50. That would not work with our lunch reservation, so I canceled it and grabbed a Splash for after lunch.

Just then, I saw the Mark Twain loading and put family in line while I grabbed DD8’s Tiana dress from the stroller. I got back to them to put it on quickly, but the boat pulled away - just as I realized I’d put them in the wrong line! It was to the food cart near the boat queue. I should have known the line would never be that long, but everyone makes mistakes. Slightly devastated and thinking we’d probably missed our chance at the last remaining priority. I was determined to try though - so I asked the CM how long before the boat came back and if Tiana would be on the next one. They told me about a 15 minute wait for it to return, but Tiana was currently on the boat, and likely getting off when they stopped. They showed me where she normally exited the area and suggested we wait there and see what may happen. Sure enough, after all the other passengers departed, Tiana left the boat and headed our way. She graciously invited DD8 to walk with her, signed the autograph books and had a lovely conversation with DD8 while holding her hand. They even compared their golden shoes! DD8 was nearly overcome with happiness.

DD8 getting a hug from her favorite!
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Tiana posing with DD8:
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We parted ways, and decided to head back to the Mark Twain and ride it. DD8 wanted to be just like Tiana and loved every minute of the ride.
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I forced the others to get in a group pic - you can see how into it DD15 is:
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The two older kids were just kind of vacationed out and missing their friends, but they were still willing to give a few smiles:
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Such a great pic of DD8 I have to include it:
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It was about 11:45, and time to head to lunch! Where were we going? Find out next!

Back to Contents
 

shosh1530

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
I'll admit I got a little teary-eyed seeing the picture of your DD with Tiana. So sweet!

After three visits to Galaxy's Edge, I still get lost all the time.

Can't wait to hear more. I'm trying to remember all the places you've already dined...Perhaps River Belle Terrace for lunch?
 

evilmommie

Disneyland CM Alumna 80's-90's
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
OMG, I got teary eyed too for your daughter’s moment w/ Tiana. As a former CM, that’s what Disneyland is all about to me. Magical moments, especially for kids. Love it!
 

CO2CA

Perpetually Planning
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Such a cute interaction! I love that your daughter got to have the chance to meet Tiana! We've never tried the blue milk or green milk at GE, maybe we'll have to try it on our next trip.
 

deejdigsdis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
I love those magical moments had by DS10 and DD8! My DD (5 at the time) still talks about meeting Tiana back in January. Tiana called her "Sug" and she still laughs about that. (1st syllable of Sugar. 🙂)
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
I'll admit I got a little teary-eyed seeing the picture of your DD with Tiana. So sweet!
I do too! We also have some video of the interaction, and it is even better - she's very shy at first, and Tiana just welcomes her and makes her feel special.

After three visits to Galaxy's Edge, I still get lost all the time.
I love the theming, but kind of wish there were some more signs!

OMG, I got teary eyed too for your daughter’s moment w/ Tiana. As a former CM, that’s what Disneyland is all about to me. Magical moments, especially for kids. Love it!
It was so magical, really special moments. Pretty much all CMs seemed into the magic this trip and it really makes the experience and really is the Disney difference :)

Such a cute interaction! I love that your daughter got to have the chance to meet Tiana! We've never tried the blue milk or green milk at GE, maybe we'll have to try it on our next trip.
I definitely recommend trying it, especially the Mon Cala Swirl, if anyone in your group likes sour candies. It is worth trying at least once just to say you've done it!

I love those magical moments had by DS10 and DD8! My DD (5 at the time) still talks about meeting Tiana back in January. Tiana called her "Sug" and she still laughs about that. (1st syllable of Sugar. 🙂)
These moments really made the trip for DH and I, and in some ways I think we found them even more special than the kids! It is incredible how a few kind words from someone admired can just make a moment memorable. Wouldn't trade it for anything!
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Day 10: Last DL Start - Part 2​

Afternoon:​

  • Lunch will be QS. Nothing firm in mind though!
This was the original plan, but just a week before the trip, I snagged a reservation for a place we’d never been: Carnation Cafe!

We weren’t sure what to expect, but we did mobile check in, adding one (I learned the trick to make reservations for even numbers, and add/drop at check in and it was a game changer!). We waited about 5 minutes before being seated outside under some shady umbrellas. It was a bit warm, and I think DH would have done better inside with some AC, but I enjoyed the chance to people watch. While waiting for our food, the Disneyland Marching Band came by, and I enjoyed listening and watching them. The rest of the family didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I did though!

Carnation Cafe was quite lovely. Great food (but no pictures), but the service really put it over the top. In addition to our server, there was a floater going between all the tables, checking on us and making sure everything was as perfect as possible. He noticed the confused look on DH’s face when they served him, and immediately guessed that was not what he had ordered. We said it was fine, but he insisted on making it right and quickly brought out the correct order, plus got refills for DD5’s chocolate milk (I didn’t know they would do that), and gave me a special sauce to go with my food. The family all agreed they want this on the must-do list from now on.

We got two orders of Fried Pickles (Hand-battered Panko Fried Dill Pickles with House Sauce - $8) as a starter. I thought it would be too much, but DD5 ate almost an entire order to herself! She also got the Mac & Cheese kids meal (served with choice of two (2) Selections and choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small DASANI® Water) and chocolate milk. DD8 and DS10 both got the Braised Short Rib (with House-made Mac & Cheese and Seasonal Vegetables - $23), which was a bit spendy to do adult meals for kids, but I am so glad because the short rib was absolutely delicious. DD8 practically licked her plate clean, and DS ate almost all of his, and shared the rest of his mac & cheese with his siblings. DC12 and DH both got the Carnation Cafe Cheeseburger (Angus Chuck Patty, Cheddar, House-made Pickles, Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Red Onions, Lettuce, and House Sauce on a Brioche Bun served with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries - $17), and it was tasty and filling, and the fries were good. The fresh fruit was pretty standard, and DC gobbled it up. DD15 and I both got the Roasted Turkey Club (Freshly-sliced Turkey, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Monterey Jack, Lettuce, Avocado Mayonnaise and Lemon Aïoli on Toasted Sourdough, served with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries - $15). Half a sandwich would have been find for DD15, and for me the sandwich was good but what really made it was the special sauce they served. I am not sure what was in it, but it had some chipotle spiciness in there, and went great with fries and sandwich. I think the short ribs were the single best bite, but might be too rich for some for lunch. The club is definitely something light eaters could split, especially if you had done an appetizer or a salad to start. We spent a bit more on food than budgeted this day, but I found it well worth it, and well worth leaving a sizeable tip as well, for the excellent service.

  • Lincoln - we’ve never done this, and seems like a great thing to do on our last day when we are likely a bit tired of walking around.
We did a potty break at the convenient bathrooms right next to CC, and then headed to Critter Country for Splash Mountain. I had originally thought we’d do Lincoln next, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hit Splash one more time, since we’d missed it that first day. I figured we’d cool down either way. DH was getting hot and tired at this point, but surprisingly opted out of the ride and sat it out in some shade with DD15. I was surprised, but didn’t quite realize this did not bode well for the rest of the afternoon. In hindsight, we should have done Lincoln first.

DD5, DC12, DD8 (nearly invisible behind DC), DS, and I enjoying our plunge:
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After Splash, we did some more shopping at Pooh Corner while DH & DD15 made their way to meet us with the stroller. We got Judy Hopps plushie for my friend’s daughter who loves Zootopia, and some lollipops for the kids to share. DH said he needed some AC or to go back to the house. I didn’t want to go back, and he said he wouldn’t come back to the park if he left then, so he stayed with us. At this point I REALLY should have taken us to Lincoln, but we were closer to GE and I wanted to pick up the droids and pets to avoid more back tracking. Once again, I miss-timed my chance at a LL for MFSR.

Sadly, there are no good ‘downtime’ spots in GE - all the spots to sit seem to be in the sun, and no real good AC opportunities. I thought browsing Black Spire in the shade might help, and we were trying to find some good Mandalorian merch for my friend’s family, and a cloak for DC12 but we didn’t have any luck. We found a store that was selling both of those things, but nothing that really spoke to us or fit DC properly. We did find Boba Fett though!

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DH went into full meltdown at this point. I was going to send him to Main St via the train, but there is no good route from GE, and it had a 40 minute wait showing on the app. We simply had to walk. As we were leaving Black Spire, I saw a PP Photog and we stopped from some great family shots:

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Viva la resistance!
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Lay low - its Tie Fighters!
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On the way out of GE, I mobile ordered a mint julep and beignets from the Mint Julep bar. When we got there, I should have put him on the train and told him to wait for me at Lincoln, but I didn’t think it would take long, so he sat outside Cafe Orleans outdoor seating and waited for me to come back. It took forever - a little over 30 minutes. The beignets and julep were great - the kids all agreed it was even better than Jazz Kitchen’s. They enjoyed the seasonal banana the most. So the mint julep was not even a comparison to the gross artificial color/flavor from Jazz Kitchen, banana beignets were favorite, and the regular beignets from Jazz Kitchen were considered better than the regular ones from NOS. DH wouldn’t even try them. He was a bit snappish at me and the kids - apparently 5 days is a half day too much for him with theme parks!

We eventually got to Lincoln and the blessed AC, but at that point DS10 was melting down because DH had snapped at him about his light sabre, and because we wouldn’t let him carry his droid. He was pouting and ended up stuck outside the theater when the show started, which made DD8 start crying. DH didn’t even sit with us inside, instead taking some alone time. A CM led DS and another family through the exit to rejoin us partway through the show. DS was still emotional, and then upset he missed the beginning, but we got him calmed down with the show and the cool air. It wasn’t enough of a rest for DH though, who was still a bit grumpy with me.

  • Hop to DCA if there was anything we missed the day before.
I decided to hop to DCA, and thought it would be a good opportunity for him to head home, if he’d come back at dinner, but he again said once he left he was gone for good, so he hopped with us. DH couldn’t push the stroller with the pets attached to the handles, because it would bang into his legs, so I was trying to work the app and steer at the same time. I wanted to have a fun afternoon with the kids whether DH was salty or not, so we pressed on. I took everyone to Carsland for an RSR ILL$. DH opted out again - he has been on the ride multiple times and didn’t think it was worth the $$.

While waiting for the ILL$ we spotted Lightning McQueen doing a photo op:
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McQueen driving down the street:
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DD5’s first time on RSR - once again, DD8 disappears:
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After RSR, I had LL for GotG. On our way out, we spotted the fire truck!
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And so we said goodbye to Carsland and headed to Avengers Campus. DH and DD15 both opted out of GotG, so I had them mobile order our dinner from Pym’s so it would be ready or nearly ready when we got off.

GotG was great - I didn’t hate it as much this trip as I remember last trip. There was minor drama lining up, because DD8 was placed in the line next to me, and felt like she HAD TO have an adult next to her. We all took turns trying to calm her down, and ultimately we got the back row so I WAS next to her! We also actually can see her in this picture!
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  • Mid-afternoon snacks, possibly a break all the way back to the house for one last round of swimming.
The beignets were our snack before we hopped, and at this point it was too late in the day to think about walking back, and I didn’t want to add the steps anyway.

What did we order from Pym's? Stay tuned to fine out!

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shosh1530

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Love those magic shots with the X-wings and TIE fighters. We've never done any Photo Pass opps in Galaxy's Edge.

I always forget about Carnation Cafe and have never been there. Sounds like it is worth checking out!
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Love those magic shots with the X-wings and TIE fighters. We've never done any Photo Pass opps in Galaxy's Edge.

I always forget about Carnation Cafe and have never been there. Sounds like it is worth checking out!
There seems to be several PP photogs in the area - I wish we'd also done the photo op in front of Millenium Falcon but that didn't quite work out this trip.

Definitely recommend Carnation Cafe. Food was great, service was excellent, and the location is fantastic!
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Day 10: Last DL Start - Part 3​

Evening:​

  • Dinner will be QS.
While waiting for our Pym’s order, we spotted Loki wandering around:
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Then DH spotted DD8’s favorite super hero, Black Panther. We immediately headed over while DH continued to wait for the order to be ready. There weren’t too many families around, but without a line you have to be more assertive than DD8 was willing to be, so she kept hanging out around the edges, and then she panicked because she didn’t have her autograph book. I tried to tell her we didn’t need to get the book, we could take a picture, and I felt like we’d miss our opportunity if we didn’t do it right then. She was very upset and near meltdown, so we walked to get the autograph book and I explained to her we might not get a chance to get it signed. She seemed to understand and calmed down a bit, but was still pretty stressed and anxious. Black Panther started wandering, but came back near the GotG exit and stopped to have a conversation with Gamora, so we were able to catch him!
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This time, DD8 was more assertive (with help from me) and got the autograph and some pictures!
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Too happy to be too fierce!
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Wakanda Forever!
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While we were chasing Black Panther around, our food was ready and DH had to conscript DC12 to help carry it back. This did nothing to improve his mood, but the food was fun!

I had Impossible Spoonful (Rigatoni and Ditalini Pastas, Plant-based Meat-balls, Tomato Sauce, Dairy-free Parmesan and Micro Basil - $13.99), which was tasty. With the confusion over food pickup, it wasn’t quite hot anymore, but the ‘meatball’ tasted pretty good and the pasta was ok. Still not as good as that pasta I had at Alien Pizza Planet though the presentation was more fun:
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Several kids (DC12, DS, DD8 and DD5 I think) had the PB3 Superb Sandwich (PB&J with Banana and Candied Bacon on Pym Particle Bread, served with Micro Banana Smoothie and crispy Potato Bites - $12.99). I had a bite and it was tasty. Not all of the kids liked the banana smoothie so I drank some of that too and loved it!
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DD15 got the Not so Little Chicken Sandwich (Fried Chicken Breast, Teriyaki and Red Chili Sauces, and Pickled Cabbage Slaw on Brioche, served with crispy Potato Bites - $15.49). She couldn’t finish it all!
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DH got Pym-ini Sandwich (Salami, Salame Rosa with pistachio nuts, Rosemary Ham, Provolone and Sun-dried Tomato Spread on Toasted Focaccia, served with Marinara Dipping Sauce and Arugula Salad - $14.49), and a Elote Pretzel (5 oz Pretzel topped with Corn 3 ways, Cilantro Sprigs, Radish, Cotija and Flavored Crema - $10.49) for sharing. He enjoyed the sandwich a lot, and never turns down elote, but it was too much food for us all!
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We also got the Quantum Pretzel (453.8 grams, Bavarian-style, with Sharp Cheddar Cheese-Beer Sauce - $12.99). The pretzel was fine, and I enjoyed the beer-cheese sauce, but nobody else liked the sauce. We nearly finished the pretzel though! DD8 had to model it so everyone at home would know how big it was:
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Even though we had more food than we could quite finish, we had already ordered dessert so we had to try it too! We cut the Celestial-sized Candy Bar: Choco-smash Candy Bar (Choco Smash Candy Bar with Dark Chocolate, Peanuts, Caramel, Nougat and Chocolate Brownie - $7.99) into 7 pieces, and each piece was still multiple bites. I loved it, so I got to finish a few bites from kids that were overly full.
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Overall, Pym’s wasn’t our best meal, but it was fun and everyone enjoyed it. I’m glad we tried it, but there are so many excellent food options in DCA it might be skippable in the future. I’d like to try breakfast at some point though!

  • DCA for rides in the dark - possibly RSR if we haven’t already blown our budget, Incredicoaster, Pixar Pal around, but only if we haven’t previously done them.
On our way out of Avengers Campus, we saw Captain America and Ironman, but did not wait around for interactions or snap pictures. We headed across the park to do Soarin’ LL. Once again DH opted out. DD15 really wanted to go home and rest for a bit before coming back for fireworks, but DH told her he would not bring her back. She was discouraged, but wanted to stay for fireworks because she knew it was something I was looking forward to. I thought it was very touching that she’d do that for me.

After Soarin, we realized we hadn’t checked Avengers Campus for Spiderman merch for best friend’s son, so we circled back for one last time. As we approached WEB Suppliers, Black Widow walked up! We got lucky and were able to get autographs and pictures!
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Trying to look cool, but too giggly:
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More serious:
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After we found a shirt at WEB Suppliers, we were on our way out of Avengers Campus for the last time when we saw Spiderman himself! We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see the web slinger himself. We were close to the front, but I think he wasn’t interested in signing all the autograph books, because he kept picking other families. Eventually the CM announced he’d do one more, but no autographs, and he picked us!

Two web slingers and two cool cats:
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We made our way to Buena Vista Street to finish our shopping, and saw Minnie in her dapper outfit:
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We had already met Minnie at her breakfast on our first day, and seen her again at Goofy’s Kitchen, so we did not line up this time.

We found a great Grumpy shirt for my friend, and said goodbye to DCA.

  • DL for hitting up favorites.
As we crossed the esplanade and prepared to hop, we discovered DD5 was fast asleep. My visions of an idyllic moment on Main St during fireworks was already in jeopardy with DH being over-tired, and I realized there was no point making him stay. He took DD5 back to the house and I hopped with the rest of the kids. This is how I know I was more laid back this trip - past trips I would have ignored the tiredness and pushed on, and woken up the sleeping kid. I thought DD15 was going to go with them, but she rallied and decided it was worth it to her to stay with me. Once again I was absolutely touched by her consideration.

Would she regret her choice? Would fireworks even go? How did the day end? Find out next!

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FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Day 10: Last DL Start - Part 4​


Nighttime:​

  • Main St. or hub for fireworks & ice cream @ Gibson Girl. This was a family highlight last trip, although the show was Mickey’s Mix Magic. I know Disneyland Forever is supposed to be a superior show, but we really did love MMM and the kids will miss it. Kind of wish it was still showing weeknights while we were there instead of DF every night, but hey - maybe they will love DF as much!
Entering DL, we took the right tunnel for the first time all trip, and headed to the Plaza Inn bathrooms. I mobile ordered our ice cream from Gibson Girl, to be picked up right before fireworks, but after MSEP passed, at 9:15. We had some time to kill, and were too late to get a decent view of MSEP so we headed to Astro Orbiter. We had between 5-10 minute wait, and got on the ride. Now we had said we’d do two rockets - thinking DD15, DC12 and DS could fit in one, with me and DD8 in the other. This was so wrong! I forget the DD15 and DC12 are basically adult size now, and while DS is still kid sized, he isn’t a toddler. DC12 tried to get in the middle and realized she wouldn’t fit. Luckily the CM had planned for such an occasion and had an extra rocket for them! We got to see Tomorrowland in all its nighttime splendor AND catch some of the MSEP from on high. It is a short ride, and the rockets are not that comfortable, but it is iconic and if you do ride, I suggest riding at night.

It was time to make our way against the crowd to Gibson Girl. We just missed a crossing, but ended up right at the front of the next crossing. The CM saw we were all together and that DC12 was getting a little anxious with the crowd pressing around her, and suggested we put DC in front and that she’d make sure we had space. It was so sweet! Just another magic moment of a CM going beyond expectations to make our visit perfect. We got across without incident, and DC12 was fine. We had to navigate through pretty dense crowds, but the kids kept up and kind of enjoyed the weaving and not having to deal with a stroller. I set up the kids at the front of Gibson Girl and I went to pick up our ice cream and realized I didn’t have quite enough hands. I waved DD15 over, and she helped - but in her haste she hadn’t fully closed the water bottle before putting it in DC12’s backpack. By the time we were outside and eating ice cream, and DC12 noticed something was wet, the water bottle was nearly empty. There hadn’t been too much left, but DC12 was rather upset that their new backpack was wet, especially concerned about their weighted Mickey Mouse they had just purchased at DCA! I reminded them water dries, and we laid out all their stuff. They calmed down,and we were ready for the show!

We had this much space at 9:30! And yes, DD15 kept that face up for 7 different attempts - she cracks me up.
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The kids were actually hoping it would be Mickey’s Mix Magic, because they love the dance party feeling. But we actually had fireworks and Disneyland Forever! The crowd started to fill in as the fireworks started, and we stood up and moved entirely into the street. I had a decent view of the castle, and DD15 and DC12 could see most of it, but DS and DD8 couldn’t quite see over the crowd. We haven’t done hub for fireworks since our first trip in 2012 when my mom camped out for several hours to save a space for us, but I think if I go with just a single kid at sometime in the future I’ll try to get a spot for just the 2 of us so they can see it fully. The kids sang along and there was dancing and in general that happy, magic feeling I was hoping for!

  • One last tour around the park, maybe taking RR if it opens after fireworks, and likely Peter Pan, as it was a family highlight to go through the queue at night last trip.
After fireworks, I surprised the kids with a LL for BTMRR! We made our way upstream against the crowd trying to leave for the night. The main crush of the crowd was split between people leaving and people going to Frontierland to see F! I led the kids past that, and into the Royal Hall area so we could take the back way to Frontierland, and hit the bathrooms on the way by. We avoided the worst of the crowd that way, and I highly recommend it if anyone else is going to try riding.

When we got to BTMRR, we were 5 minutes early for the earliest we could check in for LL, but the standby line didn’t look long to me. It said 50 minutes, but based on information I got on the message boards, I suspected it would be much shorter. DD15 hadn’t been on it with us yet, and it was basically the full family favorite this trip. Each kid had individual rides they may have enjoyed better, but nothing could compare to the full experience of everyone on BTMRR. I wish DH and DD5 had been able to join us, but we had a great ride in only 20 minutes from start of line to walking off ride. We immediately did the LL, and asked for the back of the train. Everyone had a great time!

On our way out of Frontierland, I took a picture of the iconic mountain:
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I had another surprise for the kids - LL for Hyperspace Mtn! I had stacked it earlier while we were still in DCA. We made it across the park before the 2nd showing of MSEP started, and got there early for our LL. We were able to do Star Tours walk on - I was fumbling to book the LL when the CM said don’t bother, we’ve got no line. We headed through and had a different experience this time, which pleased the kids. They had a very heated debate about whether or not certain scenes were always part of the ride, or if they were all randomly selected. I just enjoyed being with them and seeing them interact with each other.

Nobody left anything on the ride - we all good naturedly reminded each other many, many times to check for items after rides. It was kind of a joke, but given how late it was and how tired we were getting I think it really helped us stay vigilant!

We scanned into Space LL and quickly walked through the queue. There was almost no wait at all at 11:20pm. We all got in one car, but you can barely tell DD8 is in the front row by herself:
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I think DD15 and I both enjoyed this second ride more - not worrying about DD5! I really did like it, and I’m glad we experienced it, but I think I prefer the original and love it most.

We were all rather tired at this point, but of course we had to walk onto Buzz one last time. I won again and took pictures of the score, but won’t bore you with them this time. DS kept his cool barely - and just decided he had a defective blaster and that Buzz needed a refurb.

I really do love Tomorrowland at night and attempted a selfie with the statue in the background. I am not particularly good at this - I couldn’t figure out how to get DD8 in at the same time:
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Next I needed some pictures of the kids in front of the castle. I did 20 takes, but the kids were a bit goofy by now and struggled to stand still. Here are some action shots:
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We debated rushing over to get in Peter Pan’s line at 11:45pm, but the girls were just too tired. DS was a little bummed, but he knew he’d be tired soon too so I did one more selfie and we turned to leave:
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We filled up water bottles one last time, and said goodbye to Disneyland for the last time. Even DD8 being tired and cranky couldn’t ruin the moment. I can’t wait to go back!

On our way back to the house I grabbed a picture of a snail at 12:25am. Bless that snail - it was just the distraction the kids needed to ignore their tired feet and make it the rest of the way.

I collapsed into bed around 1am. Would I have the energy to wake in time to pack before checkout? Would DH’s fears be realized that we didn’t have enough time? Would we make it to our breakfast reservation? All these questions answered next!

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deejdigsdis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Sounds like you had some great final moments with the 4 kids! It's so hard to say that final goodbye as you walk out.

I am wondering if DD5 woke up and was surprised/sad that she was no longer at Disneyland!
 

RoseColored97

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Such a fun trip report! You are a great writer and I feel like I'm right there experiencing things along with you!

We may have to try Carnation Cafe. That is probably the only restaurant we have yet to try, at least in Disneyland.

I totally understand getting worn down by the heat. I can handle dry heat, but once humidity gets involved I start feeling miserable. Glad you were able to push through and still have a great time!
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Sounds like you had some great final moments with the 4 kids! It's so hard to say that final goodbye as you walk out.
It really was magical, and somehow, even though I don't know how or when, I know we'll all be back there again!

I am wondering if DD5 woke up and was surprised/sad that she was no longer at Disneyland!
She slept through the entire night, and had a surprise the next morning!

Such a fun trip report! You are a great writer and I feel like I'm right there experiencing things along with you!
Thank you! I'm glad it was entertaining and not too wordy - I tend to write a lot.

We may have to try Carnation Cafe. That is probably the only restaurant we have yet to try, at least in Disneyland.
It really is great - I'd recommend requesting an inside table if you are looking for a cool break, or an outside table if you are wanting to people watch. Either way, it seems pretty great - at least for lunch! No idea if breakfast and dinner are as great, but I hope to try next trip.

I totally understand getting worn down by the heat. I can handle dry heat, but once humidity gets involved I start feeling miserable. Glad you were able to push through and still have a great time!
The ironic thing is, this was a dry heat for us. We came in from Dallas, which is much more humid than SoCal. It was interesting to me how the different people handled the head differently. DH says it wasn't so much the heat as just being kind of done with the whole theme park thing. Makes me wonder if he'd be up for a WDW vacation, which imo involves even more time in parks and dealing with transportation. I think he might like that better though because I wouldn't be pushing for early starts, and instead focus on late nights.
 

FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Days 11-15: Heading Home - Part 1​

Day 11: Wednesday, June 15​

  • Pack up & checkout by 10.
Despite DH’s skepticism the day before, packing up took exactly as long as I expected. It actually went better than I planned considering how hard it was to get people up and moving in the morning! I got up at 6:30am, had a shower, and made some coffee, but DH didn’t get up until close to 8, and the kids weren’t really moving until 8:30. It all worked out well, and we got everything packed up by 9:45, and I was able to start the load of laundry and run the dishwasher as requested by the VRBO hosts. We had the van fully packed and pulling out of the driveway right at 10am.
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DD5 was not thrilled to be leaving, and even less happy that Porla, her new Porg, was out of her reach.
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  • Storytellers @ 10:30
We pulled into the Grand Californian valet parking, and got checked in for breakfast. We had a short 5 minute wait and were seated. The entrance to Storytellers has such great theming!

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The characters were busy on the other side of the restaurant when we got there, which meant we had plenty of time to get food from the buffet. I found the selection quite nice, and enjoyed some lox as well as chilaquiles, bacon, and assorted pastries. Each of the kids found plenty of food they enjoyed as well.

DD5’s mood vastly improved after food, and she was all smiles when Mickey came to see us! I love the explorer outfits!
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She loved seeing Minnie again too!
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Minnie got DH and DD8 into the act as well:
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Chip paid attention to all of us, and let me grab this selfie:
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DD15 wasn’t left out either! DS had to sneak into the picture:
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Pluto posted with DS and DD5:
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DD8 took pictures with the instant camera. She got every single character, and several of us.

Dale was the last character to come by. His interactions were great! DS told him he also was a scout, and we asked why his nose was read. He mimed that he painted it! He got DD15 involved too:
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It took me a while to eat my food as I kept having to take kids to the bathroom, but we weren’t in a rush. Plus, on one of those trips I spotted the basket of pins and was able to get them for our table. I was a little surprised that there was no PP photo op with this meal, and no one specifically passed out the buttons, but we didn’t have G+ since it wasn’t a park day, so our own camera was fine.

I got one more picture of the littles on our way out - they are all trying to look serious for this last picture, because we were leaving:
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On our way to the car, DD8 dropped the instant camera while trying for one more picture of the whole family. She was devastated. It looks like it is truly broken, but maybe Santa will bring a new one this Christmas!

  • Start drive home - next stop Tucson
DH was still a little worn out, so wanted me to start the drive. This was no problem at all! We had wisely decided to break the trip to El Paso into two legs, with a stop in Tucson. Last trip we actually pushed all the way through and did the entire 21 hour trip home only stopping for gas and food. That was a bit much for us as drivers! This time, we got on the road around 12:30pm and traffic out of Anaheim wasn’t bad at all. Riverside was another story - totally bumper to bumper and frustrating. I managed to get into the HOV lane, but it was still slow going.

Once clear of traffic, we made good time. For reasons we aren’t sure of, our GPS routed us to avoid Phoenix on the way there and on the way home. Maybe there is massive construction there? Either way, we drove through countryside we’d never been through before including the Salton Sea, so that was nice. We did a driver swap and bathroom break in Yuma, AZ. It was over 100 degrees, and DD5 announced her eyeballs were burning and asked why that place even existed. We all got a good laugh and were ready for the last stretch to Tucson.

When we got to the hotel in Tucson around 8pm local time, DH discovered they had NOT given us adjoining rooms, or even rooms near each other. They were at least on the same floor. Now it was my turn to be cranky! We like to do everything online, but when it comes to making room requests through Marriott, you really need to do it over the phone. Lesson learned! To add insult to injury, one of the rooms WAS half of an adjoining room, which did nothing for my mood. We got everyone situated, using the pull out couches because both rooms were king beds (another inconvenience - we wanted one king, one with 2 queens), but everyone got to sleep and we appreciated sleeping in real beds.

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FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Days 11-15: Heading Home - Part 2​

Day 12-13: Thursday-Friday, June 16-17​

  • Head to El Paso
We had a fairly leisurely morning compared to our previous week. Checkout wasn’t until 11, so we did some morning swimming!

It wasn’t quite 10am and already incredibly hot and dry. Also I really need to work on my posture!
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We changed out of our wet swimsuits and loaded the van for a quick trip across the street to Waffle House! DD8 was nearly hangry, but was quickly satisfied with a delicious Waffle House breakfast. Everyone found something they wanted, and we left Tucson around noon.

DH took first shift this time, and drove the whole way. Tucson to El Paso is a straight shot down I-10 and takes just under 5 hours.

  • Hang out with grandparents
The kids had a fun time showing off their souvenirs and playing in the playroom at the grandparents house. DH and I enjoyed some restful time, both of us taking naps each day and sleeping in.

DS delighted to show off R2-D4:
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DD8 enjoying a day in jammies and toys:
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DD5 just beaming with delight that her siblings were playing with her, and toys that were new to her:
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  • Laundry!
My in-laws graciously let me do multiple loads of laundry - by the time I was done, our suitcases were packed with clean clothes!

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FeistyDisneyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2019

Itinerary: Days 11-15: Heading Home - Part 3​

Day 14: Saturday, June 18​

  • Farewell to grandparents and heading home
We originally planned on doing a day-drive home, but two things changed our minds. First, there was a birthday party for a distant cousin on Saturday and we were invited. Second, the kids had taken turn having crises/meltdowns during our two day-drives to get to El Paso. DH and I decided we would do the party, and leave after dinner on Saturday.

  • Possible FC Dallas home game
Instead of heading home in time to make the game, we did the party which was a lot of fun for the kids, and spent the afternoon napping and packing up. The kids cleaned up all of their mess, and we headed to one last family dinner together. If you are ever in El Paso, I highly recommend L & J Cafe - the food was great!
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Last family picture:
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After dinner we went back to the in-laws house one more time, finished packing up - this time making sure not to leave anything behind! We changed the kids into comfortable clothes/jammies and settled them in for one last night drive. We pulled out around 9:30pm mountain time for the 10 hour drive home. DH took first shift again, so I napped in the van. We swapped drivers at some point, and I did the home stretch. We pulled in just after 8:30am central.

Day 15: Sunday, June 19​

  • Pick up dog from kennel
After napping the rest of the morning, DH and I went to pick up the dog from the kennel only to realize we’d scheduled her for a Monday pickup and her grooming wasn’t done. We headed home and napped some more! The kids had fun unpacking souvenirs and playing with their own toys.

We did get things ready for DD8 and DS10’s Twilight Camp that started the next day. Luckily we still had the supplies from last year and we had new Disney water bottles to send with them each day! All we had to pick up were lunches/dinner food for the week.

  • Dinner will be anything I don’t have to cook.
DD15, DC12 and DS10 had had enough of eating out, and decided to stay home and make some mac n cheese and ramen. DH, DD8, DD5 and I headed out to get some Texas BBQ at Hutchins BBQ. We got in line in the Texas heat, only to discover they had sold out of several of the items we were craving, including Texas Twinkies (if you ever have the chance and can tolerate a moderate amount of spiciness, you should try them!). We loaded up again and drove to another place, Rudy’s BBQ. Hilariously it was almost like a caravan of people leaving Hutchins and heading to Rudy’s, as several families made the switch. We had a delicious dinner and headed home, ready for bed.

  • Massive amounts of laundry.
I did NOT have a ton of laundry to do! In fact, it was just swim suits and beach towels, so I left it for the next day.

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