Thursday, October 23, 2014

Disneyland Road Trip - Day 8

Thursday morning was our final day at Disneyland! It was also the only day we were sans Ga-Ga & Pa. At first I thought it would be so difficult, but actually it was just fine. We had to modify what we did and went on so we could include Zeke in everything and it was actually a nice change of pace. I'm glad we were able to take the bigger kids on the wilder rides earlier in the week. 

Prior to entering the park that day we had to check out of the hotel. We packed everything in the van and then made the decision to just leave the van parked at the hotel since our parking pass said we were leaving that day....it didn't specify a time. 

This was also the day we used our magic morning pass so we were able to get into Fantasyland and Tomorrowland an hour early. 


Quick photo op in front of the castle on our way to Fantasyland. There is a new character greeting where you can meet Elsa and Anna, but in order to do so you have to stand in line and basically get a fastpass from a cast member. We got our fastpasses about a half an hour after the park opened and the time we were scheduled to see them wasn't until 2:10! I'm pretty sure if you don't use your magic morning and go straight there your chances of getting passes are slim to none! 


We took the kids on the Storybook ride. I haven't been on this ride in years! It was pretty cute! 


Holding onto Zeke so he doesn't go overboard! 


The palace from Aladdin! 


Prince Eric's castle from The Little Mermaid! 

We also rode on the Alice in Wonderland ride....it broke down when we were at the very end. Thankfully we were outside the ride so we didn't get stuck inside with all the music and noise. It only took them a few minutes to come rescue us. Then to our great dismay the kids HAD to go on It's a Small World! They have updated it a bit and we survived...barely! We were wanting to take the kids into ToonTown, but for some reason it was closed. There were cast members by the gates, but I never did go and see what was going on. 


So instead we ventured over to Tomorrowland to ride the Astro Orbitor again. Michael rode with Jack and I rode with Ella and Zeke. Owen got a rocket all to himself! Of course the cute little chicken never did raise his rocket all the way up! 


Cute little co-pilots!!! 


Then the older kids wanted to go on Star Tours and the Buzz Lightyear ride so Zeke and I wandered around and then found a shady spot to sit and watch the Jedi Training Academy. I hadn't read up on it and didn't really know what to expect. I was told that we needed to make our kids stand out in order for them to be picked, but I know my kids and they don't really like being in the limelight so I wasn't worried about it too much. We did bring their lightsabers with us since we didn't put them together right when we built them. A cast member fixed them and then the boys played with them during the show. 


We were over on the far left side of the stage and at first I thought we'd have a great view and then brought out this huge wardrobe thing and parked it right in front of us so we couldn't see the stage. Thankfully the characters move around a bunch so we could see pretty well. 


Darth Maul was pretty creepy looking! 


It was super cool when the whole stage lifted up and Darth Vader came out to fight the kids. 

Before sitting down to watch the Jedi Training I had gotten us fastpasses to Space Mountain, but after the show we realized it would be a pain because one of us would have to take a few kids and then the other would have to go on afterwards. It just wasn't something we really wanted to do...plus Owen was freaked out in the dark so it probably wasn't a good idea anyway! We ended up giving away our fastpasses for others to enjoy!

After that the kids were ready to say goodbye to Disneyland and go over to California Adventure to have some fun. Our first stop was at a little market right after you get in the gate where we got some fruit since the kids were starving. Then we just decided to go to the Test Pilots Grill for lunch. This is by far the best place to eat in regards to amount of food, type of food and price. Michael and I split a bleu cheese bacon burger with fries and we got the kids 2 adult size chicken nugget (Not MCD's quality...really nice chicken breast nuggets) meals with fries and split it between the 4 of them. I think it came to $32 so that was pretty cheap! Plus we ended up only wasting 1.5 chicken nuggets. At almost every other restaurant the kids would barely eat anything we bought them. 

Owen really wanted to go on California Screamin' again, but logistically it just wasn't going to work. He was the only child that was big enough to go so I was going to have 3 kids....2 in strollers! We explained it to him and he was fine. So we started walking towards the Ferris Wheel and Zeke fell asleep! 



I do not like the Ferris Wheel...especially the swinging ones...so I just pushed the stroller through a few stores and then sat on a bench with a dad holding his sleeping daughter. 


I took that time to snap a picture of Zeke and upload it to FB and then I looked up and Michael and the kiddos were right in front of me. I tried to get their attention, but they couldn't hear me. 



After that Michael was pretty much done with rides so I took the kids on a few. We went on the Swings, Goofy's Flight School roller coaster, the Jumping Jelly Fish and the Golden Zephyr.


The boys were able to go together thanks to us coaching Jack to say he was 7....when I say coaching I mean lying! As if I really needed to teach him that! However, you'll be happy to know that when you ask him how old he is now he says 6 so there was no permanent damage! :) 


Jumping with my cute Ella Bean! 


After the Golden Zephyr we....kids included were D O N E...DONE!!! It just hit us and we were ready to say goodbye to Disneyland. 


One more stop at the bathrooms before heading out. Ella was super tired here! She never sucks her thumb in public....she only sucks it when she goes to bed at night and then she takes it out once she's asleep. She amazed us though because she NEVER took a nap or fell asleep in the car at all the entire trip and she behaved beautifully! This is a girl that still naps everyday at home for at least 1.5 hrs and if she misses a nap is a crazy child. Like I said...amazing!! 

As you might remember we had passes to go see Elsa and Anna and we had every intention of going back to Disneyland and doing us, but like I said we were DONE! I did try to give our passes away to a couple with a little girl heading towards Disneyland, but they didn't want them....not sure if they thought I was selling them and that's why they didn't want them, but I was surprised....these tickets are pretty sought after! I didn't want to stand there forever trying to find someone that wanted them so I figured I tried and called it good. 

On the way to the hotel I started getting worried that maybe they towed our van since technically we had checked out that morning. Thankfully our van was just fine and didn't even have a boot on it like Michael was worried about. We got the last little bit of stuff in the van, I left the nasty switched stroller by the dumpster and we set off on the next leg of our journey. 


That night we were driving all the way to Fresno which is about 4 hours away. We stopped at some town and ate at Wendy's for dinner. I really dislike fast food, but we needed to get on the road quickly so we wouldn't be arriving at the hotel after 10pm. With that being said we only ate fast food 4 times our entire trip...I'm so proud! When we did arrive it was dusk and I had promised Owen we would go in the pool, but then we discovered that they had an outdoor pool. It wasn't well lit and it was actually cool out. Note to self...always make sure the hotels has an indoor pool! It ended up being okay though because it gave the kids time to play with the toys they bought with their money. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Disneyland Road Trip - Day 7

For the 3rd day we decided to go back to California Adventure. Ga-Ga & Pa only had 3 day hopper passes so we wanted to hit some of the things we missed the day before. Of course right after we made it through the bag check line I reached for our passes that should have been in my back pocket and realized they weren't there. They were back on the dresser in the hotel room! While Michael ran back to the hotel to get them the kids entertained themselves by blowing bubbles. 


We could have stood in line to the park, but seriously why would you stand in the sun when you can wait in the shade! 


Pa bought Zeke's Tow Mater shirt and Owen's Planes shirt the day before. They were both so happy to wear them! 


Ella wore her Tink shirt that I made forever ago! 


Jack chose a car toy instead of a shirt so he wore his LEGO Indiana Jones shirt. 


Running around stomping bubbles is so much fun!!! 


Walking down Buena Vista Street. There is a lot of changes to this area. The fountain at the end of the street used to be a huge sun and there was also an ice cream shop called the BurrrrBank Creamery. Now its a....


Seriously they are everywhere! 


Of course Ga-Ga couldn't pass up some Starbucks tea! As you can see she got tea for everyone! 


It was already so hot that we decided to do Grizzly River Run first. I really didn't want to walk around with wet undies all day so I used one of the ponchos I bought at the Dollar Tree before we left. Everybody loved this ride! 


Ga-Ga hung out in the shade with Zeke while we were on the ride. We have decided that in the future we aren't taking the kids to Disney anything until Zeke is at least 7 years old. It will just be easier when we can all go on the rides and no one gets left out! 


Next up was The Challenge Trail....it has also been updated because of the movie Up and the character Russell earning his badges. The kids got these maps that had challenges...one was finding a footprint for the big bird named Kevin in the movie .


They earned their Bravery badge by going on the zipline. I get hot just looking at this picture of us standing there...it was scorching hot! 


The boys do the zipline at the sprinkler park all the time so this was super easy! 


The maps for where the different challenges were located left a lot to be desired so it was kind of a wild goose chase. To get the Eagles Nest badge I thought you needed to go up to the top of the tower, but that wasn't the case. Who'd of thought the Eagles Nest challenge would be on the ground. Weird! 


Zeke man was pretty much done with being in there....he did have some fun climbing on the rocks that are shaped like sleeping bears. 

After the Challenge Trail we took the kids over to Ariel's Adventure...it was a nice ride to cool down on. Then Michael and I took Owen to California Screamin'. We weren't sure how he would like it since he was scared of Indiana Jones, but that was mainly because it was in the dark. He said he would be fine since it was out in the light. He was right....he LOVED it! 


With the glare it's really hard to see, but you can make out Owen smiling! 

After California Screamin' we met back up with Ga-Ga & Pa...that is after they when on a hunt for Ga-Ga's umbrella stroller. When we went with Owen we left both strollers with Ga-Ga & Pa. Ga-Ga went shopping with Zeke in our black stroller and Pa took Jack and Ella on the Ariel ride and left the umbrella stroller in the stroller parking like we had many times before. Well....someone switched their stroller with ours! I had read that people sometimes do this, but didn't think it would happen to us. They had the exact same umbrella stroller except theirs was junk...broken canopy....big sticker in the canopy window, filthy and the little latch to keep it shut when you folded it was broken! Seriously some people! How rude! Oh well...at least we still had a stroller and it did move! 


Next up was the Toy Story Mania Ride. I had heard nothing about this ride at all. The line said it was only 30 minutes...which is long enough with 4 kids, but it looked super cute. It ended up taking more than 40 minutes and it was HOT HOT HOT! 


Yes...Owen I agree!!! 


Like I said I had never heard anything about this ride so I had no idea what we were in store for or why we needed 3D glasses. 


I did overhear someone say it was awesome and I was thinking it better be with this wait!!! :) 


Since there were 4 adults and 4 kids we just split up so each adult had one child. This ride was AMAZING!!! I wish we had been able to go on it over and over, but the line was always so long! It was like a bunch of 3D arcade games. You had these guns that you have to pull a lever and they would "shoot" out different things like darts, balls or rings as your trying to get as many points possible. We took up one full car so that meant that our family was playing against each other. The cars are set up so you sit back to back....hard to explain. We would be facing away from each other but playing the same type of game on a screen in front of us. There were screens on either side of the car. It was so much fun! They definitely need to set up fastpasses for this ride to make it easier to go on. 

After all that fun we went to The Wharf to have lunch. Even though it was hot outside I had a serious craving for Clam Chowder in one of those awesome bread bowls. Yummy! 


We sat right up against the rails where you could see all the ducks in the water. Of course Zeke was not interested in eating...when is he! 


So he fed Ga-Ga's bread to the ducks instead. He and the other kids had so much fun doing this. I was sure we were going to get talked to, but we never did and even the kids next to us joined in the fun. 

Earlier in the morning while Ga-Ga was getting Starbucks Michael had ran over to get us all fasspasses for Radiator Racers again. This time it was Ga-Ga's turn to go since she had stayed with Zeke the last time. I can't wait until Zeke is big enough to go on this ride! 


So Pa was the lucky one that hung out with Zeke over in the same place Ga-Ga did the day before. We thought that Zeke would probably fall asleep since he had not had a nap yet, but no way!!! 


He wanted out of that stroller so he would stretch his legs! 


He also pushed the switched umbrella stroller around all over the place. Pa said it was so fun to watch him. You know he could have been in the middle of no where and he wouldn't care...as long as he had a stroller to push around. 


After Radiator Racers (we got to go the other way this time...there are two possible choices) we wandered over to the Cozy Cones and got some frozen lemonade and ice cream. Mater was there as well and we were able to just walk right up to see him. I think Zeke was even more excited to see Mater than McQueen....makes sense since he picked out the Mater shirt instead of a McQueen shirt the day before! 

After this we took the older three with us to go on Sourin' California and then to Grizzly River Run. This time I did NOT wear a poncho! 


The line was long and we didn't have fastpasses, but it was worth it! Ga-Ga & Pa were with Zeke....he finally napped...and they were saving seats for the Pixar Parade. The Grizzly River Run took longer than we thought so we literally got there and crossed the street right before it started. 


It was so much fun seeing the characters all at once like this.


Plus most of the floats have water squirters so they spray you and it feels so nice! 


Jack Jack the Incredible.....the reason we nicknamed Jack - Jack Jack when he was a baby! 


To Infinity and Beyond! 


I love Toy Story!!! 


Ga-Ga & Pa were sitting under a tree a ways back from the road, but I wanted to be close so we sat on the ground. The cute baby girl in pink was so adorable. She was the star of the parade! All the characters would come up to her and she would get so excited...it was so cute! 


Of course Lightning McQueen and Mater were grand finale! 

Pa, Michael and the older boys left the park right after the parade. Pa splurged and took them out to Medieval Times while Ga-Ga, Ella and I stayed in the park to shop! 


Heading back to the hotel to get the car!



Posing with their crowns!


As you can tell by the color of their crowns they were routing for the red knight. Jack thoroughly enjoyed everything. He even ate the food! Michael did have to reassure him that it was just acting and no one was really going to get killed! 


Owen barely tried any of the food, but he also enjoyed himself. Not so much the pomp and circumstance at the beginning...he was looking forward to the fighting! 


Here is their knight! They did all sorts of things like jousting and sword fighting of course. Michael said it was a longer show than the show we went to back in 2000. 


Sadly their knight was taken down by the blue knight! :( 

While the boys were experience gladiator type carnage us girls plus Zeke were buying the things that the kids had picked out with their money. Owen got - Toy Story Bucket of Solders & Bucket of Little Green Men and his Sheriff gun set. Jack got a big Buzz Lightyear with all the bells and whistles and a Brave archery set. Ella got an Ariel pajama dress and a big stuffed Stitch. Zeke got a Lightning McQueen football and a giant Mac truck with 10 die cast cars from the movie. After our shopping spree we went and ate at the bakery in Downtown Disney before coming back to the hotel and trying to organize everything since we'd be checking out the next morning! It was a long, fun day!!!