Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last couple days of Disneyland

On Wednesday morning we were worn out and decided to take it easy. We headed for Disneyland to enjoy the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at the Haunted Mansion, ride the Winnie the Pooh ride again and finally take the boys to Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer’s Island.
It was another low photo taking day, but Cody did take a fair amount of video. The boys had a lot of fun running all over the island, climbing through caves and finding the pirate treasure.

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Turning this wheel raised and lowered a sunken treasure chest, the boys ran in a circle turning the wheel alternating between giggling about it and being very focused on keeping up with each other.
They also had a couple of bridges that we went back and forth over.

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We also made time to enjoy Jungle Cruise and a Cody and the boys shared a couple of Dole floats, a magical combination of pineapple soft serve in a cup of pineapple juice. This was the only day it was almost too warm, of course we were also chasing the boys around a sunny island.
With everyone being tired we headed back to the hotel for naps early. In the room Nicholas and Andrew showed just how much they are willing to share. They still are attached to their towels and have them at nap and bedtime. I had packed a dozen towels for the trip, at nap time the boys were only able to find two not in their beds. So Andrew happily handed the corner of his towel to Nicholas while waiting for us to change them before naps.

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Parker had a towel all to himself and was acting silly.

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We finished out the day at Disneyland spending more time in Tomorrowland. The goal was to make it an early night so that we could again make it to Disney California Adventure early for a fastpass for World of Color.
Thursday we were up and out so early we considered visiting Downtown Disney just to pass time. Instead we waited in line, took a few pictures and easily made it to collect our blue pass for the show.

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If you can’t read the shirts, Nicholas has Ctrl + C on it. Andrew and Parker have Ctrl + V. We are embracing our inner geek.

While at DCA we had a few attractions on the list to see. I wanted to visit the Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar in hopes of seeing a preview of what would be coming to Cars Land, sadly it was a display about the changes to entrance of the park. Tower of Terror and Disney Junior Live on Stage was also on the must do list. Tower is always fun, the line was almost non-existent so Cody and I were both able to ride before the Disney Junior show.
The Disney Junior show was cute, but like most shows at Disney the volume seems to be turned up as high as possible. Nicholas is more sensitive to the loudness. He started saying loud and crying so Cody had to take him out of the show halfway through. Andrew and Parker sat through the full show clapping along with everyone else.
The last stop before changing parks was just for the boys, meeting full sized Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. I thought their little heads were going to explode. They just kept saying ‘touch Lightning, touch Mater’ and couldn’t believe we let them touch the cars. It was really hard to get a picture of them because they wouldn’t look away from the cars for anything.

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We can’t wait for Cars Land to open next year, we plan to visit again next fall. I hope the boys are still interested in Cars next year. Given their obsession with everything with wheels I’m not worried.
We headed for Disneyland but stopped for a Mickey bar for Cody which of course he shared. This was the boys first Mickey bar.

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Note Andrew not so patiently waiting for another bite, can’t really blame him as chocolate was involved.

At Disneyland we headed for Fantasy and Tomorrowland for some Star Tours fast passes and for lunch. The lines were short for most rides so we decided to see how the boys would do on the Mad Tea Party.

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They are fans and kept requesting to spin more and faster. I’m going to take it as a sign that I’m getting older because I was not up to spinning more and certainly not faster. Teacups survived we took the boys to an attraction they had been eyeing all week, Autopia. A chance for the boys to drive their own cars (on a track, thank goodness).
I took Nicholas with me, he did all of the steering while I pushed the pedal. Cody took Andrew and Parker. I had read before hand that if you have two kids too young to ride alone you can ask a cast member to allow you to ride again with the other child steering. After our first time around the track Cody passed Andrew to me so he could give Parker a chance to drive.

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While I was waiting with the boys, Andrew tripped over his own feet, bit his lip and started bleeding. Along with the bleeding (it was a small cut) he also let out a scream. You know that scream that makes your eardrums feel like they are going to implode? It brought a few other guests and a cast member over to us. The cast member, Stephen, wanted to make sure he was okay and offered to let him drive again. I told him it wasn’t necessary, but as he asked Andrew directly if he wanted to drive I couldn’t exactly say no.
As soon as Andrew got behind the wheel the tears were gone.

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Nicholas spent much of the ride calling Andrew a crazy driver.

After lunch and naptime it was back to DCA for World of Color, but this time we arrived two hours before the start of the show to ensure we got a really good spot. In preparation for the long wait we had drinks, popcorn and other snacks plus a secret weapon. Lightning McQueen light up toys.

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Yes Parker is kissing his Lightning McQueen, the toys were a hit. They still fight to keep those toys in hand at all times.

We had a great viewing spot, we had earplugs for the boys and all enjoyed the show.

Friday morning we enjoyed early entry to Toontown in hopes of meeting some characters, riding Roger Rabbit and Gadget’s Go Coaster. Last year it was raining so all of the characters were in Mickey’s house and we were able to meet them all one after another. On our way to Toontown we ran into Henry Work of Touringplans he spotted us while riding the teacups. He has just about the coolest job ever.  We use the crowd calendar at Touringplans.com to pick our vacation dates to help ensure short wait times and it has never steered us wrong. We’ve met Henry a couple times on previous trips, he called out from the ride recognizing Cody. Then came to say hi briefly. As he was working he couldn’t visit for long. 
In Toontown the characters were not yet available so we rode Gadget’s Go Coaster a couple times and hoped that Rodger Rabbit would resolve the technical difficulties it was experiencing. After riding the coaster Cody discovered that it wasn’t meant for tall people. The coaster has some water jets meant to shoot over the riders, Cody took a direct shot to head from one of the jets.
Rodger Rabbit still wasn’t open so we joined the line to meet Mickey again.

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Rodger Rabbit had opened while we were waiting for Mickey, but by the time we made it out of Mickey’s house it had broken down again. Maybe we’ll get to ride it next year.
The boys had already seen Henry riding the tea cups and were asking to ride them again. We were the only ones in line to ride it.

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They still enjoyed it, with lots and lots of spinning.

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We went on a few more attractions before naptime and picked up some fastpasses for after naptime. Friday night there was a Halloween party in the park which meant it would be closing early without an additional ticket. We went back to Disneyland briefly to use our fastpasses, it was the most crowded we had seen all week. We knew the party had sold out, but didn’t expect for it to get so crowded so quickly.
As soon as the crowds started to get bad we said goodbye to Disneyland and headed to DCA. We spent sometime on the pier riding the carousel, the Golden Zepher and California Screamin’ on our way out we saw Turtle Talk again and checked out ElecTRONica.
After exiting the park we did some shopping. During the week we had already picked out the souvenirs for us, the boys and some friends. So it was more of a picking up the items then shopping. Sadly Disney still doesn’t have any tall sized clothing and all of their boys shirts only have 2 designs/colors in each style, so no one got a t-shirt. Saturday morning was more of the same, buying the last few things we wanted before loading back into the van for the 12 hour drive home.  The drive home was uneventful, we stopped in Saint George for a couple hours of sleep and made it home just after dawn.

I can’t wait to go back next year. The boys should be tall enough to ride almost every attraction in the parks and be better able to tell us what they want to do.

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