Friday, August 31, 2012

Disneyland Day 3

We got to California Adventure bright and early Thursday morning. The boys might have been a tad bit sleepy still, hence the eating a bagel and a sucker--you do what you gotta do sometimes! We wanted to get there early so that we could get a fastpass to ride Radiator Springs Racers. As it was, we got there 30 minutes before the park opened and Jim was still in line for over an hour. It was crazy, but totally worth it! People were waiting in line for hours to ride this ride, and we walked on the ride 4 times (total) in the space of an hour.

 T wanted to be our map-man. He told us where we should go and had fun having control!

Our first stop was Luigi's Casa Del Tires. James was in line for our fastpasses still, but luckily was able to meet us in line in time to enjoy the ride. Talmage was so excited--and was super proud of his lanyard filled with collectible pins and buttons.

 We tried to have James and Evie ride together. Tears, tears and tears. Poor boys!

I think Midway Mania (the Buzz ride at California Adventure) just might have been James' and my favorite ride! It was a mix of a ride and a video game. We wore 3D glasses and got to shoot darts at different targets. If it didn't have an hour wait time (and no fastpasses) we might have done it over and over and over again.

 Evie on his favorite ride. Again. I think we rode this 3 times in a row.

I thought T might be afraid of the swings (I kind of feel like I'm going to fly off into the nearby pond) but he loved it. I'm glad.

 Talmage and Handy Manny.

If the only thing in California Adventure was the Aladdin show in the Hyperion theater, our price of admission would be worth it. It was a Broadway-esque musical and it was hilarious, moving and beautifully done. Not to mention it was cool and dark in the theater and Evie slept through the whole thing. Score!

And then back to Radiator Springs! We seriously couldn't leave this place. We had a milkshake in Flo'z V8 Cafe that was topped with gravel.

Our boys are so predictable sometimes. What was Talmage's special treat from Disneyland? A Cars toy--space Mater and Roger to be exact. What was Everett's special treat from Disneyland? A Mickey Mouse ball. I so could have told you that's what they would pick. So predictable. But they really, really love their toys which is so good!

Between fastpasses and stroller passes we got to ride Radiator Springs Racers 4 times in a row--T twice, Jim twice, me twice! Well done Disney is all I have to say! It was the perfect mix of telling a story and giving a thrill and it was awesome. Well worth the early morning and long wait in line--well, well worth it! 

We met Grandma and Bruce for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. Even after a nap, T was a bit testy by this point (as seen in picture above with elephant!). The dinner was delicious and gave us the energy to get through the rest of the night.

James and I were too sad to think of our vacation coming to an end, so we coaxed the boys into falling asleep in the stroller and then we played, played, played. We almost closed the park down and it was a brilliant way to end an awesome family vacation! Hooray for the Wiggy Four Disney trip!

Disneyland Day 2

Day 2 was SO much fun. Luckily I was able to sleep through the night, but we still woke up early so that we could attend Mickey's Toontown Madness (another Costco perk!) Mickey's Toontown Madness allows special ticketholders to go into Mickey's Toontown an hour early, meet all the characters, see a song/dance number and become honorary citizens of Toontown. It was adorable.

 T and Goofy meet again! Talmage was more than excited to see him!

 T gave both Chip and Dale lots of love!

Mickey Mouse and Talmage-boy. Umm...T in heaven? Yup. 
Their song and dance was so cute. I seriously had to pinch myself multiple times during this trip because it was so perfect...exactly what we needed after a crazy summer. The mayor had us all raise our hands and become honorary citizens of Toontown.
The boys really enjoyed "driving" these stationary cars...especially Evie. He felt so big and kept saying "Whoa!" and laughing.

 I love the attention to detail in Disneyland...check out this cute water fountain.

 James showing us his muscles muscles by lifting this weight (or attempting!)

 Me and the boys. In Toontown Jail. Sad.

Another ride on It's a Small World for Evie and a ride on the train for Talmage and we left Disneyland for...

California Adventure!!!
We spent the second half of our day enjoying all things CA. It was so much fun and so exciting. 

We walked right into a performance by Mickey Mouse and some "newsies." The singing and dancing was fantastic. One things for sure, California Adventure really knows how to do shows--there were tons to see (on the street and in the theater) and they were all amazing.

We made a small stop in It's a Bug Life World. This might be the only thing I wasn't impressed with on our whole trip. It just wasn't that great, period. The rides seemed really cheap and there wasn't that feeling of an experience you get in other parks. T thought the rides were ok but I don't think he was thrilled either.

You want to be thrilled? Radiator Springs (Cars Land) is the place to be. I had read EVERYTHING there was to know about Cars Land and watched countless videos on youtube (more than you want to know) and I was still totally blown away by it's ability to transport you right onto Route 66. It feels so real and that place was magical for the whole family. We ended up spending a good majority of the next day and a half doing everything we could in Cars Land. The highlight for T--meeting Lightning McQueen!

We splurged and got T a Lightning McQueen lunchbox filled with popcorn. He played with that car ALL DAY LONG and wanted to sleep with it that night so I would say it was worth it! He was so happy about the car that he almost forgot about the food--and for T, that's saying something!

We also got a drink in a Cozy Cone Cup. I saw these and I just couldn't resist. I have a bit of a cup obsession and this baby screamed my name with cuteness! It's a cone with a straw--ahh!!!

We met Red and rode on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (Evie is 32 inches tall with shoes on and could ride this ride) and then decided to go see some shows and eat some linner/lupper!

 We ran into Jake (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates).

We saw Mater (as well as all of our other favorite Pixar pals) in the Play Parade and it was awesome...especially since it was a wet parade and it was really hot! We also saw the Disney Junior show and Talking with Crush. Memorable Moment--When we were in with Crush Evie started screaming. Crush said, "Dude, did you guys hear that dolphin? He's going, 'waaa! wahh!' Don't worry dudes, I can translate. He's saying, 'I'm really tired, and I want a churro!'" It was so funny.

I think Evie's favorite ride at California Adventure was the carousel. He loved holding on all by himself and he was being such a big boy!

 In Paradise Pier we rode all sorts of boardwalk-ish rides and then ate the yummiest churro ever, Crush's suggestion.

 And then we went back to Cars was too cool not to! Talmage posing with Stanley.

We couldn't stop staring at Radiator Springs Racers. How beautiful is that? And doesn't it look totally real? Amazing, right?

A few times a day DJ comes out onto the street for a dance party. Luckily we were there to rock out with him.

We got ice cream cones from the Cozy Cone Motel (where they ask "How cone I help you?") and waited for dusk and the city lighting ceremony.

 Does it surprise any of you that I cried when the signs started lighting up? It probably shouldn't! It was so magical. They played the song Life Can Be a Dream from the movie Cars and then one by one the signs lit up. Loved it.

 We ended our night with a picture with Mater. We thought about staying in the park late again, but our kids were screaming and clawing at each other so we figured they needed some rest before we woke them up early for day 3!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Disneyland Day 1

Our first day at Disneyland started early...I actually was up all night long with excitement so by the time my 5:30 alarm went off I was itching to get out of bed. Our tickets included one early entry morning (and since I'm crazy and wanted to be one of the first people in the park) we got to Disneyland at 6:30 am so that we could get in at 7. Our kids are up early, so I wanted to make the most of our early entry. SUCH a good decision. We were the first people to ride Peter Pan, Dumbo, Mr. Toad's, the carousel and Pinnochio--and that was all done in 20 minutes-ish. We ended up going on 8 rides in an hour, and we were already lined up for Nemo's Submarine (with Space Mountain fastpass in hand) when 8 am rolled around. It was perfect!

 The boys in front of the castle. T was way too thrilled to be in his seat!

 I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this picture. This is us on our first ride at Disneyland (Peter Pan) at 7:05 am. Talmage's face is priceless...I think he was a little freaked out about what his parents got him into!

T and Daddy on Dumbo...Evie was mostly my riding buddy. He's become quite the Momma's boy lately (even more than before if you can believe it).

 Our family on the carousel. Talmage and his cheesy picture faces...oh man that kid!

Talmage wanted to spin 100 mph! We ended up going again later (just Mommy and T) so we could spin fast, fast, fast!

Evie's favorite rides were the ones he could sit on my lap. If he sat on my lap, he loved the ride. If he had to sit next to me instead of on me, he would cry and claw me until the ride started (he always loved the rides when they were moving) but then he'd continue to claw me until I picked him up when the ride finished.

Nemo's submarine is cool. Disney has done such a good job re-vamping this ride. The Nemo parts are so awesome. Everett was still as can be through the whole ride just looking out the window. 

A 3 year old with a drivers license = whiplash for Mom. Dear Autopia, you really think he's big enough to drive? My neck doesn't! Love, Mom

 Talmage's favorite ride by far was the Buzz Astro Blasters. I've gotta admit, it was super fun. You get to shoot targets with your laser gun and it calculates your points. James is a better shot than me, hands down.

 This little guy was so tuckered out. He fell asleep to Michael Jackson rocking out in Captain EO!

Everett's favorite ride was It's a Small World. During the whole boat ride he would point to various things in the room and say, "Whoa! Wow! Whoa!" James and I were cracking up.

After a few more rides (Space Mountain twice, Star Tours, Astro Blasters and all things Storybook) we went home for naps. It was an early morning and we knew it was going to be a late night so we wanted the boys to be rested. We made it back to the park in time for the parade which was so cute. I loved Princess Tiana and Peter Pan. They were adorable!

Other memorable first day things:
  • The Jungle Cruise hilariousness, having to leave the Tiki Room with a screaming Everett, dinner at the Golden Horseshoe.
  • Talmage had been telling us all day long how he gets to do XX because he's 3, or gets to do that because he's 3. After riding Thunder Mountain Railroad he said, "I only get to ride that one time because Evie's one!"
  • Riding Splash Mountain with Talmage. After the ride he said, "I was not very brave in dat ride. Dose big hills scared me a wot, a wot!" He was brave, by the way.
  • One of our first rides of the day was Mr. Toads and T was super scared during one part when we "drove" into a tunnel. For the rest of the day on every ride Talmage would ask, "Is there a tunnel in dis ride?" (Sound familiar Mom? Supposedly I did this same thing when I was his age except I was traumatized by the hippos on the Jungle Cruise).
  • Front row seats and a dropped jaw by T at Fantasmic. Watching fireworks over the castle while walking around...perfect ending!
  • The boys crashing their heads hit the pillow!