Another perfect day at Disneyland. It was Brian’s Mom’s birthday today and everything seemed to cooperate. The weather was beautiful and she liked what the kids did for her birthday. We even got her a birthday sticker so Disney Cast Members kept wishing her a Happy Birthday all day long.
We had early entry into the park this morning so arrived nice and early. We rushed into the park and headed straight for Dumbo. Not only were we the first on the ride for today, the kids also got to ride in the golden Dumbo. As part of Disney’s 50th Birthday celebration they have outfitted some rides with golden one golden vehicle. The kids were lucky enough to get the golden Dumbo and were thrilled. (See photo.). I rode Dumbo also, but sat alone as Brian and his parents were apparently too cool to ride Dumbo (OK, to be honest no one was thrilled with going round and round and round and up and down … they have no sense of adventure! LOL).
Immediately after Dumbo we ran to Peter Pan’s flight, as the lines for this are usually very long.
After Peter Pan we went to the much-anticipated Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. For whatever reason, Chase was really looking forward to this ride. While it was good, one ride was enough so we headed to King Arthur’s Carrousel.
After the carousel we headed over for a quick ride on Space Mountain. I love the changes they recently made and the kids all enjoyed the ride. I think we’re turning them into roller coaster junkies, as they would have rode again.
After this we went to get a FastPass to Autopia, but realized that they forgot to scan one of our tickets in when we entered the park. Brian went to deal with that while I took the kids to Toontown.
What I didn’t know is that Toontown didn’t open until 11am, so we met with Mickey and Minnie (see photos) outside the gates to Toontown and rushed in right at the stroke of 11. We took a quick ride on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and then headed to Gadget’s Go-Coaster, a kid-friendly coaster. The kids and I were the only ones to ride this again (everyone else sat out), and I think it was a good thing as the seats were TINY.
After hitting a few shops and Chip –n- Dale’s treehouse we headed out of Toontown.
We grabbed a few churros to snack on then took a quick ride on the Matterhorn.
Next we trotted over to Tommorowland where he used our fastpasses for Autopia. Brian and Chase rode together, just as they had done at DisneyWorld 4 years before, only this time Chase was driving and Brian was riding shotgun instead of the other way around. Brian said Chase did great and was a pretty good driver. Dad and Tristan rode together and, like Chase, Tristan did a pretty good job. Now I think the guys were a bit smarter than me in choosing their driving partners, as I got to ride with Carissa. That girl can NOT drive! Good thing those things are on a track or we would have been all over the place. I ran the gas pedal so all she had to do was steer, but I nearly got whiplash from all the thumps and bumps along the way. Oh well, she had a great time and didn’t even seem phased from all the turbulence.
By now everyone was hungry so we stopped for lunch.
After lunch we head to Adventureland to check out Indiana Jones. Brian’s Mom sat out with Carissa, who was too small, and Tristan, who didn’t want to ride (the scary factor is big for him lately). Chase wasn’t too sure about the ride either but decided to go for it and he LOVED it. I must admit that it was pretty good. Not quite a roller coaster, but a fun adventure ride. It quickly topped Chase’s list of favorite rides, bumping back Tower or Terror, California Screamin’ and Splash Mountain.
After Indiana Jones we went for a ride on the much more subdued Jungle Cruise. Man, was that boring! Not for the little kids of course (especially since Tristan jumped 3 feet when the piranha’s came out of the water on the side of the boat) but it was boring for us adults. A good place to relax for a few minutes though.
A few more stores and then the kids go for a solo visit of Tarzan’s treehouse. The boys took charge of Carissa and helped her through the treehouse, no small feat because of her long Belle dress she wore today that makes it hard to climb and descend stairs.
Then everyone except Carissa and I went on another ride on Pirates of the Carribbean. Carissa had a snack and she and I perused a few shops while the rest rode. It was a good chance for us to take a break and just relax together for a while.
We then headed to Splash Mountain for another go-round there. Let me tell you, this is one of the times having a wheelchair is worthwhile. We were able to use the wheelchair entrance at Splash Mountain, avoiding the 40 minute line and boarding the ride within 5 minutes. Tristan sat up front this time and got DRENCHED! He was laughing hysterically though, as is his trademark when he’s on a fun ride. He makes me laugh just by listening to how much fun his having.
He has officially decided that his favorite ride at Disneyland is Splash Mountain and opted to buy a trading pin for his lanyard to celebrate that. In true Tristan fashion though he couldn’t buy the official Splash Mountain pin, he had to buy a pin of Stitch riding a wave. That kid is hilarious about Stitch stuff. We’ve been pin trading while in Disney and 90% of the time Tristan trades for a Stitch pin. He trades one Stitch pin for another. Then he finds a different one to trade for. And so on and so forth. He bought a Stitch jacket, a Stitch jersey and hat (which he promptly lost the first day we were there L) and another Stitch trading pin. I think he’d buy the hula dancing stuffed Stitch if I’d let him.
Carissa has been trading mainly for Tinkerbell pins, though she occasionally throws in a Mickey, Minnie or Princess pin. Chase trades for whatever he thinks is coolest. And he promptly trades that away for something else. He has no objective, just the fun of trading.
Anyhow, on with the day. After Splash Mountain we went to the candy store where the boys filled tubes with sour powder candy, Carissa got chocolate coins, Brian got a chocolate and almond covered caramel on a stick and I got a pretzel stick covered with caramel, cashews and chocolate. YUM. They have some of the best looking treats in their candy stores! *drool*
After leaving Critter Country we went to visit the princesses next to the castle, but they were all leaving. Carissa was bummed! We did manage to find Ariel and waited in a very long line to meet her. When it was Carissa’s turn Ariel called her “Princess Belle”. She signed Carissa’s autograph book and then I snapped some adorable photos. As she was leaving Ariel asked Carissa if she knew how to curtsey. Carissa curtsied to Ariel and told Ariel how she has “learned that in ballet”. Ariel asked her if she knew how to tondue, which was a word Carissa did not recognize. Ariel instructed her (since she couldn’t show her, as Ariel has fins instead of feet) on how to point her toe, return to her position, then point the other toe. Then Ariel told Carissa that she could go back to ballet and tell her teacher that Ariel had taught her how to tondue. This interaction between Carissa and Ariel was brief, lasting only 2 minutes or so, but was a highlight of her day. She couldn’t take her eyes off of Ariel and was so enthralled by her. It was such a wonderful moment.
While Carissa and I met Ariel, Brian, Dad and the kids decided to take another go at the Matterhorn. This time they waited in both the left and the ride lines, to determine which course was the quickest (the unanimous decision is that the left course is much quicker than the right).
We headed straight for the Tea Cups next. Again, it was just me and the kids. Everyone else was CHICKEN! LOL The kids did a pretty good job of spinning me around the entire time we were going. But I had a lot of fun. It’s sometimes these old rides that remind me of my childhood visits to Disney.
After teacups we went to the much dreaded “It’s a Small World”. Boy, 10 minutes of that song are enough for anyone. It’s a great ride, but that song gets stuck in your head!
We decided to make some stops on Main Street and see if we could find another Stitch jersey to replace the one Tristan had lost the first day. We also stopped at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream parlor for some fresh waffle cones and ice cream.
We didn’t find the jersey so headed out of the park and into Downtown Disney where we stopped at the biggest Disney store on the west coast, World of Disney. We found the jersey for Tristan but at the last moment decided to purchase him the Stitch jacket instead.
Once done with the shopping we headed to our final destination of the evening, Rainforest Café. It was a surprise for Mom for her birthday. They had never been to Rainforest Café and didn’t quite know what to expect. I think they liked the atmosphere and I know both Brian and Dad loved their food (what man doesn’t love ribs?!?). I had a scrumptious shredded BBQ chicken wrap that was so yummy, though so huge I couldn’t eat it all. The kids had (surprise!) pizza. Then the staff came up with this huge desert and sang Brian’s mom a birthday song. We divvied the rich treat (chocolate fudge cake, ice cream, hot fudge and whip cream) up amongst us all. No one else could eat the cake, as it was too rich, but I gobbled up a whole sliver of it (and I don’t even like chocolate cake … this stuff was more like a brownie or fudge or something … SO divine!).
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to relax and get the kids to bed (Carissa didn’t last until we got home, she fell asleep before we could get out of Downtown Disney! LOL). We played another round of Phase 10 (Brian’s Mom won … AGAIN. Good thing it’s her birthday!) and watched the weather to determine where we were headed tomorrow. Then we came back to our room for some much needed rest.
Tomorrow … Sea World here we come!!!