Sunday, March 05, 2006

Savoring the Moments (Disney day 5)

Today was our 5th and final day at Disney. We had seen nearly everything at Disneyland and California Adventure so planned on making today a "best hits" day by visiting our favorite attractions at both parks.

We came armed with a list of the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to see. Our only mistake was in judging the number of people at the park today. WOW ... Saturdays are busy! And with Mom in a wheelchair it was sometimes hard to maneuver the park with all those people. But we made due.

Our first stop was Adventureland and the Indiana Jones ride. Tristan, who was too frightened to try it yesterday decided that he was brave enough today. He rode it and loved it, claiming he wasn't scared one bit (although he sure jumped at the giant snake, just like I did).

We headed towards Splash Mountain next but wisely thought it through and decided that being wet at 9:30am probably wasn't the best idea. Instead we jumped on the Disneyland railroad and rode it to Tomorrowland.

This is where the majority of our Disneyland favorites are. We rode Space Mountain (still awesome ... wish we could have rode this a few more times this trip), Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (officially I must tell you that Brian beat me in the point total, though he had extra practice, having played this earlier on our trip) and Star Tours (Brian, Carissa and I sat out ... that ride makes me want to hurl!).

Next we visited Innoventions, which was a great way to pass some time. They had all sorts of games, computers and interactive exhibits set up. It really was a fun area. The highlights here were seeing ASIMO, a robot that can walk up stairs, move forward, back and sideways and tons of other interesting things. I was really astounded at what he could do and how human-like he was. Amazing. The highlight for the kids was the short personal video call they got with Stitch. Carissa spoke first, telling him her name and introducing her brothers. Stitch was very interactive, asking who the person in the back with the fire on their head was (i.e. that's me ... he thought I should put it out! LOL), asking for the kids names, giving them answers to their questions (his favorite color is blue and he has lots of favorite foods) and looking directly at the kids when they talked. My kids are such Stitch freaks (especially Tristan!) that this was right up their alley. At the end of the video call Stitch took our photo, which I've attached right here. You can tell how thrilled the kids were to have had the chance to talk to their beloved Stitch.

Once we were done in Tomorrowland we headed to see if there were princesses near the castle, as Carissa had only met a few princesses. Alas, they were leaving as we arrived (again, the same thing happened yesterday) so we kept on towards Critter Country. First stop was lunch at the Hungry Bear then on to Splash Mountain. Thank goodness for having Mom in a wheelchair. We were able to bypass the 60 minute standby line and waited only 15-20 minutes in the handicap line. The whole time the kids were scheming for a way to get Mom wet. When we loaded the boat everyone else loaded first, leaving Grandma sitting in the only available seat - the front. Now for anyone who has ridden or seen Splash Mountain, when the ride comes down the huge hill the water splashed was up on the boat, drenching the person first in the boat. Usually the boys are there but they decided to give up their coveted spot in order to get Grandma wet. And boy, did it work. Hours later she was still complaining that she was wet! LOL Here's the photo of that ride.

By now it was early afternoon and time to head over to California Adventure. We headed straight for the favorite ride of both Brian and myself - Tower of Terror. The line was long and we didn't want to wait so we grabbed some Fast Passes and headed for Grizzly River Rapids (we caught Belle on the walk and Carissa was THRILLED!). Again, the lines were long and the ride had a glitch that shut it down while we were waiting so we exited and visited the newly reopened Redwood Creek Adventure Trail. This was a fun play area for the kids and they enjoyed walking the suspension bridges, rope nets and big slides.

We knew that most of the rides were pretty busy all day long so opted to just go stake out our spot for the Block Party Bash, a parade with performers from all of the Disney Pixar films. We grabbed a good spot and got Mom and the kids settled and then Brian, Dad and I proceeded to Tower of Terror to use our fastpasses. Again, the ride was awesome and Brian was able to videotape part of it. Part way through the ride however he apparently forgot that he had the video camera and let it go. Just as we were dropping I looked his way and saw the video camera hovering about head level, almost as if it were weightless and we were in space. I saw the whole thing in slow motion and it seemed so surreal ... until I remembered that we were on the ride. I grabbed the camera and tugged it down for Brian, who flipped it back on for a few more seconds of filming.

We hustled back to the parade site and waited for it to begin. It was a fun parade with music and dancing and such. It was a great parade and we were glad to be in the "party zone" when the parade stopped to do it's thing.

After the parade we transferred back over to Disneyland to stake out our spot for their parade, "Parade of Dreams". We left Mom holding our spot and went to our final ride of our Disney trip - A Small World. This was Carissa's only ride request for our final day and we thought it a fitting tribute to end our trip there.

We hustled back to our spot to watch the parade, which was fairly short but with several pretty floats. Carissa was thrilled just to see the princesses on their floats. After the parade we decided to just stick it out and wait there for the fireworks, "Remember ... Dreams Come True". We had dinner and then Brian and I went on a last-minute shopping expedition for t-shirts. We stopped for ice cream and hot chocolate (ice cream for us, hot chocolate for the kids) and sat down together and relaxed before the fireworks started. Carissa cuddled up in Grandma's lap and fell asleep. Chase laid down and caught a much-needed catnap too. Tristan was the only one awake when the fireworks started.

For those who haven't seen the fireworks show for Disneyland's 50th anniversary, you are missing out! Those fireworks were so awesome and were the best fireworks I have ever seen. Well worth the wait. And to see Tinkerbell flying over the castle was absolutely awesome.

After the fireworks we hung our for a few moments, sitting on the benches waiting for the crowd to disperse. It was then that it hit me - this is it. This is the end of this trip, the end of the magic for now, the end of the fun and magical time we had together. That saddened me so much that I started tearing up. It was such a great way and a wonderful last day spent together.

1 comment:

Linda said...

That tears it...when you take your next trip, book a spot for me! You guys seem to have your finger on the pulse of Disney, and your trip makes me want to vacation there again...and I haven't felt that way in a LONG time (since my honeymoon in '99 when things seemed great at first...then went downhill fast).

Thanks for sharing your trip with us!