I'm resurrecting the blog! I know I don't have time to update it often and that it's not really ever going to be what it once was, but I did want to share my trip report on here. I've got at least three other Disney trip reports on here (Disneyland girls trip-May 2010, Disneyworld - Dec. 2009, Disneyworld - Jan. 2008) and I didn't want to miss out on the chance to get this one. Because life is busy I'll be doing it in parts, as I have time to edit photos and get them posted. Here's just a short stint from our first day...
Our morning started bright and early at 4:15am. The alarm rang and immediately
Chase poked his head around the corner into our room and said "We're going to
Disneyland!" Brian woke up Carissa and I woke up Tristan, saying "Time to get
up... we're going to Disneyland!" I think we expected some sleepy little cheers
from them but I guess it was a little too early for that. Oh well, we were all
still little excited.
We didn't get out of the house as quickly as we
would have liked this morning. Brian and I are slowly realizing that time is of
no consequence to teenagers. Everyone was moseying about the house, chatting and
not really getting their butts in gear. So by the time we got out of the house
we were 15 minutes later than we'd hoped.
The drive to the airport was
clear but Brian and I were both silently watching the clock, knowing that we
could be pushing it close if the airport was busy. We did arrive in plenty of
time, however. Brian dropped me and the kids off at the curb with the luggage
while he went and parked the van in the long term parking and then took a
shuttle back to the terminal. The kids and I walked right up to the JetBlue
counter and checked our bags, though we had to keep Brian's with us until he
could personally check it in. Thankfully his journey went quickly and he was
back at the terminal within about 20 minutes of leaving there.
was the dreaded security... and I do mean dreaded. Brian and I both commented,
again, on how security is probably the most stressful part of our vacation. It's
just no fun at all and trying to keep everyone and everything in line was quite
a hassle. I did have a small moment of panic when I got my shoes and all my
other assorted gear (especially my precious camera!) back on and then realized
that I'd left my phone in a bucket at the scanner. Oh no! I hadn't walked too
far, but my heart skipped a beat until I found it. *whew*
By now the
time was 6am and we hiked it down to gate c6. We knew the plane would board
about 6:30, so I went and got some juice and water and Brian and Carissa hit the
bathroom. Then it was just sitting and waiting while we munched our breakfast of
Krispy Kreme donuts (which we also hauled through security... maybe we need to
rethink how much stuff we are bringing with us!).
Anyways, 10 donuts and
30 minutes later we were laden with sugar and ready to board the plane. We were
flying JetBlue, an airline the family had never flown. I had flown them once
before, in my girls getaway trip with Beks back in May of 2010, so I knew that I
wanted the family to fly JetBlue. There's something about those TV's in the back
of the seats that really make the flight seem so much quicker and easier! Of
course, the fact that it's only 2 hours to California (as opposed to 8 hours to
Florida) might have something to do with it too.
arrived in Long Beach safe and sound and our driver met us at the baggage claim
area. We prearranged service from DK Livery and it was great (at least this leg
of it was). We even got a short stop at a grocery store to pick up some water,
milk and apples for the room.
We got to our hotel, the Best Western Park
Place Inn, and were pleased that it was exactly where I envisioned it being...
directly across the street from the park! It is such a quick and easy walk to
the park from here and I love that! Anyways, when we arrived the clerk asked for
my voucher for the hotel room. My reply was something along the lines of
"voucher? I don't have a voucher!". My internal panic set in for a little while,
thinking that the only possibly place it could be was back at home in Oregon
with the bits and pieces of the travel packet that we didn't take with us. Oh
no! For a moment there I really thought they were going to tell me that I'd have
to pay for the room again! I did ask if they could maybe call Disney Travel to
verify that we did indeed pay for the room and they said they would, however
when we checked back later to pick up our room keys I asked and they still
didn't have anything. We'll see how that works out. (Edited to add: When we
checked out the final day no one said a peep about not having the slip, so in
the end I guess it all worked out).
Now that we were check in, had our
luggage stowed in the hotels luggage room and were generally all done with
travel for the day, we headed straight to the parks!
arrived about 11:30am and headed straight for the lockers, so Brian could put
the backpack and coats in there. I waited in line to trade my Photopass Plus
pre-purchase voucher in for the actual Photopass Plus lanyard and card at the
photo center. This took FOREVER! Like 20-25 minutes. They only had 3 people
working the photo kiosks and the customers they had were apparently very needy,
as not a single transaction was completed in the first 15 minutes of my wait.
Eventually my turn came though and I got my Photopass Plus lanyard. While I was
waiting (and waiting), Brian and the kids ran to the Blue Sky Cellar to trade
the vouchers for free lanyards and pin that we received as part of our package.
Now Brian and I actually have pin trading necklaces. We even both traded today.
Our original plan
was to head straight to Screamin', but I wanted to grab a Soarin' fastpass on
the way, so we took the longer route from Blue Sky, which took us past Soarin'.
We stowed the fastpasses and then tried to get fastpasses for GRR, as I thought
they were not connected to the fastpass system. Wrong. My bad. No fastpasses.
But the standby line was only 5 minutes long so we got a locker for all our gear
and went on our first ride of the trip - Grizzly River Run.
We had fun and
laughed at the misfortune of others... like when they got spayed with water or
the tube kept spinning (as kept happening with us... btw, spinning rides are NOT
Brian's forte). Somehow this ride did not do me any favors today. I left with a
grossly wet backside, as an entire wave made its way directly down the back of
my pants and soaked right in. Just great. Chase got out relatively dry, as did
Tristan. But not the rest of us. What a way to start the day! LOL
our ride we collected our gear and set back on our way, towards Screamin'. We
met a Photopass photographer on the way and got our first round of group shots
this trip. See how wet we are?
Just wait... it only gets wetter...