Sunday, December 23, 2012

Disneyland Day 2 (Part 2)

Here we are, back at Autopia trying to take advantage of the short wait time in the early morning.  We all got in cars, one after another.  There were a total of 13 of us so we had quite a parade of cars. 

I was near the end of the pack with Brian and Tristan ahead of me and Garan behind me.  Partway through the ride I noticed that the car in front of Brian, the one being driven by Allison and co-piloted by Melinda, had stopped.  Then it rolled backwards... halfway off the track. 

It had become partially derailed or something, as it was really sticking out to one side.  I saw a cast member and told him.  He slowly, slowly, slowly sauntered over, walked right past the car and over to chat with another cast member.  Then he walked to the car, looked, turned around and walked away.  There was quite a lineup in front of and behind us. (That's Melinda's husband Garan behind me in the lineup.)

After a wait of 5-10 minutes we finally had a manager come, supposedly to give the all-clear so we could walk off the ride, however in the end the manger turned Allison & Melinda's car back on and told them to start driving.  It went right where it was supposed to and we finished the ride. 

It ended up being quite a wait for the others done before us, but they didn't seem to mind.

Since we were finally in Tomorrowland it was time for Space.  We saw the posted wait time was 10 minutes so saved our fastpasses to use later in the day.  I forget that the queue for this line is insanely long.  It took longer to walk it then it did to wait in line.  We all rode it and loved it!  Soooo much better than the WDW version.

Next up was Buzz Lightyear.  Brian whooped me again, as did Garan and Melinda.  I don't know what it is about this game but I can't seem to get a good grasp on getting high points.  Stupid game!  Anyhow, the line was short and the ride was good.  Can't beat that.

The Hunters wanted to ride Star Tours next but neither Brian nor I can handle the motion aspect of the ride so we both sat out.  The wait was actually longer than posted, taking close to 20 or 25 minutes before they were done.  At this point the Hunters needed to eat lunch.  It was a bit after 11 and we had lunch reservations for Cafe Orleans later, so we decided to split up.  It had been fun to spend the morning with them but I was also looking forward to spending the afternoon with my family.

Since we weren't in a hurry to eat we chose to hike to the other side of the park and start rides over there.  We'd been wanting to have a big mountain showdown, to see which Disney mountain we like best of all.  We'd hit Space and Matterhorn (which is an honorary mountain for these purposes... even though it's name doesn't have "Mountain" in it).  Next up was Big Thunder Mountain.  The wait time was short so we rode once, then grabbed Fast Passes for later.

Chase was really excited about riding Pirates so we went there next.  This is just one of those classic rides that we just have to ride at Disneyland!

Our last mountain was Splash Mountain, but we stopped first at Haunted Mansion to see, for the first time every, Haunted Mansion Holiday. 

 It was no wait and we walked right into the first pre-show room. 

We all really, really loved this version of HM!  I daresay it's better than the original.  There are so many little details and we just loved them all.  Big thumbs up for this ride!

Now it was time to finish up the big mountain battle royale by riding Splash.  We got a car to ourselves.  These usually seat 6, so in hindsight we should have all moved back one seat and left the front seat open.  But we didn't and oh, did we pay for it! 

We loved Splash  mountain and the drop was great but Carissa got soaked!  That girl has so little fat on her that she doesn't stay warm very well.  Add that to wet clothes and very little sunshine today and we had a wet and grumpy pre-teen.  She froze for the next hour or two, even after borrowing Brian's coat (in addition to hers) and sitting in the open sun for a while.  I'll get to how that affected us all in a minute...

By now it was 12:45.  We had ridden Peter Pan, Dumbo, Matterhorn (twice), Autopia, Space, Buzz, Star Tours, Big Thunder, Pirates, HMH and Splash.  We felt great about all we'd accomplished in those few hours of time, but now we had to get our rears in gear and get to our lunch at Cafe Orleans.

We arrived 4 minutes late for our PS, I was jokingly told.  We got a beeper and I barely had time to step away before it went off.  We got seated outside, which I rather like so I can people watch and take in the feeling of the area.  While sitting there I chatted with the kids about what we wanted to do next.  We had spotted a frozen lemonade stand, a Disneyworld favorite of ours, and decided a stop back for a frozen lemonade would be good.  Then I mentioned wanting to go to the Jingle Jangle Jamboree to see Santa.  We'd all worn our red and green today so we would look nice for a Santa pic.  None of the kids were thrilled with the prospect but knew that it was part of the deal with the trip - Mom needs her pictures!  The problem came when I told Carissa that she would have to take her coat off for the picture.  That's when the grumping and waterworks started.   She was cold, she was wet, she was hungry and she was her normal, emotional 11-year old self.  I tried saying "It will be fine, it'll just be for a minute.  Just take the coat off for the picture, not a minute before."  She just kept getting grumpier and saying "But I'll be cold!".  I told her that I thought she could hack it for one moment for a picture with Santa and that I really wasn't asking her, that it was what we would be doing.  Well, the waterworks began, the silent tears and the runny nose and the crossed arms.  I tried talking her up for a minute but that wasn't working.  She just kept getting grumpier and finally I had it.  I pointed to a brick wall right outside the restaurant near where we were sitting and told her to go over, take a seat, compose herself and return when she had a better attitude.  Low and behold, she sits there crying, probably crying more than she was before at our table.  At one point a couple of women came up and tried talking to her but she's got very good stranger training and just ignored the women, turned away and shook her head.  I watched this all unfold until they went over to a castmember and explained that they thought she was lost.  I jumped in to let them know she was mine and that she was just taking a moment.  Our food came and she was still taking a moment.  Finally Brian told her to come back to the table, sit down, wipe her face and come eat.  She did eventually apologize, but it's tough to deal with these behaviors out in public sometimes.  Through it all Chase was at the table with his head down trying to rest.  Apparently yesterday's early morning and busy day had caught up with him.

Sorry, off the tangent there and on to lunch.  I'd picked Cafe Orleans because I'd eaten here with Bek during our girls trip in 2010 and remembered the tasty garlic fries that I knew Brian would love. I also really, really, really wanted to eat the yummy beignets with berry dipping sauce (oh, and I wanted to share them with my family too;))  Imagine the momentary panic that set in when I realized that the beignets weren't on the menu.  Thankfully I just asked the waiter and he said that they were still offered.  Whew!  Thank goodness.  Lunch was a bit of a mish-mash.  We ate here first, all the fried and sweet foods that will one day give us a heart attack (but still taste yummy!), then later went somewhere else for chicken and apples to round out the meal.  Brian, the boys and I loved the garlic fries.  Carissa liked them some, but the rest of us really enjoyed them.  Brian especially loved them and said he could eat them every meal.  I knew he'd love them.  It's right up his alley! 

The beignets weren't as good as when I had them with Bek (or as good as my memory thought they were) but the kids seemed to enjoy them and the boys ate the extras Brian and I didn't eat. 

We also ordered a monte cristo to share. Chase and I liked it and split it (Chase's comment: "Jam and ham... ingenious"). Brian had one bite and that was enough. It was just too sweet for him. 

After lunch we got second lunch (mentioned above but added here because I knew the kids would love the reference to second lunch, as they all love "The Hobbit").  Then it was time for a little shopping.  Carissa needed some slow time to recover, help her sniffling nose and red eyes to go away and to warm up a little more.  Up next... frozen lemonade, Big Thunder and a visit with the big guy. 

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