then it was time for the Jingle Jangle Jamboree.
We poked around at the animals but really were aimed for Santa. It was a somewhat slow line and took us about 20 minutes to get through. We did at least have Billy Hillbilly show to help pass the time and it was amusing to see the Country Bears show up on stage. I loved that show when I was a kid!
When it was our turn to go up and see Santa the kids all dumped their coats and bags and got a photo with the big guy. Then Brian and I joined in and got pics with him too. It was a pretty little area.
We left the Jingle Jangle Jamboree and walked in a few more shops, then hit main street. It was getting super busy on the streets because of the upcoming 4pm parade. Our goal was the shopping anyways, so we went through the shops looking for good souveniors. On the way in we ran into Mary Poppins, who was just standing near the doorway with no one to talk to and nothing to do. Carissa went over and started chatting with her and I gathered the boys up and for a photo. Carissa was so cute, locking arms with Mary Poppins for the photos. Aaawww... these adorable moments are what make the not-so-adorable moments worth dealing with.
We then crossed over by the tree
to the Mad Hattery, hoping that the kids would finally find some Mickey ears they wanted. No luck yet, as some of the ones they wanted couldn't be personalized, which might be a dealbreaker. At this point, 2 days in, we are thoroughly missing the make-your-own ears and have not found anything that we absolutely must buy.
By the time we were done shopping it was so busy around
Main Street that we
couldn't even find a place to stand for the parade. Maybe another day...
The Astro Orbitor was nearby and Carissa really wanted to ride that so we did. It was a bit of a wait but Brian and I were grateful for some time off our feet. We were starting to feel all the miles we put on them the last two days. We took a seat and relaxed while the kids waited for their ride. We went over to take photos of them when it was there turn but other than that we enjoyed the 15 minutes of peace and quiet relaxation.
On our way out the kids wanted to go play in the arcade near the Space Mountain exit. We went in and looked around for a little while. All three kids played "Fix it, Felix!" a time or two and then we moved on.
They really wanted to go in Innoventions but Brian and I weren't sure we were up for it. We decided to let them go for a little while and meet up with them later. They assured us that they'd stay together and we agreed to meet up in 40 minutes, at 5:30.
Brian and I really didn't have anything to do so we wandered around Nemo and found a little churro stand. We hadn't yet had a churro this trip but fondly remember them as some of the best churros ever (and not even close to the nasty churros at WDW). It didn't disappoint and was tasty, sweet and warm. Yum!We both sat back and put our feet up on a chair to relax. It felt so good to be off our feet and even better to have them elevated some. We sat there just like that chatting until an announcement came on and they flipped the lights on at IASW. We didn't even realize we were sitting in the general area of IASW, so it was a surprise. It was amazing when all those lights turned on and Brian and I both felt so grateful to be able to see it.
About 5:15 we headed over to meet the kids and took a seat (and a few nighttime photos) while we were waiting.
We headed for the railroad so we could ride it to
New Orleans Square and use our
HMH fastpasses, however the train was closed because of the candlelight
processional. Bummer. We hoofed it over to Haunted Mansion instead. It was a long walk on tired feet, but we made
it. Again, the FP saved us a lot of time
and we all loved this ride at least as much (if not more) than the first time
we rode it. It did stop right in the best scene of the ride, so I was able to get some decent ride photos (well, as good as I could without a tripod).
I'd been dying for some candies that I'd eaten when I was here last so that's where we headed. It's just past Pooh so we all piled in to ride, joking with Chase about his childhood fear of heffalumps and woozles. It was so much fun (at least for Brian and I) but Chase complained that our needling distracted him from finding all the hidden Mickey's. Those Pooh ride vehicles are small! Brian and I in one car does NOT work. Poor guy! We shoved in there together but it wasn't very pretty.
Next was the candy area, where we got a chocolate cupcake with Mickey sprinkles for the kids and a cashew, caramel and chocolate covered marshmallow stick for me. yummy!
At this point we'd exhausted all the fastpasses we'd collected so we started meandering our way towards the hub, so we could scout a spot for the fireworks. On the way we got waylaid by this pretty spot in New Orleans Square...
...and then again by the Jungle Cruise. I don't know if it was because it was night (and thus too dark to see a lot) or that the crowd wasn't into it (no one laughed at his cheesy jokes), but the ride wasn't that fabulous.
Our final goal for tonight was the fireworks. Melinda had been scouting a spot and we ended up in the hub almost straight in front of the castle.
It was a long wait but a great viewing area. I went and got dinner for us while we waited and ate sitting down staring at the beautiful castle (with no lights on... I don't understand why they don't keep them on until closer to the fireworks time). Carissa bought a glowing rose for herself and we sat on the ground and covered ourselves with the blankets. It was a long wait and it started getting packed closer to show time, but in the end it worked out perfectly. We stood there, the 5 of us together, arms around one another watching another beautiful Disney fireworks.
It was rather short, maybe because it was Christmas themed. And it was missing the magic that Disney fireworks usually have (because of the Disney theming I think), but the moment where we stood there together, leaning on one another and watching the sky light up almost brought me to tears. That moment was just so happy for me and reminder of why we love Disney as much as do.
We hung back for a while, hoping the crowds would filter out. We really wanted nighttime photos with the castle in the background, but there wasn't a Photopass photographer anywhere to be seen. We ended up taking our own, which were nowhere near as good because I didn't carry a tripod and had to shoot with a low f/stop so the background isn't in focus. Oh well, at least we have some. :)
On the way out the tree was lit up and beautiful...
On the way out the tree was lit up and beautiful...
a great site to end our first day at Disneyland Park.