Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Disneyland Diaries - the Final Edition....

I hope you're not too bored - hopefully this isn't as bad as sitting on someones couch watching the slides of their trip to somewhere like "the museum of scabs" or something. On we go...

Thursday, January 3rd:

Today is early admission day. If you purchase your admissions tickets from Walt Disney Travel, your park hopper tickets include one early admission day. There are several days during the week that you can choose to use this option and you are admitted into the park one hour earlier than those poor schmucks with regular tickets (although, this option is something that it seems everyone gets now, because the early admission lines are almost as bad as the regular admission lines now days).

I'm up at 5:00am (something I'm used to during regular school days, but on vacation it just somehow seems wrong). This gives me enough time to get showered and put together before I have to get the girls up and ready. I try to let them sleep as late as possible because Lauren has been up with a 102 degree fever during the night. She wakes up ready to go - Eric asks if she'd rather stay and rest and she and I can meet them later in the morning...NO! is her answer - she's such a trooper! We meet Erics friend and his family in the hotel lobby and at the bright and early hour of 6:45am we make our way to the park. It's kind of chilly outside, but it's going to be a nice day. The TV weatherman (I love his name - "Dallas Raines" too cheesey, even for Southern California) said that it was going to rain today - no clouds in sight, lets hope it holds out...

We cover "Fantasyland" pretty quickly (This is where we always head first on early admission days because none of the rides have FastPass and the queues fill up rather quickly). They're your classic Disney rides: Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, Mr Toad's Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland - hokey by some standards, but a trip to Disneyland would not be complete without these classics.

Next we move on to IT'S A SMALL WORLD - usually, I steer clear of this ride, just because that irritating song is stuck in your head all day after you ride it, but they change it at Christmas and they sing "Jingle Bells", plus it's all decorated for the holidays inside - really pretty definitely a must-do.

Our girls are hungry so we decide it's time to feed them - Joe's kids are teenagers, so they're still ready to ride & worry about food later. We part ways for now and decide to meet up at the California Adventure Park later in the afternoon.

What's a trip to Disneyland without Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast?? We have a nice breakfast in New Orleans Square and then take a ride (our third for this trip) on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. (We're so glad to see that they didn't ruin this one when they added the Johnny Depp character into it - they've seemed to maintain the integrity of the original ride. We were at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World the summer before last and it happened to be the opening day of the Pirate ride there after it had been revamped - very disappointing...they changed it in such a way that it was no longer the charming ride Walt Disney had developed and made it too "movie-ish"). Of course the girls had to take a trip over to Pirates Lair (formerly Tom Sawyers Island). They had a great time exploring the caves and finding the treasure. I get a call from Eric's friend Joe and he tells us that they just got magic fastpasses (part of Disney's "year of a million dreams") - NO FAIR!!

We take in HAUNTED MANSION HOLIDAY - cute, the premise is from the "Nightmare Before Christmas" movie where Jack Skellington Christmases-up the Haunted Mansion. A few more rides and we make our way across the plaza to Disney's California Adventure park. There are lots of people who don't like this park, but although it's not very "Disney-ish" it is kind of charming and NEVER crowded so you can actually walk without twenty people running into you. We grab Fastpasses for TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR and realize it's almost time for the High School Musical 2 show to start. Lauren absolutely LOVES these movies and she absolute MUST see the show! It turns out it's a pretty good show (done on the street so the kids can join in), pretty good versions of the original show songs - Lauren is happy, but disappointed that the "Real Troy Bolton and Sharpay" weren't there.

We meet Joe and his family at the Tower of Terror and everyone except for Collette, Myself and Joe's wife ride the ride (I actually kind of like this ride, but Collette has decided she no longer likes it even though she's been on it several times before). We take in a few more rides grab fastpasses for SOARING OVER CALIFORNIA and it's time for our dinner reservations at "The Rainforest Cafe".

Dinner is fun as we're all together - it's good to see old friends and catch up (we haven't actually seen them for about eight years or so). Toward the end of dinner, we notice Collette is laying her head on the table, almost asleep. She tells Eric her ear is hurting her. We finish dinner and just as quickly as she started feeling badly, she started crying because her ear was hurting so bad. I tell Eric to go ahead and take Lauren on the ride, Collette and I would go back to the hotel as it was to be the last ride of the day anyway. Collette insists she's going on the ride so, although she's miserable, we ride (this is a really COOL ride if you've never been on it before!) and take Collette back to the hotel. We arrive at our hotel and all four of the elevators are down for maintenance (mind you it's only like 6:30 in the evening), so we climb the four flights of stairs to our floor. I give her some motrin and she goes right to sleep.

Friday, January 4th:

We have breakfast with Lilo and Stitch this morning and the girls both seem to be doing fine, so we set off for the trek to the Paradise Pier Hotel where they host the character breakfast. It's fun, pretty empty, usually character breakfasts are packed, but there's maybe only ten tables full - weird. The girls have talked Eric into getting makeovers at "Libby Lu's" so we take them for their appointments where Collette is transformed into a Princess complete with a crown and Lauren goes for something more urban with fake curls and pink streaked globs of fake hair. They feel beautiful and are happy for now. We go back into Disneyland and decide that as the weather is looking pretty gloomy, we should get in anything we've missed or want to do again before it gets too late and starts raining. We ride Pirates yet again (it's Collette's favorite ride) and other small things like the train. Lauren and Eric try to ride SPACE MOUNTAIN, but it isn't working and the Fastpass return time isn't until later in the afternoon. We try to get ahold of Joe, but don't seem to be having much luck so we go over to California Adventure and see the "It's Tough to be a Bug" 4-D movie. It's 3:30pm and it's starting to spit a few drops here and there and we decide we've done all there is to do this trip and head back to the hotel. We have reservations at an Italian restaurant in California Adventure, but don't want to risk getting stuck in the rain on the way back. The girls decide that Pizza is a good choice for dinner, but Collette decides she's not really very hungry and doesn't eat anything. When we get back to our room, Collette isn't feeling well at all and goes to bed at 5:30 - I hope she's not feeling too badly again. Eric and I are watching the news and there are all these reports about the storm heading in and that it's going to flood. We decide to leave for home as soon as it's light out the next morning instead of waiting until later in the morning so I start getting our stuff ready to go and then go to sleep....but not for long....

12:00am - The fire alarm goes off....again! The funny thing is, this time, no one even came out of their rooms. It went off for quite a while, and they finally announced over the intercoms that it was a false alarm. (I know, you're thinking..."what kind of cheesey place did they stay in??"...but it was actually a Marriott hotel, not cheap or cheesey at all!)

Saturday, January 5th:

The rain has stopped. We finish packing up and grab some breakfast. We try to get ahold of Joe before we leave, but they are still sleeping so off we go. The girls sleep for over four hours on the way home - we have to wait until they wake up to stop for lunch! We are home by around 3pm - tired, but with lots of happy memories.
Oh, and by the way....our little Prius only used about 15 gallons of gas for the whole trip (wooohooo!)

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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