Monday, May 19, 2014

Disneyland 2014

You all know how much we love Disney, so when we knew we were going to California, there was no way we couldn't go to Disneyland.  Andy had never been and I hadn't been in almost 20 years, so it would be like all of us going for the first time.  In the time since I'd been there in 1995, they'd added a second park, so that was new for me as well.  Between our camera and the Photo Pass service, we have over 400 pictures from our three days in Disneyland.  That means those three days will be broken into several blogs to keep the length manageable.

Like, I said before, we stayed literally right across the street from the parks and here is a shot of us crossing the street with the Disneyland sign on the other side.

Right inside the park gates.

Group hug.

Yay!!! We're in Disneyland!!!

I remember being so frustrated the first time we went to Disney World as parents not being able to find any characters, as I had remembered just walking up to them in my trips as a child.  Disneyland has kept this aspect going, so as soon as we got in, we saw Minnie!  Right around this point, I realized we had forgotten Brady's autograph book and we sent Andy back to the hotel for it.  He joked that if we were in Disney World, there's no way he'd have gone back as it would've take over an hour to take the transportation to and from the park.

Brady as always, ran right up to Minnie and gave her a hug.  You can see Izzie on the outskirts, taking it in and trying to make up her mind.

We were still waiting for Andy to get back, so we headed further into the park to grab some fast passes, then meet him for our character breakfast (separate post).  The line at Pixie Hollow was five minutes when we passed and we can't pass up a short line, so we got in it.  Above we are with Tinkerbell's friend, Rosalee.

Izzie was much more comfortable with characters that aren't inside of suits.

We made it to Space Mountain to grab our fast passes when Andy joined us, but the line was 15 minutes so they jumped in it instead of wasting our fast pass.  They have this amazing program called Rider Switch for larger rides, where parents can take one child if they have another who can't ride and get a pass for the other parent to take the child on right away through the fast pass line.  This means both parents get to ride and the child gets to ride twice without having to wait in line again.  We utilized this program to its full potential.  Above is Andy and Brady (first time) on Space Mountain.  He said it was dark, fast, and scary, but still rode it again with me.

Getting some family shots in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle.

Have you noticed the coordinating outfits yet throughout the trip?  I love that for pictures and someone once asked me how I get Andy to do it.  That's simple.  I buy all of his clothes and while on vacation, each day, he asks me what he's wearing.  I think that'll work until I try to put him in something outrageous.

There are very few differences between the Magic Kingdom in Disneyland and Disney World.  Disneyland is the original and is one year shy of celebrating 60 years.  The two things that Disneyland has that Disney World doesn't are Toontown (modeled after Roger Rabbit) and the Matterhorn (a roller coaster themed after the famous peak in the Swiss Alps).  The next few pics are Brady in Toontown.

By mid-afternoon we'd ridden almost everything (some things twice), so we decided to go on the hunt for more characters.  We found Goofy back by the entrance.

Izzie making silly faces while waiting in line for the Teacups.

This is one of those iconic Disney shots.  All that's missing is the castle in the background.

Prince Charming's carousel.

Trying to pull the sword out of the stone.

If you haven't heard of or seen Frozen, you've been living under a rock.  We saw the movie opening weekend and like millions of Americans, have been obsessed ever since.  It's only been six months since it came out, and the lines are still several hours long to meet Anna and Elsa.  It was two hours this day and in Disney World it's upwards of four hours.  They are creating a fast pass for it in Disney World, and that's the only way I would agree to see them, no matter how much my kids begged.  I hate waiting an hour for ride, let along a character.

Close up shot of Olaf.

The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were in California and never got above 75 degrees.  It's still warm enough for a cold treat ;)

A shot of the castle from the end of Main Street USA.

Andy loves playing around with the new camera.  Izzie looks so different in this picture.

We spotted Mickey!  When you see a character, you follow and usually don't have to wait long as wherever they stop is where the line forms.

Signing Brady's book.

They had him in a bad spot for that time of the day and the sun was in our eyes, so Brady wasn't looking so well in either shot.

We grabbed some dinner at a Mexican place in Frontierland and rode as many rides as we could before the park closed at 9PM.  It sounds early and it is, but we were there less than a week before the summer "season" occurs and in the off-season they only stay open late on weekends and events like spring break, etc.  It didn't bother us too much as we vividly remember trying to keep a crabby Brady happy while waiting for 10PM fireworks when he was Izzie's age.

The two parks' gates are directly opposite each other, with only foot traffic allowed, and if you walk through the pass between the two, you walk right into Downtown Disney (also not there almost 20 years ago during my last trip).  I hadn't bought any souvenirs in the park, knowing that we'd go to the World of Disney store, which has everything in one store.  Andy met up with a high school friend who lives nearby and I went inside with the kids.  It was a madhouse!  It seemed like everyone from both parks was inside that store as they'd both just closed.

I had an impossible time maneuvering the double stroller through wall to wall people and the cherry on top was an overly tired Brady who hadn't had a nap.  I found Izzie's souvenir right away and had a death grip on it, since the shelves were cleared out within minutes.  It was a Frozen double-sided Anna and Elsa soft doll, where you flip it over to reveal the other sister.  We never really appreciated being able to drive to Disney, as there were many things I had to tell Brady were too big to fit in our luggage.  I pulled him to the section where there was Cars merchandise and tried to convince him to pick a three pack of Cars characters.  He was bawling that he didn't want them or any of the other options.  After about 10 minutes of this, I told him that we'd be in Cars Land the next day and we might find something better there.  This placated him until he realized we were heading to check out and he was empty handed.  He lost it all over again, screaming that he needed a souvenir.  I told him about 10 times or more that we'd find him something the next day or come back here, while he screamed waiting in line.  He was so tired that I just ignored it and knew there wasn't much I could do to reason with him.

Once out of the store, we said goodbye to Andy's friend and his family, and started the walk back to the hotel.  Brady was falling asleep sitting up and almost fell out of the stroller several times and Izzie passed out instantly.  She wouldn't even wake up when we got to the hotel.

Andy thought it was hilarious that she wouldn't wake up even when moved.  She was dead to the world.  Andy changed her diaper and put her into her pajamas and she never once stirred.  We have so much fun we pass out in this family.

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