Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Disney Dreams- Disneyland

Day two and it was time to visit Disneyland at last! The anticipation of all the fun ahead had us all on edge. Actually, that might have been the residual exhaustion from the day at California Adventure. Either way, we were at the entrance and ready to go. 
Once again, we got into the park an hour before it opened to the public. This made a huge difference in the crowds since everyone seemed to go off in different directions. The park was decorated for Halloween and it was fun to see all the pumpkin Mickey's and Minnie's.
Gemma had on her Minnie Mouse gear. She couldn't wait to see them in person again. Lily was busy being Oscar the grouch in her stroller. Have I ever mentioned she is NOT a morning person? Even though it was almost 9 am.
Once the gates opened we headed straight up Main St. towards fantasyland.
The castle just draws you in. We wanted to hit the kiddie rides while it was still early. I read somewhere that Peter Pan ride has the longest lines, so we went there first.
We were amazed to see there were no lines at all for any rides in Fantasyland. We went on ride after ride with no waiting. Gemma could ride them all as well, and even Granny went on a few.

 It was fun to come to Disneyland after so many years and ride all the little kid rides with my own kids! I don't even remember riding most of these rides because we came to Disneyland when I was older and probably so "too cool" for Fantasyland.
Doing some comparison carousel testing from last nights ride at California adventure. I think classic horses wins out over sea creatures.
I do know that they warn some of the rides at scary for little kids. Mainly, Mr Toads Wild ride and Pinocchio's Daring journey. We survived them all, with smiles. Even the adults survived them.
My favorite was always the tea cups. Perhaps it was because my brothers would ride along and spin the tea cup so fast you thought you would be sick!
We did a much tamer version.
We even did the Alice in Wonderland ride. Is it just me or do all these rides blur into one after a while? You ride on some little cart, they whip you around, the music is loud and wild and all kinds of bizzarre creatures dance around.
After we conquered Fantasyland in under an hour we headed to Toon Town. Part of our hotel package included entry into toon town an hour early and a special character show. Yes, please, and thank you!
We rode a ride or two when we arrived and then ran into this guy!! Gemma was thrilled to see big puppy!
The show was appropriately cheesy and all the classic characters were there. We were made honorary citizens of toon town and have the new badges to prove it.  Lily decided she was happy to enjoy the characters from afar but had no intention of posing with them for photos. Can't say I really blame her.
We explored the rest of toon town before it was open to the public. There is so much to do for toddlers and little kids. Almost everything can be climbed on. Lily and Grampy took over Goofy's boat.

Gemma stole his car.
Then Lily decided she wanted to ride the roller coaster. Somehow Grampy agreed and ended up in the front row. I think he almost had a heart attack.
Lily loved it! She went again with Alex right after.
By now our hour in toon town was finished and we rode every ride at least once. It was time to move on. Lily had been asking for Mickey ears since we arrived in California Adventure land and saw some kids wearing them. They don't sell them at California adventure (I don't think) and she could wait no longer.  We headed to the mad hatters for a tough decision.
Did you know there we so many to choose from? I had no idea. It was tough to choose. The tinker bell ears were pretty cute.

In the end the girls chose well. Classic in pink for Lily and baby Minnie for Gemma. Of course they had to get their names stitched on the back as well. When I was a kid I remember seeing all the kids with these hats and I always wanted one. I know, boo hoo!

We had been going non-stop all morning and it was time for some lunch. We headed back to main street and had a nice shady lunch. We beat all the crowds since it was just before noon. We even had our mickey chocolates from the hotel to enjoy.
We headed to New Orleans square after lunch all refreshed and ready to hit some less toddler-centric rides. After all, Alex had never been to Disneyland before and I am sure he wanted to see more than Cinderella and Mickey rides. We headed right to Pirates of the Caribbean and got right on! I don't ever remember not having to wait for that ride. Even Grandma England came along since I told her it was just a calm boat ride with pirate songs....well, after the few drop offs that is true!

Then we went on the jungle cruise. We got a front row show of the boat breaking and them having to re-arrange all the boats. Then it was our turn! Hold on everyone! Doesn't Grampy look like he was made to be on a jungle cruise?

Alex and Lily went up the Tarzan tree house. When I was a kid it was the swiss family robinson tree house but no one knows that movie anymore! I love that movie.

After New Orleans square we wanted to scope out a spot for parade viewing on Main St. It was pretty warm out and shade was at a premium. We left Gemma like this....

 to wait in the shade with Granny and Grampy for the parade. Alex and I took Lily to Tomorrow land to ride some more "big girl" rides. She was game for anything. We rode some rockets and then saw Star Tours had no line! On we went without thinking if Lily would like it. She did! Although we didn't explain that it wasn't real and she kept thinking we were really on a plane in outer space and were lost, unable to return to Disneyland. She kept saying, were lost, how are we going to get back???
We returned to our shade bench to watch the parade and have a little ice cream of course!

There really is nothing like a Disney parade and Lily was truly impressed.

Gemma's favorites, Mickey and Minnie.

Each float had a different movie character and music. 
The princess float. Rapunzel waved right at Lily, she must have seen her Rapunzel shirt and known she was a true fan.
Ah, Tinker bell. She was adorable and Lily was mesmerized. I think she was waiting for her to fly.
We didn't stop after the parade, we went back to New Orleans square to ride splash mountain. It was about a 30 minute wait. I guess everyone was hot and thought it would cool them off. Then we hopped on Winnie the Pooh right next to it. We decided to take the train to the other side of the park and check out tomorrow land. By this time we were all feeling weary and tired of walking. We decided to ride the nemo submarine ride and after that we were hungry and nearly ready to head home.
We ate dinner down on main street and it was already getting dark. The park closes at 8PM and it was about 7 by this time. The nice waiter at the restaurant gave Lily and Gemma these awesome light up tinker bells after their meal. It was as if they knew we had some serious tinker bell fans here. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
The giant Mickey pumpkin ushered us out of the park. This is also where we got separated from Granny and ended up on opposite sides of  downtown Disney.
We needed to head back to the hotel and collect our luggage and drive back home. There was just one more stop... at the GIANT disney store in downtown disney for a souvenir. Lily chose a mater junkyard jamboree remote control car (it is pretty cool really), and Gemma chose a stuffed Mickey mouse. I think a magical time was had by all. We already have plans to return with our friends in the New Year, if we can wait that long! I could get used to living close to Disneyland again!

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