Saturday, March 9, 2013

Disney pt. 1

Ok, Disneyland was...Awesome. I was pretty ambivalent about going especially with our kids being so young but I couldn't have been more impressed. My expectation of over the top cheese was nowhere to be found and the kids (and maybe me a little) were giddy and excited all day long.

We drove up on Thursday during the day and stayed in a hotel nearby for our Friday day at the park. The hotel was nothing to write home about but was a 2 room suite that was clean had a pool and didn't cost too much (unlike Disney hotels). We got settled and since our hotel was 2 blocks from the entrance we decided to walk over to get our tickets and wonder around Downtown Disney. NOTE: Tickets to Disneyland are not cheap. One cool thing they do at Disneyland/California Adventure is have the entrances right across from each other and Downtown Disney is on one of the other sides to keep it all in a compact space. Of course we get sucked into the Disney Store and HAVE to buy some Minnie Mouse ears for EJ because she NEEDED them. Oh, and we got a little stuffed mickey for M. At this point I still wasn't feeling Disney... Swimming for me in the kids in a cold pool while the wife and her sister watched(how did I get sucked into that?) then dinner rounded out our day.

Now on to our day at the park...The gates open at 8:30 for Main Street but the whole park doesn't open until 9...we were there at 8:30.  I was indifferent until we walked under the gate and saw Main Street for the first time.  I don't know if they put something in the air or what but I felt like I was 12 again.  I can't even explain how different it feels...

So we instantly saw Minnie and had to jump in the line to get our picture with her.  Now normally my kids sit for about 2 seconds waiting for something until they get antsy.  We waited 15 minutes and the were captivated by watching Minnie the whole time.  They were like that the whole day with everything, waiting for rides, getting food, dealing with the crowds...everything.

EJ & M waiting for Minnie
We rode typical Disney rides (Dumbo, Teacups, It's A Small World) EJ got to meet some princesses (aren't they all the same?).  Soon enough we were in ToonTown walking up to Mickey's house to meet the man(mouse?) himself.  So Disney, brilliantly, use his house as the line to get back to see Mickey so there is a bunch to see, which is pretty neat.  There was no line for us though so we cruised past most of it.  They only let a couple groups in at a time to see Mickey who is standing on a little stage.  Right when we walked in a lady next to me said "oh they have the xxxx Mickey out, exciting!" it sure took my excitement to another level...anyways it was good and we moved on.  Now the best part of ToonTown form me (and EJ) was the roller coaster.  Right when I saw it I knew my goal - to get EJ on it.  I figured the best time would be after we saw Mickey so right when we walked out and she still up from seeing the mouse I made my move...and she bought it.  A short line helped and we were on our way.  Heading up the hill EJ was starting to get nervous about the bar holding us in popping up so I had to hold on to her and the bar.  We made it through the ride with no issues and I successfully converted my first child into liking roller coasters when we rode it again later in the day and she said "Dad, you know those parts when we rode the first time and I was nervous?  I'm not going to be nervous on those this time".

EJ's first roller coaster ride
About this time the kids were ready for a nap so the wife and S-I-L took them back to the hotel and I got to stay and go on the "big kid rides" all by myself.  Now Disney is no Cedar Point or Great America but it has a couple rides that are a little more adventurous and I had the next 2.5 hours to check them out.  Another thing that Disney does right is having a single rider line on some of their rides so you don't have to wait as long in line.  I took full advantage of that and used their fastpass service on some others to make sure I hit all the rides I wanted to without much of a wait.  Score one for Dad!

Ok that's enough of you reading me for one post...I'll write the second half of the day in another post


  1. They were really good at waiting all day. There's just something about Mickey - everyone loves him :).

    1. Now if there was some way to transfer that Disney feeling to the kids all the time...