Wednesday, December 25, 2013

SoCal December 2013: Disneyland

We left the zoo and drove to Anaheim for the remainder of our vacay.  We originally planned to spend 3 days at Disney, however, they had a deal where if you bought 3 days, you got your 4th day ticket for free.  So... we got 4 day tickets.  This little detail ended up being very helpful!  I ended up getting food poisoning and spent our first night in Anaheim tossing my cookies.  Bleh!  It was rough.

We woke up that first morning, and I was determined to go to the parks and enjoy our day.  I tried to power through, but I was soooo tired and still felt pretty woozy.  Wade and the big boys rushed to ride Space Mountain (Drew wasn't a fan, FYI - bless his little cautious heart) while Owen and I met Goofy.  By the time that we met back up, I was a little green.  My sweet hubby declared that we were all tired and needed a rest day.  When he saw the tears well up in my eyes, he was quick to point out that this was our "free" ticket day.  That eased my guilt a bit.  :-/  He's so sweet to me. 

This is the one and only picture that I have to show for Disney Day #1.
Disney Day #2 was MUCH better!  We all woke up refreshed and ready to have breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen.  It was soooo much fun!  The boys got to meet a ton of characters, and we had a super yummy breakfast/brunch.  They had Mickey pancakes, Mickey waffles, omelets, fruit galore, yogurt, peanut butter & jelly pizza, and a full dessert bar (mini pies, bananas foster, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc.).  My kids thought it was grand that they got to have dessert after breakfast.  Ha!

Chef Goofy
 Chip - Owen LOVED the characters!  He would get so excited that he didn't know what to do with himself.  It was adorable to watch him so giddy.  :)  He kissed several of them.  Ha!  Sweet boy.

 Owen was especially enamored with "Plu-Dog."  ;)  Plu-Dog was sweet to come to our table several times, because Owen got so excited every time that he saw him.

 All of the boys got Goofy's specialty - PB&J pizza.  Clayton was a fan!

 Princess Jasmine
 Drew was nervy to get too close to Princess Jasmine, so she came to him.  ;)

 I looked over and Owie was drinking his syrup.  I started to stop him, and then I figured, "Eh, it's vacation.  Why not?"  Ha!
 Drew got ice cream after his breakfast.  I guess he needed the sugar rush to walk all those miles on his little legs...?
 Susie - the mouse from Cinderella
 Alice, oh Alice...  When she walked up to the table, Clayton said, "You may remember me from when we came here 4 years ago."  She totally remembered him (of course, she did!) and was very sweet to all three boys.  She was probably my favorite character that we met at Disneyland.  :)
After breakfast, we went to Disneyland California Adventure.  We saw Woody, and the boys wanted to stop to meet him.
 Owie even said, "There's a snake in my boot."  He loves the "Buzz Story" movie.
We rode a few rides and then saw Minnie Mouse standing by her plane.  Owen was so excited!  He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so he had talked about Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto the whole trip.

Owen completely flipped out when he saw Jake!  I really think that watching him with the characters was my favorite part of this trip.  He just got soooo excited!  He hugged Jake and wasn't about to let go.  All of the parents around us did the collective, "Awww..."  It was a sweet moment.

We rode a ton of rides at California Adventure that day as well.  We took full advantage of Fast Passes and Parent Ride Swaps.  We spent very little time in line and the boys got to ride most of the rides two times (once with their fast passes and a second time with the parent swap).  Disney really does make it as easy as possible for young families.  Love that!  Wade and Clayton LOVED the California Screamin' roller coaster.  We all really loved the Toy Story Mania ride and Soarin'.

We went to the Pixar parade that evening.  It wasn't crowded at all and the boys loved seeing some of their favorite characters.

After the parade, we went to see the new Cars Land.  It was so cute!  Well done, Disney, well done.  They really made the movie come to life.  We had gotten Fast Passes earlier in the day for Radiator Springs Racers, so I rode with the big boys while Wade waited with Owen then we switched.  Owen and I went to meet Mater while we were waiting.  Mater talked, moved, and his lights turned on.  Owie wasn't quite sure what to think.  ;)

We stayed for the World of Color show that started at 8pm.  It was really pretty!  It was their holiday show set to the music of Frozen.  The lights and fountains were all timed to go with the music.  It even snowed at the end!  We all loved it.

This was our longest day - we left the hotel at 8 and didn't head back to the hotel until about 9:30.  My Drew was so tired.  He snoozed in the double stroller on the way back to the hotel.  Poor thing - he was all funned out!
We woke up the next morning and used our "Magic Hour" to get in the park early.  We headed straight to Fantasyland and rode just about everything with very few lines.  It was awesome!  I rode the Dumbo ride with Drew and Owen.  Quintessential Disney + Nostalgia overload = I loved sharing it with my littles.  :)

The teacups are fun for all ages.  :)

 Owen loved his first teacup experience.  He said, "Go faster, Mommy!"  I couldn't spin us fast enough for this little fella.
 Clayton was just sure that he was going to be able to get the sword out of the stone.  We let him try for awhile, then pressed forward to the next ride.  Maybe next time, Bud.  ;)
 Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
 The boys got to make their own custom lightsabers in the Star Tours gift shop.  They were pretty excited about that.

I talked the boys into riding It's A Small World.  It's my favorite ride, but they all think it is lame.  I remember asking my parents to ride it again and again as a kid.  Not so with this crew!  I had to beg and plead to get my kids on it once.  Ha!

Owie was happy to go for a boat ride.  He was the only family member that didn't fight me about this ride.  Ha!
 These two were a bit more resistant.

 It was all decorated for Christmas!  Everywhere you looked, there was a sweet little holiday detail.  I loved it!
 We even found Owen and several other friends & family members on Santa's "Naughty or Nice List."  We're pretty sure this is the "Nice" portion.  ;)
At one point, Clayton said, "Mom, you really love this, don't you?  I bet you would be excited if we got stuck on this ride, huh?"  I assured him that I would think that was great fun.  Mere seconds later, all of the boats stopped.  The timing was perfect!  We were only stopped for a few minutes, but the big boys thought they were being tortured!  We happened to be stuck under a bubble machine, so Owen joined me in my excitement.  ;)

Later that day, we went to Mickey's house to see if Mr. Mouse was home.  Luckily for us, he was!
 Owen kissed him, of course.

The big boys had been begging to go to the Jedi Training Academy, so we obliged.  They were so excited that they both got picked from the crowd to attend the Academy.
They got to have a lightsaber duel with Darth Maul.  Afterwards, Clayton said, "That was awesome!!!  I got to fight my favorite Sith."
 My little Drew got up there and was serious about his mission.  :)
Owie cheered on our Padawans from the sidelines.
 They both did well and graduated from the Academy.  They are officially Jedi.  ;)
That night we went to the Christmas Fantasy Parade.  We had great seats, and the boys really enjoyed the parade.

We all slept hard that night and then woke up determined to enjoy every minute of our last day at Disney.  We had seen and done just about everything that we wanted, so we decided to use our last day to hit our favorite parts again.

We started at California Adventure.  Clayton and I rode California Screamin' while Daddy took the little boys on the Merry Go Round.

 We rode Toy Story Mania again, too.
We all wanted to see Cars Land one last time.  We used our Fast Passes to ride Radiator Springs Racers.  I took some pictures while we were on the ride.  I love this one of my C.  He was loving life!

 I took this one of Wade and the big boys.  They are in the front row of the yellow car.  :)
 Clayton chose a Radiator Springs shirt as a souvenir.
Clayton and Wade went on California Screamin' two more times, and I took the little boys to meet Buzz.

The last two things on my list were castle pictures and having the boys' silhouettes done.  I remember my sister and I sitting for silhouettes as kids at Disney.  My mom still has them hanging at her house.  I wanted the same for my kiddos.

It really is amazing to watch.  The silhouette artist said that she has been doing silhouettes for 40 years!  She finished each one in less than a minute.  Crazy! 
I think she did a pretty good job of capturing these three little profiles.
Then it was off to take a few pictures at the castle.  I loved that is was all decorated for Christmas.  I had never seen Disney at Christmas - quite impressive!

The next morning we flew home.  I think that we all slept for at least part of the flight home.  Seven straight days of amusement parks/zoo will wear. you. out.  We had walked a million miles, but had such a tremendous time together.  I loved having 9 straight days of quality family time before Christmas.  I love my four guys more than I ever could have imagined.  They make every day so fun - regular ole life days or wonderful family vacation days.  :)
We hit the floor running as soon as we got home.  There was lots of last minute Christmas fun to be had!  :)