Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 Southern California Trip: Disneyland Day 2

The next morning we woke up at 7, packed up our stuff and went over to Paradise Pier. We had early entrance at Disneyland that day, but I needed to feed Ty, so we stayed at the hotel for a bit while everyone else went over to the park. By the time we got in, there were only 20 minutes left before the early entrance hour was over, and Ty had fallen asleep in the stroller. Since my family was in line for Star Tours, we found a bench in Tomorrowland to wait for them. I didn't see a reason both of us needed to be sitting and waiting, so I told Oscar he might as well go on Buzz Lighyear's Astro Blasters, which has a fast moving line. He did, and ended up finishing with it before everyone else had even gotten on Star Tours. By the time they joined us, we'd lost any benefit of having early entrance that day. This was a bit of a bummer since I'd been hoping to take Ty on Peter Pan during early entrance (the line gets long and slow during regular hours, enough that they have fast pass for it at Disney World). This was the kind of thing that I hadn't planned for when bringing a baby to Disneyland. I knew I'd have to feed him and that he'd have to nap, but for some reason I'd just assumed those things wouldn't conflict with the little I had specifically scheduled. On the whole, though, having a baby did not limit us nearly as much as I'd been expecting it to since my family helped out a lot and Disney has many attractions that let you bring a baby with you. I wouldn't want to come to Disney with just our little family of 3, but I'd happily bring a baby again with others there to help out.

After we'd met up with the family, we thought it'd be best to spend the rest of our morning at California Adventure. The park with early entrance is typically going to be the more crowded one for the rest of the morning. We went over to CA adventure while most everyone else hung back to check on a stroller attachment and grab some fast passes, but Mom offered to come with us and stay with Ty in case we wanted to go on a ride. When we got to the front of the park line, mom searched in her purse and realized she'd given her ticket to Mike to grab her a fastpass. Surprisingly they let her through because she had a hand stamp and a Disney hotel key, but they warned her next time to make sure she had her ticket. There was a photopass photographer in front of the gas station at the front entrance, so we posed for a few pictures. I adore the one of us shushing while Tyler sleeps. It's even better with the cute "Happily Ever After" border and Tinkerbell waving her wand on Tyler.

Oscar and I posed with the Walt and Mickey statue before making our way up the hill to grab our World of Color and Soarin Over California fast passes.

The rest of the family met up with us there, and we all decided to go to Toy Story again since Oscar and the Kawaguchi family hadn't been on it yet. By then Ty had woken up, and I had the carrier to wear him on me, which made playing the game so much easier than keeping him balanced on my lap. He loves being in the carrier when I'm moving, but having him in the carrier anytime I had to wait in line was miserable. Fortunately  he calmed down once he had my pair of 3D glasses to play with. I had to ask for another at the front of the line since Ty screamed when I tried to take them away. They told me the glasses aren't good for an infant's eyes, but I reassured them that he would not actually be wearing them. He held them for the whole ride while watching the screens pop up, and even though I had to put them away when the ride was over, he didn't fuss very long since he was now enjoying moving again.

Next we crossed the bridge and got this great family picture. To me this was the clear winner, though I actually added about 20 different borders to it in case other family members had different opinions.

Here are just a few of those. I have the rest in my Disney Photopass pics album in Google+.
There were two additional photos taken, but I didn't like them as much since mom's not looking at the camera in one and Lia and Chang have their sunglasses on in the other. The border I wanted to use for our family picture was the cute Family Reunion border in the middle, but no matter how I cropped the photo, it kept cutting off Emma's face in all 3 shots. It leaves her eyes and nose visible in one, but that was the best I could do. In the small pic on the left, I cropped the right side out to make a cute photo of just our family and the Kawaguchi family.

Ethan, Sophie and Emma later got the chance to meet Minnie. I think the border on the right is really cute, but I also can't help but picture that Minnie and Daisy are having some terrible gas! They really should color in those flowers. Gray just does not work!

After Toy Story we grabbed fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers. Since Racers is so popular right now, our fast passes weren't valid until the evening, the same time we would want to be getting our spot for World of Color (although you grab a fast pass for World of Color, it only reserves you a section to stand in, not a seat or specific spot. You still have to get there early to get the best place within your reserved section). As long as we were already in Cars Land (though the racers fast pass is actually near "It's Tough to be a Bug"), we decided to do Luigi's Flying Tires. Mom offered to stay with Ty so I could ride, but he became super fussy and hungry in spite of just having had solids, and she couldn't very well nurse him for me. I knew CA Adventure had a baby care area, but I didn't know where it was, so I nursed him on a nearby bench. It turns out I wasn't terribly far from it. I later found it near the big food area around the corner from the Ghirardelli ice cream parlor. I grabbed a rider switch pass for later while everyone else had fun bumping around on inflatable tires. They're like bumper cars that you steer by leaning together, and there's little to no impact when you crash into each other. Afterwards we did Soarin' while Oscar stayed with Ty and grabbed a rider switch pass for later. Since we had two rider switch passes and World of Color that evening, we knew we definitely wouldn't be going back to Disneyland that evening. Ty was happy for a little bit after being nursed, but he clearly didn't want to take a 2nd nap in the stroller, so we grabbed some lunch and took him back to the hotel.

Every afternoon we were at Disneyland, Ty took a nice 2 to 2.5 hour nap in the crib in the middle of the day. I wish he could be that consistent at home! It must have been Disney magic! ;) Ty loves darkness and would sleep well at night, but we knew he'd never nap in the pack and play crib if he could see and hear us in the room with him. For naps we had to put the crib in the bathroom, which prevented us from being able to use the toilet since you couldn't open the door all the way. There was just enough space to put Ty in or take him out of the crib. Fortunately our room had a shared door between ours and Mike's room, so we could at least use his bathroom when necessary (and in doing so we randomly discovered that mom, Shannon, and I all had the same brand and scent of deodorant).

After Ty had been down for about 30 minutes, everyone else came back and wanted to go for a swim. I had lots of fun playing with the kids in the pool and going down the waterslide with them. I even played with a couple other little girls that Hana had made friends with. I pretended to be a hug monster with my nieces and nephew, and since the other little girls really wanted to play too, I obliged. Hopefully it didn't creep their mom out too much that a strange lady was hugging her children.

There was also a hot tub in the pool area with powerful jets at the ideal bathwater temperature. I would have liked to take Ty in it since he loves baths and bubbles, but I never got around to it.

I have to admit, the giddy schoolgirl in me kept saying "you're at Disneyland! Why the heck are you wasting your precious park time back at the hotel?" But the adult in me realized that it was necessary for the kids to get a little break, and Tyler slept so much better at the hotel than he ever did in the stroller. It made for a much happier baby in the park, and that in itself was worth missing a few hours of park time each day.

After we swam, showered and changed, Ty had woken up and was playing with his toys. Our nieces and nephew had lots of fun playing with him. This was the first time Mike's kids were really able to play with Ty since he was so young and not very mobile the last time we'd visited.

After the cousins had enjoyed their play time, we returned to the park, but this time without mom. She didn't want to be on her feet anymore after wearing flimsy flip flops all morning and standing so much on her bad knees. We first decided to take a tour of Paradise Pier since it closes early for World of Color. Oscar rode with Ty on Ariel's Undersea's Adventures so that I could enjoy watching Ty's face from the clam shell next to them. The picture above represents perfectly how Oscar and Tyler each felt about the ride.

After Ariel we went over to Silly Symphony Swings. Ty fell asleep on the walk over, and Shannon offered to stay with him while the rest of us went on the ride. When I came to CA Adventure last, the swings were called "Orange Stinger." I liked the way it looked more then because it was unique. It was a tribute to CA Adventure being built on orange fields and the Disney resort being in Orange county. Now it looks like any old swing ride. 

After the swings, Mike and family went to Bugs Land while we and the Kawaguchi family went on Mickey's Fun Wheel in one of the non swinging gondolas. My sister was thrilled she didn't struggle with vertigo as she had the last time she went on it, and Oscar snapped these pretty pictures through the gondola cage. Ty had woken up by the time we got in line, and since ferris wheels are always incredibly slow loading, he got very fussy. I ended up nursing him while we rode in the gondola, so he never had the vaguest idea we were even on a ride.
After grabbing a turkey leg for dinner and catching up with the kiddos to ride Francis' Ladybug Boogie, we waited in line for Monster's Inc. Oscar and I needed to go back to use our parent pass for Soarin,' and we agreed to meet mom there afterwards. Ty had become crazy fussy by then, but I knew he'd be happy once we got on the ride. Oscar and I played with him a lot to distract him, and I sang to him in line to calm him.

After waiting about 20 minutes to get on Monster's, we made it to the very front of the line right when it shut down. Boy was I upset! Normally it wouldn't have bothered me so much, but it really made me crazy that mom was sitting around waiting for us at Soarin' while we were putting all our efforts into calming a screaming baby for nothing. I mention this not to complain, but because I learned a lot this trip about what my triggers are when I have a baby with me. Now I can prepare my brain for those possible events the next time I take him out.

Mom had offered to watch Tyler for us while we went on Soarin, but as we were walking to meet up with her, I remembered that World of Color is a standing only show, and I did not think she would enjoy being on her feet for nearly 30 minutes (plus however long you're standing there before it starts). When I told her she agreed and offered to take Ty back to the hotel. I nursed Ty on a bench and he went happily back for some alone time with grandma. I'm really grateful to mom for doing that since Ty gets super cranky when he's kept up passed his bedtime. Even if he'd fallen asleep in his stroller as he'd done the other night, I don't know where we could have fit in a stroller at World of Color, and the show would have probably woken him up.

 After Soarin' we went back into Cars Land to use our Racers fastpasses. Lia and family were already on the ride, planning to go right to World of Color afterwards to get a good spot. We had some pics taken in front of the Cars Land sign. As we were walking to the ride, we saw another photographer in front of Flo's V8 Cafe, and as were lining up to have a picture taken, we saw Mike and family there too. They'd opted to get some food first instead of going right on Racers with Malia.

It was fun to unexpectedly have everybody get into the pictures with us. Dad somehow missed the instruction to spread our arms during one of the poses, and my arm is totally blocking his face.
I was glad that the Family Reunion border worked well with this shot.

And finally we used our fast passes for Racers. I know I said it in the last post, but I cannot emphasize enough how visually impressive this ride and the whole Cars Land area is. Fortunately these photos from the gallery disc that came with our photopass+ purchase do it much more justice than any shots I got with my camera.

There's a cool waterfall when your car first rounds the corner before you enter Radiator Springs. It looks even prettier at night.

Did I mention it's impressive?!

All of us during the rush of the big race!
Ethan loves this ride, and even though the twins cried the first time on it, they loved it the second time. Shannon offered to go with them to prepare them for the fast part, and they were so thrilled when they finished without a single tear. They kept telling all of us "we didn't cry this time!"

Next dad, Oscar, and I went back to Luigi's Flying Tires to use my parent pass while Mike and family headed on over to World of Color. Each of us got some more pictures along the way. I never saw a photographer for Oscar and I to get shots of these areas in the evening, but I'm glad Mike and Shan did.

We got some nice pics with dad in front of the Radiator Springs race track. It looks so gorgeous at night!

And for our final event of the evening, we made our way over to World of Color. It was crazy crowded, but with the help of the line attendants and cell phones, we were able to find Lia, Chang, and Hana and enjoy the show with them. Paradise Pier looks absolutely lovely at night.
The fun wheel lights up all sorts of different colors while you're waiting for the show to start. There's even an app you can download to play a memory game with the patterns. Lia and Chang downloaded it but said the people they were playing against were just far too good to compete with.

And then the show began. It really is as fantastic as people say! The only thing that would have made it better would have been being able to sit. After about 10 minutes in, dad couldn't handle standing in one place any longer and needed to move around. One of the attendants saw him and actually found him a seat on a bench! Kudos to Disney for some great guest service!
Part of what I loved about this show were the scenes from so many different Disney animated movies. Many of the movies aren't featured much in the park (ex. Pocahontas), but they nearly all get displayed in this show. For the holidays they include scenes from the most recent animated feature - Frozen.
We got a few nice pictures too, though they pale in comparison to the above Disney professional photography. One of the coolest parts of the show are the Pirates of the Carribean scenes that actually light up fire on top of the water (left pic). We were a decent distance back, yet we could still feel the strength of that heat.
We used a smart phone to take a few pictures, so it didn't disturb anyone else's viewing, but there were several people recording and photographing in ways that were very obstructive to those behind them (ex. a tripod and a video camera held constantly high), and there were a LOT of people, so I can't say I had great viewing. If I didn't have great viewing, that means it'd be that much harder for a child to see the show. Chang was trying to hold Hana up, but since she's 9, he can only do it for so long. I wonder if Disney would consider putting bleachers in.

And after a wonderful show, I got to come back to a peacefully sleeping baby. Aww! He'd fallen asleep to mom patting him on the back, and she laid him down on our bed. I gave him a little dream feed (waking the baby just for a nursing session), then put him down in the pack and play and went to sleep. What a fun, full, exhausting day!

To read about our trip from the beginning, click here

1 comment:

  1. Stacy you have done suc
    h a wonderful job blogging on our and your trip to Disneyland. I love the comments, and pics and enjoyed our sweet Tyler. They grow so fast. By the time you get up her this july he'll be l4 months old. I can't believe it has been such a short time since we saw him and he's crawling all over the place including the stairs. Give him hugs and kisses from Grandma and Grandpa Jinks.