Monday, July 21, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth...

On our family vacation this year we wanted to get to spend some time in Arizona but we also wanted to take Lillie to Disneyland. My best friend and her husband are Disney enthusiast so we asked them if they would like to join us - they of course accepted! We left Arizona in our rental minivan on Tuesday morning and arrived in California that evening. We stayed at a quaint little place called the Candy Cane that is within walking distance from the parks. We have stayed there before and really enjoyed that hotel. Our first day we headed for Disneyland and went straight to the new Nemo ride on recommendation of Cassie and Tom. There are no fast passes for this ride so you have to wait in the long line. Getting there at 8:30 we still had to wait a little over an hour. They have taken the old submarine ride and updated it to a very cute Nemo ride. Lillie thoroughly enjoyed this ride and was more willing to wait in lines after realizing the fun that was at the end of the line. We tried to fit in as much as we could the first day. We rode the Matter Horn, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Toy Story and so much more! We also reserved a table for the Princess lunch knowing that Lillie would love to get their autographs and pictures. The first princess waiting at the bottom of the steps was Ariel who is Lillie's favorite! She went up and started talking to her like she knew her. It was cute to see her reaction. Lillie was wearing a shirt with flamingos all over it (her favorite animal) and Ariel said that she had talked to flamingos and they were silly birds. It was very cute and the ladies are very good at staying in character. As the lunch progressed the princesses were announced and then would come around to talk to each table. We were greeted by Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle. Lillie barely ate she was so excited about those princesses!

The second day we went to a character breakfast to meet more of the characters up close. If you haven't done the character breakfast it is well worth it. It is very difficult to get the characters to take pictures and sign autographs throughout the park because the lines are so long. The meals are expensive but Lillie has always enjoyed it and it has been worth the money spent. We tried to fit in as many rides in the second day as possible. We were able to get a great seat for dinner where we were able to watch the light parade as we ate. We ended up staying until closing at both parks. California adventure closed at 10:00 then we headed to Disneyland until it closed at midnight. We had so much fun.

The only bad thing was that Tom caught a virus and was sick the whole time. He made it out the first day and then had to head back to the hotel right after lunch. Cassie felt bad so she spent a good portion of her time in the hotel taking care of Tom. She came to meet us throughout the day and rode several rides. Unfortunately, Cassie ended up getting sick on the way home so it was an interesting trip for them. I am sure nothing like they have experienced before and hopefully don't experience again while at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Some highlights - My two favorite things were the new Toy Story ride and the Pixar Parade. The Toy Story ride is an interactive 3-D ride. You have these pop guns that you shoot at different objects on the screen. You end up playing as a team of four trying to beat one another. Some of the objects when shot send off bursts of air or water which is a lot of fun. I just want to make it known that I beat Tom AND Cassie in this game! :) My other favorite was the Pixar parade. It is also at California Adventure. It is an interactive parade where the characters shoot water and interact with the crowd. You see the cars characters, Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo. It was a lot of fun and one that I highly recommend. My least favorite was the giant Ferris wheel at California Adventure - it was huge! I am not normally afraid of rides however this one was scary! Some of the cages were on tracks which you swing around on as the Ferris wheel is turning. The problem was that there was this tiny lady and a little boy on the bench across from us so we were heavy on our side which made us swing back and forth for a long time. If you are afraid of heights this would not be a good ride for you. It was too much for me but Lillie liked it!

Eric's favorite - Eric liked the Indiana Jones ride the best. This was the only ride Lillie was not able to go on. You have to be 50 inches and she was a few inches short. It was upsetting to her because she had been able to go on every other ride in the park. The trick to Indiana Jones is to get a fast pass or else you will be waiting in line for over an hour.

Lillie's favorite - Big Thunder Mountain as she would say. I think we went on this ride about 6 times. She LOVED it. One thing about Lillie is she has no fear. She went on everything with us and really enjoyed it all. She liked the goat and the glowing eyes in the cave. When we went on our first big ride I thought to myself, " Am I crazy putting my four year old on these rides?" but in the end I am glad we did, because she enjoyed herself so much!

I have posted an album of some of our pictures. These were just the ones that I thought were the best.


Serena said...

WOW! What a fun trip! It was great to read about all the details. I want to see more pictures.

Colleen said...

I posted some more pictures. I was having the hardest time last night getting that slide show to work. When do you all leave for your trip? Hope you have lots of fun!