Dec 12, 2011

Disneyland - Day 2

Day 2 at Disneyland was our first full-blown day in the parks. And it was a Magic Hour morning for us as well since we were staying at a resort hotel – basically we got to get into Fantasyland and Tomorrowland and hour earlier than people not staying at a Resort for Friendly neighbor hotel. Cameron’s mom, Joe and Connor were staying at a hotel across the street of Disneyland that also offered Magic hours, so we all met up at the Entrance and headed for Tomorrowland. First up was Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters. I love this pic of the three of us on the ride – Cameron and I look so serious and you then barely see London sitting in her daddy’s lap.

From there, we left London with Vicki so my parents, Connor, Joe, Cameron and I could get a chance to go on Star Tours. Vicki had already been on it once with Connor and Joe, and admitted the ride made her a little motion sick. I’m sure she didn’t mind the private time with London either. Star Tours was great, as it’s been updated with new adventures and technology. I definitely jumped at the end, thanks to the new 3D effects. London and Vicki went on Astroblasters for a second time while we were occupied. From there we decided to hit up Autopia as Cameron and I had expected this to be London’s favorite ride, given she loves to get behind the wheel when we drive in our neighborhood.

Unfortunately, Autopia is not part of Magic hour, and a line was already forming. So we thought we’d wait the 10 minutes for the ride to open. 10 minutes turned into 15 as they were relatively late in opening the gate. Mind you waiting in any line without a stroller with a toddler is difficult. Cameron ended up walking around with London until the line started to move. Then we had to wait for the cars to get started, with many stalls occurring before our time came. The worst part – they wouldn’t let London sit on a lap so she got stuck between Vicki and I and didn’t get the driving experience we had expected for her – poor thing couldn’t see a thing, so the wait and the ride were really a bust.

With the rest of the park open, we headed for The Haunted Mansion to see it all dressed up in Nightmare Before Christmas style. It was fantastic and London wasn’t scared at any point during the ride. By now all of us were quite hungry and I knew there was a food location just up the way in Critter Country some more, but it wouldn’t open for another 4 minutes, so we headed for the Winnie the Pooh ride and it was open when we were finished. There was no wait at Winnie the Pooh so we walked right on and all of us were able to ride in one beehive. After our meal, Cameron and I ran over to Splash Mountain since the line was short and it was a nice day – we weren’t sure how the weather was going to hold up the rest of the trip. I ended up getting stuck in the front of the log. Not recommended. I got soaked. Cameron said I looked like Alice Cooper right after the big drop as my mascara was running. We figured London was ready for a nap so we could go freshen up back at the hotel any way.

Nope. London was going full steam after lunch and Matt & Lynde had just arrived for the day, so all 10 of us headed for the Jungle Cruise. We made a detour to stop in at The Haunted Mansion again, and this time, London did jump and cling to me a bit when the stain glass made a cracking sound in the elevator that takes you down to the ride. After the Jungle Cruise, we all split up. My parents and London were ready for a nap, so they took her back to their room, while Matt, Lynde, Cameron and I hit all the adult rides in Disneyland – Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, and Space Mountain and then hit up all the adult rides as California Adventure – Tower of Terror, California Screamin, Goofy’s Flight School, Soarin’ California.

By the time we got through all these rides, it was time to head back to Disneyland to meet up with everyone again, including some SoCal friends, Heather, her daughter Kendal and another friend Katie. My parents got there early enough to get some prime seating for all of us. After a high school marching band performed to open the parade, the group sitting on the curb in front of us left, which allowed Cameron, Lynde and Connor to sit up front, and London sat on her daddy’s lap for a little while. Duing the parade, London learned to wave side by side, watching Heather’s Kendal for the how-to. Before, London waved by opening and closing her hand. Now she has the side to side wave down. It was just adorable to watch her watching the parade. She was definitely entertained, though it did at times, move at a slow pace and she would grow restless.

This was nothing compared to waiting for the parade to start, which was delayed by 15 minutes thanks to technical difficulties. I tell you, waiting extra was the theme of our day. Cameron and I did our best to entertain her while we waited, which involved walking up and down Main Street and walking through the Emporium. It even involved bribing London with a new Timon plush animal. She and I walked into the Emporium and she of course found her way to all the stuffed animals. She picked up Bullet from Toy Story at first and would not leave it behind. I ended up running with London obviously upset from being torn from her new love get my purse and ended up back in the shop with Cameron and his wallet. London calmed down as soon as we were back inside and letting her make a selection again. This time she selected Timon. He actually was the perfect size for her and kept her entertained for a little while. London’s actually growing more and more interested in stuffed animals these days, cuddling and playing with all my Christmas stuffed animals from over the years. Her favorite seems to be the little doe reindeer that McDonald’s used to sell this time of the year.

At the end of the parade, Cameron, London, my parents and I tried to go on It’s a Small World before Cameron and I needed to leave to get to our dinner reservations at Steakhouse 55 inside the Disneyland Hotel for a date night. First, we got slowed down by the crowd, then the parade finishing up behind the attraction and then again by the crowd. Seemed everyone had the same idea. Of course just as we turn to head back to the gate, all the lights went out for the lighting of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Once those lights were back on, it began to “snow” and then the light display at It’s a Small World started, which stopped us in our tracks again, as it was pretty entertaining with the music and scenes being flashed across the attraction fa├žade.

Finally, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up. We dropped my parents and London off in Downtown Disney, where they dined at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen with London enjoying some good old mac and cheese. My parents were kind enough to take London for the night, so Cameron and I enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Steakhouse 55. It was delicious and great for a date night away from London. I would never take her there until she was much older, but there were all ages dining there as well. Cameron ordered a fantastic porterhouse while I had the rack of lamb. Cameron also discovered a very good jalapeno margarita> He had originally meant to only have one cocktail with our salads and bread but it was so good he ended up having two more, which left me with an entire bottle of champagne, not that I minded. Good thing we were walking back to our hotel. We took so long to enjoy our dinner that we got back too late to sit in the spa at the hotel – we never would make it to the spa during our trip. Oh well, next time when London is old enough to want pool time.

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