Saturday, August 28, 2010

Disneyland, bay-beeee!

I talked before about how my family goes to California to visit my sister Laura's family every other year and that this was our year. We always go do something "touristy" like Sea World (my favorite!) or the Midway Museum (Grandpa Carter's favorite), but we've never been to Disneyland. My sister had yearly passes for her family that expired on the 23rd of August, so even though Marty was ADAMANTLY opposed to going across the deserts of Nevada and Eastern California in August, we decided we'd better bite the bullet and do it when we could go with my sister's fam - since that's the real reason we trek to CA in the first place.

We could have opted to go later in the year when the desert wouldn't be as hot and the park wouldn't be so crowded and go by ourselves, but besides wanting to spend time there with our cousins, we wanted to take advantage of my sister's rockin' Disneyland guiding skills. Seriously, this girl could hire herself out as a professional DL guide! She's super organized anyway, but she's also been to Disney a lot and has really figured out how to minimize line time and where to go when.

I didn't want to take my big new camera into the park, for one thing it's worth more than my car. I also didn't want to lug it around. So I took in my new little waterproof point and shoot - a Fuji Z33 that I got for a killer deal. I was expecting the photos to be pretty poor quality, but I figured they'd be better than nothing. I was actually pleasantly surprised, they were better than I'd expected them to be.

I didn't do a super great job of documenting everything I should have - looking back at the pictures I took, I'm kind of surprised by what I did and didn't capture. I guess I was a little bit overwhelmed by the whole Disney experience myself, and kind of lost my d*@n mind. (In the words of one of my good friends. :0)

So here they are, such as they are - - our day in the happiest place on earth:

(And for some reason, because these are from my point and shoot, I felt no need whatsoever to edit them - so here they are in their uncut, undedited glory.)

My sister is a pro at working the fast passes - - she sends her 16 year old with everyone's ticket stubs to the ride we want fast passes for. In the meantime, the rest of the herd goes and gets in line for "Pirates" or one of the other rides that she knows doesn't have much of a line.

Since the last time I went to DL, in about '95, they've added Johnny Depp to the ride - in three different places. He completely belongs there - Captain Jack Sparrow was the most brilliant pirate ever!

I had no idea how my kids would handle the rides, they've never been on any kind of roller coasters before. They all liked "Pirates", but only two out of the three were very impressed with the Big Thunder Mountain.

(Marty w/ his Cat hat - of course - checking to see if Jaxon was alright.)

Jaxon didn't end up liking the roller coasters much at all, but Luke thought they were "AWESOME".

My brother in law, Craig:

his primary objective in all the craziness was: Keep track of the little boys. He also wouldn't let them ride the roller coasters together, they always had to have an adult in the seat next to them. He was afraid their lightweight little hieneys would just fly right out if there weren't a big person there to hold them down.

Byrnn liked the roller coasters too, but cried all the way through the Indiana Jones ride - - TWICE. (I tried to talk her out of going the second time around, but she insisted on doing it anyway - maybe she thought it would be different somehow.) Jaxon loved "Indie", he thought the special effects were AWESOME, we ended up going that second time just for him.

Luke also loved the "Indie" ride and he was just barely tall enough to make it in. But we knew he would be tall enough because he and Laura's Nate are exactly the same height and Nate had already been 3 times in the last year. That was another reason we decided to go this year - thanks to his cousin Nate, we knew he'd made the cut.

There were a couple of attractions that weren't on my sister's approved DL agenda, but we did them anyway because our kids are newbies and they are Disneyland institutions: Small World (I know, the song just popped into your head) and the Teacups.

Small World was one of the only rides we stood in line for for any length of time - they don't offer fast passes for that one. It was also one of the only rides that moved slowly (translate: boring) enough for me to take very many pictures of.

We had a big enough group that we usually took up a whole car, or boat, or whathaveyou.

Front left: my sister Sharon - to her right: Craig's sister Marin, who just happened to be in DL with her friends that day - behind Marin: my sister Laura, and behind Laura: her oldest, Justin.

I was fascinated by the cool sculpted shrubbery in front of the Small World, and I had to get a shot of this horse, of course.

The little people from all nations inside of the Small World were quite precious - I'd forgotten just how precious:

And on the Teacups: Justin's girlfriend, Haley who rode the commuter train and caught up with us at the park, Marin, and Madison (Laura's 12 year old daughter).

And Laura with her two youngest: Nathan and Allyson.

We ate lunch ($48.00 worth) in the Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. We also went on Spacemountain twice, which is my favorite. Luke and Brynn also loved Spacemountain, but Jaxon wouldn't even try it. Which is kind of interesting because he's so into Star Wars, but the Big Thunder really put him off on roller coasters so he wasn't game to try another one.

We also went to the revival of Michael Jackson's Captain Eo, also located in Tomorrowland, but to me it felt very nostalgic like it should have been in Yesterdayland. Or Eightiesland.

The kids dug the 3-D glasses - only kids can pull these off.

We also hung out for a bit in the Innoventions building. We got to see a picture of how we'd look in 20 years. Yippy, good times.

It also struck me as funny how we came all the way to Disneyland and my boys, instead of enjoying all the miraculous wonders, got sucked into a video game. Anybody else recognize this look?

Yeah. Nice.

We really didn't buy anything in the way of souvenirs, I'm kind of a mean mom that way. But Madi used her own money to get this personalized bracelet, and I actually thought it was really cute.

Laura knows, that when the day is getting long and we're a few hours past lunch, it's time to go into the Golden Horseshoe Theatre and have a little treat:

and rest in the air conditioning and watch the show. The show was one of my favorite parts of the day, I thought it was brilliant and hillarious. I was too far from the stage and it was to dark to get decent video, but I took some anyway.

I missed some of the funniest stuff - it was hard to tell when it was coming.

Craig and Ally - I just love me a good Daddy. Laura's and my kids are soooo lucky in their dads. And they'll probably never truly appreciate what exceptionally good dads they have.

The longest line we stood in the whole day was for Autopia - another ride with no fastpass.

Jaxon really liked it for some reason and ended up doing it twice. I only did it once, thank goodness. Not my favorite at all. It was getting quite dark by the time we did it the second time.

And then as we were leaving, I got this shot of Walt and Mickey together. What is it about this place that makes it so special? I don't exactly know, but there's not doubt that it is.


ME said...

So Magical! That camera did a fabulous job!!! You got some fun shots. I seriously need to hire your sister to guide us when we go. Insider tips would be key to Disney success! Hey, I've lost my d*@n mind quite a few times so I can totally relate. Love that you captured the Horsey shrub...only you...somehow I knew that pic was coming! BTW, I will have "It's a Small World" on continuous play in my mind today :)....can'