Mickey - California Style

Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, June 14, 2013

We stopped in Anaheim for only one reason and that was to go to Disneyland!  We had been to L.A. before and didn't really want to visit there again on this trip.  After spending a little over a week at Disney World in Florida not long ago it did seem kind of crazy to go to Disneyland too.  We had never been there before though and we were just too close to pass it up!  It is much smaller than Disney World with only 2 parks to visit and Downtown Disney which has shopping, restaurants, and shows.  We actually found it quite similar to Euro Disney.  We decided two days would be enough time to see each of the parks and pass on Downtown Disney.  Gran and Gramps chose to take their time getting to Anaheim and spend one day instead of two at Disneyland with us. 
We went to California Adventures the first day and had a great time.  A lot of the rides were the same as Disney World and they combined rides from Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.  We tried to go on the rides we hadn't been on before first and then see what else we had time for.  The big hit was "Cars Land" an absolute replica of Radiator Springs from the movie Cars.  It was very impressive!  The most popular ride in that section is called "Radiator Springs Racers".  It is similar to Test Track at Disney World but you are in vehicles from the movie Cars and are racing through beautiful "Ornament Valley".  We headed there first to get a fast pass and found they were already sold out for the day!  At that point the wait time was 2 hours and we just refuse to wait that long in line for a two minute ride.  We said we'd check back later, maybe it would be less busy during a parade, or the fireworks right before they close like we have found with other rides.
We had a little bit of an unfortunate incident while at Disneyland!  As we have mentioned before Aimee can be quite clumsy at times!  She had been looking at pictures on the IPad with Clare while the boys were on a ride and when she stood up to go the IPad slipped from her hands and crashed to the pavement.  It was in the case but not shut and of course landed screen down.  Nervous to look, she picked it up and found the screen completely shattered.  It was still working fine unbelievably and thankfully we bought the extended warranty on it.  Hilariously, when we bought it we thought we better get the warranty because the kids would be using it.  We should have known Aimee was just as likely to break it!  Aimee took a big breath, tried not to cry in frustration, and we headed to the next ride.
We really enjoyed the Aladdin Musical.  The set and costumes were done in true Disney fashion and were nothing but spectacular.  The actors voices were phenomenal and the kids loved when they danced through the aisles and flew through the air on the magic carpet.  The admission cost at Disney is outrageous but when you compare the cost of taking the whole family to see a musical of that magnitude in Toronto the cost really isn't too bad.  We're so glad we were able to see it!
We tend to not be one of those families that gets a good seat for the parades ages before they start and instead usually just find a spot as they are starting.  There is just so much to see and do we try to limit our "waiting" time as much as possible.  The kids also know our maximum "wait" time for any ride is at the upper most an hour.   For some reason we usually seem to luck out and find a great spot to sit and this happened for the Pixar Play Parade too.  The parades at Disney are fantastic and very high energy.  We always get a little chuckle watching the performers faces because they are just too happy!  
We couldn't forget some of our favorites and went on Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin', and Ariel's Undersea Adventure.  We checked the wait times at Radiator Racers and found the time kept going up and was at two and a half hours now.  A Disney employee suggested we go in the singles line which was only 45 minutes but meant we wouldn't be able to go in the same car.  We felt that was better than nothing.  Clare was too young to ride it so Aimee stayed with her and the boys got in line. After waiting for 30 minutes the ride unfortunately had to be shut down for repairs.  They waited another 15 minutes but not knowing when it would start up again and because it was getting quite late they decided to leave the line.  It was a big bummer but the boys handled it very well and we headed to one more ride they hadn't been on before we went back to the campground.  When we got back Gran and Gramps were there waiting up for us.  We were staying so close to Disneyland that while we were telling them about our day we were able to watch the fireworks from the park.  It was great to be able to watch them and not have to fight the crowds leaving the park at the end of the night. 
We started our second day with tensions running high and not in the best frame of mind!  We had spent the last few days trying to find a spot to stay on the coast after Anaheim.  We're not sure if it was because it was Fathers Day weekend but we could not find a place anywhere.  We had nowhere to stay the following night and Bruce and Aimee were feeling a little stressed out!  We didn't want to waste any more time that morning making phone calls so realized we would have to do it while in line at Disney.  Not something either of us wanted to do but we had to find a place to stay.  We finally gave up trying to stay on the coast and found a highly rated campground a half hour inland.  Bruce booked it while on "Its A Small World" with the song from that ride blasting in the background.  He had to keep repeating himself because the guy couldn't hear him over the music!  We were relieved to have found a spot and could go on and enjoy our day.
The Disneyland Park was similar to Magic Kingdom and we had lots of fun there with Gran and Gramps.  The Space Mountain ride was totally different than the one in Florida and Gramps, Caleb, and Bruce had a lot of fun on it.  We didn't even come close to getting on all the rides at Disneyland.  It felt very busy at the park and was sometimes even hard to navigate through the streets it was so crowded.  The crowds were huge at some rides and you just didn't want to fight your way through.  We still had a lot of fun on some of our favorites (Buzz Lightyear) and were able to try some new rides we hadn't been on before.  The Nemo Submarine Adventure was really well done and both Autopia and the Disneyland Railway were better than at Disney World.
Disney is always a great time but it sure would be fun to be there without the crowds!  We're ready to take it easy and celebrate Father's Day in California's wine country!
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Holly Cassidy on

Poor Aimee!!!! Good thing for warranties..... :(

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