Mar 21, 2011

Disneyland, Day 3!!!

Ok, on to day 3...our last day :( We started out the morning with waffles for breakfast...Park Vue had the best waffles ever, or at least it seemed that way to us!

After breakfast I took a few pictures of our hotel. I really didn't get any of the inside of our room, but it was just a basic room..queen bed, bunk beds, tv. The beds were SO comfortable....or we were just worn out each night!

We met Jim at the park around 9 and then headed to Toontown (thanks again Jim!), but first we stopped by the cinema on Main Street for a quick cartoon. K was impressed with how cartoons used to look "back then!"

As soon as we got to Toontown we saw Pluto and got in line. But just as it was our turn to meet him, it was time for Pluto to take a break :( K still got a hug from him though. Next we visited Goofy's Playhouse and had our picture taken with Goofy. He's my favorite, so I was really glad to get to see him :)

Kristin thought she wanted to see Minnie, but changed her mind and decided to ride the Gadget Go Coaster and somehow managed to talk Mom into riding it with her! I'm fully convinced that one of these days that child will be riding the big coasters with me!!! Anyway, they had fun and as soon as they got off, we headed to Mickey's house...we had to see THE mouse!! Mickey's house was really cute. Seemed like we were in there forever, but Kristin enjoyed looking at and playing with everything. Finally it was our turn to see Mickey. My picture of Kristin with Mickey didn't turn out so well, but the photopass pic of all of us is great!

Once we got out of Mickey's house, it was well past lunchtime and Kristin was about to have a full blown low blood sugar meltdown! We quickly got in line at Daisey's Diner for some cheese pizza. Aahhhh....meltdown avoided!! We enjoyed a nice lunch, but it was beginning to get hot and REALLY crowded. We left and we back to the hotel cream!!! Park Vue guests got a discount at the on site Coldstone Creamery. I didn't get any pics, guess I was too busy eating! Afterwards Kristin went for a swim, working on her backstroke :)

Rested and ready for more, we took off for DCA to see Soarin' Over California. We'd gotten fastpasses for it after we left Toontown and I was super excited. Since I began planning this vacation, this was the one ride I HAD to ride. And all I can say...AWESOME! It was a perfect ride...the fastpass line was maybe 15 minutes (the standby line was well over an hour), we got to sit on the front row, in the center, for a perfect view. If you don't know about this ride, basically you are raised up in front of a huge movie screen, and it looks and feels like you are flying over California. SO COOL! Of course Kristin's favorite part was flying over the Golden Gate Bridge! Next time we are there, we are getting fastpasses everyday for this ride. Period.

After our flight, we took a short trip to Bugs Land and watched It's Tough To Be A Bug. This was a really cute show and we all enjoyed it. On the way out I discovered orange trees!! I took tons of pictures and I'm sure people thought I was nuts, but we don't have orange trees in Arkansas! I really wanted to reach over the fence and grab one...but I didn't!

Kristin wanted to ride a couple more rides on Paradise Pier, so that was our next stop. I have to say, next time we will spend more time in DCA. Kristin didn't care for it as much as Disneyland, but I really liked it. I couldn't believe she didn't have a care in the world for Monsters Inc...oh well. We rode The Golden Zephyr and then Kristin rode Jumpin' Jellyfish, making a new friend while waiting in line :)

We wandered around DCA a little more and made sure Kristin didn't want to do anything else there, because we weren't coming back...but she was done. So, back to Disneyland we went!

The monorail was a must do on Mom and K's list, so that's where we decided to go. I was starting to get a migraine, so I really don't remember much of the monorail ride. I know it took us outside of the park, to Downtown Disney, through DCA, close to the Hojo's across the street, then back to Tomorrowland. I'm sure I'd have more interesting things to say about it if I'd been with it just a little bit! All I remember was that it was HOT!!

I dosed myself up on some meds, got a coke, and started to feel better. We rode a few more rides, then found a spot in front of the castle for the fireworks. While Mom and K kept our spot, I got K and I some chili in a breadbowl. Don't have a pic of it, but there was the breadbowl with chili, then two hemisphere shaped pieces at the top to make it look like Mickey Mouse! Very cute. And the chili was SO good. Not sure if we were just starving, but K and I downed that chili and bread like it was the best meal ever! Not long after it was time for the fireworks. Now we'd watched them the night before at a different spot and it was so cool to see Tinkerbell fly right over our heads. However, some fireworks were in front of us, some were behind us and we couldn't hear the music. So. we wanted to sit in front of the castle to get the full effect. I should've known it wouldn't go well. K has some serious sensory issues and she does NOT do well with loud noises. And you guessed it...the fireworks were SO loud. So, instead of taking pictures, I helped K keep her ears covered and she kept her face buried into my chest, sobbing :( Next time we'll have earplugs...or skip the fireworks. I should've thought of it. But she was ok the night before, I really didn't think they'd be that much louder. Oh well. After the fireworks, which really were beautiful, Mom and K rode Autopia while I ran back to the hotel for a jacket and camera batteries. Let me just say once again how nice it was to be staying right across the street...fifteen minutes later I was back in the park, waiting in Tomorrowland for Mom and K.

Mom went back to the room while K and I enjoyed our last night at the park. We ventured over to Frontierland and Adventureland. K wanted to go up in Tarzan's treehouse, but it was closed due to Fantasmic. I wanted to see Fantasmic, but once again, there's the noise issue. Plus we discovered that while Fanstasmic is going on, there were virutally no lines for the rides!! We rode Pirates of the Caribbean again, and were put in the very back of the boat. We got soaked...well, actually just our rear ends and feet got soaked. It was pretty funny!

K wanted to spend her last night in her favorite part of Disneyland...Fantasyland. We went to Snow White's Wishing Well, just to the right of the castle. As you lean over the well to make your wish, Snow White sings "I Am Wishing." K threw two pennies into the well for two wishes. And it took her forever...must've been some serious wishes!

We wandered around Fantasyland, rode some more rides and did the Castle Walk Through. This is really cool. As you walk through Beauty's Castle, it tells the story of Sleeping Beauty with 3-D dioramas. Hard to explain and the pictures aren't great. You just have to see it :-)

After the walk-through, it was aound 11, so we decided to make our way out to Main Street. We enjoyed our second night of sharing a churro and coke while sitting outside the lit castle then did a little shopping.

We had to get something for Ms. Brenda, who took care of our dogs. So we picked her up a Mickey coffee mug and flavored creamers, while I got Mickey and Minnie salt and pepper shakers to add to my collection. K picked out a Disney lollipop :) She bought a cute stuffed Mickey at the hotel gift shop the first day. She didn't have one, and you can't leave Disneyland without Mickey Mouse, right???

Our last day at Disneyland was wonderful!! If you want to see all my Day 3 pics, which seems to be the day I took the most, click here!

Mar 20, 2011

Flying to LA

Well, here's the beginning of our trip report! We flew to LA on Sunday evening, March 13th. This was Kristin's first time to fly, so she was PUMPED! We got to XNA, which in case you don't know, is in the middle of NOWHERE! Seriously, all that is around it is chickens and cows. But it's a nice airport and only 30 minutes from my house.

We flew Allegiant direct to LAX. Everything was going well, we boarded the plane, taxied to the runway...then stopped. The pilot told us that there were some passengers waiting at the gate who's apparently gotten there late. So, we turned around to go get them. No biggie. Well, we waited...and waited. Then the pilot tells us that the airport was having to call Arkansas TSA to get workers back there to get the passengers through security. By this point, you could tell he was getting ticked. So we waited and waited and passengers and we finally go the ok to leave. Apparently the passengers had not gotten to check in at least 45 minutes before the flight was to leave, our flight was the last the leave that night, and TSA workers were off the clock. No way were they coming back. SO we finally took off. Kristin LOVED taking off and flying.

She slept most of the way out. Then....we started our descent. Kristin woke up with horrible pain in her ears, sinuses and teeth. Once we landed she was fine, but was in a lot of pain until we did. It was sad. Landing in LA at night was beautiful!

LAX was doing some remodeling on the airport, but we had no problems finding our way around. We got our bags and called our shuttle van around 11:15 (1:15 Ark. time!) and went out to wait. The traffic coming in and out of the airport was unreal! I was so glad we got a shuttle. Best money we spent on the entire trip! The shuttle arrived around 11:30 and we were on our way. Arturo was our driver and he was awesome! He was funny and got us to our hotel safely in 30 minutes.

I've never been so happy to be at a hotel in my life. We were exhausted. Park Vue Inn was nice. Nothing fancy and directly across the street from the park entrance. The beds were comfy, carpets were ok, but I always wear flip flops in hotel rooms, so it didn't bother me. Breakfast was good and the people were nice. We did have an unwelcome visitor in the form of a large roach (the same huge ones they have in Florida!) on our second night. But they came and sprayed the room the next morning and we didn't see anything else. That roach has gotten me a nice refund for part of our stay :) Anyway, it wasn't the Hilton, but that's ok.

We dragged ourselves to bed..I slept in the queen, K on the top bunk, Mom on the bottom bunk. The beds were SO comfy!! We woke up Monday morning for breakfast and then headed to the park to meet Jim. Jim and I have a mutual friend. He's worked for Disneyland 10 years and was nice enough to sign us in every morning so we didn't have to get tickets. Thank you so much Jim!!! We had a great time and appreciate you so much!

Next post: Disneyland, California Adventure and World of Color!

Mar 19, 2011

Day One at Disneyland!

Breakfast on the patio at Park Vue can see part of the Matterhorn in the background.

Right across the street from us...Disneyland Resort!!!

Yay!!! We are finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!

We woke up Monday ready to go! We ventured up to the breakfast patio at the hotel for breakfast. The view was great...Space Mountain and The Matterhorn...right across the street! After grabbing a bite to eat, we headed to the park. We got through security and made our way to the stroller rental to meet Jim at 9:45. Jim arrived, got us in, and we were on our way! Of course the first place Kristin wanted to go was to Fantasyland, so we hopped on a double decker bus and were on our way. The first thing we rode was Pinnochio's Daring Journey, followed by pretty much everything in Fantasyland! Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was a definite favorite. Kristin was just so thrilled to finally be there and took time to soak it all in! We made our way to the teacups, then over to It's A Small World. Kristin loved the "show" outside the ride. Click here to see my Small World video.

Amazingly, one of my least favorite rides is the one I got the most pics of! Kristin enjoyed it but hated the song, over and over and over again!

Around 1:30 I headed over to California Adventure to pick up our World of Color picnics. We took them back to our hotel, ate lunch and rested. I didn't get a pic of the lunches, but they were pretty good. Mom had the Asian meal. I had a bite of her noodles and the salmon, both were really good. Kristin had the Kids All American and LOVED it. I got the Italian meal that consisted of crackers, cheese, meats, and an awesome piece of good!

Park Vue Inn has a "social hour" which is basically a light supper. We went Monday night. They had nuggets, chips, salad, and different soups. It was, so I shouldn't complain. K loved the soup and was as happy as she could be :) After our quick supper we went to California Adventure. I really liked this park. Almost more than Disneyland and I wish we'd had more time to spend there.

We made our way to Paradise Pier and rode Mickey's Fun Wheel. I hate ferris wheels. Put me on a roller coaster and I'm happy. Ferris wheel...not so much. And on this one, you can get sliding/swinging gondalas....ugh, no thanks!

Hmmmm....would you buy this toy???????

We rode a few more rides then got in line for World of Color. We really enjoyed World of Color. The only thing I didn't like was the seating/standing's hard for kids to see. K was able to stand on a rail, which I'm sure she wasn't supposed to do, but no one said anything, so she was able to see most of it. It also seemed to be complete chaos with the whole lineup. Half the people in line didn't have a fastpass and were completely unaware that you needed one to see the show. It's a new show, so I'm sure Disney will work out all the kinks. Next time we will have a better idea of where to stand, etc. The show is beautiful and Kristin liked that there are no fireworks involved (more on that later!). She even cried a little during the Lion King stampede. I liked it, but I would rather ride rides :) Here is my World of Color video.

Waiting for World of Color to start...this is one of my favorite pics.

After World of Color was over, Kristin was exhausted. This was the only night Kristin and I went to the room early. She was beat and had had enough!!

If you want to see all of my pictures from Day 1, click here

As I write this, Kristin and I are right back to battling allergies and asthma. Coming back to reality has hit us hard!!

Mar 18, 2011

Day 2 at Disneyland and Ariel's Grotto

Day 2 was a big day for us. We started the day with another yummy breakfast, then got to the park at 10 to meet Jim. We stopped by City Hall to get our "first time visitor" buttons since we hadn't done that the day before and as soon as we did, we spotted Pinocchio and then Geppetto!

Kristin went right up to them and they seemed to be having a conversation about her pins. Kristin thought they might be looking to see if they were on any of the pins she had. And on a side note, I have to say that Kristin became a pin trading monster on this day. She really got into looking for cast members with pins. Jim informed us that her "hidden Mickey" pins are special since they can only be traded from CM's and not bought (unless you get them on ebay like we did!)...we didn't have a clue. She ended up with around 15 new pins and is so proud of them all! Anyway, back to Pinocchio and Geppetto...Kristin said they freaked her out a little, but she had fun with her first character interaction

We quickly hopped on the train for a ride around the park and then back to New Orleans Square. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean first and then Haunted Mansion. I LOVED PoC and so did's another on her favorites list. I was taken off guard by the first drop....I wasn't expecting it to be that big! The ride was great...really long, which some have said it's longer than the one at WDW, but I can't remember riding that one, so I really can't compare them. It was a great ride and Kristin flipped out when she first saw Jack Sparrow! I think it's really cool how The Blue Bayou is right there in the ride, but there really wasn't anything on the menu that we liked and for that price, I better be getting some food I like!! Plus, it's so dark in there.....anyway, I'm getting off track a little. Where was I? Oh yeah, the was great. Kristin eagerly searched NO Square in hopes of finding Captain Jack, but he was nowhere to be found :(

Nene and Kristin enjoying the train ride

Ready to find Jack Sparrow!!!

Haunted Mansion was good too. Knowing that the "stretching room" is lowering you into the basement while stretching upwards, just added to the creepiness for me! The three of us were at the back on the line and while walking up the corrider to the ride, I found myself looking behind me! ha! I love the look of the Haunted old Southern fits so well into New Orleans Square!

We quickly ran back to Fantasyland to visit Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique. We'd planned on getting the whole makeup and hairdo before lunch at Ariel's Grotto, but instead I just let her pick a crown and hairpiece and I did Kristin's hair. Much cheaper and quicker. She'd brought a dress to wear to lunch, but decided to stay at the park and ride more rides instead of going to the hotel and changing :) That's my girl...part princess, part tomboy!

Ready to eat at the Grotto!

Lunch at Ariel's Grotto was great. Mom went back to our room while we ate. We made our way downstairs and K got her picture made with Ariel. Then we were seated and the food came out, and kept on coming! We were brought starfish shaped sourdough bread with butter and dipping sauce and a tower consisting of fruit and jello, veggies, and salad. Kristin LOVED the apple jello. Shortly after we were seated the "royal introductions" of the princesses began. First was Cinderella, then Sleeping Beauty, then Snow White, who told Kristin to "watch out for those red apples!" Finally, the final princess was announced and Kristin held her breath, hoping it would be.....BELLE!!! Yay! Kristin's favorite princess!!! She cheered when Belle was announced and beamed when Belle told her than she liked her hair :)

After mingling with the princesses, our dessert tray was brought out. It was SO GOOD. Most of it ended up going back to the hotel room because we were stuffed.

Our lunch was well worth the money. Oh wait, I forgot our entrees!!!! Kristin ate mac and cheese with fruit while I ate herb crusted chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies. Yum!

We finished our lunch and dragged ourselves back up the pier and to our hotel room. K did some swimming and then we took a quick nap. Tomorrowland was our next stop. We rode Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear and then we saw....Captain Eo!!!! Now, the last time I saw Captain Eo was when I was at Tokyo Disneyland back in high school. I was so excited that they brought it back and we would be able to see it. Kristin loved it and it was as good as I remembered it!

Kristin wanted to go back to Fantasyland (imagine that!) and ride Alice in Wonderland, which really is a cute ride. While getting off the ride, Kristin started walking the wrong way and the CM told her "it's that way, Princess." Kristin just giggled and said "She thinks I'm a princess!!" We also rode the Storybook Land Canal Boats which is a great ride. We stayed in Fantasyland for the fireworks and had a perfect view of Tinkerbell "flying" from the Matterhorn to the castle. Whoever that was is brave, because it looked to me like she was really close to those fireworks! We decided the next night to watch from the front of the castle to get the full effect, which turned out to be not such a great idea.....more on that in the next post.

After the fireworks, we were first in line for Mr. Toad...and then we rode it again, followed by Snow White's Scary Adventure. I'd read that something would happen if you try to move the apple as you go into the ride, but I didn't tell Kristin...she grabbed that apple and BOOM! A huge clap of thunder! It was hilarious! Apparently no one else knew it would do anything...people started coming back to see if they could get it to go off. Too much fun!

Mom ditched us after Snow White, while Kristin and I kept going till midnight. We rode the carousel again, along with a few others and visited Mad Hatter for some much needed Mickey ears :) For supper we ate hot dogs on Main Street then shared a churro for dessert while sitting in front of the castle. It was a great night!!!!

Here's the link to the rest of my Day 2 photos...enjoy!