Road Trip 2013: Day 7, September 5, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
Disneyland 2013!

The big boys slept in Nonna and Pops' room, the big girls slept on the pull out couch, Keaton slept in the closet and Whitman slept in bed with me.  They all slept great with the boys waking up first next door.  The rest of us stirred around 7 and we were even in bed before 11 so that was pretty awesome.  I think that Whitman ate twice during the night but either way, I think that we all felt very rested.

Pop, Anderson and Graham went to breakfast first and the rest of us were not too far behind.  Breakfast is across the street in the top floor of a restaurant.  It is kind of strange to go
across the street for a hotel breakfast but it was good with plenty of choices.  While we were eating breakfast, Campbell looked at me and said "you are the best Momma ever, but you spank us."  I will take the first comment as a compliment and I know that she will later thank me for the second comment.  Later at breakfast, I asked Keaton if she was going to hug Mickey Mouse and she quickly shook her head "no" and then I asked if she would hug Minnie and she shook her head "yes."  I am pretty doubtful that she would hug Minnie if we saw her though.

The park opened at 10 but we were able to enter at 9 with our early admission.  When you look at all of the people walking up, you think that there is no way you will be able to ride anything.  It was 30 minutes before the park opened and the crowds were nuts and that was just getting through the bag check line.

We walked through the gates and then went down Main Street.  Now, Main Street in Disneyland is just as magical as Main Street at Magic Kingdom.  But when you look up and see the castle, it looks so sad.  That castle is tiny!  Sleeping Beauty should really think about moving to the country and out of the city where she could have a bigger house.  We waited for about 2 minutes and then they dropped the rope and we headed to our first ride-Alice in Wonderland.

Disneyland is very similar to Florida-the look, feel, sights and sounds.  But the rides are all just a tiny bit different.  Most of the queues are outside since the weather here is nicer-well, my phone temperature does say that it is 100 degrees today.  The tv keeps talking about how they are experiencing a heat wave here.  Hmm, next week it will be in the 70s here.  Robby and I have never been to any Disney park when the weather is absolutely perfect.  It is just too warm today but at least the shade is comfortable-it could be worse!  The kids don't really seem to mind and since you can get free ice water from the vendors, we have stayed cool at least.

After Alice, we went on to ride Dumbo.  The lines were still short since we were there early.  Keaton has always been into riding rides and really enjoyed everything that we rode on.  Whitman was pretty wide eyed for most everything today.  Now my Reagan and Anderson are almost getting too big to still experience the magic of some of the Disney rides.  They keep saying things like "that wasn't fast" or "it wasn't a roller coaster."  Thankfully though, they haven't lost all of their Disney magic just yet.  When they were on Dumbo, their eyes still lit up.  My all time favorite Dumbo ride happened years ago when Reagan and I were riding on a purple Dumbo and the fireworks were going off in the background.

Next up was Toad's Wild Ride.  The kids all really enjoyed that one.  Well Campbell may not have-it was a ride that had a steering wheel though there was no actual driving going on.  Campbell was at the steering wheel driving away and I sat beside her screaming and squealing.  I thought she was having fun until we climbed off and said "Momma scared me."  Well, I had fun-and she won't be a good driver when the time comes-I can already tell.

Small World was our next ride.  I was sitting by Keaton and Reagan on this ride.  Reagan and I were singing our hearts out and Keaton was joining right along with us.  Keaton would wave and point and Reagan and I stayed busy trying to find Disney characters hidden along the ride.  Robby said that Campbell is also at the perfect age for Small World-she ate it up and loved every minute of it.  One lingering effect of Small World is that song that sticks in your head.  Right now, we are laying in bed and Robby is still humming it.  He said that he feels like he really hears it-not too many years ago a lady had to sit on the Small World ride for an extended period of time because of a malfunction and she sued Disney for emotional duress.  If Robby keeps singing it, I might have my own emotional duress.  

The Storybook Land boat was our next ride.  This is one that isn't at Disney World.  You take a little boat ride and then you float along and look at miniatures of different villages and houses-Pinocchio, Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella-what is neat is the minuscule and intricate landscaping in the villages and along the boat path.

Space Mountain was the next ride.  We set Nonna up with Keaton and Whitman in the blessed shade and went to ride.  The boys convinced Pops to come with us and he asked us if it was bad-we said no, it really isn't bad.  (He probably should never follow our advice though.)  Pops rode with Graham who left the ride with marks on his leg from Pops squeezing it.  When we unloaded Pops had a few words to describe how frightened he was but he wasn’t the only one that was a bit terrified….

Campbell was fine for the first five seconds of the ride but then became scared.  Robby said that she wasn’t too upset but she still did a bit of crying.  Now the rest of us-Reagan sitting by herself, Anderson and me and Robby and Graham who were sitting with the scaredy cats loved the ride so much so that we couldn’t wait for the fast pass to be up so we could ride them again.  

While we waited on that fast pass, all of us but Robby and Whitman went to ride the Autotopia cars.  This always has such a long line but it was probably only 20 minutes today and would have been a pleasant wait if not for the sun.  I rode with Keaton and Reagan and am sure that Reagan will also need driving lessons because my head almost rolled off of my neck because of the many times we ran into the rail holding us on the road.  

Then back to Space Mountain.  We knew we couldn’t get Pops to come on that ride again but we thought for sure the other kids would want to.  Reagan and Graham were ready but Anderson and Campbell were not.  We thought we could convince Anderson by telling him that he would have to stay in a seat by Nonna while we were gone but that didn’t phase him.  Then we thought we could bribe him with fruit snacks but that didn’t work either.  We had to count him as a loss and just took Campbell telling her she would have more fun this time.

She did not have more fun this time.  On the walk there, she told me that she could find her way back to Nonna if I would let her go.  She wailed throughout every single bit of the ride.  I am talking other people in the car could have heard her over the speaker in their ears.  She started saying “Momma” and I would reassure her that I was right there holding her hand and with my other hand on her leg.  This didn’t reassure her so she started screaming “Daddy” and this didn’t get her desired result so she then started crying “Nonna.”  I probably should have felt like the worst parent ever but I was laughing so hard that I forgot about the guilt I should have had.  In Campbell’s defense, it is pitch black for most of Space Mountain and there are speakers at your ear which I pretty loud.  I know I would have rode that as a 3 year old-in fact, I never went on an upside down roller coaster until I was in high school-what a shame!  All those years wasted!

And I do mean all those years wasted.  Now, whenever I ride a roller coaster brielfy think that all of the shaking might just cause me to have an aneurysm, I wonder when they last inspected the thing and then I keeping thinking about people falling out.  Seriously, being young and dumb is a good thing-growing up sucks!

Not as exciting as Space Mountain but probably more Campbell and Pops’ speed was the train.  We went all around the park to give ourselves a good overview and to cool off and rest.  The kids were pretty impressed with all of the sights to see and soon we were back where we started.  

We had pizza near the Buzz ride and Robby spend a small fortune on it.  Having the meal plan at Disney World really spoils you.  He told the kids how much it cost per piece and while he was ordering the food, they spend their time trying to figure it up.  I counted that as school for the day!  Once they figured the sum of all of our pieces they were shocked at what the total was.  In fact I was too!

The potty was the next stop for all of us.  Meanwhile, Robby walked to the other side of the park to gather fast passes for Splash Mountain.  We made it halfway before we saw the rocket ships only had a 5 minute wait.  We jumped in that line and Robby even made it back to ride with us.  Then it was on to Buzz’ ride.  Pops offered to sit that one out again as well and hung back with Whitman who was snoozing away.  Graham and Reagan were with me and Graham one time had the second highest score from all the family.  He was so, so excited that only Robby had a higher score than him-so excited that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Anderson and Nonna smoked him in the last few minutes.  

We then finished our walk across the park and made it to Splash Mountain.  Robby had hoped that we might could find a few more rides to ride before heading back to the room for lunch but people, hot sweaty people were everywhere.  So that meant no extra rides but the kids were fine with that since we were going swimming.  

But we did still have those fast pass tickets for Splash Mountain so away we went.  Nonna offered to stay back with Keaton and Whitman this time.  Keaton was sleeping so that was probably best because she would not have been tall enough to ride.  Now this little ride was right up Campbell’s alley and she had a pretty good time.  Graham and I ended up soaking wet and that cooled us off plenty.  Pops wasn’t too nuts about this ride either but Nonna told him when we returned that he had been on it before at Disney World and should have remembered the drops.  

After the ride, we finally found our first character here-Tiana.  The kids were pretty excited to see her and to get her signature in their autograph book.  Oh well, Anderson did NOT want his picture with the princess but my ladies man Graham sure did.  The autograph books aren’t as much fun when you already have their autograph.  That seems silly to get it again-I should make a list of his signature we have.  

Also on our walk back, we had to find some folks to trade the kids pins with.  We don’t let them wear their necklaces and pins because those suckers just fall off and then you lose them.  So they can only wear them when we are about to trade pins-even doing this I just walked behind them picking up pins.  In Florida, it seems like there is always people to trade pins with but we really had to look this time.  Thankfully, we were able to find 2 people (Disney workers) and the kids picked out pins-Graham did end up with a really cool Cars Disneyland pin which I promptly took off of his necklace and put in my pocket so we didn’t lose it.  

Back through the park we went to the front gates and then to our hotel room.  I took one picture today standing in the doorway of our room overlooking the street and then the Disney entrance-so the walk wasn’t too long.  Of course on this little walk, there has been at least one homeless person each time.  The kids look at me asking if I have one of the homeless bags we made and I look blankly at them.  I am all for passing out our homeless bags but they really think that I am carrying one as we walk into Disney Land.  Seriously?  

Actually, I am carrying enough stuff with me probably to supply a homeless shelter.  Each walk across the street to Disney Land, I bring 2 strollers, 2 back packs, the baby carrier, 7 hats, a zillion diapers, wipes, a bottle, formula, bottled water, hand gel, bandaids, sunglasses, glow sticks, trash bags, autograph books, a spray bottle, 5 lanyards with the kids Disney pins, a camera, the big lens for the camera, a complete change of clothes for all the kids, extra clothes for Whitman, a hand full of bibs, cokes, water, crackers, cookies, candy, a spanking spoon, an extra camera...and that is just what I can think of.  I am too lazy to get out of bed and dig through my bag to see what else I bring with me.  All of that to say that I don’t really have enough room for a homeless bag.  Though I will have to let the kids deliver one before we leave.  

Back at the room, we had the kids sit on the beds for a few minutes.  Robby gave them a snack while I reloaded everything for tonight.  It was nice to be in a cool, dark place for a few minutes.  But after a bit, we suited up and went swimming.  The pool felt pretty nice after walking around in the sun all day.  The kids loved swimming today and loved that Robby and I both jumped in with them.  The only thing that could have been better about swimming was if they actually had towels down there by the pool.  We all had to walk back dripping wet.

We let Whitman stay with Nonna and Pops figuring that he probably had enough of the sun and heat for one day.  When I returned, all 3 of them were laying on the bed sleeping.  I guess Disney is hard on on the young and the old!  But after a while, we were all re-dressed and heading back across the street.

The plan was to go to California Adventure tonight but the line was long and Robby read a sign saying that tonight they were having a stay open until midnight for all of their season pass holders.  It was almost 6 and we could have stayed there until 8 or only stay at Disneyland until 7.  We left the line crossing our fingers that most folks would be heading to California Adventure.  We were pleasantly surprised that we were correct in our guess.

Robby and I had just earlier been discussing how we would be able to do it all.  We finally decided that though we used to be able to see most everything, now we have to give that up and just do the best we can.  After all, our kid count has tripled from our first Disney trip with kids.  And we now feel like we will return, we can let some things slide.  But it is still hard to leave stuff unfinished.  Tonight we got just a bit closet to doing it all because of the short lines-we needed that little bonus.  

Nonna and Pops wanted to do a bit of shopping and offered to take the little ones with them.  We pushed the strollers their way and headed off.  We knew our time was limited so we practically sprinted down Main Street.  The Matterhorn line was now short so we jumped in it.

Campbell immediately started to get scared.  Robby and I were both becoming concerned since this was a real roller coaster and she wouldn’t be sitting by either one of us because of how the cars were arranged (riders in a row and not side by side).  We went into “this is so fun and you are not scared” mode while devising our plan.  Robby sat behind her and I sat in front of her leaving Reagan, Anderson and Graham to fend for themselves.  Oh, they were on the car with us and were perfectly fine.  

Robby made sure that Campbell’s seatbelt was tight, tight and then we buckled up.  The ride was pretty fun-I have never been able to ride it since it has always been broke or I have been pregnant.  I started off with my hand reaching behind me and on Campbell’s foot.  She seemed to be having fun so I let go (and I let go because I really wasn’t able to feel my arm anymore after reaching behind me so long).  But she immediately said “hold on to me Mommy” so back my hand went.  After the ride, she was so proud of herself for not crying.  Later as we walked to the next stop, she looked at me and said “we are having fun.”  Indeed we are!  

The next rides were Snow White and Pinocchio.  Earlier in the day the lines for them were crazy long but not tonight.  And then we walked near the parade as we walked across the park.  The kids weren’t too interested in the parade (like their Daddy) and we pressed on.  Though when we are Disney World again, we are going to watch a parade and then a firework show.  We were some of the last folks on the Pirates ride.  It was fun and soon we were walking back down Main Street and trying to find Nonna and Pops.  

They hadn’t done any shopping but instead ended up watching the parade and eating ice cream.  Keaton probably enjoyed being with them much more than being with us.  They said that she loved the parade and waved at everyone and everything that passed by.  And of course she loved the coke and ice cream that followed.  My other kids were ready to get themselves some ice cream but instead we walked back across the street to IHOP for a real supper.

Can you believe that they would have free kids meals right across from Disneyland.  That just seems a little silly to me-but I will take it!  The three big kids all had their very own kids meal (we usually just buy 2 right now and split that).  Campbell wanted pancakes and had some of Robby’s and Keaton munched along with me on mine.  

And this is probably much more than you ever wanted to know but if you are still reading after all of this then you deserve a nugget or two here or there.  If you ever see me eating breakfast foods-eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon.  Just make me put my fork down.  Breakfast foods run right through me.  Seriously, I barely made it to the room.  Robby is accustomed to my little attacks as he used to be a frequent “gas station potty stopper”-you wouldn’t believe the number of gas stations I have sat at waiting.  Anyway, most of this blog has been written from my comfortable seat in the bathroom!

Despite my intestinal issues, it has been a really good day.  Hopefully tomorrow the temp will be in the 90s and not the 100s.  California Adventure is first on our list to get those boys to Cars Land, probably more swimming, packing the car, celebrating Reagan’s birthday early and even back to the park is all on the agenda. Wish us luck!

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