Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Disneyland 2008 - Day 3

Our third day started out nicely. We slept in a little bit to try and get kids (especially fever ridden Andrew) a little extra rest. Andrew was a little tired, so we let him sleep in and Lynette took Jason and Julia over. When Andrew and I worked our way over a bit later, we waited on Main Street while Lynette came riding down on a horse drawn buggy. Andrew had fun looking at the PhotoMosaic created of Walt and Mickey by thousands of small pictures of Disney moments through the years. If you make it to Disneyland while they've still got it set up, it's worth a look. He had a lot of fun identifying the small pictures and looking for "matches." He found a couple of images reused. :)

Once we were all together and had strollers in hand (with the Disney Visa card, you get 2 free strollers per day...pretty cool perk), we headed towards Critter Country for Andrew's favorite Splash Mountain.

Along the way we looked at the Indiana Jones fast pass. For one reason or other, we passed on it again this day. We rode Pirates on the way and the kids were a little dismayed at the line they had to wait in. (The line was only ~5-10 minutes...we showed them "real" lines later). Afterwards, we went straight to Splash Mountain. After riding, we grabbed a fast pass for later and did Winnie the Pooh again.

After a little shopping and another ride or two (I really should have written this blog "real time" so I didn't forget), we headed out of Disneyland park and started walking towards Disneyland Hotel for lunch in Goofy's Kitchen. (Technically it was breakfast, but it was at 12:30...we had originally scheduled it for Tuesday morning, but it conflicted with our early entry so we had to reschedule).

On the way to the front gate there were some cast members and Julia and Jason wanted to trade pins with them (I had a pin lanyard from our last trip with a few pins and I splurged and bought a bunch of villains pins for myself and some Mickey pins for the kids to trade with...then got them each a cheap lanyard to carry their own pins...they had fun with it...though be warned, pin trading could easily become an expensive souvenir hobby). Anyway, while we were trading, one of the ladies asked us what we were doing at 3:50 that afternoon. Lynette and I looked at each other and kind of smirked...then said we had nothing planned. She explained that she was part of the Dream Team and had some passes for a Princess Meet and Greet and wondered if we'd like to go. We happily said yes and gave her the information and took our ticket. We were to meet back in the Princess Fantasy Faire at 3:50 and we'd be taken back into our own special private room for a private meeting with one or more princesses for 5 to 10 minutes. Fun fun...Julia and Lynette were bursting at the seems. Jason grumbled something about girls stuff. ;)

Even though it had only been a half day, Andrew was already wearing down again. He was melting into his seat at lunch and was barely eating any of the great food.

Let me talk for a second about the food/meal. Last time we went, we did character meals in Goofy's Kitchen and in the Storytellers Cafe (I think that's the name). We weren't that impressed with the Storyteller breakfast...the seating wasn't laid out well and the characters didn't come around very often). This time we did Goofy's Kitchen and Ariel's Grotto. Overall, Goofy's Kitchen still wins hands down. However, if you have girls in your group, Ariel's Grotto is still a good recommendation merely for the princess factor. The downside is that it's not a buffet like Goofy's...our kids weren't terribly keen on the menu choices at Ariel's and didn't end up eating much (the 'mac & cheese' wasn't like mom's). Goofy got more food and more characters for the price plus the fun of getting down on the floor and dancing and making music with Goofy twice through the meal.

Anyway, the food at Goofy's was great and the characters were fabulous. Pluto was out front getting pictures on the way in. While we ate, we got Goofy, Chip & Dale, the Mad Hatter and Captain Hook. Captain Hook was hilarious...he teased Goofy mercilously and was having fun playing with the people at the table (flirting with wives/girlfriends and pretending to steal/loot/etc.). Jason had a pin (we got into the pin trading deal a little) that showed Hook inside the mouth of the crocodile (the scene from the Tiger Lily incident in the movie). He showed it to Hook and he got all shaky and hid the pin under a napkin. On the way out, we say Cinderella as well.

By the end of the meal, Andrew was feeling awful and was prepping to go back to the room for a nap. However, our Splash Mountain fast passes were an hour away and then an hour or so after that was our Princess Meeting. Andrew didn't care much about the princesses, but he was semi-obsessed with Splash Mountain by now, so he decided to stick it out and keep trying.

My plan with just Julia, Jason and myself was to take the monorail back and then ride the Train around the park until our Splash Mountain time. After the deliberation from Andrew, we were a bit behind time to do that entirely, but we still decided to take the monorail. We hoped to be able to ride in the captain's cabin (we did last time we went and each got a monorail "copilot license") but there were too many people this time. We waited for the monorail and took a relaxing ride over to Tomorrowland (we grabbed some Buzz fast passes while we were there). Thinking about our wilting kids, we pushed through and got strollers instead of riding the train around. With our strollers, we hustled over to Critter Country for another splash into the Briar Patch.

Then we worked our way around the Rivers of America and back to the back of the park into the Princess Fantasy Faire. We got everybody a refreshing popsicle ("frozen fruit treat") and waited for our time. We had about an hour and the time did everybody good. There were ladies in waiting all around distributing crowns to those that needed them. The kids spent some time in a special section doing some coloring and just relaxing. Just as we got there we caught the tail end of Mulan doing some storytelling. She faithfully told her own story, with just a few twinges of angst at being the hero of china but still being just a girl. ;)

When our time came to meet the princesses we were escorted into a private room behind a large shield. We got to meet with Princess Aurora and Snow White. They talked with us about some of their favorite things to do...about how they liked having tea parties and baking pies and dancing and playing. It was very cute.

After our meeting, we went up to the Toontown Train Station to catch a ride around Disneyland. As we did, I caught sight of the line Lynette had told me about for the princesses....to do a normal "meet and greet" with the princesses (one rotating princess in a chair), it looked to be at least an hour's wait and then you were given as much time as it took her to sign her name, snap a photo and say goodbye. We felt extremely lucky to have our special "dream come true" meeting. :)

After sitting for an hour at the Princess Fantasy Faire and then sitting in the train for the ride around Disneyland, everybody was a little peppier. Even Andrew was doing better. We figured we'd be able to push on through for a while longer.

Since Andrew had missed out on Buzz the previous night, we made sure to use our Buzz Fast Passes and made our way to Tomorrowland. We did a little shopping and grabbed some treats and then some dinner and just relaxed the rest of the evening and then went to bed early to prepare for another early morning tomorrow.

1 comment:

Josh said...

I can't believe how detailed you are. I'd space half the things we did. Sorry Andrew was sick - nothing like being sick on vacation. Sounds like a party though!