A Travellerspoint blog

Griswold Style Vacation 2015 12

Day 11

Day Eleven July 16

We slept in a tiny bit, then got everything packed up and loaded in the car. We stopped at a Starbucks and got drinks and some breakfast foods for the ride. The drive to Carlsbad, California was beautiful with ocean views on parts of the drive.

We arrived at our hotel around 11. We stayed at the Econolodge. I wasn't expecting much, but it was really nice! They let us check in even though we were early. We dumped off some bags and headed to Legoland, the grand finale of our trip. Or so we hoped.

We got to Legoland around noon. It was crowded. We got up to the turnstiles with our red ticket vouchers and the goofball worker at the gate was like, well I can't get these to scan. He had a keypad where he could have typed it in like Universal and Disneyland, but nope. He said, you need to pull those up on your phone so I can scan them. This was how the customer service went the entire visit. Legoland employees leave much to be desired.

We got in the park and went to a scrambler type ride first. It was okay. The line wasn't too bad.

We loved all the Lego statues.

We walked past a couple other rides with hour long waits. Great. Antonio found this play area where you could shoot balls at each other and played for a while. I had to drag him out of there.

Then Halie, Antonio, and I got in line for a dropping type ride, but it was broken. They tested it about ten times, then loaded it. Antonio got on, but the worker said you two better wait for the next ride, I don't want it to fall again. Uhhhh....I don't know if I want my kid on it if it fell earlier! We went out through the exit and let Antonio ride. He seemed to enjoy it.

I had sent Quentin on the impossible task of finding a pen. He ended up going clear back to the front entrance, buying something and begging pen off the cashier. I wanted a pen to circle all the rides we were missing so we could hit them tomorrow.

In the meantime, Antonio and I rode some slides. They had a blue bumpy slide that you ride down on a sack, but it was closed because it was "too hot." Ummmm....by hot do you mean beautiful weather? Too windy and too hot are very different definitions in California and Kansas.

When Quentin returned with the money, we had to play some carnival games of course. Halie got really mad because she wanted a tie dye bear and didn't get enough points. Antonio did get enough points and got one. He decided to trade with her. They can be sweet to each other ocassionally.

We headed up to a knight themed area and found another roller coaster with an hour wait. Yay. Antonio rode a horse ride which was really cute. and had a short wait.

Then the three of them got in line for this crazy twisty turny ride called Knights Tournament. I told them I was going to go find out about the Ride Reserve. Of course, to do this, I had to go clear back to the front of the park. This park wasn't designed like Disney. It's not a main center with spokes and easy to get around. It was a big loop. If you wanted to get somewhere, you had to go clear around the loop.

I found the Ride Reserve booth. You get a little electronic device and make ride reservations. You can make one at a time. When your time is up, you go to to the ride and they check you in. Depending on the level you buy, that's how long you wait. For $25 per person, you could cut the wait down 25%. For $55 per person, you could cut the wait down 50%. For $100 per person, you could cut the wait down 95%. There were, I think, 12 rides this worked for. It must have been the pregnancy brain, but I thought about buying it. Quentin talked me off that ledge. We decided we would do what we could today, and come back early tomorrow and finish things off.

I got back over to the twisty turny ride line which had said it was a 15 minute wait and they had now been in line for half an hour, and got Antonio who didn't want to go. He was hungry, so we went to the barbecue place in the knight area. I got a platter of hot link, pulled pork, and brisket for Q, Halie, and I to share. I got Antonio a hot dog meal. I paid an arm and a leg.

After we ate, the kids wanted to play more stinking carnival games. This would be the last one of the trip. They both got a little dragon. Quentin bought some apple fries while they played. They were delicious!

Antonio and I found a really cool playground and he spent a long time on that while Quentin went and checked out the Star Wars Miniland. If I lived near Legoland, I would have a season pass for the fun playground areas. Antonio could have stayed in there for hours.

Next, we all went and looked at the Star Wars Miniland. It was super cool!

Then we went to the regular Miniland. It was also super cool! These were my favorite part of the park!

We continued on the loop towards the pirate area, that guess what, had a ride with an hour wait! Antonio had fun shooting the water cannon at people on the ride.

It was about 4:00 by now and I wanted to use our park hopper option to go to the waterpark. We had a bit of an issue here. Halie and Quentin didn't want to go. I said well we are going. She replied, what are we supposed to do? I was pretty fed up with playing Tour Guide Krista at this point and was sick of hearing complaining so I told them to get on their phones and buy a plane ticket home for all I care. Antonio and I went and changed in to our suits and got in the pool.

He played in the kid area for a while.

Then he went on the little kid lazy river. My teacher side came out because there was no organized line and people kept cutting. I got that straightened out by standing in between the line and the area where people cut through and pointed out the end of the line to anyone that tried to cut.

It was kind of weird because there were like 20 tubes, but they only had about 6 on the lazy river at once. The kids could go around as many times as they wanted. When Antonio finally got to go, I told him he could only go around twice.

After that, he did the slides a couple times.

Then we went to the zoo area. While over there, Halie came to ask what we were doing. Uh...playing at a waterpark. She said she was bored. I said, that is your problem, if you want to have fun, put on swimsuit. No sense sitting on a bench in your clothes staring at waterpark. She went to change and joined us.

The three of us went on a big family raft ride which was pretty fun.

Then we went on the lazy river which was cool. We went around twice. There are big legos floating in the water that you can use to build on your tube. Very cute.

After that, Halie wanted to go to the wave pool. It was in the Lego Chima waterpark which was on the other side. The wave pool was tiny. They made Antonio wear a life jacket. I thought that was weird.

We stayed in there a bit, then Antonio wanted to go to the Chima play area. We were freezing when we got out and wished we had our towels. Halie and I found some seats in the sun and tried to get dry.

After a bit, we had Antonio get out and we went to the pirate area where there appeared to be a cool ride, but it broke down as we walked up. I wanted to go to the pirate play area that I had seen from Legoland. Strangely, it seems to only be accessible from the Legoland side, although it is definitely a water play area.

I was ready to go back to the regular park by now so we found Quentin, and got changed. Well, Antonio stayed in his swim trunks. I was having a hard time dragging him away from another play area.

Antonio and I rode on Police and Fire rescue ride. It was so weird. You had to pump this thing up and down to make it go. I couldn't even make it budge. One of the workers had to come do it for us. When you get to the end, you have to jump off and spray something, but we couldn't find the button and by the time we did, it was time to get back on our car and pump our way back.

After the ride, the four of us went to the Adventurer's Club for a guided tour of looking for the keys. It said maximum of 20. Then the guy started letting more and more people in. There were probably 40. Including this annoying loud drunk guy. I would have rather done the walkthrough on our own. The tour is only at set times.

Next, Halie and Antonio went on the pirate ride we had seen earlier with a long wait time. They got absolutely drenched. Halie had changed back in to her clothes and was none too happy!!! Luckily we had our beach towels for them to snuggle up in as it was getting cold.

We were back in the knight area getting ready to go on the roller coaster when Halie asked for her purse. I had set it down on the bench Quentin and I were sitting on while they did the wet pirate ride. When they got back all wet, I had jumped up and to get them towels and not grabbed it. Quentin and Halie ran back to look for it, and a worker said, it had already been taken to guest service at the front of the park. Of course to get there, you have to loop allllll the way around.

Antonio and I decided to head up there to find them when we saw this jet type water ride with a short line. As we get on the ride, Antonio says he really has to pee. This had been an ongoing theme throughout our theme park visits. He would wait until the most inconvenient time to mention that he needed to go to the restroom. While on the ride, we were getting sprayed with water, he was shivering and saying he was cold, then suddenly my feet were warm. I freaked out and said, are you peeing? Yes, sorry mama. The ride had a grate on the bottom so it was just going back in to the water that I hope was chlorinated.

We got off the ride and Quentin and Halie were there. I grabbed a bottle of water and dumped it on my feet and his. Both of them assumed I had peed my pants! Um...no!

We had time for one more ride before the park closed so went on the boat ride that takes a little tour around the lake.

As we were leaving, we had to go to the gift shop of course. It was a madhouse. Quentin was looking on his phone for a Mexican restaurant. Can you tell what our favorite cuisine is? He found a good place nearby and we headed over.

Halie was super sweet to Antonio while we were there and they colored together. Our food was really good except for the fried ice cream which was pathetic. We asked for water refills one time after waiting forever and the waitress told us that they don't automatically refill your water due to the drought, you have to ask. That would be good to know at the beginning of the meal.

There wasn't queso dip on the menu, but they gave you a complimentary queso type dip made of cheese, heavy whipping cream, and jalapenos. The kids were happy to finally have queso.

After dinner it was back to the hotel and off to bed.

Posted by MarathonMama629 10:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Griswold Style Vacation 2015 11

Day 10

Day Ten July 15

I had big plans for us today. We were going to go to the extra magic hours at California Adventure, like we had yesterday at Disneyland. We were going to get to ride Radiator Springs at opening and again with a fastpass.

Too bad there were a couple issues with this. Number one, our four day park hoppers only came with one magic morning entrance and somehow I had blocked this out until we were in the line. Number two, magic morning is only good at Magic Kingdom. California Adventure's early opening is only for onsite hotel guests.

I had drug Halie out of bed at 6 am, to be to the parks at 6:45, only to find out we couldn't get in to either until 8. Whoopsies! Pregnancy brain struck me hard that day.

We decided to go over to Downtown Disney. I still hadn't found my 60th anniversary ears, and I was hoping World of Disney would be open. Nope, not open till 10. On to Starbucks. Although Halie was annoyed, having Starbucks made her much happier. How can you not be happy when you have a venti white chocolate mocha iced with 7 pumps, a cake pop, a breakfast sandwich, and a piece of banana bread. Yes, that girl will suck down your Starbucks gift card with one visit.

At 7:45 we headed back over to California Adventure to get in line. I was shocked to see the gates were open for regular guests. As we went through, I asked the cast member what time they opened and he said 7:30. I was a little upset thinking we were behind the ball again. I went in a store in search of the anniversary ears and found something even better, sparkly anniversary ears!

We left the store and saw that the non on-site guests were being held up by a rope at the fountain. I told Quentin that when the rope dropped I would be getting Radiator Springs fastpasses and then meeting them at Paradise Pier. The plan went off without a hitch and we had morning fastpasses in hand. While I got fastpasses, they all rode Toy Story Mania. I also got fastpasses for World of Color.

While in line for the Radiator Springs fastpasses, a famly behind me was confused thinking they were in line for the ride. I explained fastpass and told them the wait on the ride was already 45 minutes. They asked what to do next, I told them Toy Story. After I left the line I realized I should get the World of Color fastpass now as well. I turned around and looked for that family to tell them to get their World of Color fastpass as soon as possible.

I headed over to Paradise Pier and waited for the others to get off Toy Story. I was sad to miss it, but glad they got to go. We all rode the carousel (so nice and comfy compared to the STUPID Legoland carousel, more on that coming up).

I had to use the restroom, so I sent them to get in line for the Ferris Wheel with instructions not to go on the swinging side. I got to the line and they were on the swinging side. Those punks! I screamed each time we swung. Antonio would rub my belly and tell the baby it was okay. It was so sweet.

Next we all went on the Silly Symphony Swings. They are so fun!

Then the kids went on the jellyfish ride while Quentin and I goofed around at the hat shop.

Antonio and Halie went to go on the Golden Zephyr and I decided to join them at the last minute. Quentin went to get fastpasses for California Screamin.'

After the Zephyr we did a bit of shopping. Antonio got some blanket babies, I bought them both a hat, and Antonio bought himself the magic paintbrush.

Then we all headed to Radiator Springs to use our fastpass.

Afterwards it was already time for the California Screamin' Fastpasses. I told Halie and Quentin to use both sets to ride twice. The next part is very naughty. I told them when they go to the top each time, to ask for a rider switch pass. So they got to ride it four times in a row.

In the meantime, Antonio and I rode the carousel and played carnival games. It's not like our car was already overflowing with junk, let's win some more stuffies!

We won on the water game.

He won every stuffy there was on the fishing game.

Then I bought a card to play the game where you roll the ball in to the holes, to make the horse move. I wanted to win him a big Bullseye. The first time, I had good aim, but my ball never came out of the return quickly. The lady next to me had much better luck with her ball return. The next game I sat in number three where she was and won!

We were heading over to Goofy's Sky Coaster when Halie stopped in a gift shop. Antonio and I went on over and grabbed fastpasses. While we waited for Halie to finish shopping, the ride broke. Boooooooo.

We got some buttons at a gift shop. Then we rode the Little Mermaid ride.

After Little Mermaid, Goofy was still broken. Booooooo. We decided to get some lunch on the wharf area.

Quentin finally got his bread bowl of clam chowder. He also got a margarita. He said it was just okay. After we ate I bought us a sourdough Mickey head. Then we did the bread factory tour. They weren't actually making bread so it was sort of lame.

We were all pretty ready to go by this point, but I wanted to get some fastpasses to use at Disneyland that night when we went back for the fireworks. We decided to divide and conquer. We took the railroad to New Orleans Square where Halie and I got off to get Splash Mountain fastpasses. The boys rode to Toon Town, where they met Mickey Mouse.

The boys beat us back to Main Street. We called up our Uber, went to the hotel and took a nap. Shockingly, Antonio was begging to take naps at this point because he knew Tinkerbell would come. Maybe Tinkerbell needs to visit our house on the weekends when I want to take a nap.

Quentin stayed up and worked until it was nearly time to leave, then fell asleep. Poor guy. He had to be tired. He would often stay up working on things for the business.

We got back to the park around 6:30. We were going to use our Splash Mountain fastpasses, when I realized the area up front wasn't all saved yet for the parade. This was surprising because most days it was full by 4. I sent them on to Splash and saved us some seats at the front of the park. The plan was to watch the parade, see the fireworks, rush over to California Adventure and see World of Color.

While they were on Splash I chatted a bit with the people next to me. A cast member noticed one of their first visit buttons and had us all stand and sing Happy First Visit to You. Then she saw my button on my belly for the baby. And had me blow out a candle (her glow stick for directing traffic). She was super nice. But like a Disney Villain, it didn't last long.

When Quentin and the kids got back, he took my seat and I was going to go with them to California Adventure to use our Grizzly River Run and Goofy's Sky School fastpasses. She came over and asked where we were going. I told her. She said, you can't leave, it is one body per seat, and no seat saving. I said everyone is saving seats look around there are blankets everywehre. She said, well you're not supposed to. There is no guarantee that these seats will be here. I was getting really annoyed because I'd been sitting there for an hour already and she hadn't said anything.

I said it was absurd to expect children to sit and wait for a parade for three hours. She went on about how her four children sit and wait for the parade all the time. Quentin said with straight jackets on? She said, no they just listen to their mother and do what I say. At that point, I was super annoyed with her for ruining the Disney magic. I had been sitting there enjoying the atmosphere and wasn't even concerned that I had another hour and a half at least of waiting.

Antonio was getting upset that we weren't going to the rides. I told them to go and I would save the seats. He wanted to stay because they had already gotten wet on Splash Mountain and he wasn't interested in Grizzly River Run. I told Quentin, he needed to go because he is too polite and if they told him to move he would, where I would go off on them and not move. Halie was angry about her wet shoes and didn't want to go ride rides. Quentin took Antonio to California Adventure to ride Goofy's Sky School, which of course, was still broken.

He waited in line at lost and found for awhile to look for the bubble gun, but the line was not moving so he came back and took the spots so I could go order our photopass CD. I also wanted to buy him a hoodie. I went clear over to the Star Tours area, but couldn't find any. I stopped and bought a macaroni and cheese hot dog with bacon bits on top, and a Mickey pretzel with cheese. Then went back to our parade spot.

Antonio was having a great time playing with some little girls across the street from us. The bad thing is he was wearing his crocs and all the running around caused a big blister on his toe which caused a major freakout later on.

When it got dark enough, he started using his magic paintbrush to change people's ear colors and paintbrush colors. He had a battle with the guy who had the cart of glowing stuff. Right before the parade started, the guy gave him a button that said, "I painted the night." It was really cool.

The parade was really awesome. I'm glad we got to see it. I'm not sure waiting all that time is worth it, but for a one time deal it was fine. Antonio was a little upset because they said his paintbrush would change things in the parade, but it really didn't do much. We just kept telling him that it was changing the color when we weren't sure it was doing anything.

When the parade ended we moved over a bit to get a good view of the fireworks. An announcement was made, but we couldn't really hear it. Then I noticed it was past time for the fireworks. I figured they were delayed, so I went to ask a cast member who said they were cancelled due to the wind. You've got to be kidding me. We are talking a breeze if that. Whatever. On to California Adventure for World of Color.

As we walked over there, we saw tons of people sitting the plaza between the two parks waiting for the fireworks. As we walked through, I told people the fireworks were cancelled due to the wind. I ruined a lot of people's day, but I figured I might as well tell them so they don't sit there waiting.

By the time we got to the giant fastpass line for World of Color, Antonio was definitely too tired to be there. I left him in line with Quentin while Halie and I ran to the bathroom. I made it back just as the line started moving. Halie had the paintbrush, thank goodness, because we were super far away from where we were when she came out.

We got to our assigned area and found a good spot. I forgot to mention that on our way out of California Adventure earlier I had tried to grab fastpasses for the later show and it wouldn't work because I had passes to the earlier show. The cast member gave me some though. Good thing, because we were at the later show now.

The show was great, but I didn't get to enjoy it much. Antonio was whining about being tired and bored and wanting to play on my phone. I was having pregnancy emotions and crying. It was all kind of a mess.

We left through the Grand Californian and went to Downtown Disney to do our last minute shopping at World of Disney. It was a crowded mess in there. We got our stuff, called an Uber to pick us up at the Grand Californian, and went back to our hotel and passed out.

Posted by MarathonMama629 10:00 Comments (0)

Griswold Style Vacation 2015 10

Day 9

Day Nine July 14

I had set an alarm for 6 am today. The plan was for Quentin, Antonio, and I to go to the 7 am magic morning at Disneyland while Halie slept. The alarm went off and I couldn't get up. I was so tired. Luckily Antonio popped out of bed a few minutes later, we threw on clothes, called an Uber to pick us up, and headed to the park.

The driver hit a red light on Harbor right by the crosswalk, so we jumped out, grabbed the stroller and rushed to the park. We were in by 7:20. Not too bad for not getting much sleep. We went straight to Fantasyland. The line for Peter Pan was already crazy. We weren't surprised by this, but we don't understand why people will wait an hour for that ride. I mean, it's cute, but it's not that great.

First, we went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Then Antonio and I went on the teacups. Quentin got in line for Alice in Wonderland.

We met Quentin in the line and were off to wonderland. Such a cute ride!

Next up was the carousel. In the meantime, I was searching for 60th anniversary ears. I didn't want the ones that light up. Just the plain ones. They were sold out everywhere.

While Antonio and I waited for Dumbo, I sent Quentin to get fastpasses for Space Mountain.

Then Antonio and I rode Casey Jr's Circus Train. Adorable! We were in the monkey car which makes perfect sense for Antonio because he is such a little monkey climbing on stuff all the time.

Quentin made it back after that. He had made a side trip to Starbucks. He was much happier after that. We all went on Pinocchio.

After we got off, we saw the Mad Hatter walking by. We said hello, and he noticed Antonio's birthday button and stopped for a picture.

Next we rode Snow White's Scary Adventures. So sad that they don't have this at Disney World anymore.

Quentin got in line for the Storybook Land Boats while Antonio and I met Peter Pan.

We caught up with him in line and all rode the boats together. Such a cute ride. I couldn't understand our boat driver. He talked too close to the mike or something.

We waited in quite a line after that for Buzz Lightyear. I like the guns here better than Disney World. Quentin says for being a girl and for never going to a shooting range, he doesn't know how I always beat him on the Disney shooting games.

Antonio wanted to meet Tinkerbell next. We waited for a few minutes with no shade, and decided to leave. He was mostly concerned with his lack of Tinkerbell gifts.

We used our Space Mountain fastpass next and grabbed a Star Tours fastpass for later.

We ate lunch at the pizza place in Tomorrowland. Antonio said his kids pizza was delicious, then only ate like three bites. He did eat his carrots though. Quentin and I shared a slice of pepperoni and an asian chicken salad which was really good. We think we may have been fresh vegetable deprived and that's why the salad was so good.

When we finished eating, we used our Star Tours fastpass.

It was around then that Halie called and said she was up and hungry. I realized we had the snacks in the stroller and the rest were in the car which we had the key to. She told us she had gone to the vending machine and bought herself a lunchable. We decided to head back to meet up with her.

We called an Uber to pick us up off Harbor and went back to our luxurious Motel 6. Quentin was going to go look at limos at a manufacturer in town. He asked Halie to go, but Sleeping Beauty decided she would rather take a nap with Antonio and I. After a three hour nap, I woke up, put out Tinkerbell gifts and called Quentin to tell him to bring a case of water and some bread. I had intended for us to eat some meals of sandwiches in the park and we hadn't done that yet.

We all got back to Disneyland around 6 that evening and walked over to pick up Fantasmic fastpasses which were for the late show by that point. We also got Big Thunder Mountain Fastpasses. Quentin and I had a disagreement about dinner. It was more of a misunderstanding that led to a pregnant lady freakout disaster. We split up for a bit, I watched Antonio play with some little girls, then we met back up. We went to New Orleans Square to get gumbo in a bread bowl. While Q was in line, I looked for a table. There were no tables, but I spotted a restaurant called Cafe Orleans. They had gumbo on the menu. I called Quentin and told him to get out of line and put our name on the list. They said it would be half an hour. We sent the kids to do Haunted Mansion while we waited. We went to some shops, and I bought a Minnie Mouse jacket. After waiting 45 minutes, Quentin went to check with the hostess. He said our name wasn't even on the list, although we had a beeper. They sat us soon after that.

I felt terrible when I found out their gumbo didn't come in a bread bowl. Quentin was okay though because they had a monte cristo and he was excited for that. It was huge!!! It was also delicious! I got a chicken gumbo crepe which was also yummy. Antonio got the kids mac and cheese. Halie wanted that as well, the waitress said she couldn't order the kids one, but she would give her an adult portion, although it wasn't on the menu. We also got the kids light up souvenir cups. When we got the check we discovered that Halie's mac and cheese was the most expensive thing we ordered and it was basically the kids mac and cheese with some carrots and broccoli on top. We got punked. We also got an appetizer of sweet potato fries and some other type of fries with parmesan and garlic on them. Obviously we were way hungry!

Antonio wanted me to tie his napkin on his head like a pirate. The waitress brought him out birthday beignets.

After dinner it was time to line up for Fantasmic. Talk about a absolute mess. When we got over there, there was one family in line with a double jogging stroller and two wheelchairs. We got behind them. I left to to go the bathroom, which was a million miles away. When I returned, There were a bunch of people in front of us. Quentin said, the Cast Member had moved the line. I shoved us up a little bit to be closer to the rope. People kept gathering around and it was so frustrating.

A bit before they would drop the rope, they started explaining the procedure of going in. One of the Cast Member's was nervous and said she was from California Adventure and didn't know what she was doing. I figure they had to call in extra help due to the 60th anniversary and it being so busy.

The family with the wheelchairs was asking how they were going to be able to get in without being trampled. There seemed to be no answer. When they dropped the rope, it was a stampede to another rope. Quentin ended up far behind us with the stroller. The dad with the jogging stroller was with us. The wheelchairs were nowhere to be seen. He started asking the Cast Members again how they were going to let the wheelchairs in without them being trampled/separated. One cast member said we were going to let them go first when the rope dropped. One was kind of rude and said, you should be at handicap seating, not here. He replied, this is where we were told to go. We were told wheelchairs would go in first.

When they dropped the rope, some people started shoving forward. I stepped out and blocked them and said, let the wheelchairs go. Once they passed, we rushed towards the gate by the water to sit down. We started to sit down, and a cast member says, no this is the area for people with dining packages. I said, you should have said that before we were over here, I'm not moving. Luckily Quentin had stopped on the other side of the invisible rope separating fastpass holders from dining package people and we still got front row seats. By now I was very annoyed. It would only get worse. After sitting for 15 minutes, a cast member came and told us we couldn't have our stroller. I got really ticked and said, why didn't you tell us that before we brought a stroller in here now we are surrounded by a huge crowd. She said they should have told us at the rope. I said, are there any more rules you want to tell us about half an hour too late? We folded up the stroller and laid it on the ground. Thankfully we were by a post in the fence so nobody was sitting there on the super special dining side.

All that separated the lowly fastpass holders from the dining package guests was a piece of masking tape on the ground. If your butt cheek crossed that masking tape, a cast member was on you like flies on shit. It was so stupid. There was tons of room in the dining area even as the show was going on.

I, like a dummy, thought the show started 30 minutes after we got to sit down. The announcement came on, and I was thinking Thank God, start this show, my butt hurts from sitting on the concrete. Nope, it said, the show will start in 15 minutes. That sucked. We had to sit there for 45 minutes waiting. That's on top of the 30 minutes we stood in the fastpass line that kept moving so there was no point in even being in the line, but our fastpass ticket said, be there thirty minutes early.

The pirate ship in the Disneyland show is cool, but Disney World has the better Fantasmic due to the seating situation being stadium style seats and organized rather than complete chaos.

I forgot to mention that a cast member had recommended that we watch the fireworks from the same area by Fantasmic so we could be in the line. There was a slight breeze. The fireworks were cancelled because of the wind. I think they should come to Kansas and feel some real wind.

After the show, we got the heck out of dodge. We were able to see some of the parade on our way out. I hoped we would be able to watch it, but there was no way, I was saving a spot 5 hours early like we had seen people doing. Crazy.

They sent us out of the park via a backstage exit. We called up our Uber and were back in the room lickety split.

Posted by MarathonMama629 09:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Griswold Style Family Vacation 2015 9

Day 8

Day Eight July 13

Although, I know he had to be tired, Antonio didn't sleep too late. We got up and ready to go to California Adventure. We stopped in the lobby and got some hot chocolate (all they had for free was that and coffee, no breakfast. Boooooooo!). Antonio bought himself some jewels out of a gumball machine. He's very in to jewels right now.


We stopped by the car and put sunscreen on, replaced the ice in the cooler, grabbed some bottled waters, and headed on our way.

Quentin forgot how I tour parks and thought we were going to go to Downtown Disney first and get Starbucks. I don't think so buddy! He went to the one in the park, while the kids and I met Dale and Minnie. I grabbed fastpasses to meet Anna and Elsa while they waited in line for Minnie. I made it back just as they got to the front of the line.


Then we went to get fastpasses for Radiator Springs. It wasn't even 10 am, and the passes were for after 4 pm. Quentin caught up with us there. He hadn't gotten his Starbucks because they were too slow and he got frustrated with them. I sent him and Halie to ride Tower of Terror while Antonio and I rode some kiddie rides.

First we rode Junkyard Jamboree. He whined so much in line, we nearly left the park. Quentin had a big talk with him this morning about his behavior the night before and about how the two of them could hang out in the hotel all day, while Halie and I have fun at the park. Part of the problem was the line said 10 minutes, but suddenly they started only running one side of the ride which made the wait double. When we got to the front, they finally opened the other side and we both loved the ride!


After the ride, Antonio wanted a snack. I told him I wanted to get a quick picture by the Radiator Springs sign first. He refused to get in the photopass picture, then when he did get up, he refused to smile. I was so annoyed.


We went and sat on a bench and I told him he was in timeout. He was very upset because he wanted to go to the Bug's Life area. While we sat there, I peeled one of the oranges we had gotten off the ground from Somis. It was so deliciously juicy and made me a huge mess! Luckily I had a bottle of water to clean my hands. After some orange, Antonio was in better spirits and we headed to Bug's Life.

First we rode the Dumbo style ride. It was really cute and a short wait.


Quentin and Halie found us after that ride. Quentin loves Tower of Terror, Halie thought it was fun but made her heart and stomach drop.

We all rode the Ladybug ride together. Then I sent them to do California Screamin' in the single rider line.


Antonio and I rode the crazy slow bumper cars next.


We grabbed a bottle of water from the stroller and he played in the water for a minute. Then we went to ride the Chew Chew train. It was really cute.


Antonio found a huge leaf. I love that he notices the little things.


It was almost time for our Anna and Elsa fastpass, so we made our way to the front of the park. We sat down in the Animation Building to wait for Halie and Quentin. I was worried they weren't going to make it. I checked the fastpasses again and that's when I realized that although they started at 10:30, the expiration was only 20 minutes later. Not an hour! Whoops! I went and asked the guy at the line if we could please still go and he let us. We were almost to the front when Halie and Quentin arrived. This line was so much more manageable then the line for the Frozen sisters at Disney World. Plus, there are cartoons for the kids to watch while you wait.


For some weird reason, Antonio wouldn't get up to meet Anna and Elsa. He loves Elsa. I don't know what his deal was.


I love my Prince Charming!


After the ice sisters, we went to the Monster's Inc. ride. The line was really long. I'd never had to wait outside before. I thought we would only be waiting inside where there was cool stuff to look at.


After the ride, the Princess was really hungry and grouchy. We wanted to stay in that area so we could catch the next Frozen Sing a Long, so we just got some hot dogs. Halie got a chili cheese dog, and Quentin and I got some type of sausage with marinara and mozarella. It was all very yummy. Halie didn't want to go to the show. She wanted to sit out and look at her phone. She said she was too hot. I told her it would be cooler in the show, and she could look at her phone in there. Antonio refused to eat and also didn't want to go to the show. Halie and I went in and Quentin was staying out with him and Antonio decided to go in. Of course he loved it. Boy, this kid needs a nap.


Sometime we got a pic with the Roy statue.


We decided to head out of California Adventure after that. Not before meeting Oswald though!


Antonio was wanting to go to the Lego Store again and spend some of his own money. I wanted to go to Disneyland and grab Indiana Jones fastpasses for later. We split up and the boys went to Legos, and the girls went to Disneyland.

Halie and I walked in and saw one of the cool double decker trollies waiting up front. We decided to ride it down Main Street.


We got a few photopass pics by the castle. Then headed over to get the fastpasses for Indiana Jones.


We thought we would ride the train back to the front. Well it was right by Pooh and it had a short line so we rode that. I bought the baby a bib from the gift store. I almost bought this Minnie and I’m glad I didn’t because Emily Mitsch sent me one!


Then we went to New Orleans square to take the train and waited forever!!!! I mean, literally, we waited like 5 rounds before we got on the train. Thank goodness we had gotten some frozen lemonades or this pregnant lady would have melted while waiting.

We met the boys in Downtown Disney. I still wanted to go to Build a Bear with Antonio. Halie found our old seat by the Mexican restaurant with the charger access and sat up shop. Quentin and her split a po boy sandwich while we went to Build a Bear. (Sidenote, they went to the New Orleans style restaurant to order to go, rather than the quick service side, so it was definitely more expensive. They didn't notice there were two sides.


I got the 60th Anniversary Disneyland bear. Antonio wanted a dragon. I told him no, that we were getting Disney stuff to commemorate our trip. I asked the workers which animal was cheapest and they said upstairs you can ask for the $12 bear. They just don't have them out on display.


Antonio named his bear Rocky short for Rocket. I named mine Baby for the baby!


We both got the anniversary outfits. I'm ashamed to say how much money I spent in that store, but I definitely have a build a bear gift certificate coming my way due to our spending. Antonio also got glasses for his bear that match his own. I also got him a backpack that he could carry the bear with that he promptly took off within half an hour and made Quentin wear. I figure he will have fun with the carrier when the baby is born and I'm carrying our baby in a carrier.


After Build a Bear, it was time for our Radiator Springs fastpass. On our way in, Antonio spotted some cotton candy and had to have some. The rest of us split some Minute Maid Frozen Lemonades.


Fastpass rocks and the racers were awesome!


Cotton candy break after the ride.


After the ride we went back to the room to take a nice long nap. Halie and I caught an Uber. Quentin hates Uber and walked back with Antonio and the stroller. Halie was so sweet at naptime and would rub Antonio's back till he fell asleep.

We got back to Disneyland a little before 8 and used our Indiana Jones fastpass. What a great ride! Antonio and Halie were being complete goofballs in line and she kept scaring him.


Halie and Antonio went up Tarzan's treehouse next. Quentin and I got a few minutes to ourselves. It was like heaven. Then the kids came back complaining about their legs.


Haunted Mansion had a decently short wait, so we went on that next.


After the ride, Antonio had to buy himself a light up Mickey light saber type toy. Then we fought through the insane crowd to get to Pirates of the Caribbean. The way they have traffic go through around Fantasmic is crazy. Disneyland is just so much smaller than Disney World and you can really tell when it's crowded.


Halie had been talking about eating at Rainforest Cafe since we got on vacation, so we decided to go there for dinner. We waited about 20 minutes for a table and then were sat in a little downstairs room where there were only about 6 tables. Luckily there was a fish tank to look at since we were separated from all of the other cool stuff.


Rainforest Cafe was as expected...overpriced mediocre food. On top of that we had pretty terrible slow service. Antonio was falling asleep at the table by the end and only woke up when the waitress brought him a birthday cupcake.


We collect these dog tags from trips whenever we can find them. They are hanging from my rearview mirror in my car. I love looking at them.


Halie bought herself this goofy frog Jamaican hat. It matched her Jamaican swimsuit I forgot to mention that she bought in Vegas. That swimsuit had the tiniest bottoms that were so inappropriate. She will have to buy some at Wal-Mart to go with the top.

We walked to the Disneyland hotel to call an Uber from there since it would be a much shorter walk then going to our usual spot on Harbor Blvd. The problem was, it was the driver's first day, and he couldn't figure out how to get there. Luckily the valet saw him and said, are you waiting for an Uber, they have problems getting in here. We walked over to meet him. The drive home took longer than usual as the nighttime shows were getting out and traffic was really heavy.


We got back to the room and passed out!

Posted by MarathonMama629 19:19 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Griswold Style Family Vacation 2015 8

Day 7

Day Seven July 12

We slept in a bit the next morning. I was shocked when Halie came in to our room fully dressed. The princess is usually a grumpy gus in the morning and we have to fight her to get out of bed. Bethany took some family pictures for us. Did I mention she's also an amazing photographer?

She also made us the best toast ever. Some type of special bread, I don't know what it was, but yummmmmo.

I walked around and took pictures of their gorgeous house. It's like it is straight out of the pages of a magazine or a pinterest board. These are some paintings that she has done.


When we finally pulled ourselves away from their beautiful house, we went outside and the car wouldn't start! It just clicked. Rick helped us get it charged back up and we were on our way to Disneyland!


As we were leaving, Quentin suddenly pulled over to the side of the road. He had spotted some oranges that fell to the ground. I jumped out and grabbed a couple for us to snack on later.


Officially on our way!


The drive to Disneyland was very busy. The roads were like 10 lanes on each side and all full. When we could catch a carpool lane it helped. We did get to see the Hollywood sign from a distance which was cool.

After the grueling traffic, we arrived at the not so luxurious Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate. We booked this trip so late, it was the only thing I could find within walking distance to Disneyland that was in our price range. I checked us in, but the rooms weren't going to be ready till after 3. We parked the car, sunscreened up, and started our walk to Disneyland.

We were almost to the gates and the Princess needed a restroom. We stopped at a Denny's and saw this guy making awesome balloon animals. I had to get Antonio a Mickey one.


This is when I realized my camera was no longer functioning. Thank goodness for iPhones.

We're here!


We got to the turnstiles at Disneyland and the scanner here wouldn't read our red ink ticket either. They typed it in, no problem. (Legoland...take note) They gave us regular park hoppers to use for the rest of our days and took our pictures.

Officially in the park and being a bad TGMer and stopping for characters!

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First thing we did was grab a fastpass for Star Tours then ride Autotopia. The line was long, hot, and slow. Though not as slow as Tomorrowland Speedway at Disney World. I rode with Antonio the crazy driver!


Antonio was so excited to get a golden car. Golden is his favorite color.


When we got back to the beginning, Halie and Quentin kept ramming their car into the back of ours. Not like I’m pregnant and my back hurts or anything. I wanted to kill them.


After that, we headed past the Matterhorn and took a cute photopass picture of us climbing it.


We were all hungry by then, so we got a turkey leg to split and 4 cups of ice. They didn't have tap water at the turkey leg stand. For some reason, we forgot to bring in water bottles today. We were so thirsty. Antonio chased some ducks and tried to make his ice melt in the hot sun.

Next up was It's a Small World. So much cuter than Disney Worlds!


I loved the 60th Anniversary stuff!


After that we went to Mickey's Toontown. I love the Toontown here. I don't know why they got rid of Disney World's instead of just making it better. So frustrating. Now I hear they are getting rid of Disneyland’s for Star Wars. NOOOOOOOOOO! I mean, I’m all for Star Wars, but don’t get rid of Toon Town! Antonio, Halie, and I did some exploring while Quentin sat in the shade.


Antonio saw the Gadget Go Coaster and wanted to ride. I told him the line was long, but he insisted. We practically melted while we waited in that long line. Then we rode the 20 second roller coaster. So not worth it. While in line, I told Quentin to grab fastpasses for Roger Rabbit.


Naughty Halie picked a flower. Isn't she so pretty?


After the ride, I wanted to go to Chip and Dale's Treehouse. Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers was one of my favorite shows growing up. Antonio had a meltdown that he needed a drink. We finally got him to go up the treehouse and back down. It took all of three minutes. Then we found a water fountain.


Halie loves Peanut Butter so we had to get this picture.

Meltdown in action.


We found Quentin and grabbed some money to buy something to drink. Quentin bought some slushies, but Halie really wanted a Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade. I asked a Cast Member and they don't sell them in Toontown so we headed out to find one.


When we left Toontown, I noticed people were lining up and asked around. There would be a parade coming soon. There were a ton of people lined up and nowhere for us to go. I was looking around and saw an empty area across from It's a Small World. I asked a Cast Member if we could sit there and he said we could. Front row seats! Antonio and I saw on the burning hot ground. Halie wandered off to find shade. Quentin stood back thinking I was ridiculous for stopping in the burning heat to sit on hot pavement.


The slushes were gone way too fast and we were hot and thirsty. Antonio actually drank some water from his spray bottle from Vegas he was so thirsty. Finally, the parade came. It was cute and I'm glad we stopped to watch.


Doesn’t the princess look happy?



This is me thinking it’s too hot to be pregnant sitting in the sun watching this parade.



After the parade we went back to Toontown and used our Roger Rabbit fastpass. Then we rushed to Tomorrowland to use our Star Tours fastpass. It's Quentin's favorite ride. They didn't pick a rebel spy from the audience. It must be a Disney World thing only.


When we got done, we were all still dying of thirst. We went to the pizza place in Tomorrowland and grabbed four large ice waters. It was the best thing I'd ever tasted. We even did a cheers to each other. We went outside to sit down and Antonio saw a bee and freaked out causing Halie to scream at him, me to scream at her, and all of us to look like the weirdos of Disneyland.

We were checking Quentin's wait time app and it appeared that Jungle Cruise would be our best bet, so we headed that way. It appeared very short. Then, you turned a corner and thought you were at the front, but no, you go upstairs. Upstairs, you loop back and forth several times, then back down and get on the ride. The ride was cute as usual.


Afterwards, we walked to the front of the park intending to leave, but decided to go on the train for a full loop. Antonio was freaking out that he wanted a bubble gun. Halie promised him that we could get one as we left the park. I really like the train at Disneyland. So many neat things to see.


Do you see his little dinosaur from his sucker at Universal?


After the train, we got the stinking bubble gun (which got lost by the last day), and Antonio loved shooting bubbles for kids to pop.


We noticed that people were lining up for the nighttime parade ridiculously early and I made a mental note to check online about this. We left the park before we had any more meltdowns.


We headed to Downtown Disney to eat at Tortilla Jo's which I had been to several times before. I knew it would be better than the nasty Mexican food we had at Universal CItywalk. I love how convenient Downtown Disney is to the parks at Disneyland. So much easier than Disney World and you don't have to deal with the parking disaster like Disney World.

We checked in and they said it would be about 20-30 minutes. I found a a concrete wall to sit on with an outlet by a planter nearby. We sat down to charge our phones and Quentin and Antonio headed over to the Lego Store across the way. As soon as they turned to walk over to the Lego Store Quentin's phone went off indicating that our table was ready. Antonio didn't like that too much since he was going to the Lego Store and it just got yanked out from under him. Oh well, 2 minute wait is good to me. We were hungry.

Luckily the Princess decided to be nice to her little cousin so he was very good at the restaurant. I had told him if he was good, we would make a Build a Bear afterwards. He said, if I'm really good, can I get a bear and some legos. I told him I would think about it.


Our food was delicious! We loved the fajitas. Quentin enjoyed his margarita. The kids were disappointed because there was no queso dip. There wasn't queso at the Universal Mexican place either. Do Californians not believe in queso?? Halie wanted queso so bad, she asked the waitress what the cheesiest thing on the menu was. She said nachos, so Halie ordered that. She didn't bother to read the description and must have been thinking it would come out like movie theatre nachos. She freaked out when it came out with sour cream, guacamole, and black beans all over it. She even started crying. Quentin said these nachos were one of the most delicious things he had the entire trip and pretty much ate the whole giant platter himself. I tried to get Halie to eat fajitas, but she was mad there was no cheese. After we got some shredded cheese from the waitress she did a bit better. Teenagers are weird.


Halie and Antonio were getting along so well at this restaurant. It was great. A balloon guy came by and Halie got a crown. Antonio whispered in mine and Quentin's ear that he was going to use his balloon to get a flower for Halie. It was so sweet. The balloon guy tried to talk him out of it and tried to have him get a Spiderman or a Minion. Antonio almost wavered and got a sword, but he stuck with the flower for sissy.


They brought Antonio out a dessert and sang to him for his birthday which he loved. After that, he started being a little wacky and kept dropping stuff and getting out of his seat. Halie volunteered to take him to the Lego Store while we settled the check.


When we got over there, I told him, let's go get your Build a Bear, you did so good at dinner. He jumped right in the stroller and we headed out. On the way out, he said then we will come get Legos. I told him he was only getting a Build a Bear because he was a little crazy at the end of dinner. (The truth is I didn't want to buy any Legos because we were going to be going to Legoland and I figured they would have better stuff. Turns out they didn't!)

This was the beginning of the end. He went CRAZY. I needed Harry Potter's invisibility cloak to hide us. There was crying, screaming, etc . We pulled over several times and threatened him. We got past the World of Disney store and pulled to a corner and spanked him. At this point Halie told Quentin she was going to look around the store while we dealt with him.

After we got him back in the stroller we decided to just get out of there screaming and crying and all. Quentin said Halie was following us. We kept walking, Antonio kept screaming "I want Legos," we kept walking, Antonio would bounce in his stroller and nearly break the wheels off, we kept walking, we wanted to hide, people were staring. It was awful. We were trapped in Downtown Disney with nowhere to escape with an overtired child and at least 10 more minutes of walking to get out of there.

As we left Downtown Disney, I kept turning and looking for Halie. I couldn't see her. I was growing more concerned. Quentin said he had texted her and it would be fine. I said to call her. He called and it went to voicemail. Turns out her phone was dead and in my baggalini. (Sidenote: Baggalinis rock) I told him to go back and look for her and Antonio and I would continue walking. We stopped outside of the park by the taxi pickup on a bench because he was still going nuts. Once he calmed down a bit, we continued walking towards the hotel. I would look over my shoulder every few minutes hoping to see Quentin and Halie coming. My phone was dead, so I had no way of knowing if he found her.

Antonio and I pressed on until we got to our hotel. I went to the front desk and asked for our room assignment and key. We rushed to the room and I plugged in my phone. As soon as it turned on, I called Quentin and he said Halie was at the store where she had said she would be. Apparently some mom was following her around concerned trying to get her to call us. Halie didn't know our numbers. She kept telling the lady she was fine and that we were dealing with her cousin and would be back for her. Halie is pretty street savvy so she was annoyed with the lady.

Quentin and Halie got back to the room and we all passed out. I didn't set an alarm, knowing we had a rough end to the day and trying to make rope drop would be a disaster.

Posted by MarathonMama629 21:20 Archived in USA Tagged california theme_parks disneyland Comments (0)

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