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Sunday, October 16, 2016

California - Days Four and Five - Best Of

For our last day in the park, we decided to start at California Adventure and then head to Disneyland to finish out the day.  We went straight to Soarin Around the World, one of my mom's favorite rides. The line had been too long the first day so we wanted to make sure we didn't miss our chance.  It was definitely one of the favorite rides of the trip.  We rode it twice in a row and I'm sure everyone would have been happy to go again - once again, the sights, sounds and smells combined to make you feel like you really had just gone on a quick tour around the world. We left the flying behind and went back to the pier - there was a photographer there so we took advantage and got some more shots with our favorite background.


When we saw that California Screamin only had a five minute wait, we sent the kids to the carousel with Grandma and Grandpa and jumped on the coaster.  Seriously, one of the most fun rides I have ever been on - fast and furious, but completely smooth.  Just a side note, the two girls behind us were wearing 3 inch heels and moved around as though they were in flip flops - amazing.

We hit the Buzz Lightyear ride in DCA, and 
Later rode another Toy Story ride in Disneyland.

The primary agenda for the day - at least for me - was to see the new live version of Frozen.  My dad was great and went to get fast passes early and then we spent about an waiting - in line, and then inside the theater - but it was all completely worth it.  The staging of the show was amazing and so creative.  I knew the kids would love it, but was surprised at how much the adults enjoyed the production.  By the time it was over, we were all in love with Elsa and Anna and company.

I wouldn't describe my kids as shy, however, they do get pretty quiet and withdrawn when they are around people they don't know.  So I wasn't quite sure how they would reach to meeting characters in the park.  Turns out, they obviously felt like they were just meeting up with old friends because they were so comfortable and excited.  Both especially loved seeing Mickey or Minnie and this particular meeting was one of my favorite.  Watching Luke was great...he was pretty much smitten with Minnie.

Mid-afternoon we made our way to Disneyland where we had lunch and then made a plan for what else we wanted to see before the day ended.  I mentioned lunch because it was a big deal that we actually stopped for a meal so early in the day.  Planning meals into our day was not my best skill - sorry everyone for the long days without meals - apparently the snacks weren't quite enough. We spent most of the afternoon in Tomorrowland where the highlight was introducing the kids to Star Tours.  Luke loved it and Ruby was terrified - as soon as it was over she asked if we could go to a princess ride.  Maybe we need to wait until she is a little older before we try that one again.  We were surprised that she was 40 inches and able to ride so many of the big kid rides.  

Riding Autopia brought back so many memories of being a kid - specifically a time when I was tall enough to "drive" myself, but couldn't quite figure out how to work the car.  One of the workers finally had to get into the car with me to drive us back to the beginning - oh the shame.  Luckily, we didn't have any mishaps and the kids left convinced that they were destined to be race car drivers.

The three days in the park were amazing, but by the last night, we were all tired and ready to say goodbye for awhile.  We watched the fireworks from the top of our hotel which was a perfect finale.

Mickey, Buzz, Panda, and a very tired, but happy boy.

Prior to checking out of the hotel we had planned to have breakfast with Mickey and friends.  The meal wasn't cheap, and I wondered if we would regret the expense.  If I were judging purely based on the, it was not worth the price...however, the experience was awesome and the perfect ending to our Disney stay.  The kids loved seeing so many Disney friends in one place and had plenty of chances to "talk" and dance with their friends.  

Mickey pancackes

Stitch was a favorite
He danced with the babies and
Taught them to play air guitar.

Luke and Grandpa appear to share a crush on Minnie

The kids were super fascinated with Pluto's whiskers

And Daisy was just a dream.

After breakfast we finished packing, said goodbye to grandma and grandpa, and thought we would just have a few minutes before our own airport shuttle would arrive.  Turns out our flight was delayed so we dug through our suitcases to find swim suits and finally got a chance to play in the swimming pool (we had been too busy all week to even go out to see the pool)

Started and ended our trip in swimsuits and the sun

The kids said they were excited to go home, but they were pretty sad to leave Disney.  Ruby kept talking to Goofy and letting him hold her toys.  At one point she said to me "My Goofy daddy will take me to the restroom and I will be safe and hold his hand" .  These two little ones were such troopers.  They went without naps all week, and for the most part were patient and cheerful. Going home always feels a little like a letdown and it definitely felt sad to leave all of this fun behind.  The kids are already talking about "Next Time".