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Sunday, October 16, 2016

California - Day Two- California Adventures

For our first official day at the Disneyland parks, we decided to go to Disneyland California Adventure.  Staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel gave us a few advantages, one of which was early entry into one of the parks each day and Wednesday was the day for DCA.  I got up extra early and left all my sleeping beauties to join a "power walk" organized by the hotel that went throughout the park while it was empty and being prepared for the day.  I always love seeing places early and empty and this was especially fun for me because I hadn't ever been to California Adventure.  As the walk was ending I caught the sunrise and knew it was going to be a great day.

Lego exhibit at Downtown Disney
A few months before heading to California Luke had discovered Cars and Lightening McQueen so he was especially excited to go to Cars Land.  As soon as we got to the park we headed right to Cars Land where we all loved seeing the entire setting of the show brought to life.    

First stop was to get behind the wheel of a race car.  Luke had been told all about the ride by his cousins and the fun lived up to the hype.  As soon as we got off the ride, the kids wanted to go again, and quickly figured out that it was going to be a great day of exciting rides.

Almost as exciting as the rides was the chance to meet the characters.  We were able to see Lightening and Mater as they drove by, and then "chatted" for a while with Big Red.  The kids loved the reaction of Red to their outfits and still talk about how much he wanted to be their friend.

We made sure to try out all the rides in Cars Land while the lines weren't too long.

None of us really knew much about "Bugs Land", but it didn't take the kids long to figure out that it was just another version of the fun.  We went on a lot of rides that were really geared to their age and they found all of it magical.  Watching them experience the sights, the sounds and the smells (this is Disney, so of course some of the rides had something for all of the senses) was every bit as great as I had expected it to be.  We have a lot of pictures and plenty of video, and I hope it will be enough to help me remember what it was like to experience Disney with two wide eyed toddlers.  Ruby didn't know who Flick was before spotting him in Bugs Land, but it only took her a minute to fall in love.

Hollywood Land was my favorite part of the park.

One of the perks of having my parents join us for the trip (and believe me, there were a lot of them), was being able to trade off so that there was still a chance to ride the "big kid" rides.  Even better, my dad was usually quick to volunteer to run and get the fast passes.  Tim and I loved having a few minutes for a mini date and especially loved the experience of the Tower of Terror.  The only downside to not going together with my parents was that we didn't get to hear my mom's screams - apparently she really felt the terror.  

When we arrived at DCA, we had no idea that we would have a chance to meet some superheroes. We lucked onto a meet and greet with Captain America and Spiderman and by the time we left, the kids were both completely smitten.  The line was long...and moved very slowly...but it was because the superheroes gave so much attention to each child individually.  Watching Captain America talk with the kids was really just magical.  He talked to Luke about being brave, and spent a lot of time talking with Ruby about the princesses and which one they each would choose as a favorite.  We have been home for over a month and the kids still talk about meeting Captain America.  Hooray for the good guys!



Because of his mask Spiderman was a little more intimidating to the babies, but they did spend plenty of time showing him their web spinning skills. 

Throughout the day there were plenty of candid moments, dancing in the streets, chasing the kids, plenty of bathroom breaks and a little bit of shopping and dreaming.  We took everything at a pretty slow pace and we loved having plenty of time to just soak in the entire experience.

Getting the iconic shot took more than a little effort and patience.

Ruby's version was pretty much perfect.

The moment when I taught my mom how to take a selfie.

We hadn't thought to check the schedule of parades and were lucky to happen upon the beginning of a parade.  After all that we had seen and experienced, it was hard to believe that my kids could still be "wowed", but just like everything else they saw that day, they thought the parade was amazing. 

As the sun set we finished the day on Paradise Pier, watching and playing.  We left before the park closed, maybe leaving some of the fun behind, but it seemed best to head home while were were all still feeling pretty good.  Don't worry though, we did have our priorities straight and made sure to get a churro before saying goodbye for the night.   

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