Monday, January 30, 2017

part 2 - California Adventure

Monday morning dawned and we were all up early. Everyone so excited. The kids played with the cousins while adults from each family packed a lunch for the day. Tiffany and Ashley had planned and even cooked some take-able meals ahead of time: deli sandwiches, pasta salads, 'walking tacos', chicken nuggets, bagels etc.  It was kinda nice that the parks didn't open until 10:00 so we had plenty of time to get there. Chris really didn't want to pay for parking so we decided to have him drive the kids and I to the drop off point early early and then he'll drive back to the house and then walk back. We wanted to be at the gates about an hour before they opened so we could be in a good spot to get Fast Passes for the newest and coolest ride in the park: Radiator Spring Racers. (Normally its like a 2 hour wait.. without the fast passes).  Although it sounds terrible, waiting in line for the park to open wasn't all that bad. They open the gates early (I can't remember 15 min, or 30 min) and then you have to wait at another point inside the park at the end of the main street, for the 'rope to drop' right at 10:00. Chris collected everyone's tickets and booked it with Jordan to get Fast Passes for Radiator Springs while the rest of us walked to Midtown Mania (a Toy Story 3D laser blaster ride) and got in line. It was fun to have 25 people in line in a row... the kids would wander in and out and play with each other. We waited maybe 30 min.  Not too bad.  

Then we walked over to Cars Land and did some of the little rides before our Fast Pass time was ready. 

Frederick was too short for Radiator Springs Racers by like 1/2 an inch. I tried to get the guy to call it a 'close enough' but he wouldn't. So I waited with Freddy while Chris took the other kids with all the other cousins. My brother and his wife waited with their 7 month old, Tommy, waited with me as well as my sister and her 1 year old. Chris and my mom got  Riders Swap passes for us to get on the ride later. We were confused how to do this and sort of expected to just walk right up to the front of the line, but we had to wait with all the other Fast Pass users, and I wondered what was the point of the Riders Swap pass... we could just use our own, still good, Fast Passes. Later that day when the same situation came up for Soarin' over the World, we talked with the worker and found out that one Riders Swap pass is good for up to 3 people, and has no time limit. So, it is better and different than a regular Fast Pass which is only good for a specified hour and for only 1 person.  Once we understood it right, we were sure to add the options for Riders Swap into our mental figuring of how to optimize our Disney experience over the next 4 more days.

Turns out the boys LOOOOOVED Screamin'. I was really surprised and impressed! I didn't think they would like such a fast and upside down roller coaster, but they loved it and rode it  4 or 5 times in a row with extra fast passes from the people too short to ride it while I and some other adults took the girls and younger ones to see the show, Frozen. It was amazing! So so good. All the little girls were literally on the edge of their seat the entire time.  Freddy even stayed awake and paid attention and loved it even though it was right in the middle of his nap time.  After we all met up again I think we had passes to Soarin' over the world and got some more for Radiator Springs again.  We grabbed some dinner at Flo's Cafe in Cars land, and it was nice to sit for a while and recharge. Then we did Ariel's ride, and waited for the firework show. We had gotten fast pass tickets to be able to go into the reserved area for the firework show right on the pier. This... wasn't really worth it at all. Everyone was standing and so anyone my height or shorter could only see the tips of the water shooting up. I could tell there were some images being projected onto the water but I was too short to see it. So for like 30 min, we were all standing, holding kids on our shoulders or backs or whatever just to see the tips of water shooting up.  Chris said it was a cool show. :)  I could see the fireworks when they started. Before it was over, we decided to leave and beat the crowds out of the park since we knew we still had miles of walking ahead of us to exit the park, walk through downtown disney and then a mile along the streets home.

Whew. Day 1 in the books and a total success! 

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