Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas at Disneyland... yes again

Disneyland again? Yes we were just here 2 days ago, but we still haven't done some of the Christmas things on our list. Theresa and I left work early, grabbed the kids, and all headed to Disneyland! We've got a 1:30pm parade we're trying to make!

Crowds to get into the park weren't bad at all. I hoping that meant the crowds inside the park wouldn't be too bad either.
With minutes to spare, the four of us found a place behind a family sitting on the curb. Bring on the parade!
We're working on getting Ian to read now. He pointed out the sign in the picture to Theresa and said "I know what that says. Zootopia!" I'm not so ready to believe he's reading that yet.  

Just a couple minutes later, Jacob came and joined us too! So great seeing so much of him lately.

Now Alli normally takes a nap at 11am every day. I was expecting her to sleep in the car on the ride here, but she decided against that. I did mention that this was the 1:30pm parade, right? I tossed her in the Ergo but she was still too excited to fall asleep. 

Once the parade started, both kids were waving and clapping along. After a parade float would pass by, they'd crane their necks to see what was coming next.

Some characters got a lot bigger waves than others. Mickey and Minnie especially. 

It's Pooh!

Lots of big waving. And Alli certainly knew the musical cues to start clapping. 

Ian - "It's a Christmas tree. But it doesn't have a star!"
Theresa - "It has a snowflake."
Ian - "It's a snowflake star?"

There's Santa! 

Alli was fine seeing Santa from afar. The 3-4 times we've seen him this holiday season, she hasn't given him a very warm reception.
After the parade, Alli went straight into the Ergo and as I walked back to get Haunted Mansion fastpasses, she promptly fell asleep. I had wanted to go on the Jungle Cruise's Jingle Cruise overlay, but the line stretched outside the normal queue and into the walkway. Maybe another time. Winnie the Pooh? Why not?

While Ian, Theresa, and Jacob rode waited in line for Winnie the Pooh, I waited in line for Santa while Alli slept. When we were the 2nd group from the front, Alli finally started stirring and Ian finished up his ride on Winnie the Pooh and joined us.
It's Santa!
Santa - "Well hello! I'd recognize one of my Prep and Landing elves anywhere!"
And I recognize Santa too! Ian had a great experience with him back in 2014!

In the couple minutes that Alli was awake, I talked to her about going to see Santa and told her that Santa would give her a candy cane. Ian ran right up to Santa. Alli was still pretty hesitant at first. 

The candy cane was enough for Alli. Santa even opened it for her! With the gloves, that's no small feat. 

First decent picture of the kids with Santa and no other adults around. Finally!

Santa asked Ian what he wanted for Christmas and just like 2 days ago, Ian asked for a candy cane. I can do that right now! I'll open it for you too!

Family picture with Santa.

Jacob with Santa.

She's loving that candy cane. 

With 20 more minutes before we can use our Haunted Mansion fast passes, what else can we do? Let's go see the train!

Ian got to pull on the whistle 

I spoke to Remy, one of the engineers who lives out in my neck of the woods in Manhattan Beach. Even though he's got a 35 mile commute every day, he said he's the only one smiling on the 405 (our freeway to get to Disneyland), because he loves his job so much. He's really looking forward to the railroad opening up again on July 17th, 2017 with the new track. Me too!

Finally getting the opportunity to sit inside the main engine. Each of us took a turn. 

Time for the Haunted Mansion! So happy to have these fast passes and avoid the 90 minute wait in line! Yikes! It really is busy here today!

Hi Zero!
Want to know how I came to realize we've ridden this with Ian quite a few times? There's a couple spots on the ride that we've deemed a little too scary for him right now (Hatbox Ghost and Oogie Boogie). This time, without any prompting from me, as we were getting close to those sections, he pulled his hat down over his eyes, waited for a few seconds, then pushed his hat back up when we were past.

I think he only likes riding it so much because he sees Zero.
What a big smile holding that Zero plush. He's going to be pretty happy when Santa brings him one on Christmas. 

And Alli is going to be happy too. 

Despite their love of him, I'm glad they're both able to put him back when it's time to leave.
As we were walking away, Alli pointed back towards it and babbled something. T said "Maybe later" to which Alli responded with an "Awww."

I had really wanted to go on the Jingle Cruise (still have never been on it), but the lines were just too long. It's too bad too. On the drive to the park I had really talked it up to Ian. Telling him all about the tigers and lions, the gorillas and rhinos, and even some elephants that were taking a bath. We probably talked for 5 minutes about how even the elephants need a bath sometimes. Well it just wasn't meant to be today. In order to help him understand why were weren't going on it today I presented him with a pretty biased set of choices. Either we can ride the Jingle Cruise or eat some Popcorn. Popcorn was his quick choice.
Well they make some pretty good caramel corn over in DCA. The crowds are a little much in Disneyland, but hopefully they'll be better over there.

Stopping for a family photo in front of our paver stone in the esplanade between the two parks. 

Mmm. The promised popcorn. 

Time for rides! Alli, go run!

First was Heimlich's Chew Chew train. 

Followed by a fun round on the Tuck and Roll bumper cars. Ian's just big enough to grab the steering wheel. 

We ended up crashing into Jacob quite a few times. Nice driving Ian!

Four of us took a ride on Flik's flyers. 

There's a smile from that girl. 

After a quick ride on the Little Mermaid, it was time to think about dinner. The kids were easy. A hot dog and chips. We found a spot by the rail and fed the ducks the bun.
Jacob and I split a mediocre Kalua Pork slider. Man the pricing on these is getting out of hand. $7.50 for 1 slider. About the size of a dinner roll.
After enjoying it so much before, T, Jacob, and I each got a curry bowl. I liked it a lot more the first time I had it. Then it was really thick and had lots of chunky pieces of meat and potato in it. All three of ours was more like a soup this time around, with lots of sauce but not much in the way of meat and potatoes.

Time to go home. We said our goodbyes to Jacob and left through the Grand Californian to see one more thing on my list. Inside the lobby of the Grand is a giant gingerbread house modeled after the hotel itself! Ian happily pointed out the Mickey snowman out front. 

But what if you want to eat gingerbread? Just to the side, you can buy lots of different holiday treats, including a $4 gingerbread man cookie. If you really really like the giant gingerbread house in the lobby, you can buy a smaller version of it for $80.

What's this? 

Mmm. Gingerbread cookie! 

In the middle of the lobby there's also a giant Christmas tree. Ian, look at the giant tree!

Ian - "There's no star."
Theresa - "It has something else on top."
Ian - "Dragons!"
Theresa - "No, not dragons. Reindeer."
Where he got dragons from, I don't know.

Well we've had lots of fun at the Disneyland Resort this holiday season. Here's to hoping for many more in 2017!

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