Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas at DCA

Happy Weekend! Let's head to California Adventure!

We had the best intentions to go to Disneyland on Saturday, but it was tough to roll out of bed. Instead we decided we'd try to get to Disney early on Sunday. That's didn't work out so well either. At 8am instead of being at the park entrance, we were at 85C Bakery getting pastries.

I had thought being late to the park was going to mess up our morning. But today only the top 2 passes are valid, meaning the parks are a lot less crowded than normal. Getting through the parking garage, security, and into the parks was a breeze. And once we got in, the parks don't even look too crowded.

First stop, chocolate and bread, minus the chocolate. I had heard they were giving out the peppermint bark chocolates, but despite stopping by a few times today, they weren't handing anything out.

Before our first fastpass came up, we made sure to do all the rides that would get longer lines later. The non-swinging gondolas on the Pixar Pal-Around (still getting used to that name) had no wait at all.

And the kids walked right up to the Jumping Jellyfish.

Alli loves it.

While Alli went for another round on the Jumping Jellyfish, Ian and I walked right on Goofy's Sky School.

And followed it with another round on the Jumping Jellyfish.

Who wants some candy? It's been a while since we've been to DCA and I haven't even seen the new Bing-Bong figure in the candy shop. Decisions, decisions. Peppermint Bark?

Ah, here we go. Not a bad deal at all. For $7.99 (plus a 20% AP discount), you get 2 Mickey-eared gingerbread cookies, frosting, and sprinkles.

Here's the figure that took months to debut. Smile kids!

Time for some Toy Story Mania! It's been a while since we've played. That means our shooting arms are well rested.

Ian and I did pretty good together, especially for messing around on the Alien Ring screens trying to open the robot. But that score Ian... Uhh, 66600. Interesting bunny.

Alli doing her best to look cute. Please pick me up daddy.

Please daddy?

Of course it worked. Can't resist cuteness of that magnitude.

Next up is Radiator Springs Racers. The standby queue didn't have very many people in it at all, but was showing a 105 minute wait. The fastpass queue was backed out past the entrance, but it moved steadily.

Ian wanted to drive and Alli wanted to ride in the backseat. Everyone got what they wanted.

You can just make out the poofballs on their hats.

Afterwards, Ian and I split to ride Guardians of the Galaxy while Theresa took Alli on Ariel and Toy Story Mania again. But on the walk over, I saw Pluto greeting people.

With my hat today, I had to stop by for a picture. We're both reindeer today.

Ian loves this ride and really really wants Alli to go on it too. Of course when he says things like "the monsters aren't even that scary" it doesn't make Alli want to go on it any more.

Great picture Ian! He's come a long way. I remember him closing his eyes, holding on to me tight, and jumping at every loud noise. Now he doesn't want to be held at all and loves to float out of his seat. Can't wait for him to get a little bigger so we can do more thrill rides together.

I received a request from an Arizona friend who is way into everything Tiki related to go look for some newly released keychains. After our ride on Guardians, Ian and I hustled over to Disneyland to find them. And look at that, Disneyland isn't all that busy either. Seems like Deluxe passholders make up a lot of the visitors to the park on Sundays.

After a bit of searching through the Adventureland Bazaar Ian and I found them. They weren't with the keychains, or any of the other plastic doodads on the spinning racks. Instead they were in a little basket on a table by the entrance facing the Jungle Cruise. And I was lucky to find them too. I got the last Dole Whip keychain, and the 2nd to last Tiki keychain.
Ian was happy to pose for a picture in front of each of the respective locations, holding the Tiki on the Tiki room side, and the Dole Whip in front of the Dole Whip stand.

Ian and I grabbed the keychains and hustled as fast as I could with him on my shoulders back over to Guardians to use the 2nd of our fastpasses. On the way we learned that T posted her best score ever over at Toy Story. Impressive T! Alli earned a gopher.

And posed with it in front of the signs from Jessie's carrousel.

Ian and I just made it to Guardians with seconds to spare on our Fastpass. I know there's a 15 minute grace period and we were there at 14 and change. It's always a fun ride.

Afterwards we met up with Alli and T to go check out the enormous gingerbread house in the Grand Californian lobby. Signs say there's 25 hidden Mickeys here. Wonder how many we can find.

The kids got their gingerbread cookies out along with the frosting and sprinkles.

Great job! Sure beats that $9 cookie they sell here. Paying $7 for 2 cookies and getting to decorate it yourself is awesome.

Afterward Theresa and I spent a little time relaxing in the Disneyland Hotel Gazebo, while Ian and Alli raced back and forth dozens of times to the trees and back. Got to get some of that energy out. Bet they'll sleep well tonight.


Back and the parking structure and checking out the new Cleo garage they're building next to Mickey and Friends. It's so close you could hop over if you were really ambitious.


  1. A leisurely, fun Sunday outing without humongous crowds (can't ask for anything more during the Christmas season). That tiki key chain looks cute! Looks like T is queen of Toy Story Midway Mania! Amazingly, Alli keeps up fairly well with those races against Ian (or is Ian being a nice brother and not letting her fall too far behind?). Don't give anyone ideas on hopping over to the Cleo garage :-) Is it a straight abyss to the ground or to the next level in that gap? I wonder how/if that gap will be filled with the final product. Thanks for the fun TR!

    1. I was curious too. There's a ledge connecting the two. It doesn't drop all the way to the ground.