Happy Sunday! We're very very close to Ian's actual birthday, so today we're going to the park and celebrating it a day early. I've pulled out all my different birthday hats too for everyone to wear to celebrate.
It was an easy drive on the freeway, but once we arrived at the structure it was quite backed up. This doesn't bode well. It took 25 minutes from getting off the freeway to finally park and get out of the car.
It's going to be a beautiful sunny southern California day with high in the 80s. But it's not there yet... In the shade it's a little chilly so we were scrambling to find warm things for the kids. The backup clothes bag came in handy. Wear these pants on your arms. Use this reusable grocery bag as a blanket.
And we're inside! And no surprise it's crowded. It's the first weekend celebrating the holidays at the Disneyland Resort and here in DCA the Festival of Holidays food festival is going on. Time to go on some rides with short waits.
The swings only took one loading cycle to board. Ian raised his hands as soon as the swings lifted off the ground.
And kept them up for the entire ride. This boy loves to whistle. I don't know how many pictures I've had to filter out because he's whistling in them.
Theresa doesn't do spinning rides so I'm going another round with Alli. When I told her that Ian kept his hands raised the entire time, she put hers up and wouldn't put them down for the whole ride either.
Okay. Long lines everywhere. 30 minutes for Mickey's Fun Wheel. 25 minutes for Ariel. 20 minutes for the Emotional Whirlwind. Don't even think about the bigger rides.
When things are crowded we look for the short lines. Jessie's carrousel is only 5 minutes? Time to go there!
The birthday boy picked a pink bunny.
And Alli found another rabbit nearby.
No reason not to go on this a second time. Alli found herself a pink bunny this time.
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes.
How about an early lunch? You really can't beat a $5 sliced loaf of sourdough bread. It's tasty and provides entertainment afterwards.
Look at that adorable gingerbread mickey. When I asked the cast member for a gingerbread cookie, he corrected me and called it a gingermouse cookie. You can't quite read it in the background, but these are $4.99 per cookie.
I was sad that the monthly soup has changed from the bacon and cheddar soup. This pumpkin soup could be interesting though. Perhaps a future visit.
Don't play with your food? Well sometimes it can't be helped. Alli made a Minnie Mouse out of all her fruits and vegetables. I love that she made baby carrot eyelashes.
And with a hand from Alli, Ian has turned into Mickey Mouse.
It's so cute!
Which makes this part a little painful to watch.
Ian - I want his head!
Alli - I want his head too!
And so Mickey's head not only gets cut off but also cut in half.
Taking off body part after body part.
Like I said, that Boudin Long Sourdough bread is a meal plus entertainment. The crusts plus any extra slices of bread are destined for the ducks.
They were hungry today. And there's a lot more than I'm used to seeing. I wonder if these are local ducks or if any have made their way here for the winter.
30 ducks maybe? Good thing we have all this bread.
What else is here that won't have a line? Over to Redwood Creek and the climbing wall!
Ian is getting better and better. I suggested he try a different route the next time.
And so after going around the corner, he started climbing higher and higher.
Normally he'd be on that lower ridge. I think he's stuck... And he's a lot higher than usual. Good thing it's rubber mulch below.
There is a scavenger hunt in Redwood Creek too. Santa has asked the kids to help figure out what the Elves' favorite snack is at the North Pole.
Presents are hidden through-out the land with letters on them.
Once the kids find all the letters they will have their answer.
Presents are hidden all over. Luckily the map gives some hints.
It's a super long line to see Santa. Perhaps another time.
Ooh, nice find Alli. That green one is well hidden.
And that's the last of 5 presents.
In lieu of a pen, Theresa organized the letters on her phone. Our "word wizard" reader Ian figured out the answer.
Ian - Do you think we'll get a prize for figuring it out?
Let's go see buddy.
Back at the front, Ian and Alli found a ranger and proudly proclaimed, "We know the answer! The Elves' favorite snacks are SNOW CONES!"
Excellent work super sleuths! You're officially Santa's Helpers!
Fastpasses were hard to come by in the morning in DCA. As soon as we entered the park, I got one for Toy Story Midway Mania and finally at 1pm it's time to use them. I was very happy to skip that 70 minute standby line.
Ian really wanted to ride with me so together we could trigger all the special events. I was informed when I posted on Micechat that there actually is something you can trigger on the first screen (the barn scene). And knowing that, Ian and I triggered every special thing you could do. He was super excited and we high-fived after each screen we completed.
DCA is crowded and looking at the wait times in Disneyland it's not much better. But I do have a couple fastpasses to use.
Hi Jack! Jack has some very jingly bells on today and he's making lots of noise as he pulls the trolley down Main Street.
I love the it's a small world layover for Christmas.
Alli excitedly pointing out a hidden Mickey.
There it is!
Wow. Hard to believe it's going to be 2020 already.
Ian and I are on the list. But it's a Naughty and Nice list. How do we tell which one we are?
The kids both love the bubbles prior to the under the sea scenes.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Elvis is back! I am so used to seeing him that I expect him throughout the year, even when it's not Christmas.
Alli mimicking the Hawaiian hula girls.
Earlier I had snagged a fastpass for Roger Rabbit but it went down. That means our fastpasses turned into a multi-ride fastpass, good for any time!
Alright birthday boy, your choice. What's the last ride you want to go on today? Big Thunder Mountain? Haunted Mansion?
Ian - Splash Mountain!
Uh... Are you sure you don't want to go on something dry like Buzz Lightyear or Star Tours?
Ian - No, I want to go on Splash Mountain.
Alright then. From a wait time perspective it is a good one to use it on. The regular line was over an hour.
Mommy wisely decided to sit this one out. Just me and the kids for this one.
Wow, Alli those nails Aunt Amy put on last week are glowing so bright!
The kids know that the Holiday Times means there's a new cake in the lobby of the Grand Californian. On the walk there, we were guessing whether or not there would be anything there at all yet. I was the pessimist thinking they wouldn't have anything yet, but the kids were optimistic. Turns out they were correct.
And even though it's not finished they're pointing out Hidden Mickey's left and right.
Yep, I see that peppermint one Ian. And on the eves there are a bunch of Hidden Mickeys in the snow.
On the back there's even more Mickeys to be found.
And Ian, I don't know why that piece has a "6" on it.
The kids really wanted to go upstairs, but we'll save that for a future trip.
Right beside the giant gingerbread house there is a booth selling Disney treats.
Wow. The cookies that were $4.99 inside the park are $9 here. And they are the exact same cookie. That's kind-of crazy. And perhaps just a little excessive.
From the Grand, it was a nice walk back to the parking structure. Looks like today we walked an estimated 8.9 miles. Not bad.
Remember the fun times of not trying to step on a crack or trying to jump over a certain color brick.
Despite the crowds, I'm glad we were able to find some fun things to do at Disneyland.