Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Christmas Disneyland Visit Part 1

After the last few trips to Disneyland and them being super busy on Sunday, the Flowers family is mixing it up and going to Disneyland on a Saturday. T and I were hoping that might mean a reduction in crowds.
It also happens that Disneyland has already started its transformation for the holidays. It's Christmas here so that's what we're celebrating! Christmas is only 38 days away!

Today we were really trying to get out of the house on time and get to Disneyland early. The freeways were pleasant and by 8am we were in line for the parking garage. The line stretched out to the bottom of the overpass and it was moving slowly. It took 20 minutes to get to the front. I wish there was a better alternative.
And like usual instead of taking the tram, we used the pedestrian bridge and walked into Downtown Disney. The security gate was really backed up by the old ESPN Zone, but thankfully the gate by the Disneyland Hotel wasn't too bad.

At 8:45am we strolled through the main gates of Disney California Adventure. Both kids wanted a map, but what they were really interested in was the treats that were available for the holidays.

So far so good on those crowds, but this is an out of the way area of the park.

Our very first stop is Redwood Creek - Santa's Holiday Visit! I wanted to get an early start on Santa pictures this year. I'm sure it'll only get busier as it gets closer to Christmas. It's ten minutes before 9am and Santa will be here soon! There's not much of a line in front of us either! Only 5 families!

At 3 minutes before 9am the ropes were dropped and everyone walked in, straight in to the line to Meet Santa.

While the first few families went straight to the front of the line, I know Santa isn't here yet and we've got a little time. What's this? A book with all the Nice Kids?

And the kids can write their own name in it? That sounds like a conflict of interest!

And now they'll always be on the nice list.

With nothing else to do how about some family pictures?

That one is going on a phone background.

Alli, what's your elf call-sign? Snowflake!
And Ian, what about you? I'm Candy Cane!

It's 9:04 and Santa is here!

Hi Santa!

And the elves are here too. They immediately recognized their fellow brethren, the Prep and Landing Elves. Hi Casserole the Elf!

The dew is still condensed on the glass so the kids drew Santa smiley faces.

And what's this? Alli, I mean Snowflake, we found a snowflake!

The Prep and Landing elves chatted with Santa's Elves (Cider and I didn't catch the other one's name). They talked about their jobs. Snowflake and Candy Cane have already started making ornaments for our tree (more on that in a future post).
They really liked the goggles on Ian's hat, so he offered to let them wear it until it was time for them to go see Santa.

Time to see Santa!
Santa - It's my Prep and Landing Elves! Have you been busy?
Alli - We've made ornaments!

Ian - How are your reindeer?

First a picture with just the kids.

And then a picture with the family. Perfect!

The cast member at the exit told Ian "I heard your call-sign was Candy Cane, so here's a candy cane from Santa."
Thanks! And how about that. Between Snowflake and Candy Cane, they each found their call-signs while they were here seeing Santa.
A quick check of the time, it's 9:20am. With those few families in front of us, plus a couple extra that came down the handicapped entrance, it took us about 15 minutes to get to the front of the line, and about 30 minutes waiting overall. That's not too bad I'd say.

On way out, Ranger Tim had a skunk out for kids to pet.

We learned his name was Reggie and Ranger Tim warned us that even though you can pet this one, shouldn't try to pet any that are in the wild.

Want to see Bartholomew?

Yes they do. Bartholomew is a bat. Both he and Reggie are nocturnal creatures, but they're out today for kids to see.

Now what has a short line? The Fun Wheel! Alli is showing off her snowflake pose.

And Ian is showing off his candy cane pose.

Hey, you're not candy cane.

We're on top of the world! Well at least Disneyland. And actually that was a question I had once we reached the top. Is this the highest point you can be at Disneyland? Looking over the horizon towards the rest of the park, it certainly looked to be the highest. Only the Guardians of the Galaxy looked to be the same height, but I don't know if guests ever get this high.

Toy Story Mania is a 55 minute wait but we've got a fastpass! Alli had a wet wipe to clean off those sticky candy cane hands, and she was still holding it when the cast member gave her all 4 pairs of glasses. Alli took the liberty of cleaning everyone's glasses off before handing them over.

You guys look great! They've been getting so many positive compliments on their hats and outfits. People still love the Prep and Landing elves, and way more than I would expect still recognize them! And their shows haven't even started playing this season yet! More than a few people asked about their hats and if they sold them here. Unfortunately they are pretty old hats that were sold around the time of the second movie I think. They don't come up on ebay very frequently either, and when they do, they can go for some big bucks.

Alright Alli, it's me and you this time. Let's do this!

Whew! It was a good run for me. I was only 1600 short from 300k and getting the next prize level. Best score for the hour! Those that are scoring 500k+ must be machines!
And Alli is doing really well too!

Time for a snack. I wonder where the kids get their love of veggies and fruit from.

Today we're focusing on Christmas rides. Mater's Jingle Jamboree has a holiday soundtrack this season. It's starting to get busy and Mater was sporting a 20 minute wait.

Alli knew which baby tractor she wanted. The blue/purple eyed one. She followed it as it went back and forth until it finally came to a stop. Then she knew where to run.

And Ian somehow still found his way to the one green-eyed baby tractor.

And Alli got hers too.

Santa and his elf.

She'll hold on to the side so she doesn't slide and squish me. I do no such thing and squish her every chance I get.

Next was a flight on Soarin.

The kids are making friends in line.
Alli - I like your shirt.
It had so many characters on it, including Duffy.
Alli - It has a Duffy Bear on it! I sleep with a Duffy Bear every night!

Soarin to tower. Ready for takeoff.

Alli kept her hands up for the whole ride!

They both love Soarin.

It was such a busy day that I'm going to have to continue this in another post!


  1. Beautiful family picture with Santa...everyone had their Christmas shirt on and perfectly matching hats! Ahhhhhh...the picture of T and the kids will definitely make a nice phone background picture...looking at the ones dearest to you, especially when you need a "picker-upper moment" :-) Looks like Alli & Ian will always claim to be on Santa's Nice List since there's written proof now :-) Alli's compliment brought a big, warm smile to the lady with Duffy on her shirt, and helped make her day I'm sure...older people really appreciate smiles and kind words from young children...way to go Alli! Way to soar, Ian & Alli :-) EOM

    1. I'm happy we got good pictures out of the way early! It helps me get my Christmas Cards designed and ordered earlier!