Almost a month ago now (wow!) Jenn, Phoenix and I went to Disneyland
with my parents for a three-day park-hopping adventure.
It’d been four years since Jenn and I had been, and far longer than that
for my parents, so we were excited to go. With Phoenix not quite being
two, we figure she probably won’t remember much of the trip when she’s
older, but she’s super into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse right now, so she’d
at least have fun.
The first ride Phoenix went on was the Mad Tea Party tea cups. She
I’m glad she did for a couple of reasons. First, she likes carousels but
she hasn’t really been on much besides that. I was afraid the tea cups
might be too much, but she wanted more and smiled and giggled the whole
time, so that was a relief. Second, both Phoenix and I are big Alice in
Wonderland fans, so I’m glad she had a good first ride on an
She was excited to see Mickey… but only from a distance. We tried
getting her to give Mickey a hug but we quickly discovered she’s not
into the costumed characters. “NO MOUSE! NO HUG! NO TOUCH!”
She didn’t seem to have a problem with the human characters (princesses,
pixies, pirates) but the costumed characters that weren’t human were
only allowed within about 10 feet before the alarms went off. We even
tried one of the “character breakfasts” where you eat and the characters
walk around from table to table. That didn’t go over well. Chip showed
up and tried to say hello and Phoe went all DEFCON ONE ALERT ALERT ALERT
so Chip backed off and that was pretty much the end of that.
We had actually scheduled the character breakfast at “Goofy’s Kitchen”
because last time we were there the characters got all the kids to come
out and bang pots and pans and dance. Phoenix is all about that sort of
thing and we thought it’d get her to relax around the characters.
Apparently they stopped doing that because parents complained that as
the kids were coming back from the dancing, the characters continued to
walk around and mingle and the unseated kids would miss characters
coming past their table. I dunno. I think I’d rather have the dancing.
Of course we all got hats…
…and Phoenix wore hers everywhere. Even now, a month later, she still
loves that hat.
She also ended up getting a Minnie Mouse dress, which she also wore all
over (and still does).
The big new attraction was Cars Land in the California Adventure portion
of the park. We saw most of it, but it was pretty packed - even in the
middle of October - so we didn’t get to see the whole thing. We also
sort of left that for the last day and ran out of time.
We did get to ride all the other rides - from Splash Mountain to Star
Tours, the Grizzly River Run to Soarin’ Over California. We missed quite
a few last time we were here so it was good to catch them this time.
We’ll try for the Cars Land rides next time.
Jenn lost her sunglasses on the Indiana Jones ride last time we were
here, so I had to match her and lost my sunglasses in “Captain EO.”
You’re probably wondering how I lost my sunglasses in a movie… I was,
too. They must have just fallen out of my pocket. I realized as soon as
we got out the exit, but when I turned around to go back the doors had
already shut so I ran around to the ride attendant and explained the
situation. Since the next show had already started I had to wait the 17
minutes for the movie to end, then I could go back in through the exit
doors and search. That was honestly a pretty rough 17 minutes. I
wouldn’t have been so worried if they were just $50 sunglasses or
something, but they’re prescription - way, way more than $50.
Anyway, I went back in and searched for the two minutes they give you
between when one crowd leaves and the next is seated. I didn’t find
them, even with the attendant’s help. I called out to the audience
members to see if anyone saw them but no one did. Jenn and I then got to
sit through “Captain EO” again, you know, because they won’t let us do
any real searching, and we searched again for the two minutes. I got
some pretty harsh rug burns on my knees from that. Finally, after the
second round of “Captain EO” (which I am now thoroughly sick of) one of
the audience members announced he’d found my sunglasses and handed them
to me. Thank goodness. It was an hour lost, but a couple hundred bucks
saved. Big props to Jenn for standing by me on that one.
One of the cool things we did was see the “World of Color” show at the
end of the last day. That show is over in the California Adventure park
and they have a nice water display with lasers, lights, and video
projection all set to music. From an engineering perspective, I really
liked it - you can get these light-up ear hats that have some sort of
receiver in them and the lights in the show will coordinate with how
your hat lights up. Really cool stuff. Jenn and I had to get the hats
and wear them. (When you’re not within range of the broadcast, the hats
flash random colors and are still really cool.)
It was a fun, but long, vacation and at the end I think we were all
ready to go home. Phoenix was a trooper, really being good most of the
time despite the record heat (~95F each day) and not getting a nap.
Toward the end we were all tired, she was starting to get naughty, and
we’d all walked our feet off. I think that’s part of what makes it a
good one, yeah?
I posted a few more pictures for folks
Good times, and I look forward to the next vacation.