In my mind we were gonna do the Disney Resort (that's what they call it now) 'by the book'. I'd bought The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and tore out the directions page on "how to see everything in a day". It started by getting there 30 minutes before the opening time of 8am. Well, five thousand people got there 45 minutes before opening and it was just really mind-boggling for us. Not used to those sorts of crowds at all! Early on the 'directions' also told us to grab a FastPass for the new Finding Nemo submarine ride, but FP wasn't hooked up to that yet and the line never looked less than two hours long. I heard someone on the shuttle back to our hotel later that first day that they knew someone who'd waited in line five hours for that ride alone. Imagine!! By the way, if someone can tell me what is an uncrowded day to go; even if it's a rainy Wednesday in April, please let me know! I'd love to experience Disneyland without the humongous crowds. Even on our own and in summer crowds, we did manage to experience most of the *E ticket* rides. I think the Indiana Jones ride was the best. But the lines! We had a FastPass for it, and about a half mile into the walking through caves and tunnels I asked a local behind me, "Is this the actual attraction?" I can not imagine for the life of me standing in a line that long!" Nobody ever looked open and happy to a request for snapping a picture of Caleb and I so I never asked. Frankly, I was so into *survival mode* that first day that I didn't even snap a shot of C by himself! The good thing about just having a small child on these excursions is you get to be the boss at all times. The downside of it is you have to be the boss at all times... and it's a chore! Here's something I shot right before we left for the day...just to prove we were there, I guess!
The next day, spent at Disney California Adventure Park was a lot more laid back. They don't open til 10am and they'll never be as crowded as D'land.
This park started out being sectioned off into parts of California; they have a whole Santa Cruz boardwalk area goin on and a Northern California Redwoods area and even a bay area (which I didn't quite get) but then they also have A Bug's Life land and Hollywood Studios Backlot area.
That Hollywood Hotel in the background is actually a pretty scary ride. The premise is that it's an old haunted hotel. You get in an 'elevator' and start going up the floors. Occasionally the elevator doors open and you look out into a hallway that has 'ghosts'. When you get to the top of the ride, which is those doors just under the word "hotel", the doors open and you see out over the entire park, get an idea of just how high up you are, then it drops you as if the cable broke! And if that's not bad enough, it picks you back up and drops you again, and again! like a yo-yo. Oh poor Caleb. I had to peel him off the seat once the ride was over...he did not care that the other thirty people in the ride with us saw him sobbing! I pushed him past his limit. Hey, at least I didn't trick him into getting on the California Screamin' roller coaster! (He's too short, I checked. You have to be 52" tall so it must be really scary!)
Just like a kid who likes the wrapping paper better than the expensive gift that came inside, most kids seemed happiest playing in this overgrown drinking fountain.
He played there almost an hour! The rest of the day was pretty low-key. Sat in one theatre where Crush the Turtle from Finding Nemo was on a movie screen but actually interacting with the audience in real-time. Still don't understand how they do that! Another gorgeous theatre (like from the 30's or 40's) we sat in had a short movie about the history of California narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. I really felt like crap about being a 'native Californian' after the movie spelled out for us how awful *we* were to the original native Indians, the Chinese who died by the thousands building our roads, and more recently the Mexicans who came here and turned us into the #1 produce suppliers in the world. Yikes. But somehow the movie ended on a warm and fuzzy note and left most with a tear in our eyes.
There were quite a few characters walking around the DCA park but Caleb is rather shy about approaching so here's the only shot I got of him after almost pushing him to go stand by Sully
Actually, the biggest highlight for him that day was he lost his first tooth! Biting into the world's hardest ice cream sandwich (the tooth was already loose). OH it was drama DRAMA for a good ten minutes while he cried (hates the site of his own blood!) and carried on and wobbled it. He finally yanked it out on his own and everything was fine. We threw that awful ice cream sandwich away and not much later opted instead for a much softer variety. Can you see on the bottom where the tooth is missing?
So sweet. And he didn't seem surprised at all that the tooth fairy found him that night in our hotel! ;-) He's probably my favorite travel buddy at the moment. Not that I'd want to take him to Europe just yet, but we may get there. I just feel so blessed that we can give him these experiences and opportunities that he might otherwise not have had. On the way home yesterday we were talking about where we should go next year for his seventh birthday.