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Penny Jackson -- May 2001 -- Disneyland

May 4 - 14, 2001

Cast of Characters

  • Mark - 36, Dad of our family, likes Disney
  • Penny - 34, Mom and certified Disney nut (author of trip report)
  • Jacob - 5, Oldest Child, 2nd trip to Disneyland
  • Ally (Allyson) - 2 1/2 (almost 3), youngest child, 1st trip to Disneyland
  • Nana (Cathy) - 50 something, Grandma to Jacob and Ally, Penny's mom
  • Grandpa (Bill) - 60 something, Grandpa to Jacob and Ally, Penny's Dad

Some Background

Let me first start off this report by saying that I love all things Disney! I like the movies, the merchandise, but most of all, I love the parks! Growing up my parents took me and my brother to Disneyland nearly every year. That was saying a lot since we lived nearly 900 miles away. There was usually no air-conditioning and we drove for two days those 900 miles and I remember most about how hot and cranky we were! However, my memories of the park are very fond! I remember the excitement of walking through the tunnels and seeing the posters of the rides and thinking, "I can't wait to see the Pirates!"

In between then and now I fit in a couple trips without my family and with just girlfriends to Disneyland. In 1991 I visited one of my very best friends who now lives in Florida. We went to Disney World and spent one day at MK, and one day at Epcot. I thought that I was hooked before, after that, I was really hooked.

In 1993 We spent our honeymoon at Disney World and added the Disney Studios to our itinerary. In May of 1994, my same friend who I visited in 91' got married in Florida. We headed back to Florida 9 months after our wedding! Some other friends were living in Florida at the time and that gave us a good chance to visit them. We added Typhoon Lagoon this time, which we loved!

We went to Disneyland in 1998, when I was pregnant with our 2nd child. Then planned on a trip to WDW in 2000. In January of 2000, I sadly had to admit that we didn't have the money and needed to postpone the vacation. My husband convinced me that DL was the place to go while the kids were so little. I conceded and we planned on DL in May 2001. It was a good decision since we found out the new California Adventure would be open then.


Originally we had planned on staying at the Hyatt Regency Alicante. We had reservations and everything the summer before our trip, however, I began to have second thoughts about being so far away from the park. Last time we dealt with shuttles and a motel that was almost as far away and I thought that having the option to walk over to the park would be nicer. After researching the reviews on MousePlanet, and pouring over my AAA book, I decided that the Candy Cane Inn sounded great.

After our reservations were made, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that some friends of ours ended up there in January and loved it! They raved. I was glad.

The plan is to be at the Disneyland Resort for five days, head down to Carlsbad and see Lego Land. Then we'll have one day in Sea World. We'll be heading back on Mother's Day.

My parents will be joining us later. They don't really want to be at Disneyland for five days. Mom is handicapped and not really into the whole ride thing. They will be joining us later and on Mother's Day will head on down to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. We'll be on our way home by then.

The trip

Day 1 & 2 - May 4-5

The night before we were to leave was the Survivor II finale. Since we were very anxious to see the outcome, we stayed up to see the winner. However, the kids knew that we'd be leaving early (in fact we told them it would be dark when we left so they kept getting up and asking, "Is it time yet?" Yes, just like the commercial where the family can't sleep because they are so excited. We all ended up cranky and tired the next day. We were in the car and on the road by 5:30 a.m. Yikes.

I will spare the grizzly details of the trip down since it doesn't involve much except kids who changed their minds about flying next time (and parents who agree!). We rolled into Anaheim the second day at 2:45 p.m.

We pulled up to the Candy Cane Inn, very much feeling like something out of the Griswold's family vacation. About the same time a shuttle pulled up with a family with kids younger than us that looked fresh and organized with their coordinating suitcases and bright smiles. I think I looked like I survived WW III. Flying did sound heavenly. Then maybe next time we'd be the ones looking happy, not grumpy! How could I be grumpy? I was at Disneyland! My favorite place in the world (next to WDW).

We checked into our room and found it very nice. It was nice and clean and very homey feeling. I loved the look of the place. The motel itself is set back from the road a little and the blooming flowers give it a wonderful garden feeling. We had a deluxe room so it was a little bigger and had a microwave and small fridge. We got a good rate through AAA.

The pool was a little small, but that never seemed to be a problem. There was a kiddie pool that is a foot and 1/2 deep and a hot tub. The motel itself isn't large, which also helped to give it a small community feel.

After checking in, we turned on the TV while we got ready for the pool. Immediately I see Disneyland on TV. There had been a tree that had fallen in Frontierland. I shrieked because we were going there the next day. I felt horrible for the people that were standing there at the time and ended up hurt. Continuing to listen, they said that the problem had been cleared up and things were back to normal.

We went to the pool and swam and the kids loved it. The pool was nice and warm and great temperature for a cold blooded person like me. It was a beautiful, warm day and I found myself smiling so much my face hurt. We were in the sunshine, in a nice pool, and right next to Disneyland. Could life get any better?

After the dip in the pool, we wandered down to the park to check out Downtown Disney. We decided to test out the walking distance to see how it was. It wasn't a short walk, but not bad. Most of the trip we ended up taking the shuttle since it came every 15 minutes and saved a few blisters from those extra steps.

To my astonishment, Disneyland had certainly changed since last time I was there. The walkway from the shuttle area was filled with new ticket booths, great Disney music piped in, and a whole new Disney kind of feel not unlike WDW. We loved the Mickey benches and my kids had to pose next to one.

Since we had made good time this day we hadn't planned on having this much time to explore the new resort area and this was a great opportunity to do so.

We "peered" over at the new park and for the first time I realized how close it is to the entrance of the original park. Then we walked down to check out the World of Disney. I had been in the World of Disney in Orlando, but this one appeared bigger to me. I think that they have expanded the one at WDW since I had been there, but I was amazed. They seemed to have a bigger selection of Disney catalog type items and DL merchandise. That was nice. I would certainly love to have DL and WDW merchandise at our local store.

With our tummies growling, we headed down to the Rainforest Café and got right in. I thought that my kids would love this, however, even though they seemed to enjoy their cheese pizzas, they were frightened by the thunder and animals. I loved the theming. I had walked past the one in Mall of America and had regretted not eating there. I enjoyed my barbeque chicken pizza that I'd heard so much about.

After our dinner we wandered around the Rainforest shop, went back through the World of Disney to pick up a couple antenna balls for our car and some light up things for the kids. Then we went back to our room for a much needed night's rest for our first day at the original Disneyland park!

Day 3 - May 6th (Sunday)

After a quick breakfast at the Candy Cane using their continental offerings (which we found very satisfactory), then lathering the kids with sunscreen, we were off to the park for our longest day. We were there at opening and ended up on Main Street for the rope drop. We let the crowds run past us for the big rides while we wandered through the hub to Fantasyland.

We walked immediately on Dumbo for the first ride of the day. Ally and Jacob were so excited. I rode with Jacob since neither of us like heights, but we both ended up way on top the whole time. We did teacups, Alice and Peter Pan easily with no lines at all. We watched the Mad Hatter, Alice and the DL band ride the carousel next. They got off the ride and it was our turn. Ally didn't want to leave she loved the "horses" so much.

Next we meandered over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain. I hadn't rode Big Thunder the last time, since I was pregnant and I was really disappointed since it's one of my favorites. The line looked really short and I talked Jacob into riding. He was a little nervous, but seemed to be all right. After the first curve, I looked over at him to find him white as a sheet! He had one of those looks of sheer terror on his face. I tried to talk to him to distract him, but he didn't care at that point. He wanted off! When we approached the area where the rocks look like they are going to fall on you he started yelling that he wanted to get off. I just hoped he'd not be hysterical by the time it was over. Needless to say, he didn't want to ride again.

We got off the ride and we decided that Mark would ride later. We wanted to get Jacob's mind off of his experience!

We missed Pirates the last time too since it was down for a rehab so the last time I had been on the DL Pirates was back in 89'. I had been on the Pirates at WDW and I remembered the DL version to be so much better. We rode this without waiting more than 10 minutes. Both kids didn't love it, but neither complained much about it. When asked about it now, Ally says, "I didn't like the hills".

After Pirates, Jacob was "dying" to go on the Haunted Mansion (literally! He loves that ride and loves watching his sing-a-long with the Haunted Mansion part. We even have a "making of" with Kurt Russell that we got off the Disney Channel that he loves to watch over and over). We went and Ally was a little nervous, but a trooper. We asked her and she didn't seem to mind going on it.

It was getting lunchtime and we were near Splash Mountain, so we checked and it looked like the Hungry Bear wasn't too busy. We loved this restaurant last time because of the location on the River. We sat in the upper level in the sunshine. It was such a beautiful day. Mark had a chicken sandwich, I had a hamburger, and Jacob had chicken nuggets which he shared with Ally. We didn't order Ally meals everytime and fed her off our plates since she hardly eats anything.

It was a nice, relaxing lunch and then we headed for Tommorowland to ride Star Tours. One of Jacob's favorite movies is "Star Wars" and he really wanted to go on Star Tours. He hadn't realized until a couple months ago that there was a ride at DL based on this movie. He was so happy to find that out!

The line was over 1/2 hour so we grabbed fast passes and shopped while we waited for our time. The kids picked out hats and I grabbed some Mickey ear hair accessories for Ally. The crowds were getting thick and it was getting warmer.

Before Jacob and Mark used the fast pass, we ask the attendant for the kid swap passes and then Mark and Jacob hit the Fast Pass line and rode. Jacob loved it! He was even anxious to go back on. He and I went in through the exit and I felt spoiled. It was like they were waiting for us. They ushered us in the front row while everyone else was seated. It was great. I had never rode in the front before. Jacob loved it again.

It seemed to get more crowded and more warm when we came out, so we decided to take this opportunity to have a ice cream break. We sat nearby the Astro Orbitor and had Mickey Ears (Mark), a frozen banana (me), and Mickey suckers (kids). I had been waiting for this frozen banana for weeks!

We peopled watched for awhile, then walked over to Ariel's grotto. The kids were very excited since she is one of their favorites. It was really hot and you can tell by looking at the picture of them with the little mermaid.

After meeting with Ariel, we decided to hoof it out to the motel and take a swim break. That was nice and cooled us off. Ally was doing well and didn't seem to be too tired, so we went ahead and went back to the park. (Ally rarely naps anymore and we did rest. This was going to be our longest day at the park and we wanted to be able to see Fantasmic and the parade since it was the only day offered in which we'd be there.

As we walked in, we saw the last of the floats going by the circle at the end of main street (entrance). There would be another time for us to catch it. Watched the last couple floats and then walked down main street towards Adventureland.

We ended up at Café Orleans and had ham croissant sandwiches and the kids had a pb & J mousekmeal. (cute plates - mickey ears). As we ate, there were some guys above the Pieces of Eight store throwing out Mardi gras beads to the people below. There was quite the crowd. We loved sitting there eating outside, watching people as they went buy. Several people stopped and asked us which restaurant we were at and how to get in there.

After this, my mind is a blank to what we did. I think we wandered around and finally ended up shopping a little and picking a sweatshirt up for me because I was cold. Then we went back down main street and caught the whole parade in the dark. It was nice and just a bit chilly and we sat right outside of the Carnation Refreshment corner.

After the parade was over we wandered over to New Orleans and picked a spot to see the first showing of Fantasmic. We didn't wait long, but managed to have a Churro (me and kids) and ice cream Mickey (Mark). Fantasmic was fantastic. In fact, Jacob loved it. He loves being Mickey and doing the arm motions to our Disneyland Official Album CD. He says that is his favorite thing at Disneyland. I had only seen Fantasmic once and that was the last trip. Ursula was not there, and I hadn't noticed.Later when we were home and I was reading something about the Ursula balloon being under "maintenance" did I remember her from the last trip.

Since we had two small, tired kids we left. It had been a long, fun day. Both kids were ready to leave, but still in pretty good spirits. We took the shuttle back and went to bed early.

Day 4 - May 7 (Monday)

Our second day at Disneyland! It was so fun to wake up and think, "Today I'm going to Disneyland!"

Monday was less crowded. When I talked to a cast member they said typically any time of year that Sunday was the most busy day of the week. Though it had been busy, it was tolerable.

Monday was better though as far as crowds, but it seemed hotter. We tried to pick up some rides we hadn't before. We saw Mickey on Main Street and then went to the new Autopia ride (new since last trip), Honey I shrunk the Audience (scared Ally), and then Mark and I did the child swap thing and individually did Space Mountain. The music was new to me. Last time I had to skip this ride since I was pregnant.

After playing in the fountain in Tommorowland, we stopped and had lunch at Redd Rocket's Pizza Port. Last time we were there I had the same BBQ Chicken pizza I had this time. Pretty good. I feel kinda tucked away in this restaurant, and I had a hard time finding a bathroom nearby. I asked someone and found one near the side of Innoventions by the Autopia ride. Kind of a long way to the bathroom when your child has to go.

We then decided to take a leisurely ride around the park in the Disneyland Railroad. Waited a few minutes and then made our way around and stopped in Toontown.

We walked up and immediately saw Minnie in her house. Ally had been dying to see, "Mickey w/a bow" (what she calls Minnie). Her house was extremely crowded, and just as we were deciding what to do, a cast member announced that Minnie would be coming out for autographs and pictures. Perfect!

I ran for the spot and for the first time, Ally was not scared of a character! She went right up to Minnie and gave her a hug and smiled really huge for the picture. Jacob then took his turn. She was so cute and posed like the proper lady she is.

We then went into Mickey's house and waited to see the big cheese himself. They said it would be a 35 minute wait, but it was really only 15-20 minutes. The kids were very patient. They loved seeing Mickey and Ally was not scared of him either.

It was very hot at this point and I could feel my skin getting moist. But since we were in Toontown, we decided to go ahead and wait for the little kids coaster (Gadget's Go Coaster?). Took Ally on it. Now, I know there is a restriction on the child being 3, but she is a daredevil and really wanted to go on it. And to add, she IS almost three. While we were standing in line, there was a boy that looked to be even smaller than Ally (and she's average). I could hear his mom coaching him, "How old are you?" and he would say, "Three." I looked at her and asked, "Is he three?" She looked at me like I was going to tattle on her and I laughed and said, "She isn't either, but she's close, and wants to ride. We are in the same boat!" I wasn't going to lie, but when we got up to the car I paniced when they asked me how old and I said, "Three!" My face red. I'm a bad mom,.............lying in front of my child!

Ally and I ended up in the front seat and Mark and Jacob went in the car before us. Ally was scared out of her wits. I felt so bad! She says now that it was scary, but not the scariest thing she went on. After, we were so hot so we got Icees and sat on a bench near the tunnel to Toontown and drank them. After we finished, Ally wanted to go on Small World again, so I took her and Jacob and Mark just stayed out and relaxed. (I can't remember when we actually did Small World the first time, but it was sometime the first day). Ally loves all the dolls and sings the song the whole time until they get to foreign languages, then she just kinda does the "La la la la watermelon" thing. Pretending she knows the words in Spanish! Ha ha. Too funny.

After Small World we decided it was time for a break, so we headed out to the motel like yesterday for a swim and nap break. Mark was tired and so was Ally. She needed a nap, so when we got back, I took Jacob to the swimming pool. While he frolicked in the kiddie pool (I just dipped my feet) Mark was supposedly putting Ally to sleep. We were gone about 45 minutes and when I got back, I heard Ally screaming before the door was even open. Evidently she had been crying the whole time I was gone. She had just worn herself out and I held her and she feel asleep almost immediately.

Since we had taken longer on our break than intended, we debated about going back, since the park was only open until 8:00. However, we decided since Ally was well rested and we still had some time left, we'd go ahead and go back. It was around 6:15 p.m. before we walked in the gate. People were leaving so we decided that we'd probably be able to ride Indiana Jones with no problem.

First we stopped at the Bengal Barbeque since it was right there. We had chicken skewers, which were good, and the kids split a Mickey pretzel. They didn't eat much when we actually ordered them meals, so this was fine for them.

After we went on Tarzan's tree house, which was new since our last visit. It had been the Swiss Family Robinson Tree house then. That was fun, but Sabor didn't growl at me this time with the wind, so later another day when I went through the tree house, that scared me out of my wits (I screamed).

We grabbed fast passes for Indiana Jones and went to ask about the kid swap. We walked up to the attendants and they jumped on us saying, "Your kids are too small". I looked at them and said, "I know we want to get child swap passes". They insisted on measuring Jacob (he was about 1 1/2" too short). Then they insisted that the fast pass was enough for us and that we didn't need fast passes. "O.K." we said.

While we waited for our fast pass window to arrive, we went on the Jungle Cruise. While we were standing there waiting for our boat, a cast member and I talked and he explained that the water in the Jungle Cruise area was only 2 1/2 feet deep! That surprised me.

Our skipper was funny. We had a lady and she had some good jokes. I did noticed that she didn't have a gun and she just said to the hippos to, "Get down!" It was strange for them not to have the guns, but I can see their point.

Once our cruise was over, we headed over to Indiana Jones. While Mark was on, we waited, waited, waited. Not only does it take forever to get to the ride (which I remembered), but he did have to wait a little. The ride then takes a while. Once the ride is over, you have to walk, walk, walk to get back. I started to panic because it was like 7:45 at this point. Once I saw Mark, I ran to the entrance and then did my long walk to the actual ride. I got off the ride after 8:00. Had we gotten a child swap from the cast member, like originally planned, I wouldn't have had to wait in line at all. I ended up waiting around 10 minutes more than I should have. Not that 10 minutes is long, but when you have two, impatient, small kids, 10 minutes is a long time to them.

We headed out concluding our 2nd day at Disneyland.

Day 5 - May 8th - Tuesday

While we were getting ready to head out to our 3rd day at the park, our cell phone rang. My parents were making good time and would be in Anaheim earlier than anticipated. Instead of the original 2:00 p.m. time, we decided we would meet at 11:30 and have lunch together.

After our daily shuttle over to the park, we decided that this would be the day that we would eat at the Blue Bayou. Knowing my parents wouldn't mind, we went immediately over to the Blue Bayou first to make reservations. By the time we got there, we were able to make reservations at 12:40 (I think). We asked for a handicapped table (for my mom).

After making our reservations, we went by Frontierland and caught Jesse (from Toy Story 2) as she was coming out of her corral (dressing room). That was fun. We said hello and got an autograph and then looked at Woody. His line was too long, so headed over to Fantasyland via the Frontierland back trail.

We decided to do the Storybook Canal Boats. The whole time in line Ally was screaming for her milk. (which we didn't bring since it was so hot. I had her sippy cup with us to fill up when we decided to buy a milk). We tried to distract her, but she didn't settle down until we got in the boat. My apologizes to anyone who was there!

It seems that everyday we wandered down to Main street in between things to try to catch the silhouette lady, and the timing was always bad.

Then we checked the Bears, but they were always closed! (did them later). Maybe due to cut-backs they decided to open it later so they wouldn't have to staff it? Regardless, it was a long walk to go there and realize it was closed, and turn back to do something else. We wanted to do Splash Mountain and Jacob didn't. We figured my parents would be there soon, so we'd wait and do that when we could ride together.

It was getting to be after 11:00 at that point, so we made the long trip down to the City Hall on Main Street. It was really hot and Mark went to go get something to drink for the kids while we visited with Mary Poppins.

We had waited a while and my parents weren't there, and I started to worry. I told Mark to check the cell phone because I didn't know If we could really hear it in the backpack with all the stuff that we were carrying. Sure enough, they had called. I rang them back and they said they were stuck in traffic, but they were at the motel there and would be meeting us as soon as they could "wheel" and walk over.

Jacob and I hung out by the gate for awhile, but it was hot, so we went back to Main Street in the somewhat shade and waited. They arrived around 12:15. Then we said our hellos and told them we had to hurry to make our reservation at the Blue Bayou.

We got there and still had to wait a while. We talked about the trip so far and what we had done. It was nice, but small in the lobby and people passing by constantly.

When it was our turn, we were ushered in through the Pirates exit and then to the right into the restaurant. I had always wanted to eat at this restaurant, but never made it a priority. I had decided that this time we were going to eat there no matter what.

While I was in the bathroom with Ally, Jacob discovered there was cheese on his bread and started to throw up. (great! In the Blue Bayou of all places!). Not that he doesn't like cheese or anything, he just has this thing with throwing up. He gags all the time when he thinks he smells something or sees something that isn't quite right. Mark ran him into the bathroom where he threw up all over the counter next to a guy washing his hands. I was glad that Mark was there this time. I have the gagging thing too, and I end up cleaning it up all the time, which doesn't really work for me.

After our adventure, we went on to have a nice meal. Mom and I split a Monte Cristo, which was perfect. I couldn't have eaten the whole thing. Mark had jambalaya (I believe) and liked it. The kids menus were cute. They were pirate's hats. We sat right by the boats that were loading. I love this ride so much more than at the MK in WDW. I was totally unprepared to get in line, go down into the ride and find there was no restaurant, and no fire flies in WDW. Great ambience at DL.

Mark and I had discussed splitting up and letting the grandparents take the kids so we could do some rides. My parents are not big ride people, so I was o.k. with this, but I didn't know what they'd do with the kids. They said that would be fine and we handed them a 2-way radio and headed out for Splash Mountain. As was the whole time (except one time), there was a 50 minute wait. We grabbed a fast pass for the ride, and then went to ride Big Thunder. While in line for 5-10 minutes, we tried to get my parents on the radio to test it. They never answered, so the whole ride I worried.

After the ride we got ahold of them. Maybe because of the mountain we didn't get through to them? Either that or my dad's hearing,..whatever, I rested easy after that.

We went on Indiana one more time and then grabbed a Mickey Ice cream, and a Dole Whip, and headed over to Fantasyland. Dad had taken the kids on the teacups and Alice and was waiting in line for Dumbo. I gave mom the rest of my Dole Whip (pineapple) and joined Dad. I rode with Ally this time and Dad rode with Jacob. Mark videotaped while we rode. The line was longer than it had been on Sunday and I felt like I was going to melt by the time we got on the ride. It was so hot. Turns out it was the hottest day that we were there.

After we took mom on Small World. We waited for the handicapped boat and was surprised to find she could take her chair on the boat. Mark waited out (doesn't really enjoy the song). We laughed at mom because of the configuration of the boat, she sat up about 5 feet taller than the rest of us. We kept telling her to "duck" when we went through the tunnels. She was really embarrassed, but was glad to go on the ride.

My dogs were starting to bark. My tennis shoes were starting to really annoy me, but we went over to Innoventions. I had not been to the WDW version, or DL version, so this was new to us. I didn't really enjoy it all that much, but it could be perhaps because my feet were hurting, the kids were getting tired, and it was hot! We checked out a few things, and then we took the kids on Autopia again. Ally is one wild driver! How many almost 3 year olds drive good?

We decided a snack sounded good rather than dinner, so we kinda looked for a side order of fries, but the Tommorowland Terrace (I think it was called) didn't sell sides of them. I just looked at everyone and said I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. Those breaks the first two days really helped. It was 5:00 or 5:30 and hadn't had a break except for lunch.

We left and ordered pizza in our room and went to bed early.

Day 6 - May 9th - Wednesday

This was an exciting day for me! Going to the California Adventure Park. We got up, finally rested, me in different shoes and band-aids, ready to experience a whole new world!

We walked in before the actual opening and got in line for Soarin' Over California. Couldn't talk Jacob into it. I think he was just nervous not knowing what it was. We told it it would not be scary, but I didn't want to force him.

Dad, Mark and I rode. There seemed to be some confusion with the cast members on where to put people. After a couple time redirecting people, we were in. What a truly awesome ride! It took my breath away. I'm nervous about heights, but this did not scare me at all. I loved it. I didn't think it was long enough. It reminded me of the helicopter ride I took in Hawaii several years ago.

When we were done, Dad took mom on the ride and she walked on. She can't walk long distances (she has a bone disease) so this was quite a walk for her, but she was fine. She like it a lot. Thought that she was going to lose her shoes though. By the time they got off, the line was non-exsistent and we were kicking ourselves for riding it first before exploring more of the park.

So far, I really was impressed with the park. I enjoyed it. I felt bad about the lack of people. Later, once we were done with the park, I realized that I really didn't like the Paradise Pier area all that much. I felt that it was too much un-Disney. However, I think the park has to just get out the kinks and add some more stuff.

We headed over to Grizzly River Run. I tried to talk Jacob into since he loves white water raft rides. However, he started screaming at me. Then I grabbed him and said, "You are going" (the bad mom syndrome again) and he started kicking and screaming (I knew that he'd love it - see later!) so I just put him down and let him run over to mom and Ally.

The ride was great! Much better than an other raft ride I had been on. Loved the dips. Dad got wetter than anyone (ha ha!). We had to laugh because he never gets to go on rides, so this was just a "given" he'd be the wettest one.

We played a little in the Redwood Creek area. Saw Pluto and Chip over there. Then it got to be lunch time. One of my complaints about this place was that there wasn't much that we found for picky kids and we didn't want McDonald's. We eat at McDonald's a couple times a week and this was a special time - vacation.

Mom and Dad got a radio from us and had a salad and soup at the Boudin Bakery and we went ahead and went to the Taste Pilot's Grill for hamburgers. In my opinion, much better than Burger Invasion probably was (since we are used to McDonald's and know what to expect). I enjoyed my burger and so did Mark. Ally loved the smiley face potatoes. The criss-cut fries were really fresh too. I was happy we ate there.

We met up with mom and Dad and went to the Bug show. What a cute place! I really felt like I was underground and loved all the theming. Cute. Cute. Cute. However, once the show started, Ally refused to put on her glasses and hugged me. She was scared. I told her to turn around and not look. She didn't cry or anything so I stayed. I expected the spiders, I expected the stinger in the back from the trip reports of WDW, but I didn't expect the bugs underneath my seat! I screamed! Everyone enjoyed the show but Ally.

We went over to the Bountiful Valley Farm area and Jacob, who is not used to caffeine and had a Barq's rootbeer at lunch, started running through the sprinklers. It was so funny. We were yelling at him to tell him it was time to go and he was hyper beyond belief, running around getting as soaked as could be. When he finally came over to us, he could literally ring his shirt out.

We were all laughing so hard and when he got to us he said excitedly, "I want to get more wet! Let's go on the rapid ride!" I knew he would want to go on it, so we seized the opportunity, threw mom and dad a radio and us three ran to go on the ride. Jacob loved it. He said he didn't like the dips, but he was laughing the whole time. Said hello to Flick on the way (we'd seen him earlier)

We met up with mom and dad in Hollywood and went to a couple stores. Then hit the Muppets (which Ally wouldn't look again. I think she was worried they'd turn into bugs or something. Or maybe she just didn't like things coming out at her).

After the Muppets we found Superstar Limo. It was not where I expected it to be. I loved the cars and the limo outfits the cast members wore. However, I did not expect much from this ride since I had heard so many negative comments about it. I just have one thing to say,...Jacob loved it. I don't really think that he loved the ride as much as the character that talks to you (the agent) on the little t.v. next to you. He started laughing, (or maybe it was the caffeine), but he couldn't stop. He was busting a gut the whole ride through. Mom and Dad rode and didn't say much. I didn't really have anything horrible to say about it, it just wasn't terrific. Anything at Disneyland is fun. It's a whole other world. They could maybe improve the characters. They looked sorta big-headed!

While we all enjoyed ice cream (me a frozen banana), we listened to the traveling band that drives around Hollywood. It was really good. Cruella De Ville was there and she was dancing a little. We saw Esmerelda and Mushu and said hello to both of them.

Mom and Dad wanted to see Steps In Time and we wanted to go to the Animation building, so we split up. We had a great time in the Beast's library and discovered that Jacob was like Mushu, Ally like Mrs. Potts, and Mark like Captian Hook. I didn't get to go, since there was a line waiting for us to finish.

Next we did the Disney voice-overs. Jacob sang the voices for the seven dwarfs, and Mark and I did a acting scene where I was Iago and he was Jafar. Too fun! Then we went and saw a little presentation on how they make the characters. That was cute. This whole area reminded me a little of Disney Studios in Florida.

Went outside and waited for Mom and Dad and listened to more of the band. They came up shortly after and we headed over to Paradise Pier.

We were baffled to discover that none of the cars were going by for the coaster. We walked by Mulholland Madness (closed) and the Golden Zehphyr (closed). Then to discover that they were filming a commercial on the California Screamin' roller coaster! Mark was mad. He said that he was going to complain. Shortly after that we rode the Orange Stinger and then King Triton's carousel. Then the cars for the coaster started going by. Turns out it was still the commercial. We watched the coaster take off and I was glad that we weren't going to ride it. I'm a big chicken. Mark said that he would go on the Maliboomer, but only if the coaster wasn't working. (I'm not sure why, he never explained why he didn't want to ride it).

Mark and I took Ally on the Sun Wheel (fixed car) while Jacob and Mom and Dad waited. Great view. We could see the parking structure from there and our motel. It was great to relax and look at everything from above.

Got off the Sun Wheel just in time to catch the parade. We saw the whole thing. Those dancers really know how to perform. Great parade. I was sad that we could just, literally walk up and have a great view. There were people missing out of a great parade.

Kids played on the boat and then Mark took Jacob on Jumpin' Jellyfish. Then we meandered over to the coaster. It was running!

Mark and I got in line. I literally, was sweating and breathing hard. I could tell my pulse was faster too. One of the reasons that I like Disneyland and WDW so much is that I will pretty much go on anything there. I don't enjoy the big, scary rides and this in my opinion, was big and scary. I had watched the cars take off and I knew that it was fast.

When I pulled down the harness over my head, I realized there was no turning back, but I almost blurted out, "Get me out of here!" (ala Jacob). But I didn't. We turned the corner, then sat at the launch and waited, and waited, and waited, and then........AAAAHHH!!!!! I was frozen in fear. Up, straight into the tunnel, then down. After that I was o.k. , but still a little scared. I made it through the rest with just a few little white-knuckle moments. The best part of the ride? The thrill that I made it and I'd actually do it again. Not my favorite ride. A little much for me, but it was all right.

At this point, I knew we had missed Golden Dreams, but we were done with the park and tired. No breaks again. It was harder when my parents were there to take breaks since mom had to wheel back to the motel and her charge on her wheelchair would only take her for so long.

We wanted to do some shopping there before we left and found out from a cast member that the Postcards from California store had the best selection. We wandered around there and made a few purchases and then headed out to find somewhere to eat for dinner.

We ended up in Downtown Disney at the La Brea Bakery. It was a little spendy for us. Not more than some meals, but we weren't in the mood to spend that kind of money, but we were tired and it was handy. It started to get cold and we were glad when they turned on the heaters.

We said bye to Mom and Dad and called it a day.

Day 7 - May 10th - Thursday

It was sad to think it was our last day at Disneyland, but we were so lucky to have so many days there. It seemed more like a WDW vacation than a DL vacation since most DL vacations tend to be shorter. It was nice not to worry that if we didn't get things done one day, we could another. However, it was our last day and I had an agenda to do things we hadn't yet. We had things that we really didn't care if we did. The Astro Orbitor for one. I get sick on that ride.

We had our early entry day left and today we got to the park at 8:30. We read the board and found out some of the things we'd hoped to do early were not open. Time to change our itinerary.

We went to Big Thunder first since Dad really wanted to try it. Got the first car and was disappointed. Such a slow ride in the first car. (Give me the back any day). Dad enjoyed it.

Went to Fantasyland and rode some repeats. Mostly me and the kids since Mark started to get tired of the park and mom and dad didn't care to ride. We did the teacups (as a family) and then Alice, Peter Pan, the carousel, and then I took the kids in the castle.

I wanted to make sure we saw the Disney Princesses and had missed them so far. We had seen Snow White from a distance, but no one else. Ally loves all the Princesses, especially, Cinderella, so we wandered around while we waited for the 10:00 time at the castle to catch them.

Came out of castle from FL and found Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella. They were so sweet and both kids loved them.

Went over to Indiana Jones and got a fast pass since we wanted Dad to ride it. Mark and I split with the grandparents and they went to wait for Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore, while we went on a 10-minute wait for Splash Mountain. Once we got off the ride, we found Dad still in line. I took his place and we got our hellos from the Hundred Acre Wood gang.

It was time for Indy fast pass, so we took Dad on that. He looked a little bewildered, but was impressed by the ride. I don't think he'd ride again, but he enjoyed it.

It was lunchtime and Mom and Dad wanted a hamburger so they decided to go to the Hungry Bear. We split up and gave them their radio and went to the Carnation Café. Yum. I really enjoyed their soup/sandwich combo. Great corn chowder. A little warm for a hot day, but very tasty. Loved sitting outside. Ally got a really neat peanut butter sandwich that was on a palate with marshmellow crème, granola, raisins, jelly, and fruit on the side. Very fun. She played with it and didn't really eat it. Typical for her.

Met up with Mom and Dad at the Silhouette Shop and had the pictures done of the kids. That is amazing to me. So fast and so precise. The actual picture took only a couple minutes, but I got behind a slow person checking people out. After about 1/2 hour, we were out of there and the men requested ice cream. Feeling still full from lunch, I was always never able to turn ice cream down. We went over to the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. Everyone had a cone. I tried, for the first time, the Fantasia. It was pretty good. Too many cherry bits for me, but good otherwise.

Headed back to catch Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, which after our last trip, is a must for us. We love those buck teeth. Jacob loved it and whooped and hollered throughout the whole show.

After those weird hillbillies, we finally were able to catch the Bears. Enjoyed it as usual. Then we took Mom on Pirates, while Dad snoozed in her wheelchair. Mom held onto my hand down the hills. She was scared. She'd been on it before, but when I was a kid.

Decided to go get our Fritters that we've been dying for since we left Disneyland last time. I got Mark and I fritters at the French Market and the kids a piece of yummy-looking chocolate cake to share. Mom and Dad had apple pie that was drizzled with caramel. We sat next to the railing and ate our snacks and watched the people.

Mom and Dad were tired and decided to go, and we were nearly ready at this point but wanted to go over to Tom Sawyer Island and Downtown Disney.

Said goodbye until the morning and took one of the last rafts over to Tom Sawyer Island. Kids had a great time crawling on the rocks. I just enjoyed looking beyond the river (Pocahontas is singing right now) at the logs from Splash Mountain come splashing down. It's really nice and laid-back there.

After having some difficulties there with our kids and bathroom issues, we left and took the very last raft back. We walked towards the entrance and hit the Tarzan's tree house one more time (for Jacob). This was where Sabor nearly knocked me out of the tree. He growled and this time the air hit my face and scared me to death. Luckily, Ally wasn't with me. Jacob didn't even feel it and looked at me like I was crazy.

We walked out of the entrance and I felt sad. We walked into the World of Disney to get a few things we'd seen there and do one big shopping trip in one, when we'd realized that we'd forgotten our package pick-up back at the Newstand.

We finished up at WofD and then picked up our package. Not feeling hungry since we had a big lunch, ice cream, and then fritters, we skipped dinner and fed the kids stuff we had back at the motel.

Once we got back to the motel, we discovered Jacob's newly purchased ($6.00) wallet was gone! After about 45 minutes of crying, we promised if he was a good boy, we'd stop by Downtown Disney on the way home and get him a new one.

Day 8 - May 11th - Friday

Today was our day at Legoland. We got up early to an overcast day (probably because we were leaving DL and we wouldn't want to leave on a nice day! Ha ha). We pulled into Carlsbad at opening - 10:00 a.m.

It was a fun park, but not something that I'd want to repeat as much as Disney. Since I'm such a Disney nut, that is understandable. The kids seemed to enjoy it. I really liked miniland and we rode everything that we really could. Saw a show on fire safety, which the kids really enjoyed. Luckily, Ally just measured at 36", otherwise I really don't know that there would have been anything she could have done.

After spending most of the day until around 4:30, we headed down to San Diego to stay at the Holiday Inn Mission Bay/San Diego. It was nice, but we were spoiled with the Candy Cane Inn.

Had dinner at Red Lobster across the street and called it a day.

Day 9 - May 12 - Saturday

We woke up and the day looked pretty overcast so we turned on the weather channel. They called for clouds, but highs in the upper 60's, so we wore shorts. As we were pulling into Sea World, it was drizzling.

We were happy to discover that this was the only rain we saw that day. We went immediately to the Pirates show. I had to leave because of the 3D thing. Ally started crying nearly immediately. We had such good seats since we were seated first for the handicapped seating. However, when everyone came out, they weren't all that wet. Luckily for them. Ally and I struck up a nice coversation with a lady and her grandchild (Ally's exact age- 1 month apart) from Anaheim (lucky!).

We saw the Seal show, sea lions, and dolphins. Fun. We enjoyed them all. Then took a lunch break at Shipwreck Café.

Mark and I took Jacob on the Wild Arctic ride while Ally and Mom and Dad went to the bird show. We enjoyed the ride and met up with them.

Had ice cream on the way to see the Shamu show. This was where all the people were! We lost Mom and Dad while they went to the handicap seating while we looked for a seat.

After seeing Shamu we went to the kids climbing area. After chasing Ally around for an hour or so, I was grumpy. She cried to go back, but I was tired of crawling in the tubes where I was too big (and I'm a small person).

We left that area and met up with my parents. Mark and I wanted to ride Shipwreck rapids and had been saving it for last since we were afraid to get soaking and then we'd be cold. They stayed with Ally and Jacob actually wanted to ride.

Of course, we got soaked. Mark gave me his dry sweatshirt and we said goodbye to Mom and Dad. They were tired.

We shopped a little, saw "Penny Penguin" (had to get a picture of her) and then decided to leave too. We'd done everything.

Got back to the motel and met with my Aunt, Uncle, my cousin, Dan, and cousin Steve and his wife, Beth for dinner. We went to a really fun place called Joe's Crab Shack. It was a hoot and had great food.

Said goodbye and called it a night.

Day 10 - May 13th - Sunday (Mother's Day)

Got up and said goodbye to Mom (and Happy Mother's Day) and Dad. They were going to spend one more night in San Diego and then head to the Grand Canyon. After the CG, they were meeting my Aunt and Uncle we had dinner with in Vegas. Then head home. They'd be home a week later than us.

We, however, were heading home. We approached Anaheim and made a reverse trip back on Disney Way back to Disneyland. We parked in the 15 minute parking and Jacob and I made the long trek to World of Disney. I loved strolling along, getting one more look at Disneyland, thinking about the next trip. It was Mother's Day and looked busy. We walked by the tram unloading people and was insanely jealous. I know, I just had 5 days there!

Took our 15 minutes to get to DD and went into World of Disney. Jacob walked right to the wallet and we grabbed one to buy. I had contemplated a few things earlier and grabbed those too. I figured it was Mother's Day, why not? Now I have a Mickey Mouse bathroom (thanks to that trip back to WofD).

We made it back to the car and were on the road. That stop, and getting a later start, set us back. Our second day home (Monday) ended up being longer than we'd hoped.

In conclusion, it was probably the best Disneyland trip yet. I loved the leisure of 5 days. I loved seeing a new park. I also loved being there with my kids. Jacob was 2 the last time and didn't remember a whole lot. I was pregnant the last time and though it was still fun, I got tired easily and I was restricted on the rides. Seeing Ally see it for the first time was fun too.

I enjoyed the new park and will go back. I hope we can go again soon, but I would like to skip the San Diego part (and do it again sometime later) and fly down for a few days. I would love to stay at the Candy Cane Inn again.

Penny Jackson


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