Tami Olson -- September 2005 -- Disneyland (Offsite)
Bobby Olson, My Husband – Disneyland Veteran
Tami Olson, Me – Disneyland Veteran
Brice Olson, Our Son – 3 years – 8th Disneyland Trip
Megan Olson, Our Daughter – 18 mo. – 5th Disneyland Trip
Accommodations: Ramada Inn Anaheim
Places Visited: Disneyland, California Adventure, Legoland, & San Diego
Pre Tip Planning:
We planned one last vacation before our Annual Passes (APs) ran out this year. I checked with lots of hotels for 2-3 months before our trip and ended up with Ramada at $62 (plus $10 for a fridge) – then canceling it for a cheaper hotel that was farther away – but we changed our minds again. When I went back to the Ramada website to make the reservation it was now only $59 a night!!
We also had originally planned on a vacation from Sun – Fri – spending the last few days in San Diego. But then I found out that the Fireworks at DL were only on Fri & Sat. So, we switched our plans to Tues – Mon to see the fireworks. About a week before we left, I check the Disneyland website schedule and Fireworks are listed on Tuesday at 8 – and the close at 8! Hopefully we’ll get to see them twice.
Tuesday – September 13, 2005
We had planned on getting to bed early the night before – but we had a Small Group Bible Study on house like normal on Monday nights, and ended up talking until about 11:00 pm. So we were in bed by midnight. I set the alarm for a little after 5 am. Woke-up, shut it off, and then got up closer to 6 am. I dressed, ran to the store for gas, ice, sodas and donuts and then packed up the last few things in the car. By then the kids were starting to wake up. They were dressed and in the car watching the first of many movies by the time Dad was finished getting ready and checking the dogs. We were on the freeway out of Tucson by 7:30. I only had a Low Carb Breakfast Bar, and I usually eat a large breakfast – so we stopped before we got to Phoenix at a McDonald’s. ($6) I just ran in and grabbed the food. Bobby had a Sausage McGriddle and I got a second for the kids to split. I had a Sausage Egg McMuffin with out the muffin. The kids didn’t eat a bite! They had eaten quite a bit of donut earlier though.
The ride was pretty uneventful – except we saw something very unusual by the freeway on the way to Phoenix. It was half of a double wide manufactured house – it was in the median between the freeways and the whole side of it was caved in. It must have been sideswiped by a semi!
We had a pretty good trip since we bought the kids a portable DVD player. They watched a few movies. We stopped at Blythe at the AZ/CA border for gas & McDonalds again and let the kids play for a while. We got gas for the second time – about $100 to get to Anaheim – it used to be more like $60!! Bobby had a Big Mac & Fillet O Fish Sandwich, I had the Chicken Selects (for the first time since they are just a little too high in carbs to eat when I’m not on vacation) and the kids split a 6 Chicken McNugget. With drinks it came to $13 – the cheapest lunch we’ll see for a while. After they played at McD for a while we put them in the car and they took naps for an hour or so. We arrived at the hotel right at 3:00 – check-in time. And we were in Disneyland by 4:15.
We had never stayed at the Ramada before – but knew that it had sort of a food court in front of it. We always stay on Harbor within a block or so of the crosswalk to Disneyland. This is essential if you are going with small kids for more than one day. We can go back to the hotels with naps and don’t have to worry about folding up the double stroller to get on a tram. The hotel staff was extra friendly – the hotel was nice and average. Of course, we got one of the rooms as far back away from Harbor as possible. It seems like we are always so far back – and it makes a difference at midnight on Friday!
So, we start walking toward Disneyland (DL) and Brice keeps saying “I’m so excited to go to Disneyland”. He’s finally old enough to appreciate the staging area before you go into the parks – he talked about the music that they played while we waited in line. He also insisted on walking because he was so excited! We went straight to Buzz and had a 5 min wait! What a great way to start the vacation. Next we went to Space Mtn and took turns waiting with the kids. Bobby went first and he seemed to take forever. Maybe that’s just because Brice was jumping off the rocks back by the bathrooms at the Space Mtn exit and bothering other people. I tried to keep him away from everyone, but it was so crowded, and he was “So excited”. When Bobby finally got back he said that it was probably a 25 min wait instead of the 10 min that was listed. I decided to go ahead and go on since I haven’t been on it for years – I think it had been 4 years since I had been pregnant right before it closed down. I got in line and walked all the way to the loading room without waiting in line! I only waited about 5 min. It’s funny how lines can do that. Brice’s next choice was Pinocchio – so we headed over to Fantasyland to do Pinocchio. Megan wasn’t too thrilled with the ride. About halfway through, I remembered the trick of covering her ears. That stopped her from crying – I think she’s afraid of dark and loud noises. Afterwards, we all went on the Carousel. By then we were getting hungry, so we headed towards Frontierland and contemplated eating at Rancho del Zocalo – which we had never done. The menu outside looked pretty good – but there were no prices. It was still the first day and we hadn’t gotten over the shock of the prices yet – so we headed over to Stage Door Café for dinner. I think I’ve said it before – but I really miss the food Stage Door used to have. The only place to get a Hot Dog now is Toon Town – and that’s ALL they serve. I ordered one 6 pc Ckn Strips Meal and then one 4 Pc Ckn without fries. Well – the only way you can get Ckn on the side is a 6 piece of course – so I told them to switch it. I actually ended up getting two 6 pc Ckn Strips – one with fries even though I didn’t pay for it all. We sat at the Rancho del Zocalo tables since the atmosphere was so nice and it was deserted. The kids ate a little of our dinner – but I always bring in some other food for them. I think they had a Lunchables and yogurt for dinner.
We headed over to Pooh next and then went on Pirates on the way back for fireworks seats. The kids don’t like the “slides” on Pirates – but after that Brice is OK – Megan still needs her ears covered from the loud music. I went with Brice and got some ice cream – Mint Chocolate Chip for the kids to share and a Root Beer Float for Bobby. I went to the small ice cream shop next to the lockers to avoid the crowds. But, they don’t have sugar free ice cream for me It was very difficult getting back to our seats with Brice and two things of ice cream. He was great and held on to my jeans pocket the whole time – but we were in a really big crowd and we had to walk through people to get back to our seats. We watched the fireworks a little to the left of the castle – some of it was in the trees – but it was still great. I saw that they had the section of the street right in front of the Castle roped off. We had also noticed that they were setting up the Festival area – I’m sure that someone was there that was important enough to get their own fireworks!!
After the fireworks DL was officially closed. We went down the left side of the street and did a little browsing on the way back to the hotel. I unpacked some more and read a little and we were all asleep by 10:00.
Wednesday – September 14, 2005
We woke up at 8 am today. I went down and checked out the “Continental Breakfast”. It was basically coffee, a few donuts – and then a table full of stuff that you could buy. Oh – I think that the oranges were free. None of the continental breakfasts are great anymore – but this one seemed to be a little cheesier. But that’s fine. I bought a package of donuts and little muffins and other breakfast stuff with the snacks this trip. The rest of the time that’s what we ate. I brought myself some Low Carb Breakfast bars and also some LC Bagels & PB. (Although I have to admit I ate Low Carb cookies for breakfast a few times) We decided to head to the outlet store first thing this morning. The parks didn’t open until 10. We got to the store about 9:30. We usually do it at a nap time and the kids fall asleep in the car – but then we don’t get to shop together. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – there is a Disney Outlet Store that has discontinued and slightly imperfect merchandise for the Resorts. It is straight up Harbor, past I5, Past 91 to Orangethorpe Mall. There is a Circuit City and a bunch of stores in a shopping center. It’s only about 10 minutes away. We always try to go at the beginning of the trip so that we won’t buy stuff full price. We bought a few things this time: A Christmas decoration of the Castle – I think that they have a whole town, but just the Castle will look nice. It’s big and was $30. Then we bought Megan a light purple Minnie Sweatshirt $9. Bobby got a fleece sweater $10 and a White Americana Mickey T Shirt $13. I got a long sleeved gray shirt with just a little black Mickey up by the collar $13. We bought warmer clothes on purpose. Bobby’s jacket was still hanging on the coat rack at home. It was COLD for us Arizonans. The highs were low 70s (it was still 90s back home) so, when the sun went down we were cold – it was a nice change for us.
We got back to the hotel and to the parks about 11:15 – it always takes longer at the Outlet Store than we expect! Brice wanted to go on Alice, so that was our first stop. Afterwards, Bobby took Brice to Matterhorn while Megan and I waited for the Tea Cups. I was almost done with the line when Bobby came up and handed Brice over the fence (Bobby gets a little queasy on the Tea Cups). I guess the Matterhorn line was longer than expected – and Brice was saying he was scared anyways. We had a great ride. This is one of the two rides I remember from when I went as a little girl (Dumbo is the other). So, I really love it – this was the first time both kids rode with me and we got a great picture. Just as we were getting off, I saw Alice & Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum! Alice was standing right next to Bobby in the little waiting area next to the Tea Cups – so we pushed our way in there and Alice spent a while with Brice. When the next round of Tea Cups was about to start – the safety spiel came on – and Alice said the entire thing word for word with her little accent. Brice had no idea, but I thought that it was cute. We got a great picture of the two of them and finally let someone else see Alice.
We decided to head back towards Toon Town for Hot Dogs for lunch (Bobby & Brice’s favorite food). So, we stopped at Small World on the way. Both the kids loved it this time – last trip they both seemed unimpressed! When we got to Toon Town, I got us FP (Fast Passes) for Roger Rabbit’s CarToon Spin just so that we wouldn’t have to walk through the line – it takes forever. Then we got 2 Foot Long Hot Dogs and Chips ($13). The kids split it with us and had a little food I brought in. We saw a few characters come in and out the door there by the eating area. Halfway through lunch, Brice yells out that he has to go to the bathroom – so we race over. After lunch, we go on the Car Toon Spin. Brice has been talking about this ride for weeks. He found and old stuffed Cab toy (I can’t remember his name) and I showed him the footage from the ride on Disneyland.com. Megan was not so impressed. One thing about this ride is that you can’t hold the kids on your lap. I understand why, but they slip around a lot. Next was the Gag Factory. It always seems they have something a little different. We almost bought Brice a Peter Pan hat (another new favorite). But, then we started thinking about buying him a costume – and that’s only in Fantasyland. I was thinking maybe a hat would come with it – so we waited.
So, that’s were we headed next. On the way we saw that Storybook Canals had almost no line. Brice loves it because Monstro eats us!! When we finished our cruise – we headed to the Castle shop and looked at the price of the costume. The real problem was then we would just have to buy a Tinkerbelle for Megan. We decided on just the hat for now $8 – it even has a red feather. Our next stop was the Jungle Cruise. We’ve only been on it once since the rehab and don’t remember much. They did a really good job on fixing some of the stuff I thought was silly. Afterwards, Dad ran on Indiana Jones. I was craving some ‘real food’ so we bought some Strawberries ($3!). We had just found a table and sat down to eat when Brice yelled Bathroom! again. So, we all race in there and I had to leave Megan in the double stroller right in front of the stall. We went back, finished our snack and looked at the Simba & Nala photo collage. We found the photo of Megan and took a far away and close up picture. When Bobby got done, we did some browsing in the shops and found a necklace ($6).
We needed to call home and check in – so we headed for the phones under the Hungry Bear – figuring that they are a little quieter. We both called our parents and told them we were all still alive. Brice got to tell his grandmas about his Peter Pan hat. Next we headed over to Pooh. Then we grabbed some Single Rider Passes for Splash Mtn. I went first while Bobby waited with the kids. When it was my turn to wait – we went on Pooh again. It was basically just a walk on ride. So, when we got done, Brice said “Let’s do it again” and we did. Bobby was waiting by the stroller when we got back. By now it was about 3:30 and we decided to head back for naps. We stopped at the Silhouette shop on the way back since it wasn’t busy and got Megan’s done. Her hair is finally long enough and I pulled it up into one little pony tail – just like Pebbles! We browsed through Main St. a little, thinking about the Olzeswki pieces and trying to decide if we want to buy any more. Nobody seems to know exactly how the finished product is going to look or how much anything will cost. We heard rumors of an actual table to put the pieces in this time – but how much is that??? We did get the final measurements this time though. We are remodeling our house and adding a theatre/family room – so maybe we’ll be able to fit it in somewhere.
We got back to the hotel and I left the kids and Bobby in the room to take naps so I wouldn’t bother them and headed to the lobby. I had seen that they had computers. The minutes were pretty cheap – so I went online and checked out my email and Ebay. I sell stuff on Ebay for a living and had a few listings starting while we were away – so figured I would check up on them. I took my time, looked at the brochures in the lobby, got an iced coffee from the coffee shop and looked around the gift shops. I got back to the hotel, and nobody was asleep. So, we gave up and got ready to head back to the parks.
We had 6:30 reservations at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in DD. I had made them last week – they were having a piano player tonight. We checked in a few minutes early and were seated right away. The piano player was good – except that he sang too – that was not so good and, the kids were exhausted and hungry – so the crayons got thrown on the floor a few times. The meal was pretty good though – slightly pricey, but everything is. I ordered a Chicken dish with a seafood sauce. Bobby had shrimp & pasta I think. The total came to $34 with our 10% Disney Visa discount. The kids just ate some of my food – they weren’t too hungry anyways. After dinner we headed down to the Disneyland Hotel just to look around. We played the Jungle Boat remote control boats and were really disappointed. They were hard to steer – we had a hard time and there was no way that Brice could do them. Bobby did finally get the bridge and the fire to go off. Afterwards, we headed back to where they had the water show – I thought that it was gone, but thought we’d check. There were trees in the fountain! But, we did see a little sign that said “Koi Feeding Tues & Thurs 9:30”. We walked around the waterfalls, but they had the trails under the falls roped off. We took a few pictures with the cutout scenes – a really good one of Bobby & Brice squatting at the campfire with Huey, Duey & Luey. Then we browsed through a very busy World of Disney on our way back to the Hotel. When, we got back to the hotel – our room was cleaned, but they didn’t give us any extra towels!!
Thursday – September 15, 2005
We got up a little early today – 7 am. Actually, the kids got up early – so therefore I did, and we woke up Daddy!! We got out of the hotel about 8:30 and decided to head down to the Koi Feeding at the DL Hotel at 9:30. We stopped for breakfast at the Jazz Kitchen in DD – it’s super good for breakfast. Bobby got a Ham, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich with Hashbrowns. I ordered just a side of ham, but when I got my order, they had given me two of what Bobby had ordered!! With a soda for me (that’s refillable) it was $10 – and it’s a pretty big breakfast. We took off the Egg on Bobby’s (since he’s deathly allergic) and gave it to the kids. I shared my biscuit with them too! It was great, as always! If you eat here – use the bathrooms – they are themed really well.
When we finished we headed toward the DL Hotel and there was a small crowd waiting. There was also a platform about 3’ square sticking out over the pond. A man came with a bucket of fish food and started taking kids out on the platform one at a time. He also gave some to us standing to throw out. I had never seen this – it was really neat. He would stick a fist full of food down in the water and the fish would attack it!! They were jumping out of the water. A girl about 8 was a little scared of them at first, but finally did it. When it was Brice’s turn, he was too little to reach his hand all the way down to the water – he probably would have been pulled in by the fish. But he had a great time feeding them anyways. I got some great pictures.
I changed Megan’s diaper while the boys watched some more fish feeding. I can just use the back section of the double stroller while it’s in the reclined position – it’s great! We walked back through the Grand Californian on the way to the parks just to check everything out and look at the Storyteller’s menu. They only had breakfast up – but we did see a character in the lobby. Then we tried to get into CA using the hotel entrance –but the cast member wouldn’t let us since we didn’t have a hotel key card. It was very aggravating to have to go all the way back through the lobby. We did stop and get a safety pin from the gift shop to help hold up Brice’s pants. He’s 3 ½ and I buy him 24 mo size pants. Any smaller and they are too short – but when he runs, he has to hold up his pants!! These were a new pair and a little worse than most – the safety pin helped.
We finally got all the way back around, through security and into CA and headed for Hollywood to see the new Crush exhibit. It was really cool – I wish we had done it a day or two earlier so that we could have done it again – Brice really loved it. By now we were getting really hungry, but it was just before 11. Taste Pilot’s grill wasn’t open quite yet, so I went on Soarin’ single rider. When I got out, the restaurant was open. We both had a Crispy Chicken Sandwich – mine without the bun. This was the first time that I used the self ordering screens – they worked pretty well. But, they weren’t busy yet and there was a cast member that was being too helpful – I just needed a second to look it over and she was trying to help me push all the buttons!! But, it worked out pretty good – it was $19 with our 10% discount.
After we finished up lunch, we headed to Tough to Be a Bug. Megan did pretty good – just a little scared at the spider part, but I held her ears and she lived. Afterwards, we went on the Chew Chew train. This ride is really, really short – but Brice loves it. We have never waited more than 3 minutes, and wouldn’t. I didn’t feel like going on Flik’s Flyers (and Bobby gets sick on it), the Ladybug ride is horrible and the Bumper Car ride is too old for our kids, so we left! I can’t believe that they didn’t do some better rides back there. We headed over to Redwood Challenge – Brice is old enough to enjoy it a little. We didn’t stay too long – since we had to hold Megan and she’s getting heavy!! Brice was terrified of the rope bridges, but had fun on the small slides.
We got back over to DL at about 1:00 and hopped on the train for a “grand tour of the Magic Kingdom” When we got off – we headed to the 50th movie in the old Lincoln Exhibit. As we are going through the turnstiles, Brice announces he has to go to the bathroom! So, Bobby waits with Megan while we rush there & back. The doors to the theatre had just closed as Brice & I got back. So we had to wait – and it’s a 20 minute film. Megan crawled around on the strip of red carpet around the Disneyland model and Brice followed her – until too many people started coming in. They had a blast though. We watched the movie, it was great again. Then we headed over to Buzz and rode it. The Space Mtn. Line was too long, so I grabbed some FP while Bobby grabbed some Pizza. ($9) We sat outside and watched Brice play with the water ball while Bobby ate. I was planning on eating in a few minutes. When we were done – we headed over to Adventureland and Bobby went on Indy – it wasn’t a long line. I got in line for the Bengal BBQ for my dinner. The line goes pretty slow. I got almost to the front of the lien and Brice starts yelling that he has to go the bathroom. He’s still pretty new at this – so he doesn’t give us much warning. So, I get out of line – not an easy feat with a double stroller – and we rush to the bathroom. Then we come back and get back in line. When we finally got up there – I got an asparagus/bacon wrap and a Polynesian Chicken ($6). I didn’t enjoy the sauce on the Chicken one – but the asparagus was wonderful!! Just as I finished eating, Bobby came back from the ride.
The window on our 3:15 FP for Space Mtn was open now – so we headed over there and swapped with watching the kids. Then Bobby took Brice on the Matterhorn. Megan was asleep in the stroller by now – so we went to the old dock just across from the Matterhorn to wait. She woke up just as they were coming back. Brice is always scared waiting in line for the Matterhorn – but loves it and talks about what a great time he had! Next, Brice requested the Yellow Cars again (CarToon Spin). Megan really hated that last time, and she flops around so much. So the girls took a nice ride on Small World while the boys headed back to ToonTown. When we were done, we waited by the Snow White bathrooms for the guys. The line for Alice was pretty short as we walked back through Fantasyland, so we hopped on that.
By now we were getting hungry for dinner – yes we did eat a ‘snack’ just a few hours ago. It’s amazing how messed up your eating times can get at Disneyland. We headed over to try Zocalo – we had never eaten there. Bobby gotten the enchiladas and I got the chicken & shrimp combo plate. ($29 with two drinks and the 10% discount) The shrimp weren’t that great – but the chicken was good. Megan loved the rice and ate almost all of mine. Brice didn’t do so well here – he didn’t eat anything and was a little rowdy. We walked over to the Gallery and looked around. They had a model of the Olzewski pieces all ‘put together’. We were still (and are) struggling with buying any more. Nobody has a set price for the finishing table products, or when they will be out. But, it was interesting to see what they had designed so far. We didn’t look around too long – and headed down for a journey through the Caribbean.
We headed to Fantasyland for a couple last rides – Snow White & the Carousel. Then we shopped along Main St. while the kids fell asleep on the way back to the hotel. We got back at 7:45. The kids went straight to sleep (Brice didn’t take a nap today!) and we read, did trip reports, and went to bed.
Friday – September 16, 2005
Today was our last day at the Parks – so we got up at 7:30 and made it right to the gate of DL at 9:00 – opening time. We started the day out with Tarzan, because you will never do it in the afternoon!! Brice & Megan weren’t that impressed – actually they hated the tree part, especially the leopard. After that, Bobby went on Indy while I grabbed some strawberries from the stand ($5). We had to make another quick bathroom run as soon as we got our food!! After Bobby got back, we headed over to the Pooh ride. Afterwards, we got to see Pooh, Eeyore & Tigger. The lines weren’t too bad since it was still early. We got some nice pictures. Actually, the only family pictures we usually have from the trip are with characters like Pooh!! We headed over to take turns on the “Big Train” (BTMRR) and then went on the small train (Casey Jr.) with the kids. Brice was very excited about this since he’s now seen Dumbo. But I never enjoy this ride and the line takes FOREVER!! It was 11:30 when we got done and I felt like Fried Chicken. We headed to the Plaza Inn – but they weren’t open yet!! We went over and grabbed a FP for Space Mtn for later and ran on Buzz quickly. Afterwards, we headed to the bathroom since it was still a few minutes before noon when the restaurant would open. While we took turns in the bathrooms – we saw quite a few characters. It’s a great spot since it’s the spot where characters come out and head to FL… We saw Captain Hook. He was very tall and we were impressed with how he acted with Brice. (This was the first time that Brice didn’t have his Peter Pan hat on !!!) We saw a few others, Alice characters, Maleficent (Brice calls her the “Bad Girl”). We headed into the restaurant and I got the Fried Ckn dinner with all green beans and no potatoes. Bobby had one of the Ckn Pasta dishes. It was $26 with drinks and our 10% discount. The food is always good here and more than enough even though it’s a bit pricey!! We love the ambiance of the restaurant too. We sat at the end near the glass windows so we could watch some more characters come in and out while we ate.
I had told Brice that I knew where the “Bad Girl” (Maleficent) was hiding. So, I dragged Bobby into FL so I could show Brice the window where the Queen opens and closes the drapes. He couldn’t focus on her – and FL was so busy we headed back to Main St. and shopped for a while, then went back to the hotel at about 2 pm for naps.
After a short rest, we got back into the park at 4:30 and grabbed some Buzz FP. We called Rainforest Café – but they were pretty busy. So, instead Bobby headed to Pizza Port for some Pizza and I got a double cheeseburger without the bun (and a few weird looks from the cast members) at Tomorrowland. $21 for us both. We met (finally, after a miscommunication as to where) at a shaded table near Tomorrowland Terrace. Brice had an accident!?! So, I took him over to the bathrooms to get cleaned up. When we finished dinner, we used out Buzz FP and then headed over to do Jungle Cruise since it was getting a little dark.. It’s always better at night time. I really like the new additions – I find a few new ones each time I ride. We planned on watching the fireworks tonight, but still had some time. So, we headed to Small World, but stopped at Snow White & Peter Pan on the way. We waited for a few minutes to the right of the castle in the entryway to FL/TL. It ended up being partially behind a tree, but we could still see all the castle effects. While we waited for a half hour or so, we turned on our portable DVD player and put on some old Disney cartoons. That made us a lot of friends!! Especially one family with three kids. The dad was just now getting them dinner!! At 8 pm!! They asked if we had been here all day, and I told them it was day 4 for us!! They thought we were crazy – but then they were doing everything in one and were just now eating dinner. They had really worn themselves out!
After fireworks, we said goodbye to Disneyland and headed back to the hotel.
Saturday – September 17, 2005
Today we got up at 8am and I started the huge task of getting two toddlers up and ready after getting the hotel room packed up!! We actually got out of there pretty quickly, about 9:30 after checking out with the front desk. I noticed after we had left, that they never charged us the $10 per night for the fridge we used!! We drove down to Carlsbad and got to Legoland about 10:30. We bought our tickets – stopped at the bathroom and started reading the map!! We are so used to knowing our way around Disneyland, it’s strange to really have to read the map!! We headed left for Dino Island (which isn’t an island?!?) and Brice & Daddy went on the Coastersaurus first. Megan was to short for many rides, so Legoland wasn’t as fun as I had expected. In a year or two we would have a better time. I put Megan in the Dig Those Dinos (huge sandbox) and she had a blast. And, was quite upset when it was time to go!! The next ride we happened upon was Fairy Tale Brook. We waited about 35 min – it was posted as 15 min. It was pretty much a waste of time. There was Lego fairytale characters that moved, music played…. But a lot of the characters the kids didn’t know – and there were a few we didn’t know!!
We walked through the Water works area that has a bunch of fountains that you can play with and some that are motion activated by you walking by. It was neat, but we didn’t stay too long. The next ride was Volvo Jr Driving School for ages 3-5. Brice went on it and was terrible!! Even though I tried to explain it to him, he didn’t really get the concept of pushing down the pedal to make it go, and he didn’t steer at all. He would turn the wheel one way, run into the curb (or another kid) and wait until the attendant would come and help him move again. He said he had fun though!! We were starving by now since we never stopped for breakfast and had just been snacking. The best food we could find was a hot dog stand ($19!!).
While we ate we looked at the map again. Bobby’s brother & family came to Legoland last year and had told us some of the really fun stuff. They said there was a fireman’s show that was great. It was near where we were eating, so we headed over there and saw the next showing was soon. Bobby took Megan to find seats while Brice & I went on the helicopters at Sky Patrol. A lot of the enjoyment of Legoland is seeing little displays of different things made out of Legos. Brice & Megan aren’t old enough to see how neat everything is though!! There was a bunch of different cars made of legos in front of this ride that Bobby & I though were neat. The Fire Show was fun and very upbeat. Afterwards we headed for the bathroom and then stumbled into the Adventurer’s Club. It was a bunch of decorated rooms where you were supposed to find hidden keys or something. The kids didn’t care and we left as fast as we could. We walked past the miniature golf course – Brice wanted to play, but it’s not free. We told him we’d do it at home sometime. Next was the Knight’s Hideaway. It’s a huge, huge play area. Megan was way too small – she’d get trampled. And Brice really couldn’t climb up a lot of the stuff, so we didn’t stay too long.
Next was the Royal Joust, which was Brice’s favorite. It’s only for kids – they get to ride around a track , all by themselves, on a little Lego horse!! The wait was a little long because it takes so long to load & unload the little kids. We got some great pictures!! We went over to the Knights Tournament ride – which is a very strange robotic arm ride and watched for a while. Both kids were too little, so we moved on. We got a couple of pictures of Brice with some Lego Knights and went down to Miniland. This is a huge area of cities with moving parades, cars, boats…. The kids didn’t care too much. We enjoyed it until Brice yelled that it was time to run to the bathroom. Of course there were no bathrooms anywhere close.. so we ran. After a bathroom break we sat down with our show schedule and found a neat one that was back near the main entrance, so we hurried down there…but there weren’t any shows today, even though the schedule said there was!! Bummer. It was next to all the neat water fountains, so we played with that for a while and then went on a ride we had passed up before. Megan couldn’t go – so Brice & I went on Safari Trek. It was sort of neat to see all the safari animals. We had just pulled up to the exit – the attendant reached up to unlatch our bar and the ride broke!! So, he goes up to talk to the other worker. They make a very unprofessional announcement about something being wrong and most of the line left. Then the workers start with the car they just loaded and started going down the track to get people out of the vehicles. But they left us!! We would have been very last to get let out. So, we wiggled our way out and just left.
Next, I took Brice on Coastersaurus since it actually looked fun – and it was!! We walked past the front entrance and into the area we hadn’t been yet. The Coastal Cruise was next. You get in a huge boat and go around the water in the middle of the park and see a lot of Miniland from the other side. It was a nice relaxing cruise without too long of a wait. Bobby was getting hungry, so he grabbed some Pizza ($8) and we looked at a huge T-Rex in front of one of the buildings. There was a lot of interactive stuff for older kids. We were waiting around for the 4D show – so we looked at a few spots of Miniland we had missed and watched the Aquazone Wave Racers, a pretty cool wet water ride.
The 4D show was strange. There was a whole big story of racing, but it was really just watching a video game animation type movie with lots of wind and absolutely no talking!! Megan hated it and fell asleep. We were ready to go home – and the park was closing anyways. We got a shot of Brice with Darth Vader & R2D2 on the way out. All I had for the hotel was an address and that it was within 1.2 miles of Legoland – so off we went. We actually got lucky and found the street easily and got to our hotel. We unpacked and changed and headed out to explore. We were looking for a seafood type restaurant near the beach maybe. I had a visitor’s guide for Carlsbad – but most of the seafood restaurants were more like bars. We finally found this very neat old Victorian house that had been partially remodeled. We ate there and the kids were only a bit cranky. The food was pretty good and the building was very neat with 30 foot high ceilings…Dinner was $45. We went back to the hotel and put the kids to bed and watched US Marshals on TV!!
Sunday– September 18, 2005
Today was the day that was a little less planned out. We wanted to do some sort of a harbor cruise. We got up and to Mc Donald’s at about 10:00 for breakfast ($8). When we finished we headed down to find Seaport Village. We had been here 5 years ago on our honeymoon. The SEAL Tours are based here. It’s a large car that drives you on a short city tour and then drives straight into the water for a harbor tour. We looked around at the shops, a little hard to do with the double stroller. Brice bought a pirate’s hook with the $3 that his grandpa gave him. (I didn’t think we’d be able to find anything for that price!!) We finally wandered far enough to find the ticket booth for the SEAL tours. It was 12:30 and the next tour was at 2:00. We paid for our tickets - $60, the kids were free. We headed out to find some lunch and found a place that served sandwiches & breakfast. I got a sausage omelet – and the kids got a grilled cheese sandwich, but they only ate the cheetos ($15). We went on the tour at 2:00 after both rushing to the bathrooms. It was really windy being up in an open truck so near the water. It was about a 20 min ride to the boat ramp and Brice didn’t like it at all – so he went to sleep. He slept the entire boat ride, an hour & a half!! We went out and got to see the seals on the docks. But, we also got to see two unusual things!! One was a nuclear submarine coming in from deployment. The crew was in dress and standing on top of the sub. And, the gates into the sub docking were open so we could see inside where all the families were waiting. Then, heading back we got to see a few of the Navy boats out in the water doing training with some dolphins. The tour leader was telling us how they train them to do all kinds of things, surveillance, plant bombs… It was neat seeing the trainers in the water with the dolphins. Just as we pulled up on the boat ramp, Brice woke up. Megan actually stayed awake the whole time. When we got back, we headed back to our car. We drove around Gaslamp District for a while – but the kids were so cranky (mostly Megan) that we just headed back to the hotel to relax for a while at about 3:30. At 5:00 we headed out to look at the beach. We found a spot that was in Carlsbad that you had to walk down a huge flight of stairs. We didn’t stay long, it was cold. But it was neat to see the waves and walk in the sand barefooted.
We went back to a Fish Market restaurant that was great, $50. I had fried calamari (whole baby squid), and Bobby wouldn’t eat any!! We got back to the hotel and did some packing up and watched Pearl Harbor until we fell asleep.
Monday – September 19, 2005
We got up at 8 and were out of the hotel by 9:30. Today we were just headed home and wanted to get home a little earlier than we usually do. We stopped for lunch at about 12:00. About an hour later, Brice suddenly has to pee!! So, we just pulled off the side of the freeway since we were in the middle of no where. About an hour later, as we were passing a semi truck, we had a tire blow out!! Bobby safely got us to the right side of the road. It was about 2:30 and in the middle of the desert and pretty hot. Megan actually slept through the whole tire change. But, Brice wanted to get out and help!! We got back on the road about 3:15 after unloading the whole car and getting the spare tire put on. We stopped at 4:00 at the next stop to get some air in the tire since it was just a bit low. And got dinner a little later. We didn’t get home until after 6:00 – and we had left at 9:30. It’s about a 5-6 hour drive normally. We were exhausted, but had had a great vacation.