Disneyland Day One

(originally posted on LiveJournal)

Today didn’t go quite as I had hoped.

Highlights:

  • Being in the park before almost anyone else.
  • Meeting Minnie and Mickey both within about 15 minutes.
  • Watching Jack get into getting autographs of the characters.
  • The new It’s a Small World.
  • Finally getting to go on the submarine.
  • Main Street Mocha Sundae for Mommy, Cotton Candy for Jack.
  • Halloween Fireworks show.
  • Getting picked for the conga line in the Main Street Parade.
  • The woman at the Oribter finding Jack’s glowing necklace. (The poor kid was in tears, and said “She will find it. Someone’s sitting on it. She will find it. And she did! Good thing, because we impressed upon him how much he could not lose the thing, as we bought it specifically to last all 4 nights.)

Lowlights:

  • Waiting about an hour to see the princesses, and we only got to see three (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Jasmine). Fortunately, those are Jack’s favorites, but still, for that long a wait, you’d think you’d get to see more princesses.
  • Finding that everything is so expensive! The princess dresses are $65! I want to get personalized ears for my French manager’s kids, but the ears are $16 each.
  • We went on four rides from 9 am to 4 pm.
  • No Main Street Electrical Parade. 😦
  • Meltdown Jack.
  • Jack losing his glowing necklace.

The wait for the monorail this morning was silly, as we could have walked, but it was rather nifty. I’d never been on the monorail before. It takes you from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland. Disneyland Hotel is essentially in Downtown Disney, so it’s pretty cool.

We had Morning Magic with Mickey tickets, saw a special show, and got to meet Mickey and Minnie before they opened ToonTown for the rest of the park. I hadn’t been to ToonTown since it opened, when I was somewhere between 10 and 13. Oh! And Jack got a “First Visit” button, so cast members and characters were very chatty with him.

As soon as we met M & M, Jack wanted to go on the submarine. The submarine used to be the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. My mom wouldn’t go on it, because she was afraid of closed spaces. When we were older, the ride was closed. They re-opened it as the Finding Nemo ride sometime within the last 5 years. Jack and I watched a video of it on YouTube. Some of it was dark, and scared Jack, but in the end he liked it all right.

Even for a Friday in September, there were a lot of people around. The wait for the sub was about 30 minutes, and it’s a 20 minute long ride, so once we did that, Max was ready for lunch. There’s some construction, Jack needed to go to the bathroom, and it took us forever to find said bathroom. Jack was all about going on Pirates of the Caribbean until we got into Adventureland, at which point he said he wanted to see the princesses. So, we did a reverse and went to Fantasyland. On the way, we saw some of the bad guys, and waited in line to see them – Cruella DeVil (who was awesome! from 101 Dalmatians), the Old Hag (Snow White), and Jafar (Aladdin). They were joined by the Evil Queen (Snow White) and the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland). The wait for the princesses was an hour.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Jack woke up at about 4:30 this morning. Max was awake with him. After the princesses, we literally walked on to It’s a Small World. I love how they’ve redone it! They’ve placed some of the characters in as puppets. Max missed out, as he was getting drinks.

We then went to see Tinker Bell, which was another 20 minute wait. Max got FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear. Jack and I went on the Orbiter (rockets), which actually freaked me out. I couldn’t bend my knee to fit in the seat properly, and I felt like I was going to spill out. After that, we saw the parade, and Jack got brought out for the conga line. I had to push my way through to join him. (I asked a woman if she could stand in front of her so he could see better.) It was a neat parade, but I think next time, we might want to get there on time.

Jack was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open, and my knee was really distressed. Max and Jack walked back to the hotel, while I went to the monorail. I took a brief detour by walking on to Star Tours, which is one of my favorite rides. NOTHING about it has changed since it opened when I was about 10. On the one hand, it’s nice. On the other hand, the production values are dated. I determined that, even if we could smuggle Jack on (you have to be 40 inches and he’s barely 38), I don’t think he’d like it.

I did take the monorail back and used Jack’s nap time to take a dip in the spa and pool. It really helped my knee.

Unfortunately, the schedule didn’t help Jack. He woke up crankier than ever before. He literally cried when other people got on the elevator with us, when we went downstairs to get some juice. We had to search for a bit to find a place for dinner. We ate EPSN Zone, which was surprisingly kid-friendly, and not too overpriced, as Disney venues go.

Jack’s behavior improved enough that we went back to the park via the monorail. We went on Buzz Lightyear, which Daddy seemed to really enjoy. Jack said he liked it too, but I think he was overwhelmed a bit. After that, we went to see the fireworks. We got a bad seat, but Jack didn’t care. He really loved seeing what he could see. I hope we’ll get a good seat on Monday night (our last night here).

Tomorrow, we do California Adventure for my birthday! We’ll go back to Disneyland on Sunday, and see what happens as to where we go Monday. Jack’s too short to go on Soarin’, which is the one ride I really want to see in CA. Otherwise, I’m good with the Muppets, Pixar, and a bug’s land. We plan on scheduling nap time tomorrow. CA closes well before DL, so we might see Fantasmic tomorrow night.

When we got back (at 10:30 pm) an exhausted Jack said, in a plaintive voice, “I wish we lived closer to Disney.”

I was struck, several times, by how much I wished I could call my mom, and how much I wanted to share with her.

Now I have to get to bed – California Adventure awaits!

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