Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break Surprise, Pt. 2

Before I recap more of our trip, I want to post some of the fireworks photos I took from our balcony. If you feel the need to "ohh... ahhh.... oh!" while taking in the amazing pyrotechnics, feel free. We won't blame you or judge you. We watched them almost every night and "ooh'd" and "ahhhh'd" every time!
Yes, that really is a smiley face

On Easter Monday, we girded our loins (metaphorically speaking, of course) and prepared ourselves for the crush of humanity that awaited us at Disneyland. Fortunately for us, the crowds weren't as bad as we had feared. Don't get us wrong, it was crowded, but not uncomfortably so.

The weather was wonderfully cooperative. Each morning, we had a hazy cloud cover that protected us from the direct sun and insanely hot temps we somewhat expected. Of course, my poor Norwegian family was convinced they were dying from the heat ... pretty sure we didn't even reach 70 degrees at that point! HA!

As soon as we walked in the gate, we noticed Goofy off to our left, and made a bee line to get a photo of the kids with him, as well as a couple of autographs. I don't envy the people who wear the character costumes as part of their jobs; it has got to be incredibly hot inside the costumes with the sun beating down on them like that.

Throughout our week, we saw many of the iconic characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle, Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, the green army guys from Toy Story, Ariel (Little Mermaid), Captain Hook and Peter Pan, Lightning McQueen (Cars), Dr. Facilier (from The Princess and the Frog), Chip and Dale, Darth Vader and some storm troopers, and more.

We followed up our time with Goofy with rides, rides, and rides, including riding the Matterhorn, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (an arcade-style ride that was a surprisingly enjoyable ride... so much so that we went on it again on our last day in the park), Star Tours (Star Wars ride ... ridiculously fun), and Pirates of the Carribean.

In addition to the rides, we took advantage of the photo ops along the way. As part of our tickets, we purchased the photo pass, which made capturing our vacation on film (so to speak) a bit easier. We had some great photographers along the way, which made the experience that much better.

The Olson Four

Blinded by the sun in Tomorrowland

The Jedi uniform really needs to include sunglasses

Lookin' fierce!

Best toe-pointing Jedi ever

She makes Vader quake in his big black boots
Annika and Eric wanted to hit the Haunted Mansion, which Conor had no desire to do, so he and I split off on our own for a bit while our gutsy family members took on the ghosts and spirits. Conor and I happened across a Star Wars show in Tomorrowland. There's just nothing quite like seeing Darth Vader up close and personal to make your day complete! 

Got Vader?

Once the show wrapped up, Conor decided we needed to go on the Finding Nemo submarine ride. When I was a kiddo, the ride had mermaids underwater ... those women had some serious breath-holding skills! Nowadays, the ride has a Nemo theme. It was a long wait for a rather uninspiring ride, but it was nice to have a few quiet moments that were rather calm and gave us the chance to catch our breath a bit. 

Conor and Mama waiting in line for the submarine ride with the Matterhorn in the background

In the submarine
Once we reconnected with Eric and Annika, we continued checking off our "to do" list items and After about 8 hours in the park, we were about as done as you can imagine. We spent the rest of the day smiling about our day's successes and counting our blessings that a hot tub was waiting for us back at the condo. Never had we been so happy to sit in a bunch of bubbly hot water before!

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