Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spring Break Surprise, Pt. 3

Last Tuesday (how has it already been a week???), we found ourselves back in line with the masses who were bound and determined to get their fill of rides, Disney characters, and long lines. This time, we turned left instead of right after going through security and headed toward Disney California Adventure.

I found it rather interesting that the lines getting into CA Adventure were considerably shorter than the lines getting into Disneyland. The rides are newer at CA Adventure, but I'm sure Disneyland has the nostalgia draw that pulls in more people.

Soon after we walked through the gates and made it into the park, we saw Minnie Mouse by the main fountain. Cool! We had Fast Pass reservations at the Toy Story ride, but had time to kill before our start time, so opted to stand in line for autographs and photos. (Side note: The people dressed as the cartoon characters get huge props from us! Not only do they walk around in some HUGE shoes all day, they also sign autographs wearing gigantic three-fingered gloves. Impressive!)

Waiting for Minnie

The kids with Minnie Mouse in CA Adventure

While the kids and I waited in line to meet Minnie Mouse before our FastPass ride reservation at the Toy Story ride, Eric disappeared. He was still missing after the photo op, so I got the kids churros. Hey, we were on vacation, which makes churros at 10:00 AM perfectly acceptable in my book! Still no Eric. He texted "Almost done" (ummm.... with what???). The next text was "meet you there". Again, where was he??? The kids and I made our way to the ride and knew we had a 30-ish minute wait before we'd be at the front of the line, but started getting nervous when Eric was nowhere in sight as we were about to enter the "inside" portion of the standing in line. Just in the nick of time, Eric joined us ... with two Starbucks coffees in his hands. Does my husband win the gold star or what?????? We slurped down our much-needed caffeine as we waited in the rest of  the line and felt properly fueled up for our arcade-style Toy Story ride. It was a blast!!

Annika on the Toy Story ride, sporting her 3-D glasses

Annika, our little dare devil, and Eric wanted to go on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which is geared toward teens an adults. Conor and I were anything but interested in going on it. So, we opted to split into two ride teams... Annika and Eric went to that ride while Conor and I headed to the Goofy's Sky School ride.

Along our way, we happened up on one of the pop-up shows that you'll find all around Disneyland and CA Adventure. It was a fun percussion group with Chip and Dale as the token characters. The drummers were quite impressive, I must say! They drummed on a variety of kitchen items (muffin pans, pots, pans, plastic bins, griddles, etc.) and even used dish towels as props.

Chip and Dale percussion show

Conor and I wound our way through CA Adventure (stopping along the way for another character photo op ... this time with two characters from the movie Zootopia) and made it to Goofy's Sky School in time to only wait a few minutes before being ushered onto the ride.

Conor enjoying CA Adventure

Conor with Nick Wilde and Officer Hopps from Zootopia

The ride was a huge hit! Conor and I both loved it. It had jerky turns, quick stops, a couple of manageable ascents and drops, and a few fast moments, but nothing over the top. Before the end of our trip, Conor and I wound up riding it three different times! We are definite fans!

After our respective rides, we met up for some more whole-family fun around CA Adventure. Annika reported that the Guardians of the Galaxy ride was amazing and she wanted to ride it again. Eric, even though he's a roller coaster lover, said even that ride left him feeling a little green around the gills. We eventually made it back to Goofy's Sky School so Eric and Annika could give it a whirl. Unfortunately, we didn't have a Fast Pass for it that time, so had to wait in a much longer line that before. It was worth it. Everyone gave the ride a thumbs up and smiled the whole time we rode it.

Daddy and Conor waiting for our turn on Goofy's Sky School

In line for another turn on Goofy's Sky School
Annika and Eric later decided they wanted to ride the Silly Symphone Swings. Conor wasn't drawn to the ride, so we decided to plop down for a bit while Eric and Annika rode the swings. As we wandered over to the ride, we happened upon Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. How cool was that??

Quite incredible! (Ha! Get it??)

Getting more autographs

While Conor and I waited for Eric and Annika to spin around in circles on high-up swings, we were entertained by a troop of green Army soldier toys from Toy Story. These guys were a riot!! They even pulled in a guy wearing a Seahawks shirt (go Hawks!) to be part of their act.

Toy Story drummers

Below are video clips of Eric and Annika on the Silly Swings ride. Once Eric realized I was taping them, he decided to make a variety of silly faces each time he flew by me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make sure his goofiness was posted for all of the world to see. :D

FINALLY, it was time to head to the Cars ride that we'd heard great things about. Even with a Fast Pass, we waited in line for at least 45 minutes to get on the ride. I'm happy to report, the wait was worth it! We had so much fun zooming around the race track. That ride got some serious speed, but in a good way. We really felt like we were on the open road zooming through the land of Cars. It was very obvious why this ride is such a hit! (Side note: Very fast ride = no photos!)

Annika found a trophy for herself
Our last big ride of the day was the Grizzly River Run. It promised "You will get wet. You may get soaked." Yup and yup!! I was quite happy that we packed a couple of waterproof bags for our electronics as we careened around bends, got splashed by waves, and had a geyser explode right in front of us. We were soaked by the time we got off of the ride. Annika was the only one in sandals and was very happy with her choice of footwear as the rest of us were talking about our wet socks. We saved that ride for last, just for this very reason. (Side note: Very wet ride = no photos!)

As we headed out to the drop-off/pick-up area outside of the park, we stopped for a photo op of the kids with Clarabelle Cow. (Eric and I were drenched and not feeling exactly "photo worthy" at the time.) I'm pretty sure her hands were up in the air during the photo because our kids were so wet that she didn't want to touch them. Ha!!

Our very wet kids and Clarabelle Cow

We peeked into the gift shop at the exit of the park and (gratefully) found our family's "we went on vacation" Christmas ornament. We'd looked the day before, too, but didn't really find anything that grabbed us. Fortunately, we found on at CA adventure that fit the bill!

We wrapped up the day with an evening swim (kids) and soaking in the hot tub. Can't beat a nice hot tub soak after walking around an amusement park for 8 hours!!

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