I said it a million times that day and I'll say it again - I'm so glad that we decided to bag it on Monday and try again on Wednesday, rather than fight the crowds on Monday. This time, we left at 6:45 in the morning, did a little loop on the 5 freeway so that we could park in the big parking structure, and bought our tickets online and printed them out ahead of time. We were inside the park before they even cut the ribbon at 8 o'clock.
Because we were there right when it opened, we were able to go on so many rides! The lines were super short for quite a while, and we were able to pretty much walk right on to some of the most popular little kid rides. It was wonderful! The first ride we went on is one of Ellie and Zelda's favorites - the Dumbo ride.
After that we went on the Storybook boat ride. I personally love that ride because you get to see all the miniature houses. I haven't been on it in years and years though because the line is always so long! But it wasn't that morning, and we were able to walk right on.
From there we went on It's a Small World. It was all decorated for Christmas, which was cool. Ellie and Zelda thought it was too loud, though, and covered their ears the whole time.
Walking back to Fantasyland, we went on the teacups. The girls loved them, especially Zelda. She was laughing hysterically.
We went on the Alice in Wonderland ride right after that. (We let a couple people go ahead of us so that Ellie could ride on the pink caterpillar.)
And from there to the merry-go-round:
Then we went on one of my all-time favorite rides: the Casey Jr. Train ride. No visit to Disneyland is complete without going on this train. (And, if at all possible, you need to sit in one of the cage cars.) We had a couple of monkeys all ready to sit in the monkey cage:
We had a couple churros after the Casey Jr Train (yum!) and then walked over to Tomorrowland. We wanted to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride, but the line was super long so we got fastpasses instead and went over to Autopia. It worked out perfectly, because by the time we went through the Autopia line and went on the ride, we could go use our fastpasses!
Ellie loved Autopia. She drove with Grandpa in the car behind me, Jason, and Zelda, and tried to go fast enough to hit us the whole time. She was laughing and laughing and really happy when she was finally able to bump us at the end.
After Autopia we went and used our fastpasses to get on to the Buzz Lightyear ride. For some reason, Ellie really didn't want to go on it. We convinced her to get on, but she wasn't enjoying it and was covering her ears the whole time. Then halfway through the ride, our cars stopped along the track and some message recorded message thanking us for our patience played on repeat. We used our laser guns to rack up SO MANY POINTS as we were sitting there stationary (I got over 400,000!), and then after about five minutes the lights came on, the ride turned off, and they told us we were all getting off. Something malfunctioned. We told Ellie they turned the ride off for her. As we walked off, one of the employees pointed out a secret laser target worth a ton (100,000? 1 million?) of points. We'll try to get that one in the future.
Jane snoozing in Tomorrowland:
From there we hopped parks and went over to California Adventures. We had lunch over on the pier where they've got a bunch of food places; I had yummy clam chowder in a bread bowl. We topped that all off with ice cream from Ghiradelli's.
The food place happened to be right next to one of the mother/baby stations they have in the parks. These are great! They've got microwaves for warming up bottles, high chairs for feeding food, changing tables, and a little toddler potty. Ellie decided she wanted to use the potty (twice) while we were eating ice cream, and it was great to have right there. We were able to warm up Jane's bottle, too.
From the pier we walked over to Bug's Land, where we had lots of fun.
We went on "Flik's Flyers" and the Ladybug version of the teacups and played in the little splashpad (good thing we brought extra clothes for the girls! They got super wet.).
Waiting in line for the ladybugs. Zelda's posture cracks me up:
We called it a day after that. My dad, Alyse, Tanner, Ezra, and Jane stayed for a while after us and went on a few more things, but it was getting late and my grandparents were coming over to my dad's house for dinner, and Jason and I needed to go pick up some food and get the girls home. So we made our way back to the parking garage and then called ahead and ordered some Buffalo Wild Wings (yum!), which we were able to pick up on the way home.
A little while after we got home, my grandma, grandpa, dad, Alyse, & Tanner all got there too and we were able to all have dinner together. It was so good to be able to see my grandparents one more time while we were in California. They gave Ellie a little starlight lantern for her birthday at dinner (this kind - it makes stars on the bedroom ceiling), and both girls love it. They've used it every night since we've been home.
That night we packed up all our stuff and got everything ready for the morning, so that when we woke up at 4 am (it still pains me to think about it - I hate waking up that early!) we were ready to go. My dad drove us to the airport and we flew home. Both girls were really good on both flights back to North Carolina, and everything went as smooth as we could have hoped. It was New Year's Eve, but we kept forgetting because we were traveling. And we definitely didn't stay up until midnight - I think I fell asleep at 8 pm that night. :)
And now we're finally caught up to 2016, haha. :) I hope to post about January and February this week in one big post!