Disneyland 2013 – Day 3

Again, I have to say that one of the reasons to stay at the Grand Californian is early entrance to the park. It’s great to grab a fast pass for a ride you could never normally get on during normal hours (ahem, Cars) or enjoy a little quiet time with kids, get a fast pass for World of Color later that night.

The kids were excited to be at Disneyland again, but today we were at California Adventure. We started with the Little Mermaid ride which Alice declared her favorite. I loved watching her face in this ride since the Little Mermaid has always been my favorite movie. One of the best parts about being a parent is getting to relive your childhood but getting to see the wonder and their face light up as it happens.

We then visited Cars land and enjoyed several rounds of rides when James got that look in his eye. The one that lets me know he’s up to no good. Yesterday Patrick did not enjoy Splash Mountain, but did go on it and no tears were shed. James asked Patrick if he wanted to go on the Tower of Terror (yet another ride that the minimum height is 40” and Patrick is that exact height) to which PJ actually said yes. People, I do not let my parents go on this ride for fear they will have a heart attack. We explained that it’s pretty scary and he still said he wanted to go on with Daddy.

I knew it wouldn’t end well, so while the boys went off to scare the crap out of themselves, I went with Alice to get an iced coffee and special treat for later. Horray for Starbucks in California Adventure and the cute cups they have there.

I got a cookie also because I had this horrible feeling that Patrick would never go on another ride again after the ToT. We met up with the boys after coffee, and sure enough, poor Patrick did not enjoy himself. I think his exact words were that he didn’t love it and he wanted to sit for a while. He and Alice split a cookie while we walked around and found cute things we’ve never seen before inside California Adventure.

We found a spot serving beer and had lunch there since there was a place for the kids to run around.

And one has to have a Mickey pretzel for traditional purposes.

After lunch was a minute walk back to the hotel and then back for more fun. We’ve never really explored California Adventure before so it was nice to walk at our own pace and decide what we wanted to go on again or try for the first time. I know there are many more rides and places to explore, too! This jellyfish one was a first time for our family

And then we wandered back to Bugs Land and Cars Land to round up the day

Oh, and I guess we did stop to take a picture with a character. No real wait for this, so it kinda seems like it doesn’t count. Alice wanted to take a picture but got scared at the last moment. Thank goodness for Daddy cuddles.

We had dinner reservations at a new restaurant for me, and I wasn’t totally impressed. It’s hard when you’ve had the Napa Rose two nights before, but it seemed pretty basic. They did serve wine (always a plus) and this was a nice salad, so it wasn’t a total bust. Just have to be in the lookout for another place to eat next time.

The evening ended with us getting bundled up

and lots of bubbles with glowing bubble guns in the dark. The kids decided it was time for bed (ha, I finally wore them out!!) so we skipped the World of Color for jammies and bed. Walking through the lobby, we got a chance to hear the Christmas carolers in full costume. I love the little touches at the Grand Californian.

And the best part of the day was once we were in our room and I had finished getting jammies on Patrick and Alice, I heard fireworks off in the distance. I then noticed a flash of light against our window and low and behold, we had a perfect view of the Disneyland fireworks so we cuddled up on our balcony to watch together. What a special treat and perfect way to end our trip together.

Of course the last morning calls for beignets before we check out

And if you’ve been paying attention, yes I had my kids wear matching shirts the last 3 days! Well, the first day was Mickey and Minnie, but I am obnoxious and got matching Buzz Lightyear ones too. Alice is Patrick’s little shadow so whatever he does, she does. It’s cute that she’s into the stuff he likes right now, too.

On our drive back, James and I started talking at the same time about how great this vacation was together. Despite a long car drive there and back, being with a 2 & 4 year old non-stop, we really didn’t feel exhausted. You know that saying that when you’re a parent you need a vacation after your vacation? James and I decided that this was the first time that wasn’t the case. And we are all talking about when our next trip will be.