2016 Disney Adventure

Happy Friday!

Athletics starts today – I hope you watched that 10,000m race! It was an exciting one. Lanni and Tasha did great, both having season’s bests on the track. Lanni is racing the marathon on Sunday morning!

On Monday we went to Disneyland. We tend to head to Disney on one of the last days of our trip to go along with heading back to the LA area in order to catch our flight home. Last year we made the decision to book a hotel for the next trip to Disney as we tend to get overheated and tired by about 3pm, therefore missing the parade and fireworks at night. We booked a room at the Tropicana Inn, which is located directly across the street from Disney. The price was very affordable and well worth booking. We went back and forth twice on Disney day, both to rest but also to eat lunch. We had pizza at “The Pizza Press” – only $10 for a fairly big pizza and it was amazing.

Back to Disney. Not mentioned before – but P’s Dad came with us on the trip. He is legally blind and hard of hearing, but walks a ton each day. We were a little worried and adjusted our expectations for the day. We figured that we wanted to do more “Disney experiences” than rides, as we have been on most of the rides before. We started off our Day in Tomorrowland as Max’s two ride requests were the Buzz Lightyear ride and Star Tours. But first, we managed to run right into Mickey Mouse – so we had a photo taken with the big mouse first.

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We went and picked up a FastPass for Star Tours and then basically walked right onto Buzz. The trick with Disney if you want to go on rides is to go on as much as you can in the first hour and take advantage of Fast Passes. When we were finished with the Buzz ride, we decided to head to the Star Wars exhibit to see if we could sign up for Jedi Training. Jedi Training is an experience for children aged 4-12. They wear Jedi Robes and eventually face Darth Vader themselves. You have to register at the beginning of the day and the Disney people will ask your child a bunch of questions to see if they are suitable for the activity. Max passed the test and we were asked what time we wanted. We saw that the 11:30 time was available, but worried that our Star Tours Fast Pass was at roughly the same time. The Disney person gave us an extra special pass to get on Star Tours right away – amazing! If you want to have your child experience the Jedi Training, go to registration right away. By 11am (an hour later), the spots were completely full. There is no extra cost, but it will take at least 1.5 hours out of your day, so be prepared to give up some ride time.

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Star Tours was so much fun. Max was grinning from ear to ear and loved the ride. After that, we went to the Star Wars exhibit and tried to see Chewy and Kylo Ren before we had to report to Jedi Training. We were close to meeting Chewy, but unfortunately he had to “run to the Millennium Falcon” for a moment aka probably had to use the washroom 😀 We figured we would head back later. Fun Fact – the Star Wars Launch Bay has exceptional air conditioning and a great place to hang out when the sun is hot. He did manage to see Boba Fett!

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Jedi Training was up next. The kids had to go to a holding area and grab their robes. Then the parents/family members were taken to the stage where Jedi Training happened. That means about 10 minutes of your children being left with Disney staff. Then the show started and out came the kids. So cute! They learned all sorts of lightsaber moves and how to use the force.

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Then out came Darth Vader! The kids each got a turn to face Darth Vader. Max was literally hopping up and down waiting for his turn. I’ve attached the video below. Yes, the Disney person did say “it is weird how smiley you are!” – Max also got the loudest cheer for his face off with Darth Vader (probably because he was the smallest kid there and went all out.

The Jedi training was amazing and I highly recommend it – best part of the day! After Jedi training we went on “It’s a Small World” aka nap time. Then we went to Toon Town to ride the roller coaster there. After that, it was break time. Pizza Press is also highly recommended if you have a hotel outside the park. Affordable and yummy. We then went back to the park, but left P’s Dad at the hotel for a rest.

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We wanted to go on the Autopia ride as it apparently had a 45 minute wait. It was not 45 minutes, but more like 20. Max really likes that ride. We then finally got to meet Chewy and Kylo Ren.

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After that, we went on that rocket ride at Tomorrowland before heading back to the hotel for another rest. Another weird timing issue as the sign said 20 minutes, but was actually more like 40. We went back to the hotel for a quick swim and then went back to the park to see the lights parade and fireworks. But since we had some time, we ended up going on Pirates of the Caribbean. Because of the time spent at all the Disney experiences, we did not go on many rides. The line ups were pretty big and most of the Fast Pass rides were broken down for whatever reason. We didn’t go into Fantasy Land at all this time. But we did go to Disney 2x last year and will most likely go again next year, so it isn’t a big deal.

The electrical parade and fireworks ended the day. Disney becomes very crowded at this point. Some people line up for over an hour to get front row spots. We were off to the side for the parade, but in a great spot for the fireworks. We munched on popcorn and I FINALLY got to try a Dole Whip (yum!).

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Note for next year – priority on the parade than the fireworks as apparently Max does not like how loud they were. He had his ears covered the entire time despite the night before dancing and yelling at them from  the hotel parking lot. The fireworks were really good. They featured a bunch of movies, including Finding Nemo and The Lion King. It was really great.

 

After that, we went back to the hotel. Max was asleep in 30 seconds.

We had a great time at Disney – next year we would like to go to California Adventure too. Max is aware that there is a Cars ride there and I don’t think we can avoid that park next year. Plus, they have beer on that side of the park (there is no alcohol in Disneyland). This was also the first time Max walked the park. We normally rent a stroller. He did pretty good and made sure to hold my hand. He really only ran off once. In case of separation, he had a lanyard on with our phone numbers. I did see another kid with the parent’s number on the arm. We had a great day and already planning for next year 🙂 and yes, Max is now in possession of a lightsaber 🙂

Have a wonderful Friday! 

 

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