When you wish upon a star…

Disneyland trip 2010

On Friday afternoon (4/9/10) we headed up to Portland, to Robin (Deon’s sister) & David’s house, as they were allowing us to park our car there over the weekend and also was willing to drop us off and pick us up at the airport. Thanks guys! On the way to the airport, Uncle David wow’d Shelsea with his Google phone, letting her act as the phone holder while it processed its GPS.  She was amazed.. lol.

We were let off at the airport, and headed to the Alaska airlines check in point. Expedia.com vouchers were thankfully easily accepted and they gave us our boarding passes, and proceeded to go through security.  Removed our shoes, coats, belts, and proceeded through security. Deon & Shelsea both had to go through a couple times because he had forgot about change in his pocket, and she forgot she was wearing a belt.

We were almost totally through the line when a Airport Security person asked to view the conents of a certain one of our bags as it had something suspicious in it. Made me nervous as I was trying to think of what it could possibly be. I was worried that they maybe were not going to allow me to take my vitamins I had brought or something. When all was said and done we were able to get through with the exception of one item that was in a carry-on bag…… A never opened tube of toothpaste that we had packed was “a hair too big” so it was confiscated.  Struck me as comical that our toothpaste was feared to be  dangerous. If anything I would be more afraid of our bad breath the next time we came through.. lol… but I understand.  Its kind of funny to be able to  tell people that our toothpaste was confiscated at the airport.. hehe.

We proceeded to our gate and waited, enjoyed a quick Snapple, and entertained ourselves with some Mad Libs that Deon bought at one of the stores, and some color books and crayons that we had brought along.  Our flight was delayed a half an hour, and then our gate assignment changed, so we picked up all our stuff and moved over to the new gate, and got re-situated. Our flight departure time was then pushed out another 15 minutes, but we survived.  Shelsea read her book and slept.. lol

and the boys were anxious, so they found a corner to peer out a window while excitedly awaiting the plane.

They were very excited when it finally pulled in!

The plane ride was pretty uneventful. Everyone and their brother seemed to have to use the lavatory once it was safe for us to make our way back there,  and the boys (being no different) each had to go too. Once the line went down a bit, I walked them back to the plane until it was their turn.  Kylan being small and quick, made it back to his seat, but Haiden and I ended up having to wait for the flight attendants to  finish making their way down the isle with their drink cart as they had already passed our seats once Haiden was finished, so the two of us hung out at the back  until we could get through.  Wasn’t too bad though, very little turbulence, and it allowed us to watch a few minutes of a movie that a nice passenger in the last seat was watching while we waited… hehe. The kids ended up falling asleep towards the end of the flight. We landed at John Wayne Airport, and the weather and environment change was evident immediately.  It was definitely warmer there than it was at home.

We found our shuttle to the hotel without incident, and was luckily able to get checked into our room and get the kids back to bed pretty easily. It was late, and they were pretty tired. Here’s a picture of our hotel the next morning.

Woke up at 7am and enjoyed the continental breakfast provided by the hotel.  Fearing that the “Continental Breakfast” probably wouldn’t be “gluten-free/dairy-free friendly” we had packed with us a bag of carrots and some apple slices to munch on, just in case.  It definitely puts into place a whole new degree of planning when allergies come into play.. lol.  After Deon, Shelsea & Kylan had their donuts, and Haiden & I had some dry corn cereal, we set out to discover Disneyland!

Being our first attempt, we went down to Katella Avenue, and turned the same way we had 13 years ago, but we didn’t take into consideration that the huge parking lot that we previously remembered was now actually built out as California Adventure, and was fenced in. Needless to say we ended up going the “long way”, but to the kids delight, we found it! Luckily the next day we found the “short way”, just 4 blocks from our hotel. (Although we quickly learned that Oregon “blocks”, and California “blocks” are not equidistant.. lol)  These walks also gave us the opportunity to admire some of the flowers and plants as well as the cool maps they put in the cement walkways by the crosswalks near Disneyland. One thing we saw a whole lot on these walks were cheerleaders… it was crazy! they were everywhere! Apparently there was a competition of some kind going on.

Yay! Disneyland! Found it!!

The first ride we took the kids on was Indiana Jones.  The line was long, but the thing about that ride is that there is so much to look while you are waiting in line, so its really not bad at all. Kylan kept saying “Disney is so good!”  The kids were really taking in all the sights and loving all the details.  I don’t know what it is, but I can’t help but smile on that ride, it is so much fun!  Kylan, who was the one I thought would love it the most ended up kind of scared by the end of the first ride, but during the duration of the trip, we went on that ride 5 or 6 times, and if you ask him now, he will list Indiana Jones as his top favorite ride there.

Next we took them on the Jungle Safari, which they also thoroughly enjoyed. The animatronic animals and plant life was very cool, and it had a humorous tour guide.

We then checked out Pirates of the Caribbean, and as a huge fan of the movies, I did enjoy it this time around alot more than when we went 13 years ago for our honeymoon.  They have added so much more to the attraction! Not only inserting Captain Jack Sparrow and other characters from the movie here and there, but one of my favorite parts is that they now have this screen of mist, which at first glance looks like a waterfall sort of. Then, as you get closer, Davey Jones’s talking head is projected on the mist screen, and it appears as if his head just pops out of the  water and he gives you a monologue  warning and then disappears again.  As you pass underneath it, you discover that it is not a screen of material made to look like water, but actually it is all just mist, and it drifts down low enough for you to touch the mist. I tried to get a picture, and I’ll post some here but know that unfortunately none of my pictures that I took in this ride does it justice. It was very cool!. We went on this ride once daily. It was another favorite for the kids, and a nice break for Mom & Dad’s tired feet and legs.

Haunted Mansion was next, and the kids especially liked the end when a different ghost would hitchhike with you on the way out. I think we went on this one once each day we were there as well.

Another favorite was the Thunder Mountain Railroad. That one we went on about 4 times during the course of the weekend as well. So much fun!

In the afternoon we went over to the other park “California Adventure”

We tried the Tower of Terror, which really didn’t go over well with anyone except Shelsea.. who knew that my oldest was actually quite the dare devil?  Tower of Terror seats you in an elevator, then proceeds to launch you to the top, open the doors to the outside world in order to show you exactly how high you were, then plunge you to the depths below,  before repeating the process a few times. Thank goodness for the seatbelts, as each time we were plunged down, I myself was about an inch above the seat.. lol.  Shelsea also loved the California Screamer roller coaster, which I knew wasn’t going to be a good idea for me, and which ended up utterly terrifying Kylan. We had told him he should wait with me, but he was determined to go..  he later admitted to me that he should have listened. Nothing like having Disneyland teach my 7 year old that sometimes listening to Mom is actually a good idea… lol!

We also walked through the Tarzan’s treehouse which all the climbing gave us quite the workout.. lol.

The second day was our magic morning, and so we headed there early.  Ironically during our walk there, Shelsea had mentioned that she saw a couple people who had looked like a friend of hers from school, but wasn’t.  As we talked I had made a comment that it would be pretty unlikely to see anyone that we knew on this trip.  Roughly 20 minutes later, in true fashion I was made to eat my own words as we ran into a friend from high school’s Mother, Step-father, and sister all waiting for the Magic Morning gates to open. It was too funny!

With Magic Morning, they opened Tomorrow land and Fantasy land. After failing to find where they were serving breakfast, we decided to just ride the open rides, and preceded to the Matterhorn, as it normally tended to have huge lines. We also went on the Toy Story Astroblast ride which was filled with black lights and bright scenes. You are given a blaster to try and shoot all the targets and you are awarded points for each target you hit while aiding Buzz Lightyear in defeating his nemesis Zerg, and protecting star command… lol. It was cute. Boys loved it of course because it was like being in a video game.

We tried to go on the submarine ride, but it wasn’t open, and a few others weren’t as well. By that time the park opened and it was quite the zoo trying to get around.

Throughout the day, we ended up seeing a few Disney Characters, and was able to get our picture with a few of them.

We ended up having quite the adventure on the Splash Mountain ride. After going down the big drop, (the one where they take a picture of you), our log slowed and we drifted around the corner to discover that there were two or three other logs just sitting in the water. Our log bumped into the last one and we became stuck, just like the rest of them had. Appearently the little mechanism that was meant to slow  and put distance in between each log closed and stayed closed not allowing any logs to go past that point.  They announced for us to stay in the logs, and that they would be up in a bit to come retrieve all of us.  After awhile, a woman came down and first helped us out of the log boat, then put Deon in charge of making sure that no one went past him, while she continued helping all the other log boat passengers out.  She took us all on a walk which gave us opportunity to take some pictures in there from some perspectives that aren’t normally seen.. lol! They took us out the back way through a repair and service area, and lead us back out to the main park.

In the end they ended up giving us two family  “Fast passes”  to use for that day.

( On a side note: I was actually kind of put off a bit that Disney had instituted this “Fast Pass” option in the park. I don’t believe they had it when we went on our honeymoon. Basically if you had money to burn, you could buy these “Fast Passes”, and it allowed your group to skip closer to the front of the line.. cutting in front of those who had already been waiting for awhile. We ended up only using one of them, and just kept the other. Lines really weren’t that bad without it, and you missed out looking at the scenery really when you used it.)

After that, we checked out the Captain EO tribute. It was cool, we were hesitant at first because they herded us all into this crowded, indoor/outdoor area. It had very  few benches and mostly was standing room only. In this area we began watching a “making of” video that had come out in 1986. We were watching on six or seven monitors that were mounted from the ceiling, and was starting to think that maybe this “making of” video in the crowded area was the extent of the tribute.  A breath of relief was audibly heard from all as they announced that we would now be letting us in the auditorium for the tribute shortly.  (Apparently we weren’t the only ones thinking that we were watching  the tribute on these medium sized monitors… lol.)  Once inside the actual auditorium, we watched the full Captain EO in 3-D, and the chairs we sat in moved for added effect.  Kylan kept reaching for all the close up 3-D things.. lol. It was pretty cool actually. When we were finished and we were being ushered out the exit,  the boys were both trying to dance like Michael Jackson.. lol!

Another favorite was the Grizzly River Rapids.  It is actually found in the California Adventure side. The warning sign at the beginning of the line said “You will get wet.. You may get soaked”, and it was true. We went on it twice. The first day we only slightly got sprinkled and was able to dry off pretty quickly after wards just walking to the next ride. Weather was beautiful! The second day however, Deon was a wave magnet, and was totally soaked! Haiden was pretty wet too but not to the extent of Deon. After that it became apparent that we would need to go back to the hotel and change clothes as it was about 7 pm, overcast, and starting to cool down, so they wouldn’t be able to just dry off by walking.

We headed towards the exit of the park by the buses, and Deon wanted to sit for a few minutes because of his sore feet, so we sat down on a bench there. We must have been a pathetic sight, because before long, an extremely nice bus driver lady saw us and offered to take us down to at least Convention way, (about half way to our hotel) for free. We gladly took her up on the offer and walked the remaining two blocks.  Very nice of her!

The last day, since we had to leave around noon, we voted and rode our three favorites (that didn’t include getting soaked.. lol). We of course hit Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion, and spent the rest of the time looking for souvenirs as the kid’s great aunt and grandparents had given them each a little bit of money to spend on trinkets at Disneyland.  Deon & I bought the kids each a baseball hat that they picked out from us.

By noon, we were all pretty tired and sore, so we headed towards the bus area to use the pass to take us back to the hotel.  Right next to our hotel was a Denny’s that we spent most of our dinners at during the trip. We had lunch there our last day.

Dinner 2nd night

Shelsea was at that point kind of mopey at having to leave California and Disneyland. During lunch, my thoughtful husband started a game where they all listed their favorite things from the weekend, then the things they wouldn’t miss about California and Disneyland (small list, but he was making a point.. lol), then he had them each tell us the things they missed at home. By the end of the conversation, the mood was quite a bit lighter as they realized they actually were looking forward to being home. We finished our meal, paid and left Dennys, then picked up our stuff from the hotel storage area (as we had checked out earlier that morning), and then waited at the bus stop for our shuttle ride back to the SNA airport.

Flight back was crazy turbulent. A storm in Northern California made it so we had to re-route, and the pilot apologized multiple times for not being able to find smooth air. We purposely avoided getting a complimentary juice and pop this time around because they said the seat belt sign would be on most of this flight. It was a bit unnerving at times, and the asian lady who sat beside Shelsea and I spent some time in prayer trying to calm her nerves. I tried to talk to her a bit to keep her (and my) mind off the turbulence.  The little boys were pretty oblivious luckily, and Shelsea decided to just shut her eyes and pretend she was on the Indiana Jones ride.. lol. The flight seemed faster, and luckily we ended with a smooth landing at PDX. We very much enjoyed our time, but Deon and I were very glad to be back in Oregon.

I should say a special thanks to my sister Muriel, and her husband Trevor who fed and checked on Bailey during our trip. Thank you guys! We so appreciated it!

One thought on “When you wish upon a star…”

  1. Great report Serina! Your family has a lot of stamina. I liked that Shelsea is such a daredevil, and think it’s pretty cool that you got the behind-the-scenes look at the ride when it broke. Great parenting, too, Deon with that conversation starter at Denny’s. I’m going to have to remember that!

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