Monday, August 1, 2011

More Disneyland pictures, part II.

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney California Adventure - this was a really cute, fun ride, but the lines for it were always quite long, even first thing in the morning

In the interest of full disclosure/keeping it real, I should point out that Will appears in no morning pictures because he was too grumpy to get up early with the rest of us and head to the park before the crowds and midday heat and sun hit (never mind that we had gained two hours going from Texas to California). On Wednesday morning when Will balked at waking up, I told him that was fine as long as he kept Vivian, who was also being sleepy and irritable, at the hotel with him. So Robert, Dots and I headed to the parks by ourselves and had the nicest, most relaxing day! Will had planned to bring Vivian to Disneyland around lunch, but she was so content coloring, looking at books and watching her phone in the room that he decided to stay back. This ended up working out really well because the rest of the week Will got up and went with us in the morning, and he and Vivian were both in better spirits.

All said, we had a great week at Disneyland. Our family was able to spend a lot of time together which doesn't happen much anymore, and it was overall a relaxing and fun vacation. I loved the rides, the shows, the characters; I'm ready to go back!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I couldn't believe how much I loved this ride! I went on it four times

Disney '11 040
Dots and me in the hotel lobby of the Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror 81a
I was especially taken by the conceptualization of the 1930's hotel that served as the setting for the ride. The queue line ends in this lobby

Disney '11 042
Picture from the Tower of Terror. I'm on the middle row, far right, hanging on for dear life with my eyes closed!

Disney '11 043
I haven't ridden a roller coaster in about 25 years, but I went on California Screamin' and enjoyed it! I look like Cousin It from the
Addams Family in this picture, however (behind Robert and to the right of Dots), because I wouldn't let go even for a second to get my hair out of my face

These sisters are from Charlotte, NC and go to camp with Dots! The girls were in California visiting their grandparents and we made plans to meet up with them one day at Disneyland

Wednesday night Will, Dots and I ate at Bubba Gump in the Anaheim Garden Walk near our hotel. Sweet Robert stayed at the hotel with Vivian so we could enjoy a peaceful dinner

Thursday morning - Will and Dots on the Mad Tea Party

October 2000 - Will, Dots and Robert on the tea cups!

Disney '11 057
Riding the bus down Main Street

Waiting in line at Toy Story Midway Mania

Disney '11 059
This ride was so cute! We wore 3-D glasses and played arcade shooting games as we rode through. A monitor on the dash showed our score

Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure

Paradise Pier at night just before the World of Color show

Vivian and Robert at the Mike and Sulley to the Rescue ride (from
Monsters, Inc.). Vivian really liked this ride - she enjoyed trying to find the baby in each scene as the little taxi car rode around. This was another attraction that had a handicap-accessible car so we could take Vivian straight on in her stroller. I think that made a huge difference in her whole demeanor

Exterior of
It's a Small World at night

Disney '11 062
Earlier in the week when we rode on Small World, Vivian got out of her stroller and sat with me. This time she refused to get in a regular boat, so we waited on a wheelchair-accessible one. Her stroller was loaded into the back and Robert and I sat on a bench some distance in front. We were both terrified Vivian would melt down and try to get out! Fortunately she was mesmerized enough by the ride that she sat contentedly

Disney '11 064
Outside Soarin' over California - a simulated hang-glider ride that takes you over the sights of California. This was one of my favorite attractions. Vivian looks so happy you'd never know she just completely fell apart, hence the reason she and Robert were waiting in an empty exit hallway! We were able to trade off afterward so Robert could ride. Disney is very accommodating about parents taking turns. In fact I can't say enough good things about how helpful the cast members (Disney employees) were to us throughout our visit

Disney '11 065
Dots entertaining the other guests while they waited for their Animation Academy cartoon-drawing lesson. Robert, Will, and Dorothy enjoyed this so much that they went back for a second lesson. Unfortunately the first class was on drawing Chip and the second was on Dale!

Our last morning in the parks. Will had flown home early for a fraternity function, so it was just Dots, Vivian, Robert and me. We took turns riding Space Mountain and Star Tours again before heading to Fantasyland one last time. While I shopped for souvenirs, Robert took the girls to see
Captain EO, a 1980's movie with Michael Jackson. Inexplicably, Vivian loved it!

We had a hard time convincing Vivian to give back her 3-D glasses after the show

Disney '11 074
Back on the Casey Junior Train

You might guess that our entire family knows the words to the Casey Jr theme song by heart

Disney '11 076
Pretty, manicured miniature gardens comprised the landscape between the train tracks and the canals

Disney '11 079
On the Storybook Land Canal boats. Vivian was fascinated by our passage through the mouth of the whale from Pinocchio

Disney '11 082
Dots and I loved the miniature scenes constructed along the banks of the canal. Behind her is Cinderella's castle

Dots chose this California tank top as her souvenir of the trip. If this child were to go to college in California, she would never come back home!

After we discovered Napolini in Downtown Disney, we never ate anywhere else for lunch! They have delicious pizza and fresh salads and sandwiches

Clearing security one last time as we journeyed from Downtown Disney back past the park entrances

Heading back to our hotel

Goodbye, Disneyland! We hope to return again soon!

The children at Disneyland in 2000


Maggie said...

Fun times! Love the "then" and "now" pictures.

Unknown said...

adorable! i love all of the old pictures next to the current sweet. what a wonderful trip you guys had! (and i'm with Dots; love me some california...)

DawnW said...

Love your pictures Eloise!! And I love how accommodating Disney was to your family's needs. They really set themselves apart with considerations like that and that's why all the Disney parks are such a pleasure to visit!!! Glad you all had a wonderful time!

JMW said...

The older photos of your kids at Disney are just precious! And to see that they still delight in it is great. I really need to start planning for Disney World, now that my kids are 6 and 4. :)

3 Peanuts said...

It looks like such FUN time and I'll bet the weather was much more pleasant than Orlando would have been!!! We loved Soarin at Epcot too. it was all of our favorite ride (including Kate). Toy Story Mania was fun too but the lines were awful in FLA as well.

I love seeing the old photos too.

PS Someone who is related to you spotted a friend of mine on a flight to Japan the other day. She is a flight attendant perhaps out of MPLS. My friend Di said she was related to you and reads my blog and recognized my friend. Small world:)