Works been brutal, training has been horrible, the quest to figure out plans for school has been disastrous and well, everything’s just all around bleh right now. So, in the excitement of WDW next month, let’s recap the remainder of the trip to Disneyland! (Yes, I know I also still have 2 tropical paradises left too).
I probably should break up this post into multiple entries, but, well, it’s Disneyland! I’m just too excited to stop! My apologies for the length of this thing, but it’s mostly pictures!
This was only my 3rd time to Disneyland (I’m averaging 1 trip every 10 years-ish) and Doug’s first trip at all. I was definitely looking forward to getting to here (even though it meant our time in Hawaii was over). When I go to Disney World, I know where everything is, what to do and when. I know how to get there. I was very much looking forward to the significantly more laid backness of Disneyland since I’m not as familiar with it. It was great to be able to just kinda go with the flow.
We arrived from Maui into Anaheim LATE Thursday night (it might have technically been Friday morning at that point. We checked into the Grand Californian (very nice hotel…would definitely like to try the Disneyland Hotel since it has changed significantly since I stayed there…20 years ago). As we walked to our room, we noticed someone following us…it was one of the bell hops with a delivery for us courtesy of Doug’s best friend and his wife!
We were up (somewhat) bright and early to head to the expo where everyone on the planet had the same plan. Not going to go into detail about it, you’ve all heard the horror stories.
I didn’t get out of the expo till about 1. RIDONKULOUS! But whatever, we were off to the parks! A little later than planned/desired, but who cares, we were going to Disneyland! Yay!
We decided to take the monorail into Disneyland. Obviously not because its such a long walk to the parks, but just for a different experience. We were dropped of in Tomorrowland and we were off!
With the exception of “It’s a Small World” we kind of skipped Fantasyland. Doug wasn’t really feeling the rides there. Oh well, next time! Off to Frontierland! I love FastPasses!
We did a few other rides on that side of the park. We weren’t trying to go crazy since we had the race the next morning. But at the same time, we had pretty much done almost everything we had wanted to do, so we left Disneyland later than planned, but still in time for Doug to be in bed by 9…as promised!
Saturday morning, woke up bright and early and did the first half (for me anyway) of the Dumbo Double Dare, the Disneyland 10K. You can see the recap here.
I would like to thank the 10K because if not for my post race stretching, I would not have discovered this hidden Mickey in our room!
With the half marathon the next day (and Doug being pooped from running his farthest distance ever) we decided not to do a park and instead just kind of wandered about the Downtown Disney area.
We had gone back to the expo to take a more relaxed look. Much more enjoyable. Got to check out all the medals, I didn’t take a picture of them, but they all look great! While we were there, we stopped by the Disney Vacation Club both. We had kept being asked if we were members (for discount purposes) and although we were, we couldn’t get the discounts because we didn’t have the card. The nice people at the booth (after giving us some free goodies) directed us to the DVC headquarters where the best thing ever happened!
While we were waiting to for our card to be printed, this nice woman came up to us and handed us a stack of FastPasses good for 99% of the rides! Jackpot! I love DVC!
As you may or may not know, I was running the Dumbo Double Dare as part of a charity. The AT Children’s Project, which is an amazing charity fyi, I highly recommend it. Everyone signed up is assigned to a specific “team” for a child or children who had/have the disease. I was assigned to Team Randy and Alex. Randy unfortunately has passed away. Alex, his cousin, just turned 3. That night at our hotel, the AT Children’s Project had their Pasta Dinner. Here we got to eat dinner with the kids and their families that we were running for. It brought a whole new meaning it what we were doing! I may have to do a whole post just on that, but that’s for another time. Alex’s mom is actually pregnant and due this month. She was supposed to do the Dumbo, but did just the 10K instead (10K at 8 months preggo is pretty damn good). His dad did the Dumbo.
We called it an early night as some of us had another 13.1 miles to run in the morning.
Sunday morning , completed the Dumbo Double Dare challenge. Woohoo! For the recap on the Disneyland Half Marathon, you can check it our here.
After the race we were off to California Adventures! First thing we did, get the FastPass for Radiator Springs (unfortunately the only ride the FastPasses we had weren’t good for). Then off to enjoy the rest of the park!
Our first ride was California Screamin’. I typically love this coaster. It’s a nice long ride and pretty much no line. But, when you’ve run 13.1 miles in the morning and haven’t eaten yet, the headache you have makes this a little unbearable
While at the Muppets Vision 3D, I realized I was beyond exhausted, mostly because I was falling asleep during it…and I love the Muppets! This is when we decided to take advantage of the best feature of Disneyland…we walked about 5 minutes back to our hotel room and took a nap! I cannot remember the last time I left a park in the middle of the day to take a break…it was AWESOME!
We returned to the DCA in the late afternoon and continued on with the fun!
OK, a few things about CarsLand. Last time I was in DCA, it did not exist (mostly because the park had just opened) so I was uber excited to check it out. It was just like walking into the movie! Which Doug realized after we got back to NY and watched the movie. He then immediately wanted to come back to go to CarsLand again with a whole new appreciation for it. Also, Radiator Springs is a must! The ride is great! Tons of fun and it doesn’t exist in WDW (the Test Track is similar, but not really comparable…although maybe the new version is, who knows!)
We typically don’t do a lot of shows when in the parks, but the timing of the Aladdin one worked out, so we checked it out. It was actually pretty good. Not crazy about some of the liberties they took with the story, but the Genie was hysterical, having to ab lib most of his dialogue. There was one point where he literally ran onto stage and said “sorry I’m late, I was the last person to finish the Disneyland Half Marathon.” Just thought it was funny…anyway!
After that, we had reservations at Carthay Circle as part of the World of Color reserved seating thingie. While waiting to be seated, we bumped into Danielle who was doing the same thing. We were apparently not the only runners to be enjoying Carthay Circle that evening. We saw Sean Astin there too! Yay! Of course, Doug and I were too chicken to go up to him.
We got outdoor seating which was great! The night was so nice and we were surprised with a view of the fireworks while we were eating (FYI, the food, DELICIOUS!). Danielle was seated at the table right next to us, so she was able to “sneak” a picture of us.
After dinner we took a quick stroll through CarsLand to check it out at night before World of Color.
OK, World of Color, OMG! It was amazing! My pictures don’t even do it remote justice! I got chills watching it. I like the music from Fantasmic better, but this show by far and away blows it out of the water (no pun intended). I hope they bring this to WDW!
And with that, our last night in Disneyland was over Oh well, we still have pretty much 1 more day before our red-eye back to NY!
We did some more wandering around Downtown Disney, checked out Earl of Sandwich…
We weren’t originally planning on going into the parks again, but with so much time left, and an unexpected free ticket thanks to the AT Children’s Project, we figured what the hell! We opted for the using the main entrance this time for Disneyland.
After one last ride on Space Mountain, we were done with Disneyland. Who knows when we’ll be able to return again! I’m definitely not done with racing there, but I probably won’t be back for a while
And with that, we caught our shuttle to the airport, hopped on a red-eye to NY and then both of went to work when we landed. It was an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back!
Thus endeth the way too long post!