Monday, May 02, 2005

A Disneyland & California Adventure weekend

ParksCategoryFeatureWe just got back from a little family trip to Disneyland & California Adventure - we all had a great time! I was most worried about how they would do sleeping in a hotel.

The last time we did a hotel stay was for "Day Out With Thomas" (the tank engine) in Perris, California, last November. During that stay, Nolan woke up Jackson almost immediately upon us putting them down and we had to resort to driving around on the I-215 freeway until they both fell asleep. Note to self: next time we come to the Orange Empire Railway Museum, do a day trip!

Back on topic - Disneyland. We showed up on Friday morning, got hopper passes for entry to both parks and headed off for Fantasyland. Our first ride, Pinnochio, was mostly boring for 3-year-old thrill-seeker Nolan and mostly frightening for 18-month-old Jackson. We decided these dark and scary Disneyland kiddie rides were just not going to work for our family. Next we tackled the carousel, which Nolan loved (sitting all by himself) and Jackson coped with and eventually enjoyed while seated on my lap; mom took video from a non-moving bench in front of us.

From there we went to Toontown and rode the Roger Rabbit spinning-out-of-control-car ride. Then Nolan and I rode a roller coaster while J and mom got a little something to eat. We took the Disneyland railroad to the next stop, Tomorrowland, ditched the long lines for burgers and did a little walking tour of the park for the Country Bear burger stop instead. By now it was early afternoon and, we thought, time for the boys to nap. So it was off to California Adventure for a nice stroll along the pier.

Before we get very far into California Adventure (CA), Nolan fell asleep in the stroller. Jackson, on the other hand, was happy to be awake (as he would for a couple more hours). Jackson jumbled around the park, taking in the sights and sounds along Paradise Pier and enjoying some free time with dad in the Bug's Life kids' area while mom rested a bit. Then we all got the craving for an ice cream sundae, so we headed for the ice cream parlor in the train near the front of CA. That's where we found a great gift shop with all the Mr. Potato Head accessories you could want; we stocked up!

Nolan woke up in time for some ice cream and a romp through the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, a cool obstacle course with rope ladders, rock walls, and slides. Pretty soon, however, Jackson was starting to get a little worn out. So we revisited the Bug's Life area, saw a little song and dance show, rode Heimlich's Chew Chew train ride, a hot air leaf-balloon ride, and Nolan and I rode the bumper cars. Nolan and I also got to ride Soarin' Over California, which he was pretty scared about at first - holding tightly to my hand - then really liked after realizing he'd be safe. Jackson took a very brief nap in mom's arms while we rode the ride.

We didn't get back to the hotel room until after 10PM with both boys still awake! Thankfully Nolan took to his bed really well and Jackson was able to be consoled to sleep by mom in the main bed. All in all, a great trip!

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