Our Crazy Holiday Trip (late November 2016) - update 8/16

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 4, 2016.

  1. cptmemo

    cptmemo Mouseketeer

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    I'm glad we were able to get on ToT again as well. I think I only ended up riding it once, but dd13 who had only ridden it once before as a 4 yr old, wanted to ride it afterhours when it was all dark. She talked her 15yr brother and 4 yr old sis to go with her, but brother ended up not going. the 4 yr old did okay until after it was over she burst into tears. LOL I'm sad we didn't make it anymore times :(
     
  2. Our Aussie six

    Our Aussie six Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the update, I'm just like you such a planner I think you need to be with a big family.
    I think the hardest thing for me will be just going with the flow and accepting that not everything will always go the way I planned it.
    I can't wait to read more :o
     
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  4. ajsary

    ajsary Mouseketeer

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    Hello! Found your trip reports recently and I love them. You and your family are beautiful! We have been to WDW a bunch of times, but we are going to DLR for the first time this summer. Your trip report is providing so much useful information, and you're reminding me to be flexible in my trip planning. Sometimes I get too focused on the perfect touring plan and then executing it that I lose sight of the fun that is being at Disney! I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip!
     
  5. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Thanks! Somehow I never saw this! I have got to finish this trip report! If I ever get back to WDW I'm going to have so much planning to do though... ;-)
     
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  6. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    It was about 4 pm at this point, and we decided to head over for a quick Little Mermaid ride. I love how calm and enjoyable and whole-family-friendly that one is. :)
    [​IMG]It was getting just a touch chilly, but it was a nice time to hit up some of the Boardwalk rides. I was anxious for my kids to experience the Silly Symphony Swings (somehow it was close the last two times I visited, and I’m pretty sure it was still the Orange Zinger or whatever the last time I rode), and my two older kids really liked Goofy’s Sky School on our last visit (Again, I think the last time I rode it it was Mulholland Madness, and I didn’t care for it). But first we rode the Golden Zephyr, since I knew even the baby could ride on that one. I didn’t anticipate them making me take her out of the carrier and sit her on the seat next to me, but she was a trooper, and it worked out. But she felt waaay less secure down on the seat than securely attached with the sling, or even sitting in my lap. Oh well. It was fun, if a bit cold and breezy. The kids mostly loved the swings (DD6 rode in a tandem with with me, and DH isn’t a huge fan of heights, so he happily sat off with the little ones) and the three older ones and I did Goofy’s Sky School. DD8 said this was one of her top few favorites. Crazy kids. We did all 4 of those rides in 45 minutes, according to my camera time stamps. Pretty good for “holiday season.” :-)
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    After that it was time to try to get DD0 to eat. She really struggled focusing enough to nurse at Disney! I went back behind the Silly Symphony Swings and got her to nurse a bit, and then we tried to decide what to do next. The kids really really wanted to do Splash Mountain, and at 5 pm, it was the perfect thing to end our day before we were probably going to be done and head home. So we trekked from SSS alllll the way over to Critter Country (yay stroller and babywearing) and the three older kids and I did Splash Mountain with 3 of our ponchos (one had gone missing). DS10 volunteered to not wear a poncho, and DH had no interest in getting wet in this cool weather, so we were all set. I think DH took the two littles on Winnie the Pooh a couple times while we waited in the “line.” 5 pm in almost-December on a cool day? Definitely a walk-on. :-) The older two had been on Splash on our last trip and liked it, more or less, and they loved it this time. DD6 –liked- it, but the last drop was a bit much for her. When we finished, the ride operator asked if we wanted to go again, and the older two were all for it, but DD6 said “NO!” If I had been thinking at all, I would have grabbed her and jumped out and let the older two ride again, but that thought didn’t occur to me until months later…
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    Now it was 6 pm, and we were pretty much done with the day. We took our time leaving, enjoying the atmosphere, and by 6:45 we were on the bus back to the Toy Story lot. I don’t actually know for sure what we had for dinner, but I think it was a combination of Chipotle and Panda Express. :)
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    Video compilation of some of our 3rd day activities:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  7. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Hey There! I just did a marathon TR read and got all caught up. First, love the shirts, especially the stencil ones that took so long and the little jacket that you did up like Monsters Inc. Bummer about the hotel reservation not being in the system and having to stay so far away. You and your DH are such troopers to have dealt with all that was thrown at you on top of the regular craziness of having wee ones at the parks.

    We are going at the exact same time of year this year (PTR up and rolling) so it is great to see the weather being generally cooperative, if a bit cold. We are Oregonians so "Cali cold" will probably still have us in shorts and t-shirts :thumbsup2 So sorry that your DD's legs gave out and that the wee one had trouble feeding/dealing with all the noise/action of the parks. On our last WDW trip my DW and DD flew in with bad colds and DD completely lost her voice. And then DS's stomach went south and I ended up pushing him around AK in a wheel chair all day. Just glad you and DH stayed healthy (if a bit frazzled and exhausted) to be able to take care of them.

    And no matter how well you plan out your days, these curve balls get thrown at you - way to just keep swimming despite all the obstacles! :goodvibes

    Bummer that that last set of pics aren't showing up. I'm guessing PhotoBucket has moved forward with their ridiculous account changes and charges for hosting pictures. One of the other TR's on here has a discussion on other photo hosting options, can't remember which one off hand.

    Hope to see some more of the trip and those moments like your DD still getting to do Jedi Academy make it all worth while.
     
  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Ugh, I saw something about hosting in passing, but didn't glance at it. Looks like I'd better look it up. But that's going to kill my last trip report too. So grumpy.

    But thanks for your reply and kind words!!
     
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  9. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Anyone want to let me know if the pictures (posted from my google photos) work in that most recent, or if they're absolutely too giant for whatever format you're using? I don't want to go through and start replacing the other posts unless it's going to work...
     
  10. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Unfortunately they are not showing up, neither is your signature picture :confused3
     
  11. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Argh. Thanks for checking for me! That's no good. I've got to figure this out... Lame. I'm going to try Imgur next. I have disliked photobucket and their trashy constant ads for a long time, (but have also used them for a long time so never thought about switching.) I will figure this out!
     
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  12. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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  13. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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  14. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    There are still a few links that aren't working, but in general I think You got it!
     
  15. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Yay! Thank you for your help! The non-working links are just the same pics linked from my Googlephotos. They show as just a blank spot in the editing phase, so I don't always see them to delete them. Now to find/make the time to replace the other photos in this report. :P Hoping I can leave the ones on my older trip report and that they won't get enough traffic to trigger Photobucket's cut off, so they'll still be visible if people randomly want to read it later.
     
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  16. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Day #4. (part one)
    The only day we started at California Adventure. The park opened at 8 today, and I tried to not even push us out the door too early, because I knew DH was flagging a little. It makes me super itchy to not be there for rope drop, so it's a struggle... We were there very shortly after though, (like just at the end of the pack; that pic of me and Walt was actually at 7:59) and the kids and I took some time to take some pictures and enjoy the scenery while we waited for DH to park and find us.
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    We grabbed a quick ride on Luigi's, then went through the Wharf and met up with him at Toy Story Midway Mania for, I think, our only ride on that. The line was just always long. Even this morning, I think we waited over 15 minutes, after getting in line at 8:30. We remembered to get a pic of all the kids in their 3-D glasses like our last trip. Hoping to continue having that be a tradition. The kids enjoyed it, but my score was pretty off since I was also holding a baby. :) DH always beats me on that ride anyway. (But I usually win at Buzz)
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    The line was much shorter for Screamin', so DS10 and I grabbed a ride on it while the others had a bathroom break, (though we waited unnaturally long for a front-seat ride) and then we did the carousel. Or maybe they did it once but then I went on it too? 8 months later it's fuzzy for some reason... ;-) Then -I- needed a bathroom, so I think the rest of them headed for RSR to get fastpasses maybe? I'm really not sure why we split up, but I have some solo pics with DD8 right there...
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    The baby needed to nurse, though, and it was chilly, so I decided to check out the childcare area on that side of the park. I didn't like it quite as much as the one at Disneyland, but it was warm, and quieter, and very appreciated. They had all headed over to a Bug's Land to try some of the littler rides, so baby girl and I made our way over. It was really a beautiful morning.
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    I know people have mixed feelings about A Bug's Land, but I just enjoy the theming there. I think it is so fun to feel like we're tiny like bugs. And I like Heimlich's Chew Chew train, and my kids laugh and giggle and slide around on the Ladybug Boogie one, and we really enjoyed the little Flik's Flyers that I don't think I've ever been on before. And the lack of much line is a big draw. I don't enjoy the bumper cars though. The theming is really fun, but the way the height/age requirements are, we have had a hard time getting everyone on in a reasonable amount of time so far, and the ride itself is pretty ho-hum. They wouldn't let me wear the baby on the Ladybug Boogie, so I stepped out of line. I had just gotten her all situated and didn't feel like pulling her out, plus I felt like it was kind of rough to not have her comfortably secured to me.
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    All this was while we were waiting for our RSR fp to be available. Since baby girl was ready to eat, I sent DH and the older kids on RSR, and I nursed the baby for a few minutes, then I decided to walk with her and DS2 over to get ToT fastpasses while he was on RSR with the older 3. I think this was one of DD6's favorite rides. It's too bad she wasn't quite 7, and didn't get to go through the single rider line a few times during the trip like the older two did. But they had a great time on the ride, and when it was over we did rider switch, which worked out, because the baby was ready for a nap, and she would -not- get comfortable and sleep on me, but slept well in the wrap for DH. I enjoy RSR, and we had a good time in line, chatting with some other people around us. The wait wasn't bad with FP's. (we used the "extra FP" - mine, to take a third companion on with us often, since the rider switch only allows 2 extras)
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    (whoops, too many images. To be continued in about 2 minutes....)
     
  17. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Our ToT fp's were ready to go after two sets of RSR, and since the baby was finally sleeping (you can see he tied his jacket around them for extra warmth, too) DS10 and I took a last ride, and got the rider switch for later. It was a fun one, and I look forward to seeing what they've done with it for Guardians of the Galaxy. I'm okay with it being a little less creepy now... (and I'll bet my girls will have a better chance of enjoying it, too!) Even with fast passes, that line seemed to take a while. It was pretty popular since it just had a month or so left in operation.

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    While we rode, DH and the other four did the Animation Academy and got some more cute pictures with Lightning.

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    For the last several hours I'd been trying to connect with my friend (the one who let me use her AP for photos and borrow her stroller), who was there that morning with her two boys, but we kept missing each other. Finally we connected, and aside from some stress trying to figure out what our kids needed and when/where/what to eat, we hung out for an hour or two, riding the Monsters, Inc. ride at least 4 times in a row with basically no wait, while DH and DS10 did their last ride on the Tower of Terror.

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    It was now 1 pm, and we had accomplished a whole whole lot for 5 hours with 5 small kids, and were hungry for a late lunch of some sort, and unsure what to do next. We were a bit tired and grumpy. So of course, we did nothing. We hung around at the big beautiful Christmas tree near the entrance while DH tried to find something to eat (he is allergic to gluten and has some other sensitivities, which makes it challenging at times, or at least expensive.) I took quite a few fun pictures of the kids, though they weren’t feeling too cooperative, and a Photopass photographer got some cute ones while DD8 was making DD0 laugh.

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    We finally decided it was time to park hop and see what fun could be had at Disneyland during our last day. Plus, I was dying for a corn dog…
     
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  18. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like you hit some good highlights in CA. I'm glad your DD's legs bounced back and were up to the challenge of the day!

    It does look like it was a nice day there. I take it the day was a bit warmer? Hope your DH found something good to eat. Great pics, especially the ones at the tree:thumbsup2
     
  19. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Yes, she was doing better after riding all day Wednesday! We kept our red "used as a wheelchair" sticker on the stroller in case she had more trouble, but didn't need to use it at all that last day. We also let her ride on any long hauls to avoid problems. It does seem like the day was warmer. Tuesday morning was the coldest, and all day Wednesday was a little cool, but we're also from Arizona (and the Phx area, where we still have 80's in Dec/January, so...) I think the weather will be mostly really nice for you guys!
     
  20. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Very cool, huzzah for a kid's ability to bounce back!

    Oh yes, I can understand that then. I spent 10yrs of my youth in Tucson and another 2 years in Phoenix, we moved up from there to Oregon when I was a freshman. It took a bit to get acclimatized to the PNW but now for trips later in the year it works in my favor. I don't miss the summers you are struggling with right now, but the winters are nice down there. And the sky during the monsoon season is epic!
     
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  21. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    This is taking me forever. I've been trying to go back and fix some of the old posts in here re: Photobucket is dumb. I'm going to get it all done, someday.
    Back to our last day!

    Can I sound old for just a minute (and whine about the good old days)? Since when is there a 15 minute line for a dang corn dog? At almost 2 in the afternoon? I was not impressed, haha. But I did finally get my corn dog, and it was very tasty. I'm not sure what DH and the kids were doing while I stood in line, since it was a long time ago now, and since he didn't take any pictures. Probably getting fastpasses (they went towards Tomorrowland) and maybe using the bathroom. I couldn't even wait to take a picture before I took a bite, apparently, because I was too hungry! (Also, my old grumpy face in the line of like 10 people...)
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    I think the older kids and I must have gone standby on Indiana Jones, unless they let us use our rider switch from the day before, which is possible. Remember the melting down baby and toddler after we rode it Wednesday? There was no way I was making it on right after they rode it! I'm a little sad about the changes I hear have been happening with rider switch. But we went, and it was great! Indiana Jones used to scare me a little, but I mostly enjoy it now, and just close my eyes when we go through the bug cave... I enjoy the fire that's working again these days.

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    After Indy we met up with DH and the three littlers in Frontierland, where DD6 had decided to spend some of her souvenir money on a bracelet with her name on it. You never know what these kids are going to want! DD8 decided she wanted one too (she can never find anything with her name on it, since HER name is actually Jaina, which was also my VMK character's name when I created this DIS account like 11 years ago...).
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    I don't know what our thought process was after that, but I took the baby and DD6 on the carousel, possibly while DH took other people to get fastpasses or something, and also took DS2 on Buzz again. I really should have done this trip report in the few months after our trip... Baby girl didn't love the carousel at first, but she came around. I was glad, because it's one of my favorites. Well, except for the silly gold handles they put on a few years ago. Those kill it for me, just a little bit, for some reason. Oh, looking at pictures, I remember! DH just took Mr. 2 to Buzz (We almost didn't bring the toddler Tula with the double stroller and the baby carriers, but it was a lifesaver a few times!) and I kept the rest, but the oldest two wanted to try Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I didn't really want to take the baby on at that moment though, and the line was a little long, so that's why we did the carousel instead. Here's also a pic of DD6 outside while we waited for them.
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    By the time I collected the big kids, it was a little after 3:30, and we wanted to catch the 4:30 parade. I'd never been here during the holidays before, and heard the Christmas parade wasn't one to miss, so I headed over to try to find us seats. An hour before I wasn't hoping for amazing seats, but with the crowd levels we'd had (busy, but not bad at all) I really thought I could find some seats. Not really... We almost always watch the parade over by IASW, but apparently it's no longer the less crowded area. (Or maybe it was, but I wasn't planning on Main Street being -less- crowded, so we just stayed in that area.) I finally found us a patch of concrete just one set of people from the curb, but it was small, especially with my double jogger. (Which I was relying on to corral the little guy, and to save him a spot to sit). So the 4 kids and I started to get situated when some people that were sitting up on the planter (think just before the turn over to Toontown/the theater) said, "Hey, there are people that are going to sit there." Um, this area, where no one is sitting and there isn't even a blanket? There were LOTS of blankets. This same group of people had two blankets out also, right on the curb. Tired, a little grouchy, and with 5 kids that may or may not ever be back here at Christmas, and certainly not when they're little, I said, "Hmm. Not if we're sitting here." And I proceded to ignore them and got my little crowd situated. I'm sorry, but you cannot save curbside with blankets (with one stroller on them), sit all along the planter, and expect to save the 6 feet in between those two areas as well with only a handful of people. They were later joined by about 10-15 more people, and there was very slight grumbling about the space left, but people, come on. By the time people finished squeezing in on the left and the right (and we were taking up as little space as possible) it was quite tight in there. Thankfully I had some snacks left in my bag so kids didn't get too grumpy. We also struck up a conversation with the mom and two boys directly in front of us, who had quite the story of being on the west coast with some family medical issues, and how hard it had been for the kids, and how she had just wanted to give them a fun day, so had driven three hours to take them to Disney for the day. We shared our glow bracelets and some of our snacks with them, and I hope they had a good rest of the night! (They had also been getting the stink eye from the space savers...)
    I have to say that after all the unpleasantness, the parade seemed a little lackluster. Sure, it was pretty, and I knew enough to be excited that the soldiers were present, but I was tired, and the kids weren't as excited as they were during Soundsational on our last trip, and I think it would have been better after dark. But I think it was only at 4:30 each day we were there. I'm still glad we went, and it was fun to watch their faces, but hopefully next time I'll plan better and we'll have a more comfortable spot and enjoy it all more. (You can see our new friend in that last picture.)
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    So, almost 5 PM on our very last day. We probably only have another good 2 hours in us. What to do now?
     

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