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7.18.2014

California Vacation - Days 4, 5, & 6

On Friday we went back to Disney, this time to California Adventure. 
I liked California Adventure a lot more than I did Disneyland. It was much less crowded, so we spent less time in lines. I also just liked the feel of it more - can't explain.
Madeleine went on the Golden Zephyr and Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies with Bill. I took her on Luigi's Flying Tires. Then the whole family did Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Francis' Ladybug Boogie, Mickey's Fun Wheel.
There were more characters to meet too. We had scheduled a lunch with the princesses at Ariel's Grotto. When we arrived they said the kitchen was out, but that we could still meet the princesses. We met Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty (without having to pay $100+ for lunch - score!). Madeleine had a serious moment with Snow White. They literally hugged with their eyes closed for at least 30 seconds. The men and women who play the characters at the park do such a great job.
We took pictures with Lighting McQueen and Mater and met Mrs. Incredible while walking around too. Later we took in the Disney Junior - Live on Stage show and the Pixar Play Parade.
We didn't stay as late at the park this day, and left around dinnertime. We spent the rest of the evening at home with Bill's dad. It was so nice having an actual house to stay in while we were away. I think it was easier on all of us having a bit of space to spread out instead of being crammed in a hotel room for a week.

When we purchased our Disney tickets we decided to get the 3-day pass because it came with a Magic Morning (early entrance to the park) and for some reason we thought the tickets didn't expire for a year. We thought we could go two days and save the last day for anther time. Well, turns out the Magic Morning is only on specific days (Tues, Thurs, Sat and we were only planning on going Wed and Fri), and you have to use all the days within two weeks of the first day you go.  Whoops!

So, even though we were pretty Disney'd out by this time, we decided to utilize the Saturday Magic Morning to try and meet the Disneyland piece de resistance of the moment - Elsa and Anna from Frozen. Wait times were averaging 5 hours (yes, 5 frigging hours!) the other days we were there, so if we had any chance it was this day. The second we entered the park we ran to where they were located and got in line. Even with getting there an hour early there was still a 2½ hour wait. We stuck it out.

When it was finally our turn, I was so happy that they really interacted with the kids and we were not rushed through. Madeleine had them both laughing, and really bonded with Anna (who funny enough was the same actress who played Snow White the day before).
 
Afterwards we all went on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and did some souvenir shopping. Each of the kids got Mickey ears with their name embroidered on the back plus a little toy. We headed back to the house for lunch, naps, and time with Grandpa.

Sunday morning we drove the six hours back to Phoenix. All-in-all a pretty successful first family vacation. 

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