Stuck at Disneyland for the Super Bowl *Updated 8/23*

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by ashw100, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Hello, and welcome to my first ever Disneyland trip report. While this may be my first DL RT, I have done many WDW TRs, which you can find in my signature. Also, this wasn’t my first trip to Disneyland, but my first in many, many years. It was the first trip for the rest of my family. We had a fabulous, albeit short trip to Disneyland from February 2-5th and we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. Now let me introduce ourselves.


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    Hi, I’m Ashley. I am a stay-at-home mom, who does some contract work on the side to pay for my Disney addiction:surfweb:. I am the Disneyaholic, that has gotten the rest of my family hooked over the last few years. My love of Disney came from growing up in the Disney Renaissance period with Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, etc. I visited my first park, Disneyland at 5, back when it was just Disneyland. And Disneyland was my one and only love for the longest time, even after I finally went to WDW in 2001. Now that I have become a full on WDW addict, what did it feel like to finally be back “home”?


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    This is Joe, my husband and partner in crime in all things Disney. He was unsure about going on our first WDW trip in 2014, but I have fully turned him over to the dark side now. When he is not obsessing about Disney, he is a rental manager for a trucking company and in school full time, to finally get his Bachelor’s Degree. He had no real desire to visit Disneyland, was I able to convince him that it would be just as good at WDW?


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    Connor is my oldest and most Disney loving child. While he is not much a trill seeker, he does love all the classics. And is always game to watch some Disney Youtube, one of my guilty pleasures. At the time of the trip he was 7 and in 2nd grade. He loved knowing he was going to Walt’s park, what did he think when he actually got there?


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    James, my middle child, is 5. If he were a dwarf, he would be grumpy. He doesn’t have much love for the Disney parks, and begrudging goes along with us. He is not a thrill seeker at all, he even hates the tea cups. One thing he really does enjoy is character meets, can I pacify him with some new characters to meet?


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    Nicholas is the “baby”, and can’t wait to get on the big rides. He is three and in his first year of preschool. He is pretty much game for anything, so he is a perfect Disney travel companion. Before leaving on the trip, he was EXACTLY 40 inches, I mean not even a cm of leeway and that was with shoes on. Did he pass the height test to get on the big boy rides?


    So many questions, read on to find out the answers. I am obviously very late in getting this report up, but I hope you will come along the ride with me, even if I did forget some of the finer details of the trip:thumbsup2.

    Table of Contents
    Day 1
    Day 2: Part 1
    Day 2: Part 2
    Day 2: Part 3
    Day 3: Part 1
    Day 3: Part 2
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  2. jmangum100

    jmangum100 Earning My Ears

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    Is that picture of your husband in the Blue Bayou? I wanted to know how it was in case me and my husband decide to eat there for our next trip?

    Also, I love Nicholas' jacket. It's cute. I can't wait to read more!
     
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  4. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Yes we ate at the Blue Bayou for my husband's birthday with the dining package. I do think it is worth it to do one time, as it is pretty unique, but we probably wouldn't do it again. The food was okay, atmosphere was great, service was great, loved getting the dining package, but the price is painful. Hope that helps.
     
  5. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Love Disneyland too! It was also my first park. I think I went there before I turned 5.
    Your sons are so cute - they have grown so much since the last trip! I love how they each have a different Disney park personality. I hope that Nicholas gets on the big kid rides!
     
  6. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:It's definitely hard to keep everyone happy this way, but I think we did a pretty good job this trip. It does make me worried for our upcoming WDW trip through, since that is so much longer o_O
     
  7. cindianne320

    cindianne320 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to your report! While I've been to WDW almost 20 times, I've never been to DL!
     
  8. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Following along! It's too bad we weren't able to meet up!
     
  9. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Day 1
    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

    Being a school/work day, the day started out pretty normal. I dropped the two oldest off at school and then made a bank/Starbucks run with Nicholas.

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    I was busy all morning with my usual pre-trip check list; laundry, cleaning, and last minute packing.

    Finally got to use my Star Wars luggage tags
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    Joe worked all morning as usual, then left around lunch time. I picked up Connor and James after lunch as well and got something to eat for Nicholas and I. All three of the boys were bouncing off the walls with excitement. I was honestly a little shocked, because prior to this they hasn’t shown much interest in the trip. I guess it just has to be right in front of them before they can get excited. When we got home from school Joe was already home, so we packed up the car and headed out to the airport.

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    On the bus from the parking lot to the airport
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    We had a smooth drive to the airport and thanks to pre-check an easy security check. We usually fly Southwest out of Dallas Love, but thanks to our time in Michigan flying Delta, we had racked up enough points for free flights to LAX via DFW airport. Since I am not as familiar with this airport it took a minute to get our barring, but we soon had snacks and drinks for everyone as well as a bathroom break before we had to board. We quickly found out that our flight had now been delayed and I was starting to worry, The last time we flew Delta out of DFW was a horrible experience with delays and I was hopping we wouldn’t be 0 for 2. Thankfully, the delay wasn’t too bad at all, about 30 minutes.

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    Definite plus to flying Delta was seatback entertainment.

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    We also got some terrible tasting snacks. Thank goodness for the snacks we bought prior to boarding.

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    All the boys were very well behaved throughout the flight, which is always the most stressful part of a vacation to me. And it always feel nice when people compliment your children at the end of a flight, which happened at the end of this one. With out feet firmly planted back on the ground, we picked up our luggage and made our way over to the rental car pick up. We got on a bus, which took us to a hotel, the Westin, where the rental car counter was.

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    I had booked our rental car through EZ Rental car. I had never used them before, but I did my due diligence and looked up plenty of reviews before booking. I sent Joe in to get the car, while I waited outside, enjoying in the beautiful LA evening. Soon after, Joe texted me there was a problem. See, I booked directly on the site locking in a rate and prepaying with MY credit card. However, I put the booking under Joe’s name since he would be driving. Well they could not give us the car since the name didn’t match the credit card and they could just make me the driver:mad:. It was an incredibly frustrating experience. They had to cancel the reservation and rebook a new one. You would think this would be simple, but it took 40 minutes just to do this. Then he informs us that we got an “upgrade” from a minivan to a midsize SUV. Maybe in rental car world this is an upgrade, but I wanted a minivan. It turns out it wasn’t an upgrade they just didn’t have any minivans. It took another 20 minutes to actually get us in the car and out onto the road. The boys had completely lost in this time and I was minutes away from that as well. So much for the perfect angels we got complimented on during the flight:littleangel:. We hadn’t had a proper meal since noon central time and it was 8:30 west coast time and it was way past their bedtime.

    We got on the freeway and then tried to find somewhere to eat. We ended up stopping at Taco Bueno, which we actually have all over Texas, but it was new to us. We got some tacos and got back on the freeway. Once we finally saw signs for Disneyland we were able to relax. I stopped at the 7-eleven and got a case of water and some much needed adult beverages for once we got into the room.

    Joe went to find a parking spot while I went to check in. After I checked in, I was will waiting for Joe, so I got some pictures. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the lobby, with the cute tea cup chairs.

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    We were in the Frontier Tower in a pool facing room. It was a little bit of a walk over there after the very long day, but I was just so happy to finally be in my room.

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    I loved how Disney it was, and staying here made me so happy.

    Everything Mickey :mickeyjum
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    Back when it was just the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland, I dreamed of one day getting to stay there, and finally it was coming true. The boys went straight to bed. James, so happy to be there, he felt asleep with my Minnie ears no.

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    Unfortunately, Joe had some homework to do. He at leats made some fun out of it by flipping up his headphones to makes his very own Mickey ears :earboy2:

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    While he worked I unpacked and got everything settled. I enjoyed my cider, while I did it.

    Ready for our first day
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    I think I forgot to mention in the intro, but this trip was to celebrate mine and Joe’s 30th birthday. Mine had happened two weeks earlier and Joe’s was during the trip.

    It was hard to wind down for the night, especially with the excitement tomorrow would bring. We also noticed that the ambient music from outside was pretty loud, but eventually I was able to fall asleep.
     
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  10. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    We had an amazing time, I hope you get out there sometime.

    I know :sad: I'm still sad I didn't see that text until it was too late
     
  11. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Looking forward to reading :)

    The room looks so awesome!
     
  12. buteraa

    buteraa Mouseketeer

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    FOLLOWING ALONG
     
  13. jmangum100

    jmangum100 Earning My Ears

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    I may not choose to eat there. The only reason I would is to do the Fantasmic package, but being a weekday in early December, I don't think they will have Fantasmic when we are there. I will probably skip it.
     
  14. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: We loved the room, it was so cute.

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    Yeah, I think you will be fine then
     
  15. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Part 1


    I could not sleep at all. I swear when it comes to me and Disney I am like a little kid, just to excited to sleep.

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    I finally just got up for good at 4:15. I passed the time on Facebook, then finally got out of bed around 5. I even put on my Disneyland Hotel robe, to feel fancy.

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    I got everyone else up at 6 to get ready. Once we were ready for the day, we walked to the Starbucks in Downtown Disney closest to the hotel. I loved how easy it was to get everywhere.

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    It was pretty crowded, but Joe and I got our coffees, and the boys got pastries. By the time we got to the gates, it was only 20 minutes to opening. This was an extra magic hour morning, so it wasn’t too busy yet. Everyone was very excited for their first glimpse of Disneyland.

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    When the park finally opened, we seemed to be stuck in a bad line, so it took a little longer, but I didn’t care because I was at Disneyland!

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    Our trip took place when they were completely redoing the trolley tracks on Main Street. There was a huge wall down the entire center of Main Street and the Walt and Mickey statue. I was pretty disappointed by this, and therefore I have no pictures of Main Street, but sometimes you just gotta move on and not let it bother you. Our first stop of the day was over in Tomorrowland, so we headed there first.

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    It was the moment of truth for Nicholas, was he tall enough to ride Star Tours?? Guys, he was EXACTLY 40 inches, it was so stressful, but I was elated to see for the first time ever, my family could do thrill rides together. While, I will certainly miss rider swap, especially in WDW, this is a huge milestone and it just made me so happy I could do a little jig. Here is our very happy 40 incher.

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    And one happy mama.

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    We got the Crete scene at the end, which was new to us. And if you have been on the ride for this scene, there is a part where the red salt sprays up in your face and after that there was like a spot on the screen, but it felt like some dirt actually got on your glasses. I know I am not explaining this well, but basically something was wrong, it was like that for a few seconds and then the ride just stopped. The CM came in and said they were having technical difficulties, and we would have to exit, but we could go right back on in another ride vehicle. Joe really wanted to do it again, but the trip planner and me said we had to move on. We had basically made it through the whole thing, this is a ride we can do at WDW, and extra magic morning time was ticking away. Level heads prevailed and we moved on. As we were exiting I remembered that I had been so excited to ride Star Tours, that I forgot to purchase maxpass, so I took care of that. I got a FP for me for Space and for Joe and Connor for Indiana Jones.

    Our next ride was for Buzz. This is one of the boys faves at WDW, so I knew it would be a hit here as well. Another notable milestone for our family was Connor was old enough to ride alone for the first time, which he was very excited about.

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    The wait to see your pictures at the end was long so we skipped that. Our next ride during extra magic time was on the subs. Its funny, because you would think that the entrance or Main Street would have brought back memories and emotion, but for whatever reason it was the subs that did me in:confused3. When we got in line I just had this wave of nostalgia hit me, I was finally back in Disneyland.

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    The sub ride was, cute. I think the boys really enjoyed it. We tried to go on Autopia next, but it still wasn’t open for another hour. With not much else to do until the park officially open, we opted to ride ST again. Once the park was open, I went over to Space Mountain to use my fastpass.

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    My face is dumb in this picture, because I think I was surprised by how different it was.

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    I got to say though, I loved this ride so much more than Magic Kingdom’s. It was so much smoother, the effects were more noticeable, and it was just a better experience. Meanwhile, Joe was over in Adventureland with the boys.

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    He took them on Jungle Cruise.

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    After Space, I walked over to Adventureland, and got my first real look at the castle.

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    While I waited for them to done with JC, I went into the shop in Adventureland to look for some new Minnie ears. I had lost my original black with red bow ones on the Space in MK the year before, so I was ready for a new pair. I opted for the black polka dot ones, and started chatting with the CM, about the differences between WDW and DL.

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    After they got off Jungle Cruise, Joe and Connor got in line to use their FP for Indy. Joe took my phone since I had the app and I took his. I tried to download the app, so I could make our next set of FPs, but I realized I didn’t know his itunes password to download the app. I tried texting and calling him, but apparently, there was no cell service in the queue, this comes into play later in our trip. Not getting anywhere with the FP, I took the boys on the Tarazan treehouse.

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    They had so much fun running around, playing with all the things. Once I met back up with Joe and Connor, I made our next FP reservation for Haunted Mansion. Joe loved Indy, but Connor hated it.

    Our next ride of the day was for Pirates.

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    Last time seeing this version of the redhead scene

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    Connor started freaking out on the ride, which caused James to get upset. With two drops, this ride was just too thrilling for themo_O. Next up, it was time to use our FP for HM.

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    This is Joe’s favorite dark ride at WDW, and he liked this one even more. As for me, other than the hatbox ghost, I didn’t really have a preference. I then picked up a FP for BTMRR. I also checked the Lines app and saw that the distribution was already at the second showing for World of Color. Afraid, we wouldn’t get a FP at all, we left Disneyland and walked over to DCA.

     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  16. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Yay! I can't imagine how excited you guys were!

    Yeah, I'd do the same as you - keep trying to hit up rides during EMT!

    Yeah, that queue is notorious for no cell service. The queue itself goes down and under the train tracks to the ride building on the other side, so there are plenty of obstructions to block the signals. Also, Haunted Mansion, after the stretching room, and GotG, once you enter the building - very hard to get signal! I always make sure I don't need to get another Maxpass when I'm in one of those!
     
  17. Kiotzu

    Kiotzu Mouseketeer

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    following along!
     
  18. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great morning! That stinks that Main Street was under construction though :(
     
  19. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    We definitely were, I may have shed a happy tear or two


    Yeah, gotta take advantage

    It wasn't a huge deal this morning, but caused a bigger problem later

    :welcome:

    It was a bummer for sure, but we didn't let it bother us.
     
  20. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Part 2

    I left Joe at the front of the park and I hightailed it to the back of the park to get the WoC FP. On the way, I passed a little stand that was selling the rose gold ears. This was way back when these were a rare thing to come by. Sadly, FP took priority over ears, and I skipped right by them. Thankfully, I was able to get FP for the show, in the blue section. We then met back up and walked back to Disneyland, man I loved how easy this was, and we walked back to Frontierland to use our FP for BTMRR. Sadly, it was down for the time, so it moved to an anytime FP. I was able to make one for Roger Rabbit next. Since we were right there, we got on the Mark Twain Riverboat, which was just about to depart.

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    We spotted the canoes on the water
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    Star Wars Galaxy's Edge construction
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    After our leisurely float around the Rivers of America, we walked back to Main Street for our breakfast reservation at the Plaza Inn. Nicholas was cranky at this point and did not want to say hi to Minnie.

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    I hadn’t done a ton of research before this trip, but I had read about this dining location years ago, so I knew I wanted to book it for the rare characters. However, I must have forgotten that this was not a normal buffet, in that there were no servers. I ended up not being a problem, but it was weird to me when I first walked in. The setting kind of reminds me of Crystal Palace. We got the boys food, which was good because we were starving. The food was really good, unlike WDW bacon, it was actually crispy. Of course we all filled up Mickey waffles. The characters were coming fast and furious. It was the end of breakfast time, and the restaurant was pretty empty. First we met Hook, the boys loved being pirates.

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    Then they monkied around with Rafiki.

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    Chip and Dale came back to back.

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    Connor and James were so excited to meet Max, Nicholas had no clue who he was, but he loves everyone so it didn’t matter.

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    The last character in rotation was the Fairy Godmother.

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    Even I wanted to meet his special lady.

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    Minnie also came around right at the end.

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    While I think this was fun, we certainly loved meeting characters that we haven’t met before, it is pretty expensive. It is similar price to buffets in WDW, expect you loose the server. Which I guess isn’t a huge deal at a buffet, but it just feels like more of a ripoff than usual.

    After breakfast, I wanted to get some family pictures in front of the castle. Unfortunately, at that time of day the sun was directly in our eyes, so the pictures weren’t great.

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    We still had one more fastpass to use before we went back to the room for a break so we started our journey back to Toontown. We passed under Sleeping Beauty Castle on the way.

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    On the way, the boys spotted the Mickey head bubble wands for sale. James and Nicholas were ready to use up their souvenir allotment for this toy, Connor being more conservative decided to hold out. The bubble wands ended up being a huge pain in the butt for Nicholas. He refused to hold it upright, therefore causing all the liquid to drip out the top and get everything sticky and wet:sad2:.

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    Finally back in toontown, we used our next FP for Roger Rabbit.

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    Everything was starting to get really crowded and the waits too long, so we just explored the land a bit.

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    The boys wanted to play in the Goofy area for a little bit, so Joe and I were able to relax for a bit.

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    While we relaxed, I grabbed a FP for RSR. It was peaceful right there, in the shade I could have fallen asleep right there in the park. Wanting a more comfy place to nap, we collected the kids and headed over to Tomorrowland to take the monorail back to DTD.

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  21. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Great pics from the Riverboat! And lots of great character pics from breakfast :thumbsup2
     

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