Tami Olson - March 2006 - Offsite
Time of Year: Spring
Travel Method: Personal car
Accommodations: Standard room
Ages Represented in Group: Toddler, Elementary, Adult
Experience Represented in Group: Veteran
Tami Olson -- March 2006 -- Disneyland (Offsite)
Bobby Olson, My Husband Disneyland Veteran
Tami Olson, Me Disneyland Veteran
Brice Olson, Our Son 3 years 9th Disneyland Trip
Megan Olson, Our Daughter 2 years old (2nd Birthday during the trip!!) 6th Disneyland Trip
Pre Tip Planning:
We have been planning on a whale watching trip this winter ever since we were in San Diego last fall and went on a harbor cruise. The whale season is mid December to March. We had hoped to do it in January, but family/work scheduling pushed it back to the first week of March which is actually great since Megans 2nd birthday is March 8th!! In mid January I made reservations at Desert Inn & Suites in Anaheim for $59 a night Sun Tues. And Wed-Thurs I have reservations a the Shelter Pointe hotel in San Diego its right on the bay and is a little more pricey at $129, but a nice change from our normal cheap hotels!! I also have bought the 3 day passes on the Disneyland website. We plan on upgrading to annual passes when we get there, but this helps spread out the cost and it also will give us a coupon and a free early entry. I dont know what days early entry is available and cant find that info, so well wait and see if we can use it.
Sunday March 5, 2006
We were up early at 6am and out of the house by about 7am. We got gas ($22) and donuts & coffee ($4) on the way out of town. I forgot to put sweetener in my coffeeso it was pretty horrible. We stopped for breakfast on the way from Tucson to Pheonix at Carls Jr. the service was super SLOW!! I was anxious to get to Disneyland now even though we still had about 7 hrs on the road ahead of us!! The kids didnt eat a bite of the wonderful breakfast I ordered for them, although they had just eaten donuts.
We stopped on the far side of Phoenix to get gas. I saw a big truck stop sign from the freeway, so we pull offbut the truck stop isnt open yet, theyre paving the parking lot still!! So, there was a tiny little station across the street. I got gas ($24) while Bobby took Brice into the bathroom. Bobby came back and said that the bathroom was so disgusting he wouldnt let Brice go. So, we found a Curls Jr. close by instead. We quickly got back on the road and didnt stop again until Blythe at the AZ/CA border. We ate at McDonalds ($14) and it was 11:30, or so we thoughtactually there was still daylight savings time (which AZ doesnt do), so it was only 10:30! We were very excited because we wanted to get out of town earlier and be at the hotel about 3:00 and didnt think that was going to happen!!
We actually got to our hotel, Desert Inn & Suites, about 2:40 without running into too much traffic. We have stayed here a few times and its always OK, cheap. The breakfast is pretty crummy, so we dont even pretend to eat there anymore. Also, half of there parking is down in a tiny parking garage this was the first time that the above ground lot was full when we got there and we had to use the garage. Also, the staff didnt give me a parking pass, so on the way back out of the hotel we had to stop & then run back to put it in the car.
We got into DL at 3:30. The first stop, Brices request, was Buzz. It said it was a 35 min. waitbut it was much longer. It was mostly in the sun, hot, and wound all the way up past Ariel. We have never waited this long and were a bit worried that the park was unusually crowded for this time of year. But, when we got off we saw that the line was now 15 min. The parade had just ended before we came into the park, and so everyone from Main St got in the same line we did!! Ooops we should know better! Next stop was Pirates since it was the last day that it was going to be open before the make over to update it for the new movies. We didnt plan our trip around this, it just worked out perfect. Now, Brice has always loved Pirates (except the two slides that you have to go down) but we got into line and he just freaked out!! Hes never done this before. I calmed him down some and promised that this was the only time we would go on it (lucky for him it wasnt open the rest of the trip ?) and that wed go on Pooh next. He survived it, and was actually enjoying himself a little by the end.
As promised, the next stop was Pooh. Then we went up to the Hungry Bear restaurant for dinner. We both got the fried chicken sandwiches and the kids split a corn dog meal. It was OK the chicken was over cooked a bit $27. We were in need of some Disney magic about nowthe hot line in Buzz, carrying Megan through all the lines (Megan still isnt walking!), Brice & the Pirates ride. So, we got the kids packed up in their strollers and headed for the castle. We walked though it and enjoyed all the beautiful lightsIt wasnt too crowded so we went on Snow White, Pinocchio, & Carousel quickly. We went into Mad Hatter to browse for a new Disney hat for Bobby. All the ones he has are ruined. He didnt find anythingbut I did, a Mickey hair thingy for $5. We left the shop as the parade was going by. We plan on watching this in the next day or twobut for now there were only a handful of people in line for Aliceso we jumped right in line. Then we got the mandatory picture in front of the little pink door in the side of the Mad Hatter Shop. This is the first good one weve gotten since Brice was a baby...everyone was smiling and actually looking at the camera!!
Tea Cups is one of my favorite rides, but Bobby gets queasy looking at itso I grabbed the kids and jumped in line since it was still short too! Megan really had a good time while Brice spun the wheel the whole time!! I was afraid Megan would feel a little out of control...but she did great! We had a few hours to kill until the Fireworks at 9:25, so we headed to Main St for ice cream. The main line was long, so we went across the streeteven there was 6 people in line in front of me. I got Bobby a root beer float & a small Ice Cream for the kids to split ($8). But, when I got back Bobby was sitting on the ground with both kids asleep in his lap!! I helped situate them back in their strollers and went to get myself a coffee ($3) while Bobby ate his ice cream. Then we headed to the end of Main St, at the corner of the curb in front of the flag pole. We had planned on sitting up on the train station since Ive read on Mouseplanet that its a great viewbut the kids were asleep. Bobby & I took turns sitting with the kids and browsing in the stores a bit until the fireworks started. They were as great as ever. It was nice not being in too much of a crowd and we could see almost everything, and what I couldnt see I just remembered and imagined. We were up on the curb, just a head above everyone elsea perfect end to a Disney day. We got back to the hotel about 10:00, unpacked, read a bit and fell asleep.
Monday March 6, 2006
Today the kids were up bright and early at 5am (it was really 6am our time). But, surprisingly I wasnt that tired! We left the hotel after breakfast from the food we had brought. We were headed to see what we could find in Downtown Disney to look at for a while. But, as we were crossing to DD, we saw the Early Entry Lines!! I remembered that we were entitled to one Early Entry on the 3 Day tickets that we bought. It was one of the reasons why I bought the passes and not just APs online. But, I hadnt been able to find ANY info about when we could use them online! So, we stumble into line and get into the park at 8:30. We headed for Matterhorn first but Brice refused, kicking & screaming, to go on it. He usually is a bit scared, but then loves it afterwards and wants to go again. He never did go on it this trip!!
So, we went right over to Peter Panstill trying to talk Brice into going on the Matterhorn. Bobby & Brice rode together, and the second they got off their Pirate Ship Brice started talking about how he didnt want to go on the Matterhorn. So, Bobby and I realized that he really was terrified and didnt want to ruin everyones tripso we learned to drop it! We started over towards Splash Mtn, but that half of the park was still closed, so we headed over to Space Mtn and took turns riding since the kids cant go yet. Then we all went on Buzz againa much shorter line! When we got off, I told Bobby to take Brice to Star Tours while Megan & I did Buzz again. Weve been talking about the Star Wars ride for weeks and Brice was really excited. He actually doesnt really know what Star Wars is yet eitherbut hes heard the soundtrack on our Disneyland CD!
By the time they got off the park was officially open, so we headed over to Splash Mtn. I took Brice on it first and Bobby & Megan went on Pooh. Brice was a little scared, but I talked him through it and asked for the back two seats so I could hold onto him. It turned out to be a great picture, no one was right in front of us, so you could see Brice and he has the funniest look on his faceso I bought it!! Brice didnt want to go on it again yet, so Bobby did the single rider while I took the kids on Pooh.
We were getting pretty hungry by now, but couldnt really decide what to eat. We ended up eating Chicken Strips from Stage Door, $17 for two orders, one with fries and a Diet Coke. I brought Lunchables for the kidsand they ate our fries. We decided to head over to DCA and check out the new Monsters Inc ride. The wait was a little long, about 30 min. The ride was pretty neat with some really cool special effects that really make the ride. Next we headed to see the Crush movie and waited a few minutes to see the 1:30 showing. We also learned that its at the hour & half hour so we could time our visit better next time. Megan didnt really care too much she was getting tired. And Brice was upset that he didnt get to talk to Crushbut he never raised his hand!
We headed to the hotel and piled the kids in the car and headed to the Disney Outlet store while they slept. We took turns going in to look. We didnt find too much this time. But, we did get a cool Incredibles T-shirt for Brice $5 & also a picture book of DL during construction $20. By the time we got back the kids had had a decent nap. We had Rainforest Caf reservations at 5:30, but headed for DD about 4:00 since we didnt have anything else to do. Brice was very excited about eating in the Red Eye Tree Frog Restaurant. He learned about Red Eyed Tree Frogs on a Diego cartoon a few weeks ago. We browsed through DD & got the R Caf about 4:45 and went ahead and checked in early. We did have to a wait for a little bit. We were seated about 5:10. The kids split a pizza, and Bobby & I split the crab cakes and a shrimp dinner - $45. Megan was terrified of the elephants after they did their show, we were sitting right next to them. Brice even moved over a chair so he was a little farther away from them! We left the R Caf and bought two things we had been looking at earlier while we were waiting a 3 ft long crocodile $10 for Brice (Bobbys idea) and a jean jacket with fake leopard fur at the neck & sleeves for me ($30). Brice still loves his crocodile and was feeding him real food the rest of the trip. He named him Agro, after Steve the Crocodile Hunters crocodile!
It had just barely started to sprinkle while we were eating and we decided to take the Monorail back to DL. Usually we have a double stroller and theres no way we would attempt thisbut this time we decided to do two strollers so one of us wouldnt have to push the HEAVY double stroller most of the time. We brought our regular stroller & our jogging stroller. But the jogging strollers sun shade broke yesterday. So, this morning we got a free rental thanks to our Disney Visa. But, you can only use it in the parks. So, Brice was walking in DD & he really did a good job. Anyways, we packed everything, including the 3 ft crocodile, into bags and such so that we could fold the stroller down for the Monorail. It was funny the difference between the kids on the ride. Brice was cuddled up to us holding on. Megan was sitting up tall on her seat, I tried to put my arm around her, but she didnt want me to touch her. She was having a great time!!
We had hurried over for the 7:00 Parade, but when we stopped and were waiting we got to talking to a cast member and she warned us that the real parade couldnt perform because of the rain and it would just be a motorcade parade. So, we decided to see it tomorrow and headed to Jungle Cruise. Afterwards, I told Bobby to run on IJ quickly. I dont really love it and the height limit is still too big for Brice. While we were waiting for Bobby to come back, Brice announces to me that he wants to go on Splash Mtn with Daddy and Star Wars with Mommy. So, off to Splash Mtn. It was still lightly sprinkling and so there were no crowds. Megan & I went into the Pooh store and got a chocolate covered strawberry ($3.50) while we waited. Then we all went on the Pooh ride before the park closed. As we were walking back, it started to really pour. Then we remembered that we had an umbrella!! At least I remembered to pack it. We stopped on Main St. and I got a coffee it took forevereven though the line wasnt that long. Then we headed to the hotel and to bed!!
Monday March 7, 2006
We were up and left the hotel by about 8:15 and headed over to the Jazz Kitchen in DD for breakfast on the way over to the hotel for the fish feeding. Breakfast was great, as always - $12. The fish feeding was supposed to start at 9:30.we waited and waited and finally just a little after 10:00 we found a cast member and asked them. They said he was on his way. About 10:15 he finally came. Only one other family was still there waiting with us. They went first and didnt stay long because they had a flight to catch. So, Brice got to stay on the platform for a long timeI even tried to tell him to get off once when someone else showed up, but the CM waved at me to be quiet!! After about 15 min he finally took Brice off the platform and got a little certificate saying that he was the honored fish feederand a friend of Nemosor something like that. Angel, the CM, signed it and had us take a picture of Brice & him & the certificate. I saved it for our photo album.
We got into DL, got a stroller and got our tickets upgraded to APs by 11:15. Brices picture is so cutehe looks tiny. We headed over to Small World. I learned a lesson, if you have to go to the bathroom before you get in line for SWGO!!! By the time you wait in line and then go on the ride, which is like 9 min long, and the whole time you are floating in wateranyway go BEFORE!!
So, after we stopped at the bathrooms, we went on Roger Rabbit in ToonTown and then grabbed some pizza ($17) for lunch. The next stop was the Tiki Roomwhile everyone else waited in the queue, I ran to find a Churro for Brice. He eats them all the time at Costco (in fact he calls Costco The Churro Store)and I had been promising him one at DL. But, I couldnt find one, so I got him a huge chunk of watermelon. He was happy and ate the whole thing by himself wouldnt share a bite! During the show, there was a group of a dozen teenage girls next to us. They sang the songs really, really loudly and it was obnoxious. At least they only knew the chorus, so we got to enjoy part of the show. Brice still talks about how bad the girls were in the Tiki Room!!
Next we headed over to Buzz. When we got off it I decided to take Megan back to the hotel since she was drooping a bitit was about 2:00 Brice didnt seem real tired, so Bobby & him went off to go on some more rides. I got Megan to fall asleep in the stroller so I stopped and got myself a chocolate covered strawberry & a flavored coffee on Main St. and took them back to the hotel. Megan slept wonderfully and I enjoyed my snack while I updated some trip notes & read my novel. The boys met us back at the hotel about 4:00 and we repacked up for the night.
We headed back into DCA and on the way, we grabbed the stroller for Brice that Bobby had hidden by the ticket booths. The first stop was Monsters again and then we headed over to say Hi to Crush again. Our trip was winding down and we decided to ride the train, so we headed back over to DL and rode the train the full circle. We grabbed some dinner and then watched the parade and headed back to the hotel.
The rest of the trip was spent in San Diegoone day at Wild Animal Park. It was pretty good. We (Bobby & I) really enjoyed the monorail ride around the parkit felt like you were in Lion King!! The kids really didnt enjoy the zoo too much well the first hour they did. Lunch was terribleit was like $50 for a couple of hot dogs & a turkey sandwich & really didnt taste that great. I would recommend going with slightly older kids (or maybe ones who arent exhausted from DL). But, definitely go at a cool time of the year. March was great, we got to see lots of animals moving around. We also saw an antelope that had just been bornlike 5 minutes before!!
The next day we did a whale watching cruisewow was that terriblewe both got horribly sick. Bobby was much worse that I was, so he went outside to feel the breeze and watched the horizon (not the whales). I got to sit inside and try to keep the kids occupied for 3 hours. I did get to see a bunch of dolphins that we swam through. I tried to point them out to Brice, but he didnt care at all. I also saw a whale a few times. But, most of the time they turned to boat to follow him and so you could only see it from the front deck of the boat, and there was no way I was moving out of my chair!! We ate dinner at a 50s type restaurant that I had seen advertisedCorvette Diner I think. It was great good, nicely priced food. And the themeing was greatit had a Corvette in the restaurant!! The next day we headed home