Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Disney Birthday Extravaganza . . . Part 1

It is pretty much understood that I'm a Disneyland fanatic, I think. My parents and I used to get annual passes every year when I was grade school aged (back when a pass was something like $100 for the year, with no blackout dates), so I practically grew up at the park. The old school park . . . the one with no CA Adventure, no Downtown Disney, only one hotel and an expansive, flat asphalt parking lot. I remember The World of Tron, The Peoplemover and Circle Vision. I even remember a time before Toontown, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain and Star Tours.

My parents are most familiar with the old park, and despite having been to Disneyland in the neighborhood of 100 times each, neither of them have ever stayed by the park overnight and experienced it as tourists instead of as locals. I have this theory that Disneyland is all about suspension of disbelief . . . and that staying overnight heightens that suspension exponentially. I was pretty darn excited about showing them an exponentially radder Disneyland!

We kicked off our vacay w/ McDonald's breakfast (as we do) then drove out to Anaheim, checked in to the Howard Johnson and hiked on over to California Adventure.

We kicked things off with a ride on the new Little Mermaid attraction:

We stopped for lunch then let the Meyers run through the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. We'd been through the trail before, long before we had the Meyers, and I was really excited to let him visit it as a walker:

We took turns riding Soarin' (the Meyers is still too little for that one!), saw the Muppetvision 3D show then walked on over to try a drink at the all new Trader Sam's Tiki Bar (while Rhys slept in his Ergo):

After a drink and a snack, we headed back to the hotel to let Rhys enjoy the awesome pirate themed splash pool. We just love staying at the Disneyland Howard Johnson . . . . they've got a pirate pool, a well stocked convenience shop that is open until 11pm, huge rooms, they're next door to a McDonalds and a Mimi's Cafe, they're an easy walking distance to Disneyland, they offer free parking (which saved us SIXTY DOLLARS compared to Disneyland parking over the course of this 2 day trip w/ 2 cars . . . that works out to getting one of our rooms practically for free. Seriously.), they offer fireworks view rooms for around $100 a night (!!!), they have a coin-op laundry room and video arcade on site and they provide free pirate hats at check-in. If you are looking for a hotel in the Disneyland area, look no further. Commercial over. Here are a few shots of Rhys enjoying the splash pool:

After splashing, we headed back to the Disney complex for dinner at Tortilla Jo's (not the best experience we've had there . . . slow service, mediocre food . . . it might be time for us to adopt a new Disney trip dinner plan) followed by a super fun drinks session at the Grand Californian hotel bar. We got Rhys his own little fruit juice "cocktail" with a glowing Buzz Lightyear straw. Rhys was able to sit and watch old school Disney cartoons in a kid sized chair while we enjoyed our drinks at an adjacent table. It was the perfect, simultaneously kid and adult friendly setup!

We finished off the night with fireworks, viewed from my parents' room balcony:

Thus endeth day one! I'll be putting up another pic heavy post later about day two . . . our day at DISNEYLAND!


DomestiKook said...

The PeopleMover, omg! do you remember my 16th birthday when we flirted with the ride operator so he would let us go around again? I think we went around 3 times without ever getting off!

HollyLynne said...

I had forgotten that! I do remember the guys behind us in the Matterhorn line . . . HA!