Friday, April 6, 2018

Disneyland Post-Wedding Adventure Part 3!

After a wonderful couple days touring the Disneyland parks, my new Mr and I decided to get up and grab some food in the hotel and then head out to the pool. The slide was lovely but the sun was better. There is nothing sweeter than sunshine by the water when at home winter is rearing its frigid head. We didn't expect such a warm snap in November in California but we welcomed it with wide open arms. After some relaxation we decided to head out to both parks for a greatest hits round! We started out in Disneyland and were delighted to find that OVERNIGHT the entire park had been transformed for Christmas! We hit our favorites for another round (Haunted Mansion Holiday, Winnie the Pooh, Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain) enjoyed the scenery and each other (and were back to being mostly unplugged.

We decided to start our Cali Adventure Park greatest hits by heading back to Pacific Wharf for some drinks and late lunch. We took some pictures here and then made a nice round around this park hitting all of our faves (Toy Story, Little Mermaid, Mission Breakout, Radiator Springs Racers, Soarin') and then hopping on lines for whatever tickled our fancy as we toured the park until World of Color. We headed back to our hotel and decided to take some time in Downtown Disney the next morning shopping and enjoying the sunshine before grabbing our flight home.

We were up early and grabbed a reservation in our hotel and were gifted the digital download thanks to some Disney magic from our server. We shopped a bit, smooched a bit, held each other's hands and prayed the sunshine followed us home until our next adventure!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Disneyland Post-Wedding Adventure: Part 2!

There is a charming beauty in Disneyland and while many Disney World travelers will point out that Disneyland is far smaller, and some of the rides need updating compared to their Florida counterparts, I think there is a different kind of magic out in California. We chose Disneyland because we had wanted to explore southern Cali a little but when things got too overwhelming and I first suggested that rather than rush to come up with an itinerary and the money to back it up for car rentals and tours, we just add a day to our Disneyland tickets, I was confident we would still have an amazing trip. And being this "Part 2" post encompasses a huge and wonderful "Day 2" of our trip you will see that it was amazing. Part 1 chronicled our start and the history behind the trip and Part 3 is going to be 1 post with 2 days of trip. Here is where our memories are.

The ease of us deciding to go to a character meal the morning we wanted to eat is unfathomable in Disney World, but when we both woke up still on New York time we were able to book a reservation at the Grand Californian's Chip & Dale breakfast without trouble. We decided to head over to California Adventure's early hours to hit up Mission Breakout again as well as try to see what else we could ride. We ended up flying through rides! We were able to get some Photopass pics today and stop for our free Disney Visa Cardmember pictures, and snap some pictures we hadn't had the time, energy, or patience for our first day (we went pretty unplugged our first night).

Since a picture is worth a thousand words... here are some from our morning in Cali Adventure Park! We had conquered Paradise Pier and Grizzly Peak our first day, and in just a few hours had managed to make our way through Buena Vista Street, Condor Flats, Hollywoodland, and Bug's Land.

I was thrilled to get to take my new hubby over to an Animation Academy as it has always been a favorite of mine and has been closed for the last couple years in Disney World to make room for the Star Wars Launch Bay and Toy Story Land. We headed over to the park that started it all for a whirlwind afternoon into late night enjoying all the park has to offer!

We were engaged in this exact spot in Disney World
When coming to the parks with the kids we always have a plan of action. In Disney World you have to book FastPasses before your trip and you have to kind of figure out which park you are hitting each day to accommodate for your dining and pass choices. At Disneyland they still use the FastPass machines, where you put your park ticket into the machine, and it spits out your ticket with a return time so you can "skip the line". We had been utilizing our FastPasses for big stuff in Cali Adventure (Mission Breakout and Soarin) but Disneyland today was far more crowded than its counterpart because it was Dapper Day (more on this later) and it made made us relinquish our fly by the seat of our pants plans and stick to an area. We chose Fantasyland, but enjoyed our stroll up Main Street USA but first I brought the hubs to two very important Disneyland landmarks: the bench and the firehouse.

This is the bench that Walt Disney sat on watching his girls on the carousel (pictured above) at a park and came up with the idea for Disneyland. He wanted to build a place for entire families to go together and have the kind of fun that is magic.

The Firehouse on Main Street USA in Disneyland housed Walt's office. If Walt was upstairs working in his office the light in the center window would be on. In his honor and memory the light is kept on each day.

After a few moments of history and some pictures we headed over to New Orleans Square, FastPassed Haunted Mansion Holiday, and headed through the castle to Fantasyland. We grab some lunch at a cute Beauty and the Beast theme quick service that was called Village Haus or Fairy Haus or something that lent to its slightly Bavarian theme. Then we partied like rockstars, we hit Matterhorn and Alice (both Wonderland rides) and Mr. Toad and Peter Pan and Snow White and Pinnochio and grabbed some Churros as we visited Toontown to tour all of the houses and take a crazy taxi ride with Roger Rabbit!

 We had the BEST afternoon! We shopped for souvenirs for the kids and laughed for what felt like hours!

As if we weren't smitten enough with each other, with Disneyland, with our lives, with everything.. then came time for our Haunted Mansion Holiday FastPasses. Who knew that a ride that has long been one of my favorites could slap on a Nightmare Before Christmas skin and become a game changer! I want to post the million pictures I took later that day because we immediately FastPassed it again, but I will just leave one of the mansion facade here because I don't want to spoil anything!

We went to the Hungry Bear restaurant for an early dinner and rode Winnie the Pooh twice in a row as we waited for the passes to come through. We then made our way through Frontierland and doubled back in hopes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, which had been temporarily down. We were going at a nice easy pace even though we were hopping on everything like we had some magical FastPass! 

Spending today in Disneyland had always been our plan. It was one of the parks Dapper Days where people come dressed to the nines in old school charm and beauty. I had wanted to pack our wedding gear and take some Disneyland wedding pictures in our Dapper Day best. It was juts too much for me to plan out. We don't have a garment bag and my husband got chocolate gelato on his tie at the wedding and we had to coordinate childcare and petcare and things that had this not been planned around our wedding that we were planning, coordinating, and paying for ourselves maybe would have worked out. Having chosen to rock yoga pants and a tshirt made Dapper Day a spectacular day in the parks! We ended up getting to take advantage of seeing lots of beautiful people (including my friend Jess) and ride everything in sight while they were all snapping pics. 
We stumbled on the parade as we made our way out of Tomorrowland and watched the sunset and castle begin to glow before taking in the beauty of Disneyland fireworks (that Baby Mine part gets me every time). 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

LeSportSac and Expedition Roasters GIVEAWAY!

As we kick off a cool post-wedding pre-honeymoon Disneyland trip report I am so super stoked for our first contest with some awesome sponsors who were willing to send me some great items that are both on my personal "favorite things" lists AND awesome for Spring Break adventuring or planning your summer vacay! I am working with one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa from Rolling with the Magic!

The contest is open to residents in the continental United States ONLY and features the following prize pack (a $110 value!!!):

Enter Here:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Our Pre-Honeymoon Post-Wedding Disneyland Adventure!

When it came to honeymoon planning, things got complicated for us. I am a schoolteacher so I can't take substantial time off until the summer and our children, who are with us the majority of the week, spend a week at the beach each summer thanks to their maternal grandmother. We decided that would be the best time to take our honeymoon. Only problem was... that was not until July. So we decided to take a weekend away in California. This was my 3rd time hitting the west coast but my husband's first and I originally wanted to make it a super awesome long weekend where we see all the southern Californian sites. This was not the case as the wedding approached and we got closer and closer without any plans we just ended up planning our trip to be in Disneyland the entire long weekend. Not that I am complaining, but I am 3 trips in and still haven't dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean.

We got into Cali in no time (as always from East to West coast) and headed for the parks by way of Downtown Disney. We tried to grab up some lunch but from being over-caffeinated and under-nourished for the day I had high anxiety and we decided to walk it off and head right for California Adventure. We walked our way through the park, deciding to head to Paradise Pier, which is being reimagined soon but also one of my FAVORITE places in Disney Parks (I have been to Disney World 12 times and Disneyland 3). My new hubby loved it as much as I did. We had to meander back and forth to be able to ride California Screamin' because it was going in and out of commission but we got to snack and buy some adorable ears while we made our way around the pier.

We were particularly smitten with the ride I was honestly most certain that I was not going to like! The Hollywood Tower of Terror has ALWAYS been a favorite of mine and I didn't get to actually ride it until probably my 4th trip to Disney World so I have always felt like I was making up for lost time with this one. There was a lot of controversy, and a lot of Disney fan hate when they announced that they were going to re-fit the ride with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. Although I love that franchise, I did not think I would love the ride. Suffice it to say, I could not have been more wrong on this one! Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is HANDS DOWN my favorite memory of this trip. I will be an old lady gray and wrinkly, senile and forgetting where I put my dentures, but I will remember my husband's laughter and the shine in his eyes when I turned to look at him during this ride.

We ended up park hopping each day for the rest of the weekend just to share some laughs, smiles, and fun on this ride again. We walked back to our hotel, and were happy to pass a Sanuk store on the way because my flip flops had flipped their last flop on the way out of the park. We headed back to Paradise Pier hotel to find our room ready and waiting with a lovely view out of our window. And some art work that made these Beemans smile. :)

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