12.03.2012

California Day 4: California Adventure

I had so much fun at California Adventure with the girls last December that I couldn't wait to go back with the whole family. But after lasting just six hours at SeaWorld, I was a little concerned how long I would actually be able to survive.

But I really wanted to take this little boy: 


Because I had a feeling that he would really like it: 


We walked into the park and Steve immediately went and stood in line to get a FASTPASS for the new ride, Radiator Springs Racers


The FASTPASS line was located in Bug's Land and wrapped around all the way to Guest Services. After waiting for 25-ish minutes, Steve was told that all of the passes for the day had been distributed, and they closed the line. Meanwhile, Rachel and I went to go check out how long the actual line for the ride was. It was already well over an hour wait. We walked back and got FASTPASS tickets for Soarin' Over California. And then I had to go sit down. We hadn't even been at California Adventure for an hour, and I was already completely exhausted. 

Steve and Derrick took the kids to ride the Bug's Land rides while I went to Guest Relations. They eagerly offered a Guest Assistance Card when I told them I was still recovering from surgery. 


"Guest Assistance Cards are available to those who have limitations that are not apparent, such as autism, ADHD, sun or heat sensitivity, or heart conditions." The card didn't work the same for me as it had for Talmage in December (probably because I was not a cute little boy in a body cast). But that turned out to be okay. I felt like I got just enough help to get through the day. 

At California Adventure, where almost all of the rides are wheelchair accessible, people with Guest Assistance Cards are expected to be able to wait in line. Or wait an equivalent amount of time, not in line. That means you take your card to the front, the worker eyeballs the line, and then tells you to come back in 30 to 90 minutes. 

Having that card was the only way we were able to ride the Radiator Springs Racers ride. (It is really neat, but maybe not wait-in-line-for-two-hours neat?) We were told to return in two hours, and then only had to wait in line for about 25 minutes. 

That's a genuine smile from Derrick; too bad Kaleigh is too short to see her face. 


The red rock, desert scenery was so very realistic:


Then we went to Tower of Terror. My hair looks a little crazy. And I wish Adam and Kaleigh were sitting on booster seats so we could see their facial expressions better: 


Adam was not a fan of that ride. Steve made a sad face to match him.


We rode almost all of the rides at Paradise Pier. I made the kids pose for a picture when they were in line:


And when we were on rides:


This is the look Adam had on his face for most of the day:


I was pleased that I beat my score from last year on Toy Story Mania


But then I saw the high score for the month. Holy smokes!


I could have ridden that over and over again. So fun. 


California Screamin' is one of my favorite roller coasters, and at that point, everyone was still happy: 


But then we crashed. Everyone got hot, tired, and thirsty all at once. I felt Rachel's forehead and she had a fever, which explained her behavior. Steve made sure to point out that our kids had been way happier playing at the beach than they were at California Adventure. So of course, then I had a I-went-to-a-lot-of-work-to-make-this-trip-happen-so-you-all-better-be-having-fun attitude. (Mostly because I had gone to a lot of work to make the trip happen.) 

I took the kids to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail while Steve and Derrick went and spent exorbitant amounts of money on cold sodas. Rachel took some Tylenol and we all enjoyed a nice break. 

Redwood Creek is one of my very favorite parts of California Adventure. I wish they could design a park like this is Ogden. 


Adam loved it just as much as I thought he would. And I only lost him twice. 


We even sat through the Senior Wilderness Explorer Ceremony:


So Adam could meet Wilderness Explorer Doug from the movie, Up. Something about Doug's voice (or maybe it was his super short shorts?) was slightly disturbing.


There are so many fun things to see as you are walking around the park: 


But all of that walking sure makes you tired: 


We woke Kaleigh up for Dancin' with Disney, one of the hidden gems at California Adventure. You probably won't run into it unless you are looking because it's tucked away on Stage 17 in Hollywood Land:


My friend, Sherry, told me about it, and it's the perfect place to go when you are ready for a break. There is plenty of seating, air conditioning, a DJ running the music, and a new set of Disney characters to dance with every 30 minutes. And there aren't very many people there, so your kids really do get to dance with the characters:


We also went and watched the sneak peek for Frankenweenie. It was a little too spooky for Adam.


We rode one last ride, Grizzly River Run. And then I was done.

The plan was for me to go back to our hotel with Derrick, Adam, and Kaleigh. But then we decided to all go back to the hotel and eat dinner together.

Then Steve would take Rachel and Lucy back to go to Disneyland.

Did you know that Homewood Suites provides dinner? For free? Crazy.

The kids gorged themselves on spaghetti, breadsticks, salad, and soda.

And then decided that they would rather go swimming in the hotel pool than go to Disneyland.

And that was just fine with me.

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