Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Bryans go to Disneyland - Second Installment or Day Two in the land of Disney

Is that a long enough title for you?
Thank you for your kind responses to my last post.  I was impressed with how many of you read the whole thing...and said you weren't bored to tears :)

Our second day started off super fun!  I had read on some blogs about how the best way to meet the characters at Disneyland was to dine with them.
I had also read that you had to get reservations months in advance for these meals.  Originally we had thought that it was included in our package deal but when we found out that it wasn't I thought that there was no way we would be able to get in.  Well, I had Andy do some investigation and we found out that they had an opening for breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen Tuesday morning!

I love this picture!  It was actually taken the morning we were leaving Disneyland and I wanted to get a shot of them in front of the restaurant.  Matt was upset because his suitcase was not cooperating and kept turning over as he tried to pull it along behind him.  And Ben...I don't know what he was grumpy about but boy, isn't that a great face? :)
As we walked in we got our picture taken with Goofy, and since this was our first encounter with a character, found out that Ben was extremely scared of them.

He is actually screaming pretty hard in this picture as we forced him to be in it.
The kids got to use their memory/autograph books for the first time.  And just as I feared, the markers were way to small for these big, poofy paws to handle.  Oh well, they all did their best.
We made our way into the restaurant and spotted all kinds of characters walking around.  We were seated and told that they would come to us.  The breakfast was a buffet with all kinds of foods...not just breakfast foods.  It was all very good.  The kids enjoyed Mac and Cheese, ice cream, and most of all...PBJ pizza.
 The characters started coming to our table immediately.  Ben continued to be scared and cry.  I made sure to get their signatures in his book for him anyway.
We were visited by Chip and Dale, Baloo the Bear, Rafiki from Lion King, Pluto, and Alice from Wonderland.

Ben continued to keep his distance but was happy about them from afar.  For instance, he would point to Pluto and make his little dog sound and smile but as soon as we tried to get him closer he would cling and cry.

There was one more character that we saw walking around but she never seemed to make it up to our table.  We waited for her and finally up walked Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.  Abby was so excited!  She was the only character (probably because she looked like a real person) that Ben would get close to and interact with.

This is truly an awful picture of me but it was the only one with all the kids with Sleeping Beauty.

I'm sad that the lighting wasn't that great...and/or I just don't know how to use my camera that well.
Most of these pictures turned out dark or didn't turn out at all.  Like the one where Ben wanted a hug from Aurora and then gave her a kiss.  It was adorable but the pictures aren't even worth posting :(

Matt really did enjoy it even though it doesn't look like it here.

Dining with the Characters was totally worth the money spent (thank you so much Merill and Nancy!)
and gave us the bulk of the signatures for our books.
A morning to remember :)

By the way, the kids hadn't seen their t-shirts yet so I surprised them with them that morning as they were getting ready.  I was so pleased that they weren't drowning in them as I thought they might be.  They fit great and looked awesome.  Andy told me that he heard many compliments on them...even one from a worker in a gift shop wondering where we bought them.

We took our time walking to the park after breakfast, stopping at gift shops, and taking pictures.

In front of the hotel and pool.

Downtown front of the Lego store.  They had amazing things built completely our of Legos and the kids were well as the adults.

Josh and Matt building Lego cars to race.

Cool Dude Ben.  This sunglass Mickey hat was perfect for my sunglass loving boy!

This is the grand entry picture that I was hoping for the day before.  Love the faces! 
For our first stop in the park that day we decided to go back to Tomorrow Land and do Autopia (cars on a track).  Once again, Ben's pass came in very handy and we whizzed through what would have been a very long line.  There were two to a car so I rode with Ben.
For me that ended up being one of the best moments of the whole trip!
Ben giggled and belly laughed as we jerked around and bumped into Josh and Matt ahead of us.  He thought it was the best thing ever and I loved watching him enjoy it so much.

Next up was a Finding Nemo submarine ride.  Again, Ben really enjoyed it even though it was smooth sailing.

We headed back over to Fantasy Land after that so Ben could ride the train again...this time seizure free. 

He wore a grin the whole time
Of course we had to ride the elephants again and then we did Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
This whole time in Fantasy Land, Nancy was so kind to stand in line for Abby to meet Rapunzel.
It was at least an hour long the hot sun.
Bless her heart.
She said it was well worth it to see the look on Abby's face.

We were surprised to see Flynn Rider there as well!

By the time we got to see Rapunzel the guys had moved on to Toon Town.
We were going to go meet them there but got side tracked at the Princess Fantasy Faire.  We saw a long line and asked what it was for.  More princesses...I knew there was no way the guys would want to hang around for that but Nancy said she would get in line while I called Andy and decided what we were going to do.  As expected, were negatory on the princesses, but Nancy really thought it would be good if we stayed so once again, the guys moved on and rode the train down to Adventure Land to ride a Jungle thing.
We ended up being in line another hour and making friends with the lady and her daughter from Tennessee that were behind us.
We were next in line to meet the princesses when the cast member said that they were switching the princesses.  We waited a little longer and finally we met Belle, Ariel and Tiana.
It was well worth it.

The thing I loved about all of the princesses was that they took the time to really talk to each girl...asking her questions and things instead of just sign, shoot and move along.  I thought it was sweet.

When we were done I called Andy to see where they were.  We decided to meet them at the front gates of Disneyland and we would go over to California Adventure for the rest of the day.
As we got close to the gates we saw Minnie Mouse with not too long of a line.  We hopped right in hoping the guys wouldn't mind a short detour.
I can't remember if I called him or he called me but Andy and I ended up on the phone again.  I told him we were about to meet Minnie and he said that he and the boys were about to meet Mickey who was just a hop, skip and a jump away from where we were. 
Once again, Nancy held our place in line while Abby and I ran over to get in line with the boys.  Ben had fallen asleep a few minutes before.  He was all tuckered out.

We met Mickey and then ran back over to Minnie's line.  She was so cute...after she signed the books and we took a picture, she motioned for us to wait and take another picture.  She bent down next to Ben's stroller and put her finger up to her lips.  She had the kids do the same.
It was adorable!
Thanks Minnie :)

Well, although that was not the end of our day, it was the end of our time in Disneyland and it is about to switch from the p.m. to the a.m. so I am going to bed.
I guess there will be more installments than I thought.
This post was getting pretty long anyway :)
Until next time...


  1. My visits to Disneyland were nothing like this! What fun to "dine with the stars," sort of. Every photo is just such a fun moment captured and preserved. It looks like Abby was in Princess heaven! Loved Ben's happy faces on the rides--Josh and Matt with Baloo, and building with Legos--even Matt and Ben's mad faces--all so cute.
    Too bad Ben was frightened by the characters. Minnie had the right idea. : )

  2. This makes me happy! So glad you had a great time.

  3. AH! That looks like so much fun! I'm quite jealous, especially about meeting Flyn Rider ;) This was my first real glimpse of what Disneyland is like and now I can't wait to go! :D Plus those little books you made were so cute and such a good idea!

  4. What a fun trip! My kids are squealing with excitement looking through your posts! :-) I agree that your shirts are adorable and I'm glad you took so many pictures-- I always seem to take few pictures on my favorite memories! And I Love bens faces on the car ride and love Abby's reaction to meeting Repunzle! How fun! Makes us all want to be there! So glad you guys had such a fun trip!! :-)