April 8th- Easter!
So I woke up around 6:30 this morning since we wanted to walk right off the boat as soon as it was cleared. We decided not to eat breakfast this morning and just wait until we got to the resort to grab something to eat. We all met up around 7:30 in the hallway right when we were docking and headed downstairs. It took 2 different elevators for us to get out of there and I won’t lie- lugging everything was a PAIN. However, Matt and I had 4 big suitcases plus a duffel , backpack and another bag just for us, and then the kids had to manage their stuff too. On a normal (non-wedding) vacation we travel lighter so it wouldn’t have been such an issue. We went down to the lobby where they had a roped off line started. I want to guess there were maybe 15 or 20 families in front of us (and most all had 1 suitcase plus some sort of carry on).
At 8:00 or so they let us off before calling any tags. It was super easy- we were off within a minute or so of them opening the doors (since all you had to do was swipe your KTTW card). It reminded me of park opening at Disneyland- it looks like a long line but as soon as it opens you just fly right through the line.
Next we had to drag all our stuff all the way down to the customs area (considering I was carrying more luggage than my body weight I was hurting!). No lines there though which was great (since we were first off the boat) . We walked out around 8:15 to the taxi area and had to wait a few minutes to get a giant taxi van (so much stuff!!). We didn’t do the DCL bus to DL because of 1: the price ($30 each way for all of us) and 2: the timing- the bus wasn’t going to leave until 9:30 (most likely later for boarding of luggage, waiting for everyone, etc). Our taxi was about $70 total for the 5 of us to Disneyland- not too bad.
On our way to Disneyland we stopped at a grocery store so Matt could run in and get cold meds (we only had enough for a couple days from the stuff we got in Mexico). Since Matt’s only real symptom was a sore throat (his energy level was back) it turns out chloraseptic was a life saver! Just numbed his throat and was good to go for awhile. After that we were on our way – we checked into the hotel by 9:15am.
We had decided to stay at Paradise Pier resort (originally we were booked at HoJo’s but changed our reservations). I have to say- we were NOT impressed. It doesn’t help that we consider our Disneyland “home” the Grand Californian. Paradise Pier was just not worth the money. Next time we don’t stay at the Grand we might try DLH or just stay offsite at Homewood Suites (and rent a car) – which we really liked when we were there a cpl years ago. It had a definite “hotel” feel and not “resort” feel.
Check in took forever and the front desk guy wasn’t too friendly- just kept telling me that the resort was completely full (not true actually- I looked online in the car on the way and you could still book) and got irritated that I didn’t tell them I needed 2 rooms close together (Sarah was in her own and us and the kids in another). I told him it didn’t matter too much but he was still kinda grumpy. We did manage to get 2 rooms on the same floor though which was nice- and they overlooked the rooftop pool.
When we checked in he issued my card under my new name (by accident but it was still fun!)
We left our luggage with bell services since our room wasn’t ready yet, headed across the street to the Grand Ca hotel (which left me incredibly wistful!) and over to Whitewater snacks to eat breakfast. Around 9:45 we finished up and headed into Disneyland! We had no idea what to expect since today was Easter- we were expecting huge crowds but it wasn’t bad at all!
The villains were out right when we walked in – it was funny, they were bantering back and forth. You can see here the crowds were minimal!
We hit up Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain then let the kids play at Tarzans tree house.
Then we headed over to Jungle Cruise which was a little of a disappointment because we got the same skipper (which means the exact same “skit” as earlier this week).
Then Aidan really wanted to ride the Disney Railroad while Piper wanted her face painted so we split up! Sarah took Aidan while Matt and I took Piper.
Turns out getting your face painted at the Princess Fantasy Faire is risky. Lol. We got into an altercation with another family which is totally not us!
We got there and there was only 1 Cast Member doing face painting (not a big deal since its in the shade and there is a little bench)- FYI anyone wanting to go back there, it’s super cute and you do not have to wait in the man PFF line. You just walk around to the back. Anyway, there was one little girl (and a sibling) getting their faces done. Then there was a family in front of us. Then us. So the family getting their faces done was finishing up and this other lady comes out of nowhere and just plops her kid up on the little princess seat. Matt/I and the other family in front of us just looked at each other like, what do we do? So we both proceed to ask her to get down since our children were patiently waiting. It didn’t go well! She got really angry, refused a bunch and then threatened to “go get her husband”. We weren’t sure what that meant!! Luckily she left in a huff and then our kids got to go. We weren’t even yelling at the lady or anything but she totally snapped when we nicely told her that we had been waiting. Some people….
After making both kiddos happy, we headed over to Toontown for some quick lunch and to play for a bit. Right about now we realized we were HOT! During the couple days at Disneyland before the cruise it was in the low/mid 60’s (jeans and hoodies). Today it was getting to be near 80!
We headed out of the park (and snapped a pic of the new CA Adv park entrance- we miss the letters!). We walked through the Grand again and across the street to our hotel where the kids took a pic with the Goofy statue in the lobby.
We spent the next few hours relaxing. We took the kids down to the pool to play while we got drinks and snacks at the pool bar, and then all took naps. I slept for a bit (so did Matt) and Aidan played his DS for awhile. Piper relaxed in Sarah’s room (easier to split the kids up for quiet). I took the opportunity to run down to the business center to check in for our flights and print our boarding passes for tomorrow.
Around 4:30 we met up again and headed out to Downtown Disney to eat dinner at Naples. We had a Patina restaurant group birthday coupon (my b-day is tomorrow) for $30 off our bill. The kids got little pizzas, Matt got a “personal” pizza (GIANT) and Sarah and I both had the pumpkin ravioli (GOOD!).
Then it was off to the parks! The kids were already kinda tired so our plans of making it to the fireworks would not be happening. Oh well! We decided to power through until the kids were about to crash. Before we went to CA Adv. We decided to upgrade our park tickets to add one more day for tomorrow morning.
So we got to the park and rode Soarin over California, Little Mermaid again and then over to ride Goofys Sky School a couple times for Piper. There were definitely some things we missed in DCA this time around (Animation building, Aladdin show, etc- next time!).
We got back to the hotel and made sure that we were all packed for the next morning and headed to bed.
Up next- rope drop at Disneyland the next morning, then off to the airport and home!