Got back from our trip yesterday and had a wonderful time!
After reading that certain dates were sold out online, I was concerned we would get there on Sunday and tickets would be sold out for certain days, particularly getting there on Sunday and according to the crowd calendars they were predicting that particular day to be really crowded, with a possibility of the parks reaching capacity. And I had warned my husband of this just in case so it wouldn't take us by surprise.
And boy did he get me good. We got to the Hilton and while I was standing in the check-in line, he went to buy tickets. He came back about 5 mins later and I just looked at him like "well?" and he shook his head and said "I'll tell you in a minute" as I was in the middle of checking in. I said "What?" and he replied "They are sold out today and for Christmas Day" and my heart sank and I already was thinking about what could we do instead....and then he pulled out our tickets and said "Just kidding! We're all set" and showed me our 4 day passes.
So, Sunday was pretty crowded and we headed to Disneyland in anticipation of getting up Monday morning and heading to DisneySea for Toy Story Fastpasses. I'd been scoping DeepDisney for wait times, so we already had a game plan of going to Fantasyland and just hitting the "kiddie" rides, knowing that most FPs would be gone for the day and they were. Our plan was pretty solid and we were able to do exactly what we had in mind -- Small World, Pinocchio, Snow White, Peter Pan, and it was pretty cool that just as the Electric Light Parade was going by we were on Dumbo. It was a magical moment to look out, see this sea of people, the lights and sounds of the parade going by, and be riding the classic Disney ride with my 4 year old who was smiling from ear to ear. We also squeezed in Gadget's Coaster in Toon Town, Buzz Lightyear, Jungle Cruise and wrapping up with Pirates which had been down for refurb on our last trip.
Monday morning we were on the first bus out of the Hilton at 7am for Bayside station, and as the monorail came around and we could see the crowds and lines already in place for entering DisneySea my heart sank. It was roughly 7:15 and the crowds had completely filled up the first section and reaching over halfway back in the second section; we had NEVER been back this far. But, we got in line and held our place. When they let us in at precisely 8:00, I didn't time how long it took to get in the park, but as soon as we were through -- with a double stroller! -- DH took all our tickets and took off for Toy Story and was right behind him as fast as I could manage with the crowds and weaving through with the stroller. We made it over to American Waterfront and as I got in the Standby line at approximately 8:15, I saw where DH was in the FP line and thought there was no way there would be any FPs left by the time he got down to the machines. But, to my surprise. he joined us in line maybe 30 mins later with FPs for later in the evening. We would wind up waiting in the standby line for at least an hour and a half if not more, but it's a favorite, so we had to do it. From that point on, having 4 tickets, DH would go and get 2 FPs for ToT and 2 for Journey when our window opened and the rest of the morning we managed Aquatopia, Stormrider, meeting Mr AND Mrs Incredible and having a long lunch at Sailing Day Buffet. In the past we would always take a midday break -- keep in mind we have a 5 and 4 year old - but we were all feeling pretty good and the sun was out and shining so we decided to just stick it out for the the majority of the day. We continued on to Arabian Coast, riding Sinbad, Jasmine's Flying Carpets, the Carousel, before heading to Mermaid Lagoon. Lines were long for everything there, so we only waited for Flounder's coaster and Jumping Jellyfish. By that time, the 4 year old was growing increasingly tired, so her and hubby found a quiet spot in Ariel's Playground and took a nap. I stayed up with our oldest and just let her run around, exploring all the different caves and play areas and we also went and checked out the shoppes. When hubby woke up, we put them both in the stroller and headed back over to American Waterfront, grabbing a bite where they usually have the Duffy show, but the show had ended for the day so we were able to get our food pretty quickly. We ended the day utilizing our FPs we'd gotten earlier in the day and was walking out of the park sometime around 9pm.
Tuesday morning we were at the entrance to DL around 7:30, with a plan to ride Monsters while DH went for Pooh FPs. ** Huge props to the hubby; he RULES when it comes to collecting FPs. He strategizes the order, when he goes to get them, and he is not afraid to crisscross the park in order to grab the next set of FPs when the window opens up, even if that often means allowing us to ride something while he takes off to go get them ** So, Tuesday becomes a little bit of a blur. We spent at least an hour on Tom Sawyer Island at some point; the girls had not been back out there since they were babies and so it seemed new to them and they really had fun exploring it. It was another beautiful sunny day and being out in the sunshine and little bit away from the crowds was a nice break. But, again, we stuck to our touring plan and got to ride everything we wanted, including Buzz Lightyear, Holiday Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mtn, having lunch at Crystal Palace, Star Tours, and riding Monsters a second time. We did take a midday break that day, going back to the Hilton sometime after 3 and getting back to the park around 6pm.
Our strategy for Wednesday -- with it being Christmas Day -- was to walk over to Bayside Station early and try to be at the entrance for DS by 7:00. We were closer to the security checkpoint this time and after they opened and we did, what we have called the "Toy Story sprint" or "Toy Story dash", those 10 extra minutes WOULD have made a huge difference at least in the Standby line...but then the ride went down for probably 45 mins or so. We were inside the ride building, in queue, when it went down. The music stopped and they came over the loudspeaker and we realized it had gone down. The hardest part is thinking "are we going to be waiting 10 minutes or an hour?" But, we decided to just wait it out. But, at about 9:10 hubby was like "okay, let's give it until 9:30." And finally about 9:20 it started back up and everybody cheered! Our FPs would be for around 11:30, so headed to River Delta to see Mickey and Goofy since our oldest decided she wanted an Autograph Book and we wanted her first signature to be Mickey! While I waited with the girls, DH hit the Single Rider line for Indiana -- his favorite ride. Again, the rest of Wednesday becomes a little bit of a blur. We had Sailing Day buffet again for lunch; I hate to admit, my oldest is pretty picky when it comes to food and about the only thing we can get her to eat is something that resembles or is close to a chicken nugget and we stick to the few places that we know where we can get that.
--- To be continued ---