The Disneyland weekend experience passed by like a whirlwind, a whirlwind of late nights, cool rides, great shows, fun times and a whole lot of throwing up. Like every time we go to Disneyland, the anticipation its self is almost as fun as the trip its self. We went down to Anaheim on Thursday afternoon with Matt and Aimee and their kids so that we could be ready for a full day of Disneyland on Friday. We got the kids up out of bed at 5:30 (as if they slept much anyway) for a quick breakfast at the hotel and then got to Disneyland gates by 7 am. Why so early? Why would we intentionally do that to ourselves? We did it because we had a schedule to keep! The past couple of times we have gone to Disneyland we have used the Ridemax software to allow us to do as much as possible while there. Part of that required that we arrived early. We did. Jennifer and the kids were the 10th people in line. The first ride of the day? Nemo! Ridemax recommended Nemo for the first ride of the day because of the very long wait times, it also recommended that we hustled there as quick as we could to beat the rest of the opening gate rush. We not only hustled, we ran. Yep, me pushing Lizzie and Jackson in the stroller and Jennifer, Logan, Trevor, Matt, Aimee, Emma, Maddy, Benny, Kelly, Julio, Kristen and Ryan running through the park to get to get to Nemo, dodging and maneuvering past the vast horde of people in our way. The employees were all over the place of course, many of them yelling, "slow down!" and, "this is a family park!". Everyone's a critic. Despite all of that, we were the sixth people to be in line for Nemo. We were pretty stoked about that. Jennfier actually said that the running was the favorite part of the trip. The rest of the day went a bit like that. We got on all the rides fairly quickly considering that there were quite a bit of people there. The fastpass system is really quite cool and the only way to go. The one bad part of the day happened when we lost Lizzie. You forget how easy it is to loose a child at Disneyland, even with matching shirts. Of course I freaked, running all over the place. We did her find within a few minutes of course watching a cartoon at the lost child area. The experience was still a little traumatic for Jennifer and I. The kids were toast by 7:00 that evening as it was a very long day. We did a couple of more rides and called it a day.
Saturday was a little more mellow at California Adventure. The crowds are far less there making for a welcome change. We also got to sleep in a bit, which we really needed after Friday. We saw the High School Musical II Parade, the Aladdin play and the Blockparty Parade. We even took all the kids (with the exception of Jackson) on the Tower and Terror. Lizzie was the only one who kept her eyes open for the whole thing. When the ride was over she turned to Jennifer and said, "Mommy that was scary fun!" We ended the day at Disneyland so we could catch Fantasmic. It was unreal how many people were there. The kids were surprisingly energetic allowing us to do a few more of our favorite rides after the show like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear and Small World. We slept in as late as we could on Sunday (around 7:00) and then lounged around the hotel. This particular embassy suites had this cool Lion perched above a waterfall that would come alive every 30 minutes and growl at guests. Our room, on the fourth floor, faced the breakfast area down below. We knew it was time to go when people were complaining that little foam balls were falling on their breakfast, so we made a speedy exit. Sunday was the day that the wildfires broke out in Socal. Driving through Valencia was like driving through this apocalyptic cloud of blackness.