Well, we woke up bright and early (6:15AM) because we had a 7:10AM Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. I rubbed my eyes and hoped that the luggage incident was just a bad dream, but alas, it was not. We were going to get to go to breakfast in the clothes we trekked through the park in the previous day.....yeah for us!
We got to breakfast with time to spare. We decided to get the "Princess Bucket" for my wife's b-day. They sat us promptly and almost immediately we were seeing characters.....Goofy, Baloo, Dale, Princess Jasmine and Cindy herself.
The breakfast buffet was good and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes the typical breakfast/brunch fare. The Princess Bucket was very geared toward kids and we didn't really care since we knew we'd be giving it to our neice (my wife's sister's daughter). It had a cake in it that you had to dig through inches of icing in order to find the cake....yuck!
After Goofy's Kitchen we made our way to Disneyland via Downtown Disney. Once into the parks, we were met with relatively few lines due to the fact that the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was the "people eater" of the day with queue lengths that got upwards of 4 HOURS long (you didn't read that wrong).
Ultimately, we are waiting for my wife's sister to come to the parks with her daughter. While we waited for the phone call we got the following rides crossed off our list:
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- The World Famous Jungle Cruise
- Winnie the Pooh
While doing that crucial shopping, my sister-in-law joined us. After a suitable suit (sorry bad pun) was found, we all went back to the hotel room. Once everyone was settled, I headed back to the parks to meet up with Tim Devine (The Magic in Pixels) while my wife remained at the hotel with her sister and niece and they partook in the wonderful pool facilities of our hotel.
From there we (his family and me) went to the Enchanted Tiki Room. This is always a joy for me. It has a catchy tune that drills into your skull like "It's a Small World". Not only that, you are in a large room with great air conditioning. I must say though that the conditions are ripe for accidentally falling asleep. Well, if you can block out the noise of all those singing tropical birds who occasionally drop a bad pun or two
After The Tiki Room, we headed over to Adventure Land where Tim and I hopped on the Jungle Cruise. Yes, I know I had just done it earlier in the day, but this is Tim Devine people. It's a different experience to hop on a ride with a photographer. I can tell you that Tim doesn't let a little rope stop him from getting pictures....haha.
Riding the Jungle Cruise with Tim was a real treat. He really liked heckling the Skippers with his best Ed McMahon impression. I tried to join in hoping we could get the entire boat into the act, but it wasn't to be.
After Tim and I were done with the Jungle Cruise, my wife had worked her way over to Adventureland and joined us dragging her niece along for the ride. Apparently, her sister needed to go pick up our nephew from school and my wife offered to watch our niece at Disneyland to try and garner a bit of Aunt/Niece time.
From there we went to New Orleans Square. My wife and niece were desperately in need of nourishment. Tim met up with his wife and son there because they had found some good shade to hide in while Tim's son caught some z's. That sure is the life. You have your health, you get pushed around in a stroller, and you can fall asleep whenever the urge hits you.
Tim and his family waited until we were done (well, they took in the Haunted Mansion since the line was short).
Shortly after we finished eating we decided to all go on Winnie Pooh again (always a crowd pleasure for the little tikes). After getting off Pooh we were having to meet up with my wife's sister and her son, Collin.
Collin is severely disabled with a rare genetic disorder. Due to his condition and the fact that he was deemed terminal at birth, Disneyland has given him what has been referred to as "The Greenlight Pass". To the more crass, it could be called the "Ultimate Fast Pass". It takes you straight to the front of the line.
So, we decided that since Collin was having a good day (he is severly sensitive to the sun and it will cause him to have seizures if he gets too much),
At this point, it was time for us to part ways. Tim was needing to head back to places abroad (aka outside Disney property) and his kid was starting to get fussy (it was hot). So we shook hands and did our own thing.
From there, we went to Buzz Lightyear again. This time, I didn't participate and took photos. We allowed our niece to ride with us and by my not participating, it allowed her to use my raygun and try her best to beat my wife.
After Buzz, we went to Dumbo. In addition to Collin's sensitivity to sun, Collin is also Autistic and if you don't ride certain attractions in a particular order he really gets anxious and it sometimes makes things difficult. I hate rides that spin. So, I chose to stay grounded and tried to take pictures while the others enjoyed the spinning joy of Dumbo.
After Dumbo, it was the King Arthur Carrousel. Once again, a spinning ride. So I stood outside and took pictures.
After that, it was back to "Its a Small World". I once again. got some good shots. This ride just has so much to see that you could probably ride it a couple dozen times and set up new shots each time.
After we got off "It's a Small World", my sister-in-law's husband called and wanted to know if our luggage was found. We didn't know, so I ran back (literally ran) from "It's a Small World" to our hotel. Once back, the bell staff told us that our luggage was still not there and they have a note to look out for it.
I called my wife to let her know the sitch (see Kim Possible) and she was amazed how quickly I had gotten back (as I said, I ran....thank you gym membership).
I decided to go to the room while I waited for my wife to get back from the parks. As I got in the elevator and went to push the button a kid decided to kick me in the shins and punch me in the stomach and yelled, "NO! I want to do it". The mom just looked at me with a combined "What do you want me to do" and "I'm so sorry" look and yanked him back by the collar of his shirt. I reached out again and he threw a bigger fit. Eventually, after sitting there for what seemed like forever in a hot stuffy elevator, the young man pushed all the correct buttons (there were other people cowered in the corner waiting to leave as well). Now I know why there were so many people standing outside the elevator despite the fact there was plenty of room on the elevator.
Well, this night was supposed to be our night to go to the Napa Rose for dinner. We still had no luggage and after an hour on the phone with American Airlines, they not only cannot tell me why my bags still haven't made it to Anaheim, they also can no longer tell me where my bags are. So, now they went from purposely delayed to being lost.
Well, it just so happened that my brother-in-law took it upon himself to go over to the baggage claim area of Santa Ana airport. As I was hanging up with the American Airlines people, he called my wife to say that he found our luggage. Apparently, our bags were amongst hundreds of other bags that were just stacked in the open space of the baggage claim area. He popped his head into the American Airline baggage area and told them he was taking the bags, but they didn't ask for proof he was me.
Well, my brother-in-law came through. He took the bags to his house where my sister-in-law threw them into the car and brought them with her since she was going to dinner with us. We had to rush really quick to get dressed (we had already showered) and we had to push our dinner back an hour (the people at Napa Rose were very understanding).
The food was FANTASTIC and the atmosphere was really nice. I'd recommend the Napa Rose to others as well.
After dinner, we all went our separate ways and went to bed.....
My wife and I were dreaming of clean socks and under garmets....haha