the e-mail confirmation i received instructed us to arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in and receive a wristband. well, since the parks open at 8am during summertime, we had to psych ourselves up for one hell of an early wake-up call and drive down to anaheim. of course, we ran a little behind schedule and hit a bit of traffic, so after parking the car and making our way to the esplanade, it was already 7:25. bah! and i was pretty alarmed at the rather large crowd waiting to enter the park.
luckily, a cast member pointed us in the right direction.
after a quick check of our passes and accepting a wristband that screamed "we're special, fools!" we were allowed to enter the park. a blessedly empty park, the likes of which we hadn't seen in...oh, ever.
of course, cars land was one of the areas open and ready for business. duh - it's why anyone wants early entry!
our original plan had been to grab fast passes for the radiator springs racers, but after joining the line we learned that the standby wait time was only 30 minutes. with just that amount of time before the general public was due to stampede, we hightailed it to the stroller parking and hopped in line.
the bean, having no idea what to expect of this new ride, was excited (but still sleepy).
we caught a glimpse of the "race cars" as we wound through the line.
and before we knew it, we were in the queue with seconds till boarding time.
stupid me - i thought i'd pressed the button to record her reaction to the journey through the mountain and "radiator springs," but it turns out i'd missed the entire thing. so all i have is this:
and as expected, the teen and i LOVED the ride. the bean...not so much. "mommy, i don't want to ride that scary ride ever, EVER again." poo.
since that line had gone faster than anticipated, we had time to get in line for the last of the three new rides: luigi's flying tires. as we made our way through the building, we glanced at the decor that we'd seen once before, during our pre-opening tour. someone had made a mistake while working on those faux tires and misspelled the text so that it read "fettuccine alfreado." i wonder if that someone got fired over that gaffe. anyway, we inspected all of the tires and found that they'd been flawlessly corrected.
during our previous trips to cars land after the grand opening, the line for this ride had been close to two hours (radiator springs racers was just as bad). but on this day, we waited a mere ten minutes before receiving a ticket that guaranteed us a spot in the next round.
it's sorta like bumper cars, only each vehicle is a giant tire that floats above the ground - kinda like being on a giant air hockey table. and there were huge beach balls that we could pick up and toss around the floor.
we had fun leaning this way and that, trying to catch more of those beach balls and failing miserably.
when all was said and done, we decided that it was sorta fun, but not worth waiting much longer than we did. i'm glad we finally got to test it out, and now we know that it ain't all that.
by now, the park was open to everyone. when i headed back to grab the stroller, i noticed that half an hour makes quite the difference in regards to the line for the racers. what was 30 minutes for us became 135 for the latecomers. yikes.
we were running on empty stomachs, so since we'd finally conquered both of the new rides, we decided to try the new "flo's v8 cafe."
the bean went with the tried-and-true "american breakfast."
for the teen, the more adventurous chicken tamale breakfast.
and for me, an item i'd read about online - the brioche french toast with salted caramel sauce.
don't we look happy?
in our never-ending quest to do things that we typically pass up, we took the bean into the animation building for "turtle talk with crush." she sat on the floor right near the stage, while we watched from seats in the front row. and we grinned in excitement when she was chosen right away to have a conversation with the righteous sea turtle from "finding nemo." into the mic, she answered simple questions like "what's your name?" "where are you from?" and "who brought you here today?" this, of course, led to me answering a few questions of my own. i blushed and stammered out simple answers, happy it was a dark theater where no one really paid any attention to me. i hate speaking in public.
we ended up crossing over to disneyland to grab a light lunch and a mint julep. hello, bacon-wrapped asparagus...on a stick, no less.
the bean and i hopped onto the jungle cruise while the teen took advantage of the single rider option at the newly renovated matterhorn bobsleds. i was amazed when she texted me and said that she'd gotten on in less than 5 minutes. amazed and jealous. ha! and by then, the bean was spent. as we waited for the tram, i looked down and realized that my demure little lady was passed the eff out in the stroller.
another wildly successful day at disneyland in the books.