Tuesday, August 7, 2018

quite an incredible day

so yeah, sundays are definitely our designated rope drop days.  it's a little tough getting up that morning (especially if saturday has been extra fun), but it's always totally worth it when we get there and have the chance to play in the parks before the giant crowds arrive.

this time, we were determined to get the bean onto the incredicoaster.  she was still a little skittish about it because of that loop, but she followed us through the turnstile at california adventure and right back towards pixar pier.  there were lots of others who had the same plan as we did, as we joined the ever-growing line that had started for the ride.


to distract her a little, i asked her to pose for me to show off the fun shirt i'd made for her to wear.


and then we took our first group selfie of the day.


at 8:00 on the dot, the park officially opened and our line made its way to pixar pier and into the line queue for the incredicoaster.



since we were in the actual standby line this time, we got to look at all of the stuff along the way:











the bean and i sat together on the ride, and we held hands for much of it as we screamed and laughed all the way through.  she squeezed my hand pretty tightly as we went through that loop, but as you can see from the ride photo...she survived.  and even had fun.


another selfie to commemorate the occasion.


i'd grabbed us a fastpass using the maxpass system on the app for radiator springs racers, which is always in high demand.  because it was so early in the day, we got one of the first times available and so we headed towards cars land.  on our way there, we came upon this little group of little duckling siblings who'd somehow gotten separated from their mama and were slightly panicky as they trotted along the wharf looking for her.


poor little things.  we could all hear her as she answered their calls, but she was down in the water and couldn't figure out where her babies were.  we tried our best to help them find their way, and it was kind of a long way down to jump from where they were perched so they were a little skittish at first.  but then one brave ducking finally took the leap of faith and the rest followed suit and were happily reunited with their relieved mama.


with a little time to kill first, we stopped for a photo op in cars land.


radiator springs racers is always a good time.


while we were waiting to board that ride, i'd grabbed the next maxpass for guardians of the galaxy.  talk about getting our adrenaline rush first thing in the morning.


from there we decided to stop at a couple of the new "disney walls" that are in the hollywood studios area, near the monsters, inc. ride.  there are a handful of spots like this throughout all of the disney parks, where there are these walls and murals and things that are part of the decor but that have made their way into the backgrounds of countless instagram posts.  and so we took pictures too, because why not?



we decided to make our way over to the disneyland side next so that we could take advantage of the still-light crowds.  i snagged us a space mountain fastpass and then took a selfie here while waiting for the girls to come out of the opera house, where they'd ducked inside to cool off a little.


watch out, the stormtroopers are always patrolling, keeping an eye out for rebel spies.


space mountain in its original form is somehow a little scarier than when they have the halloween or star wars overlays.  it's so dark in there, which makes the ride seem like it goes faster, and although i've been on it a zillion times the darkness makes me forget where all the turns and drops are.


we rode our other favorites, like indiana jones and big thunder, grabbed a snack here and there, and then it was time for our late lunch reservation at the lamplight lounge.  so we made our way back over to california adventure and to pixar pier and checked in here:



we still had to wait for a few minutes, so we hung out here and watched the people riding the incredicoaster.


the waiting area is decorated with artwork from various pixar films.



and then finally it was time, so we walked down the stairs to be seated in the dining area,


i love all of the little themed touches throughout the restaurant, even down to the cast member signs into and out of the kitchen:


every wall in the dining area is covered in memorabilia from the movies.  every table was occupied and i didn't want to be a super creep, so i just tried to snap pictures of the walls over everyone's heads.  probably still looked like a creep, but whatever.





here's the menu:


the bean opted for the non-alcoholic "falling with style," which was lemonade mixed with fresh mango puree.  she said it was delicious.


unfortunately, the old lady's "open ocean with a splash" was not so much.  it was made with raspberry infused rum, blue curacao, agave, lime juice and something that gave it an almond flavor.  she hated it so much she sent it back, which is unusual for her.  she typically just powers through even if she doesn't like something, so this must have been truly terrible.


our first attempt at a group selfie was kind of a bust...


but the second was better.


i opted for the lobster nachos, which is always a solid choice.


the old lady went for the ratatouille, which she'd been looking forward to since this place opened.


this is her special friend's grilled chicken salad, which he said was good but wasn't exactly what he'd expected.


the bean wasn't really hungry, so she had some mac & cheese off of the kids menu.


and then we capped it off with an order of fresh donuts with dipping sauces.  these were tasty.


we stopped at the restroom on the way out, and had fun reading all of the movie quotes that lined the hallway.





and of course, the door signs are perfect.



although the lamplighter lounge is charming and beautifully decorated, it's a one-and-done for us.  the food and drinks are just okay and a little overpriced, and the service is just a hair short of terrible.  bummer.

we walked through downtown disney to check out the limited edition disney x ray ban sunglasses, which were super cute on the bean:


but for $243, totally not worth the little bit of mickey on the sides (which i didn't even take a picture of, haha).

the bean took this super silly picture of us in one of the window displays in the world of disney store:


and then we stopped at sprinkles to snag a specialty cupcake for the old lady.


(she loved it and said it was really tasty, in case you were wondering)

before we even got to the freeway, there was this:


and that was the end of our fantastical rope drop sunday.  8 hours of fun in the sun, and she was totally done,

you like those rhyming skills, don't ya?

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