Disneyland 2005


Amy talked to me Friday night (2/18/2005) and thought that it would be fun to go to Disneyland over the weekend.  This despite the lousy weather and Jacob being sick.  Regardless of the circumstances, it sounded like fun so I told her, “Make it happen.”  Shortly thereafter we got a reservation at the Embassy Suites and the trip was a go.

Since Amy had to work Saturday, the earliest we could leave was 6PM.  We were actually pretty close to that, leaving at 6:30PM.  The trip wasn’t too bad but it took us over 7 hours.  We finally got situated in the hotel around 2:30AM.  The kids were up pretty early around 7AM and we got up shortly after that.  The nice thing about Embassy Suites is that a real breakfast is included with the room.  That saves about $30 per day on food costs.  Of course, the really nice thing about them is the kids get their own room and we get ours.  There is nothing like a bit of privacy.

We went to the lobby and purchased 2 day tickets for the Anaheim Resort Shuttle.  The shuttle came fairly quickly and whisked us off to Disneyland.  We bought a park hopper pass which was fairly pricey, but it’s a good thing we did (more on that later…)  The Magic Kingdom was the first park we were visiting that day.  Then it was off to Frontier Land to ride the Indiana Jones ride.  Unfortunately, Jacob was too short to be able to go so Thomas and I went.  The line was quick and Thomas had a great time.  Amy thought we should do stuff as a family so we went on the Jungle Cruise next and from there we hopped on Pirates of the Caribbean.  We were walking around and saw “Pooh’s Huney Hunt” which was something we’d never been on before.  Jacob and Thomas had fun with it but it’s not something I’d recommend for adults.  Splash Mountain was closed so we decided to check out Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Jacob is not a fan of fast rides and he’s not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new things, so I told him that we were going to go on a train ride.  He thought that was a great idea.  Right about up to the first drop.  He was a good sport about it but it wasn’t something he wanted to again any time soon.

Everybody was getting pretty hungry so we thought heading to Downtown Disney would cost just about as much as eating in the park but the food would be a whole lot better.  Boy were we right.  After hearing there was a 45 minute wait at the House of Blues we decided to try Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.  The food was great.  The service was good.  They had a jazz band playing that really added to the atmosphere.  We would go back there in a heartbeat.  After lunch we all decided to head back to the room for a nap.

In the evening, we went to California Adventure.  My mom had told me that “Soarin’ Over California” was awesome so that was the first place we went.  We weren’t at all disappointed.  Thomas and Jacob absolutely loved it.  As we left the attraction, the rain started coming down.  Everybody had a poncho but me so we stopped in to purchase one.  Poncho or not, we all got pretty soaked.  The rain let up a few times, but overall, that was the end of the day.  We made one more stop in “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” and then rode “Soarin’ Over California” once more.  Since we ate a late lunch we settled on the restaurant at the hotel.  Nothing to write home about.  Everybody was fairly well exhausted by the time we got back to the room.

The forecast for Monday called for rain so we decided it would be best to not go to Disneyland and instead goof around before heading home.  Of course the entire morning and early afternoon were mostly rain-free.  We spent some time at Downtown Disney again and we had a particular mission while we were there.  In late 1998, Amy and I were married in a gazebo near the Disneyland Hotel.  She had heard that the gazebo was being moved.  We took a stroll around the hotel complex and found it.  Thomas took a picture of us in the gazebo. It was nice to reconnect with the place of our wedding.

Upon leaving Disneyland, we stopped by Target and bought the kids some new DVDs for the trip home.  Thomas picked “Atlantis: Milo’s Return” (not good at all) and Jacob picked “Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time” (an episode of the TV show on DVD.)  I picked “The Rescuers” for them.  On the way back, Amy thought it would be neat to see Hollywood so we took a stroll through the streets of Los Angeles County.  We saw some sites, Mann’s Chinese Theater among them, and noticed preparations for the Oscars happening the following weekend.  We couldn’t decide where to eat so we just kept driving.  We happened upon Universal Studios and thought it might be nice to eat there.  An hour or so later, we had eaten some mediocre Mexican food and I was royally pissed off at the kids (mostly Jacob…)  So we hit the road with me in a huff.  There weren’t many snags on the way out of L.A. and the weather was great most of the way home.  Incidentally, L.A. got hit with a lot of rain that day so it was still a good thing that we didn’t blow money on tickets.

All in all, I’m glad we went.  It was a crazy thing to do for just two days, but it felt good to do something spontaneous and spur of the moment.  I wish the weather had been better and Jacob hadn’t been so sick, but there are just some things you can’t control.

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Patrick Lawrence
By Patrick Lawrence

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