Splashes and…

PumpkinGirl’s 21st B-Day Dapper Do & Imbibation Ambulation Is Here!

Five days have gone by so very fast. And yet it didn’t have the same feeling that past trips have had. There was no feeling of remorse for opportunities missed, no “I NEED MORE TIME!” We were feeling pretty darned good and we woke up knowing that today was going to be spectacular!

For once it wasn’t me who got up first. If you recall I had taken advantage of my Magic Morning at CA to do a triple shot of Guardians of the Galaxy. The kiddos had other plans, they wanted to hit Fantasyland before things got crazy. So they were up and out the door while I was still getting myself together.

They grabbed their breakfast and headed down and caught rope drop. They actually skipped Peter Pan, hitting some other classics – specifically Mr Toad!

I always wanted to go Nowhere In Particular

Their car awaited them

Car Selfie!

Where are the rest of the dinner guests?

Nobody’s getting off with time served from this guy

Maximum sentence every time!

That is one evil train

While they were enjoying the goodness of the classic rides I had made my way into the park. Roxy was sleeping in a bit more and was going to slow her pace down a bit today so I went down solo. We were all dressed to hit the water rides so I was stylin’ some cool blue trunks and a Mary Poppins T-shirt from a local production of the musical I was a part of.

This was fortuitous and I had an unexpected encounter with none other than our beloved Mary and good ole Burt! They were fascinated by my shirt and lead to a great interaction. After our talk someone else in line was nice enough to take my phone and snap a pic of the three of us

Meanwhile the kiddos had wrapped things up in Fantasyland and were getting ready for the Frontierland rope drop. I met up with them and snapped a shot of my early birds

…then leaned over the rope to get a pic with them

A Cast Member guarding the rope border and I talked and he asked about the kids and I explained that I had already used my Magic Morning and was just shooting the breeze with them. He was very nice and slyly unhooked the rope and gave me a nod to come thru to join them. What an awesome guy – huzzah for cool CMs bringing families together!

I talked more to the kiddos and said I was at their disposal as far as where they wanted to go. They were in the mood for a classic so it was off to Haunted Mansion for us! Is there anyone else who had never noticed what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon next to the moon?

Zero got his bone and then some!

That is not a happy wreath

I had also never noticed this little guy – love his vest!

I still want to know what I did to deserve the skull and crossbones next to my name!

PumpkinGirl managed another epic shot of the Hat Box Ghost

He’s no Sandy Claws!

So many happy faces

Hear those trumpets call!

And the obligatory Oogie Boogie shot – looks like we got the question mark, that can’t be good

While we were finishing our visit with those happy haunts Roxy had made it to the park – she sent me a selfie (a rare occasion) as she moved thru the ticket line

Her ankles were bugging her quite a bit so she headed over to grab an ECV from the rental counter. Her having made it to day 5 before getting one was an amazing accomplishment. On our 2012 trip to WDW she needed one the whole trip.

She caught up to us and we were all ready to embark on our journey to get doused! That’s right all – it was Splash time! I was very happy with this shot – love the little details of the ride and the Critter Country appropriate Holiday decorations

No pics on the queue or during the ride, we had packed away our phones for safety. The first time down we didn’t plan anything so I tried to sneak a smooch and Jinx did a thumbs-up.

But the second time around I managed to convince the family to do YMCA!

We got a pretty good soak on between those two trips down. We headed down around Critter Country to the Rivers of America to hit the restroom. The river was beautiful with the exception of that darned crane. Such is the price for progress!

The upside of the ECV beyond the obvious is that it gives us a place to stash our extra stuff!

The Mark Twain came by while we were there – lots of waving back and forth

Once our pit stop was finished we started making our way out – I tried to get a picture of the front of the Columbia, but it is pretty obscured by foliage and fencing

Onward past the Haunted Mansion as the sun rose higher into the morning sky

We made quick progress back to the front of the park, I only stopped to take one more pic of the horse drawn trolley as we headed up Main Street USA

We headed over to CA and got on Grizzly River Run. I took zero pictures during this timeframe as all electronics were buried in plastic bags to protect them from the ride. We rode the rapids twice in a row and were very wet and pretty cold by the time we rolled back around on the second run. I had meant to take a pic of us all wet but just plain forgot.

We had accomplished our goal though and squished our way out of CA and back to our hotel. We took our time and showered and changed into our dapper attire. Well PumpkinGirl, Roxy and I did while Jinx was reasonably dapper but was actually doing a Cosplay and was going to fly solo for a bit and then meet up with a friend he had met the day before. The family splitting was a bit out of necessity as the three of us would be drinking and Jinx is only 18. He was totally fine with flying solo as he had some goals to accomplish and would be circling back around with us off and on throughout the day.

We all finished getting out dapper on and I consulted “The Plan”. Here is the route map I put together before the trip for the adult beverage walkabout (It’s NOT a pub crawl – so says Roxy):

Now right off the bat I knew that despite the fact that I did a BUNCH of research and planning for this little outing, that all bets are off once you start down the road of it. You can ask anyone who has been on a drinking adventure that, as Barbarossa says, “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.” Substitute route map for code.

Our hotel is on the corner of Harbor and Katella, so we were going to walk down Katella turn onto Disneyland Drive to get to Downtown Disney and Earl of Sandwich. But everyone was still pretty content food-wise from breakfast so we decided that we would eat lunch a bit later. So the route map was blown right out the door. Instead we started walking the same way but instead go directly to the Disneyland Hotel and specifically to Trader Sam’s!

The walk seemed longer than we had thought since it was just a straight city sidewalk following the back of Cali Adventure. But when you consider you’re walking behind Cars Land and Paradise (Pixar) Pier, then turning and following the back of PP and past both the Paradise Pier Hotel and the Grand Californian it makes sense as it is a bit of a walk. But it is still a little bit shorter than walking in the entrance/hub and dealing with security and then winding thru Downtown Disney.

We did hit a milestone in an old school sign for the Disneyland Resort so I took a pic of our B-Day girl

While I was snapping the shot a couple walked up and were nice enough to snap a pic of the three of us

Pretty snazzy aye?

We made our way down and Roxy and PumpkinGirl started questioning where I was going but I’m one of those lucky people with a really good sense of direction and the ability to visualize maps in my head. And I know the map of the Disneyland Hotel! I took us across Disneyland Drive and in thru the entrance road and the traffic circle.

From there we took the pathways past the Frontier Tower and the Fairy Tale Wedding Garden. An event had recently taken place and there were some other well-dressed people walking around and enjoying themselves. We kept walking and saw the back of Trader Sam’s. And then it was into the fray of finding a table in that tiny establishment!

We squeezed into an upright table right next to the door that only sat two (I stood) and we got our order in. After a lot of watching and waiting and having one table snaked out from under us we managed to get one!

The atmosphere was fun as usual and hectic. If you haven’t been, picture the Enchanted Tiki Room run by a bunch of crazy drunks!

I had meant to keep track of the drinks we had but that fell on its face right away. We all ordered something different and PumpkinGirl tried each one but liked the colorful one the best

I thought I had taken a video of the volcano erupting and the storm but couldn’t locate it. There are plenty of vids on YouTube that are better than mine anyways. I did take a picture of the ship in the bottle sinking though

We were going to hit the Uva Bar in DTD but it was already after 3pm so we decided to head for CA. That is until we stopped to duck into the candy shop

Oh, part of my wardrobe for this adventure was of course a Mickey Tie along with a tie pin and an umbrella pin, both given to me for my work with Make-A-Wish

Our next stop was the Macaron stand to secure a Birthday Macaron for our Birthday Girl!

While Roxy was making that purchase for her I took advantage of the Star Wars posters for some epic selfies!

We headed thru security and into CA and split up so Roxy could use her receipt to pick up another ECV. She had not been amused to have to end up doing so much walking but handled it like a champ. While she did that I took PumpkinGirl over to the Carthay Circle Theatre.

I showed her the plaque and explained some of the history

Love this mosaic

We of course had to get our “tickets”

We headed in and I had told her that to get the full experience we must sit at the bar

Our bartender was Shane and he was a fine gent who offered something attuned to PumpkinGirl’s tastes

Roxy had joined us and we soon had drinks in hand

We were contacted by Jinx, who was now in CA. We decided to meet at Guardians of the Galaxy and I secured FastPasses thru MaxPass for it. While the ladies finished their drinks I took a quick tour, taking pictures of the pictures showing the theatre and some memories in relation to Walt.

They had a classy little tree in the foyer

PumpkinGirl was feeling a buzz but was handling it well and wanted to have some fun. So we decided to do Guardians of the Galaxy and then head to The Cove for some Lobster Nachos and the coveted Mickey’s Fun Wheel from the secret drink menu.

We met up with Jinx right as we were leaving the Carthay Circle and headed down the street towards GotG. As we approached we saw Groot getting his groove on!

But our FastPasses were ready so we headed on in. You finally get to see a pic of Jinx!

As I had said earlier he was doing a cosplay. And if you’re not recognizing “guy in trench coat” he’s playing Castiel from Supernatural. He was very happy because several people recognized him as he was walking around.

Big smiles!

Obligatory queue pic

I had gotten pics of the Guardians themselves the previous morning so this time I made sure to get a shot of The Collector


Obligatory Rocket pic

Isn’t she pretty?

Hey Harold!

We were all having a good time

PumpkinGirl especially

Jinx was giving a quizzical look, probably from something PumpkinGirl said or some dad joke of mine.

We wrangled 2nd row for this one

We came out to dusk and some traveling minstrels

Sibling hugs in mommy’s ECV!

We were originally going to take off from there but heard that Groot was about to come back out and we just couldn’t resist. Soon enough our giant tree friend was out and we were walking up to see him

Of course PumpkinGirl got the honor of being first.

PumpkinGirl wanted to teach Groot some etiquette and curtseyed

…but Groot was fascinated by her hair

THEN PumpkinGirl got a proper bow

…and curtsey

When we left off PumpkinGirl had gotten Groot to master both the bow and the courtesy, so he then turned to me and seemed fascinated by my beard. They missed a shot of him “petting” it, but got one of me laughing right afterwards

Jinx then got to say hello

Then it was time for family pics!

…and afterwards Roxy got personal pics with him

While I got a pic with my boy

Jinx was splitting off from there to get food and meet characters. And the rest of us were off to The Cove for more drinks and lunch that had now turned into dinner!

As we left the area I had to grab one more shot of the GotG façade, with the sunset it was stunning!

We headed into Bug’s Land to hit the restrooms and I snapped a shot of the ornaments.

Thinking about it afterwards I wish I had taken more pictures in here as it was slated to all be torn out for the Avengers area that was coming in. Instead I got a final shot looking thru Bug’s Land of The Collector’s Palace, now well-lit as the last light faded from the sky

After we finished up in the restrooms Roxy took the ECV and got a spot in line at The Cove. Meanwhile, PumpkinGirl and I promptly got sidetracked and stopped by the Coco setup outside the preview building

Then hit up more drinks and some goodies at the Festival of the Holidays booths near Wine Country Trattoria

…and wandered BACK into Bug’s Land!

…then BACK to the main drag and past Radiator Springs

At least we were finally making real progress towards Roxy. Meanwhile Jinx had eaten and was waiting in line for …you guessed it …another dose of Thor and Loki! Jinx shot a video that I had to break up into three chunks because he decided to flip the camera twice while filming

First we have the Grandmaster’s Intro and Thor’s Entrance

Followed by Loki’s Entrance

And of course lots of good banter

Hopefully Jinx got a better handshake than Roxy did the night before

Good banter of course

Pose time!

And a hug he had been too nervous to get the night before!

From there he was straight on to Cap

Good banter here too

And an excellent set of poses!

One more firm handshake and he was off

While Jinx was getting his Hero time in we were seated at The Cove Bar, we managed a rail view looking out over the lagoon and the launch area for Cali Screamin’

View over the rail

View looking out across the bar

We started looking over the drink menu

We knew we would be ordering the lobster nachos, we also decided on the tri-tip sliders. Both were wonderful! For drinks we of course had to get PumpkinGirl the Fun Wheel off the secret drink menu. I got the Zombie and Roxy got the Neverland Tea.

Group selfie while we waited for our drinks

While waiting Jinx was till out exploring and ran into a new friend!

Huzzah, drinks!

We were doing some good-natured kidding of PumpkinGirl because she was already a bit tipsy before having the Fun Wheel

She took it well though

We had our drinks and ate …the food didn’t last long so I didn’t get a single picture of it. We were hungry!

Afterwards I got a shot with Roxy and a slightly more tipsy PumpkinGirl – she was having a good time

We decided to head out and meet up with Jinx for one last ride on Guardians of the Galaxy. I went to pick up the ECV over by the rail and caught this spectacular shot of the lagoon.

We had thought about watching World of Color but after the disaster that was ‘Fantasmic!’ we had decided that we would much rather ride one more ride instead. We contacted Jinx and he met us on the way there. There would be no FastPass to be had at this time of the evening though, we would brave our one and only long wait for a ride – 70 minutes if I remember correctly.

We wound our way around outside and really took our time when we got in, even letting people pass us

Happy smiling faces

A CM was nice enough to take a family shot

Out last interaction with Rocket

We weren’t sad though – we were all happy and enjoying every moment – lots of hugs and good conversation about our trip

One more hug from my Birthday Girl

And as we were loading Jinx’s cosplay was recognized by the Cast Member loading us up and he said a Supernatural reference which completely went over my head but gave Jinx a wonderful grin. We had made sure we got the front row for out “last ride” and planned that our PumpkinGirl flash up a “21” while we pointed at her. Unfortunately she was still a little tipsy and reversed her two and one – lol

I am however a PhotoShop whiz so the one I posted on Facebook had those digits reversed and showing the proper “21”

We took our time in the GotG gift shop afterwards and I came away with this little guy for my office

It of course plays “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay & the Americans, the song that plays while Yondu, Rocket and Baby Groot go on their rampage thru the Ravager ship. He sways back and forth while it plays. We got some other stuff including a GotG sweatshirt for Jinx and a shirt for PumpkinGirl. Can’t remember what else but there was more.

By the time we came out the Collector’s Palace was shut down

We walked (and scooted) back up the nearly empty street towards the hub

One more shot of their festive tree

And I HAD to get a shot with the boys

Roxy dropped off the ECV and the kids decided they were done for the night so they headed back to the hotel. We however had one more stop to make before our adventure was done. Roxy and I had to hit the Jolly Holiday for some goodies to take home with us. We headed into Disneyland at about 8:30pm and decided to take a detour to hear the story of this gentleman

The theater was empty except for an older couple and a mom with her little girl, who was a very cute and very well-behaved little one. She had some great questions as we watched. Here are a few visual highlights of the show

Then the classic speech – moving as always

We came out right at 9pm to the show and another sprinkle of snow on Main Street

The kiddos meanwhile had made it to our room so we finally got to see what the fireworks looked like from our window!

It took us 10 minutes to wade upstream and wait thru the line to make it inside the Jolly Holiday. I love the Mary Poppins vibe of this place, so very classic

We picked up several Matterhorn Macarons along with a couple of other macaron options including the raspberry rose, muffins, cookies, crème brulee, and I think some eclairs. Our goodies in hand we made our way out and back to the hotel just before 10pm. The kiddos had already showered and settled in so we took our showers and settled in.

There was some small banter but we were all pretty bushed and turned in. We had arranged for a 1pm check-out and car pick-up so tomorrow morning was going to be as slow and low impact as we could manage. Tune in next time for one more walk to Downtown Disney, our journey home, and last thoughts.

Day 5 Ride Count –

– Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride x1
– Haunted Mansion x1
– Splash Mountain x2
– Grizzly River Run x2
– Guardians of the Galaxy x2

Characters Met –

– Groot
– Thor & Loki
– Captain America
– Braer Bear

Adult Beverage Walkabout Stops –

– Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
– Carthay Circle Bar
– Festival of the Holidays Booths x2
– Cove Bar