Disneyland/California: March 1

First stop this particular morning was in Tomorrowland at Disneyland!  Kyle went to round up a few fastpasses while the rest of us walked ahead to the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  “It’s our first time on a real submarine!”  Oh, the joy of Disney as a kid. 🙂 They were pretty cool, though.  We were on the first sub of the day, and really enjoyed the ride!

Next we took turns driving on Autopia, which is definitely better than the Speedway.  As always, the girls loved being able to drive!

Kyle went to Star Tours next, while the kids and I headed over to Toontown.  I was so excited to revisit one of our favorite lands – we sure miss it at WDW!  First stop was Mickey’s House, then Minnie’s.  The girls were so enthralled… it made me even more sad that our Toontown is no more, especially our more intricately detailed Minnie’s House.

After touring the homes of Toontown Kyle took the girls on Gadget’s Go-Coaster, then we all walked onto Roger Rabbit’s Car-Toon spin, followed by a visit to Chip & Dale’s Treehouse.

Once we had explored Toontown sufficiently, it was time to go to the newly-reopened “it’s a small world”.  Still such a beloved ride for us 🙂  Kyle and I took turns on the Matterhorn next, while the kids enjoyed Mickey pretzels.  We were knocking out Disneyland classics left and right!

Lunch was at the Golden Horseshoe, where Billy Hill and the Hillbillies entertained us.  Well, Billy, his friends, and my girls dancing while waiting in line entertained us – and those around us. 🙂  It was incredibly crowded, but a really fun stop at a special place in Disney history.

We all rode Splash Mountain next (the reviews we read ahead of time continued to be right… in this case, the Florida counterpart is far superior).  While Kyle had Avery on the ride, Elise and I headed over to Main Street where we checked out the Dapper Dans.  As part of “Limited Time Magic”, they were putting on a special show called “America’s Original Boy Band”, where they sang popular, current boy band songs in the Dapper Dans barbershop style.  It was adorable, and they sounded great as always!

Next we watched the piano player while I fed Nolan and waited for Kyle and Avery to join us.  We were there just in time, as I had hoped, because as soon as they joined us… so did Alice and the Mad Hatter!  We had made it for the infamous Musical Chairs game – but more than that, my girls (“a girl tweedle dee and tweedle dum!” says the Mad Hatter) were the stars of the game.  With lots of special treatment, they were on cloud 9.

Originally, Elise didn’t want to play – but Alice made it all better, and by the time she became an “unwinner” she was sad to leave the game.  Each new unwinner got to show a special talent or tell a joke.  I thought my girls might dance, but each told a joke – Elise completely on her own (a real one, even!).  Avery made it to the second to last round (with a little help from her BFF Alice), then got some help from the Mad Hatter to tell her joke.  It was so sweet, and they got to hang out with their new friends for a few minutes after, too.  What a fun, magical afternoon!

After all that excitement, it was time to head back to the hotel for a rest.  We all relaxed for about an hour before getting ready to head to the Disneyland hotel for dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen.  Our hotel had felt “Disney enough”… until we got there.  Admittedly, we look forward to staying on property again back “home”!

The food at Goofy’s was far less varied than Chef Mickey’s, but enjoyable nonetheless.  The characters for this restaurant are random, except a few staples.  We got to visit with Jasmine, Aladdin, Chip, Dale, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy that night.  The kids had so much fun!

We finished the night with a loop around the Disneyland monorail, where the girls loved passing our hotel (off-property, remember – such a nice, compact little resort area!).  Another great vacation day in the books!

LOTS more adorable pictures in the Zenfolio album!