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JimmyBo last won the day on January 1 2023

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About JimmyBo

  • Birthday 03/15/1984

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  1. iPhone 13 mini, OS 17.1.1, Safari - no preview image. Once I click play, then the video image stays after that.
  2. Finally catching up on this report Chuck and I can say that it's a pretty Fantastik, Soopa Doopa, Awesome report! I love all the call backs to the changes from previous trips you had at these parks and it shows that parks really try to update their parks to the visitors best interests. I love the captions! Can't wait for more! Jimmy "I'm having TPR Trip withdrawals" Bo
  3. To celebrate International Lego Day (January 28th), here is another LEGO creation we made related to theme parks. We took the LEGO Ferris Wheel 3 in 1 Set and the boys and I made it into the Mickey Wheel at Disney's California Adventure. Anyone have any other LEGO creations related to rides or roller coasters? Today is the day to share them!
  4. Thanks Elissa. LEGO has been coming up with some pretty crazy ideas lately. It is really making my bank account empty real fast. My boys also love all the LEGO Super Mario Sets. They play with those for hours! Thanks Bert. I find putting LEGO sets together to be relaxing but some people can find it frustrating. That ATARI (and the NES) set is amazing. I love all the little details within those sets!
  5. LEGO is amazing! You can create almost anything with LEGO's and when it comes to designing roller coasters and theme park attractions, LEGO can be a way to show everyone's creativity at their finest. LEGO has also released some of their own theme park related and roller coaster sets in the past. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the latest LEGO Loop Coaster Set. Below are some pictures of me putting the set together and then the awesome details that this set has. If you have ever created a LEGO set related to theme parks, like roller coasters or rides, we would love to see it on Theme Park Review. If you want to share, feel free to post in this thread, or you can create your own thread. I think it would be great to see everyone else's creations and designs. I got my hands on this really awesome set! My family and extended family got me this as a Christmas gift this year...it was awesome AND a surprise! But of course my son just wanted to play in the box that it came in.... kids ...... This box is so cool. I didn't want to open it because it looked so cool. Some pretty fun details all around the box. I thought it looked tall from the picture on the box...but I would be lying if I said I wasn't surprised how tall the set actually was when it was complete. Time to dump everything out on our table. This was my battle ground for the next week to put this thing together. Everything laid out on the table and I'm ready to tackle the instruction book! Bag Number 1 Complete! That was a fun way to start! Bag Number 2 Complete! Starting to look like some roller coaster footers are being placed. Bag Number 3 Complete! Already placing track pieces? That was fast! Bag Number 4 Complete! I realized at this point, I needed to switch to the longer side of our table as this build was going to be a lot bigger than I anticipated! Bag Number 5 Complete! Not a lot added from this bag, but still fun seeing it come together! Bag Number 6 Complete! More track, the entrance sign and stairs were added. I love LEGO's sense of humor in all their sets. These signs are hilarious! Bag Number 7 Complete! The loops are already complete and I'm only half way through the instructions! This goes to show you that even LEGO makes mistakes on their instructions. If you know...you know... Bag Number 8 Complete! This piece doesn't look like much, but this bag took me the 2nd longest out of all the bags. You will see in a little bit which bag took the longest. Bag Number 9 Complete! Starting to see the drop come together! Bag Number 10 Complete! Almost done with Bag Number 11, and this was the crucial step of connecting the 2 separate pieces together. I'll admit...I was a little nervous something would break... Bag Number 11 Complete! It came together pretty easily. Bag Number 12 took the longest out of all the bags. First, I had to build the large "elevator" section. And then...... ...I had to make sure I had 222 pieces of the lift chain! I had to do this step 222 times!!! It was tedious but satisfying at the same time. I decided to split it up in groups to make sure I didn't lose count. The "elevator" section before the lift chain was attached! Bag Number 12 Complete! Tower has been completed! Bag Number 13 Complete! Added the portion of track that the coaster will sit on while going up the elevator! Bag Number 14 Complete! It doesn't look like much was added, but almost all of the gears and cables were added with this bag. This little red handle is the most important piece of the entire build! If you had a LEGO Motor function, this is where it would go to run the elevator continuously. Bag Number 15 Complete! THE ENTIRE SET IS COMPLETE! Now let's check out some fun details of this ride. When going to an amusement park, everyone needs pretzels and hot dogs! I love this guy selling balloons on his bike! I love his outfit and everything. Reminds me of some fun loving people here on TPR! The Grandma is terrified to ride...or is she so upset because her grandson is too small to ride? Any set with a squirrel is a winner in my book. Also, if you know LEGO, you can recognize some of the other larger LEGO Fairground builds. Let's look at the fun coaster station now... Fun little details within the station. They have pictures taken from the ride camera (including some taking the squirrel on the ride). The ride operator has their own area of the station with buttons for the ride. Time to take a ride on the elevator lift! It really is such an awesome set. The view from the top of the drop! What is great about this set, unlike some other LEGO sets, is that our entire family enjoys playing with it. It is interactive with the coaster traveling through the track and all the minifigs that we can switch out on the ride. Changing things up with this set is a blast for my boys and it's not some static LEGO build that will sit on a shelf and collect dust. They have played with this set nearly every day since I have completed it. And mostly, they try to derail the roller coaster! HAHA!! Thanks for reading. AGAIN, If you have any LEGO creations related to theme parks, roller coasters, rides, we would love to see them! Please share them!
  6. I would ride Drop Line at 5 degrees at nighttime during the holiday times because that view from the top was amazing with all the lights around the park. Speaking of Water rides, I remembered from my last visit that Blazing Fury had a water section on the ride. Has that section been removed or was it turned off because it's not the summer? "Fire in the Hole!"....which was then put out by not splashing in water. Thanks Elissa. I was supposed to have one more day in Pigeon Forge to enjoy the sites, but the weather was not cooperating with me on this trip. Pigeon Forge seems like the kind of place that you can't do everything during one visit so you are forced to come back...which isn't a bad thing. I just hope that I make it back sooner than a 16 year gap like it was for me this visit. A LOT has changed since 2006.
  7. Not sure if Dollywood runs the rides throughout the year. I'm sure they have to close some when it gets really cold. I was fortunate to visit earlier in the Holiday season and the weather was great. I hope you enjoy your visit Bert. It really is a great place to get lost in the scenery, food, shows and of course rides. If you are a show person, make sure to check them out because I have heard they are amazing. They have a schedule of the shows at the front of the park which I felt was easier to navigate than their APP. I didn't really see any benefit to the app other than checking rides wait times but even those weren't very accurate. It said 15 minute wait for Lightning Rod and it ended up being a walk on! Larry, we all are classics in some way on the Theme Park Review Forum! Haha! I forgot to look at the Park Index before I went on the trip so I didn't know which rides signs you needed. Hopefully you can use some for the Index!
  8. Part 3 - Pigeon Forge If you are visiting Dollywood, you need to spend some time in Pigeon Forge. This area has pretty much EVERYTHING you can ask for, and some things you didn't really know you needed but can enjoy as well. Unfortunately for me, one of my days in Pigeon Forge was cut short due to some nasty weather in cold rain, sleet and freezing temperatures. There is so much to see but make sure to do your research and enjoy what you want to do while there. Enjoy the pictures! No one is paying me to say this, but this place was great and just off the main strip in Pigeon Forge. Great breakfast and great price! One of like 50 different mini golf places along the main strip. This one was right across the driveway to my hotel. You can mine for gems just like in Stardew Valley! One of like 46 different go-kart tracks along the main strip. I didn't get a picture of it, but the best one I have done in Pigeon Forge was Nascar Speed Park. When there's a dinosaur, insert Jeff Johnson joke. I have had my fair share of those jokes so I will leave this one up to everyone's imagination. There are a ton of strip malls along the main road and they all offer different types of things. I mean who knew that right next to Ice Cream you can do sports and then eat fudge and then have black bears tell you that Jesus Saves! Great entertainment just reading some of the stores and signs. A classic? A rip-off? A local gem? A conspiracy theory that dinosaurs really are roaming our earth and they only live in this attraction? You decide! It's nice that some restaurants have mascots that you are about to eat. Looks delicious! Johnny Depp now showing his acting chops in Pigeon Forge. Come see him nightly at "Pirates!" There is absolutely nothing funny about the color scheme of this building. One of 63 different types of Arcades throughout the main strip. It looks like the storm was a lot worse than feared! An entire building has flipped upside down! But the trees remain perfectly intact in the ground upside down...not sure how that works! There are a ton of dinner shows all along the main strip. I have heard nothing but great things about this one. Plus, a dinner show that shows you the live animals that you are about to eat for dinner is always a win in my book. Hi Reed! Hogwarts is even in Pigeon Forge! Who knew? But in all seriousness, this is a great attraction for kids and families and well worth the price tag. The "other Hogwarts" though...might need some magic to convince people to enter its castle. The Hollywood Wax Museum is like Madame Tussaud's...but it's in the South. But I couldn't figure out is King Kong was made of wax or not. If Mt. Rushmore was built in the 1970's instead of earlier, these would be the faces on the mountain. This is where they take all the rowdy people from Dollywood...Alcatraz East Jail. The Island in Pigeon Forge is an area with attractions, restaurants, rides, hotels, and just a lot of different and unique things. They even have a Bellagio Fountain show out front. Pretty sure some people will be wasted away again in the Margaritaville Hotel...and I mean WASTED!!! SkyFly in Pigeon Forge is like a Soarin' ride. It has a unique pre-show and a fun concept that you are in a steampunk-esque type of hot air ballon. Did I ride it you ask..... Since it goes to places that I can see in my backyard, I did not ride it. Plus, the ticket prices were pretty steep so unless there was a multiple attraction pass, I wouldn't spend money on this since I love Soarin'. I wonder how tasty the pizza is if the employees have been "baked" since the 70's. There's also a coaster credit for those of you that keep track of that sort of thing. And one of these giant contraptions as well. Construction workers were adding some other rides so it looks like The Island will have a lot of newer rides in the near future. This thing was massive! A 200 foot tall Ferris wheel. The views on top were amazing! It really dominates the skyline at The Island. I don't know how many more D's you can have. Goats on the Roof where you can see LIVE B ABY. GOATS! (more about this place later) Goat Coaster! Fun fact, there are like 15 different alpine slide/mountain coasters throughout Pigeon Forge. I have read a lot about some of them and look at videos of others. Out of all of them, this was the one I heard great things about. This mountain coaster was a lot of fun. It wasn't like some others where over the half the ride is the lift hill. This was also a nice relaxing ride through, over and down the mountain. Plus, they had some fun photo ops in the parking lot. And of course, LIVE B ABY GOATS! Another fun one was Alpine Coaster. Unfortunately, I didn't see any bears. This one had another unique layout and I thought it was actually faster than Goat Coaster but not as long. But this place has the most unique ride out of the alpine slides/mountain coasters... Again, another Bear...and this one likes to get Rowdy! Here it is...the weirdest thing I think I may have been on. Part chair lift, part suspended coaster, part mountain coaster, and part shooting ride. You sit in these chair lift type seats and your speed is controlled throughout the entire course of the track. While swinging through the track, you are supposed to shoot targets scattered throughout the ride. Once I found out how freakin hard the shooting part was, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. They had other things here as well, like a playground for kids. And since I was there in the winter, they had Snow Tubing! That's pretty awesome! As I head back to my hotel, the architecture around Pigeon Forge is definitely something to see. I love this type of stuff and just enjoy seeing the weirdness around the main strip. Oh yeah, and if you want to learn about how a bunch of people died on some famous cruise ship where a girl couldn't move over on the piece of wood she was laying on and her lover died in the cold water, they have a museum for that too. Since I love candy, and I love Mini Golf...I decided to hit the green (or sugar coated wasteland) at this mini golf course! They had some unique elements, like the atomic bomb candy mushroom? But they had 2 courses, one of the roof and outside, and one inside. And if you wanted to spice up the way you play, at the beginning of each hole they had different things for each member of your party to do! Selfie! #cravegolfclub I will have to admit, I really wanted some candy after playing through all these holes. But then I saw that they spilled a whole bunch of cocaine...I knew the candy wasn't safe to eat. The inside section was nice and had a Christmasy theme to it. I really wanted to eat these guy's faces off after they were laughing at me for being so bad a mini golf. I still had fun though! Oh man...I think someone ate the candy and couldn't make it to the bathroom. The Gingerbread house hole was a nice touch. All in all, this mini golf course was really fun and had a lot of unique holes to it. Plus, having to do something different before each hole was a fun twist on the game. ' If you thought the daytime looked cool along the main strip in Pigeon Forge, you'd be wrong. It's a lot like Las Vegas, daytime looks cool but nighttime and how they light up all the attractions is really awesome. Until next time you awesome little money taker! I also saw these cute little guys all throughout Pigeon Forge. So if you see them, tell they I say hi! And that's it. I hope you enjoyed the report and if you haven't visited Dollywood or Pigeon Forge during the holiday season, it is a must for anyone who loves this type of stuff!
  9. Part 2: Dollywood at night. There is only one word that can explain Dollywood at night ... "WOW!!!!" I mean this park goes all out during the holiday season and it was so much fun to walk through at night time. Even for people that don't ride rides, don't go to shows, and don't eat delicious food (those people are weird but there are some) just walking through Dollywood at night time during the holidays is a sight to behold. Each area of the park has a different "color theme" and it was so unique and fun and really just a great time. Enjoy the pictures! We will start off in Wildwood Grove. Lots of trees with beautiful lights. This is the Wildwood Tree! There are a ton of butterflies that light up the entire tree! The walkway into and exiting Wildwood Grove. It's like walking in an ice cave...really neat. I even met "Big Bear"! He was standing out front of his new ride that's opening next year. He was fantastic and he didn't eat me so that's always a plus! Now it's time to take a walk through Glacier Ridge. Everything was lit like there was ice all around us. It sort of reminded me of Antarctica. The trees even had icicles falling from them! Now it's time for a stroll in the Arctic Passage...much like the Gates Passage going to Antarctica. This was much smoother and a lot more prettier than the Gates Passage! Drop Line was pretty awesome at night. The few from the top and looking at all the lights is a must...even if you hate Drop Rides! Mystery Mine was looking pretty ominous at night. Now that is one giant Christmas Tree! They had a tree lighting ceremony too. You can see Wild Eagle behind the beautifully lit trees. And here's where I say it again....THROUGH THE TREES!!! This was the best area of the park. This section between Tennessee Tornado and Blazing Fury was covered with these hanging lights and they were twinkling to a soundtrack. There were times when it sounded like there was a storm going by, just the sound of ice melting, and then twinkling bells and the lights changed throughout all that. It was really cool to stand there for a couple minutes and just enjoy "the show". The chapel was beautifully lit at night as well. THROUGH THE TREES! The Cinnamon Bread Grist Mill reflection looked like those old school double Ferris wheels that can be found at fairs all over the country. The huge trees throughout the park had different types of lighting throughout. Some colored, and some white. Time to visit Dolly Parton's Home. I loved their use of wall paper in their Country Mountain Home. There were even presents that Dolly hasn't opened in all these years! There was a wall of white on the way to another section of the park. Pretty awesome to see. The Christmas Train was decorated and the trees around the station were all festive as well. The line for the train was probably an hour wait so I did not partake in it this year but heard from other people that it is totally worth the wait to take a Christmas Ride through the Smokies! Out of all the sections of the park, this area near The Village was my favorite. I just really liked how the lights were stringed on the buildings and rides. There was still entertainment going on throughout the night. The Carousel was pretty magical at night! Kids could even get their pictures with Santa! Another well lit building. Again, ii really enjoyed this lighting scheme out of all the other ones throughout the park. Giant Holly Tree! The Country Fair section was lit up like Peppermints and Candy Canes! I wanted to eat everything. The Demolition Derby looked delicious for destruction! And the Waltzing Swinger looked very patriotic. Alright...Lightning Rod at night was pretty damn fantastic. Riding in the back row and traveling throughout the course of the track in pitch darkness was awesome! The Quad down at night seemed a lot faster than during the day. There was a nice Retro feeling around the Lightning Rod area of the park. It reminded me of some Southern California towns back in the good ol' days and how they strung these bells over the Main Street through the towns. Dolly's Purple Christmas Tree. If you love pink and purple (which everyone should), then this is your favorite building! There were these butterflies all over the park. They were very pretty! Another tree within the park. Not as tall as the first tree but still pretty awesome with those balls. The Main Street area reminded me a lot of Disneyland's Main Street. One last look at the main theater during the night. But before I left, I had to get another round of cinnamon bread for breakfast the next morning. That's three for the day. My waistline will never be the same! Time to exit the park through the beautifully lit gift shop. Thank you Dolly Parton and Dollywood was an amazing day. Christmas time at Dollywood truly is magical!
  10. The holidays are nearly upon us, even for those of us that want to celebrate Halloween 365 days a year (me included). I had the chance to make a visit from the warm state of Arizona to the nice, brisk and cold state of Tennessee and visit Dollywood and Pigeon Forge. The last time I was in Dollywood was in 2006 and the park was still constructing Mystery Mine and the park still had the wonderful "Y" layout. I have been wanting to go back to Dollywood for some time, and since my youngest cousin was getting married near Dollywood, I HAD to make a visit there. I was fortunate that Dollywood had their Christmas offering already up and OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I was amazed by how beautiful the park was during the day and even more magical at night. The food never disappoints at Dollywood (and my waistline will never be as small as it was before I entered the park) and I was pretty excited that they had a Holiday Tasting menu around the park. There are three parts to this trip report... Part 1 - Dollywood Part 2 - Dollywood at night Part 3 - Pigeon Forge Enjoy the pictures! The main entrance to Dollywood was all decked out for Christmas this year. But first up, it was time to ride some coasters before the park got crowded. Thunderhead immediately landed in my Top 10 wooden coasters when I rode it back in 2006. Let's hope it still runs awesome! Through the trees! Is that still a thing? Does anyone remember that during the beginning years of TPR or am I really getting that old? Well, it's going to happen a lot in this report. Anyway, Thunderhead still rode fantastic! This ride never lets up and it's still in my Top 10 wooden coasters. So glad Dollywood has kept this coaster in great condition! Right next to Thunderhead was Dollywood's version of a kiddie ride with the theming of some punk, whistling at someone. Not sure how nice that is but it's still a fun ride for families. Don't be tootin' willy's whistles now ya hear? The ride that was under construction during my last visit...and all I could see through a peep hole back then was a shed. Now that shed has turned into a Mine...a Mystery Mine that is. This was a fun little ride. It was a nice mixture of dark ride plus some coaster elements. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was also interesting to see that the track was modified. I don't know when that happened but I also love the fact that the park kept the old piece of track in place. It makes it even more like it's an abandoned old mystery mine! Oh yeah, and that cell phone losing hang time was great! Time to enter the newer section of the park. If I was able to bring my family to the park, we would have spent a lot of time in this area. Yes, there is also a Carnival area of this park, but the Wildwood Grove section was just nice, very beautiful, and just relaxing with some great kids rides. And my oldest would have loved to read these signs so he could learn the history of this section of the park. It's these nice little touches that some people look past, but some families and kids really enjoy it. Family Suspended credit at the far end of the park. Let's see what it does... IT HAULS @$$ THROUGH THE TRACK, that's what it does! I mean, damn! This was a family coaster? I sat in the back of this ride and got airtime on it than sitting in the front on Lightning Rod! It's a great coaster but could be terrifying for little kids if this is their first coaster. And the G Forces were pretty great too! I'm not gunna lie, I was really impressed with this ride and actually rode it a couple times throughout the day. New for next year! Black Bear Trail! Oops...nevermind...this Black Bear Trail is the little kids version of the insane "family" ride that Dollywood was currently building behind construction walls while I was there. They also had some pretty awesome flyers. I couldn't get mine to "crack the whip" but it was still fun! Another fun family ride in Wildwood Grove. Time for another "family" coaster. I have been following the park for quite some time and I'm impressed how this ride utilizes some of the structures and areas that was previously here. I think this is a great addition, rather than a ropes course.... Serious question...Does Dolly Parton have a thing for Firemen? I mean, there's this ride and the beautifully constructed and maintained Blazing Fury. Just curious... This was also a very unique coaster. I really loved the layout, how it launched out of the station and also the backward bit. It had a little bit of everything. But a family coaster!?!?! Again?!?! This ride seriously hauled throughout the course of the track and the backwards bit could take anyone by surprise! The layout was a lot of fun though and I really enjoyed how it utilized the terrain. And no one was burned on our coaster train so that's always a plus. Through the trees! (I told you this was going to happen a lot in this report) My very first B&M Wing Coaster! It was a lot of fun. I rode in the back outside and then again in the front outside and both were very smooth. It is a way different feeling than Furious Baco in Port Aventura, Spain...holy hell that ride hurt in the back outside. Wild Eagle dominates the skyline. This ride was very impressive while walking around the Wildwood Grove section of the park because it seemed so damn tall! And here's it's impressive loop.....through the trees! Haha! I'm pretty sure everyone has a picture of this sign...and I'm pretty sure that 95% of those pictures are better than this one. But that last really is enjoying her hot chocolate! Are these wild eagles? Or are they wild owls? you decide! The very last Arrow Dynamics Looping Roller Coaster. But that's ok because it's......THROUGH THE TREES!!!!! I really do love this layout and a part of me wished it was a little longer. But then my head and neck remind me that my body can only take so much over a certain period of time. FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!! If you know, you know! The ride still is a lot of fun. It reminds me of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's Berry Farm. I grew up in So Cal and the Calico Mine Ride was one of my favorite rides as a kid. I can see how people who visit Dollywood frequently would love this ride. Oh...and yeah....THROUGH THE TREES!!!! Alright...time to see what all the fuss is about on this coaster. Will it break down, how long was the wait, where is the single rider line? Let's check it out! Yeah...it was only a 15 minutes wait throughout the entire day, I rode it 6 times, it never broke down and this first launch lift hill was pretty damn awesome! It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the ride. I wanted to enjoy it more but I think the hype made me too hyped for it and it just didn't live up to what everyone was saying about it. Don't get me wrong, it's a great ride and I had a lot of fun on it...hell, I rode it 6 times! Through the trees!!! And over the water!!!!! Thunderhead is more fun in my opinion. Ok folks...one of these is the main reason you go to Dollywood. Which one is it? Cinnamon Bread! DUH!!! I remember this deliciousness back in 2006 and I couldn't wait to get it again. Well, I mean I had to wait because the line to get the bread was longer than any ride that day...BUT IT WAS WORTH IT! Speaking of food...time to eat my way around Dollywood and all it's delicious offerings it had. The tasting Pass was such a great deal. You get so much food for a great price. Let's check out what's to eat! I love that they still offer "salad". I mean come on, who's really going to get a salad? Time for some belly of the pig! Pork Belly. This was one delicious pig! Christmas in a sandwich?!?! Sign me up! Again...this was amazing! The real heroes of Dollywood...the giant skillet! I hope this turkey worked out and had some plump thighs! Oh boy did he work out! And that was a pretty good sized helping of turkey! Now for some other sweets that aren't Cinnamon Bread! You can't go wrong with a delicious sugar cookie! I WANT THEM ALL!!!!! But I ended up getting the Gingerbread cone. Nice and delicious! After eating Cinnamon Bread the first time, I realized I didn't take a picture before I finished it. That gave me an excuse to buy another order of cinnamon bread. Still so damn good! Time to check out the Dollywood Bird Show! Fun fact, the screech owl does not screech...it screams!! Vulture attack!!!! Dollywood has released 300 Bald Eagles into the Great Smokey Mountains! Their Bird Sanctuary right next to the show area was huge and there were a ton of Bald Eagles throughout the sanctuary. There were all sorts of birds hanging out at the park today! And there were some fun floral arrangements around the park as well. Dollywood really is a beautiful park. And since it was the holidays, of course there were shows scattered throughout the park all throughout the day. All the shows seemed real popular. Up next, Dollywood at night!
  11. Jurassic Quest! If you want to see some realistic looking dinosaurs....go watch the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies. If you want to see some awesome looking animatronics that look like real dinosaurs that are roaming this planet.....go to Universal Studios and ride some of their rides. If you want to see some robots that move about 2 inches that closely resemble some type of dinosaur....then Jurassic Quest is right up your alley. My boys have been enjoying the Camp Cretaceous show on Netflix so they were really excited that Jurassic Quest was coming to town so they could see some dinosaurs. There were a lot of animatronics, some bounce houses, some areas to "Dig for Dinos" and some "rides". It was a fun way to kill about an hour out of a day (and $35 per person!!!!!) so here's what we did. Enjoy the pictures! We are ready for Trailer Park Dinosaurs! This way to all the excitement! At least they gave us a very detailed map of where everything was! And here is the "Quest" part of Jurassic Quest! Find the clues, answer the clues, and get something at the end. Can you guess what it is? Read further down to find out.... "insert John Williams Jurassic Park theme" Here's some Dinos! And some more Dinos... The boys were pretty excited to see "Bumpy" from Camp Cretaceous. I think Jurassic Park may have taken some liberties on what the Velociraptor looked like. I wouldn't be terrified of these "birds" Oh my god! A Griffinsaurus is being hatched! Or it was just another egg from this weird looking nest. It's a Jacksonsaurus Rex! I would be terrified too if a dinosaur had red lights coming from its mouth! Cool fact...these are real dinosaur fossils and such. Another cool fact, this area had to be kept cool in order to preserve the artifacts. And then we saw a real dinosaur! It was a baby triceratops. And of course when we went in to take a picture, it started eating Griffin's hair. This was a cute little experience. Speaking of cute, look at that giant Allosaurus wanting to eat the baby Stegosaurus...that's so adorable! Moving outside, there were some larger dinosaurs on display. This Gigantosaurus was too loud for Griffin. And this one had a tail gone rogue...it was swinging wildly in the wind! Why are all the dinosaurs mouths open? Maybe that's how they really died...from swallowing things they weren't supposed to since their mouths were always open. Check out this guys fur coat! I'm sure Cruella De Vil is jealous of the fur! Best part of the whole experience (and the only reason it was sort of worth the money) were the awesomely themed bounce houses. Can't go wrong with a dinosaur on the loose trying to eat you as you are sliding down a slide! Some of these houses made me wish I was still a kid! But then I see some bounce houses where you slide into a dinosaur's butt and I'm glad I am not a kid anymore. Either way, the bounce houses were a hit and a great way to let loose some energy! Racing slides? Yes please! Continuing to stroll around, we came across some other, fierce looking Dinos. Spinosaurus anyone? Finally found the Tyrannosaurus and his little baby Rex. And when there's a Tyrannosaurus rex...there's almost always either a Triceratops or Stegosaurus fighting them. I guess those guys just never got along. And of course there's a Triceratops you can ride on. Speaking of "rides", you can "ride" some dinosaurs. They move about 1 foot and shake. It's like a massage chair on top of a dinosaur robot. But at least they have different ones you can "ride". But the best ride was being able to go on these "walking" dinosaurs. Griffin was so excited that he got to ride Bumpy from Camp Cretaceous! I don't think Bumpy was too thrilled.... There was also a place to dig for Dinos! Time to check out some underwater dinosaurs. But first....the Megalodon mouth! This thing was HUGE!! Actual Megalodon tooth. (Like how is says "Real Fossil" next to it......) I personally think the mouth was more impressive than the animatronic. But my boys thought the thing was HUGE and "just a great white shark". Hey Jeff Johnson...how's it going? (You thought I'd go a whole dinosaur report without that reference? Never!) The boys finish the "Quest" and got their prize! It was ... drum roll please ...... a tattoo and/or a sticker. Wow....it was totally worth it. So if Jurassic Quest ever comes to your city and you just so happen to have an extra $35 per person to spend on about an hours worth of time....maybe spend it on this attraction. That's all folks! Thanks for reading.
  12. Part 3 - Disneyland Resort Area If you've made it this far, then Hello! This next part of the report will focus on the Resorts and Downtown Disney section. We were there during changes from Halloween to Christmas so it was kind of entertaining seeing pumpkins along Downtown Disney one day and then Christmas trees the next. It seems like by the time we left, everything was ready for the Holiday season. We stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel. While it wasn't our first choice, it was still a fun experience to stay "on property" at a Disney Resort. The cast members really are the best and they made sure we had a great time. Our first day there, we were greeted by Surfer Goofy. Then overnight, Goofy left and went to catch some waves and never returned, so they placed a Christmas tree in the main lobby. The only unfortunate thing about Paradise Pier is that they didn't offer any food service. We knew this going in so we brought our own breakfast but it was still a bit of a bummer to not be able to eat at the hotel. The standard store inside the hotel offered everything a Disney nerd could imagine. And while Cassie and I geeked out over Disney merchandise, the boys found a table and started coloring. But then we lost them while we were still shopping but realized they went to watch the best Mickey cartoons on the planet in this little room. We weren't even at the parks yet and Griffin wanted to relax on the large chairs. The "standard" view from our room wasn't bad. We got to see the pool and people going down the water slide. Looks like baby Yoda is ready to check out Downtown Disney District. Plenty of photo ops throughout Downtown Disney. Everywhere there is holiday magic in Downtown Disney. And being the Star Wars nerds that we are, we had to check out the former Rainforest Cafe... They had some great merchandise throughout the store. Also, plenty of photo ops outside the store as well. And if you know anything about our family...you know that we LOVE LEGO. We regularly submit our LEGO creations to be displayed in our local LEGO store every month. We love LEGO and the boys were excited to check out the 2nd largest LEGO store in the US. They had some really impressive builds out front and inside. So many things to choose from! What should we get?!?!?!? The LEGO Mario interactive sets are a hit in this family. Sadly, I think we have nearly every set and it's still set up in Jackson's room for them to play with every day. That is an impressive LEGO wall. They still didn't have roller coaster pieces which is s bummer because I've been making my own LEGO roller coasters but the pieces are so hard to find. Darth Vader was making sure that every one was staying in line and not stealing anything. Another impressive large build on the inside. Griffin was so excited to see the Millennium Falcon! Pumpkins one day.... ...trees the next day. It was really weird seeing both holidays at Downtown Disney. One of our favorite things we get as a souvenir from any theme park are pressed pennies. By the time we ended this trip, we were able to collect every Disney pressed penny onsite from this visit and our last visit. Way better than stuffed animals that deteriorate over time. Time to head over to the Grand Californian to see what they have for the holidays. It's a must to sit by the fire at this hotel. The Gingerbread house in the lobby was impressive. As soon as we walked in the lobby, it smelled like cookies and gingerbread...it was great. If you want to make your own giant gingerbread house, here are the instructions! Good Luck! I'll stick with graham crackers and icing. Making our way to the end of Downtown Disney, we were able to relax by the fountain. This was just a nice calming area away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks and all the restaurants at Downtown Disney. We had to make sure we stopped by there every day. This place was insane! So many people looking for every holiday thing they could grab! Maybe stick with online shopping! Now it's time for us to head to the Disneyland Hotel and have dinner with a certain dog... Griffin was practicing his driving while we waited to be seated. It didn't help any as he still was horrible on the Autopia. Goofy's Kitchen! Time to fill our stomachs here so we don't pay for food at the parks (yeah...that didn't work out...) Every character we get to see has a job in the kitchen. Pluto has the hardest job...anyone know what it is? The food was delicious. We were a little bummed on the allergy friendly options. When we booked it, we were told that we could order certain items from a menu and that they would deliver it to us. That did not happen so Jackson just ate chicken tenders and grapes. The characters walked around every so often and we all got to get up and dance. they didn't stop and hug anyone for pictures but it was still nice to see them walk around. We got to see Dale (and Chip too at a later time)... We got to see Minnie. And she was so excited to see us too! And we got to see Pluto. Next one was only Goofy himself. Here's Goofy....oh wait...that's not the real Goofy, that's just a silly person dressed as Goofy. There's Goofy! In all his awesomeness! And he even got our waiter to dance with him! Goofy's Kitchen was a great experience. We recommend any character dining that you can get, get the reservation. Our boys never had a character dining experience before, so they thought this was how it was supposed to be and they were so excited to see all the characters up close. Goofy's Kitchen was GREAT! One more tree at the Disney's Downtown District that we had to see before our vacation was over. Our boys had a blast and had a great vacation. Thanks for reading about our family's adventures through Disneyland Resort during the Holiday season. This entire report was brought to you by... Pressed Pennies! This is every pressed penny we have collected at the Disneyland Resort area from our multiple trips we have done. We are safe to say that we collected them all!
  13. Part 2 - Disney's California Adventure This park was the surprise hit of this vacation. My boys (and wife) enjoyed this park more than Disneyland. Avengers Campus is such a great upgrade at the park. My boys got to experience Bug's Land on our last visit when they were younger, but now that they are a little older (and love MARVEL) Avenger's Campus was the best land in the park. Even though they only rode Spider-Man, the whole atmosphere and shows and meeting characters is what they really loved. This park keeps getting better and better after every visit I have. Time to eat our way around Disney's California Adventure! And also ride some rides and see some shows. Hiya Walt...thanks for creating Mickey Mouse and coming to California. I'm sure your adventure was a lot different than the adventure we are about to have today. We lost Griffin and Baby Yoda decided to join us at the park today. First stop is always Cars Land. Fun Fact - Jackson's favorite movie for the longest time was Cars. He loved Lightning McQueen and everything about Cars. Now that he's older he's thankfully said that is not his favorite movie anymore but he still really enjoys Cars. Tractor pull time! Santa Mater came out to say hello and crack some pretty awful jokes. Watch out! The tractor is going to run you over! We shoved the kids on the Cars ride. They loved it! We only got to ride it once while we were there but that was the highlight of Cars Land. Actually, the highlight of Cars Land was food...and specifically Churros! Nothing can go wrong with early morning snack time. We will be snacking all day so why not start off with some delicious Churros from the Cozy Cones! Buzz even thinks that our Churro choice was the right one. He is busy chilling in the Cozy Cone office. On our way over to the boy's favorite ride in the entire park, we meet Dopey. And Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! My boys kept asking me who he was and then when we got home I showed them some cartoons of his. They think Mickey is better but I still think Oswald needs more love! Bring back EPIC MICKEY to the Nintendo Switch!!! Soarin......all I can say is that this is my kid's (and my wife's) favorite ride in the park. Me....I hate it. I don't know why people love this ride. You get on a "Hang-glider" and see every part of the contraption you are about to get on, you see the giant movie screen in front of you and then you "fly". I just feel that the Imagineers could have done a better job at hiding the screen, hiding the parts to the hang-glider, etc. To me it just feels like going to a movie. My boys loved it so we rode it about 8 times and I got a power nap each time we rode. I might be in the minority, but I typically do not ride Soarin whenever I'm in the park. We met up with some friends and decided to tackle the Bear Mountain the ride GRRR!!!! Yeah....we got wet. I sat on the side and of course in the first rapids section a giant wave crashed into the boat and soaked my entire left side and my butt. The rest of the day with a wet butt was really fun. The kids even got soaked and were shivering as we got off the ride. Good choice guys! The Redwood Creek section had a fun Holiday makeover. The attractions inside were all themed to the holidays. They had a fun seek-and-find challenge where you had to find all the presents, write down the letters on the presents on the paper, and then solve the riddle. When you solve it, you get a prize (a Walt Disney Trading Card) I still don't know why these slides have a turn in them. I saw several kids hit the side and almost fall over the edge. Such a weird design. My boys love climbing EVERYTHING so of course we had to do this 100 times. They felt like real rock climbers. Their rock climbing form is incredible! One of the attractions themed to the Holidays. Griffin just saw a kid nearly fall off the zip-line, hence the look of fear in his eyes! But he still did it and was going at super speed! We saw Dale just chillin by the rapids ride. We love these lovable rodents! Crazy water fall face! The walk around the other side of the rapids ride was a nice walk to get away from the crazy crowded area near GRRR! Without our boys even seeing what Goofy's Sky School was, we walked them right on the ride and shoved them in the cars. They sort of liked it but they felt like Goofy was a horrible teacher and didn't really know how to fly and that's why the cars were going too fast. My first snack of the day. Rather tasty! The Beef Wellington Mickey. Time to make our way to Pixar Pier. The boys have not been to this section since they re-themed everything to Pixar and they loved it! We met with some other friends and had a blast showing all our emotions. This emotion was seen a lot on our vacation...FEAR. But we got over it...sometimes... We even saw some Pixar characters that you don't normally see around the parks. But now it was time for an attraction, a shooting game, high score wins, going against parents which equals the BEST RIDE EVER!!! Jackson was a champ at this ride too...just like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. His scores were insane throughout the entire trip! We decided to let them play all the Pixar Games along the boardwalk. You basically pay for these little dolls. Super serious in determining which star they wanted. Even though this is from La Luna...they think it's the Luma's that follow Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy. Fun fact - Heimlich's Chew Chew Train at the no closed Bug's Land was Jackson and Griffin's favorite ride at the park on our last visit. They knew he loved Candy Corn so they were so excited to help this caterpillar become even more obese. Now it's time for a horse race...without all the betting and whipping of horses. Griffin won Bullseye! This was a nice re-theme. The different animals and characters were fun to see. Time for the best treat of the day...yellow colored ice cream. Why is it yellow? Well, who knows... Pixar Pier sure was fun...but it's time to head to the best part of Disney's California Adventure... ...MORE FOOD!!!! Just kidding. But this thanksgiving stuffing Mac and cheese was quite delicious! We saw Nick Wilde and my boys were actually quite bummed they couldn't buy a pawpsicle from him. We randomly ran into the character cavalcade. It was fun seeing all these different characters that you don't normally see. Best picture of Chip and Dale EVER!!!!! We might frame this and send to Elissa .... hahaha .... Mr Incredible has got some serious thighs....I think he needs to stop eating all the snacks around Disney's California Adventure. Oh...hi Jessie...why are you staring at us? We just wanted a picture. Holiday Pluto! This is the best sourdough you can ever get. It was a pull-apart Christmas Tree. It was so good! Time for some Holiday stuff. They had stations around where you could do arts and crafts of the different Holiday Celebrations. We decided to decorate a Mickey Ornament and write a letter to Santa. Yes ladies and Gentlemen...it is still here. And Jackson loved the interactive activities here. Too bad Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet destroyed the "Ursula's Grotto" portion of the workshop, but we still had fun. It really feels like you are in a magicians workshop. We drew our own piece of animation. It was pretty neat seeing something you drew come to life. The boys had to try every bit of animation possible. We made it to Beast's Library. Seems like he is happy right now. But then Griffin sat in his chair ... and then .... The entire room changed. Griffin was so convinced that he did this that he didn't want to sit in the chair again. So magical. Fun fact - the boys found out which character they were most like and of course, they each got their favorite characters. That's pretty impressive (and scary) Disney! We are ready to tackle Avenger's Campus. But first, we had to meet our 2nd favorite version of Captain America. I honestly have no idea what this is but the boys knew who they were and started calling them by their "other" names. I guess it's a fun show on Disney+. We ran into the Guardians of the Galaxy dance-off while on our way to Avenger's Campus. The boys loved how much the characters interacted with them. But now it's time for Avengers Campus! And the first thing you are supposed to do there is eat a pretzel bigger than your face! This sure was a fun slide. Who knew there was a playground at Avengers Campus... We got to meet a ton of characters! Fun fact - Ant-Man was the first Marvel movie my boys watched. He was their favorite Super Hero until.... ....Sider-Man. Now we need to see what Spider-Man can do. HOLY CRAP! He just flew through the air!!! This reaction to Spider-Man flying through the air is priceless. Way to go Disney Imagineers! My boys truly believed that Spider-Man was flying. After his show, the boys met their favorite Super Hero. Now it's time to check out what Peter Parker is up to. I called Tom Holland and told him he needed to stay Spider-man forever. Time to help Spider-man destroy the Spider-bots. We are ready for some web slinging action. After our 6th time riding it, we finally figured it out and which spiders to hit and how to get a high score. We got 7th highest of the hour! My boys were so excited! Spider-man congratulated us as we walked out. Thanks Spider-man! Now it's time to check out Doctor Strange! He just appeared out of no where! My boys were taking this seriously. We had to summon an Avenger. And then Thor appeared. He was great. He thought he was part of the audience and sat right next to the people in the front. Then when Doctor Strange told him to go to Pym's Kitchen, he actually just walked off and went to Pym's. It was great and shows how much these characters are a part of this whole Avenger's Campus experience. Captain America was keeping an eye on Loki when we left Doctor Strange. We were there for a demonstration from the lady's with vibranium spears. The Dora Milaje were very impressive. Their skill with the spears was pretty insane! Night is starting to fall upon us so that only means one thing.... ...time to take off in the Quinn-Jet and fly to Radiator Springs for some awesome sights. Some awesome sights of food that is!!! No seriously, some awesome sights of .... ....Radiator Springs! Nighttime is the best time to visit. A salute to all nations...but mostly Radiator Springs. Time for a paint job. Luigi's was a fun ride and all the songs were themed around the holidays. You get to ride in these cute little "cousins" of Luigi. They all look like Guido. Griffin and I are not too sure was is about to happen. Time for some more food....actually I think my stomach is pretty full from the day... ....so let's go eat some more! Cherry Chocolate Churro! Okay, thanks! Cars Land was great! Nighttime is the best. And we got to say Good-Bye to Lightning McQueen. On our way out, we saw Santa flying over Buena Vista Street! We had to say goodbye to the characters one last time. And of course, our favorite princesses too. Good night Disney's California Adventure Park. Thanks for such a magical experience. This part of the report was brought to you by .... The remaining portion of the sourdough pull apart Christmas Tree. Enjoy! Part 3 will be posted shortly.
  14. The Holidays are nearly upon us...even if some people still want to celebrate 365 days a year for Halloween (me included). This trip was nearly 2 years in the making as we had planned to go last September...in 2020...and we all know what kind of year that turned out to be. We planned on booking everything in March 2020. Thankfully we didn't tell the boys last year because that would have crushed their dreams. So, when Disneyland Resort finally decided to open back up, we carefully looked at our calendars and we were off on booking everything and we decided to celebrate the Holidays at the park...even if it was going to be a bit early in the season. The last time we went to the Resort as a family, my oldest (Jackson) was 4 and was still too short to ride some of the bigger stuff and my youngest (Griffin) was 1 and was barely walking. Now, they were older, taller, and ready to conquer everything they wanted to conquer. Key word being "THEY" and not what Mom and Dad wanted. We all had a blast and we are excited to share the trip with you all. This report will be broken up into different parts... Part 1 - Disneyland Part 2 - Disney's California Adventure Part 3 - Disneyland Resort Area I hope you enjoy! Part 1 - Disneyland Every day when you stay at the Disneyland Resort Hotel needs to start with Disney Junior! Christmas Card Photo! Now I don't need to send it to any of you through snail mail so I can save on postage. Thanks! The tree on Main Street was up and rather large! The detail on all the ornaments is amazing! Look! I can see the castle from here! Just past all the hanging garlands, people walking, trees growing, and a giant statue that's nearly as tall as it, but hey! It's there!!! Keeping up with celebrating Halloween 365 days a year, they had a nice tribute to the Muppets Haunted Mansion in the Opera House. They had some neat set pieces from the movie that is currently on Disney+. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it...it is Classic Muppets! Of course all my boys wanted to do was watch it all day in the Opera House. Taking a further stroll down Main Street, since we were in Disneyland on Mickey's birthday, we decided to watch some of his classic movies in the Theater! There are Holiday things in all the shops and in all the windows along Main Street. This one is for all the rodent lovers out there! Oh hey! Check it out! Mickey's Birthday Celebration Parade! The Main Mouse himself. He's freakin old!!!! But not Jeff Johnson old... All the characters came out to celebrate with Mickey. As they should...he pays their bills.... We chatted with Anna for ac couple minutes while their bus stopped by us. She was great! Here's a question for anyone....when is Minnie Mouse's birthday? We always celebrate Mickey...what about his better half? The parade was fun and a nice surprise at the park because they didn't advertise it was happening. We just kind of stumbled upon it. Our little Baby Yoda is using the force to get the sword out of the stone........sadly....the face was not strong with that one. And that's how close we got to the teacups. Which is a good thing because they probably couldn't handle how fast I would spin it! Alice in Wonderland Selfie! We went on this ride ONLY 5 times. My boys loved it and I really enjoyed how they changed it up from the original with all the projections now. Mr. Toad 4 years ago and now. Pretty close and Jackson is still a crazy driver! After Mr. Toad, they wanted to drive real cars. So Autopia, here we come! And I think Griffin hit nearly every side of the center rail that he could. I might sue him later for whiplash! First of many pictures within this entire report of FOOD! This was some pink cherry coconut churro nastiness. Cassie loves coconut, I hate it, but she loved this treat. And while we were still in Tomorrowland, the band decided to make the most out of the unused space. Again, that was a surprise and some nice atmosphere in this section of the park. Now it's time to kill Emperor Zurg....I mean detain him... Disneyland ride? Check. Blaster you can shoot? Check. See who gets the highest score? Check. This ride is like a vide game = best ride in the park forJackson. We only rode it about 6 times. He got really good by the end of our vacation. The kid is insane in video games. Fun fact...my boys love the video of Robb on the Matterhorn where he says, "Monster please...thank you...." that they wanted to reenact it. When the time came, they totally forgot to do it but they still said "Hey Harold!" every time we went by the Abominable Snowman. It seems that Griffin just crashes every car he decides to get in. I guess we need to work on that for the next 10 years before he gets his license. We told the boys that we would lock them in jail all day unless they rode Gadget's Go Coaster with us....think it worked? Well it did. We made it on Gadget and I don't think anyone is as excited as me on this ride. Well, maybe the girl in the back is excited too. Mickey did a quick change from his birthday outfit into his holiday outfit. Nice touch! And his trusty companion was there too. I honestly preferred these "walk up and take a picture, no waiting in line, no photo pass pay for picture" character encounters. I may be in the minority, but my boys didn't know any different so they thought this was normal. Time to head off the planet and into another Galaxy Far Far Away.... Griffin's favorite color is green...this is now Griffin's favorite droid. The Supreme Leader converted my boys to the First Order. They were so serious about it that when we did the Disney PLAY App Star Wars DataPad, we had to do everything for the First Order. Yea re some Star Wars nerds in this family. So the fact that we got to go in the Millennium Falcon was so cool for everyone. Engineer (literally ) and the gunner are ready for lift off. We only crashed about 6 times from the pretty horrible pilots we had. Luckily, we went on again and the pilots knew what they were doing and we got a much smoother ride. We were fortunate enough to get on Rise of the Resistance both days we were at the park. This ride is seriously so insane. I don't think my boys could comprehend everything that was going on because there is so much to experience. But they were legit convinced that we were captured by the First Order and that we had to escape. Snack time after Rise of the Resistance and talking about our favorite parts. Griffin still couldn't believe that we were captured. And all I got from Star Wars Land was a Diet Coke Bomb. We walked around and did some Datapad jobs and hacks that were on the Disney PLAY App. It was really enjoyable and we got to make droids move, speeders make noise and the X-Wing even had smoke coming out of it. It was a great experience and very immersive. We even listened in on conversations between the First Order and the Resistance. It was insane! I can't tell if Griffin is shocked that it's taking Jackson this long to finish his Popsicle or if he is excited to hack some more droids. We got to chat with Rey for awhile. She was great and stayed in character through all the boy's questions. Leaving Batuu, we said good-bye to our fellow First Order Stormtroopers! We shall see you again! Our one and only ride on Splash Mountain. Can you guess which boy enjoyed it the most? And we got completely drenched. Literally a wall of water came over the front and side of the boat. Fun times walking around with a wet butt the rest of the day. On our way to experience the best Haunted Mansion ever, we saw the best Halloween characters ever! Jack and Sally! Ready to ride in our Doom Buggies. Little did you know, I requested the Club 33 buggie and got it! (joking) The Gingerbread House this year was AMAZING! Seriously, they should celebrate Halloween 365 days a year and keep this layover at Disneyland. The boys really did love the haunted Mansion Holiday and we rode it 5 times. Time for more deliciousness food courtesy of the Tropical Hideaway! This is a great addition to the park since our last visit. Mango-Raspberry Dole Whip for the WIN!!!! It might be better than the original. I may get some haters for that, but don't knock it until you try it! The only ride in the park that always has the shortest line and doesn't get in trouble for child labor laws...the Canoes! We made it over to Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island. When we came last, this area was closed because they were building Star Wars Land so the River was empty. Oh man, my boys had a blast exploring this island. And I guess I could say that I had a blast too.... So many interactive things mixed in with trails, caves, climbing rocks and treasure! Child Labor laws...nothing to see here Griffin said that it actually smelled like dead people. How he knows what dead people smell like is beyond me but we definitely will be having a talk about that at some point. CAVES!!! We found the Treasure! And Griffin was still trying to use the force (this time literal force) to pull the sword out. Hey Captain Red...how's it going? We didn't steal any treasure from Pirate's Lair...I swear. Time for the Holiday Parade. Fun fact ... as a kid, I grew up in Southern California and went to Disneyland every year during Christmas time with my family. The holiday parade is one thing I remember vividly as a kid and these freakin toy soldiers used to scare the crap out of me because they were so loud. Thank goodness they don't have the soldier with the cymbals. Mrs. Claus leading the way... Hey Mickey! Happy Birthday! Hey Minnie! Happy Birthday! These fat little snow people were so cute and their bellies would bounce around as they were walking...so funny. I wonder why these two are here...it's not like it's a holiday with snow or anything... Hi Elsa! Thanks for making it freezing today! Where's Horace Horsecollar? Clarabelle needs her other half to come on these parades! Fun fact - You cannot eat these Gingerbread men. The dogs made a gingerbread doghouse! How cute! Now it's time for the obligatory "Princess section of the parade". Sometimes I wish that the princesses were spread out more and not on just one float or one section of a parade. They deserve better. Either way, they all are still very beautiful and magical. My favorite princess! Jessie was telling the toy solider to drive carefully because he almost literally ran her over. Good thinking Jessie! To quote one of my favorite Christmas movies, "Yippee-Ki-Yay, Mother ...." oh wait, this is a family friendly theme park. Hi Woody! Why is Buzz's float always higher than Woody's? Anyone know the answer? These reindeers were also in the parades I remembered as a kid. So many good feels about it. And then there's the man responsible for us not celebrating Halloween 365 days a year...totally joking people. Here's SANTA!!!! After parade snack and nothing would be better than a Mickey Ice Cream Bar! Hey look, now we can see the castle! And a kid took our picture! Inside the castle, we got to enjoy the Sleeping Beauty story. The boys loved the scenes that were created within the castle. It may not be a big castle, but they thought it was cool walking "inside" of it. Full Moon over the Matterhorn means good luck...good luck to everyone playing basketball at the top of the Matterhorn. And when the sun goes down, that means nighttime, glowing, bubbling, insanely priced toys that break after one night. Great marketing Disney! But even though the castle is not that big, it still is pretty at night for the holiday's for what it has. Very pretty. This was our Small World Experience. If you don't know what happened, then google "what happens when you mix water with electricity inside a building" and the first thing that pops up is a story about Small World. A look back down Main Street at night. One more look back at the castle. Time to leave Disneyland and head back to our hotel for some fireworks viewing. The Paradise Pier Hotel offered fireworks viewing and had the music piped in so we can literally just go straight to our room after fireworks. It was nice and we didn't have to deal with the Main Street crowd and insanity. They were a little far away, but it was still nice to see. And this was the first time our boys have seen a fireworks show live, their eyes were so wide and they were just in awe of everything. The fireworks weren't anything to write home about and to me, the show felt short, but it was still great to see fireworks. With the music piped in, it really felt like a magical way to end the day .... until ..... Griffin busted out his nighttime, glowing, bubbling, insanely priced toys that break after one night machine (that none of us knew he brought) and pretended he was creating snow for everyone that was watching. It really was a magical way to end the first part of our vacation. This part of the Photo Trip Report was brought to you by .... The Disneyland cats. Because if they weren't there, then who knows how many rodents (other than Chip and Dale) would be roaming freely throughout the park. Part 2 will be posted shortly.
  15. I'll be there! Can't wait for this awesomeness! I remember the good ol' days when there were some TPR Trivia during meet-ups and coaster trips and they were some of the most fun I've had...EVER!!! Seriously people...if you're not signed up, you should check this out! Jimmy "See you at 5pm stupid Arizona time" Bo
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