At this point, I headed back to the room to shower and change. Nicki had lunch plans with her friends. I wanted to get an early start on the parks. I took a quick shower, changed, and put on my race shirt and finishers medal. I stopped by the breakfast area and grabbed a bagel to eat on the way. Then, I made my way to California Adventure. I have to tell you, I found an application called RideMax. It was the best $15 for 90 days that I spent. I put in my time in the park and time for the last attraction and which rides I wanted and it made a plan of where to go when and even when to get fast passes. The original plan with Nicki was they would come to the parks later and we would get fast passes for World of Color so we could be together.
Upon entering the park, I headed back to Paradise Pier to Toy Story Mania, the first stop on my plan. OK. First change to my plan. They were down. They said to check back later. No problem, I’ll just go to the next stop and hopefully be ahead and stop back later. So, it was on to California Screamin’ Roller Coaster. It was almost no wait. I think I waited maybe 10 minutes. Soon, I boarded the ride.
It immediately shoots you out and up.
It does a bunch of turns and dips and one loop-de-loop around the sun below the Paradise Pier sign.
I guess as I get older, I realize how much could go wrong.
Next up, the Swinging Gondola on Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
That’s the main thing you see across the water in Paradise Pier. After about a 10 minute wait, I ended up in a car with 2 other ladies who had run the 10k and 2 girls that appeared to be teenagers. As it started, I thought it wasn’t so bad. Then, we hit the first swinging part. We all screamed and looked for something to grab on to. There are no seat belts and no handles.
I think we all put our fingers in the mesh. The track it is on is an oval. So at certain points you travel the length of the track and your momentum swings you out through the curve before gravity brings you back. Then you go back and forth until it evens out or the ride moves again. The worst points are just past horizontal. We were all happy to be getting back to the ground when they sent us around a second time. Since the second time didn’t stop much (and we were prepared) the swinging didn’t seem as bad.
I was very happy to get off that ride. I can say I did it, but I will probably never do it again. I’ll stick to the nice stationary cars. Next stop, Silly Symphony Swings. I only had to wait through one round on this one. It’s just like a carnival ride. You get in the swing and bring the bar down. Click the belt to the bottom. The ride picks you up off your feet. Then the music start and the swings go around and slightly out with momentum. It does do a little uneven turn to feel like you’re doing up and down.
Once again, I realized how much my tastes are changing. Half of the time I kept thinking about where I would end up if my chair came off. Fun ride and they do have double seats for a parent and child, but not on my must do list for next time.
Next I was supposed to get a Fast Pass for Goofy’s Sky School. There was almost no line, but I decided to follow plan knowing I still had to squeeze in Toy Story Mania. Just across from that was the Golden Zephyr. This one did not bug me. It is more tame since it’s a larger ship going around in a circle. I could see myself doing that again with my kids. I passed this very popular Corn Dog stand on my way to the Little Mermaid.
The Little Mermaid was just a little ways up and on the left. They also had practically no wait. Phineaus and Ferb were doing a street show out front.
I got in line and was almost immediately on the ride. It is about the same as the ride in the new Fantasyland and Disney World. When I got off that, I realized I was about 50 minutes ahead of schedule and too early for my fast pass which I was supposed to use next. So, I walked back over by Toy Story Mania. It was open but had a 40 minute wait. I figured I better wait because it would only get worse and I would be right in my fast pass window when I got off. The line has a lot of twists and turns. I liked the part that went by Mr. Potato Head and he interacts with the people in front of him. Watching their reactions was fun.
I noticed some people had been given pieces of paper with games to entertain them. Other groups were playing some kind of charade game with an app on their phone. One person would hold it over their head with the word and the others would try to get them to guess the word. Once guessed, they would tilt the screen on their head for the next word. There seemed to be a timer on it. It was also entertaining to watch them playing. Once you get inside the cover, there are carnival type posters with the games you will be playing on them. Finally you pass through a door and grab 3D glasses from a bin. The cars are 4 people, 2 on each side (front and back).
I really enjoyed this ride and hear it’s the same as the one at the Studios in Florida. I look forward to taking my son on it at Easter. My score wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst and I had a great time.
It was time to use my Fast Pass. I got there and the Fast Pass line was slightly shorter than the single rider line, so I got in it. About 5 minutes later, I was boarding the car. Each car seats 4 people in 2 rows.
I really enjoyed this ride.
It was a tamer roller coaster and better for kids.
It still had some hard turns and short drops for the thrill factor.
I would do this one again. Next I hoofed it over to Soarin’.
I was about 30 minutes ahead of schedule still. When I asked about the single rider line, they told me it would be an hour. I debated for a few minutes, but decided to take a chance. They gave me a card identifying me as a single rider and I headed inside to the line. It was about this time that Nicki told me they were heading over to get fast passes. I remembered seeing the lines on my way to Soarin’ and they were long. It was only 15 minutes and I was put in a row. We waited briefly before the announcer came on the screen with the safety messages. I was in the first row about the middle due to a kid having a total meltdown. The parents ended up doing a child swap. The ride was good and is identical to the one at EPCOT. Once I got out, I got a text from Nicki that the fast passes were all gone and they were going to eat. No problem. I was right on time for Grizzly River Run single rider line.
Only, the single rider line is not easily seen. I asked the cast member at the line entrance. He gave me a card and told me to go in the exit. Several people were leaving and looking at me funny, but it was the right way. Once there I saw the single rider line sign. I walked straight onto the rotating platform and onto a raft, no line. I was in a raft with a family of 4 and a couple.
The parents were giving the kids a hard time about getting wet. They also gave the man in the couple a hard time about putting his girlfriend next to the opening. It’s a really fun ride and will get you wet.
Luckily, I was only slightly wet.
I did put all my things in a ziplock bag before we started any dips. That kept everything dry. I had about an hour and a half open before my next item which was the Aladdin show. I had to drop something off at the Fairfield hotel which is on the opposite side of Disneyland from mine. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I walked past the bag check which is located on either side of the 2 entrances which face each other. I had to walk around the bus area and out to the main road. I had originally booked a room at the Fairfield. After the walk, I was glad I had changed to rooming with Nicki. The other side is much more convenient for races. The front desk staff was nice and took the envelope. I then trekked back into California Adventure to find some lunch.
After consulting the map, I decided on the Taste Pilot’s Grill by Soarin’ for a burger and fries. There was quite a line to order and they even had a taped area on the ground out front that was a line. One of the people came out and gave us menus to look at while we were waiting. It was getting a little hot, so once we got inside to the shade, it was nice. It was so busy, the seating was all full inside. Finally, after about 20 minutes waiting, I got to place my order; cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake.
I think the total was about $16, but I was expecting that. After stopping at the topping bar for lettuce, pickles, and ketchup, I found a spot outside with some shade from a pole. It did migrate slightly while I was eating. I will say, that meal was really good. Too soon, it was time for me to head over to the Aladdin show. I had added this to my schedule the night before after crossing off a couple rides with Nicki. She insisted I see it. I got in line for the mezzanine level. It required walking up steps, but I thought I would be okay. About 10 minutes before show time, they opened the ropes and led us up the stairs. My legs were a little sore, but I made it. I walked to the far side of the theater before making my way down. I ended up in the fourth row with a great view of the stage. There was a cast member right in front of me helping get people seated and making sure they didn’t leave gaps. He also shared his detailed Disney trivia knowledge. I wish I remembered his name because I would have submitted a complement for him.
Soon, the show started. Nicki was right! This is a must see show. The Genie ad libs the comedy and it is for current events. The singers are great. It’s no surprise this show has been running so long. I heard rumors they are going to close it and make a new show. I hope if they do it is just as good.
When the show ended, I had about an hour before I was supposed to attend the Tinkerbell Facebook group meetup. I went back to the hotel room thinking I would sneak in a quick nap but decided to call home. I laid on my bed with my legs up against the wall while talking. I’d heard it helped with fluid buildup and made them less sore. Talking to my husband and kids took up my entire free time. I decided to be a little late and left my room at 4.
By the time I got to the meetup, they had already taken the picture and were in the middle of the raffle. I got a ticket and was handed a small dog tag. I ran into Nora again. She told me where she had seen the name tags. After circling the group, I found my name tag. I was also given a goodie bag and someone gave me their spare orange bracelet since the one I had brought broke. I didn’t win anything, but did talk to a lot of people. I had about 10 purple bracelets on for the Glass Slipper Challenge Facebook group. I was the one handing them out and knew there would be some people at this meetup. I found one almost right away. We chatted for about 15 more minutes and then it was time for the dinner at Naples.
We were a large group so they had an area set up for us upstairs and outside on the terrace. We had a prepaid meal. Service was slow and not all seats had water. One man brought bread to the tables and asked if we wanted balsamic vinegar with the oil. I asked him to please go get me water since I was parched and he did. They finally got smart and brought a couple pitchers of water to keep us filled. The bread was good. Soon they brought out several large Caesar salads for the tables. I got a large helping and dug in. It was good. However, I started getting gas. Luckily Nora was sitting next to me and had something for it.
It really kicked in after I left the dinner but I was grateful. Oh, there was a man sitting across from me from Minnesota who is also doing Glass Slipper. When I found out, I gave him a bracelet and he told me I made his day. The group I was sitting with was very friendly and I’m so glad I decided to join the dinner. The main courses were a vegetable pasta dish and a chicken breast with wine reduction sauce and mushrooms. Since I was feeling rather bloated at this point, I skipped the chicken and took a small portion of the pasta. It was okay.
At this point, I excused myself to the bathroom. I guess all the water took its toll. When I got back, dessert was waiting for me. It was without a doubt the best part of the meal. I was feeling full, but was not going to miss out on a bite of the dark chocolate mousse cake with vanilla sauce. It was heavenly.
After dinner, I went briefly back to the room to drop off the goodie bag. Then I decided to head back to the park early so I could maybe finish early and get to bed. I passed a band playing at the Mad T Party area while heading to the Monster’s Inc. ride.
They were good, but I didn’t want to stop. There was no line for the ride and I was right on.
Next I went to It’s Tough to Be a Bug 3D movie. I know it’s the same as the one in Animal Kingdom, but it’s cute. I just missed a show so I got to talk to the 2 cast members working it for a few minutes before other people showed up. There were only about 20 of us before the show started again. It’s a cute show. I exited the theater and headed for Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train.
It’s cute and geared for small kids. I will say it’s probably better in the daylight. Since I was ahead of schedule and there was no line, I decided to throw in Francis’ Ladybug Boogie.
These cars spin and go around a figure 8 type track. Cute ride also geared towards kids. I got a little turned around trying to find Luigi’s tires, but I did find it. The line was 10 minutes. It went through Luigi’s tire store which is cute.
I walked straight through that part and back outside.
This ride is cars that look like large tires that hover when the air is turned on similar to air hockey.
I think I left the park about 20 minutes before closing.
I got back to the room and Nicki was already in bed. Luckily she had the TV on. She stirred and talked to me briefly, but didn’t remember any of it the next morning. I set my phone for 3:15, got ready, set out my costume for the next day, and went to sleep. I slept hard which is unusual for me the night before a race. The alarm went off too soon.