On Friday last week we completed our tour of So Cal theme parks with another trip to 'Mickey Park' - Ace woke up and was so excited to go. We took our time, eating a good breakfast, returned our rental car, and then headed out with my mom to the park. It was warm, but not stifling and there wasn't a lot of humidity (since there had been rain and thunder in my mom's neck of the woods as well, it was a possibility.) It certainly was more crowded than when we went nearly two weeks ago (on a Monday) but it still wasn't bad.
We arrived and headed into Disneyland - we ventured onto Buzz first and then decided to grab lunch and hope that the rocket ships would be done with what was hopefully a 'routine' maintenance. I really wanted to take Ace on those, since he always talks about taking a rocket ship to the moon. :) We enjoyed Buzz and then grabbed ourselves some lunch near Space Mountain. Where we had a clear view of when the rocket ships would begin to work again. :)
They were going full speed when we finished lunch so we headed there next. I am pretty sure that was my first time on them. I am always a sucker for the nostalgia of the Dumbo ride and seeing as how it is basically the same thing, if I'm going to wait in a line for such a ride, it would be Dumbo. Ace having already experienced Dumbo last November, and having an affinity for rocket ships, these seemed like a must on his adventure in Disneyland. I have to say they go way faster than Dumbo! Ace loved it!
Next on the list was one of my favorites - the Haunted Mansion. We didn't make it on that one when we went two weeks ago, so it was a must. :) It was our longest line of the day ... around 25 minutes. Ace enjoyed walking on all the railing with Grandma's help, and after a bit nearly - but not quite - fell asleep on my shoulders. He enjoyed the ride which of course is decked out in the Nightmare Before Christmas attire, which I'm a fan of. Ace enjoyed it and loved all the bright colored presents everywhere.
Next up was Pirates - he enjoys that one - he holds my hand pretty tight through the whole thing, but he likes to look at everything - and in fact when asked after we left that night what his favorite part of Mickey Park was he said 'Pirates!' :) It warms my heart, since Pirates is hands down my favorite Disneyland ride. After Pirates we were onto the Jungle Cruise! A staple for this little guy of ours. He loves to look at all the animals, and I try to ignore the horrific commentary coming from our 'tour guide' :)
After we finished on the Jungle Cruise we headed out of Disneyland and ventured over to California Adventure. We were right on time to get in line to see the last LIVE show of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Since that programming is a staple in our house 3-5 days a week, it certainly was a MUST on our Mickey Park adventure -and boy did it pay off. Ace was so excited. I've never seen him so interested to engage and observe. Bubbles fall from the ceiling, leaves fall from the ceiling... it was so much fun to watch him inch away from me simply to get a better view. It was great.
Our final 'adventure' at Mickey Park was the Pixar Parade. We got a good sideline spot and left my mom with the stroller and Ace and I went into a store. I managed to stuff a box full of Mr. Potato Head pieces for a 'low' price of $19.95 - which will be a part of Ace's Christmas present. Got lots of good parts for him and I was thrilled that I didn't have to buy another potato head. :) We also got a cell phone for Kaylee as a present. Then headed back and waited for the show to start. He watched intently - and was greeted often by the characters in the parade, which he accepted with cautious glances back at me and Grammie. It was great. He got pretty excited when Buzz and Woody finally made their appearance and Lightening McQueen and Mater too.
With the parade done, we headed out of the park and out into Downtown Disney. Ace picked out a Buzz Lightyear spinning toy to take home and I got my pin to add to my collection, along with a doll for Mae's room. :) However, when we were finished it was 6pm... on a Friday. No way we should be getting on a freeway then. So we put our name in at Naples and enjoyed dinner there. Ace got himself a balloon from the balloon guy and enjoyed his motorcycle man immensely.
After dinner we headed home and Ace told us that: "I had a good time today at Mickey Park" - I love that his vocabulary is becoming so clear. I also love that he had such a great time at one of my favorite places in the world. Yes, for me Disneyland really is one of the Happiest Places on Earth. It was a great end to a great day. Ace fell asleep about 15 minutes after we were on the road and my mom and I enjoyed the commute home in 8pm traffic of the Orange County freeways --- ahh So Cal!