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Joe's quick Friday Disneyland trip, plus the Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights

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  • Trip Report Joe's quick Friday Disneyland trip, plus the Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights

    T and I happened to be off work on Friday and decided a Disneyland trip would be perfect. All the crowds are expected to show up en-masse next week, and we were hoping for a slow day today.
    The best hope for that is always to arrive before the park opens. Well we did our part, but the parking garage was backed up and it took 20 minutes from exiting the freeway to get to the booth attendant. After parking and seeing the line at security, we decided to walk to the Downtown Disney Entrance, as the lines are almost always shorter there.
    With both bubble maces loaded, the kids gave me a face-full of bubbles on the walk over.

    Our first ride of the day was Mickey's Fun Wheel since Alli's been asking about it, even at home.

    There was barely a line when we arrived, and once it was time to get off there was no-one in line. We asked if we could stay and go for another round and were successful.

    We'd grabbed fast passes for Toy Story, but the ride was down for maintenance all morning. Good thing those passes turned into anytime fast passes.
    Off we went to Radiator Springs to the holiday version of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Mater's Jingle Jamboree.
    I'd mentioned previously how I love that they mix up the music for the holidays. Both for Halloween and Christmas this ride got a new soundtrack. Determined to record it for the kids, I spoke with one of the ride operators and got permission to stand in the queue but not actually board the ride. I found a speaker pointed directly at me, held my phone up and started recording. About 25 minutes later I was fairly confident that I got everything. There are multiple songs that play, but they don't play in order, so even if you hear a repeat, there could be something new coming.
    After deleting the un-interesting bits, duplication, etc, that 25 minutes turned into about 11:30 minutes of useable stuff, including 5 songs, 3 ride intros, and a handful of jokes.

    And wouldn't you know it. As I was writing this up, I did a quick search. The Disney Music Group released Season's Speedings from Cars Land - Holiday Songs from Mater and Luigi also on December 15th, the same day I did the recordings. Figures. Well now I can get better quality copies of them. You can find the individual songs on the DisneyMusicVEVO channel here.

    While I was doing my recording, T took the kids over to Monsters Inc to take a ride through Monstropolis.

    Seeing Toy Story was back up we crossed back over the entire park to use our fast passes. T posted her highest score yet, 295k. She'll break that 300k barrier soon enough.

    Given the choice between Guardians of the Galaxy and Radiator Springs Racers, Ian chose once again to visit the Guardians. I love that he loves this ride. He still needs a few more inches to show up in the pictures apparently.

    Mr and Mrs Incredible were out and about in the Hollywood backlot. They got our attention and we followed them over to the old Muppet Theater where they were excited to point out that Incredibles II will be coming out in June, with a sneak peek here in May.

    Time to go on more holiday rides. Over to Disneyland we went.
    it's a small world was sporting a short line. Only 15 minutes or so.

    And after using our fast passes for Haunted Mansion Holiday, Ian asked who was going to ride Splash Mountain with him. Once again T said "your daddy will take you".

    And we even got a good picture.

    Well we could stay here longer, but there's even more fun things going on today. Tonight we're going to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood with friends and family. Time to head home.
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

  • #2
    Welcome to Sleepy Hollow! This neighborhood in Torrance California goes all out when it comes to Christmas decorations. Each year we make it a point to visit at least once.
    After a delicious dinner at the all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ restaurant Big Wok, we were all ready to get some walking in. And we've got a good size group going too.

    Our goal was to get there right as they officially started around 6pm. Dinner went a little long so we didn't get there until 6:15pm, but traffic hadn't gotten crazy yet. We found a place to park (facing towards the exit so it would be easier to leave), and started our walk.

    We followed along with the map I made a few years ago. Streets in green are the ones we typically go down.

    I enjoy seeing the gigantic Jack Skellington and Zero.

    Frozen makes an appearance.
    Look Alli! It's Marshmallow!
    Alli - He's not nice.
    Me - Why isn't he nice?
    Alli - He throws people.

    I really like the houses that of course go all out on the lights.

    Look close and you might find some mistletoe.

    A Christmas Story tribute.

    The sidewalks here aren't very big and in some places are nonexistent. I got out the single stroller to help us better navigate the area. The doublewide stroller would have been really bad. Even the single stroller was tough. I decorated the stroller with lights, added a couple cute elves, and we were set.

    The Penguin's are celebrating by having a wresting match. And it's a ladder match too!

    I like the ferris wheel filled with familiar characters.

    In many of the driveways you'll see people hanging out by fire pits, or selling snacks. Here we found Santa! Coming so early, we only had to wait for one family to see him before it was our turn. When we walked by later, he had 20 families in line to see him!

    The kids certainly are consistent in what they ask for. Always candy and money.

    Getting a family picture with Santa. Off to the side, they have a donation basket for the American Cancer Society, and we happily left a donation.

    For the past month T and I have been reading Christmas stories with the kids before bed. Of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been in that mix. I wasn't sure how the kids would do seeing the Grinch in person. Ian said that he's nice now since he gave back the presents, so he's not scared at all. And for the rest of the time at Sleepy Hollow he'd tell us that he wasn't scared and wanted to go back to see him. I think the Grinch was wandering around though because when we returned later, he was gone.

    You'll find snacks being sold everywhere while you're walking around (and even one that was yelling at the cars that they can do drive-thru too). This booth was a great find! Everything was $1! I got a big Rice Krispy Treat, Jacob got a bag of popcorn, and I think Ryan got a bag of cookies.

    And what do Ian and Alli want?

    Yum! Cake Pops along with Uncle Jon!

    Fun to see some new characters celebrating Christmas too.

    By the time we were done, around 7:45pm, we'd walked all the green sections in the map above. Both foot traffic and car traffic really picked up in the time we've been here. It's getting to be bedtime for the kiddos, so we said our goodbyes to everyone and headed home.
    I really enjoy Sleepy Hollow and seeing all the lights and decorations. They help inspire me each year to figure out something new to do with my house.

    And speaking of my house...

    The door hanger is a Mickey Mouse bell wreath.

    It's takes about 3 days here and there to get everything up, but the kids certainly love it.

    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report


    • #3
      Great report, I always love the neighborhoods that get together and decorate the whole area. We have a few of those here in Utah always fun to check out.
      BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!


      • #4
        Great trip report, as always, but you really need to get a little bit of the Christmas spirit.
        Your house looks great.

        No matter where you go, there you are.


        • #5
          You guys are seriously too cute for words. Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours!


          • #6
            So how many times where you asked about your great hats ..........and how did you park for Sleepy hollow?........thank you for those photos, because that is sure to be a Jeopardy question?

            Torrance California takes this Washington Irving story with a holiday twist.


            • #7
              Great photos Joe, the house looked amazing. Bummed we missed you by a single day. We'll catch you guys next time!
              -Brian - Find me on Facebook