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Joe's Christmas Disney celebration


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  • Trip Report Joe's Christmas Disney celebration

    After the last few trips to Disneyland and them being super busy on Sunday, the Flowers family is mixing it up and going to Disneyland on a Saturday. T and I were hoping that might mean a reduction in crowds.
    It also happens that Disneyland has already started its transformation for the holidays. It's Christmas here so that's what we're celebrating! Christmas is only 38 days away!

    Today we were really trying to get out of the house on time and get to Disneyland early. The freeways were pleasant and by 8am we were in line for the parking garage. The line stretched out to the bottom of the overpass and it was moving slowly. It took 20 minutes to get to the front. I wish there was a better alternative.
    And like usual instead of taking the tram, we used the pedestrian bridge and walked into Downtown Disney. The security gate was really backed up by the old ESPN Zone, but thankfully the gate by the Disneyland Hotel wasn't too bad.

    At 8:45am we strolled through the main gates of Disney California Adventure. Both kids wanted a map, but what they were really interested in was the treats that were available for the holidays.

    So far so good on those crowds, but this is an out of the way area of the park.

    Our very first stop is Redwood Creek - Santa's Holiday Visit! I wanted to get an early start on Santa pictures this year. I'm sure it'll only get busier as it gets closer to Christmas. It's ten minutes before 9am and Santa will be here soon! There's not much of a line in front of us either! Only 5 families!

    At 3 minutes before 9am the ropes were dropped and everyone walked in, straight in to the line to Meet Santa.

    While the first few families went straight to the front of the line, I know Santa isn't here yet and we've got a little time. What's this? A book with all the Nice Kids?

    And the kids can write their own name in it? That sounds like a conflict of interest!

    And now they'll always be on the nice list.

    With nothing else to do how about some family pictures?

    That one is going on a phone background.

    Alli, what's your elf call-sign? Snowflake!
    And Ian, what about you? I'm Candy Cane!

    It's 9:04 and Santa is here!

    Hi Santa!

    And the elves are here too. They immediately recognized their fellow brethren, the Prep and Landing Elves. Hi Casserole the Elf!

    The dew is still condensed on the glass so the kids drew Santa smiley faces.

    And what's this? Alli, I mean Snowflake, we found a snowflake!

    The Prep and Landing elves chatted with Santa's Elves (Cider and I didn't catch the other one's name). They talked about their jobs. Snowflake and Candy Cane have already started making ornaments for our tree (more on that in a future post).
    They really liked the goggles on Ian's hat, so he offered to let them wear it until it was time for them to go see Santa.

    Time to see Santa!
    Santa - It's my Prep and Landing Elves! Have you been busy?
    Alli - We've made ornaments!

    Ian - How are your reindeer?

    First a picture with just the kids.

    And then a picture with the family. Perfect!

    The cast member at the exit told Ian "I heard your call-sign was Candy Cane, so here's a candy cane from Santa."
    Thanks! And how about that. Between Snowflake and Candy Cane, they each found their call-signs while they were here seeing Santa.
    A quick check of the time, it's 9:20am. With those few families in front of us, plus a couple extra that came down the handicapped entrance, it took us about 15 minutes to get to the front of the line, and about 30 minutes waiting overall. That's not too bad I'd say.

    On way out, Ranger Tim had a skunk out for kids to pet.

    We learned his name was Reggie and Ranger Tim warned us that even though you can pet this one, shouldn't try to pet any that are in the wild.

    Want to see Bartholomew?

    Yes they do. Bartholomew is a bat. Both he and Reggie are nocturnal creatures, but they're out today for kids to see.

    Now what has a short line? The Fun Wheel! Alli is showing off her snowflake pose.

    And Ian is showing off his candy cane pose.

    Hey, you're not candy cane.

    We're on top of the world! Well at least Disneyland. And actually that was a question I had once we reached the top. Is this the highest point you can be at Disneyland? Looking over the horizon towards the rest of the park, it certainly looked to be the highest. Only the Guardians of the Galaxy looked to be the same height, but I don't know if guests ever get this high.

    Toy Story Mania is a 55 minute wait but we've got a fastpass! Alli had a wet wipe to clean off those sticky candy cane hands, and she was still holding it when the cast member gave her all 4 pairs of glasses. Alli took the liberty of cleaning everyone's glasses off before handing them over.

    You guys look great! They've been getting so many positive compliments on their hats and outfits. People still love the Prep and Landing elves, and way more than I would expect still recognize them! And their shows haven't even started playing this season yet! More than a few people asked about their hats and if they sold them here. Unfortunately they are pretty old hats that were sold around the time of the second movie I think. They don't come up on ebay very frequently either, and when they do, they can go for some big bucks.

    Alright Alli, it's me and you this time. Let's do this!

    Whew! It was a good run for me. I was only 1600 short from 300k and getting the next prize level. Best score for the hour! Those that are scoring 500k+ must be machines!
    And Alli is doing really well too!

    Time for a snack. I wonder where the kids get their love of veggies and fruit from.

    Today we're focusing on Christmas rides. Mater's Jingle Jamboree has a holiday soundtrack this season. It's starting to get busy and Mater was sporting a 20 minute wait.

    Alli knew which baby tractor she wanted. The blue/purple eyed one. She followed it as it went back and forth until it finally came to a stop. Then she knew where to run.

    And Ian somehow still found his way to the one green-eyed baby tractor.

    And Alli got hers too.

    Santa and his elf.

    She'll hold on to the side so she doesn't slide and squish me. I do no such thing and squish her every chance I get.

    Next was a flight on Soarin.

    The kids are making friends in line.
    Alli - I like your shirt.
    It had so many characters on it, including Duffy.
    Alli - It has a Duffy Bear on it! I sleep with a Duffy Bear every night!

    Soarin to tower. Ready for takeoff.

    Alli kept her hands up for the whole ride!

    They both love Soarin.

    It was such a busy day that I'm going to have to continue this in another post!
    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
    Time for part 2 of our Disneyland trip celebrating Christmas.

    It's lunchtime so you know that means we're off to the Pacific Wharf Cafe for some bread. It's time for a decision kids. Are you going to want a Mickey Gingerbread Cookie now or Popcorn later today? You have to decide together.
    After some consultation they chose to get popcorn later.

    Lunch is a good time to play with their food. Ian was proud of his Little Green Man alien with 3 eyes.

    Alli made a lady with a big smile.

    We've recently watched Olaf's Frozen Adventure and Ian thinks this looks like Olaf's face in the Flemi Stew.

    What do you think? Not bad from memory I think.

    The ducks were very hungry today and were very thankful for all the bread.

    Ian is a good elf and is always looking out for others. Here he's offering our bread to other people who are also watching the ducks.

    Now that the park is getting crowded it's time to go back to the areas where there aren't any lines. Like back over to Redwood Creek to play some games!

    Here's the map the kids got. Meet Santa and play Elf Games!

    There's lots of things to do.
    • Gift Hide and Seek!
    • Jingle Bridge!
    • Pack the Presents Game!
    • Chip and Dale's Gift!
    • Treats for Santa!
    • Fly with the Reindeer!

    Last week the kids did the Gift Hide and Seek, earning stickers for getting the right answer to what snack elves like most. Snow Cones. They also found Chip and Dale's Gift from Santa last week.

    But first a little bit of rock climbing.

    Let's tackle that Jingle Bridge.

    The normal rope bridges have been outfitted with lots of bells underneath.

    And when you jump, they jingle for the whole camp to hear.

    I happened to be recording video and caught some commentary from some people who were watching. When a little girl got her foot stuck they said "Aww, the elves are helping." "That's what elves do!"

    Next we're flying with the reindeer.

    The tops of the zip-lines are decorated with flying reindeer

    I'm amazed at the height the kids get on these. They're nearly vertical.

    Hold on tight!

    I thought that was the end of that, but after we left that area, Cast Member Terry called the kids over. He had something special for them. He pulled out a big stack of stickers from his pocket and gave one to each of the kids.

    Personalized Prep and Landing Elf stickers! I wonder when he did that? They were already written up when he called us over.

    Thanks Terry! This is the second time he's gone out of his way for us. The first time he did a little trivia game with the kids for them to earn stickers. I need to submit a cast compliment for him.

    Next it was time for the Pack the Presents Game. The elves have made lots of presents at the top of the slides and need helpers to deliver them to Santa's sack at the bottom.

    Go Alli!

    And into the sack.

    Ian's turn.

    He was super fast down the slide and rushing over to throw it into the sack.

    The video.

    The only thing left is the Treats for Santa. It's an extra-charge activity where for $7.50 (at least in 2017) you can decorate a cookie with frosting and sprinkles. We've done it before, back in 2017 actually. Both kids were so little! We'll see if we get to it this year.

    Continuing our quest to ride the Christmas rides, there's a few more over in Disneyland that we have to go on.

    Jack has taken over the Haunted Mansion and decorated it for Christmas.

    I think this might be one of the last times the four of us squeeze into one Doom Buggy. Kids are getting bigger!

    It's time for the popcorn that was promised to the kids. And when you're thinking about getting popcorn at Disneyland there's really only one place to go. For some reason the popcorn stand by the Matterhorn has the yellowest most buttery popcorn we've found. Today was no exception.

    And the line today is much more reasonable than past weeks. The craze to get the Mickey tree has started to die down I guess. Other parts of park had longer lines, but there were only 3 parties in front of us.

    It's time to ride the Holiday version of it's a small world. The kids are pretty adorable in their elf outfits. Multiple people called out "Prep and Landing" and pointed them out to the others in their party.

    You've already started singing the 12 Days of Christmas (lot of different versions of it). Alli for some reason keeps thinking the last line is "A partridge in a bear tree". Hey Alli, I found your bear tree!

    As luck would have it the first and second rows were ours, which meant the kids got their own row and they got to lead us through the attraction.

    Has there's always been the Northern Lights right behind the Canadian Mountie? I'm just now seeing it and I love it! I want to go see those some time in person!

    I love how they've decorated for Christmas.

    Ain't that the truth! It was 86 degrees with beautiful blue skies.

    It's been a fun day at the parks and it's always nice to have something to celebrate. On the way out the kids really wanted to see the Gingerbread house in the Grand Californian. We were making guesses on whether it was complete or not. The kids both thought no, while Theresa and I thought yes.

    And the kids were right. It's looking pretty good, but there's still a bit left to do, as evident by the pastry scraper that was left on the roof. There's also some pieces that are falling off that will need to be cleaned up.
    Despite all that, there's been a bunch of hidden Mickey's added and the kids were excited to find a lot of them. I didn't count all the ones we found, but I think we're in store for quite a few Hidden Mickeys to discover this year.

    As we were walking out of the Grand, the kids wanted a snack. Funyuns is a favorite.
    Alli - Five golden rings!

    Both kids - Can we stop at the gazebo?
    Time to get some energy out.
    "On your mark. Get set..."
    Alli anticipates the countdown and always starts running after I say "Get set."
    They both think it's hilarious as she walks her way back to the start line.

    They like to get timed as they race to different things. Then they'll race to them again and try to beat their time.

    You might think that Ian wins them all since he's 2 years older, but Alli gets a few too.
    Alli you're super fast! You run like a girl! Nice job!

    Alli - Girls are focused on winning!
    Ian - I just want to have fun.
    Makes sense to me.

    To finish the day, I came up with a few fun races to do. The kids both love Mario Kart and you might know that there's different race circuits you can win. As such, I had the kids run the Mushroom Cup, the Leaf Cup, and the Star Cup. I'm going to have to brush up on all the other Mario Kart Cups to keep things interesting.

    What a fun day of Christmas celebration at Disneyland!
    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 trip report we will be there to celebrate a little Christmas next week.
      BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!


      • #4
        Great trip report. Too bad you guys have no Christmas spirit. 😉

        No matter where you go, there you are.


        • #5
          Excellent, as always!
          Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge


          • #6
            great trip report


            • #7
              Great photos from DCA today Joe! And thanks for taking us along for your visit as always!


              • #8
                Really nice pics. Its looks like your family had a great time.


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