Carrie invited me to go to Disneyland and California Adventure with her and the kids. Diana (Lauren’s therapist and part of our family) went along too, but an extra adult is always welcome with all the kids. I didn’t hesitate in saying yes, because I LOVE Disney! We booked our trip for the first week of October, but the third week of September, Carrie asked me if I could move it up a week. Lauren was doing well healthwise, and Nathan had a scouting event coming up that bumped up against the trip unless we changed our plans. My work schedule is flexible, so we jumped in the car last Sunday morning and headed to Anaheim.
The last time I went to Disneyland (about 18 months ago) I found a decent hotel that is very reasonably priced, just across the street and easy walking distance from the parks. The rooms are large, and we were able to book a family suite – two double rooms with a connecting door. There is a Denny’s a few doors down the street and we ate there every morning on our way to Disney.
We had disability passes for both Lauren and Andrew (his Autism spectrum diagnosis makes him eligible for bypassing the lines, and believe me, the people around us would not have been happy to have him yelling and wiggling around them for 45 minutes.) The passes allow the child’s entire party to walk up the back entrance and get right on the rides, usually through a handicapped loading area. That made it great for Diana, whose main job was to lift Lauren out of her wheelchair and onto each ride. Carrie and I could do that together, but Diana is strong enough to pick her up and step on a ride with her. With the passes, we could take a very leisurely pace for the three days and really enjoy ourselves, instead of spending hours waiting in lines with cranky kids.
The newest attractions are in California Adventure, where Cars Land, based on the animated film “Cars”, recently opened. It’s extremely well done (isn’t everything by Disney?) and makes you really think you have traveled to Radiator Springs. Route 66 runs down the middle with all the businesses that changed Lightning McQueen’s outlook on life.
There are three main rides: Luigi’s Flying Tires, Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Radiator Springs Racers. The racers are similar to Test Track in Epcot, where you ride in little cars that go very fast around a race track. Andrew loved it, especially when we were lucky enough to get “Queen” as our car. I’m glad I watched the movie before I went. It’s really cute, and made the attractions more meaningful.
The other new addition since I was there last year is the World of Color. It’s a nighttime water spectacular that includes fountains, color, fire and light in a dazzling show. This seems to be California Adventure’s alternative to Epcot’s Illuminations. We got into the handicapped viewing area early and staked out our space, and had a wonderful view of the show on our last night in the parks.
We drove home on Thursday and yes, I went to work on Friday, but I didn’t like it! I was really glad it was only one day until the weekend so I could rest, do laundry and watch the new fall TV shows that had accumulated on my Tivo. And now, I’ve had my Disney fix for another year.