Saturday, March 9, 2013

The E Ticket Ride


Yep, I went on it last weekend. It's called Radiator Springs Racer and it's in Cars Land. Cars Land is the 12-acre add on to Disney's California Adventure theme park based on Pixar's Cars movie. I could tell you how cool it was, and trust me, it was, but what I found equally interesting was the line. At 9pm the line was 120 minutes long. There is very little I'd wait in line two hours for. The daily Fast Passes were gone 30 minutes after the park's opening. Thank G/d for friends who are VIPs.

Thing 1 and I flew Orange County Friday morning to join her dance studio for its annual weekend of merriment. Her team performed at CA Saturday afternoon as part of Disney's Performing Arts Program. (See below. Thing 1 is front right in red.) It was hard not to have a good time. I could focus on the needs of just one child and do whatever she wanted. We ran around the parks with her friends and from one's mom I learned many Disney best practices. Our Disney experiences will be forever better.

The parks, incidentally, seemed more crowded at night than they did during the afternoon. I think the gorgeous weather drove the adults poolside for a break from the chaos and the adults with young kids back to their rooms for naps. Friday night we had dinner at Goofy's Kitchen with a bunch of other dance team families. The kids loved that the characters just came by our table instead of us having to hunt them down in the park.

The thing about traveling with a large group of people is that you are surrounded by friendly faces everywhere you go. And they tell you what they did that was neat. As much ground as we covered in two days, there were still many things we did not see. My favorite ride seems to be Toy Story, where you put on 3D glasses and the Toy Story characters guide you through a shooting arcade which you traverse in a moving vehicle. It's like target shooting from inside the game.

Aside from seeing my daughter shine on stage and enjoying the California sunshine in the 80s, the highlight for me was the big roller coaster, California Screamin'. The aforementioned mom talked me into it and I figured it was worth the risk since she very well knew I might throw up on her. I nearly hopped out of line when it time to board but stuck with it because I knew I'd be proud of myself afterwards. Sure enough, it was a blast. I went on it twice more, the last time at night and in the front car which I can honestly say is 50% scarier.

My little thrill-seeker had fun with her friends and I got to know some mommies I might not otherwise have. It's also a treat to hang out with someone who knows the ropes. Usually I lead. This time I followed. This made it quite relaxing. I'm used to juggling the needs of multiple family members.

On Sunday we drove home with friends, stopping at the LA Farmer's Market for breakfast en route home. Happy birthday to me.

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