While we were at it, we checked out the new Grilled Chz place that recently opened up. We really think they should have spelled it with a backwards Z for pronunciation purposes, but they didn't consult us, so that's how it goes. It was a pretty good place with good service, but we prefer our sandwiches with only one slice of cheese, so this was a little intense for us. And by the time we were done eating...it was too late to see the movie! Oh well, we'll see it next week. Instead, we went to Mom's house and played video games, then to Target, then to the adult session of stake conference, then to our ward's little get-together afterwards, and by the time we got home our blood sugar was too low to care about updating, and we had to wake up early for the general session of stake conference, so there you have it.
Anyway, I wasn't done talking about Disneyland. As I sort of mentioned before, we had gotten a vacation package that involved special extras, like admission to Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness on Monday morning. So we got up early enough (actually, we all kind of automatically woke up with plenty of time) to get into Disneyland when it opened so we could go straight to Toontown! (Toontown normally opens an hour later than the rest of the park.)
When we got there, Mickey and friends were posing for pictures and signing autographs, but we only got there in time for just one character photo--Goofy was posing with people in a car. And then it was time for the show! Athena remembers going to Toontown back in the day and that show just happened, like the Temporary Ruler of the Realm ceremony they used to do in front of King Arthur's Carousel. ...I miss that show.
Anyway, the show started with the Toontown theme song playing, and all the characters coming out and dancing. My favorite part was when Mickey and Minnie were crossing the stage, and they passed each other, at which point Minnie blew Mickey a kiss. It was adorable. And then the deputy mayor had Mickey give a speech...but Mickey lost his script! They looked for it for a little while, and then Chip and Dale found it! Yay! So Mickey started reading, and the speech...was a grocery list!? What the--!? It must have gotten mixed up somehow. Mickey wasn't sure what to do, but Minnie told him to just speak from the heart, and he gave us a nice, warm welcome to Toontown. Awwwww. Then they honored the honorary family, and then there was a little more singing and dancing, and then we all got buttons to wear announcing that we were honorary citizens of Toontown. Yay!
After that, we took advantage of the short lines and went on Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin twice, and got some pretty fun pictures. I did think of uploading pictures in time to illustrate my report, but as you can see, that didn't happen. Eheh.
Well, our original plan was to spend the day in California Adventure, for convenience in watching World of Color, as well as using the rest of our vouchers. But first it was off to Downtown Disney for some breakfast beignets, and on the way, we met up with Gaston and Alice...after going on It's A Small World. We rode the monorail, and when we came out, there was the newly refurbished Lego store! With amaaaaazing Lego statues! There was a giant Maleficent standing on the roof, blowing fire at Lego Prince Philip! And Lego Belle and the Beast! And inside, Genie with Lego Aladdin and Lego Jasmine riding the magic carpet! Again, with the failure to post pictures. Seriously, you people need to keep bugging me. (Yeah right, blame the readers.)
Then we had beignets, and when we got into California Adventure, I decided it was time to deal with the voucher issues. See, when we booked the vacation package, it included park tickets, so they had to specially remove the price of two of those tickets, because Athena and I have annual passes, and it was silly to pay for tickets when we don't need them. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, that translated into getting only two sets of vouchers. We didn't think it would be a problem so much, but when we went into Toontown Morning Madness, the cast member said, "It's okay for now, but next time, you need to have them."
So we needed to get more vouchers. Blah. First, while the rest of our group waited by the World of Color Fastpass Distribution Center, I went to Guest Services, because as Guest Services, it's their job to know everything. All they knew was that I had to go talk to "my travel company." I think I would have wanted to hit the girl less if she had been a little more sympathetic and a little less...I don't know, matter-of-fact, I guess. Smart People.
I reported back to our group and it was determined that they could wait while I go check with Guest Services inside the Grand Californian, because they should be a little more helpful with travel matters. And indeed, the cast member I talked to was much much much more helpful, but unfortunately, he couldn't give me any more voucher books--I had to go to the Walt Disney Travel Company office. The good news was that it was right there in Downtown Disney. The bad news was that it was beyond the farthest end of Downtown Disney. Our group killed time at Redwood Creek Trail while I ran all the way there and back. (Okay, I didn't run the whole way; I don't have the stamina for that.) When I got to the travel office, I tried through my heavy breathing to explain the problem, and the lady there was like, "So you need two more voucher books. Here you go." It was so simple. Why couldn't it have been that simple to begin with?
So after all that time not doing anything fun (Kimee wasn't really interested in any of the activities at the Redwood Creek Trail, but she did get a picture with Dug (from UP), and she did find out her spirit animal (a bear)), Gaston asked us one last time if we had any special lunch plans for our birthday. When he found out we'd be at Disneyland for our birthday, he suggested right away that we should make reservations for the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean. We were at Disneyland at the time, so when we said, "It sounds nice, but we don't think we'd eat anything there," he suggested we walk on over and see what was on the menu. Not surprisingly, there was nothing on the menu that looked appetizing to us, so we never really held on to the idea, and reservations were never made. Gaston found out there would be no Blue Bayou, and so it was time for him and Alice to go. We bid each other goodbye and went our separate ways.
Our way was to the Little Mermaid ride...which was closed for refurbishment!? What the heck!? We checked the calendar and it said the only ride closed would be the Matterhorn! Apparently we weren't the only ones surprised by this, because eventually they stationed two cast members outside to let people know what was going on. I was relieved to get more than a "they ran out of pixie dust" explanation, but again, what the heck!? You closed the Little Mermaid for its annual refurbishment on Athena's birthday!? Not cool, California Adventure. It hasn't even been open for a year! But we think we'll get over it faster if the next time we go on it the Ariel animatronic has some color on her lips.
So our way was to the Blue Sky Cellar to redeem our vouchers for pin lanyards. We each got a lanyard and a special edition pin (this time it was Lightning McQueen, in commemoration of Cars Land opening this June; we're hoping we can get a good trade on them with the Frontierland pin trading crowd), and it was at this point we thought it would be a good idea to distribute among our party the pins we brought from home for trading. Mom and Kimee both got pretty into it.
Next it was off to redeem a preferred seating voucher at the Aladdin show! I think this was our favorite time watching the show (out of about...five?). Aladdin's performance wasn't perfect, but he wasn't a wimp like the first few times we saw it, and he wasn't unreasonably angry like the last time we'd seen it, so we didn't have too much to complain about there. More than anything, Jafar was really sexy. Thinking on the movie and everyone's reaction to when Jasmine kissed him, I definitely feel weird saying that, but it's true. This Jafar was very sexy. Also, we got to sit right in front of where Prince Ali rides by on his elephant (that's not Abu because Abu isn't in this musical), and as he went by, I screamed, "We love you, Ali!" and he blew me a kiss! Awwww. And then I freaked out a little because I said "we" and not "I" which is really weird. I kind of expected Athena to scream with me, but she wasn't sitting next to me, we couldn't collaborate. Athena says it's okay, because girls tend to travel in packs, especially fan girls, so it makes sense to speak for all the girls in the party.
After that, we enjoyed all the Hollywood Backlot attractions for the first time in a long time, and it was nice to remember how fun they are. We had preferred seating for the Animator's Academy, where we learned to draw the Cheshire Cat! They let us in first, and the teacher talked to us for a little while before they let everybody else in. Mom was really good and her drawing of the Cheshire Cat was better (in our opinions) than the teacher's! Also, at the end, the teacher always gives his sketch to somebody in the audience, and this time he gave it to me! I felt a little bad, though, because he said he was going to give it to the birthday girl in the front row, and there was a little girl with a birthday pin sitting right next to me who looked a bit hopeful. I thought about giving it to her, but I was too wishy-washy about it, and then her family left. She didn't seem too broken up about it, fortunately.
And that's enough of that for now.
Today I'm thankful for finally getting our voucher problem solved, getting to see the awesome Lego statues, getting to enjoy the Aladdin show more than ever before, having some nice sketches of the Cheshire Cat, and everybody having fun trading pins.