I'd had to take an early slot for breakfast the following morning. At 7.30 (yikes) we were downstairs partaking of the breakfast buffet. This was lovely, I thought. There were piles of good croissants, plain and with chocolate, as well as the usual continental breakfast ingredients. Thomas and Lady were in heaven at the prospect of unlimited chocolate croissants! We filled our bellies then had a little walk around the hotel. A while later I took the children to the swimming pool while Gordon went to the gym. This wasn't such a success. The water was very cold and far too deep for the children. Thomas was shivering, so after braving it for a few more minutes we gave up and got out. Anyway, it was almost 10 o'clock and we had better things to be doing!
The first thing on our to do list, was the Buzz Lightyear ride, so I collected 4 fast pass tickets (meaning we could get on a while later and skip the queues) then we joined the line for the Orbitron (rocket like rides). It was about 25 minutes before we all got on the ride; this was the longest we ever stood in line at Disneyland. And though we all enjoyed the rockets, we decided that it wasn't worth our while to queue for ages for anything again.
We took our turn on the Buzz ride straight after, walking right through and onto our carriage where Lady and I helped defeat that evil Emperor Zurg and all the baddy aliens. Obviously, we were all thinking of Duncan so much then, and Gordon made a few films especially for him to see when we gt home.
We ate lunch in Cafe Hyperion, and I collected the free, instantly available tickets to see the Lion King show. I hadn't known what to expect of any of the shows we saw while we were there, but they were all excellent. The sets were wonderful, the music was, of course, terrific, and it was an unexpectedly great event to experience at such close range. It lasted only half an hour, just right for the attention span of younger children.
After that little break we were ready for more action. A wander round the park brought us into the path of a mini parade, the Casey Junior Character Express. This little train is (no surprises here) a big favourite of Duncan's, so we took a few snaps to show him later, though he turned out not to be very impressed since it wasn't the correct colour!
Lady was keen to see inside the castle, and Thomas wanted to explore the dungeon and see the dragon, so we did both. Next we visited the area known as Adventure Land, and went right to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We all thoroughly enjoyed this. There's nothing like a glimpse of plundering and pillaging, arson and death to brighten up a nice family day out!
The children had a bit of a play around the pirate ship and caves and tree houses. These areas are great when you want a break from rides and shows. There's so much to see as you wander round the parks too. There are a hundred or so shops and stalls, most of them selling the same stuff and the children were mightily interested in spending the money they'd each received from their Granda when we were leaving.
Next up, Frontier Land and for some reason we decided to visit Phantom Manor. After a not too bad queue, we entered the hall of the building, crowed beside a few too many other people. The room descended, plunged into darkness and Lady joined the other sensitive souls in a good old scream! The ride itself was in these creepy old looking black carts, and was nice old fashioned ghost ride, with new fashioned effects. Lady was creeped out and declared that she wouldn't be dong that again!
We dootered back to the castle area, where we were just in time to watch the 'Once Upon a Dream' parade, which was unbelievably well done. These Disney folk are very good at this sort of thing!
I'd booked a character tea party, and since Thomas is 5 in only a few days time, I'd arranged to make it into a birthday party for him. This was terrific. We had loads to eat, then the nice Disneyland people brought out a load of birthday cakes for all the children celebrating their birthdays, and we all sang Happy Birthday. The Disney characters started to arrive and circulate the tables. By the time they'd met Mr Smee, Tigger, Captain Hook, Pluto and Goofy, as well as some creature I didn't recognise, the children were a lot more comfortable with meeting and even hugging the characters. Thomas really enjoyed his tea party.
We just had time for a ride on It's a Small World (so sweet!) before going back to the hotel for dinner and a relatively early night.
If anyone wants to see all the photos on Flickr, e-mail me and I'll send you an invite...well, I will if I know you!