Disneyland Trip -- February 2016

This past Christmas I gave my boyfriend a Disneyland trip as a gift. He hadn't been since he was six years old and I decided that he didn't know what he was missing out on by not going back. I planned a short trip (Sunday-Tuesday) for a time I didn't think would be too crowded. We arrived on Sunday around 3pm and checked into the Hotel Menage. We flipped on the Super Bowl for a few minutes before deciding to head to Downtown Disney to browse the shops and grab an early dinner. Andrew really like the Lego store. There was the dragon from Sleeping Beauty on top of the store, Beauty & The Beast, and Buzz Lightyear & Woody all made entirely out of Legos outside. Inside the store they had even more Disney (& Marvel) magic. Here is a photo of Andrew posing with Lego Hulk --
We ended up stopping by Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen for dinner and enjoyed some po boys with cajun fries. We strolled Downtown Disney for a bit before heading back to the hotel to lounge by the pool before bed.
We got up early the next morning and headed to Disneyland. Since the last time Andrew went to Disneyland was during the opening of Indiana Jones, I decided that was the perfect ride to start our day with. We ended up walking straight onto the ride and ended up riding Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad all within an hour of arriving at the park. We then went an snagged a couple fast passes for Hyperspace Mountain for later in the day and decided to do the Astro Blasters since there was a less than 5 minute wait.
This is an absolutely dreadful photo, but I like that it looks like I won even though my score was the 18,000 one. We then were off to Toon Town, which Andrew was most excited about. Again, we were lucky and didn't have to wait to get on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon spin. At this point of the day we decided to grab some hot dogs from Pluto's Dog House and take a little breather. We toured the character houses before heading for Fantasyland. Andrew went and bought a new shirt for his photos with Pluto and Goofy. He was definitely more excited than I was to meet the characters.
We hopped on a few of the smaller rides and decided to go get some ice cream. While we were getting our ice cream we realized that thousands of people were starting to line the streets for a parade. We joined the crowd and expected a basic Disney parade. WRONG! It ended up being a Super Bowl parade in honor of Peyton Manning. I'm not a big football fan, but it was still a nice little surprise.
After the parade it was time to go meet some princesses! The princesses are the only characters that I ever really care about meeting and not standing in line for them in even better! We went to the Royal Hall and met Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella. Poor Snow White had to speak in a super high pitched squeaky voice and asked the same questions and had the same responses as when I met Aurora last year. Andrew keeps joking that he looks like a body guard in all of the princess photos.
Belle was the nicest and most genuine of the princesses we met. She made a joke about Andrew being the Beast and not Gaston and seemed like she was actually having a good time.
Last but not least, we met Cinderella. She was very quiet and only said about 5 words to us total. It was hot out and I'm sure it had been a long day for her in the hall.
We then went and rode a few more rides, including the infamous tea cups before heading over to Hyperspace Mountain. Andrew bought another shirt and changed his outfit again. For once I wasn't the one doing the mid-day costume changes! I was a little upset when I realized that the Jungle Cruise was closed for renovations, but to my surprise they had people acting out the Jungle Cruise with all of the jokes and stuffed animals. I, obviously, made Andrew do it. At the end they even did "Skipper School Graduation" and gave everyone who participated diplomas that they can use as a fast pass when the ride reopens. 
Hyperspace Mountain was definitely the least disappointing ride of the day. After all the hype I was scared that it wasn't going to live up to my expectations and be just like regular Space Mountain, but I was pleasantly surprised. We then grabbed fast passes for Star Tours and were on our way to snack more and ride more rides. We ended up getting stuck on Small World. You can imagine the agony! Luckily, I had a frozen lemonade to try to distract myself with. We decided to eat dinner at The French Market Restaurant and I was actually impressed with my New Orleans salad. Maybe because I was starving and salad sounded like the most amazing food in the world after snacking all day? We ended the evening with Star Tours and the Matterhorn. Star Tours was almost exactly how I remembered it (aside from the BB8 cameo) and the Matterhorn was NOTHING like I remember it. You'd think that after being closed for so long for renovations that they would have made it a little smoother. I got off the ride with a massive headache. We decided to leave the park around 8:30 pm, after doing a little shopping so that we could soak in the hot tub before bed. It was a long day, but I am so glad that we made the trip. Andrew is already talking about going back and bringing his sister and my niece along.

The next morning we gout up around 9 and packed our stuff. We headed to the Panera down the street for a quick breakfast before heading out. Overall, a very successful mini-vacation! (Aside from my major puffiness from traveling -- yikes!)

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