It was an early Friday morning to head out to California! I arrived at the airport and met up with Autumn and Katie. Autumn brought me a birthday present – a Dumbo pillow! He was my “snuggle baby” (as Parker would say) on the airplane!
We did a quick check in at the hotel, we made our way over to the expo. I over spent at the official merchandise and then moved on to the rest of the expo where I made a quick visit to see Elise from Sparkle Athletic. She ran Lauren’s mile during their recent Ragnar race for Rett Syndrome. I took a quick selfie with her and Thomas. Throughout the weekend I took photos with Lauren’s favorite cartoon character, Thomas, and shared them with her mom.
The expo at Disneyland is similar to Disney World, but not quite as spread out. They do separate packet pickup from t-shirt pick up and the expo. I loved the large carpeted logo! Felt like you were walking on the red carpet to go pick up your packet. We did things a little bit backwards – which I totally recommend! We arrived just shortly after the expo opened and went straight for the official merchandise line. We had seen the pictures on several Facebook groups from the day before of the line that literally filled one of the small ballrooms! So we waited a short time – 15-20 minutes. We went down later to get our race bibs – we know those aren’t going anywhere! Highly recommended to do the expo backwards!!
We made use of the lockers at the front of California Adventure to store our running expo goodies. We decided to go to California Adventure on Friday because we would have less time and felt there was less that we were interested in doing compared to Disneyland.
We winded down the evening and enjoyed the Mickey Wheel as the sun set. Speaking of the Mickey Wheel – we didn’t end up riding it, but there are two kinds of cars, stationary and or swinging. The swinging ones are not for the faint of heart. In the picture below you can see the inner ovals that the swinging gondolas slide on. When they hit the curve just right, they would take off and swing like crazy. Almost made me sick to my stomach just watching.
We had dinner at Ariel’s Grotto right on the water. The temperature dropped as the sun set and we were not prepared for that! Dinner was delicious! I ordered seafood since David wasn’t with me (hubby is allergic to shellfish!).
For dessert, they gave me an extra cupcake with a Mickey on it since I was calling this trip my Birthday Trip! My birthday was two weeks before, but it’s my 30th – I think a full month is about right for celebrating! Our dinner package included preferred seating for the World of Color water show later that evening. Going back to the unexpected cool weather – luckily we had purchased Dumbo Double Dare jackets at the expo so we went back to the locker and got them! It got surprisingly cold.
The World of Color show was amazing – puts the Bellagio to shame! Neil Patrick Harris was the narrator and took us through a history of Disney. Amazing… and we got a little wet. As an added bonus, on our walk out of California Adventure, we were able to see the fireworks over at Disneyland! Here’s the difference between Disney World and Disneyland: In California, the two parks are across the courtyard from each other – 100 yards or so. In Florida, the parks are a few miles away from each other. It was nice to be able to reduce the amount of traveling in California.
It was time for bed and a “Flat Jessica”. With a 5 am wake up for a 7am flight and a 3 hour time difference, we had been awake for about 20 hours. Eek! It took me about 2 minutes to fall asleep!