Disneyland California Adventures

It’s been a week and a half since I went to Disneyland during Labor Day weekend. And I’m still having Disney withdrawals! After our marathon, we were too sore to go to the park. MG and I ended up going the day after (in our half marathon shirts)!

Matching
^^^ Mg hasn’t achieved pro-status on selfies!

Is it cool to like Disney at the age of 26? I think so! The magic never goes away. That warm, fuzzy feeling after you watch Disney movies is the same warm, fuzzy feelings you get as you walk through the theme park. Going as a child is great. There’s so much to see and a few fun rides. Going as an adult is a whole different story. The roller coasters are fun, but what’s even better is that you’re willing to spend money on superfluous foods and toys (I always buy lunch and snack on a turkey leg, soda, and candied apple). More importantly though, you really appreciate the little details that Disney puts into the parks as an adult. For one thing, when you’re in line at the Little Mermaid ride, there are seashells in the pavement. But these details at Disneyland is NOTHING compared to Disney World. If you haven’t been to Orlando for the parks, do yourself a favor and go! It will not disappoint. I’m not over-hyping it, because you really can’t describe the fun in words; descriptions do not do it justice.

Mickey

Disney

Fortunately for us, the lines weren’t too long on the Monday that we went. The longest we waited was 90 minutes for Radiator Springs Racers. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not bad at all!

By far the highlight of the day was walking through Carsland. The designers did such a great job bringing Radiator Springs to life.

Radiator Springs Racers

Willy's Butte
^^^ Willy’s Butte Rock

Route 66

Cozy cone motel
Cozy Cone Motel – everything is cones!!!

Mater

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Watching Lightening McQueen switch with Mater. Then the line got suppperrr long!

Line

The second best part of the day would have to be the Pixar parade. Look at how cute all the characters were. Can you think of some of the movies they are missing?

Sulley

Crush

Mr. Incredible

Bug's Life

Buzz

Toy Story
^^^ Haha someone is the butt!!!

Cars

Third best thing – my turkey leg. Reminds me of home, of the days my dad would come home with turkey legs from work. And it’s delicious!

Turkey

We ended up leaving the park at 6:30pm to catch our flight at 8:45pm. When we gas-ed our rental up and dropped it off, we noticed that our flight was delayed for an hour. We asked an employee if we could get onto an earlier flight, and he told us “run, it leaves in 10 minutes.” We went through security in a hurry, didn’t get a chance to clean off or wipe my sweat down from the day, and boarded our flight at 7:30pm. In an hour we were able to leave the park and get on a flight. It’s never a calm moment with me and airports. Travel with me to find out!

Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World? How did you like it? What is your fondest memory of the park?
Jay

  

Disneyland Half Marathon

This past weekend was by far one of the most memorable things I’ve done in my life. Coming back to a normal, regular day is so difficult when you’ve had an epic weekend.

If you’ve been following along, you’d know that I ran a half marathon. I ran a half marathon – that’s 13.1 miles!!! When I first started training, I could barely run a block. I was literally wheezing because my lungs would burn and my legs would ache. Not even kidding. But I did it. I ran a half!

Okay, more like walk/run. Still… I’m pretty proud! MG and I signed up for the Disneyland half marathon, inspired by my sister and her boyfriend who ran the half at Disney World in January. We trained during the month of August (yup, in one month). We ran 5 miles the first week of August and decided that if we could run 10 miles by the third week, we’d be ready. And we were right!

Remember my last post (DIY costume materials)? Were you able to guess what our costumes would be? It’s from Monsters, Inc. Ming-Gih was Mike Wazowski and I was his counter-part, Sulley. We looked like this when running:

Sulley and Mike

It was a blast! We ran with our friend, Sang (he did the Dumbo Double Dare which means the 10k and half marathon). We got up at 3am to get ready because the race started at 5:30am. To make things fun, we took many pictures, with as many characters as we could. I’m a slow runner, but Sang stayed by my side and encouraged me the whole time (Thanks!). With all the water stops, character pictures, and my slow jog, we were close to where racers are cut off (you must keep a 16 minute per mile pace). If you past that time limit, you get picked up and cannot finish the race. Once we saw where the cut-off was, we would run from that point!

Hotel
^^^ Ready and not sweaty… yet. We’re all Pixar characters – Russell, Mike, and Sulley ^^^

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What we look like at 5am – ready to run!

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Lots and lots of people in our corral – we were the last to go ^^^

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About to run through the park

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So cute!!!

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^^^ More than halfway!!!

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We even ran through the stadium

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1 more mile to go!

And then we did it!!! The finish line!!!

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^^^ This guy is a beast! He ran the Goofy Challenge (5k, 10k, half, and full marathon in January at Disney World). And now he did the Dumbo Double Dare (10k and half). Look at all 10 of his medals – including the Coast to Coast where you must run everything within the year. Amazing!!!

We finished the half but with a small injury. MG hurt his knee by mile 8 and couldn’t run the rest of the way. With a bit of bio-freeze lathered on, he could power walk the rest of the way. But YAY! We finished!

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My knee was a little sore but more importantly, I was starving at this point! Sang knows me well… He motivated me by telling me that there were snacks at the finish line!

Teheh I even did my nails for the race.

Nails

If you’re not a runner (I promise you, I am not), sign up for the Disney run. Characters cheering you on. Cheer squads encouraging you. Bands playing to pump you up… It doesn’t get any more fun than this! The Disney run will be a great motivator to work out and train. Plus, you get this shiny thing!

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Epic weekend is an understatement. Words can even begin to describe the memories I have from this past trip. Because of MG’s bum knee, we didn’t get to go to Disneyland after the race. But we went the next day! That’s a different post for different day!

Stay tuned…
Jay

  

Animal Kingdom 2014

My last post on my vacation in Orlando… Still having Disney withdrawals, and MG is still asking when we’ll be going back.

The last theme park we went to was Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom - Balds and Kay

Animal Kingdom Tree
Obligatory Tree of Life picture!

The safari ride will always be on the top of my list, especially after this visit! All the animals were out around noon time. I’ve seen everything at the zoo before, so nothing new, but it’s so much cooler to see animals a safari ride in fictional Africa.

Safari Ride

Pink HipposPink hippos! 

Giraffe
Up close and personal ^^^ This giraffe walked right towards me! The driver had to drive faster in order to avoid the giraffe hitting the truck.

We also took a train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and had some fun in the petting zoo section. Donkeys, goats, lambs, deer, and a pig! The animals enjoyed being brushed.

Animal Kingdom Pig
I’ve never touched a piggy before ^^^

We went on the Dinosaur ride, and there’s a surprise element (I won’t spoil it). Of course the picture is taken at this time, so here’s what we looked like:

TRex ride
MG just smirks, I scream, Balds hides, and Kay grips. Haha!

Most of this park is all about conservation – differences we can make in order to preserve our natural environment. They have added a Wilderness Explorer program for kids to go around the park and gain badges (anyone know where this is from?).

DING. DING. DING.

From Pixar’s Up.

Up
We got to meet Russell and Dug ^^^

Oh yeah, and some of you want to know what we ate right? We had chow mein in Asia (super craving Chinese food at this point in our vacation). And MG had his first turkey leg, EVER! That’s cray, cause I basically grew up eating turkey legs in Texas!

Turkey leg
Monumental moment ^^^

It was such a great vacation! Every time I turn on the TV, I see ads for Disney parks or Universal, and it makes me reminisce my time in Orlando. I think the next time we go will be in a few years, and who knows, maybe I’ll have kids by then. It’ll be a totally different experience from this trip, where it was all about food and rides! Damn, am I going to be that parent that just stands in line for an hours to see characters?

If you’ve been to Disney World before, which park was your all time favorite? And why?

Now I must plan my next vacation…
Jay

  

Epcot & Downtown Disney

Every day MG talks about going back to Disney! It truly is the happiest place on earth, unless you’re super hungry. There were definitely times we were frustrated and took our anger out on Katie. Why Katie? No idea, maybe cause she’s easiest to pick on!

The first Disney theme park we went to was Epcot. I always remembered this park as the “boring” one so didn’t have high expectations for it. BUT now that I’m older, this park is amazing! The techie stuff is much more interesting now since I can appreciate electronics. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the Innoventions portions, but I’m sure it’s a great hands on experience.

Epcot - Daytime

One of my favorite rides at Epcot is Mission: Space. Basically it’s a shuttle stimulator that allows you to feel 0 gravity as if you were in space. In the past I could feel the ride spinning, so I knew how the ride worked. But I think they must have upgraded their rides this time around!

There are two levels of intensity. Baldwin and Kay rode the easy one. MG and I decided to go to the intense training because I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to anymore since we’re getting old! As you wait in line, speakers remind you that if you feel motion sickness, do not ride. This was repeated 10 times throughout our 15 minute wait. Kinda freaky already right? Then as we’re getting strapped into the tight compartment, there are throw up bags easily accessible. Nervous at this point… As the ride is about to launch, there is cold air blowing onto my forehead. MG said it’s a good thing because you want to feel fresh air if you get dizzy (in the end, I’m glad that was there!). When the shuttle landed on Mars, MG and I hoped that we wouldn’t have to go back to earth and that the ride was over (we said this out loud and two kids laughed at us). Thankfully the ride was over! Mission Space is so well done. Except after the ride, MG told me he almost blacked out. And I couldn’t stop burping cause I felt nauseous. That’s when you know you’re old! Fortunately, we kept our lunch in! Even though the after effects weren’t fun, I can’t stop thinking about how real this ride felt (or at least to how I would think being an astronaut felt like).

What makes this park even more awesome? Epcot is  a foodies dream come true! The second portion of Epcot tours countries of the world. To name a few, Mexico, India, China, Japan, Germany, Norway, Italy, France, and a few others. Most of these places showcase tourist attractions and more importantly, food! We were so food-happy that we barely took any pictures at this park.

In the past, it was about saving money at theme parks. Eat simple, grab a burger and fries, and then go to the next ride. But we have money from working now, so we splurged on all kinds of foods! First we grabbed egg rolls, baked pork buns, and a chicken curry pastry from China (don’t laugh, we missed Chinese food). You know it’s good Chinese food when you see four Asians on the bench eating at the Chinese food stand! Then we got Udon in Japan, lamb gyro from Morocco, French pastries and lobster bisque. Then we got Werther’s caramel popcorn and apple in Germany, and lastly, had fish and chips, lamb casserole, and corned beef in the UK. So many different foods in ONE place! Tell me that’s not your dream come true! I wanted to get the dry-aged bone-in rib eye too, but maybe that’s overboard… just maybe.

By the way, I have a pro-tip for you if you ever go to Epcot. The firework and laser show starts at 9pm. Instead of standing up during the whole show (remember, you’ve been walking all day already), go eat at Rose & Crown Pub in the UK. If you sit outdoors, you can enjoy dinner while watching the show. It’s one of the few restaurants next to the lake, and the waiters will roll up the vinyl curtains just for your viewing pleasure. Totally worth it!

Germany
Caramels in Germany ^^^

Epcot DinnerPRO-TIP:  Eating in the UK while watching the firework show. Looks like Katie’s head is on fire!

Epcot - Night
Night view of Epcot

Then we went to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom for the next two days. These will be featured in my next two posts.

On the last day, Kay and Baldwin ran the half marathon (posted here), and we took it easy that day by taking a nap and going to Downtown Disney.

Funny story is that we were in the massive Disney store, and MG decided he wanted a cookie. He picked up a Mikey cookie, and we went to go find Katie and Baldwin. 2 minutes later, I turn around and he’s gone missing. I eventually find him at the cookies again, and he’s looking for the heaviest/largest cookie he could find. He didn’t chose a cookie based on design, like a normal human being, he decided to look for the biggest cookie, like a true fatty. He ended up getting Ariel because her hair is big so there’s some extra cookie there!

Ariel cookie
My true fatty <3

The LEGO store is always a fun one to go to. Next time I’m in Orlando, I want to go to LEGOLAND.

Lego - Hulk

Lego - Toy Story
Baldwin’s favorite movie ^^^

Found these awesome treats, or should I say poisonous…

Poison Apples
So stinkin’ cute ^^^

It’s rare to eat well when at theme parks, but it’s very possible as you can tell from our trip to Epcot! Have you been to this theme park? What are your favorite things to do here? What country is your favorite to visit/eat?

I miss Disney,
Jay