Disney Day and Characters Galore

After a day at the races yesterday,  the boys and I appreciated that Sarah spent half the previous day getting our passes organised before having fun in the park with Emi (4) and Ollie (2).

We set off earlyish to beat the warm day that had been forecast.

Grandma coming down with a cold so decided to hang in until later in the day before taking the little ones home for a sleep and well earned rest arvo.

After hotdogs and ice-creams in Mickeys Toontown. Ollie and Emi made their favourite purchases of the whole trip – Donald and Pulto hats.  We headed for the tea cups ride where Chris treated Sarah and Emi to the spinninest ride ever, of course his neck will be out for next few days. Hard tell his mates pick up an injury on the tea cups

The boys and Sarah stayed on at the park for the rest of the afternoon, evening and then head to ESPN bar in downtown Disney for a late dinner.

Loving the Dalmatian puppy that
comes out when the button is pressed
‘Again’ was all we heard for half an hour
Charmed all the park Photographers 

Grandma and the kids had
well earned sleep and everyone felt better for it.

After late night snack of pancakes and coffee from iHop next door to the hotel we settled down for the night.  Tomorrow it was early start with character breakfast in the park.

Our ‘No 1 Duck’

Our second trip to Disney
 in 2 years -Lucky kids
Love my Pluto Hat

‘One more’
Waiting for the pup to appear…
for the 20th time today

Character Breakfast and Our No 1 Duck meets The No1 Duck

Our no 1 Duck after Donald
showed her the stance
of all No 1 Ducks
Now where is that duck? 
Ollie with Tigar getting the obligatory autograph

Up early this morning, needed to in the park and waiting by the restaurant where we were booked in for the character buffet breakfast. This is a must do for anyone with kids visiting the park.

The is best opportunity to see a lot of characters and enjoy a very substantial buffet breakfast.

It is advisable to spend as long as you can at your table and there are ample photo ops with the various character that visit each table.

We sat on the balcony which gave a go view of the park and only had to walk a short way to access the breakfast laid out inside.

Mmmm Bacon!!!

The characters visit every table which makes again a worth while exercise for all ages, even the boys enjoyed interacting with the character. Meeting Max (Pluto’s son) and eye-ore were highlights for the the kids.

They loved all the characters Emi was a little scared of XXXX for a bit then was okay when she got to know him. The hammed it up with everyone that came by, of course the characters loved Ollie and his high fives and big grins.

How much do we all love Disney?
Right let’s get the bubble happening
See I got it
One of the many Princesses

After the breakfast it time to hit the rides, Emi went on the Big Thunder ride with her mother, Chris and Charlie, so brave for a 4 year old.

Charlie and I headed home early with Ollie who needed a sleep and Sarah and Emily needed to get around plenty more characters.

We headed back over to the park so Emi could meet No1 Duck, she dressed up in character and Donald was blown away by her. People were asking her for her autographed as she headed around the park dressed as the duck.  She loved being a little bit famous for awhile.

Uncle Chris giving me a seat for a bit
Loving Disney

Two weeks in LA – Disney, Races, Basketball and Universal Studios

Boys (Chris and Charlie) decided they would fly to LA and watch some basketball games so Sarah without much encouragement decided to pack up Emi (4) and Olli (2) and surprise them with a trip to their favourite magical place. So thought I hitch my wagon and go with them all

We stayed in town the night before we flew out, stayed near the airport in the Holiday Inn Express located near the domestic airport. A good cheap option with lots of fast food outlets nearby and a shuttle (small charge) to the International airport.

Allow plenty of time for the shuttle they may run behind and don’t want arrive at airport short of time. We are always early anyway, who wants to be stressed and rushing on holidays right.

We flew American Airlines our we lucky to have spare seats on each of our rows. The flew seem to pass by fairly quickly and the kids slept for at least 6 hours which was great.  Such good little travellers, got this while long haul flight down pat.

Landed early in the morning and were pleasantly surprised how easily we navigated through customs. This was probably quickest we have ever cleared customs in LA.  It seemed like no time at all and were we on the car rental shuttle bus on the way to collect our wheels for the next 10 days.

Not a bookie in sight

Loaded up we headed for our hotel across from disney with the hope of early check in as we were hours early. No such luck so it was off to find food and somewhere to hang out until the rooms were ready.  After awhile we headed back to wait in lobby (boys had a sleep in the car) the kids slept in foyer and the hotel to their credit got us checked in as soon as they could at 12noon which was 3 hours early and we were so grateful, it had been long day and night.

After a welcome nap everyone freshen up and we headed to downtown Disney for dinner at the rainforest cafe after a wander around we headed back to hotel to get early night ready to start our holiday.

Massive stands and heaps private boxes

We stayed at the Desert Inn which was suitable for our needs, clean even decor a little dated but best of all was the location. The location was fantastic right outside the parks and an easy walk to downtown Disney, surround with good food options such as Tony Roma’s Ihop (good for midnight pancakes and coffee to go)

Day two saw Sarah and kids heading to park for the day while boys and I headed to San Anita for the races.  What luck three Group 1s programmed with some great fields on both grass and sand tracks?

It was about an hour drive with yours truly behind the wheel and the boys on navigation duties. We arrived in one piece and were immediately amazed by the sheer size of the carpark, if this was anything to go one we were in for a day and a half.

The boys soon got the placing a pet sorted, no bookie all machines and I mean rows and rows or them.

If we were prepared to stay late to collect we were surprise we would have be able to bet on the Wellington Boot.

It was such an amazing venue with great views of the track and it was amazing that you could get so close to the horses parading and the mounting yard was always teeming with people.
Not something you would see here in Australia these days. The beer was good the food was good and both commodities readily available around the venue.

Although not a huge crowd in attendance given there were three group ones on the card it would be amazing to see the stands overflowing as I am sure they do during the Breeders Cup or Derby day.

After a slow start on the punt the boys came home with a break
even day. We agreed it was a fantastic day out and could easily become a highlight of the trip

Boys decreed that all future trips to states must include a trip to San Anita or another race meeting.

We arrived back to hotel and headed to Tony Roma’s for a steak for dinner, Sarah and the little ones arrived home from the park after a long but successful day for them as well.

Tomorrow a family disney day.