Saturday, August 16, 2014

Disney Kaboom and Disneyland - Adventures with the Kaylee

So Daddy and Kaylee have a day off together, what else are we going to do?  Yup, go to Disneyland.  Well, first we went to the Disney Kaboom Pop-Up Event at the Center Street Promenade.  This was a pretty cool team building thing from Disney.  I read about it in one of my Disney blogs, and signed up earlier this week.  Didn't need to really, they were taking anyone who walked up.

It was pretty fun for Kaylee and I. We got some nifty water-bottles and we made a "Team Noetling" Flag!  After making the flag we had to build a tunnel with huge foam blocks.  We had five minutes.  We built an awesome tunnel, then Kaylee crashed it down per instructions.

Next was hopscotch with sounds and dancing.  Then the "solve" section which was surprisingly tough, doing a Tangram house.  See I knew it was a house but I deliberately didn't watch the team in front of us, and well, let's say spatial geometry is not my specialty.

Finally is the ball obstacle course, which was way more fun that it looked.  OK not way more fun, but pretty fun.  With more people I can see that being hard, but with just two of us, not so tough.  We flew our flag, took our picture and that was that.  Drove over to the DLR and right after Kaylee got the parking I somehow lost her annual passport.  I looked over the car, but I couldn't find it.  I hope it's still in there somewhere.

Met a cool dude and his daughter Ocean on the way in, he works at DCA as a ride mechanic.  What a cool job!

Guest Services provided me a temporary pass for the day and we were the main street Starbucks because it was HOTTTTTTT at Disneyland.  I mean Africa hot.  It was hot.  Kaylee actually said "To get a cold drink" when queried where she wanted to go first upon entering the Magic Kingdom.  How can I say no.  One chocolate milk and one Grande Vanilla Frappucino later we were off to her second preference, "a show."  She wanted the Disney Junior Playhouse show at DCA, but we weren't going to DCA, so we hit up the theatre just out in front of Cinderella's Castle where they do a stage version of "Tangled" and some other show I can't recall at the moment.  The show is cute and the actors try really hard.  The older I get the more I appreciate these sit-down moments at the Theme Parks, and I'm glad they're there.  Disney always does a professional job too, the costumes were amazing.  The "sit down" part though, well...I sat down with Kaylee, on the floor.  My foot fell asleep.  Sigh.

Next up I decided we'd check out the current Adventureland Traders' Outpost ARG that is going on right now.  Just like the Frontierland game this is a test, though unlike the Frontierland game there's a cost involved.  It's pretty nominal I have to say, $5 for each map, and there's four quests to pay for.  There's two other jujus you can just buy, and two more that you get for buying a specific drink or food item.  Then there's one you get at the hotel.  So if you want all nine Jujus you can spend a pretty fun day doing so.  I saw one person on Micechat collected all of them and framed them with the ephemera that goes with the game.  What a cool souvenir of a fun day they clearly had.

The game was pretty fun actually.  First you have to really look around for the the game markers, they're hidden pretty well.  Step one on our quest was to find the Maya Stone at the exit queue of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.  Then you had to rub the alphabet onto your map.  Simple enough  I suppose, but then you have to decipher the text at the top of the map.  That's NOT that easy to be honest.  It helps if you go to the temple guide and take a picture of the lexicon or one of the printed guides in the shop.  The text tells you go Aladdin's Oasis and find the next stone tablet with another text code.  That code will give you a hint as to what chamber you need to put your hand into when you go back to the shop to get your juju.  Kaylee wouldn't put her hand in, I did and screamed loudly - you know, like in "Flash Gordon."  Then Kaylee screamed.  It was fun, and I grabbed her juju which is the Mara Eye like in the ride.  So that's pretty cool.   She wore it as a bracelet for the rest of the day.

She wanted to go to Tarzan's Treehouse so we did that, quickly.  At that point I was bound and determined to do things we hadn't done in a while and avoid as much of the crowd and lines as possible, so we caught the Mark Twain River Boat around the Rivers of America.  I already posted a short video I shot.  I hadn't been on that ship in ages, and it really is a fun little trip.  I had forgotten all the cool stuff they put out there on the shore.

Now at this point it's probably 85 degrees outside, and again we're thirsty.  I had planned on eating at the Rancho Del Zocalo to get the cool Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Prints that they have on promotion right now, but you have to buy $30 worth of food.  And we have the discount, so I was informed that for Passholders you have to spend $38 before tax and discount to get the print for $5 extra.  Sadly it was just Kaylee and I, and there was no way we could have eaten $38 worth of food.  Hopefully they'll still have them next time the entire family goes.

In any case, I decided to just go ahead and splurge on the Dole Whip Float, which was a good call, especially when you go inside the Tiki Room queue and the line is shorter.  Plus you're waiting for the Tiki Room anyway, and you can take it inside, they don't care!  Three songs and the rainshower later and we're nice and cool.  We head over to the Monorail, zip through Star Trader to see if there was anything new (there wasn't).  The Monorail is currently running with a smaller loading area, and it was Heat Index 2, so they were running trains every 5 minutes.  You can see the Nemo Subs lagoon is completely drained right now and the subs are dry-docked.  I don't mind looking at pics of the behind the scenes stuff, but it distresses me to see it in person for some reason.  By the way, the lagoon floor is rather shallow, and the plants are really weird colors.

The Lego store is pretty much the same as last time, only more picked through.  NOTHING new on the floor from what I could tell, and no Guardians sets.  Kaylee finagled a slightly bigger set than I wanted to buy, but then I got $5 off with my VIP points so all was good.  We zipped through Wonderground, Dstreet and World of Disney and back out to the car leaving the park to get on the I-5 North at 5 PM.  We hit the Subway on Robertson and Pico at 5:52, that's pretty darn good considering.

See that's the thing when you have an annual passport, you can go for a few hours, do stuff that you wouldn't normally do, and have a great time.  We sure did.  Now sleep.  Very tired.


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