Ridemax + Disneyland = Genius

The big news is we made it to California and back without any car trouble! [Shout out to Lola!]

The next biggest news is we used a program called Ridemax to get the most out of our weekend getaway. I will never go to Disneyland again without Ridemax. Best $14.95 I've ever spent. My dad recommended it to us and we thought we'd give it a try. Basically, it calculates the best way to spend your time throughout the day, avoid the lines, and still hit every attraction on your must-see/do list, without burning you out. Brilliant.

We stayed at a hotel 2 blocks away from the park, so we could walk there. Ridemax plan in tow, we arrived at Disneyland bright and early Friday morning. The park opened and we joined the rabid rush toward Splash Mountain. There were no lines yet, but we went and grabbed a fast pass instead of just riding it. Then, we walked right around the crowd and walked onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

[caption id="attachment_828" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Credits: Gina Cabrera, Kevin & Amanda, ADesigns, Ali Edwards"][/caption]

Then, we walked right on to Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, Small World and Autopia [We're pretty tall...I snapped this pic of C on Autopia, lol].

We played it just right. As soon as we got off the ride, a line would appear for the attraction. I felt so sneaky!  The best part about it was we had a plan that we knew would work. In the past, I've spent so much time in line because I wanted to make sure I was able to ride my favorites. This time, we knew it was alright to take a break and see a show because we were planning to ride Space Mountain/Matterhorn/Peter Pan/etc. later.

Did you know they have canoe tours in Disneyland? They do. We canoed.

Did you know that the Disneyland Railroad that goes all around the perimeter of the park has a full fledged grand canyon exhibit and dinosaur land inside one of the tunnels and that it goes right through Splash Mountain and you can see the people on the ride? It does.

Seriously, we had a 4 hour break Friday afternoon [Ridemax schedules it this way on purpose because it's the heat of the day and when the lines are the worst.] and we walked through Downtown Disney, had a relaxed lunch at Tortilla Joe's, went to the Animation Academy in California Adventure and saw an hour-long Aladdin broadway style show.

We geared up for the afternoon, rode everything on our list and then some, and showed up for our reservation at the Blue Bayou [the restaurant that goes right through Pirates of the Caribbean.] Cool, romantic, amazing food, it was fabulous.

C snagged us an amazing spot for the fireworks and we finished the night on Peter Pan [honestly, the only ride we waited in line for longer than 10 minutes.]

I've never seen and done so much at Disneyland! It was wonderful.

The next day was California Adventure. Slept in a bit [it opened at 10], and be-bopped on over to the park, walking again. Ridemax didn't disappoint! We ran and grabbed a Fastpass first for California Screamin' and then jumped in line for Toy Story [I totally whomped C.]

We walked on to the huge sliding gondola ferris wheel [which was pretty darn freaky for a ferris wheel] and continued throughout our day seeing everything we wanted to. Tower of Terror was also on the list [I hate drops...but love C, and so I buckled my seatbelt and screamed my head off.] Soarin' over California was a 2 time favorite and C even convinced me to ride the Maliboomer, which was a huge deal. I avoid the straight up drop rides like the plague.

We were so far ahead of schedule that by 4pm, we were back in Disneyland [and we'd ridden the big rides in California Adventure twice!] We grabbed dinner and shared a table with a wonderful couple where we could also see the Fantasmic show. Worth it.

We finished the day with sugar-free butter pecan cones and picking out our Christmas ornament and mugs. [Tradition. :)] and a late-night hot tub to pamper our aching legs.

Sunday, we slept in and headed to church. We had every intention of staying for all 3 hours, but the ward we picked actually had Sacrament meeting last, so we really had no choice but to go off and find the Hollywood sign.

After that, we drove to the LA Temple and had a nice long walk & talk. [Don't you just love Sundays?]

We drove to Santa Monica beach for dinner and ate at a Ma & Pa Pizza shop [think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but Italian] called Bruno's. YUM.

We took some time to visit our Beach House No. 18, grabbed a movie, and headed back to the hotel. There's nothing like not having anyone to answer to or anywhere to be. I love it.

[caption id="attachment_829" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Credits: Call Me Kristin "Of Noble Birthright" Freebie, Paislee Press"][/caption]

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