I have to say that I was really giddy about having a multi-day pass to Disneyland. I'd never done that before, and it was lots of fun. Since we were able to explore California adventure a bit the first day we knew that we needed to hit the Toy Story Midway Mania ride again - and, actually, not just for Noah...we adults love that ride too! Before explaining much about the ride, let me tell you about this Mr. Potato Head that is in front of the ride where you wait in line. Noah was enthralled with him. I don't mean to sound cheesy, but he was actually pretty amazing. I guess the technology used is called Audio-Animatronics, and more time was spent programming this Mr. Potato Head than any other Audio-Animatronics character designed by Disney (and says more lines than any other also). He moves, talks, can look right at a person in line that he is conversing with, has very expressive facial expressions! His mouth actually forms to words that he says as he interacts with specific people in line. It's quite bewildering at first, but really fun!
As for the ride itself - it's like they took the idea of the Buzz ride with shooting targets and just took it to another level. It uses 3D technology, and you are moved to various carnival-like games throughout the ride (throw darts at balloons, breaking plates, ring-toss, etc) being made to feel like you are the size of a toy. Here's a picture of Mark & Lincoln in line after getting our 3D glasses.
And, of course, the game keeps a tally of your score as well as your percentage of accuracy. I think that Mark always beat me on points, but I always beat him on percentage of accuracy! I look forward to a re-match! Noah even got progressively better as time went on. He figured out how to aim his cannon, and when to pull on the cord. Of course to say that we only went on that ride 5 times sounds measly compared to the Buzz Lightyear ride, but this one had a much longer line most of the time (but well worth the wait if you ask me)!
I have to mention that on our last day at Disneyland we were there without my parents (they'd gone back to Utah). I was standing in line with Noah while Mark was helping Lincoln (and was planning on jumping in line with us once we were further up). It was a long line, and all of the chains were up forcing the line to zig & zag back and forth multiple times. All of the sudden Noah decided to bolt from my side, and he just took off running. I dropped the video camera bag that I had with me and took off after him - going over and under the chains trying to catch up with him through a zig-zag maze of people (of course he fit easily between people & could run right under the chains...laughing as he ran). I'm pretty sure that everyone in line was watching me by the time that Noah hit a wall and I caught up to him. I think that he was pretty proud of himself for getting through so many people and so far away from me (I didn't find it quite as amusing). Lucky for me the guys that were ahead of me in line had picked up my video camera (and didn't run off with it). They flagged me down and had me hop back in line with them. Whew. And! I have to mention that Noah did try it one more time, but one of my now-buddies in line (one of the guys that had grabbed the camera) grabbed Noah's arm before he could get anywhere...and Noah didn't try it again (I guess he realized it was pointless if strangers were going to provide back up for me).
The last thing that we did at Disneyland before my parents had to leave was to go to Woody's Halloween Roundup. It was a super cute little area in Frontierland - kind of tucked away actually. They had it decorated all cute (like all of Disneyland) in fall/Halloween decorations. They had tables set up where they'd give the kids crayons to color, or they could decorate cookies. Occasionally Jesse or Woody would come out to mingle with the kids and take pictures, and periodically there was a cute show that they put on. Noah was in heaven. Anyhow, we snapped these two pictures of my parents with the boys right before they had to take off to catch their flight. Thanks again, Mom & Dad, for sharing our trip with us! It was sooo much fun (for all of us) to have you there!
Now for a slew of character pictures. When people ask Noah if he liked Disneyland the first thing he'll tell them is about all the characters that he got to see & hug. Here he is giving Woody five.
And giving his cowboy hero a hug of course...
And I'm not exaggerating when I say that Noah blushed when he saw Jesse. He was really excited, but somehow a bit shy about it all. In fact, I've joked that Noah already has a thing for red-heads since he really loves Jesse and Ariel (from the Little Mermaid). He isn't interested in any of the other princesses or girl characters. In fact he begged to stand in line to see Ariel, but after looking at the length of line of tiara-clad little girls waiting...we said no. Sorry little guy. But you got Jesse!
And here's Noah getting a hug from his favorite cowgirl.
Now, Noah was frightened the first time that we took him on the Buzz Lightyear ride...but this was the only ride that he went on where he showed true terror. I felt absolutely horrible. We were in Toon Town & I saw that he was tall enough to ride their little roller coaster (which had a very short line too)! So, we went on the ride. As soon as it went down the first hill he was screaming (not a good scream) and stiff. So, I had my arm around him and talked to him the whole ride, telling him that it was ok. You can't see me very well, but I'm in the back with the pink shirt & mouse ears on my head...looking down. Luckily he recovered quickly after getting off the ride, and he didn't seem affected at all as we went on other rides *whew*
Just Noah goofing around in one of the play areas in Toon Town.
Wow, the line was long to meet Mickey, and we didn't even get a great picture. However, Noah was quite pleased that he got to see Mickey Mouse!
No, this isn't where they put children that try to run away from their parent at Disneyland...but I had to get a picture of Noah in this bendy-bar jail :)
Before leaving, my parents gave Noah a new Buzz Lightyear figure that he'd had his eyes on (the rides cleverly dump you into a themed toy store at the end). This one has little things that spin and light up when you pull his legs together. So, we saw a lot of this...especially after dark. And Noah would be sure to do it extra if he noticed another little kid looking at him doing it. Cute little show-off.
He is very intense with everything he does...including his play. "To infinity...and beyond!!"
The last ride of the night was the Astro Orbitor in Tomorrowland. The ride was either super relaxing for Lincoln, or he was really pooped after so much fun...I'm guessing the latter. It looks like Mark was having fun though!
I rode with Noah, so there's not a picture of us...but Noah enjoyed helping steer the rocket ship up and down. I looked back to snap another picture of Mark and Lincoln and saw Linc looking up at his dad - pretty cute.
I couldn't help myself from taking a picture of Noah with his "soft shark", sippy of water, and his new Buzz. He climbed right into bed and fell asleep within seconds.