Monday, July 7, 2014

Los Angeles- Disneyland

After his heartbreaking bad luck in the first round of the Jeopardy Decades tournament, Shane was pickedv to be the alternate for the next round of the tournament. Should any of the lovely friends and competitors who had made it through to the next round be unable to play, Shane would be on hand to take their place. The chances of this happening were very slim, and since the show's producers had 
specially invited Declan to attend, we decided to make a family trip out of it, and celebrate Declan's sixth birthday on the road.  Great idea, but I accidentally booked Declan and I on flights a day too early, before we had our Jeopardy-sponsored hotel room and a day before Shane was to arrive.  We decided that this would be a good time for Declan and I to go to Disneyland, as we could stay out in Anaheim for the night and save the price of admission 
for Shane's ticket.  At $100/day per adult, that's not nothing.  We flew out to LA at 6 am and went straight from the airport to Disneyland.  

Since it was his birthday week, the staff gave Declan a birthday button, which meant that every Disney employee, er. cast member was contractually obligated to stop whatever work they were doing to wish Declan a happy birthday as we walked by.   First on our agenda was to hit Space Mountain. At our first Disneyworld trip in the fall of 2012, Declan wasn't tall enough to go on Space Mountain.  We had been milking this as a reason to eat veg for the last year and a half, and finally now he was tall enough to make the cut.  

Before Space Mountain - so excited!

During Space Mountain- so terrified! 

After Space Mountain- just glad to be alive.
He hated it. That's the first roller coaster he hasn't wanted to do over.   All those vegetables for nothing.  Star Tours was a big hit though, and in keeping with his newly discovered love of Star Wars, a big portion of the day at Disney was spent at the Jedi Training Academy.   This is a live action audience participation show that young would-be padewans can participate in. The hard part is getting chosen from the audience to join the Academy. We had read up a little online on how to get picked, and had donned some Star Wars gear in hopes of being chosen.  This part was stressful!  It was heartbreaking to see kids get passed over by the Jedi Master.  Declan was one of the last chosen, and it was a relief.  He was issued a Jedi Robe and a light saber, and received some instruction in hand-to-hand combat.  

Padewan learner.

After learning some light saber basics, Declan got to go up on stage and confront Darth Vader mano a mano. 

He also opte to go back and battle Darth Maul.  I thought this very brave, as Darth Maul looked scary as all get out, and they generally only had the big kids go up against him.

The Jedi Training was definitely Declan's highlight of the day.  His favourite ride was the Matterhorn.  We ended up packing it in a bit early as our day had started with a 2 AM PST trip to the airport, so we were both ready to turn in at dinner time.  But we enjoyed every minute while we were there.

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