So, for our third day, we didn't have a plan for the 12 of us. We decided to let our kids sleep in a little, which they did. But, we missed breakfast at the hotel, which stressed Elliott out. Nothing a giant cookie from one of the Disney Bakeries couldn't fix however.
When Elliott and I had a minute, just the two of us in the morning at California Adventure, we talked about important Petersen things - like walking. I told Elliott that he may be a Howden in name, but he is also a Petersen. And being a Petersen means lots of things, but at Disneyland, it means we walk fast. He knew exactly what I was talking about. I told him that Uncle Willie calls it the "art of the dodge and weave". There maybe isn't anything more annoying at Disney than people who don't know where they are going and stop right in your path. Elliott was blessed with longs legs for a reason. And, he is learning how to use them!
Anyway, CA Adventure was a mad house! Absolutely stifling with people. We got some fast passes, hung out in bugs land for a bit and then high tailed it over to Disneyland. We were a little grouchy, a lot hungry and super stressed out. The goal was to get a picture of all 12 of us in front of the giant Mickey pumpkin that morning, while our matching t-shirts were still clean. Getting everyone at the same spot was a big tricky. But, we did it, and then splintered again.
Grandma Judy set up shop on a bench for the parade - which at the time was 2 hours away. Willie and I enjoyed a conversation with Mr. Lincoln. My mom has the best job at Disney...she sits on a bench, people bring her food, and she hands out money. I aspire to her job one day. At one point, all the big boys (including Wyatt) headed back to California Adventure to ride Tower of Terror a couple of times. My mom, Haley and I along with Molly, Jack and Quinn hung back to eat popcorn and watch the parade.
Note: My children drank almost more Diet Coke than me on this vacation.
Finally, it was time to take a small break and do some souvenir shopping and get ready for the day's main activity: Mickey's Halloween Party.
Long story short: Worth the extra $80 per person. We will do it again. We may never go to Disneyland ever again EXCEPT in the month of October because being in the park with 30,000 people instead of 100,000 is so worth the "price of exclusivity" (Ross' words). The ambiance was awesome, the rides open with no lines and the fireworks were very cool indeed.
We did not manage to see the parade - tired kids and an early morning drive home were waiting for us, but the stressful morning we' had getting everyone together melted away as we wound down the day.