The Cost of a Family Trip to Disneyland

On the plaza were hundreds of hexagonal bricks, engraved with the names of people who have died at Disneyland.

No, no, no, wait, these were just sold to people who wanted to put their names close to Disneyland. They were sold for $150 each, so you are looking at $6,150 in this photograph.

A good 15 minutes before 10, they started letting us in.

Here's Nick and Alisha getting their tickets scanned.

Being there as the park opened gave us an exciting start to the day. Everyone wanted to run inside and do everything all at once.

So we did.

First of all, we grabbed a Fastpass for California Soaring, a hang-gliding simulation, then we jammed over to The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure ride.


This was a dark ride with maybe a 5-minute wait. It was awesome, with many completely animatronic characters and projected faces.

Definitely a dark ride for 2011.

The bathrooms were newer too.

Did you know that it is very difficult to pry a three year old away from a Dyson Airblade?

With almost no lines yet, we continued trying to knock out a bunch of rides.

It was a cool morning, and overcast, and this part of the park (Paradise Pier) looked exactly like a real beach boardwalk.

We almost climbed right aboard the "Golden" Zephyr.

Then we picked up a Fastpass for Goofy's Sky School coaster and walked right on to the Jumpin' Jellyfish ride.

We had barely just arrived, and it was time to cash in our first Fastpasses at California Soarin'.

This hang gliding simulation has a unique ride mechanism. It is gigantic.

Passengers are loaded onto three rows of seats, but as the ride begins, the gigantic arm lifts and pivots them up and moves them closer to a huge IMAX movie screen.

The three rows turn into three levels of fliers, stacked on top of one another.


According to Wikipedia, the unique ride mechanism was demonstrated to the engineering team with a model built from an erector set.

The ride also features location-specific scents being introduced into the air around the ride.

I also noticed that the material used in the seats is the same nylon netting material used in the Herman Miller Aeron chairs.

After California Soarin', we were due back to Sky School to redeem our Fastpasses, but we got distracted on the way by an extremely short line at the Grizzly River Rafting ride.

Yesterday we had been relieved to find that Ferris was over 40" tall, and today we found that he was over 42" tall! This was a terrific revelation, but how did he grow 2 inches in one day?

Being 42" meant that a bunch of rides at Cal Adventure were open to him, including Tower of Terror and Goofy's Sky School. We were ecstatic.

River Rafting was a really fun ride. Its amazing what a difference a round boat makes when you are enjoying a ride as a group. We literally ended up just laughing and screaming through the whole trip.

The raft seats are reinforced and decorated by a steel "backpack" frame, complete with water jugs and sachels. It's a great detail.

It was a little early to be dripping wet, so we warmed up with three cups of hot cocoa ($9).

We had an appointment time at Goofy's flight school, but a rolling Phineas and Ferb dance party stopped and gave us a show while we drank our chocolate.

In addition to the cartoon stars, two hot gals in knee socks kept the audience's attention.

Our Fastpasses were almost expired by the time we actually got to Goofy's Sky School, which meant that we were on time to pick up a second set.

This was an extremely compact roller coaster, with tiny four-person vehicles making incredibly sharp turns and harrowing falls. The kids loved it.

It had been a very full day, and it was barely past noon. We walked down around the lake and through the midway area.

A tiny "wharf" area held a food court, where we opted for mexican food at Cocina Cucamonga.

Lunch was $43.90.

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