Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 Spring Dapper Day weekend - Saturday

It's day 2 of our Dapper Day weekend at the Disneyland Resort. Luckily we had a room at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, so instead of driving from home every day, all we had to do was walk out the door of our room. Past overnight trips have always been hit and miss whether Ian sleeps through the night. Apart from a noisy neighbor who kept knocking on the adjoining door at 10pm before I asked them to stop, the night was a hit and Ian slept through the night.

It's a weekend, but Ian's internal clock still tells him (and therefore us) that we need to wake up before 7am. Even though we're at Disneyland, we're still turning this into a relaxing weekend. We get Extra Magic Hours and could go into the parks early, but there's nothing we absolutely have to do, so we're going to Downtown Disney this morning.

It's a bit chilly this morning (relatively, for So Cal), so I start the day with a warm coffee.

But for some reason, T thought a cold Jamba Juice sounded better. She also learned that if you ask them to split it into a smaller cup at the register they'll give you some of your smoothie in a small cup with a small straw. Ian was very happy for that. Jamba is becoming one of this favorites.

The three of us headed back up to the hotel room to chill until our next get together. Who are we meeting?

Why it's Matt and Amy (friends from Micechat and our previous Dapper Day) and this time they brought their three girls. They're here for the Dapper Day weekend after driving all the way out from Arizona. The eight of us are all doing breakfast at one of my favorite places to eat breakfast at the resort. Steakhouse 55.

Ian was pretty taken with Matt's oldest daughter Katherine.

We're doing a late brunch at 10am, but I'm still ready to dig into some breakfast items.

Sadly the camera didn't come out while we were eating. Instead we enjoyed each other's company and Theresa and I got some tips on how to wrangle 3 kids at a nice restaurant. Even though it's fine dining, I'm always surprised at the breakfast prices. T's Sunrise Burrito was only $12. I always go for the Two Times Four for $13, which includes 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 2 sausage links, 2 pancakes, plus potatoes and fruit.
Once our food came out, Katherine bemoaned the fact that she didn't get any pancakes with her breakfast scramble. With this much food, I was willing to share, so Katherine and Charlotte each got some of my pancakes. Next thing I hear, I from Katherine was saying something about wanting sausage too. Matt, next time she needs to order the Two Times Four.

After breakfast, Matt, Amy and their crew all headed back inside the park. As Theresa and I left breakfast with Ian in the stroller, he fell asleep before we reached the ESPN zone. The three of us went back up to the hotel room where Ian stayed asleep until 1pm. By that time, Jacob and Ruston had arrived.

To start, we all headed down to the Dapper Day Expo in the Grand Californian Conference Center.

If you don't have an outfit yet, you could certainly find something here (as long as you're a girl). Looking around there's dresses, skirts, tops, hats, make-up, jewelry, and anything else you might want.

Time to head into DCA before our dinner reservations. Today, like most days, it's all about Ian. I still haven't seen Disney Jr Live on Stage since they changed it up. Here's hoping Ian likes it. He definitely enjoyed the TVs and music playing while we waited in line.

Grabbing a spot on the carpet.

Meeting Casey. Guess what, it's Minnie's birthday today!

Ooh, it's Mickey and the Gang.

We all went on an adventure, first to see Sofia the First, followed by Doc McStuffins, then Jake and the Neverland Pirates. We don't watch any of those shows yet, but Ian was still intrigued. Jake was probably his favorite, because once we found the gold doubloons, lots of gold confetti doubloons fell from the ceiling and of course he had to go try to collect them.

That was fun.

Next was a trip to the Monster's Inc Scare Floor. On the way out, Roz warned us about leaving with our little monster. Apparently little monsters are supposed to stay here in the ride.

Right when we got to the park today, Ruston grabbed us all fast passes for the Frozen Sing-Along. I'm amazed at the transformation of Muppets lobby and theater. Disney went all out on this overlay.

Stopping in the middle of the row is distinctly unpatriotic. That didn't stop just about everyone who entered those doors first though.
Watch out for the baby-eating seats!

He did not like being swallowed by the chair. The rest of the show I had to hold it down for him.

I liked the show overall. It was a nice quick re-telling of the movie. I do wish though that during the singing we were led by someone live instead of hearing recordings straight from the movie.


Another thing I really liked was the new projection screen that's really really clear and bright.

Of course Ian loved the snow falling from the ceiling at the end.

After exiting the theater, of course we wanted to visit Olaf's Snow Fest. The last time T and I were here, we waited in line for 30 minutes without the line moving at all before we gave up. This time though, they had the exit doors open and let people walk right in. Inside, none of the attractions were running (no sledding or playing in the snow), and instead they were putting down a fresh layer of snow.
Disney must be making a lot of money on this whole area. It looks fantastic and is so much better than the previous things I've seen in here. Talking to a cast member, they have to refresh the snow a few times a day. Upkeep in here must cost quite a bit.

They pay for it all with these $2 bananas.

With just a little bit of time left before dinner, we walked to Ariel's. The clouds in the sky are looking awesome.


We walk by Storyteller's Cafe all the time but we've never actually eaten there. Tonight we change that.

Amazing they've left all these buttons out just for me.

So... Storyteller's Cafe...
Theresa, Jacob and I all ordered the buffet, while Ruston ordered off the menu. The meal started with a great bread basket with a hot loaf of white bread and corn bread muffins.
The actual buffet didn't really impress me. If you like the chicken nuggets in the park, you can come here and eat as many as you want. They're the exact same thing. There was a pasta option as well, but the tortellini was complete mush, so that was disappointing. Even at the "casino roast" (whatever that is) carving station, I asked for a slice of the rarest piece they had and was given an end piece. Sigh.

Let's hope the desserts are better. At the very start of the dessert section were these two bowls of what looked like some sort of whipped topping along with a berry sauce. Good thing it had labels on it though. Turned out it was horseradish sauce (for the roast) and cranberry sauce (for the turkey). Too bad they're by the desserts instead of the meats...
The rest of the desserts were actually decent, the bread pudding especially.
The servers we had were very friendly and Ruston's food came out pretty quickly. In all though, I would not go back to the Storyteller's Cafe. For $30, I'd much rather eat at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ.

Well tomorrow is Dapper Day. Time to head up to the room and get some sleep. Stay tuned for more!

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