Baby’s First Disney Trip

#21: Stef shares what it’s like to take an infant to the park for the first time. A first for her son and a first for her husband and her. She shares the infant-friendly rides, navigates virtual queues, and responds to the needs of her family.

Read the blog post for this episode for additional references and resources.

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Ariel Landrum 0:03
Hello, everyone, welcome to The Happiest Pod on Earth. I’m Ariel.

Stefanie Bautista 0:07
And I’m Stef, and we are Disney fans. But we are really so much more than that.

Ariel Landrum 0:10
Like I’m a licensed therapist who uses clients passions and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and mental unwellness.

Stefanie Bautista 0:16
And I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them. Here at Happiest Pod, it’s a place where we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens.

Ariel Landrum 0:27
Why? Because just like we are more than just fans, we expect more from the mediums we consume. So Stef what Disney media experience are we dissecting and sharing today?

Stefanie Bautista 0:36
It is definitely an experience. And it’s one that we’ve heard before and many of you might have been going through. But we are going to be talking about my first trip back to Disneyland with a baby. It’s been a while. First time with a baby of my own. I was thinking about this, and there have been many times that I’ve gone with my nieces, my nephews, other kids, friends of you know, friends of mine to have kids, but going yourself with the baby, your own baby is kind of a whole different ballgame.

Ariel Landrum 1:09
Did going with those other babies give you at least some idea of how to prep or what you needed to to like consider or because they had other caregivers, maybe you only focused on like small certain parts?

Stefanie Bautista 1:21
Oh, absolutely. I think I always kind of watched like, how many bags did they take? Are they overpacking? Did they have enough food for them? Are their kids picky? I always take those things in consideration just because for me, it’s like going on a field trip with other kids. So whenever I’m on a field trip with my students, I have to make sure that you know I have their emergency stuff like I have kids medicines, I do a head count, which I always did when we traveled with a big group of kids at Disneyland. We always made sure like “1-2-3-4-5. Okay, we have everybody, we’re good.” Thankfully, I was just responsible for my one child who is mobile, but still can be in a stroller. When I go with my nieces and nephews, many of them are walking now they are you know elementary school age. So for them, it’s more of you know, what rides are they scared of? What rides do they like? What experiences and characters do they identify with, as opposed to bringing a baby, which is really what is safe? And what won’t upset them throughout the day, because you want to have a good day to.

Ariel Landrum 2:28
You’re talking about, you know, a baby that’s non nonverbal. So, it really and because this is, you know, your son’s very first time very, very first time, everything is a is a reaction. None of his like recall memory or response to like, “Oh, this is something I’ve seen before and it’s familiar and comforting.” It is brand new, like sensory information for him.

Stefanie Bautista 2:51
Mm hmm. And even during the pandemic, I know we mentioned in another episode that we had visited Downtown Disney before when he was much, much younger, maybe a couple months old. And we were able to do a Taste of Disney, which was the food event at California Adventure. So many of these sites might be the same, but because his eye development wasn’t there yet. So he might not even have remembered that he was watching Cars Land or he might not even remember that there was a big ferris wheel that was in front of him.

Ariel Landrum 3:22
Because the visual perception is up close, right? And even color recognition.

Stefanie Bautista 3:27
Yeah. And on top of that, there’s no real like character interaction. So there wasn’t anybody getting into face, or I wasn’t bringing him into anything that was in front of him that he might have recognized. So really, it was a new experience for him overall, aside from the fact that he was maybe used to the noise. I think that was the only thing that was familiar to him.

Ariel Landrum 3:48
And this is slightly different experience. I think that you’ve had but probably similar because you’re a military wife, one of the experiences that I have had with other military wives who’ve had infants and you know, their partners returning is that theirs “stranger shock,” even though this is their parent, because they don’t recognize that face and and even if they met them as an infant, even into two or three now because they have the ability to recognize faces. This one doesn’t look familiar. It’s scary.

Stefanie Bautista 4:19

Ariel Landrum 4:20
I mentioned that because the reunification process with families is like really informing the service member that that this is a likely thing to happen and it has nothing to do with a rejection to you. It has everything to do with the baby doesn’t know you doesn’t know your face.

Stefanie Bautista 4:37
It’s just not familiar. And those are the things that he was experiencing during COVID because his dad was on mission and he was traveling to different parts of California. So there were stretches of time, weeks, months that he didn’t see him and then when we were reunited together, he was really only going by his sense of smell, I think. And it took maybe like a couple minutes, maybe sometimes an hour. Sometimes a couple hours for him to really get used to the fact that this is not a stranger. This is somebody who I can trust. And somebody who kind of smells like me, but not really. Especially since he’s had been, you know, my husband had been living in a hotel for a lot of these months out of the year. So he kind of have that hotel smell? For a while. And um, you know, it wasn’t necessarily that skin to skin smell that they probably that my son was used to right after birth. But yeah, that’s a real thing. And this, this could have been a very different situation had, we had not set up the correct parameters. And I think just to set up for our listeners context, my son is 14 months old. So he’s a little over a year. He’s beginning to say some words, not a lot, he knows some sign language when it comes to food. So he knows when to ask for more. He knows when he’s done, we know his nonverbal cues when he’s finished eating, when he’s cranky. We’ve we’ve kind of gone through these routines with him, not just at home, but when we eat at restaurants outside. So really, that was a lot of context that I was bringing into coming into Disneyland. And thankfully, kind of thankfully, that we had been traveling so much during the pandemic, visiting his dad over at his hotels, I was used to putting him in the car, those things don’t bother him anymore, because he had been conditioned to know that that’s a normal thing. So that in itself was easy for me to transition to because he had had those experiences.

Ariel Landrum 6:37
Yeah, I think that’s a really good thing to note. Because sometimes, and particularly new parents, or parents that haven’t been around a lot of children but just their own, forget the awareness of essentially desensitizing your child to some of the things that are going to be normalized for them, like being put in a car seat, like long rides. Some kids like those rides, put them to sleep, and it’s fine, but others it’s too much noise from the freeway, it could be like the sound of the air conditioning or unable to like regulate their body temperature. And so caregivers have to really like zero in on those cues.

Stefanie Bautista 7:12
Definitely. And I always wonder now, why don’t they make car seats more breathable? My son is a sweaty mess, sometimes, and it’s been like 100 degrees here, in LA.

Ariel Landrum 7:23
Sweaty baby!

Stefanie Bautista 7:23
He is like, you can see the sweat marks just like they’re forever in his car seat. And, you know, they recommend that children are rear facing up until 20 pounds, or until they’re like two years old. So he’s going to be rear facing for quite a bit, but I don’t have a vent that goes to that side of my car.

Ariel Landrum 7:44
From the chair.

Stefanie Bautista 7:45
From the chair. And I’m like, “How do I pick my son not a sweaty mess?” But, you know, hey, people who make car seats, please fix this.

Ariel Landrum 7:54
Yeah. And it’s not like you could really put a fan near him because for some kids, the fans very fascinating moving thing and they want to touch it.

Stefanie Bautista 8:01
Oh my gosh. Yes. And I will mention it. I’m going to talk about fans portable fans later.

Ariel Landrum 8:06

Stefanie Bautista 8:07
One of the experiences we had.

Ariel Landrum 8:10
So in essentially, in planning for this trip, what exactly did you have to do?

Stefanie Bautista 8:16
Okay, so I really had to, like take myself out of I was a former annual pass holder, I have my routines in the park, I know which rides I want to go to, I haven’t been on these things since before I was pregnant. All that out the window.

Ariel Landrum 8:32
So so the managing the expectations, and not only using memory recall and history, because this is new experience.

Stefanie Bautista 8:40
A brand new experience, not just because you know, we’re coming at a pandemic, the parks are different now,. The way you navigate the parks are certainly different and seeing the cues that you had, for me last time. And also the experience that I’ve had going to Downtown Disney frequently, just, you know, curb my appetite for Disney stuff. I had to put all of those experiences together. And also, knowing that we were at a theme park, we are not going to be in the comfort of having a hotel like right next to us. We can’t just take a break when we want. So the comfort level definitely had to be as amped up for my son as much as possible, which means that I had to give up a couple of things. But it was totally fine. Knowing that this was like a trial run for us. Like if, if I were to maybe do like a Disney World experience that would all ride on how he reacted at our trip that day.

Ariel Landrum 9:36
And then even even further further back in prep. Did you consider your you and your husband’s vaccination status as part of prep because you obviously can’t have your son vaccinated? He’s not 12 or older.

Stefanie Bautista 9:49
Yes, absolutely. I mean, my husband was working a vaccination mission so he had been vaccinated one of the first ones when they originally opened it up to military servicemembers, and when they opened it up to educators, I was one of the first ones to get it right away. So that already was a layer of comfort that I had for myself knowing that there are people at the park that were not vaccinated. And also, the fact that Disney is making it necessary for you to reserve tickets at the park for capacity that made it easier. And I knew that I was going to be going on a weekday. Had I known all of the experiences that many of my friends had on the weekends, and because we follow Disney blogs, we follow Disney YouTube… There was just too many people there for my comfort. So I knew in that preparation and even buying and reserving our tickets that I was going on a Monday, after many of the school districts had gone back to school, I was me and my husband were both taking a day off and making sure that there were not that many people at the park.

Ariel Landrum 10:54
Okay. And, and I’m curious, because some of this sounds like prep for you. Did you share these ideas with your husband? Did he come up with ideas like how did that sort of partnership go? Because sometimes when people vacation or go on theme parks, they really just rely on one person to be sort of the planner. And sometimes it’s a joint effort. So for the two of you what’s comfort, and what what made this process at least a little bit easier?

Stefanie Bautista 11:20
I mean, for us, we were both annual pass holders for so long. So going to Disneyland is kind of like second nature to us now. Sunday’s were our day back then, Sunday’s were a day to just like hang out be at the park. This was on their way less people going to the park at the time, like you were never at capacity. Even with like, Oogie Boogie Bash happening during Halloween, or maybe even like the holiday season, we as passholders and also having military passes for the last couple years. We knew what days to go and what days not to go. We always knew never to go on a Saturday or a Friday night, because we would probably never be able to go on the rides we wanted to. It was always a Sunday or a random day that we had off. Sometimes I have random days off at school that allowed me to go to you know, the parks or go somewhere else. And our planing is always 50/50. We don’t really have a designation of who takes care of what, but it’s mainly whoever has the capacity to be on their computer at the time is going to be booking the tickets, or whoever has like the information normally, it’s an event that one of us sees on social media and say “Hey, why don’t we go to Disneyland at this time?” And then we go from there.

Ariel Landrum 12:36
And then I’m I mean, I’m curious. So for your planning of your trip. Did you like set some goals or visualize for yourself what you wanted to do? Or how how did the two of you kind of decide like Disneyland with baby?

Stefanie Bautista 12:54
Yeah, I mean, a lot of it really had to do with me initiating what I wanted to do. Last time I was at Disneyland I was six months pregnant, and I couldn’t ride like any of the rides I basically had to treat myself like I had a child already with me. Because a lot of these things made me so nauseous I think one of the rides that I didn’t think was gonna make me nauseous but did was the Inside Out like balloon ride at California Adventure. It’s not that crazy, guys. It’s just, it’s just you go around. It’s like the it’s like Dumbo. It’s like, what’s in like the Rockets in Tomorrowland. You just go around. It’s last maybe two to five minutes. And I felt like I was going to throw up everything in existence. It was the worst feeling and Ariel knows like I have a pretty strong stomach. I can go on roller coasters. No problem. I don’t get motion sickness very often. The only time I really like that bad is when I have probably way too much to drink. But it’s been a while since that’s happened. So really, my husband was like, “What do you want to do? Because you haven’t had a full Disney experience in more than two years. So what what do you want to experience?” And I definitely wanted to do the new rides. Rise of the Resistance over at California are at at Batuu Star Wars Land. And Webslinger is at Avengers Campus at California Adventure.

Ariel Landrum 14:19
Okay, okay, so um, got your two rides. And those rides involve queues.

Stefanie Bautista 14:26
Yes, they involve queues which is a new thing for me. I had no freaking idea what I was doing. I was only going over what Ariel is telling me like how to like go and then our friend Billy who had gone and his experience. So I was like, You know what, “Jesus take the wheel on this one because I’m gonna need it.” And so that morning. Okay, so let’s let’s go back a little bit. My, my husband, he works over in Orange County, basically Los Alamitos, which is a base that’s not that far from there.

Ariel Landrum 14:57
And for for our listeners who aren’t from California or SoCal? How far away is that from where you’re living and where Disneyland is?

Stefanie Bautista 15:07
Yes. So we’re from I’m living, it’s about a 45 to an hour and a half drive depending on traffic every single day. So he drives quite a bit. And because we knew we’re going to Disneyland on a Monday, he has a buddy that lives in Garden Grove. Garden Grove is like two townships over maybe one township over. And it takes about 10 to 12 minutes to get to Disneyland from his place. So in order for us to maximize our experience, because it was our first time going back, we stayed at his buddy’s place, and it made a world of difference.

Ariel Landrum 15:40

Stefanie Bautista 15:41
A world of difference. I did not have to get up at five o’clock and butt cracked a dime to get all my stuff ready. And like…

Ariel Landrum 15:48
Wake the baby.

Stefanie Bautista 15:49
Wake the baby, all that put him in the car, like crying and screaming, none of that happened. I opened my eyes that 6:50 waited on my phone for 10 minutes to the dot, and I tried to get on Rise of the Resistance through my Disneyland app. And I was freaking out. Why was I freaking out? Because that crap was not working.

Ariel Landrum 16:12
Was it crashing on you?

Stefanie Bautista 16:14
It wasn’t crashing on me. So the app was working fine. I was able to go when you go into join virtual queue it says “Oh, you don’t have a queue available.” You press a button that says join virtual queue. “Oh, it doesn’t look like there any tickets linked for today?” What?

Ariel Landrum 16:28

Stefanie Bautista 16:30
“What are you talking?” I’m like, “So you’re telling me that I this reservation that I had made a month in advance is not there? Is that what you’re telling me right now Disneyland app?”

Ariel Landrum 16:41
Does not exist.

Stefanie Bautista 16:42
And so all of a sudden like. “Ding ding ding ding ding!” Like all of these like warning signs like pop up in my head. So I have like, I close the app I open it again I close the app, I open it again and it just kept giving me that message. 7:01, 7:02, 7:03. And I knew how like intense this gets sometimes and like I watch people who are like and you were telling me everyone was on their phone at 7 o’clock like trying to get in their boarding passes. And I’m like what is happening so I was like, You know what, let’s just shut off my phone. And you guys know when you shut off your phone it’s about like a 2 to 5 minute process.

Ariel Landrum 17:15
Oh you restarted your phone.

Stefanie Bautista 17:17
I had to restart my phone. Make sure I was on Wi Fi and you know, we have pretty strong Wi Fi at my husband’s buddy’s place so I waited like in silence while everydody was still sleeping. And I’m like “Okay, let’s try this one more time,” and finally at 7:11 it recognized my tickets and I was able to join a boarding group and it was only boarding group 66.

Ariel Landrum 17:42

Stefanie Bautista 17:43
We weren’t even in the 100’s yet.

Ariel Landrum 17:44
Oh my gosh. Okay, well I guess it was it was a Monday. It was a week day.

Stefanie Bautista 17:49
It was a Monday. It was a week day.

Ariel Landrum 17:51
And school started so other so all the young youngins are in school. Okay, so probably a lot lower capacity so less people you’re attempting to try and beat to the queue. Alright.

Stefanie Bautista 18:04
So yeah, so I finally got in, and then because I’m like waking up my husband like, “Something’s going on. Like I don’t know what’s happening. This is not. Ah!” And he has no idea of the process. Like he doesn’t even have like a minuscule amount of the knowledge that I have heard from you and from our friends about this so he has no freaking idea what’s happening. And “he’s just like, “Ugh just try again. Just try again.” And I’m like “I am trying again!” So…

Ariel Landrum 18:27
Okay so the anxiety that I usually gifted to you yeah and again AJ is just cool cool as a cucumber.

Stefanie Bautista 18:37
Cool as a cucumber. Not even awake. My son was like not even awake either. And and the place we were at our friend’s house. They have central air. We do not have central air at my personal house because it’s a much older house so they were both sleeping so soundly so nicely enjoying like the air and cool breeze. Here I’m like sweating bullets because I don’t know what’s happening and like you know all of this like rides and I only had two goals everyone. So if one of these goals didn’t work it was kind of going to dictate what was gonna happen at 12 o’clock when I tried at Webslinger. So we got in and “We’re like okay, it’s all good we can get up start to get ready and everything.” And yeah, I mean we we had we had the idea to get Mickey waffles, because I remember… Okay, so a little bit of backstory. We have not had breakfast in the park for a very long time.

Ariel Landrum 18:47
Oh yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 18:49
Because we live so far.

Ariel Landrum 19:32
And and even if you were going the most of the joints are closed.

Stefanie Bautista 19:35

Ariel Landrum 19:36
In the park. It was really just breakfast on in Downtown Disney. When I went I found no breakfast places that were open. And I think the only one that was at a had already had all reservations is full.

Stefanie Bautista 19:49

Ariel Landrum 19:50
And then and then it was just like two that were in Downtown Disney and they were serving like a limited menu.

Stefanie Bautista 19:55
Mm hmm. Exactly. And even before All of the new mandates at the park, we never ate breakfast there because we always woke up. And by the time we got there like that hour and a half of traffic, it was already brunch. So we couldn’t even make it even if we tried unless we stayed at a hotel nearby or a hotel at the park. So I was like, “Oh my gosh, we’re early. Let’s get Mickey waffles.” I go into my app, and I look at all the dining, literally nothing available. Nothing at all. I’m like, “Of course. Why did I even try?” And then I kept looking at the app because you have an option on the app. There’s like a bar at the top it says “Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner.” or you can select times for when you want to reserve. So I was like, “I wonder what’s available for lunch?” And lo and behold, I saw a reservation for Carthay Circle Alfresco Dining. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I…” The last time I went to Carthy Circle is for a bachelorette party, like years ago, and I remember how fantastic that dinner was. So I was like, “Oh, heck yeah.” So I click 1:30 reservation for 3. And they even ask you like, “Do you need a high chair? Do you? Are you with any infants or babies? Like what other accommodations can we make?” So it was pretty thorough. It was like making a reservation for a restaurant. Because I don’t remember it being like this for the bachelorette party that I went to I think it was just a call in service. So I was really happy to see that there was something because I had not seen any dining reservations for those weeks of planning up to this trip. So I was like, “Okay, I guess somebody had canceled,” which I guess happens a lot due to you know, people being sick people having work. X, you know, reason, so I was able to get a reservation and I was really happy about that.

Ariel Landrum 21:43
And for listeners who haven’t actually been to even this theme park or maybe really only go to the one in Florida, what is Carthay Circle?

Stefanie Bautista 21:53
So carthay circle is at the Disney California Adventure. And it’s the I think it’s the one big fine dining restaurant aside from another one and Pixar Pier. That is Old Hollywood themed, very much like the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios in Florida. So it has a lot of beautiful art deco it is modeled after the I think the Fox Theater in Westwood. If you look that up, that’s what is modeled after and it’s called Carthay Circle for named after one of the areas in Hollywood that many movie stars used to live. And I love Old Hollywood. Me and my husband both do and it’s been a place that was very special to go to and it wasn’t an everyday kind of thing and they had opened up the outside dining area for alfresco dining due to COVID restrictions over the lockdown and the eventual opening up of the parks and the restaurant. So it was really nice to see that there was something available because those are one of those things that I always think “Oh people are just booking this in advance like way way in advance.” So I was not expecting to see that I was really only expecting to see La Brea Bakery.

Ariel Landrum 23:06
Which is what I saw. And for those who maybe want to do Dapper Day this year or any Dapper Days, that is a restaurant that is very photogenic for your Dapper Day outfit. And they are very accommodating to the Dapper Day crowd. They do allow people to sort of take pictures with different backdrops and areas and I believe there’s some a lot of people take a picture by the stairs. So it’s a it’s a really lovely restaurant. For those who are able to go get the food is amazing.

Stefanie Bautista 23:42

Ariel Landrum 23:43
The atmospheres is lovely. And it’s not like there’s a dress code though you do probably want to dress up in that. And that’s why a lot of people go there during Dapper Day.

Stefanie Bautista 23:53
Yeah. And for anybody who’s wondering about the food, it’s very, it’s like a steakhouse almost, but they do have pastas. Very, umm, I guess, relaxed sort of dining. They have options for kids, and they have a wonderful drink menu. They have a full bar that is all of their drinks are named after in themed after many Hollywood stars and many of Walt Disney’s work. So that’s always fun to see. And it’s one of the small details that they put into the park that make it very magical.

Ariel Landrum 24:25
So then that means that your day started off at Disneyland…

Stefanie Bautista 24:30

Ariel Landrum 24:30
If the reservations because you have to choose which park you’re going to first.

Stefanie Bautista 24:35
Yeah, we wanted to do Disneyland first because California Adventure is the park that we had been frequenting because it was open for dining and shopping over the shutdown. So we definitely wanted to do Disneyland and also because Disneyland has a way more many baby friendly rides then California Adventure and because Rise of the Resistance is there and we’ve been hearing that queues for that ride were a little bit harder to get into than the Webslingers, ride.

Ariel Landrum 25:05
Okay, okay.

Stefanie Bautista 25:07

Ariel Landrum 25:07
So in now heading heading to Disney it’s your morning what what exactly did you end up bringing or packing like how did you how did you prep for the day in that sense?

Stefanie Bautista 25:19
Yeah, so I have two different friends very close friends of mine that both have children. They both pack very differently. I have one friend who packs for her three kids with one tiny backpack that we bought from Tokyo Disneyland years ago. I don’t know how she does it. She is like a wizard. I she has like some crazy magical mommy powers that allows her to be so minimalistic.

Ariel Landrum 25:46
And like Mary Poppins bag.

Stefanie Bautista 25:49
Exactly. And she always has the right amount of diapers. Always the right amount of snacks like she has like the thinnest stroller in existence so that they can pack it up, put it in the tram, like back in the day. And it I don’t know how she does it. I am not at that level yet. She has surpassed this, like she unlocked so many other levels that I haven’t even unlocked yet. But we have another friend who packs bags on bags on bags. And she has two children. And so I take so many of my mommy cues from them, and I take what works for me and I put it together so I was able to bring just one backpack. It’s like a medium sized backpack that you would take to school filled with diapers, plenty of snacks that my son likes in case that he doesn’t want to eat anything there. He drinks cow’s milk now, he doesn’t really exclusively breastfeed anymore even though he does sometimes. So I didn’t have to worry about bringing a nursing cloth or knowing you know where I could nurse and where I needed to because I didn’t have to worry about that. However milk does spoil, so I needed bring a cooler to put that milk in.

Ariel Landrum 26:59
And at this stage, you’re not breast pumping?

Stefanie Bautista 27:02
No, I’m not. So I didn’t have to bring my pump. I I actually stopped pumping quite a while ago. But I do have friends who still pump during the day because they they need a pump to relieve. And they have portable pumps. And they also have ones that don’t have to plug in anywhere. But those are pretty expensive. So…

Ariel Landrum 27:22
Yes they are pricey.

Stefanie Bautista 27:23
I’ve seen mommies in the parking to that and who like all the power to them, because babies need their milk. So we had to take one thing into consideration which wasn’t a baby thing. But the fact that my husband has class, he’s going to school right now.

Ariel Landrum 27:40
He’s a student.

Stefanie Bautista 27:40
From 5 to 7 pm. He had a two hour class and it was a Monday so he had to attend class. So that means we had to bring his laptop. We have had friends who are in school who used to study at the parks. Actually they would go to Plaza de la Familia, which is like an eating area at California Adventure kind of secluded, away from all of the other rides. There’s Disney Wi Fi and you can also tether to your phone. So we knew that this was possible because our friends used to study at the park that was like their happy place to study and they got through school fine. So we’re like, you know, “We can do that too!” So we knew you were gonna get a locker rental because we had to pack extra clothes. We knew it was going to be around 90 degrees that day kind of humid. But knowing Orange County and knowing that it gets really cold at night, we brought extra clothes for the baby and we also brought extra clothes for ourselves because we were wearing shorts and like a T shirt. So we had rented a locker outside of Disneyland not inside. Because we knew we were going to be going back and forth through the park during the like noonish one o’clock hour when we were transferring over to California Adventure. So we got a we got a regular sized locker. There’s a couple sizes you could get. The regular sized lockers, I think $7 now and it fit his backpack perfectly with his okay 17 inch laptop. So it’s not a small laptop, but we fit everything just like exactly. So one bag was in there and then we kept one bag for us. And that was the bag that we put in the stroller and that was it.

Ariel Landrum 29:14
Okay, okay. So I mean a couple things. You mentioned the cooler. How big is this cooler?

Stefanie Bautista 29:21
So we call it like a regular lunch bag.

Ariel Landrum 29:23
Okay, okay.

Stefanie Bautista 29:24
Average I would say maybe no more than 10 inches around 10 to 12 inches. And just one ice pack inside.

Ariel Landrum 29:32
And it was the bag that you brought with you into the park? It wasn’t in the locker?

Stefanie Bautista 29:36
Um, yes. So we had two bottles of milk. So we were contemplating on keeping one of like the main cooler in there because he doesn’t really like cold cold milk. His, you guys have to imagine he only has I think eight teeth. So it’s mostly gum. And every time I’ve given him cold drinks, he makes this face and he’s like “Oh my gums are like frozen.” So we kind of have the temp the milk. So if I put cold milk in my backpack, I know it’s gonna be warm by the time he drinks it. So those are the little things as a mom, you have to really prepare for. And these are the things that had not taken into consideration back then when I didn’t have kids. So I knew that I could either bring the cooler in and keep the milk cold and wait for it to warm up. Or I could just keep the cooler in there. However, this tiny tiny locked could not accommodate both. So it was a backpack and the cooler.

Ariel Landrum 30:31
Okay, okay.

Stefanie Bautista 30:32

Ariel Landrum 30:33
And then even in talking about how your two different friends who are mothers like pack and how it’s different. I think I just want to like, shout out that there’s no right way.

Stefanie Bautista 30:44

Ariel Landrum 30:44
I think that whenever you follow it, at least my friends who are mothers, whenever they follow mommy blogs or Instagrams or Pinterest, it’s always like, “This is the only way you can do it. Otherwise, you’re the worst mother in the world.”

Stefanie Bautista 30:55
“You’re the worst mother in existence.”

Ariel Landrum 30:57
“You’re harming your child.” And in reality, it’s like whatever fits for your family.

Stefanie Bautista 31:02
Yeah, absolutely. And I’m not a big mommy blog follower, because I can’t have too much information thrown at me, because then I start to question myself and my methods and practices. So that’s why I turn to my mommy friends, because they have been my best friends for a very long time. I trust them. Their kids are fantastic. I am Godmother to many of these children. So I take the best of what you know works for me that they do and kind of created my own way of doing it. So that’s where I landed. One backpack and one cooler.

Ariel Landrum 31:33
I the other thing is when you’re mentioning just like the cold milk and the the face that your son makes were you talking about how attune you are those needs. For people who aren’t around infants or toddlers. They they’re like, “What are you saying what do you want like, like, I need more, I need more data, I need more information!” But when you look at those subtle cues and you’re actually attuned to your child, you’re going to be able to figure out what their wants and needs are intuitively simply because you are actually caregiving for them. You’re giving them attention, and attention to detail in a way that someone else who isn’t their primary caregiver isn’t going to give.

Stefanie Bautista 32:12
Exactly. And on top of that mom was at Disneyland. So mom is going to do whatever she needs to do to make sure that she has a great time.

Ariel Landrum 32:18

Stefanie Bautista 32:18
And if that means me making it okay for you so that I have a good time. These are the things that are going to be happening right now. Because this is my first time back I was like so so much. I want to ride these rides and there’s nothing going to be in my way. It’s kind of like that, like, very intense mom trope, I guess. It’s a real thing. You have not done these things for so long. You put yourself in the backseat for this ride of motherhood, that something like this, for me had to go really well. Or else it would have just I would have been devastated. I mean, as a mom, you are used to taking the L on a lot of things. Like you know, I know I can’t go out with my friends late night until one o’clock I know that’s not going to happen. But it’s those little things that you know, if you take the W on some of those things, it could just carry you for weeks and months.

Ariel Landrum 33:16
And we’re saying mom, but you can make it synonymous to any primary caregiver. You having to put yourself in the backseat to take care of someone and they don’t have to even be an infant someone they can definitely be aging parents. That’s a very difficult caregiving strategy. Definitely. Children or adults with disabilities again, a very tough caregiving strategy. But we’re going to we’re going to use moms specifically because that is your experience.

Stefanie Bautista 33:46
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I mean, even when I used to go to the parks with my nieces and nephews, you had to kind of take a backseat to what they wanted to do. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Frozen in the beginning but it was everywhere when we went and so we had to do all the Elsa and Anna experiences. Like Disney Jr. I had no idea what was going on at Disney Jr. But the dance party is something that those kids love. So of course I’m gonna not go on one of the rides to make sure that they have a great experience because this is everything this is their world to them right now.

Ariel Landrum 34:17
Yeah, creating some compromise.

Stefanie Bautista 34:19

Ariel Landrum 34:21
So it sounds like then potentially this experience went well?

Stefanie Bautista 34:26
Yeah, overall I went well I think being that we had prior experiences at the park and we were able to at least go on Rise of the Resistance. And Webslinger is actually… We…

Ariel Landrum 34:39
Are you going to tell us about both?

Stefanie Bautista 34:41
I can tell you about both because I mean overall was a great experience. I’m gonna end it at that

Ariel Landrum 34:48
Which which rides did you go on? And it sounds like you got to go on those two. Did you have to did you get to go on others? And because you have a baby, what is this thing called like a Rider-Switch?

Stefanie Bautista 34:59
Okay. So there’s different words for it. It’s Rider-Switch, Rider-Swap. These are things that I had heard of in my vicinity, but never had to ask about. Because obviously, you’re not always going to as a family, go with people who can watch your children. So there are rides like Rise of the Resistance, and you know, the Incredicoaster, many of those big rides, you have to be at least 40 inches tall. My son is not even 25 inches standing up. He’s tiny. Very small human being. So he doesn’t cannot go on these rides. There are plenty of rights he did go on, and I’ll list them off later. But they’re. Okay. I had to kind of put myself into the mindset of there’s Rider-Switch, but also we’re in a boarding group. So there’s like, two layers of things that I did not know about, that I had to kind of navigate. So I had to act like a newbie and ask one of the cast members. “Hey, I have a porting group. Here it is. I’m not lying.”

Ariel Landrum 36:00
“It’s true!”

Stefanie Bautista 36:00
“It’s coming soon in 55 minutes. And I have to do Rider-Switch. How does that work?” So the cast member at Rise of the Resistance, say, “Oh, all you have to do is when we scan your app, we also scan your paper ticket.” So at the gate when they scan your ticket on your app to get in, they also give you a paper ticket. I don’t know if they did that for you. Did they do that for you?

Ariel Landrum 36:24
I we did get two park tickets, actual paper ones. And I remember putting them in my pocket because I thought I would need it to be able to get into the other park.

Stefanie Bautista 36:33
Yeah, so I did, too. I had no idea why I needed that ticket. And I still don’t know why I needed that ticket. I guess Rider-Swap is one of those ways? But there’s another story about that. So what happened was our boarding group was called, and it took about, okay, so from seven o’clock, it took about almost 200 minutes or so for our boarding pass. So about like two hours in something. So that’s why we knew you know, we were getting we wanted to get Mickey waffles, which we didn’t. So we ended up just going to Batuu to get a Ronto Wrap, which is the breakfast wrap. It’s like a hot dog with scrambled eggs on top and cheese. And that was our breakfast, and they have coffee there too. If anybody wants to get coffee over at Star Wars land.

Ariel Landrum 37:19
Shoot I did not know that they had breaks over there.

Stefanie Bautista 37:21
Yeah they have breakfast over there.

Ariel Landrum 37:22
I can do hotdogs and eggs. I’m good with that.

Stefanie Bautista 37:24
Yeah. And so we got one of those. And then we also got one of the veggie dogs, because we wanted something light. And while we were waiting for the ride, we were sitting at an area that was in front of the restaurant that they have at Batuu. And we looked over to the right and we saw Smuggler’s Run. The Millennium Falcon ride. And I looked and I’m like, “Does that really say five minute? Is that a five minute wait?”

Ariel Landrum 37:53

Stefanie Bautista 37:53
And it truly was a five minute wait. And you’re like, “Oh my gosh!” When we went on this? Let me tell you last time I went on this ride. I had a broken arm. So…

Ariel Landrum 38:05
Yes some Comic-Con shenanigans.

Stefanie Bautista 38:07
Yeah, Comic-Con shenanigans led me to a broken arm. So I was not even fully able to experience this ride before I got pregnant because I was handicap. So I’m like, “Oh, let’s let’s try Rider-Swap.” And so what they did is they, they you tell the person, “Hey, I’m going to be switching with my partner.” And then they scan your ticket, and then you wait in the regular queue…

Ariel Landrum 38:28
The paper ticket?

Stefanie Bautista 38:29
The paper ticket, yes.

Ariel Landrum 38:30

Stefanie Bautista 38:30
You wait in the regular queue. So it’s five minutes, he went in first. And then so when he left, they tell you, “Give your ticket to your partner and they can come in in the Fastpass line.” So when I went in, I went through the Fastpass line. I didn’t even have to wait in the regular queue at this point, it was 20 minutes. Okay, yeah, big whoop 20 minutes right. In, in, in this, you know, in the whole grand scheme of things, you’re essentially switching the exact same spot. So you don’t have to wait the extra time that you would have had to wait going through single rider because you’re switching with somebody who had already done that wait. So let’s say he went on and it was a 40 minute wait, he would still have to wait that 40 minutes, but when he switched with me, I wouldn’t have to wait that 40 minutes I would just go into the Fastpass line and that is how Rider-Swap works.

Ariel Landrum 39:20
Wow. Okay, okay, when the two of you actually switch is there because I think I’ve seen this at Universal but I don’t know if I’ve actually noticed this at Disneyland. Is there like an area where you stand or like a hidden room? Because there’s like or like where there’s a TV playing? I know I’ve seen that at Universal.

Stefanie Bautista 39:41

Ariel Landrum 39:42
No. Okay, you’re gonna like shifting to the side? Or?

Stefanie Bautista 39:46
Or just in the area. You don’t have to be right next to the ride. So when he went on Smuggler’s Run, we just found a shady spot near the Millennium Falcon so that he can run around. If you’ve always ever been there. There’s like a huge space for people to take pictures. And because it was so early in the morning, still around nine o’clock, not a lot of people were taking pictures. And also the photopass people were on the other side. And we were like in the corner where there was the most shade. And I noticed that were there were a lot of younger, like babies there too, with their moms taking a break nursing some of them over there. And it was just a nice, shady spot to let your kids run around and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. So that was one of the places in Star Wars Land. If you ever need a place for your kid to get their wiggles out. You could just have them run around there. And it’s very picturesque. You’re right under the Millennium Falcon. It’s, it’s kind of cool. But yeah, we just waited for him there. And then he just text me, “Hey, I’m ready.” And then I told them where we were, and we swapped right away. And then I went in, I walked all the way in. And let me tell you when you go in, and you just say, “Oh, just one in my party.” It makes you feel a little lonely.”

Ariel Landrum 40:56
sings “One is the loneliest number.”

Stefanie Bautista 41:00
So I had to, and this is only because it was my comfort. Like I was just very nervously, “Oh yeah, my party is outside. I’m not by myself.” There was nothing wrong with going to Disneyland by yourself. I did it a couple times when I was, you know, just on my own. But knowing that you’re with a family and like you’re just kind of randomly there especially on a ride like Smugglers Run where you have to negotiate with your team who’s gonna be where and like, you have gunners, you have engineers, you have like, you know, the the pilot, it’s very interactive.

Ariel Landrum 41:33

Stefanie Bautista 41:33
So you kind of have to talk to your group.

Ariel Landrum 41:37
Okay, so slight awkwardness for you.

Stefanie Bautista 41:40
Slight awkwardness.

Ariel Landrum 41:41
I’m guessing, knowing AJ, there was no thought of any awkwardness.

Stefanie Bautista 41:44
No, not at all. And on top of that, he was his boarding his group at Smuggler’s Run, none of them spoke English. So there was no communication whatsoever.

Ariel Landrum 41:56
None okay.

Stefanie Bautista 41:57
None at all. And he was like, that was a very interesting experience. And they had all been first timers on the right and the mom was so scared to press the buttons because she didn’t want to mess anything up.

Ariel Landrum 42:08
Oh break the ride.

Stefanie Bautista 42:09
As an engineer, you only have to press one button and it flashes green. It’s very obvious because it is such a crazy ride? Like, she did not press that button. She pressed the one on top of it. He very nicely was like, “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” And she felt so bad. And it was it was really funny when he told me about it. But, um, yeah, so Rider-Swap. That’s exactly how it worked at Rise of the Resistance, even with a boarding group. So we had two different experiences, though, at the boarding group with Rise of the Resistance and the boarding group at Webslingers.

Ariel Landrum 42:46

Stefanie Bautista 42:46
So Rise of the resistance they’ve treated at the same way as Smuggler’s Run, “I scan your ticket, you come out, and then I scan it again, when your partner goes on the ride.” Okay, makes sense. But then I looked at my app, as I was reserving for Webslingers, they only scan one boarding pass. So that meant there was a leftover boarding pass, that was my partner’s. And I’m like, “Wait, they have to clear this one out in order for me to get on the next boarding group.” Which they didn’t do, because they only scanned one, since I decided to ride the ride first. And I’m like, “Oh, no, I can only reserve for myself for Webslinger.” So I did. And I was in boarding group, like, 160 or something.

Ariel Landrum 43:32
Okay. Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 43:33
And then, as I left, I was like, “Hey, can you clear this one out? Because I have a Rider-Swap, and he’s going to be using this ticket.” They’re like, “Yeah, sure. Okay.” And so they scanned it, and then I got another boarding group for him. And that was like, 179.

Ariel Landrum 43:45

Stefanie Bautista 43:45
So I’m like, okay, two different boarding groups. So essentially, in my head, “Would there be able to be a way that 4 people can go on the ride?”

Ariel Landrum 43:55

Stefanie Bautista 43:55
Because I had two differen boarding groups now.

Ariel Landrum 43:57

Stefanie Bautista 43:59
Cuz I’m doing the math in my head, because I finally have, you know, some me alone. Not worrying about the baby in line. Here. I am. And I’m thinking about this, in that first part of Rise of the Resistance, because there’s like a mini ride before the ride. And I’m not paying attention to anything at this point. I’m like, “How do I do this?” But then I’m like, “Okay, wait, and I got to be present.” So I finished the ride, and then I go, “Well, I guess we’ll just find out on Webslinger is later on after one o’clock.” because that did not make sense to me. Because then essentially, they’re not even letting two they’re not just letting two people ride. They’re letting four people ride. And all they need is a paper ticket. There’s no identification that they asked for. You don’t have to prove that it’s your ticket. It’s just the ticket and your one day pass. It doesn’t even have your name on it, that paper ticket. So I was like, “Okay, well, we’ll see what happens.” And by the time we went to Webslingers, they said “They were not supposed to do that.”

Ariel Landrum 44:57
Ah, okay. Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 44:58
So I was like, oh, But I didn’t ask I was like, “Oh, you know, how does…?” My partner was like, went over there and said, “How does Rider-Switch work?” And then they explained it very differently than when they did that Rise of the Resistance. They were like, “Oh, we have to scan both of your boarding passes. So she has to show me her phone and scan both of those digital ones.” But we had different boarding passes. And he had explained, “Oh, that’s not how they did it on the other side, they just scan my paper ticket.” And because they did that, they were like, “Okay, we’ll let it slide.” And then we actually were able to get two of our friends that we met at the park a boarding pass because all they had tod o was show my phone.

Ariel Landrum 45:38
Oh you finagled.

Stefanie Bautista 45:39
And I’m like, “Well, they’re my partner. So there it is.”

Ariel Landrum 45:43
There you go. Okay. Okay. So you got to gift a wonderful experience to your friends who sounds like they didn’t get the queue?

Stefanie Bautista 45:51
Nope. They didn’t even know about it.

Ariel Landrum 45:56
There are levels of Disney friendships.

Stefanie Bautista 45:58
Yeah. Yup. They didn’t even know about it. And they’re like, “Oh, there’s a queue?”

Ariel Landrum 46:04
Okay, so…

Stefanie Bautista 46:05

Ariel Landrum 46:06
Tell us about the actual two rides. Umm we did get Billy’s experience on the episode ror Webslingers.. So as far as I know of all of us, you’re the only one who’s ridden Rise?

Stefanie Bautista 46:11

Ariel Landrum 46:13
So hat is that like?

Stefanie Bautista 46:20
Rise was? Oh, my what a sensory experience that right is. I had had the privilege of going on to many rides at Walt Disney World. You and I both Ariel. And I forget did we Ride Ratatouille together?

Ariel Landrum 46:38
Oh, that one is in Paris.

Stefanie Bautista 46:40
Yeah. Yes, that one is in Paris, but they are building one in Walt Disney World.

Ariel Landrum 46:45
We did not.

Stefanie Bautista 46:46
We did not.

Ariel Landrum 46:47

Stefanie Bautista 46:47
Okay. It wasn’t open.

Ariel Landrum 46:48
In fact, when we were at Walt Disney World. the whole Pixar side was like shut down because they were building something.

Stefanie Bautista 46:54
Yeah yeah yeah. That’s right. That’s what that was. So all of these meld together. So on another layer, I’ve had the privilege to go to other parks in other countries, and Ratatouille is a trackless ride, which means it does not follow a track. So they included that ride and elements of Guardians of the Galaxy or a Tower of Terror, and they included Star Tours those elements of movement. That’s all to say that they put all of these elements together in one ride, you walk in you’re going through the queue and everything and there’s costumes from the movie. There’s like helmets and props very much like Star Tours where they have all of the droids around. And when you get there you are put into a holding group and they do a little bit of a like a small show. And they go “Oh you see Ray.” And she comes up as a holograph just like how Leia does when R2D2 projects her. It’s so cool. It’s very much like in Harry Potter when you go on that ride and you see the three of them talking to you in the classroom. It’s like that but way cooler. It looks legit. And Ray saying, “Oh you know like you’re you’re gonna be helping us and this and this and this.” And then you go into kind of like a vehicle where you’re standing as if you’re in a subway. So it looks like Star Tours where there’s a screen in front of you and then you see screens on the side like…

Ariel Landrum 48:29
Okay okay.

Stefanie Bautista 48:29
Where the pilots are and where the drivers are. And I forgot the guy who says it’s a trap who is general forgot his name, but it’s a trap guy it’s his species but it’s not it’s not. Oh Admiral Ackbar. He looks like he’s got like, tentacle-y things. Squid squid face.

Ariel Landrum 48:46
Oh. Species is Mon Calamari.

Stefanie Bautista 48:50
Mon Calamari. Yes. I’ve heard that.

Ariel Landrum 48:52
There you go.

Stefanie Bautista 48:53
Mon Calamari. Cause he’s a squid. So you’re in there and then you’re like to help them on this mission and then you get hijacked you even get to talk to Poe. He’s like one of your. He’s one of your like, escorts because he’s in a ship. But then you get hijacked. Your transport ships gets hijacked by the First Order. And then, knowing me I was like “I’ve ridden subways before I don’t need to hang on to a pole.” I should have hung on to a pole because I almost fell flat on my butt. ‘Cause it like starts to jerk and stuff when they hijack you. And of course, because I was a party of one I wasn’t really in any corner. I was like the last one to come in.

Ariel Landrum 49:34

Stefanie Bautista 49:34
Because I was like taking pictures and stuff of the ride. And where I was standing is where the door opens. And I was like, “Oh no, I’m gonna get hijacked I better move because what if they like grab me by the neck?!” Which they wouldn’t do. And I moved back but then like a First Order person like literally comes in and goes, “You are coming with me.” And I was like, “Oh!” And so all of us have to go and then we get walk through and that’s where you see the Stormtroopers like I’m sure a lot of people have seen that big huge room, kind of like a loading hangar full of Stormtroopers like maybe like 100 or so of them. And you literally have First Order Cast Members just watching you. And it’s like Tower of Terror where they’re all in. They’re all in character. So you’re being led to a prisoners’ cell.

Ariel Landrum 50:21
And wait. Are these are these Cast Members or is this hologram?

Stefanie Bautista 50:26
These are Cast Members. Actual Cast Members. So they are dressed in like full full First Order…

Ariel Landrum 50:32
So you get a show?

Stefanie Bautista 50:33
Kind of scary…

Ariel Landrum 50:34
Oh okay.

Stefanie Bautista 50:35
Yeah, so you go and you walk in and then you walk into where the First Order is like holding you and then they tell you a color. And so, “Your orange. “Your gray this and this.” And then so they put you in this hallway and it looks like you know really intimidating and then they have somebody go, :Okay you party stay on the gray. You party, stay on the orange. Do not move from your like places.” And they’re like really serious about this and then I’m like, “Okay, I’ll say my place. Like please don’t kill me.” And you stay in that and then the doors open and then there’s four different rooms kind of like Star Tours where you like load in but you’re not loading into the ride yet. You go into another holding room. And that’s where you see Kylo Ren and you see the other First Order dude. The one who the one who is like a second in command in the movie.

Ariel Landrum 51:26

Stefanie Bautista 51:27
I know he’s he played a Weasley. I forgot his name.

Ariel Landrum 51:30
Oh yes. Yeah yeah yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 51:33
Allright. Yes, he was Bill in Harry Potter.

Ariel Landrum 51:36
Way hotter in Harry Potter.

Stefanie Bautista 51:39
Harry Potter not he was like a little he was a little beeyotch in Star Wars. Yeah, so you get in there and then I think that’s when Kylo Ren like turns around you see his like animatronic and then they go like “Do away with the prisoners or whatever like that.” And then then they’re like, “Oh, you’re gonna keep either they’re gonna keep your they’re gonna kill you or something.” And you’re in this tiny room. It looks like a triangle. It looks like one of those like funhouse rooms. If any of you have ever seen Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory, like they’re really old movie and they all get shoved into this triangular room that looks smaller than it actually is.

Ariel Landrum 52:21
Oh yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 52:21
That’s what it felt like. And then so I’m like, “Wait there’s no way out of this room. How are we? Where’s the ride? And at this point, you’re like, “Where is the ride? I don’t see the ride.” And then of course because I’m a party of one I was standing right where the door opens. So Ray comes in and she goes, “We’re gonna break you out!” And the door behind me like starts to sizzle and it like makes an opening and then the door comes out and it slides to the side and they go and you see all of these resistance like pilots. “We’re gonna break you out! Come on! Let’s get inside!

Ariel Landrum 52:55
Again. These are cast members? Still?

Stefanie Bautista 52:56
These are cast members not holograms.

Ariel Landrum 52:58

Stefanie Bautista 52:58
Yeah, it was like such an experience. And then they go, “Okay, we’re gonna load in like are you guys ready to get out of here?” And everyone’s like, “Yeah!” We go in and then you get loaded into like it’s a six seater pod essentially kind of like a like a hovercraft I guess. And then three the front three in the back and then they take you through the like facility and then like you go and then you get stopped and then you go backwards and then you go around and then you go backwards again and then you get put into like, you stop in front of a screen and then you see all the Tie Fighters and everybody’s fighting and stuff. Like at this point like they’re trying to break you out and then it lifts you up the whole thing elevates you like, like Guardians of the Galaxy Tower of Terror. It moves you all the way up and then you see more fighting and stuff and then you like shift to the side and then you go back and then they drop you know when they drop you but they drop you it’s not like Guardians of the Galaxy like where they drop you up and down. But they drop you once and then you go into another part and then you see you see the lightsaber come down and then it like is Kylo Ren tried to kill you.

Ariel Landrum 53:00

Stefanie Bautista 53:04

Ariel Landrum 53:31
From like the roof?

Stefanie Bautista 54:12
From the roof! Stop you look up and then you see the lightsaber, just go shzoom and then it goes tssss and then like… As if you’re gonna die and then you eventually get to like the front of the ship or like Kylo Ren is and then he like turns around and he goes like, “No, you’re not gonna get away and this and this and this!” And then and then you go through the ride…

Ariel Landrum 54:31

Stefanie Bautista 54:30
And then you go through the ride, and then explosions happen and like it was so wild. Like I had not seen so many elements of a ride just put all together. The vehicle itself was shaking like you were getting pulled back going forward to the side. You were being lifted up and down. And you’re putting a screen and then there were like other things that didn’t look like a screen but it wasn’t tacky. It didn’t look disjointed. It was very seamless in your experience to the ride. And the ride the ride probably lasted about like, five, eight minutes. Maybe more.

I mean that still the whole experience sounds immersive.


Ariel Landrum 55:12
Just even those little waiting areas.

Stefanie Bautista 55:14
Yeah, like multiple waiting areas because then you get your instructions from Ray you know you’re going to be on a mission then you get put in another vehicle that moves like Star Tours, but that’s not even the ride yet. And then they take you through like another area. And I can tell why when I was watching reaction videos when it first came out how people were like, so emotional because I never felt so immersed into the Star Wars universe until I road that ride. That was just and it’s already really immersive being in Batuu because everybody you know speaks to you like they’re in you know, Batuu and, you know, they they call people different things. Coca Cola is not even called the same thing there. And this was just like another level of immersiveness. And it was, I would totally ride it again in a heartbeat because it was so great. And it really puts you like in the Star Wars universe and it was beautiful the way they did it. I really loved it.

Ariel Landrum 56:12
And of course not a ride you could bring a baby on.

Stefanie Bautista 56:15
Not at all, then you know what, he’s gonna have to go through hoops like he’s got to watch the movies. He needs context.

Ariel Landrum 56:21
He’s got to earn, earn his stripes.

Stefanie Bautista 56:24
He’s got to earn a stripes. So when when I went I just had no words and I was just like, “You need a ride and I was like you experience it.” And we went over thankfully, my son was sleeping the entire time while we were doing this first Rider-Switch. That was another thing that I was very wary about like the waiting periods because he does get a little antsy. He’s very active now. He loves to run. But it’s a lot to watch a stroller filled with all of our belongings and watch a person not run into other people. So luckily, he was sleeping. And when we had switched, this is where the fan thing comes in. I have seen all of these moms with like multiple fans, just like you get these on Amazon. They’re like mini personal fans that have a little claw that can go on to the handle of the stroller.

Ariel Landrum 57:14
So okay, instead of like those neck ones? This is one that has a clip?

Stefanie Bautista 57:19
Yeah, it has a clip and it’s like a adjustable like cloth. Like I’m kinda like a squid. And it’s a you can mold it to however you want it to fit on your stoller.

Ariel Landrum 57:28
Oh bendable. Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 57:29
Yeah, bendable. So some families said one, some families had two some families had three. And I’m like, “I don’t even have one for my sweaty, sweaty child. Oh no!” It was starting to get hot at this point, because probably was like noon. And the lady next to me, her daughter was sleeping. And her daughter was a little bit older. They were both sleeping. And then I was fanning my son ’cause you know, I’m old school, and I have a fan. So I was fanning him. And she was so nice enough to be like, “Would you like one of my fans so that your son could get a little air and you can take a break?” And I’m like, “Thank you.”

Ariel Landrum 58:04

Stefanie Bautista 58:05
“I. Thank you so much.” And she’s like, “No, no, we’re both waiting. My my husband’s on the ride.” and I’m like, “My husband’s on the ride too.” And so she let me clip a fan and he was a little less sweaty. And we were talking about where she got it. And she’s like, “Yeah, you could buy it here at the park. But it’s like $30 so I bought mine on Amazon for like $10 and this is what we use all the time when we go out.” And I’m like, “Thank you.” And she’s like, “Yeah, don’t even waste your time getting one here.”

Ariel Landrum 58:28
That is Disney magic.

Stefanie Bautista 58:29
It’s it’s a fan that has like very, very small holes for the air to go through so the kids can’t put their fingers inside.

Ariel Landrum 58:35
Good. There we go. Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 58:37
Yeah, so it’s baby proof. And we did end up getting him a fan there. But it was a Mr. Fan that had a foam blade. So he would put his hands in but he wouldn’t hurt himself. And that’s the one we ended up getting him. But yeah, the mom was so great. And yeah, like you said Disney Magic only. Only a Disneyland you’ll see something like that.

Ariel Landrum 58:58
Yeah, and there you go. And you paid it forward by gifting some people, some Webslinger tickets.

Stefanie Bautista 59:04
Exactly. So Webslingers is like a whole nother thing. When you go into Avengers Campus, it doesn’t look like much to be quite honest. It’s literally it’s kind of like a walkway. And at that time, Spider-man wasn’t doing any sort of like, web slinging.

Ariel Landrum 59:19
Oh he wasn’t doing his show? Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 59:20
You go into Avengers campus, and my son loved this huge stone Tony Stark’s heart, like a medallion looking thing on the floor. Did you notice that when you went?

Ariel Landrum 59:31
Yeah the a little arc reactor?

Stefanie Bautista 59:32
Yeah yeah/ The arc reactor. Thank you of like, forgetting all the words. So he loved it. He kept stepping on it. And it was really hot. And he tried to touch it. And he was like, “Ah, that’s hot.” It’s like metal. And I’m “Don’t touch that!” So he was there. I was able to take a ton of pictures of him. And then we walk through and I think maybe it’s because there wasn’t a show there. It just felt really awkward. The placing of everything as you walk through?

Ariel Landrum 59:58
Yeah, the…

Stefanie Bautista 59:59
Did I feel that?

Ariel Landrum 1:00:00
So the way that it’s sort of shaped is like hard angles and yeah, if you look at it essentially from above it makes you think of like a balloon.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:11

Ariel Landrum 1:00:11
Right? we’re skinny and then goes out but because of where the little mini lands I don’t even areas I don’t know, call them there. They’re hard edges in each section and particularly we’re like Doctor Strange is like that. There’s…

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:25

Ariel Landrum 1:00:26
Twists and turns, but it’s still a hard edge. So when there’s no interaction going on, I could see how that would just be sort of disorienting.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:34
Like when you go into Cars Land, you automatically see it’s like Radiator Springs is like one big thing and like a lot of the lines are like that, even with Pixar Pier like you have like a clear sense of direction of where you’re going.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:46
Yeah it opens up whereas this is narrowed in first.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:50
It’s narrowed in exactly. So we go into the Spider-Man like the Webslingers like merchandise area to the right of where the where the ride is, and the ride’s like a little bit. I feel like it’s hidden. I had to look for the arc and also like it’s a blind turn from where the queue starts like the actual physical queue. So I had to really look for it I’m like, “Where? Where’s the ride? I don’t know where the ride is.” Rise of the Resistance is sort of like that to where it’s hidden in like a corner. And I think that’s, I mean, I knew it was gonna be like that because of where it’s located on the map. And it’s like, an outlier and not like part of like the circular Disneyland Railroad…

Ariel Landrum 1:01:32
Yes, yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:32
Shape of the park. So I knew it was going to happen there. But I was a little I was a little surprised that it happened here knowing that it was a Bug’s Land, and it was already in the park. So we went in there and I saw like all the little spiders that like Billy was talking about that help you with the ride. But I still know it was the ride… I don’t know how this ride works. I’m not I’m so like, lost. And so we went in there. And it wasn’t time for us yet. So we went and it was a Doctor Strange show.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:03
Oh, you got to see it. Okay!

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:05
I got to see it. But I didn’t get to go in and see it. I saw it from a bush from the Shawarma Cart because that was essentially where AJ ended up doing class at five o’clock.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:19
Oh, it was that late?

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:22
Yes, it was. It was already that late. It was it was getting up to there because we went into the park around two o’clock. It was after one already. And our reservations for Carthay Circle was at three. We ate and everything. And then by that time, it was around 4:30. So we knew he had to get into class soon. But our our Rider-Switch was already up. So it was actually perfect timing. We both got to get on the ride. And then he went to class in front of the Shawarma Cart with the characters behind him.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:52
Yeah, that sounds like Disney. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:55
Dr. Strange doing his like portal stuff. Like right behind it looked really cool because like you hear his voice. And then you see like the doors opening and then like he comes out of a portal.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:07

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:07
Because the screen…

Ariel Landrum 1:03:09
Did AJ record any of this or show his classmates?

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:12
No. Oh, he didn’t record it. But because it’s a zoom class.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:16

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:16
He was he’s doing his his class and everything. And then his professors like, “Why do I keep hearing the Avengers theme?” And he was like, and he had a background on the whole time so that he wouldn’t like ah out himself that he was at Disneyland. And he’s like, “It’s ’cause I’m at Avengers Campus.” And he’s like, “What? You’re at Disneyland?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” So he turned off his background. And then he’s like, “I am at Avengers.” And you just see this guy stand up with his laptop and just do a full 360 and then and then one of his classemates is like, “Is Loki behind you?” Because right behind is like an amphitheater kind of section. And that’s where the characters stand and like, interacting wave. So Loki was there, Black Widow was on the side. And then like, a couple like his classes two hours, a little bit later, like Captain America is like off the balcon saying what’s up to the people and his classeamtes are like, “What the heck is going on?”

Ariel Landrum 1:04:16
“What is life right now?”

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:18
“What is? Why are you? There’s Avengers literally behind you? What is happening?” It was really funny to see. ‘Cause he didn’t tell anyone. But yeah, when we went on Webslingers, that’s when the lady told us “Oh, they weren’t supposed to do that. But we will honor it this time.” And then like Billy said, when you go inside, it’s like you’re in a testing lab. It looks like you’re in a classroom for kids. There’s crap everywhere.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:43

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:44
Just like small things, trinkets. And this one is a lot like Guardians of the Galaxy where you get put in one holding room. And then Peter comes out and says, “Hey, you know, like, I’m testing this new technology. Like we’re highlighting these young scientists.” And you see like, you know, pictures have actual kids. I don’t know, if they’re actual scientists, I really hope they are. That’d be super cool.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:04

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:05
Because they’re supposed to be, you know, sponsored by his school and like all of their technology. And, you know, he says that, you know, “Mr. Stark is helping me like develop this new technology and this and this.” And then essentially, that technology is the little spider bots. And they’re supposed to, you know, help you do things, but then they start to multiply, and they multiply as Peter is talking about stuff. And he just like, “Oh, no, like what’s happening?” And he’s like, “Oh, I gotta go. And somebody is calling me,” and so clearly has changed into Spider-Man at that point.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:36

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:36
And he like leaves. And this process was so much quicker than Rise of the Resistance that I couldn’t, I couldn’t like. And I was the second one to go on this ride. So I didn’t really get to like pause and wait, because I went through the Fast Pass line.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:49
Oh, yeah. Okay.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:50
So I didn’t really get to see a lot of things I Billy might have seen, I went in a whole different queue. So I went like right into like that first holding area. And then you walk through, and then you get loaded into those big vehicles that Billy was talking about. That’s like, okay, so he described it like, Toy Story Mania, which is small, and it only holds two on a side. This holds 4 people. And it’s a huge vehicle, like I think twice, maybe three, maybe two and a half the size of the Haunted Mansion…

Ariel Landrum 1:06:24
Oh buggies.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:25
Carriage.. the buggies, the doom buggies. It’s like huge. And the way it works, is you’re just sitting there, there’s no, there’s one lap belt. And you have this like control panel in front of you that looks like like very flat and like thin. And you see an outline of yourself. And I was like, “Wait, this is like the Kinect.” Do you remember when you’re trying to like orient yourself with a Kinect. It’s like a stick figure that sees and senses you. That’s what the technology is.

Ariel Landrum 1:06:30

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:32
So you are a little stick figure. And you could see and I started putting up my hands and I looked like a little stick figure like doing this. There was a little boy next to me could probably be around like five years old, his two parents, and we were all like trying to figure it out. And then they say, “All you have to do is thwip.” Like you have to pretend…

Ariel Landrum 1:07:15
Ah okay.

Stefanie Bautista 1:07:15
You’re shooting a web. And that’s how you’re going to get the nanobots. And so I’m like, “Okay, easy enough.” And as awkward as I am, I look at my hands. And I’m like, “How do I even?” Like…

Ariel Landrum 1:07:26
“What is this shape is this?”

Stefanie Bautista 1:07:28
“What is the shape? Is this an ‘I love you’? Is it like a ‘Rock-On’? Like I don’t know?” See then all of a sudden, like, I’m like, “I want to do this right!” Because a Toy Story like Billy said, it’s like an actual motion, you have something tangible in front of you that you can, you know, like shoot things with. But this is just your hands. So you don’t really know how far up or how far down like your comfort level is like, all out of whack. And you go through and it’s like Toy Story Mania. You go through different screens, and then but this one is like, when you go through Toy Story Mania, it’s like a little curtain that opens and it’s like a carnival….

Ariel Landrum 1:08:06

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:06
Attraction, right? This is like Guardians of the Galaxy, where it’s like a huge screen and you’re in a lab or you’re in the street or you’re in, like the top of the building or something. And there’s so much going on, like…

Ariel Landrum 1:08:22
Is this on a track? Or is it trackless?

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:24
This is on a track. This is on a track just like Toy Story, you don’t go up and down or anything. It’s just you’re you’re being moved through, through just like one flat surface.

Ariel Landrum 1:08:33

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:33
So you’re going through and then like, you see how accurate I guess this technology is because you literally throw your hands out and you see a web just like shoot out from like your area. You just see it. It just happens. And you first have to get over that. And you’re like, “This just… how is this working?” And then I had to remember this is like Kinect. So you really just have to like use your body and like your motions. For those of you who haven’t played the Kinect, it was basically an add on to the Xbox. And it’s ued sensory motion, I guess you could call it. Right?

Ariel Landrum 1:09:09
Yeah. Yeah, and the camera would also it was looking for certain blocks of shapes can tell if this was like a like a furniture object. And the problem with it was the color of clothing you’re wearing. So if you were wearing black, it could not recognize you.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:28

Ariel Landrum 1:09:28
You’d miss parts of your body.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:31
Yeah, you would like be missing an arm or like if you’re very like dark skin and it was like not well lit, it would also not recognize your face. So your stick figure would have like no head. But this was way more advanced. And also because you’re leaning against essentially a blank screen. It could recognize you a lot better and…

Ariel Landrum 1:09:50
It didn’t have to try and sense the space. It knew that there was nothing by you.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:54
Yeah, there’s nothing by you and there’s so much light in front of you because of not just the projections, but also like they had effects, and things like kind of spinning at you. It was able to recognize you very clearly. But yeah, you just like kept going like your arms are just like flailing around like trying to like throw like these bots. And then there’s different colored bots that you could get more points with. There’s a huge bot that like you all have to work together to like kind of like a boss, that you have to work together to like take down and that happens a couple times. And it stops every so often to like, calculate your total. And this kid next to me was like, killing it. I only have like, maybe, like 80,000, he was already on like, 150,000.

Ariel Landrum 1:09:54

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:55
“What, what is going on?” And so I looked over, and he was just punching the air. And I’m like, “That’s so much easier than like, thinking to the thwip.” Because you don’t have to thwip. He was literally just punching the air and he was hitting so many bots by punching the air. ‘Cause the technology is not going to recognize if you have like a thwip motion, it doesn’t care. It just needs you to move. So that’s like it was like, destroying us in the rankings. But I was like, “Okay next time, I’ll know how to do that.” But I think the right is have ample amount of time again, like maybe around five to eight minutes. By the time your arms are. And it totals all four of your scores, but then it combines them together. And then it gives you a ranking. I don’t remember the ranking right now. But you don’t really get like any sort of prize. It’s just, you know…

Ariel Landrum 1:11:26
Bragging rights.

Stefanie Bautista 1:11:26
It’s symbolic. And then yeah, that’s that’s basically the the ride. So it was pretty cool. Very, I guess one level when you compare it to Rise of the Resistance, just as immersive, I think with the story, and I think I would have to ride it again to get more details. And I’m sure that there’s a lot of Easter Eggs for the next movie that I just could not see. It was bots everywhere and things…

Ariel Landrum 1:11:56
Sounds like mayhem.

Stefanie Bautista 1:11:57
It’s mayhem, it’s absolute mayhem. So be prepared.

Ariel Landrum 1:12:03
So you both rode your rides. AJ is essentially he spent all of class at Avengers Campus. So did you all move to the plaza?

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:12
All of class.

Ariel Landrum 1:12:13

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:13
All of class. And then I ended up ordering ahead at Pyms kitchen.

Ariel Landrum 1:12:19
Oh nice.

Stefanie Bautista 1:12:21
Yeah. So I realized a lot of people did not know about mobile ordering. There’s just the big group of I think Disney goers that are not used to it. So they always have another line, which only probably has one cast member to wait and order food. And that line was all the way almost to the Quinjet. That’s how long it was. But I knew about the mobile ordering system since the morning. So I had ordered and we just waited for class to end and then I picked up my food and that was it. Ummm.. The food was okay. I don’t know if it was the time of day. It was like night time. The I ordered the chicken sandwich which I really wanted to get because it was just so funny.

Ariel Landrum 1:13:08
Oh, The Not So Little Chicken Sandwich.

Stefanie Bautista 1:13:11
Yeah, The Not So Little Chicken Sandwich. The chicken was dry. The bun was dry. The tater tots were the saving. Um, the bar looked cool, but we really weren’t into drinking any alcoholic drinks at the time. And because we had already had alcoholic drinks at Carthay Circle, we were like, “Oh, maybe we could just skip this one.” But my friends got shawarma. My friends that we ended up meeting up with. They had shawarma and they loved it. So I think they said in comparison to the chicken sandwich, they much rather have the shawarma and that’s a walk up. You don’t have to preorder for that one.

Ariel Landrum 1:13:50

Stefanie Bautista 1:13:50
So maybe next time I’ll try the shawarma instead.

Ariel Landrum 1:13:54
And then was that the end of your Disney day?

Stefanie Bautista 1:13:57
It was not the end of our Disney day. We kept going

Ariel Landrum 1:14:00

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:01
So while while he was in class, and we had both ridden our rides, my son was getting really sleepy. So what we ended up doing is he likes movement to fall asleep.

Ariel Landrum 1:14:12

Stefanie Bautista 1:14:12
So I took a very strong walk around Hollywood Studios. It was a power walk for me. Normally I would walk him around my neighborhood to have him fall asleep. But this time I was like, “Hey, I’m at Disneyland. So here we go.” So I went through and I hadn’t gone through Hollywood Studios for quite some time. And we went through Guardians of the Galaxy, they were still doing their show with Star Lord and Gamora. So they still had their dance party and everything. And then I don’t know if many of you remember but during the shutdown, they had little Disney+ photo ops for the new Disney shows. So they had one for Wandavision. They had one for Falcon and Winter Soldier and then they had one for Loki which used to be Legacy Passholder exclusives. Now they’re all out. They’re just in different areas of the park. There’s one like right where Captain America used to stand. There’s the Wandavision one is where the stage is and you can put your phone right in front of the TV monitor and take a selfie a time selfie. And it’ll be like you’re in their TV monitor. It was really cute. And then there was a Loki one in the corner where Black Panther used to be and then they moved Black Panther to the left, almost where the the theater is. Where they would screen stuff. And then they had this area that called Backlot 39? 36? Something like that. It is essentially a soundstage where they had a lot of merchandise, when you couldn’t go into the World of Disney. It was like a adjacent. And they had a lot of holiday stuff during the shutdown last year.

Ariel Landrum 1:15:51

Stefanie Bautista 1:15:52
Now they turned into a whole Marvel Avengers Store. It’s just all Marvel Avengers. And everything Marvel, I went in there, and it was cool. Cold in temperature. So the AC was blowing, it was nice. And they had figurines like actual collectible figurines, they have costumes, they had props that you could buy exclusives. They had a different Avengers campus merchandise, because they only had that one Webslingers store. So they had much more their stuff there. And what was curious for me to see is when I was looking at the figurines, is that they had one huge Wolverine on…

Ariel Landrum 1:16:33

Stefanie Bautista 1:16:33
They had a huge Gambit one.

Ariel Landrum 1:16:36

Stefanie Bautista 1:16:36
They had the Fantastic Four. And me being the conspiracy theoriest Marvel person that I am, and I’m like, they’re definitely preparing for something because…

Ariel Landrum 1:16:50

Stefanie Bautista 1:16:50
I’ve never seen any X-Men….

Ariel Landrum 1:16:52

Stefanie Bautista 1:16:52
Mutant in any way shape, or form in the Disney Parks whatsoever. So either they’re using this as a marketing opportunity for them to sell more merchandise, or they’re actually telling us Mutants are coming in one way or another…

Ariel Landrum 1:17:06

Stefanie Bautista 1:17:07
Which I’m really excited for.

Ariel Landrum 1:17:09
The forbidden word.

Stefanie Bautista 1:17:11
The forbidden word, which is, you know, gonna be in our lexicon very, very soon. So I was really excited to see that and, yeah, my son fell asleep. And I went around to Animation Academy got myself a cold brew smoothie….

Ariel Landrum 1:17:25

Stefanie Bautista 1:17:26
Smoothie area, and then we just chilled there until it was almost seven. So I had a little moment of Zen there. And then I went back, and he was almost done with class. And then we were able to go to Pyms Test Kitchen and all that stuff. But we had heard that there might be fireworks.

Ariel Landrum 1:17:45

Stefanie Bautista 1:17:45

Ariel Landrum 1:17:46

Stefanie Bautista 1:17:46
So we all headed over, we went to get our change of clothes, I changed my son into his warm clothes, I put on some pants because I was going to get cold. And then my husband’s able to put away his laptop in the locker on the way back to Disneyland. So when we got to Disneyland, we already saw people lining up on Main Street for the fireworks, I guess. But I noticed that a lot of the lights on Main Street were off. And I’m like, “Okay, they used to do that. But they used to do that all at once before fireworks.” So I was like this is kind of weird. So we started asking around because we were getting mixed signals from people around the ys saying there wasn’t fireworks, there was fireworks. There wasn’t fireworks. I’m like, which one is? Is there fireworks because people at California Adventure was telling us, “Yes, there’s fireworks.” People on Main Street were telling us, “There’s no fireworks.”

Ariel Landrum 1:18:33
And people do you mean guests are cast?

Stefanie Bautista 1:18:35

Ariel Landrum 1:18:37

Stefanie Bautista 1:18:37
We were hearing it from people. And then we asked cast members and even the cast members were telling us two different things.

Ariel Landrum 1:18:44
Okay all the people were confused.

Stefanie Bautista 1:18:45
All the people were confused. So we’re like okay, it’s around 8:30. Let’s preorder a corn dog because we’re hungry now and we want to kind of erase the dry chicken that I just had. So the corn dog cart which is my favorite place to get a snack it usually has a line nd it still did have a line because many people again did not know about mobile ordering. But we ordered when we were in California Adventure so by the time we got there, you press the button they make it ready. So we got our corn dog and we go, “Oh it’s only 8:40! Let’s go to the Tiki Room!” Because at this point my son had not gone on a ride aside from Winnie the Pooh.

Ariel Landrum 1:19:26

Stefanie Bautista 1:19:27
So Winnie the Pooh was the first ride that he went on and that is dark ride. It’s just you know, very simple. A lot of black light. And he was he enjoyed it but I don’t know if he was freaked out by it. He wasn’t scared by any means. But I was recording him because I couldn’t see his face. He was sitting in front of me. And it was only us two because and I’m sorry, but I’m backtracking throughout like earlier in the day before we even went to Avengers Campus. It was really hot that day. So right when we parked our stroller to go in, my husband gets a nosebleed. He’s like dripping blood, like oh, seriously dripping blood like it was a lot. And he’s like, “It’s not stopping. It’s not stopping.” And I’m like, “We’re gonna go on this ride. Maybe you can go over to the shop over there and maybe they can help you maybe they have first aid?” It’s like, “Okay, I’ll be right back.”

Ariel Landrum 1:20:17
Oh no.

Stefanie Bautista 1:20:17
As he shoves a bunch of like tissues in his nose. But it was really hot that day and humid and he was probably really dehydrated and dry because we didn’t have a lot of water.

Ariel Landrum 1:20:28
And that happens. You do get nose bleeds…

Stefanie Bautista 1:20:29
It happens!

Ariel Landrum 1:20:29
When you’re at that level of extreme heat. And…

Stefanie Bautista 1:20:32

Ariel Landrum 1:20:33
And if, if you both have a have a child and a stroller and backpacks, you aren’t, you aren’t light. In what you’re wearing are not things that are pressing on your body.

Stefanie Bautista 1:20:44
No, not at all. And so he went to go take care of his nosebleed. And then we went to we went on the ride and he enjoyed it. It was it was really cool. And I was like, “Okay, he did find it and cry.” There was a point where there’s like lightning, because I think he Pooh is caught in a lightning storm. And he didn’t get scared or anything. He just kind of was like, “What is this?”

Ariel Landrum 1:21:04

Stefanie Bautista 1:21:04
“Why are there things coming at me? What is that? Who is Pooh?” He doesn’t know who Pooh is. He doesn’t watch anybody. But um, like, I think this is a safe right to go on. So we went on that when you liked it. So when we went back, and then, you know, fast forward to nighttime already. We’re gonna go to the Tiki Room. He’s used to dark stuff. And we love the Tiki Room, and we can eat our corn dogs before the show. And yeah, it was like the show was at 8:50… 8:55 actually. So it was five minutes before the fireworks and or projections were supposed to start because at this point, we heard no fireworks just projections on the castle and Main Street that explain the no lighting on a lot of the buildings. And I’m like, “Okay.” Sometimes they do both. I think you and I have seen a show where they did fireworks and projections.

Ariel Landrum 1:21:50
Yes. Gorgeous.

Stefanie Bautista 1:21:51
I’m like it could be either or at this point. I don’t know. I wasn’t given a paper agenda for the day.

Ariel Landrum 1:21:59

Stefanie Bautista 1:21:59
Because they don’t give those out anymore. It’s on your app.

Ariel Landrum 1:22:02

Stefanie Bautista 1:22:02
So I had I had have no idea what’s going on. So we went to the Tiki Room. He loved it. He kind of got scared from the big boom of lightning.

Ariel Landrum 1:22:09
Ahh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:22:09
But he was he enjoyed all of the singing flowers and stuff. He really loved the birds. And you know, he was able to dance a little bit. But I think now he probably thinks all plants can talk.

Ariel Landrum 1:22:24
Just outside waiting for the lemon tree to talk.

Stefanie Bautista 1:22:26
Waiting for the birds of paradise start talking at him. But yeah, he enjoyed it. And then we went towards the castle. And we were like, “Okay, let’s see if there’s actually fireworks because we’ll start at 9.” It was just a projection. It was like a dance party that they had before with like remixes of Disney songs. So it was like EDM remixes of Let It Go. And, um, yeah, it felt like a Disney Channel dance party.

Ariel Landrum 1:22:55

Stefanie Bautista 1:22:56
So it was cool. But we knew he wasn’t going to pay attention to that. So we went, let’s go to Frontierland. And let’s see if you know, AJ loves to go shooting at the shooting gallery. So we did that. I went shopping for pins, while he did that. And then after that, we were like, “We can go to the castle.” Because at this point the fireworks were done. And everybody was going home.

Ariel Landrum 1:23:22
Like the projections?

Stefanie Bautista 1:23:23
Yeah, the projections. Thank you. mass exodus of people. Normally after the first show, they all leave.

Ariel Landrum 1:23:30
Yeah, yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:23:30
So everyone left. And we took this as a good opportunity to get a photopass picture in front of the castle because it was nighttime. And earlier on we just propped our phone up in front of a pole. And we got our picture there because those three of us, but because there was not a lot of people now we were able to get a photo pass with our friends also. So that was easy. Then they lifted up the gates, right when we were done with the picture we went through and then we took him on the carousel, which he really liked. And then we went on Dumbo, which he loved!

Ariel Landrum 1:24:09

Stefanie Bautista 1:24:10
No fear whatsoever. He was pulling the lever up and down. He he went all the way up and he I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t have a sense of height yet.

Ariel Landrum 1:24:21
Yeah, yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:24:22
But he wasn’t scared at all. He was just focused. And then then we went on It’s A Small World which he really, really liked because you know they’re singing everything’s bright. We literally walked on the boat at this point, there was no wait time whatsoever.

Ariel Landrum 1:24:40

Stefanie Bautista 1:24:42
We could have written it twice if we wanted to. And then after that we had ridden Storybook Land Boats earlier on in the day. And there was a mini parade. It wasn’t a parade. It was like a vehicle with multiple tiers, kind of like The River Belle during Fantasmic that all the characters go on. There was a lot of characters on that little…

Ariel Landrum 1:25:08

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:09
Maybe I think it’s called a cavalcade.

Ariel Landrum 1:25:11

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:12
Right? Is that the word?

Ariel Landrum 1:25:13
That sounds right.

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:14
Yeah. cavalcade and it was just very short. So it wasn’t really like a parade that people were gonna wait for. It just happened. And then there it goes. So you got to see a little bit of that, before we went on the Storybook Land boat rides, but yeah, he was just sitting the entire time, no big reactions.

Ariel Landrum 1:25:32
Okay okay.

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:34
Earlier on. Also, since I’m on the subject of what babies can ride, we tried to go on the the Mater like tipping cow ride, were like, the tractor ones. He was not tall enough to go on that ride. I thought he was.

Ariel Landrum 1:25:48
Oh okay.

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:48
But they were like, “Oh, no, he doesn’t reach 30 yet.” That’s the minimum for that one. And I think the only one he could go on was the Dancing Cars.

Ariel Landrum 1:25:56

Stefanie Bautista 1:25:58
But we didn’t go on that ride. Instead, he wanted to run around. And for parents who want another place for their kids to run around, there’s a little walkway between Avengers Campus and Cars Land where normally they have Mater and Lightning McQueen come out before they go to the Cozy Cone Motel and take pictures. That little area is barren all the time. So we just let him run around. We took pictures, and he was able to get his wiggles out there. And you know that way he could sit back in a stroller.

Ariel Landrum 1:26:30

Stefanie Bautista 1:26:30
So yeah yeah yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:26:32
So all in all, how would you rate this Disney experience?

Stefanie Bautista 1:26:36
I had a fantastic time. I think it’s because we set pretty good parameters for ourselves. And we weren’t expecting much. I mean, normally I have to go on Pirates and AJ has to go on Haunted Mansion. We didn’t do any of that stuff. We didn’t go on any big rides. We didn’t go on Matterhorn. We didn’t go on Splash Mountain. We didn’t go on Incredicoaster. Normally, those are the rides that we go on. We did we just for went any of those things. We were like, you know what, we’re just going to take our time and chill and go with the flow. If we get to do stuff, great. But if we don’t, that’s okay. And I think it was that, you know, managing those expectations of coming back and knowing that there will be another time for us to go back really helped out

Ariel Landrum 1:27:22
Well, and it also sounds like you both enjoyed living vicariously through your son’s sort of experiencing all of these things be new, right? You both have. I mean, it sounds like you’re really attentive to like paying attention to “Okay, what is like, how is he responding? What is he thinking? What is he looking at, like where his reactions are?” And that, that level of attentiveness. Probably not things that you were checking when you ride rides and friends?

Stefanie Bautista 1:27:51
No, not at all. We don’t check those things whatsoever. And also, we know what he is responding to now as a young one, and he’s a little bit expressive now. And he has a sense of, you know, what is one thing and what is another. He isn’t just a little potato child like he was a couple of months ago, just sitting there not doing anything. He’s he’s kind of, you know, tuning himself into the world around him, which was, I think, a really good place in timing wise for us to go because it wasn’t a total loss in just watching something.

Ariel Landrum 1:28:23

Stefanie Bautista 1:28:23
While we were at the park, he was experiencing things too, which was great.

Ariel Landrum 1:28:27
Well, is there anything else that you want to let our listeners know about your experience or just like prepping to go to the parks with an infant?

Stefanie Bautista 1:28:35
I think my advice is just listen to your baby. Also have mini experiences. See how they do at Downtown Disney, if they like those sights and sounds and noises? Also, like how do they act when they’re at an outdoor mall? That’s another way to gauge if you can’t go to Downtown Disney. How long are do they have to be in the stroller before they start wilding out? I think that’s a good… Are snacks helpfu? Like normally my son has a pile of snacks in front of him as long as he’s munching on something he’s fine. Just really knowing like, if you need to go home early, go home early, it’s not a total loss. If you know let’s say it didn’t go as well as mine did. I know I have a lot of prior knowledge that I can build upon and I’ve gone to the parks with many different ages of children so I kind of can expect what is to happen or what doesn’t happen. And I also like to push my son a little bit. I don’t try to shelter him from a lot of things. So I let him experience things that you know, maybe other mothers or caregivers might not have that same comfort level. So I would just say whatever is comfortable for you and for your baby. Just listen to yourselves and you should have a really well you know, rounded experience. And like don’t worry about getting the perfect picture. That is not going to happen. I think the picture that we ended up picking was one out of probably 50 burst and pictures that we took, maybe even 100. And also thankfully, one of our friends is a photographer and he came along and took pictures for us that I’m so thankful for. And he knows my son very well so he knows what angles to get him in. So if you have a friend that can do that for you all the better but if not, Photopass does a wonderful job to at getting angles and getting kids attention, because that’s all they do all day.

Ariel Landrum 1:30:30
Yes, yes.

Stefanie Bautista 1:30:31

Ariel Landrum 1:30:32
Well, for anybody else going back to the parks, please DM us on our Instagram or Tweet us on our Twitter @happiestpodGT. And let us know what your experiences were like in the park. Did you bring kiddos? What like, how did you navigate the virtual queues successfully as Billy and Stef or as unsuccessfully as me? Just let us know.

Stefanie Bautista 1:31:04
Yep. And if you have any other tips and tricks for us, feel free to let us know. I am one to always find new things because my son is growing and taking a 2, 3, 4 year old is different than taking a one year old. So I would love to hear everybody else’s thoughts. on bringing kids to the park.

Ariel Landrum 1:31:23
Alright Bye everybody.

Stefanie Bautista 1:31:25
Buh bye.

Media/Characters Mentioned
  • Spider-Man
  • Ray
  • Kylo Ren
  • Poe Dameron
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Gamora
  • Star-Lord
  • Tiki Room
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Webslinger
  • Avengers Campus
  • Online school
  • First time
  • Managing expectations
  • Attunement

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

 Website: happy.geektherapy.com
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 | Stef on Twitter: @stefa_kneee | Ariel on Instagram: @airyell3000 |

Geek Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of advocating for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice.
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