BattleBots and a Big Surprise


Season 1 of BattleBots was a summertime hit in our household last year. We try to limit the kids’ TV-time, but this celebration of creativity/industry/mayhem was perfect for a pair of geeks-in-training. The kids eagerly anticipated new episodes each week, debating the merits of each robot and constructing their own models in both Lego and cereal box formats. When Season 2 was announced, we started scheming how to get tickets to watch the filming in person. When we found out this season was being filmed in L.A. and not the Bay Area (like Season 1), we hesitated…for about 1 minute. We jumped on the site as soon as tickets were available and scored four tickets for two of the final rounds. We surprised the kids and told them at dinner the night before we left. We made the responsible choice and pulled the kids out of school on a Friday, hitting the road at 3:00 a.m. for the grind down I-5. We watched two days of epic live battles (no spoilers) at a studio near downtown L.A. along with 300 other robot combat fans. Watching the process of the show being filmed was almost as interesting as the battles themselves.


After connecting with some old friends on Saturday night, we tucked the kids in late and packed our bags for the drive home. The kids didn’t notice when we got on I-5 southbound Sunday morning. Absorbed in their backseat activities, they didn’t notice as we pulled off the interstate 30 minutes later at Disneyland Drive and made our way through traffic past dozens of Mickey Mouse signs and billboards promoting the latest Main Street parade. It wasn’t until we were navigating through the parking garage and Jody handed them each their mouse ears that they realized what we were up to: surprise trip to Disneyland! The kids found their energy reserves and we clocked 20,000+ steps on the day. The full list of rides is below. We hit some favorites from our prior trip and discovered some new ones as well. We wrapped the day with an unexpected dinner at the Blue Bayou and a final journey down Splash Mountain. After changing into jammies in the parking garage, we were on the road by 8:00 p.m. and landed back in SF at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning, making it a tidy 72 hour adventure. Three hours of sleep and then  “Hello, Monday!” Epic weekend.




Disneyland April 24, 2016

  • Finding Nemo Submarine
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Star Tours
  • It’s a Small World
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster (Toon Town)
  • Mickey’s House
  • Show: Mickey and the Magic Map
  • Show and Ice Cream Sundaes: The Golden Horseshoe
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Dinner at Blue Bayou
  • Splash Mountain