Monday, 17 July 2017

DISNEYLAND PART 1



We've been thinking recently of going back to Disneyland in the next year or so because it's just that much fun there. I loved taking the kids when they were still young enough to love the magic of it all. It's a pretty amazing thing to see it through your own child's eyes.

I've had quite a few friends ask for my insight and suggestions from our recent trips there. I thought I would share a few things I learned from our travels. I'll split it into 2 separate posts so I don't overwhelm you with too many pics. I'm going to warn you, there will be alot!

This post I'll be sharing the pics from our trip last in December when we went with just our two older children, Ben and Maddie. We left Ellie behind on this trip and she met up with us afterwards. We really wanted out older two to be able to enjoy all Disneyland had to offer without stopping for naps and coming home early. And it was great for the 4 of us to be able to do all the rides. (It's not always fun being the parent who has to stay with the little babe!)





For this trip we took, we splurged and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. It was so amazing being so close to the park and having all the special perks of staying at one of the hotels. We were greeted with the cutest waiting area for kids (where they showed classic Disney clips) and a hot chocolate station! The kids loved adding marshmallows, whip cream and sprinkles to their drinks. And we watched carolers singing Christmas songs in their beautiful winter outfits.

We spent 3 days in the Disney Parks and it was the perfect amount of time there. We did 2 days in Disneyland and one day at California Adventure. When you book at the Disneyland Hotel, you are allowed an early entry (1 hour before the park opens to the public) into the park each day you are there. We took advantage of this each day. It made for some really early wake up calls, but being able to walk around the park without huge crowds was such a great way to start the day.











I think the most memorable part of this trip was how easy it was travelling with the bigger kids. Ben was 6 and maddie was 3 and they were both such great ages for travelling. We're thanking our lucky stars that there were no meltdowns and that they both had so much fun. We were able to ride almost all the rides together (Maddie is quite a tall lil gal, so she squeaked onto most big kid rides!)

We knew that it was going to be a crazy busy time of year to visit, but that was the only time we were able to travel, so we had to make the most of it. We did make the extra effort to take advantage of the Magic Hour from the hotel stay, which helped alot. We got to enjoy the park with minimal crowds in the morning.

One of my favorite moments was Maddie and Ben meeting the princesses. They are all super sweet and patient. They really take the time to make each child feel so special. Princess Aurora was the sweetest to Maddie - they were whispering in each others ears and showing each other their curtsies. Isnt that the sweetest?










The best thing about visiting during the holidays is that Disneyland looks so beautiful. The Parks are decorated with such pretty Christmas decorations and it is so festive there. We loved seeing Minnie and Mickey in their Christmas outfits! And every little nook and cranny there is filled with pretty ornaments and special Disney holiday decor.











One thing that I did not account for on our trip was checking weather reports! We were ready for mild weather during our visit, but it poured rain for 2 our of the 3 days. And I mean terrential downpour of rain. I ended up taking a trip to Target to buy boots for Maddie, ponchos, umbrellas and stroller covers. We were totally unprepared for the weather. If you go, make sure you check the weather and pack accordingly. The upside was that the two rainy days made for absolutely NO crowds. We barely waited in any lines becuase it was so empty. The day it rained the hardest ended up being one of the best days in the evening. The rained stopped in the later afternoon and that night we spend the whole time going on our favorite rides. One of our family favorites is Splash Mountain - and we got to ride it 3 times in a row without even leaving our log. The kids still remember that night and talk about how much fun it was.









We ended up going to one Character breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. It was fairly pricey, but we ate really well that morning (I'm pretty sure Maddie ate her weight in berries! Haha!) and the kids loved seeing all the characters. They come by really often and are happy to sign autographs and take pictures. When we were there we saw Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale and Pluto. Just make sure you bring a sharpie pen with you from home so they can sign easily. I ended up getting Disney postcards from Target and used those for them to sign. Its SO much cheaper than buying the books (although the Disney autograph books are really adorable!) and it worked just as well for us.

This was also the first time for ALL of us visiting California Adventure. It took us a while to figure out the lay of the lands, but we had a great time there as well. Ben loved cars land and the rollercoaster there. It's probably the longest line you'll find at this park, but it's probably one of the most fun as well. I would recommend getting a fast pass there first thing in the morning. I hear they have a limited amount and often run out by the later part of the day.










These pics of the kids by the Ferris Wheel are some of my favorites! I never see groups of people here (probably becuase there are no rides or attractions here) which make it such a great picture opportunity. That big Mickey Mouse in the background is too cute!





We loved this trip and it was such a special time for just the 4 of us. Disneyland is really one of the most magical places ever! We can't wait to visit again.










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