Monday, 25 September 2017

DISNEYLAND PT 2



Seriously, it's the most magical place ever!






We took our children for their first trip on a one day trip to Disneyland during a vacation we had about 2 years ago in Palm Springs. Ellie was still a little baby (she was about 5 months and slept for ALOT of it in our baby carrier). The second time we went back we only took our older children Ben and Maddie. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel and it was really an amazing trip. Click HERE to read about that trip. And this last time we were back we went with all the kids and my family (including my parents and sister's family)

I am definitely no expert when it comes to going to Disneyland with young children, but I would love to share what I've learned these past 3 trips. Hopefully you get something out of it!

This last time we went to Disneyland we travelled with my parents and my sister's family. It seemed like a whole new dynamic having to consider what we do with 2 other families. It was extra fun though, having our nephews with us, and being part of a bigger group.

There are definitely easy and more difficult parts of travelling with a bigger group. We loved that we could split up a bit more and cover more ground. We went off into lots of little groups, which was great if there was something you really wanted to do, but some of the group didn't necessarily want to do as much. I got to take the girls to see the princess, boys got to do more star wars, older kids were able to do bigger-kid rides, little ones got to ride their favorite rides, grandparents helped stay with napping babes, and some of the group were able to get more fast passes by sneaking off quickly. But it was also sometimes more work figuring out plans of where our group generally wanted to go. Sometimes a smaller group is easier to navigate through the different lands of Disney.






GETTING PREPARED

Check weather reports!

So I was envisioning us all wearing airy dresses and shorts on our May vacation. The weather in California during this time is generally very warm. But to our disappointment, weeks leading up to the day forecasted rain and cooler temperatures. Even the week before, people were saying hot how and warm it was. I could only wish for warm sunny skies. But after reading the weather reports, I decided that it would be the best to be prepared for rain. We literally packed our kids rain boots, rain jackets and our stroller rain guard in our luggage. I brought cooler and warmer (a gal can wish, right?) clothes so that I could be prepared for anything. And it was a good thing I did because we had rain 2 out of our of 3 days. (AGAIN!)







WHAT TO PACK

The first thing we got ready to go was our stroller and kickstand (it's like a little skateboard which attaches to the stroller for one child to stand on). My opinion is that any young child is going to want to sit in the stroller at times. It's a perfect spot for kids to take a rest, have a snack and just relax a bit amidst the busy crowds. It's also a great tool for hauling around ALL the things you need while you're there. And it's alot!

We also let the kids each pick out a special souvenier from the trip. Maddie and Ellie choose a baby Simba and lion stuffy. Ben decided to pick out candies!







I also brought my ergo baby carrier for Ellie too. She was almost 2 when we were there. We don't use it at all when we're at home, but she loves to be carried, and I knew that my arms would only be able to hold her for so long. We used it everyday there, and it was especially great for waiting in lines for rides. I could carry her and have my hands free. Eventually my back got really tired, but it was still totally bearable.

I packed my usual diaper bag along with an extra bag for things like snacks, a change of clothes, sweaters and extra blankets (My kids NEED their blankies!)

I also had a little bag I brought with me when we weren't with our stroller. I packed it with my good camera, snacks and our valuables. Everything else I left in the bottom of our stroller. We were lucky and had no problem with leaving thing in our stroller. I made sure that things that were left behind were items that I wouldn't be too sad about if they were lost.









HOW TO GET THE MOST OF YOUR DAY

My biggest advice is to get to the park as early as you possibly can. Make sure you allow yourslef lots of time as there can be alot of waiting before you even get into the parks. There is a checkpoint at Downtown Disney for security that you  have to go through. I would allow for an extra 20-30 min to go through that. We waited for about 20-40 min to get through the park gates as well. So if you want to arrive about 30-40 min before the park opens, you'll have to give yourself an additional hour to get through security and then the park lineup as well. I know it seems like it's early, but its really worth it. Being one of the first people through at the park really makes it feel more special. There's no crowds you need to deal with and it's great for snapping photos and getting right onto rides. We were able to get in a lot of rides before it got too busy and the kids loved that they didn't have to wait in lines. Plus, you can get someone to grab some fastpasses while it's nice and slow at the park.

We were at the very front of the line at California Adventures one morning. We got to walk along with the cast members into the Main streets, and got in a pretty short line up to meet the Frozen princesses. We didn't get a chance to meet them last time, and it was one of the things the girls requested for our visit this time.













PICTURE SPOTS

Disneyland is such a great place for super sweet special and iconic pictures. It's every wanna-be photographers dream. (That's me! Hah!) That is when there's no crowds behind you. I found that there are lots of great places to take pictures if you get just the right angle.

One of my biggest tricks to getting some shots of the castles, building and parade characters is to take the picture at an upwards angle. I always try to get some of the blue sky in, and I always crop off the bottom part. This gives you an illusion of an empty park, and it really focuses the attention on the pretty details.






























One of my favorite places to take a pics is in California Adventure right in front of the big Ferris Wheel. The boardwalk is almost always empty (because there's no rides in that area) and you can get a great picture with no crowds with Mickeys face in the background. These are some of my favorite pictures there!


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