Our Leap Day Adventure with 3 kids 5 and younger!!
This trip came to be when I heard Disneyland was going to be open for 24 hours and of course since I had that season pass I had to put it go good use!! Yes call me crazy but it’s Disney people!! Who wouldn’t want to be there if they could!!
Let me tell you who we are before we start on this crazy adventure!!
First up is me, I’m Sandra. I’m a stay at home mom to my 3 kiddos, Jeremy – 5, Sarah – 3, and James - 18 months. I’m the Disney lover in our family and I’m raising my kids to love Disney just as much as I do. My favorite rides would have to be any that I can ride with my kids! I actually have 2 favorite characters and they are Mickey and Cinderella.
Next up is Jeremy. He turned 5 a few weeks before this trip so we decided to let him celebrate his birthday in the Happiest Place on Earth, and let’s just say he really enjoyed it!! He is also a huge fan of anything Disney. His favorite character Jake from the Neverland Pirates and his favorite ride is the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness aka Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Then there is my 3 year old Princess Sarah. She is the princess lover in the family. Now don’t get me wrong both my husband and I don’t mind seeing the Princess’ but my daughter goes absolutely crazy when she gets to see them. Her favorite character of course is Princess Belle and her favorite ride is It’s a Small World.
Now there is my 18 month old baby boy James. This trip showed me how much joy a little one can have when they see the characters. He also enjoys any and all ride he can get on. This trip he showed a fondness for It’s a Small World also and a real love for Goofy.
Last but not least is my mom Teresa. She loves Disney as much as any of us do but unfortunately doesn’t get to go as often as she would like. She enjoys both Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain. Her favorite character is that lovable Eeyore.
Now this is the first time I’ve gone to Disneyland without my DH Jeff. He had the opportunity to stay home and work double time so instead of cancelling our trip and losing money on our nonrefundable hotel he recommended that I ask my mom to go with me. Even though he didn’t join us he favorite rides would also be Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.
So there is my crazy group.
We stayed at the Ramada Maingate for the first time and absolutely loved it!! Our dates were 2/28 – 3/3/12.
More to come hopefully tonight after I get the kids dinner and then to bed!!
Saved for links. If I can figure out the correct way to do it.
Day One - Feb 28 - Our Drive Down
Day One Ė February 28
Sorry donít have any pictures from this day. I was the one who did ALL the driving and itís normally my DH who does it so no pictures were taken during the drive.
Our trip started on Tuesday, Feb 28 when my mom, my 3 kids and I drove down to Disneyland!! We left at about 11:45 am when my kids got out of school. About an hour into the trip my mom and I realized that we were a little hungry so we stopped at Jack in the Box. I got a the Homestyle Ranch Chicken Sandwich meal with curly fries, my mom got the potato skins, and the kids got a a chicken strip meal with fries. Iíve found itís cheaper to just buy a regular meal for my kids than it is to buy 3 kids meals. We arrived in Valencia (right next to Magic Mountain) at approx. 5 pm. Got gas at Chevron and then went to Red Lobster for dinner. For the life of me I canít remember what we got. I know we all got something with shrimp. Expect the kids got a chicken strips meal with fries to share. My kids donít eat enough food to get their own meals so for now sharing works out perfect. We left Red Lobster around 6:30 pm and headed to the Character Outlet in Fullerton around 8 pm. My mom purchased a couple things for the kids then it was off to the hotel we went. We got checked in and unloaded by about 8:45 pm. So in total it took us about 9 hours to get to Anaheim. My DH didnít think weíd get down there until closer to 11 pm cuz he thought weíd have to make more stops than we did. So I think we impressed him. We got the kids into bed by about 11 pm. They were excited to be in Disney so of course none of us really feel asleep until about 1 am which was hard since we had to be up by 4:30 am on Feb 29 so try to last out the day for the 24 hour challenge for Disneyland.
Up next how do we do in our 24 hour challenge with 3 kids 5 and younger!!
Day Two Ė February 29
We got up at approx. 4:30 am and were in line for baggage check by 5:30 am. Not to bad considering we only got about 3 Ĺ hours sleep. Thank goodness my older two were excited to go to the parks so they were ready to get up and go!! Now this is where the craziness begins. Disneyland had announced that they would be giving out One More Disney Day ears to the first 2,000 people. From different people I talked to who got the ears they started lining up by about 8 pm even though Disney’s Blog stated they would not let people start lining up until 10 pm for a 6 am opening and that is when they were supposed to be handing out the hats. Come to find out wrist bands were handed out and they were told they could come back ANYTIME after park opening to get their ears. Well let’s just say that didn’t happen. I'll come back to this issue.
First up let me share our pictures from Harbour Blvd. For those of you who know the entrance from Harbour at Disneyland you can probably guesstimate where we were. We were almost directly across the street from Tony Roma’s.
These were the people on the other side of the fence who were coming in from the buses from the parking lots.
My kids were actually being pretty good for it being so early. Here they are waiting for park opening or at least for the line to start moving!!
Yeah we finally made it in!!!!
Walking down Main Street giving a “High 4” to everyone lining Main Street!!
I loved the ones who would get down to my son’s level!! He was having a blast!! They lined Main Street all the way down to the end!! You could feel the positive energy as you were walking down the street!!
This group of CM’s were fun. They all had to give him a “High 4”.
Yeah we finally made it to the end!!
Now where should we head?
Star Tours!!! This is one of my son's favorite rides so my mom and DS went on it first and we got a rider swap so I could go with him later. Well unfortunatly later didn't happen until a couple days later in our trip!! Oh well at least we all got to ride it. After Star Tours where do we head?
Buzz of course!!
After we save the world from Zurg. Where should we head next?
But first before I continue with Day 2. We talked to numerous people who had lined up as early as 8 pm on February 28 to make sure they were one of the first 2,000 people in line to receive the special One More Disney Day Ears. From what I was told it was not very organized. People were given wristbands (sorry I donít remember what time they started distributing them) and told they could come back anytime after park opening and get their ears. So of course some left to go get some sleep before they came back to the park to try to stay until 6 am on March 1. Well if you know Disney that did not happen. We talked to numerous people who had lined up and had the wrist band but by the time they got back to the park they were unable to get their hats due to the fact that they were all already gone.
Hereís our story of how we got hatsÖ. We walked into the park at approx. 6:15 am and as we were walking under the right tunnel my mom saw a cart where a CM was passing out hats. She left my son in the stroller in the middle of the walkway and said Iíll be right back. I had no idea what she was doing except that she just blocked the way for a ton of people walking in behind us so I was trying to maneuver a double stroller and an umbrella stroller out of the way by the time she came back to me. She had walked over there and asked if we could get 5 of them for our group. With no questions asked the CM handed them over to my mom. Now we did not have wrist bands and my mom didnít realize we even needed them at this point. When she came back to me I figured they had extras. Now if they would have asked my mom for her wrist band my mom would have asked how would we have gotten those because mind you I knew what was going on but had failed to mention it to my mom except that they were passing out hats to the first 2,000 guests and there was no way I was lining up the night before with little to no sleep just for a hat. So we were pretty excited to not only get the buttons they were passing out to everyone who walked in but to also get the One More Disney Day limited edition hats!!! I did not plan on us getting them but it was pretty exciting to have them in our hands!!
The button looks just like the logo on the hat. Once Iím able to get a picture of it Iíll add that too.
Up next where do we go after we defeat Zurg?
Hi Sandra, I am here! :goodvibes Those lines look CRAZY long, but how cool to go on at dawn! WOW about the hats, I can't believe you scored FIVE! I didn't even know much about what was going on with the Leap Day activities, so I wouldn't have known about the wrist bands either...Looking forward to reading more soon. it is SO nice to put a name with a face and the children are adorable! EVEN so early in the AM!!!!
I'll hopefully be able to post an update tonight since the kids have a birthday party that we are leaving to go to in about an hour so I'm just trying to catch up on my subscribed threads then get ready to go party. Yes the drama does work it's self out but at the time I didn't know what was going to happen!!
we were at the other side of the fence lining up on harbor boulevard and we had Tony Roma in sight! so we must have seen each other! though I didn't take pics at that point and I don't see myself in your pictures!
but we did arrive to the place at the same time, and we did do Star Tours first thing in the morning as well!
it's awesome that you got your ears! by the time we left the room at the Anabella hotel we just KNEW that getting ears was out of the question XD lots of people were walking our same way and the lines were crazy!
what bugged me is that everything was pretty bad organised, we passed the security point and a CM told us to line up at a certain spot. it turned out to actually be the BEGINNING of the line, we found out like 15 minutes later when the girls we had next to us told us very politely that we were at the wrong place. I still wonder WHY the CM gave us such wrong information ¨¨_ so we ended up lining up near where you were standing (after getting wrong directions from a SECOND CM and standing in the wrong place for a SECOND time) :)
I still don't know how we didn't get punched by people who had been lining up at those spots for hours! they were all so polite!
lovely family you have! I don't know if I would have had the strenght to take little kids to Leap Day, I get stressed with just myself so I can't imagine bringing little kids. I admire your motherhood strength :D
I love that you took pics while entering the park! we didn't and it was so special with the CMs greeting everyone :D
I'm not surprised that the CM's didn't know where to have you guys line up and then for the girls by you to wait 15 mins to tell you that is amazing. I noticed that the atmosphere was very upbeat and positive the whole entire time we were in line waiting to be let in. We did make one mistake when we were walking over to Disneyand from the Ramada Main Gate. We should have crossed the street at that light but we didn't. We walked up Harbour to the light by Captain Kidd's and crossed there not thinking we'd have to back track. But oh well we still got in and we didn't stress about it. We were just happy to be there.
We also weren't counting on getting the ears. The only reason why we got them is cuz my mom happened to see the CM with the cart passing them out and went and asked. So needless to say we were both pleasantly surprised and happy to get them.
My oldest DS has now been to Disneyland 10 times and 1 time to WDW when he was 27 months old, my DD has been to Disneyland 8 times and 1 time to WDW when she was 8 months old, and my youngest DS has been to Disneyland 6 times. They are old hats when it comes to the parks. My oldest DS knows exactly where everything is and he doesn't need a map to tell you where anything is or what the rides are. It's scary to see how much a 5 year old and even a 3 year old remebers from their previous trips. I guess the reason why I brave the crowds and brave going is cuz of how much I love everything to do with Disney and how much I love to spend time with my family. We were sad that DH wasn't able to join us but since he couldn't make it, Grandma was a great second choice.
I had to take pics on Main Street. My son just loved giving everyone High 4's!! The energy from everyone was just so positive. We were feeding off of it!! That is funny that we were near the same spots and even went to the same ride first!! We probably did see each other but of course there's so many people that sometimes if you don't know someone you don't know to say "HI". So here's my late "Hello, Hope you guys had a fantastic trip!!!"
Still hoping to have more up tonight now that the kids are in bed and I think finally asleep!! Off to work on that next update.
Day 2 ContinuedÖ..
Well as I’m not used to doing trip reports I forgot to add one purchase I did make while waiting for my mom and DS to get off of Star Tours. As we were there for Leap Day and were hoping to make it as long as possible we HAD to get the special shirt’s they were selling. My mom and I both got the one on the right and even though DH wasn’t there in person, he was there in spirit so I picked him up the one on the left.
Here’s also the One More Disney Day pin they were passing out to everyone
entering the park for the first time.
Now where did we head after Star Tours? To Fantasyland of course. Now I don’t know why I didn’t get pictures but we rode Snow White’s Scary Adventure and my DD did a very cute little scream when we saw the witch and it got both my mom and I busting up laughing the rest of the ride!! Now so you know my DD is not very scared of anything!! I think it just surprised her. Up next was Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and again that cute little scream came out of my DD. Again my mom and I busted up laughing!! You could tell she wasn’t scared she was just having fun!! And that’s what Disney’s all about!!
Up next was another one of my DD’s favorite rides…..King Arthur Carrousel. Now anytime we ride the carrousel we try to get my DD onto Mary Poppins Horse.
This is my DD from our October 2011 trip.
But as I was heading towards it a lady jumped in front of me and got on it. My poor DD’s face dropped and she goes “Mommy that lady took my horse.” I told her in a semi loud voice so the lady would hear how upset she made my DD “It’s ok Princess maybe she felt she needed to cut us off to ride it. But we’ll try to ride again later and we’ll wait for it.” That seemed to make her happy. I know not one of my best Disney moments but hey you don't cut off my DD. No I didn't confront her it just wasn't worth it. Once the ride started she forgot all about the Lady and had a great time!!
Now after the Carrousel we normally head to Dumbo but not this trip. We didn’t even ride Dumbo!! Don’t know why, we just didn’t. So up next was the only RIDE in Disneyland…… Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. (The rest are all attractions. :lmao:)
We decided to let the baby stretch his legs and to give our backs a break!! He’s a heavy little boy!!
I think our wait was less than 5 minutes. Love hitting Fantasyland early in the morning.
Look Grandma no hands!!
After Toad’s we were starting to get hungry and I wanted to try out the new Holly Jolly Bakery so we headed over. While we were in line we actually ran into a friend of my Aunt's. It was pretty funny cuz I saw her and knew I recognized her but couldn’t remember from where until she mentioned to the person with her that my mom was Cindy’s twin sister!! Then I put two and two together and we talked to her a couple of minutes before the line moved. We were a few people in front of them. It sure is a Small World!! Lol
Here’s some pics that I took inside.
After we got our goodies we headed outside to eat. The weather was gorgeous!!! Gotta love that California sunshine!!
Oh and we did get a croissant and fruit also. So not all junk!! I just didn’t take pictures of those.
Now here’s another piece of Disney magic that we got. While we were sitting there I noticed someone walking around. What I didn’t realize at first is it was Oscar from the Carnation Cafť!! He was very, very sweet and asked how our day was going so far. By now it was about 9:30 am. While we were talking to him a couple ducks came to our table and he asked for a piece of my croissant and fed it to them. He told us that when he was the regular chef at Carnation Cafť every morning a pair of ducks would come to see him cuz they knew where to get the good stuff!! I didn’t even think to get a picture with him until it was too late. It was really fun to meet someone who has been with Disneyland for a very long time.
Now that our bellies are full where should we go next?
Day 2 ContinuedÖ..
The only place to go after we filled our bellies would be Winnie the Pooh of course!! We had to go see that lovable, huggable bear. Now on the way one of my worst best parenting moments happened. :scared1: We walked by Big Thunder Mountain and as I mentioned before that is my DS absolute favorite ride. So we decided to check out the wait time and it was posted at 30 mins. We decided weíd just wait until later since I picked up Fastpasses for it. Well letís just say DS did not agree with that decision. He threw a complete temper tantrum right there in the middle of Disneyland and instead of giving into him I had my DD get out of the double stroller and put my DS in the back so I wouldnít have to be embarrassed by so many people seeing him upset. Letís just say if I knew I could have gotten away with it I would have just left him there to throw a fit cuz I didnít want him to ruin everyone elseís trip. He just didnít want to understand that we would go on it later cuz heís used to Daddy taking him straight on it every time we walk by it and I felt like that wasnít fair to my DD to always have to wait for her big brother to get what he wants when she doesnít. Oh well lesson learned. Donít walk by Big Thunder Mountain unless you plan on taking the kids on it!!
Hereís a picture of my DD in front of the Riverís of America on our way to Winnie the Pooh.
This is when we found out that Modern Family was filming in the parks today!! Now I donít watch this show so please excuse the pictures of people I donít know. So I donít know if they are just cast or any of the actual actors. First time we saw them was in front of Splash Mountain.
We were told to keep walking so hopefully the pictures arenít too blurry and for those of you who watch the show can tell me if I got any of the actual actors. :happytv:
Wow I didnít take any pictures from Winnie the Pooh!! After Winnie the Pooh we headed back to the Haunted Mansion.
Now Iíve never had any issues in the past with my kids on this ride (or any ride for that matter). They normally love it both the normal version and especially the Nightmare Before Christmas Version. But this trip my DD basically started flipping out the minute we got into the elevator. :scared1: I got her calmed down enough to actually enjoy the ride but she didnít want to ride it again this trip and I was not going to force her. Thatís the rule in our family. You have to at least ride it once a trip after that you can say no. And so far itís worked out pretty well cuz I can normally get them to go on the different rides numerous times.
My DS on the other hand loved it. He kept asking Grandma where did Jack Skellington go and why was Sally gone, and asking her what happened to the big snake that holds the list. I thought it was pretty cute when my mom told about it after we were all off the ride.
After making sure we werenít the 1,000th ghost in the Haunted Mansion we headed over to one of my momís other favorite ridesÖ. Pirates of the Caribbean. Ahh Johnny.....oh wait, ahhh Jack Sparrow!! Love that pirate! Again we had maybe a 10 min wait. So we didnít have the crowds, yet.
Uh oh look whoís following us now!! Modern Family was now filming in front of Tarzanís Treehouse and Indiana Jones.
Again maybe you can tell me if I got anyone important in the photos. :happytv:
After that we decided it was time to go take a break. It was about 1:30 pm and we were all hungry and tired. We were going on about 3 Ĺ hours of sleep and I knew melt downs were coming so we headed out. On our way we stopped some where (sorry I canít remember where if I do Iíll make sure to add it) and got a bite to eat, then made it back to our room and crashed.
Now how long do we sleep until? and Mom, we HAVE to get back into Disneyland before California Adventure closes at 8 PM!!! Do we make it?
nice report! ;D
we left the park early that morning (before 9AM) because we had to return the rental car and after that we returned to the hotel to sleep. looks like the lines were quite short during the morning! I can't complain though, we could re-enter the parks with no problems later and for what I understand it closed not too long after we got in! we got very lucky :)
the energy everywhere was awesome, we loved it! specially my DH, it was his first time there and he was amazed because you could feel the love everyone had for the park (from CMs to visitors). it was funny to see and hear people knowing the sound loops by heart (specially at the haunted mansion), and see that they were enjoying the park so much even if it was their 500th time there :D
I wanted the Leap day shirt, but the one with the colorful design, but the kids tees they had were too small for me, and the men's sizes were too large. I still got the men's size, I'm using it as a nightgown :cool1:
can you believe i didn't realise it glows in the dark until last Tuesday when I got home? :lmao: does the ladies' shirt glow in the dark as well?
You would have loved to ride It's a Small World with my kids then. They were just singing and pointing at everything during the whole ride. I'll hopefully get up another post tomorrow. We had a long day today going to see my step father in law that is very sick and we don't think he has much time left. No one seems to know what's wrong with him expect that he's not eating, constantly in pain, constantly falls down and can't get back up with out help, and losing weight like crazy!! He's also a smoker and an alchoholic which is not helping the situation at all.
Wait a minute? The shirt glows in the dark? I guess I'll have to go check that out for the ladies' shirt and report back!! It's been in the closet so it's not glowing right now but I'll leave it out tomorrow and get back to you then.
So glad that your DH felt the love that everyone have for Disneyland. I love hearing about people's first trips. What was his favorite ride? Thing to do? Did you get to meet Mickey? (We unfortunatly missed seeing the main Mouse this trip but we have seen him numerous times on past trips so he is not lacking for love from our family!!) So when does DH want to go back or is he ready to tackle WDW? :lmao: I do realize you guys are around the globe from us and a very, very long plane ride. Feel free to share some of your adventures here if you would like!! Like I said I love hearing about other's people's experiences especially from the same time that I was there.
Thanks for sticking around even though I don't seem to have too many followers. It'd be great if some of the lurkers at least stopped by to say "HI".
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