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Old 03-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
ladylyons
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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!!
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Last edited by ladylyons; 03-08-2012 at 08:25 PM. Reason: fix spacing
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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Saved for links. If I can figure out the correct way to do it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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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!!
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:36 AM   #4
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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?
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Last edited by ladylyons; 03-09-2012 at 02:17 AM. Reason: missed a stop in our adventure
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:15 AM   #5
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Hat DramaÖ.

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?
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:12 AM   #6
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Hi Sandra, I am here! 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!!!!
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Hi Sandra! I was looking for a DL trip to read, and look what I found! Sorry I'll miss you next week Going back to read now.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:27 PM   #8
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Hi Tammie! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed both the trip and writing about it. For a brief moment it looked like we were going to stay a few more days but then the DH realized that there was just too much work for him to miss so we're still coming home Sunday. I'm sure our paths will cross again. Hopefully in Disneyland!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ladylyons View Post
Hi Tammie! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed both the trip and writing about it. For a brief moment it looked like we were going to stay a few more days but then the DH realized that there was just too much work for him to miss so we're still coming home Sunday. I'm sure our paths will cross again. Hopefully in Disneyland!!
I did! I read it all in one sitting! The kids are so cute! I love how Sarah felt like a beautiful princess! So precious - you know, that will stick with her forever!

Too bad - we are just missing each other. It's a Date! Disneyland it is!

I was wondering - do you feel like you get enough value from your AP? What is the "break even" point - or are the extra discounts enough to make a difference?
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the nice comments on the kids. Sarah does know she is our princess and she's more than happy to play the part. I've got some photopass pics to put up and am going to start doing them tonight.

We didn't renew our passes this year due to the big price jump and my DH was like you got 6 trips in one year!! You should be happy!! So Christmas it is for our next trip.

Our break even point was after our 2nd trip since our first trip on them was 5 days and our 2nd trip was also 5 days. The discount was nice to have because we seemed willing to eat more in the park than back at our room which is what we normally did. I didn't really keep track of my spending so I can't tell you if it was that big of a savings but it was nice when they'd ask if I had an AP and I could actually say yes and get a better discount than I could with my Disney Visa. We had the Premium AP so no black out's and the biggest savings.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:46 PM   #11
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I orginally wasn't going to order the Photopass CD from this trip but when I realized I could get both May and February trips I jumped at the chance and ordered the CD. I've got it so these next few posts will be full of nothing but pictures. I hope you enjoyed them all as much as I did when they were taken.


Meeting one of our favorite Toys....





That crazy Goofy. I donít know how much Iíd trust riding in a plane with him.





PLUTO!!



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Old 06-28-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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Thanks for the great TR!
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:10 AM   #13
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I hope you are having a marvelous trip!!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWJonasGirl View Post
Love the pictures!!
Glad you enjoyed them!

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Love all the pics Sandra. You really can tell how much Sarah loves the princesses.
She sure does!! She tells me all the time that she is a Princess and sure does know how to act the part!!

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Thanks for the great TR!
Glad you enjoyed it.

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I hope you are having a marvelous trip!!!
Thanks Judy!! We had a great time getting to hang out with my parent's, sister, nieces and nephew. The kids all enjoyed getting to spend time with each other.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:26 AM   #15
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Thanks Judy!! We had a great time getting to hang out with my parent's, sister, nieces and nephew. The kids all enjoyed getting to spend time with each other.

I am so HAPPY!!! You deserved that! I realized I never told you how much I LOVED your photopass pics, simply gorgeous family!



from

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