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Old 06-08-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 51

Our Family of 5 goes to Disneyland: A First trip with 3 small kids (May 2012) DONE

The cast of characters here is me, a stay at home mother of three, my husband, and our three children, P age 7, L age 5 and our little princess, M, 20 months. I went to Disneyworld when I was about 6 years old, but none of the rest of my family has ever been to Disney anywhere.

This story starts with my husband, who loves to do millage runs to collect airline upgrades. He takes our 5 and 7 year olds sons with him because otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed to go! When he found a cheap weekend getaway to Japan via Guam and Hawaii, I turned him down flat. Who in their right mind spends an entire weekend in an airplane with small children just to get to fly on a fancy new carbon fiber aircraft? My husband, that’s who!




A quick side note: They went all the way to Japan to see this special plane. It was the highlight of my husband's trip, but the boys were much more thrilled by the Pokemon planes!



When he suggested that our 20 month old daughter and I join him in LA on the way back and we could stay in the area for a week, I started to see some potential. I have been suggesting a trip to Disneyworld for the past couple of years (closer to our part of the world up here in Ontario) so we agreed to spend a couple of days at Disneyland. When we saw the price of tickets, it quickly changed to 5 days: each day seemed to add so little extra to the overall price!

It was decided: My husband and our 7 and 5 year old sons would leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday May 26th for a jaunt to Japan and a flight on the 787 while the baby and I would fly directly to LA on Tuesday morning and we would meet the boys for a big surprise! My husband LOVES surprises!

My biggest concern was that my boys wouldn’t know what Disneyland was, so I showed them several Youtube videos and asked if they would like to go “someday”. They were both very excited by the idea, but had no idea how soon “someday” was coming.

After my husband left with the boys, I spent the next few days running around town and packing for a family of five for a week of vacation – trying to make it all small enough that I could lug it by myself! I ended up packing three suitcases, which I thought was pretty good!

I had an early flight Tuesday morning at the airport an hour from here and because I was coming from Canada, I needed to be there in plenty of time. We go through US customs as well as security at this airport. So I set the alarm for 4am, and didn’t get to bed until after 11pm with all the last minute bits and pieces of packing. I must have been excited because I woke up before my alarm went off and I was off and running. I packed up the van and threw my still sleeping baby into her car seat and was off to the airport. We were there in plenty of time, and some of the perks of my husband’s mileage running turned up – free baggage checking, and then I could wait in the fancy airport lounge where they offer free breakfast! They even had a special children’s room, so M and I had a little room with a TV set to the kiddie’s channel in which to eat breakfast.

Our flight was long, but uneventful. I love that the Air Canada planes each have seat back TVs so you can watch whatever you want. M is an easy going kid, and was happy to watch the TV, listen to stories, look out the window and then have a morning nap in my arms.

My husband and boys arrived in LA very early in the morning, rented a car and drove down to the beach to look around. Then they headed back to the airport to pick us up. Keep in mind, the boys still thought they were on their way home that day, when really the trip had just begun!







When we arrived in LA, we were among the last to get off the plane, mostly because I had gate checked the stroller, and I knew there was no rush. I missed my boys, though, and I was looking forward to seeing them. We got down to the baggage pick up, and there was my family. My husband had already collected my luggage (evidently my oldest son was VERY confused – “Daddy, why are you taking somebody else’s luggage?” DH was afraid that security would come and question him!) The boys were SO surprised to see me! The best part of being a Mummy is how special the kids think you are!



NEXT: Heading to Anaheim and Downtown Disney!
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and the gang: DH, P (DS 9), L (DS 7) & M (DD 3)

Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report

Last edited by MerryJ; 06-14-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
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The boys were excited to see M and I, and excited about going to Disneyland, although it took them a day to really understand that they weren’t going home yet!

We had originally planned on going back to the beach for a while, and headed in that direction. We remembered we needed to stop to pick up a SIM card so we could use our smartphone in the USA, and our new GPS quickly found us the nearest store. At the store, DH asked about the closest, best Mexican food. We ere directed to a little sit down place called the Cantina, I think. It was right across from the busiest Whole Foods I had ever seen – I think I saw a music video about it online once. The food was good, and I was happy to hear all about the fun and exciting trip my boys had taken to Japan via Guam and Honolulu.

We talked about the possibilities, and I suggested that a little quiet time in the car and then a trip to Downtown Disney and the Lego store would be better than a trip to the beach. So after lunch, we loaded into the car and headed to Anaheim.

A little side note here about choosing our hotel. We had really wanted the cheapest hotel we could find, but close to Disneyland, and with a two bedroom suite. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but our experience has been that we are MUCH happier if the kids can sleep in one room and we can stay up a little later in another room. Searching online, the cheapest suite type room we found was at the Eden roc. Dh bushed it and then I started reading more reviews. And just about had a panic attack. Even the positive reviews of the Eden Roc said things like “but I would never bring kids there”. So I started doing some more research, trying to find an alternative. Proximity was my priority, while price and a suite were my husband’s priority. It was early May and I was planning for a trip at the end of May, so I didn’t have lots of time either! I discovered the Castle Inn and Suites, which is a 20 minute walk to the gates (with small legs – I know without the stroller and kids we would have been faster) We were able to book our room, and I was very pleased with our choice.



We are accustoms to driving on busy highways, having grown up in a big city, so it was pretty uneventful, but we weren’t able to have a big chat about our plans because it was heavier driving on unfamiliar roads with an unfamiliar route. We got to the Castle Inn at just after 3pm and checked in. As we expected, it wasn’t fancy, but the room was clean and felt safe. We spent a little time unpacking, and then headed for a walk to pick up our Disney tickets and take a look around Downtown Disney. We had been waffling about whether to go in then on Tuesday, and take another day off during our trip, or just have a quiet first day. The quiet first day won. I’m still not sure if it was the right choice, but it was what we did!

We picked up our tickets. There was almost s problem, because DH lost his driver’s license a few weeks before our trip, and the new one hadn’t arrived yet. He has a temporary one, but it doesn’t have a picture on it, so isn’t the photo id needed to pick up Disney tickets. I told him to bring his passport to the desk, but he didn’t! Fortunately, I could pick them up with my photo id!

The boys were a little confused about what Disneyland was. P (age 7) kept saying, “I thought there were rides and stuff at Disneyland!” We kept explaining that although we were AT Disneyland, we weren’t IN Disneyland. The boys thought the store where you can make your own car was cool, but they were only interested in the remote control ones, which were beyond their souvenir budget. My daughter was impressed with the Build-a-Bear store, but I didn’t feel like doing something we could do at home at Disneyland. We headed over to the Lego store, and the kids all enjoyed playing outside with the Lego.



My boys are both big Star Wars fans, and really excited by the Lego C3PO.



My DH tried to talk them out of buying their souvenir right then, but I said that I disagreed, having read that it was better to buy when you see it. They boys really enjoyed fitting all the different bricks into their containers. I’m not entirely sure of the entire value, but they were pleased.



I knew things were starting to go downhill when my youngest dropped the bag with the Lego, and we had to pick it all up from the floor of the Lego store! We were all starting to get cranky and tired and little M wouldn’t sit in the stroller anymore, so we headed back to the hotel.



We had planned on going to Target to pick up snacks, breakfast stuff and diapers, but the boys were wiped out. So I went up to the room with the kids while DH went to run errands. It took him longer than I expected and he wasn’t back until close to 7pm. We had some peanut butter sandwiches in our room, and we all went to bed early.



NEXT: Our first day at Disneyland!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
monkey30
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wonderful surprise for your boys! I am following along!
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
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On our first day, the park was going to open at 8am. I explained that we needed to be there before that, so we set the alarm for 6am. I woke up before the alarm and realized that I didn’t think our Ridemax plans that I had carefully planned and printed were going to work. I had really been thinking we would go into the park on Tuesday afternoon and go on some “easy” rides to get the kids adjusted, and then be ready to go on anything on Wednesday. I looked at our plans, and the first ride for Wednesday morning were Big Thunder Mountain and Astro Orbiter. I had been worried that the kids would be afraid of roller coasters, as they were new to them. I panicked and started a new Ridemax plan (thank goodness for the smart phone!). I fiddled with the Ridemax plan, sticking in a break at 8:15, starting over near Splash mountain and then making a separate plan that only had a few gentle, starter rides (Winnie the Pooh, Jungle Cruise, Casey Jr. and Small World).

We ate breakfast in our room, and walked over to the gates. We were at the bag check by about 7:30. There was a little confusion when we tried to figure out which was the best line up. I got my DH to get our bags ready for the check, and we soon headed in. There was already a line up at the gates, but we weren’t too far back. We walked right past Town Hall, so I ran in to pick up First Time buttons for all of us. On our way up, a lady in flip flops was running and tripped. People came running from everywhere to help her. I suspect the poor lady’s trip was ruined, because it looked like a pretty nasty fall.











We double-checked with a CM that we could get to Critter Country through Adventureland, and waited for the rope to drop. We were a little way back, but it was all very magical. I hadn’t expected to be SO excited.





We headed in, past the Tiki room (which DH and I were pretty excited about, having listened to the song many times on our Disneyland CD). We headed to Critter Country and I picked up 4 fastpasses for Splash Mountain.



Next we went on Winnie the Pooh, right across from the Splash FP machines. So our very first attraction at Disneyland was waiting for us!



We all enjoyed it, although I think the baby and the 5 year old found it just a tiny bit scary.

We headed towards Jungle Cruise next, but were already ahead of our plan, so we stopped at Tarzan’s Treehouse on the way. I should have put the baby in the carrier for that one, as she was heavy to lug up and down all the stairs!



I really enjoyed the Jungle cruise, as did M who loves all animals. DH enjoyed the corny jokes. On the way to Fantasyland after, DH had to take a picture of the giant pickles (which he never bought, even though he loves pickles!)



We were still running ahead of time, so stopped at the Carousel too. This turned into M’s favorite ride. She loved the “horses” and called for them every time we walk nearby, and cried when she had to get off! ( I don’t seem to have a picture of her on it here!)



Casey Jr. next…



…then Small World!



Everyone loved Small World, and I think this began the start of the “that was my FAVOURITE ride” that happened all day after we go off everything!

Next we headed over to Tomorrowland because we were heading to the Jedi Training Academy! I had told the kids about it the evening before while DH was shopping. My 5 year old decided he didn’t want to participate, and I was totally okay with that. My 7 year old made a sign that said, “Pick me” and had a picture of C3PO and R2D2.



We arrived about 30 minutes before the show, and there was already a bit of a crowd. We parked the stroller, and P sat in the second row while the rest of us sat in the back of the seating area. We got a snack into everyone, and before long the show was going to start. A mom in the front row moved back and ushered P up into the front row next to her two sons. They were also wearing green Star Wars shirts and carrying signs (made from opened up folders – I bet they are DIS readers!) When the trainer came out, and he made the first pick he said, “the two – no three – boys in the green shirts!” and with that P was chosen!





P had fun, but wasn’t exactly the most coordinated kid, and had a bit of trouble following the directions, but seemed to enjoy himself anyhow.



Then he got to fight Darth Vader, which was pretty amazing! Probably one of the most memorable things of the entire trip!



Next we had some popcorn and then went to Innovations, which the kids enjoyed. I think it would have been more interesting if I hadn’t been exhausted.



We didn’t see everything but I knew it was better to head back to the hotel for lunch and a break before we got cranky! We had lunch and a short break and then headed to the hotel pool. We were the only ones there, and the kids all really enjoyed it. It was hard to convince them to leave the pool and head back to Disneyland!

NEXT: The boys discover coasters!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
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I forgot to tell you that we had picked up Star Tours fastpasses on the way out of the park just before lunch – P was looking forward to it more than anything else.

We headed back to Disneyland at about 3. Frankly, having left at noon, with a 20-minute walk each way, it wasn’t really a long enough break. Another hour would have been nice, but I was worried about messing with the plans too much!

The boys were both tall enough, so DH took them on Splash Mountain. We hadn’t totally figured out about rider swap yet, so didn’t even think to get one. I spent most of the ride praying that they wouldn’t be terrified out of their wits. Also, if I had known better, I should have either lined up to see Winnie the Pooh or gone on the Pooh ride with M, but I was still getting my Disney legs!

There was no reason to worry about the boys. They had a blast!



We picked up Big Thunder Mountain Fastpasses and we were running a little late, so we decided it was time for dinner, rather than a ride on Mark Twain’s steamboat. We ate at the Mexican place right by Big Thunder Mountain and really enjoyed it. I was impressed with the toddler meals – a great deal for a juice, applesauce and a little food. My youngest two had those, P had the children’s bean burrito and DH and I had the fish tacos. It was all really good, although the food was spicier than my Canadian palate expected!

We decided to take a train ride around Disneyland on the steam train after supper. We walked over from Frontierland to New Orleans’s square and hopped on. It was much better than I expected – I hadn’t realized it was more like a ride than a means of transportation. I don’t entirely understand why it doesn’t show up in Ridemax as an activity.



We took the tour all around the park, and then got off back at New Orleans’s square and headed to the Pirates of the Caribbean.





We all really enjoyed it!

We headed next to Big Thunder Mountain to use the fastpasses. Again, we didn’t use the baby swap, DH and I each took a turn with one of the boys, and we all loved it. It was L’s favorite ride of the week, and we rode it quite a few more times during the week.

We headed over to Tomorrowland, but decided that the wait for Astro Orbiter was too long, so we took turns doing Star Tour. I went first with the two boys and we got rider swap, so DH could go again with both the boys. It was fabulous! I think my very favorite ride at Disneyland. Even with the fastpasses and baby swap, it took a while to get the family through Start Tours twice, and it was after 9pm when we where getting ready to leave. The kids and I were exhausted, but DH really wanted to see the fireworks. I talked him out of it, although we saw enough of the show on the road back to the hotel that he decided he needed to see them before we went home. It was very crowded getting out of the park at that time, as the traffic was being directed and many people were in position waiting for the fireworks. I don’t think we were home before almost 10pm. We all rolled into bed totally exhausted, with the alarm set for even earlier the next day to make Magic Morning!

NEXT: Magic morning at Disneyland
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
MerryJ
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We were up at the crack of dawn to get ready to go back to Disneyland. We had a quick breakfast in our room and headed to the park. We arrived at the gates before the bag check opened, and headed in to Fantasyland as soon as we were able, but there was still a huge lineup at Peter Pan by the time we got in! Unfortunately, that means we never made it on Peter Pan. We were on the second round of Dumbo, which was a great favorite with all the kids. My 7-year-old rode alone, and my 5 year old rode with DH and I rode with little M.





We headed over to Alice next, but it hadn’t opened yet for some reason, so we got on the Tea cups.







Alice stillw asn’t open, and the boys wanted to ride the Tea Cups again, so Dh rode with them while I took M over to ride the Carousel again. She had been crying “horses” when we walked past it earlier, and really wanted to ride again.



When I got back, DH and the boys were wandering, not standing in the growing line for Alice! I quickly got us in line, and soon Alice opened and we rode it. It was one of the longest waits we had at the parks!





We headed over to Pinocchio next, and got on without any line at all. Then we went to Mr. Toad, where there was only a very short line. We decided to skip Snow White, because of the scary factor and headed over to the Storybook Canal. Our Ridemax plan was starting now, and it was supposed to be a 7-minute wait. The ride was loading, but it was going VERY slowly. After 10 minutes without even getting gin the gate, we decided to skip it and head to our next attraction.



We headed to Tomorrowland and the DH rode Astro Orbiter with the kids. While they were riding, I picked up Space FPs for later. We had skipped Astro Orbiter the night before because of the long line and it was a priority for my 7 year old, but I don’t think he honestly enjoyed it that much. Maybe because he rode alone?







Buzz Lightyear was next. It was loads of fun, but I think the boys were disappointed because they didn’t get high scores!

It was only about 9am now, and we headed over to Toontown to ride Gadget’s Go Coaster. I needed to stop to nurse the baby, so Dh and the boys walked over without me, with the plan to meet them there. The boys were really looking forward to this one – I think they thought it had something to do with Inspector Gadget, who is a favourite of theirs. They also had a new found love of coasters! I go there just in time to see my 7 year old freaking out at the front of the line. He saw me and yelled “Mummy! We have a problem!” But what could I do from where I was? He was up there with his father, about to get on the ride. Turns out the problem was that he was going to have to ride alone. A minute or two later, he was off the ride and grinning from ear to ear, so I guess it wasn’t THAT bad!

We decided to skip the line at Minnie’s house and head to Roger Rabbit. On the way we saw Pluto, who is a favourite of my space loving kids. We waited a minute and got autographs and pictures taken.





M was TOTALLY enchanted. She LOVED all of the characters all week, and would cry when it was time to leave.

We enjoyed Roger Rabbit, especially us grownups who knew the movie. After, we just enjoyed Toontown for a bit. The kids loved the Fireworks company!



We explored Chip and Dale’s Treehouse next. For some reason this was a HUGE hit with all three kids. Maybe they just needed to run around a bit?





NEXT: Brunch at Goofy’s Kitchen
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Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report

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Old 06-08-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Although it was only about 10:15, it was time to start getting ready for our reservation for Brunch at Goofy’s Kitchen for 11am. Given our early start, it was rally a great time to have a break and lunch.

We walked back over to Tomorrowland and got on the Monorail to DTD.



It was a short walk from the DTD stop to the Disneyland hotel and the restaurant.







We arrived and had a short wait before we were seated. We got our picture taken with Goofy (which turned out so well, we ended up buying it although it is more than we usually would spend on a picture. Sorry - I don't have it up on Fliker, so I can't share!)

I was starving, and got some food quickly. At first, I felt a little bad getting a plate of food for my 1 year old, because we didn’t have to pay for her, but it seemed everyone else in the place was, so I just did it too. I didn’t order her a drink, and wonder if I should have.

The kids found lots of food they liked, and enjoyed the dance break with Pluto!



The kids were really pleased with the autograph albums I got them, and M was again thrilled with each character that visited us. The problem became that she would cry and try to run over to the characters that she saw rather than waiting her turn. The only one she didn’t like was the only face/speaking character – the Mad Hatter!











I really enjoyed all my food too. The favourite with the boys was the dirt and worms, while DH liked the custom omelets.

We took the Monorail back to Tomorrowland, and we just missed a train, so we chatted with the Cm while we waited. My lucky boys and DH got to ride in the front of the Monorail on the ride back.



In Tomorrowland, we picked up FPs for Autopia and headed back to the hotel for an afternoon break.



NEXT: The rest of a LONG day at Disneyland
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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I love it so far!! How awesome that your DS got picked!! I love the sign too. I'll have to make one for my cousin.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:01 AM   #9
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
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It just occurred to me: Can someone please confirm that the pictures are showing up okay in this post? And are there too many pictures? I am worried that it is too slow loading because of the pictures... but if the pictures only show up as links, I guess it isn't! (I am kind of new to this - I should have asked DH, but he is at work today!)

I have my next post ready as soon as I know this is working!

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:17 AM   #10
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It's a GREAT trip report and all the pics are showing up awesome. Love it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Great TR! The pictures look good!
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
MerryJ
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We tried to have a nap when we got to our room, but the boys wouldn’t sleep. M had fallen asleep on our walk, and had a nice long nap. We each lay down with one of the boys, but even with that forced quiet, they wouldn’t rest. So we let them watch TV while DH and I had a short nap. When we got up, the boys and DH had a quick swim before we headed back to Disneyland for about 5pm.

When we arrived, DH was going to run over to get some FPs while the kids and I saw Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. He had just left us when he came running back saying Minnie and Mickey where just outside on Main Street. We hurried out, and were second in line to meet them. M was especially charmed.



We watched the movie with Steve Martin in the outer area of the theatre where Mr. Lincoln is, which my boys were totally absorbed with while DH got the FPs. DH arrived just in time to go in to see Mr. Lincoln. I thought it was pretty impressive, but I don’t think the boys got much out of it. They don’t even know who Mr. Lincoln is (we are Canadian and haven’t got to that part of history yet!)

We headed over to the Tiki room next. It would have been a reasonable wait, except that I had made the mistake of telling DH about Dole Whips, and he had to have one. So we watched three groups go into the attraction while DH waited in line for Dole whips – even on the inside line. They were good, but I’m not convinced they were worth that much of a wait!

The Tiki room itself was amazing. The whole family loved it. I'm sure that knowing the Tiki room song helped - I found that all week - even when the kids didn't know the movie, if they knew the songs, they were more engaged.

We walked over to the Haunted Mansion next, but my 5 year old said he didn’t want to ride it. No problem. My 7 year old rode with me. I made an extra effort to discus HOW they were doing this or that interesting thing when I felt him getting scared and he was fine. He agreed that it was a good thing his little brother hadn’t gone on it.

Next we headed to Big Thunder Mountain. It had been a huge hit the day before and DH picked up FPs earlier. While DH rode with the boys, M and I picked up a giant turkey leg. M and I ate some while we waited.

Then we used the baby swap and the last FP so that I could ride Big Thunder with the boys again. They were so excited to go again. When I got off, I found M enjoying the last of the turkey leg.



We picked up Star Tours FPs as we wandered over to Autopia where we were surprised that little M was tall enough to ride! I pulled out the glow bracelets I brought from home and we got on. I rode with the baby and the 5 year old. I pressed the gas and he attempted to steer! It made for a bumpy ride! Nobody in our group was really crazy about this ride - probably because the boys did the steering, and they weren't very good at it! DH and I were both not in the mood to give driving instructions, which might have helped.

It was time to head over to Main Street to see the fireworks. We found a spot and the boys were exhausted. We parked both of them in the stroller (thank goodness for the sit and stand we brought) while I carried M on my back. I sent DH off to get a snack to cheer up the cranky kids. He got three sorts of candy. The hard toffee covered in chocolate and nuts was out of this world amazingly yummy. Best thing I have ever eaten good! Wow! He also got caramel corn and brittle.



The fireworks show was unbelievable. I have never seen such a show, and I grew up in a big city that hosted international fireworks contests when I was a kid. At first, P was complaining and grumpy, but a little candy and the amazing fireworks cheered him up. M watched most of it from my back but L fell asleep in the stroller during the fireworks. I was SO glad DH convinced me to go, even though it was crazy to keep the kids out so late – especially on the day we had arrived early for Magic morning!

After the show, as both little ones were asleep, and P was feeling more cheerful, he and DH rode Star Tours with FPs we had picked up earlier.



Although we had more FPs for Star Tours and 4 FPs for Space, P was too tired to ride anymore, so we gave our FPs to another family and headed back to the hotel. P was so tired he rode in the stroller on the way home. I don’t quite know how DH managed to push 100lbs of kids home in the stroller! We rolled into bed and slept like rocks!

Next: California Adventures and a very stubborn 5-year-old.
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Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report

Last edited by MerryJ; 06-10-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 51

We slept in the next day even though I had originally planned for us to go to Disneyland in the morning before heading to DCA at 10 when it opened. As the youngest slept in until about 9, that wasn’t going to happen, but we decided not to worry about it. One of those funny things is that the more time you give yourself the longer things take. It took MUCH longer to get up, have breakfast and head over on this morning. I think it was close to 11 by the time we arrived at DCA.





We picked up FPs for Soarin’ over California, then DH took our tickets and ran back over to Disneyland to pick up some FPs for Space for later. We wandered over to Monster’s Inc. and my 5-year-old just gave up. He refused to go on Monsters. (okay- movie too scary?), so DH and P went on it when he got back. Then we were going to go see the Muppets and again L dug in his feet. Now, our kids regularly watch the Muppet Show at home, so I was totally confused. He didn’t want to do anything. I am ashamed to say I lost my temper at this point and threatened to take him back to the hotel. This was the first thing he seemed remotely interested in, so I gritted my teeth and agreed to take him back to hotel.



We found a bag for DH to carry some snacks and water for him and P. Then we decided that we would meet back at Disneyland BBQ ranch for dinner. DH called and made reservations for just before 7pm. We agreed we would pick up FPs for Big Thunder Mountain on the way to supper, and meet at 6:45 in front of the restaurant.

M, L and I headed back to the hotel while DH and P explored California Adventures.













I don’t know exactly what they did – most of the big rides. They didn’t go to Bug’s Land at all. I do know that P decided that Screamin’ was THE BEST ride ever. He LOVED it so much, and couldn’t stop talking about it.

They ended up having a great father-son day.



NEXT: What happened to the grumpy 5 year old?
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and the gang: DH, P (DS 9), L (DS 7) & M (DD 3)

Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #14
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 51

While P and DH were enjoying their afternoon at DCA, we were having a quiet time at the hotel. I watched Food TV while L watched kid’s TV on the other TV (the best advantage of the suite room yet!) As grumpy as I was back at DCA, I think it was for the best. Poor kid was tired and needed some down time. I just wish he had been able to use words to tell me that, rather than going through all the whines and complains! But how many 5 year olds are that articulate?

I mentioned to L a couple of times that if he wanted to, we could go back to the park anytime and go on anything he wanted to, as long as M could ride it.

Finally at about 4, he decided he wanted to go back and ride the train and see Small World again. We arrived at the gate and got on the train on Main Street. (A bit of a pain with a stroller to lug up the stairs). L decided he wanted to ride around twice, so we went around once, then around the second time where we got off at the Toontown station, near Small World.

We rode Small World and both kids loved it. M started singing along to the song!

Then it was time to head over to get our Big Thunder Mountain FPs and wait for our reservation. When we arrived, Big Thunder Mountain was broken, so the FP machine wasn’t working. We were still a little early, so we decided to wait around a bit. Eventually, the ride started, and we picked up our FPs. We walked over to the BBQ, taking it slow and watching everything around us.

DH and P were late, but I was able to sign in for our reservation. Many people didn’t have a reservation and it was a 45-minute wait. It was still a 15-minute wait with our reservation. There was a little confusion, because DH rushed L off to the bathroom, but we hadn't realized there was one right there. While they were gone, M, P and I were seated, and somehow DH didn't realize we had been stated when they got back. Eventually we were all seated, and they brought out the food. They serve all you want ribs and chicken and sausages, cornbread, corn on the cob and baked beans, brought to the table, family style. I really enjoyed it, and there was stuff our kids like, but they didn’t eat much. Oh well! They loved the singing cowboys who performed periodically during the meal.

After supper, we rode Big thunder Mountain. Using the FPs and the Baby swap, the boys rode twice, once with each parent. Next we headed over to Space. DH and P had ridden it earlier, but we had two FPs still. L wanted to try it, so he rode Space with DH and loved it.



Then I rode Space with P. There was a small moment of panic when the ride stopped working just a little way ahead of us. I was very glad not to be on the ride when that happened. P was afraid we wouldn’t get to ride, and I was worried the crowd would get rowdy. It was a grad night, and the crowd was mostly young people, and if just felt a little off. Fortunately, the ride started up again soon, and P and I got to ride. I wasn't convinced by a roller coaster in the dark, but it was amazing.

After the ride, it was getting late and we were all exhausted so we headed back to the hotel for bed.


NEXT: Our morning of favourites at Disneyland.
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and the gang: DH, P (DS 9), L (DS 7) & M (DD 3)

Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report

Last edited by MerryJ; 06-09-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #15
MerryJ
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 51

At supper on Friday night we discussed our plans for Saturday. We agreed we would each choose some attractions, and we would all have to go on any ride as long as we were able to. Anything M couldn’t ride, L could sit out.

L wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash. P wanted to ride Space, Start Tours and California Screaming. I wanted to try Soaring over California and DH was excited to get back to DCA. We also chose Small World for M.



We were up early the next morning, and at the park before it opened in time for rope drop. We headed straight for Tomorrowland and picked up Star Tours FPs. Then L and I waited in line for Space while DH took P and M on Buzz Lightyear. It was a 15 minute wait or so without FPs (and we picked up a baby swap for DH). When we were done, L, M and I rode Buzz while DH and P went on Space.





We then headed over to ride Big Thunder Mountain, where the boys rode twice: once with Dh and once with me, using baby swap. M was happy to wait and watch the ducks.













We headed to Pirates of the Caribbean next, which had almost no wait when we got on, but a much longer line by the time we got off.





We were headed to Start Tours next, but L decided he didn’t want to ride. I think that it was just a little too scary for him, and because it changes every time, he didn’t know what to expect. DH and P headed straight to Start Tours from Pirates, while L, M and I walked over to pick up Splash FPs. The Winnie the Pooh ride is right across from where you get Splash FPs and M started saying, “Pooh! Pooh!” As there was no line, I told L we were going to ride it for M. He was NOT happy about it and grumbled the entire time. I think it was a little too intense, and he was a little scared of it. Interestingly, M seemed a little scared this time too. I could feel her tensing up on my lap. What kids find scary is so hard to predict – neither of them seemed worried about the Pirates of the Caribbean, but both were nervous on Winnie the Pooh – designed for little ones!

We were over at Start Tours before DH and P were done, then I got a chance to ride with P. I really love Star Tours. The line area is so much fun, themed just like some futuristic airport. Seeing C3PO and R2D2 working on the shuttle is neat, but my favorite is the little droid checking the luggage. It was new every time, and I was actually pleased when we had to wait a little longer!



After Star Tours, as we walked towards Small World, DH asked about the Nemo ride. I told him I never scheduled it because I was concerned the boys would be too scared. They won’t watch the Finding Nemo movie. I had heard about the special show you can watch without going into the subs, designed for folks in wheelchairs. DH was interested, so we asked about it and were directed towards the exit. I was amused by the little boy shouting at us, “That’s the EXIT ONLY!” as we went through it. It was so much something P would say! Although there was a huge line up to get into the subs for the full Nemo experience (45 minutes, I think), we were able to walk right on. We were the only folks using it. You go into a large room with benches, all themed appropriately. The CM gave a little speech about having a view right into the same screens that the subs have, and he closed the door and the show started. Given my 5-year-old’s reaction, I think it was the right decision. He didn’t freak out, but he was tense. At one point he asked if were really underwater, and I was easily able to show him that we were not underwater and he was okay. I can’t compare it to the full submarine experience, but for our family, this was the right choice.



Next it was on to Small World. The kids all still really loved it, but I admit on this third time I was starting to feel a little spaced out as I rode it!









M was exhausted and fell asleep in her stroller after the ride.



Our last ride of the morning was Splash. I rode first with the two boys. It was my first time on it (I missed it the first day) We all had a great time (and I didn’t get too wet). It was a much more interesting ride than I had anticipated. I also thought it was neat that L and I got to sit next to each other on a special bench at the back of the boat. The picture was so good that we decided to buy it - but I don't have it to post to you here. (Sorry!) The boys decided they didn’t want to ride again for some reason (maybe they were getting hungry?) but we talked them into it, because DH really wanted to ride!



(Despite the picture, they did really love it!)

While they were riding, M woke up so I took her on Winnie the Pooh again. I'm still not sure if she loved it or not - sometimes it is hard to know with a 20 month old. Then I noticed that Winnie the Pooh himself was meeting folks, so we got in line to meet him. Just before the boys got back, Pooh left for a break. We decided we were ready for lunch and not to bother waiting to meet Pooh. We got out of line, and muddled around for a few more minutes before heading off. Of course, Dh noticed that as we were leaving, Pooh came back out and they started the line from the back, so we would have been right at the front of the line! Oh well! M didn't notice nor understand what the original plan had been, so didn't know she had missed anything. And although the boys enjoy the characters, they just aren't THAT excited by them.

The kids and I headed back to the hotel for lunch and a break, while DH went over to DCA to pick up some FPs. I think he was able to get FPs for Soaring and Screaming. (I don’t know why he was able to get two sets).

We had lunch, and then the family went for a swim.





NEXT: I finally get to visit DCA!
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and the gang: DH, P (DS 9), L (DS 7) & M (DD 3)

Our First Trip to Disneyland Trip Report
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