Im by no means a Disney expert, but thought Id share our trip report as I learned so much from everyone elses. We have 3 young children, so took a slower pace than some. We went to the Magic Kingdom in 2008, and let me just say DLR was so much easier and less complicated! Especially the stroller parking. At WDW, cast members are constantly rearranging parked strollers. At DLR, mine was always exactly where I left it so nice! The weather was awesome- mid-upper 70s in the day cool enough to warrant a jacket at night. My family of five (me, DH, DD6, DD3, and DS1) drove from Vegas and met my parents who flew in from Arkansas. We arrived on Sunday, August 9th and stayed at the Park Vue Inn. We got to the hotel around lunchtime, and my parents were able to store their bags in the lobby until the 3:30 check-in. We walked to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch (on Katella) and then drove to Huntington Beach for the afternoon. We arrived back around 8:30 PM and got checked in. Our kids were thrilled that there were birthday balloons, candy and presents (coloring and painting books) waiting for them. And we were happy to find wine and fruit for us! We went ahead and purchased 2 day Park Hoppers for our family. Then we went to the breakfast terrace at 9:30 and had an awesome view of the fireworks! Our kids were really wound up and didnt get to sleep until almost 11, so I knew we wouldnt get as early a start on Monday as wed like. Monday morning we had free breakfast at the hotel and then made the quick walk across the street and entered Disneyland. I believe it was about 9:30 AM. We headed back to Fantasyland and waited 10 min for Dumbo. Then we walked right on the teacups. Next it was time to suck it up and stand in line for the most important event of the day: meeting the Princesses. The boys found a shady spot at a nearby snack stand and us girls got in the 45 minute line at Princess Fantasy Faire. We were so excited that both my girls got to meet their favorite Princess. Tiana for my youngest and Jasmine for my older daughter. Ariel was also there. This was their first time meeting each of these characters at WDW they met 3 different princesses. When we were done here it was almost 11, so we got the kids a snack and watched a little of the Princess Show going on nearby. Next up, was Its A Small World. Id say we waited less than 10 minutes to get on. It was so much cuter than what I remembered from WDW. Love the addition of the characters! Everyone had a good time (well, except for DH who kind of loses his mind on this one!) Also, there was no gridlock with the boats at then end like at WDW. We then made our way over to Tomorrowland to get FP for Autopia. Our return time was only 45 min away. We took that time to go back to FL and ride the carousel (very little wait). Then we moseyed back to TL, decided Nemo line was too long (45 minutes) and went and got Space Mountain FP for DH and me for later return time was 5 PM. (It was about 12:30 at this time). Went back and got in line for Autopia with our 2 girls even with FP we still waited about 25 minutes to get on. After that we decided to take a break and leave for lunch and a rest. On the way out as we turned left towards the exit on Main Street we saw about 6 characters come out of a white gate in a corner. The CM said the characters were going to find a shady spot and we could follow them. My girls took off running after Pluto and got a picture with him. We walked down Harbor to Subway and then attempted to get our kids to nap. Didnt happen-LOL. We got back to DL around 5:40. People were already lining Main St for the 6:30 parade. This seemed like a huge waste of time to us so we went to use our Space Mtn FP. My parents stayed with the kids and we were on the ride in about 25 minutes. (They were also out of FP at this time and stand-by was at 75 minutes). My only experience with SM was 20 years ago at WDW. This was sooooo much fun. Smooth as ice! Highlight of my day. After that, we walked back to Fantasyland and stood on some stairs not too far from IASW plaza and had an excellent view of the parade which arrived at that point about 7 PM. Kids were able to go and dance in the street. After the parade we went to Toontown to ride that Go Coaster. 45 minute wait. It was almost 8:30 when we left Toontown and headed towards Critter Country for Winnie the Pooh. We walked into Frontierland and once we got past the Riverboat were met with crazy crowds waiting for Fantasmic. While trying to fight our way through we discovered we were right in front of Pirates of the Carribean and there was virtually no line. My DD6 was adamant about not riding it, so I fought the crowds with her and the baby in his stroller and found a bench right by the ride exit. About 20 minutes later my family came out stating the ride was awesome. I was disappointed I didnt get to go because Id heard it from this board that it was better than WDW. We went on over to Critter Country and walked right on Winnie the Pooh this was the first ride at DL that I thought was not superior to WDW no Tigger bouncing the honey pot! It was 9:15 at this point and Fantasmic had started. My DD6 was terrified of seeing the dragon and didnt want to walk by it, so we hopped on the train and rode all the way around the park back to Main St got to see the Grand Canyon and the dinosaurs which seemed so random, but fun. Got off at Main St about 9:35 and stood at the station for an incredible fireworks view over the castle. I couldnt believe how much the music and castle added to the experience (remember wed seen them from our hotel the night before). Couldnt see Tink or Dumbo, but other than that this is a perfect spot. We were able to leave at the end and be in front of the crazy mad dash out of the park that follows the fireworks. So theres my big Disney tip if youre planning to leave after the fireworks, take the train from wherever you are around 9 PM and youll have a great spot to watch. After fireworks we called it a night. I'll post Day 2 in separate post.