PTR & TR-The trip of many "Firsts," introducing our kids to Disneyland!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Sisa, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Hi :wave2: I am a newbie for posting, I've read many TR and such on here though. I am trying to pass the time until our trip so I thought I would give this a try, why not?!

    I suppose introductions/history is in order, here it goes...

    Me: Mother, Nanny, Cheer Coach :cheer2: and Disney fan (of course). I grew up visiting DL many many times, but my favorite trip that sticks out is our surprise trip. My parents woke us up really early, had the suitcases packed, new outfits laid out and said "Get dressed, we're going to DL!" I will be doing this to my kids when they are older.

    DH: Works hard to keep a roof over our head and food in our bellies. He was deprived as a child and never got a chance to go to DL. His mother's fear of flying I guess is to blame :confused3 His first visit and only visit was in March 2006 with my family and I. My younger sister and brother were going to DL for a choir performance with my Dad chaperoning. My Mom, DH (boyfriend then) and I decided to tag along. DH loved it and cannot wait to take our kids:yay:

    DD: Recently turned 4 at her Tangled party, Rapunzel is her current favorite princess: She has become quite a Disney fan herself, proud Mommy here :woohoo: She is a big art fanatic too, she loves to draw. My filing cabinet is almost full :rolleyes:

    DS: He is 2, therefor still free at DL ;). He likes Mickey Mouse, Buzz, Woody but his favorite lately is Lightening McQueen. He would watch Cars all day over and over if I let him popcorn:: Other than that like most boys, he just likes to be outside.

    This is my first time planning a DL vacation, it has been quite exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Luckily, I started reading and planning last year, I've needed that much time to plan.

    We are going to DL 9/10-9/15 and staying onsite at PPH. We've never stayed onsite before, I have always wanted to stay onsite and having the bonus of EE made it the right choice for us. We originally wanted to stay at the DLH but decided we could use the extra money it would cost to buy a Photopass + and character meals. We will be doing Goofy's Kitchen and Minnie & Friends. We have a 5 day park hopper passes.

    This will be both of my kids' first trip to DL & DCA and also their first airplane ride :cool1: They are thrilled to be going on a big airplane and seeing the Disney Castle. Every time they watch a Disney movie when the Castle shows up, they scream "DISNEY CASTLE!" I can only imagine what they will do when they get to see it in person.

    Alright, I think that's a good start for now. I will post pictures when I have enough points ;) Any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading :wave2:
     
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  3. Escape2Disney

    Escape2Disney Friendly Neighborhood Disney Fanatic!

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    YAY!! I love hearing about kids' first trip to Disneyland!

    I'm subscribing so I can follow along.
     
  4. DisneyMarvelStarWars

    DisneyMarvelStarWars Mouseketeer

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    Following your PTR!
     
  5. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    I have readers woo hoo! Thanks for following along, it's nice to know someone is reading :cool1:

    I am finally able to share pictures now :yay: So here is our crew.

    [​IMG]

    We just learned that King Arthur's Carousel and Mickey's House will be closed while we are in DL :sad: My daughter had her heart set on riding the "Merry go round" (carousel) in DL for her first ride. She asked how many times she can ride it and I answered as many as you like. So I have joked with others that we may not make it past the carousel and if we do, how many times we will ride it before we move on ;) Well, that just solved it. She won't be riding it at all. She was very upset, but was happy to know there was another on in DCA. We just won't be in DCA first, I am thinking we may have to head there at some point the first day though. For now she has settled on Dumbo as being her first ride.

    For me, I am bummed about Mickey's house being closed :( I hope they have another area set up where we can still make sure to see him during our trip. My son keeps telling me he's going to give Mickey a big hug. Whether he really will, I don't know :worried: Both my kids are pretty shy, but I plan on hyping it up by making a big deal about hugging, getting autographs and taking pictures with any characters we come across. So hopefully they will see me and follow with excitement.

    Speaking of autographs, I am planning to get the kids autograph books shortly after arriving I hope along with 1st visit buttons. I am bringing a white photo matte to get character signatures, so I can frame a family picture of us at DL. Although, I am wondering how realistic it will be to take the matte to the parks everyday. I am worried about it getting bent up in the strollers. Maybe I will stick with just bringing it to our character meals, we'll see :scratchin

    I was able to schedule our Goofy's Kitchen reservation since we are finally less than 60 days out. Still waiting a couple more days so I can schedule Minnie & Friends. We are planning to do Goofy's Kitchen for dinner on our first night, we have never been there. I've heard good things about Goofy's Kitchen and am anxious to try it. We will do Minnie & Friends our last park day, this one I have been to before. There is just something about being in the park and eating with the characters that I find magical pixiedust:

    This is how we've been counting down.
    [​IMG]

    58 days and counting! Ta Ta For Now :tigger:
     
  6. aidensmom31

    aidensmom31 Obsessed Disney Fan

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    I cant wait to here more about their reactions when they get to Disneyland. I still talk with my son about his first visit (even though he has been several times since it still holds a special place for us both). I cant wait till we are less than 60 days out, right now it is 162 :sad:
     
  7. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Awe, that's so neat that you both still talk about his first visit. Clearly it was special! How old was your son during his first visit? I remember being that far out too, it went faster than I expected it to. I hope the time passes quickly for you too!
     
  8. aidensmom31

    aidensmom31 Obsessed Disney Fan

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    He was 5. Yeah it feels like a long time now but school stuff is already showing up in the stores so I know realistically it is not that long to go :) i just hate the waiting that happens right after you solidify your plans ;) I got the plane tickets purchased, hotel booked, shuttle booked, and AP's purchased. Now its just waiting until I can make reservations for meals and tours.
     
  9. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Oh cool, close to my daughters age. Several family members think it's pointless to take the kids to DL because they are so young and won't remember it. Glad to know your son remembers his first visit still. I know the waiting really stinks especially once it's paid and finalized. We paid and finalized in February. It's been quite a wait for us too.
     
  10. DisneyJamieCA

    DisneyJamieCA DIS Veteran

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    How exciting!

    I just wanted to let you know that we've had a luck seeing Mickey in the hub and also over in DCA. If you are really worried about missing him, maybe make reservations for Surfs Up with Mickey which is the the PPH?
     
  11. lovedworld

    lovedworld Mouseketeer

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    Yes, when you first get there in the morning alot of the characters are right there in the hub, including Mickey and Minnie. We saw them most mornings and usually if you jump in line quickly there won't be too long of a wait. Also I just wanted to say that the under the sea merry-go-round in CA is my kids favorite over the one in Disneyland,we ride it over and over while others go on California Screamin, so hopefully your little one will love it. Hope you have a great trip.
     
  12. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Great! Thank you for that information, I forgot Mickey had a character meal. We may look into that.



    Awesome, that makes me feel a little relieved to know that he is known to be in the hub in the morning. Perfect, thank you for letting me know that your little ones liked the under the sea carousel. I am sure she will love it! Thank you!
     
  13. crystal1313

    crystal1313 DIS Veteran

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    So exciting! taking little ones is SO much fun =) I'd highly recommend the baby center on main street and in DCA behind Ghiradeli. Total Life Saver! Padded changing tables and training toilets. Quiet. Sell baby items if you lose or forget something. Have a great trip!
     
  14. Disney Dory

    Disney Dory Mouseketeer

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    It sounds like you have a great trip planned and I'm sure your children are going to have a very magical time in DL!! Will be watching to see how he trip goes!! :goodvibes
     
  15. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    That is great information, thank you so much!

    Awe, thank you! I am sure they will too, they can't wait! 56 days to go
     
  16. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    I managed to get all our dining reservations confirmed today :thumbsup2 We have Goofy's Kitchen, Minnie & Friends and Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. We also plan to eat at The Rainforest Cafe, does anyone happen to know if they take reservations in advance? I haven't been able to locate that information.

    In part of the planning process, I was attempting to get DH's parents to come along with us or at least come for a portion of the trip. Mostly because I thought it would be nice to have a few nights for DH and I to enjoy the parks and to ride the bigger rides that the kiddos can't or won't do. I was willing to trade nights so his parents could do the same. Sounds good, right? No go :sad: His mother, however still fears flying and cannot handle all the walking required. I told her no problem, they have wheel chairs and such. She's not willing to do that quite yet.
    However, my best friend and her family decided to come along with us :banana: They will be staying at the PPH as well and we have requested adjoining rooms.

    I will add them to the cast of characters...
    BF: Best Friend, not a huge Disney fanatic but excited for her kids' first trip to DL & DCA
    BFH: Best friend's husband, mostly going for the food ;)
    Sully: BF's DS(4) He is a silly, energetic boy who loves Monsters University.
    Monkey: BF's DS(20 months), he is goofy and a climber. He likes Mickey and Pluto.

    They will be in the parks for 2 days of our trip. We will be getting our date night :woohoo: and so will they. My DD and Sully are only 3 days apart in age and are close friends. They are both very excited to go to DL together.

    Having another family to plan with and around has definitely made scheduling difficult. My BF doesn't want to have a schedule, she wants to let the kids pick out what to ride/do. I have no problem letting the kids choose what to do, but there are things I want to do on our trip and that means some scheduling to insure we can fit them in.

    Here is the tentative schedule so far. Since the hours and times are not available yet, this could change. We plan to do EMH every day.

    Tues 9/10 (EMH @ DL)
    Drop luggage off at PPH. Head to DL and get first visit buttons. Explore DL and do some rides. Lunch. Hotel check in at 3:00, relax at hotel maybe swim. Goofy's at 5:00. Head back to DL for the rest of the night.

    Wed 9/11 (EMH @ DCA)
    Head to DCA. RSR, Cars Land, TSM. Disney Jr, Aladdin, Dance party are a must hopefully we can get them all done. Eat at Flo's and Taste Pilot's Grill.
    Our friend's arrive this afternoon, but will not do the parks so this is our date night.

    Thurs 9/12 (EMH @ DL)
    Head to DL. BF and family will be at the park with us today. Nothing planned except Dinner at The Plaza Inn at 5:00pm, just my family. BF didn't want to eat there. I want to try the famous fried chicken dinner. This was the only day it would work for us unless we wanted to eat there twice in one day, no thanks. This will be BF & BFH's date night.

    Fri 9/13 (EMH @ DCA)
    Head to DCA. BF and family will be at the park with us. RSR and Cars Land I assume is the same route we will take. Pixar parade is a must for both families. Then head to Rainforest Cafe for dinner, all of us. Head back to DL for Villain Dance Party and other night time mischief. Hopefully, catch Fantasmic and fireworks.

    Sat 9/14 (EMH @ DL)
    Head to DL. Rides. Minnie & Friends breakfast at 9:30. Run to DCA to get WOC FPs at some point depending on when DCA opens. Princesses & show. Minnie's house, Mickey and the Magical Map are all must do's if we have not done them yet. Dinner at BTRBBQ 5:00. Soundsational parade at 7:00. Head to DCA for WOC.

    Sun 9/15
    Check out and head home :sad:

    Okay, I will leave it there for today as I need to start dinner. Thanks for reading along.
     
  17. MarbleBob

    MarbleBob DIS Veteran

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    I'm in for your trip report. Great job so far!

    Such a special time, you guys are going to make awesome memories!!! You mentioned that relatives shared concerns about the kids being too young and that they wont remember it. We took my DD13 for her first trip to WDW at age 2.5 and it was magical. We've been going back almost every year ever since. Our two younger kids (DS10 and DD6) have been going to WDW since they were babies. Obviously, they don't remember the baby stuff, but I'm surprised at just how much they remember from the various trips. I've recorded a lot of video through the years, and you'd be surprised at how much they enjoy watching the old trips. I think that's what helps to keep the memories alive for them.

    When you go, make sure to get a lot of video clips of the rides/parades and asking them questions about their experiences. Maybe while you are waiting in line, ask them about the ride that they are about to get on and what they expect from it. Then after the ride, ask them what they actually thought about it. Same for meals and stuff. Obviously, it's not practical to do this for every ride, but it's a lot of fun to go back and see how they responded to the various questions :)

    We are going to Disneyland in October. We've gone to WDW bunches of times as a family, but we've never gone to Disneyland as an entire family. This will be my DD6's first trip to Disneyland, so we share in your excitement about first time visits.
     
  18. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! Glad you are joining in :)

    I love the video clips idea, especially during the lines. That seems like it would be a great way to pass the time. Of course my video camera has decided to stop working as our trip gets closer, but I am sure my phone will do an okay job. I will definitely be doing that, thank you so much for the tip!

    That's neat that your whole family will get to enjoy DL together and during Halloween too. Exciting, will you be there for Mickey's Halloween Party? I've heard good things about it.
     
  19. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    I have been eagerly awaiting the operating hours of DLR for September, and they are starting to trickle in. After looking at the hours in September for 2011 and September 2012 (weekdays 10-8). I felt I had a pretty good idea what the hours would look like for this year. Wrong! They cut an hour off of DL, now closing at 7:00pm. :eek: I was seriously shocked by this move. Now my planning has been thrown off. Our date night we were really looking forward to was being able to enjoy the parks without the kids, ha not at DL now :( Thankfully, DCA is still open until 8:00pm. Unfortunately, my husband and I enjoy the bigger rides at DL much more. We do not like big drops, and DH has a fear of heights so no ToT, California Screaming, Grizzly RR, or Mickey's fun wheel. :scared1: So I have been feeling a little bummed. I've been assured we will still be able to accomplish a lot during the day because of the lighter crowds. I have only visited during the busy seasons so I am really hoping everyone is right.

    On a happier note, the one thing I was super stoked about recently was that Disney Movie Rewards offered their $10 Disney gift card option :thumbsup2 Back in April they were offering a $10 Disney gift card and I was overjoyed. I entered in all our codes and got ready to redeem the gift cards only to find out they had sold out already. Total bummer. I had checked back frequently to see if they were offering it, but never any luck. I got an email this month saying they were offering them again, so I jumped on that offer and scored two $10 Disney gift cards for free :cool1: I was just shy of earning another one too.

    Speaking of gift cards, I forgot to mention earlier that instead of birthday gifts for my children this year, we asked for Disney gift cards. They each have their own stack of gift cards to use on what ever their hearts desire. DD4 is so thrilled to be able to pay for her own souvenirs. I was elated not to have a ton of new toys, they still got some and seemed happy with what they got. This was definitely the way to go for us. I will be curious to see what they pick out. :)

    We are planning to carry everything on but the strollers on the plane. :crazy2: We will each have a rolling suitcase and a backpack/smaller bag. I am planning on bringing 1 or 2 large folding duffle bags in my carry on suitcase. I was originally going to use those for souvenirs and checking them on the way back but then it was suggested to me that we throw our dirty clothes in there and carry on our souvenirs. So that will be our plan of attack, hopefully I can make it work. Trying to bring only what we need (I tend to over pack a lot) and figuring out the whole TSA rules on carry ons with liquids and such just adds to the planning fun ;) My BF thinks I am insane for trying to carry on everything, but has offered to let me pack anything I need to with her. My biggest issue so far is spray on sunscreen for the kids. I have smaller bottles of sunscreen lotion that I can bring but my DS hates lotion, he will tolerate the spray. I may just have to suck it up and spend more to get it at the parks.

    I have slowly started packing the kids' suitcases with clothes because I feel the need to do something to prepare. So far they each have a pair of Pj's and a couple outfits. Their backpacks have also started getting filled with new items to keep them busy on the plane and gum, but I still need to get snacks and something to drink to put in there. The smaller bags with all our toothbrushes, toothpaste, band aids and such is coming along too. I am packing everything I can. I will post pictures when I have them finished. The kids' toothpaste has me stumped for now, my DD cannot stand the taste of mint at all. So we have to do the fruity toothpastes, but try finding those in travel sizes (other than the training toothpaste for babies). I may have to find a container small enough, like a lotion one to put their toothpaste in.

    Needless to say the planning is coming along with a few hiccups on the way, but that is to be expected I suppose.
     
  20. Goofy_Mom

    Goofy_Mom Disney Princess

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    You can call Rainforest Cafe directly for reservations, I forget how far out they take them. I'll add that it's not that great, you're paying a lot for atmosphere. The food is overpriced and about as good as an Applebee's. I hear they do a decent breakfast, though. I hear the Jazz Kitchen Express is pretty tasty.
     
  21. Sisa

    Sisa Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the reservation information, we will have a larger party and I will feel better knowing we have a reservation. DH and I went to the Rainforest Cafe in DTD on our last visit. We actually really enjoyed it, I know many people find it too expensive for the quality. My DD went to our local RFC when she turned 1 celebrating her and Sully's (her friend coming to DL too) first birthdays. That's the last time we were there, so she doesn't remember it. The biggest reason we are going is for the atmosphere for the kids.
     

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