When I was 5 years old my mom got a large enough tax refund that she, with the help of my Grandmother, could afford to take my brother, my two cousins, and I to Disneyland for a couple of days. This was the first vacation I had ever taken, and I remember asking my mom to tell me the story of our plans OVER AND OVER during the days leading up to our trip. It would be the first of many things for me, the first time on an airplane, our first family vacation, my first time to Disneyland, and my first really magical childhood memory. The first characters I encountered were Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, who also happened to be my personal favorite. I had watched them every morning on the television (this was Disney channel WAY back when the characters from the show were people in costumes) and now they were “alive”!! I believe we stayed in what is now Jolly Rogers, or some such place. I remember, so vividly, watching the fireworks from our swimming pool at night thinking how lucky I was to be there. My mom said I could get 2 things, so I chose a plush Mickey visor that I had FOREVER before losing it at a friend’s house, and a Minnie mouse plush toy. The whole thing was such a magical experience for me and I have been trying to capture that magic in my daily life since then, finally I deduced that WHERE I was had its place as well. That was 22 years ago, and back before Finding Nemo was even a blip on the submarine’s radar, back when they had a show at the Tiki Room with dancers, and LONG before California Adventure. For the past 7 years I have been trying to go back to Disneyland, but something always comes up. First I was surprised by my first pregnancy, then we wanted to wait until our first born was old enough to remember, then I moved across country, then I got pregnant with our second bambino and we had to wait for HER to be able to remember it, then I got pregnant with our third little nugget…you get the point. Here’s the thing, guys, I AM NOT WAITING ANYMORE! I have literally planned a Disneyland trip AT LEAST once a year for the past 7 years. Actually, that’s a lie, once, between pregnancies, when we were closer to WDW I planned for us to go there, but that too did not happen. Now we have planned our trip for December 12-17th, and despite our financial issues (they arose in the last 2 weeks – ugh!) I am determined to make this trip work. I mean, we already have our hotel paid in full, and just found out we might be able to get free tickets for one of our 4 days in the park. I don't care what I have to do, but OH...WE ARE GOING! So, I guess now’s as good a place as any to introduce our motley crew. First and foremost, Hi! I’m JustAKid. I’m 27 years old, and you will RARELY see a photo of me…so I’m not going to post one now, either. When I get to the actual trip report it’ll be somewhat like a “Where’s Waldo” game. Thanks for coming with me on our journey. I look forward to getting to know some of you, and entertaining all you lurkers! Next we’ve got DH. He’s going through this phase where he likes to be called Joshua. He’s about to turn the big 3-0, so I think that plays into it. He’s pretty much along for the ride, but not really a Disney fan. This will be his first time to DL, though, so I’m excited to see his reaction after we leave. The other adult going is DH’s brother. He’s one of our dearest friends, the most amazing uncle my children could ask for, and pretty much with us on every adventure we take. He’s currently (and for the last forever) going to school to become a specific kind of doctor, the name of which is really too complicated for me to remember, I just know it deals with radiation physics. Now onto the meat of our group: my 3 beautiful children. We’ll go in birth order, just to keep things simple. DD(6) now, but will be 6 (her birthday is a few days before we leave). She’s pretty much the exact replica of me. If you’re in Disneyland at the same time as us and want to tell the EXTREMELY loud child behind you to shut it, I apologize in advance. She pretty much screams everything she says, but not on purpose, she’s just a very loud kid…just like mom. Lilly is our little scaredy-cat, unwilling to try most things she is unfamiliar with…just like mom. She’s extremely outgoing, and will tell her life story to anyone that will listen (I'm sure you know the drill by now, but cause I like to keep things clear...just like mom ) Currently her favorite Disney characters are Jesse from Toy Story, and Silvermist from the Tinkerbell movies. Next we’ve got DD(3). Highly sensitive, very emotional, and pretty weird. One of her favorite past times is stripping off her clothes so that it’s just her and her underwear. She’s definitely the comedic relief of our family. She’s got this confidence about her that is startling. She’s only 3 but completely comfortable with who she is, never thinking twice about her oddities. She is in love with her rubber rain boots and wears them with EVERY outfit, and when she’s being dressy she’ll add her younger sister’s old headband complete with gigantic bow (you know the ones I’m talking about? Made of lace for babies with no hair so that everyone knows they’re a girl?). Her favorite Disney character right now is Tinkerbell, but she’s got a soft spot for Cinderella as well. Finally, my little cupcake-sunshine-tiny nugget of love DD(1). SO affection, SO sweet, SO loving, and SO MUCH SCREAMING. It’s her new thing. Scream for everything under the sun. After we do a cool thing, say “TA-DA” and then scream. When your sister takes a toy from you say “MOMMY!” and then scream. It’s really quite annoying, and we’re trying to break her of the habit by trial and error. So far whispering hasn’t worked, nor has sternly saying “NO!” after a screaming episode. We’re trying time outs now which so far have just meant screaming while in time out. DD(1)'s favorite character is the Mouse himself. It’s pretty freaking adorable when she says “MICKEY MOUSE!” and claps her hands. YAY! I can’t wait to see if she’s as responsive to him when he’s gigantic on not on a screen of some sort. So, there you have us! Up next: The hotel dilemma.