Our Crazy Holiday Trip (late November 2016) - update 8/16

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
The last few days have been a tiny Disney emotional roller coaster for me. What with changing our hotel around, and most of my family being at Disney this week, I've been hyper-aware that our trip is coming up in less than 2 1/2 weeks!!
First, more prep for me: I finally found a Christmassy Disney shirt for me for (probably) our last day of shirts. That set is finally complete. I would have liked the next size up, but I tried that one on over my shirt in the store, and it seemed to fit okay. I'm itchy to have the sets complete and get them packed. Am I crazy? Yes, probably. Some people (like most of my family) just wear clothes they like and are comfortable in to Disney. Bonus if there's a Disney character on it, haha. I'm definitely slightly insane. ;-) I'm sure when my kids are teens they'll be less into my matchy-matchy fun, so I have to enjoy it while I can!



Also, the cute Minnie ears that went with my baby's Halloween costume just didn't fit in with most of our day's color schemes, so I took the leftover fabric paint from our green shirts and redid them. They don't match the cute onesie anymore (see the Halloween pic) but I'm excited that she can wear them at the park for pictures. They're comfy and they fit, which isn't easy to do with a 4-month-old. I kind of like the irregular way the color and spots were ending up, so I went with it. :)


Now, a quick summary of how things have been for my family this week:
HOT! It was much warmer than they expected, and they were dying just a little bit. It did make the water rides more appealing. :) I didn't hear too many complaints other than that. It was busier Tuesday than they hoped or expected, compared to Monday and Wednesday (one family only went Tues) but they were still able to accomplish pretty much everything they wanted. (no park hopping, just Disneyland) My parents and one family are still there today, and are enjoying the Christmas season start!
 
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cinder-ellah

A Dream is a Wish your heart makes......
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
We are six weeks out! Our first day in the parks (Nov 28th) finally has posted hours today. Disneyland is 10 am - 9 pm, and CA until 8 pm. I am a little sad about that. I was really hoping it would be opening at 9 am, especially since my kids get up at 6 am without fail, and that will be 5 am in California. And we go to bed early too: 6 and 7 pm in CA. The older ones will survive and would end up sleeping in if they were tired enough, but the 2-year-old and the baby won't shift much on their schedule. I just want everything posted so I can plan our days! (A very specific plan for the first hour or two of each day and a loose one after that).
I have been trying to finish up shirts. I still need a red Christmassy one for myself (waiting until Christmas-ish stuff comes out in the Disney Stores in a couple weeks here), I need to turn two size 2/3 shirts into little baby dresses or something, and I may need a new blue or red Mickey shirt for myself. Still possibly looking for a different one for DD8. I don't love what we have. I might need a new one because the size I thought I was going to be by then isn't going to happen. I always struggle with making enough milk, and it's finally working with this sweet girl at almost 3 months, but only if I pretty much over eat. Apparently I need a ton of calories in order for my body to decide it's okay to make lots of milk. Oh well, it won't last forever. But it may slow me down a bit since it makes all that walking harder when I'm heavier. On the flip side, there are treats I will probably enjoy on our trip that I wouldn't usually eat... In the meantime, not eating sugar, to try to at least have some healthy eating going on.
I couldn't find a Star Wars shirt for DS2 that I liked, that was anything near our other colors, so I finally just made one. Here is the finished product, and our shirts all together. (except the baby's pink R2 shirt, that is somewhere waiting for me to sew it...)




And I couldn't find any kind of jacket that coordinated with the kids' Monsters, Inc. jackets, so I got crazy and decided to make one. And I couldn't find a little purple jacket anywhere (for a reasonable price), so I fudged it with this little soft jacket from Target:



Which I then killed (softness-wise) when I started putting "scales" all over it with the stamp I carved out of an eraser. (I said it was crazy). I still need to put some big fluffy yarn on top and make some eyes (probably just out of felt - no 4-month-old wants big google eyes attached to their jacket, and it needs to be functional, too) and then it should be done. Hopefully it will look like Boo in her monster disguise. :-)



I'm starting to try to figure what we need in the park, and which bag it needs to go in, and the simplest way to store everything in our (not large) storage space in the stroller in a way that we can pull a couple bags out of it (and hand them to older kids) for quick folding and unfolding for Toy Story or ART bus travel. With seven of us, there are just SO many details. My head feels like it's swimming all the time. I just know if I stay organized enough then we won't devolve into mass chaos quite so easily, and I really want this trip to be successful and enjoyable.

I'm following along. 0MG, Your kids are so precious!
 

cinder-ellah

A Dream is a Wish your heart makes......
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
It's getting so close! Just over 3 weeks away. Aaaah!! :) I'm preparing more and more. Starting to buy a bunch of snacks. Thinking about doing PhotoPass-- (even though I'm not that excited about how I look currently, and hoped to mostly be behind the camera... but I'm going to be juggling the baby...) any thoughts? We just bought a big bag thing to go on top of our car so we can take more luggage with us without stressing so much. (Since I insist on fitting in the double jogger, and since we have 7 people in a Honda Odyssey...)
I finally finished Bridget's jacket. Because of all the paint, it's not terribly soft, but it is cute. The top part attaches with velcro, so it can be taken off to wash the jacket or taken off if we're wearing her and it's bugging us. I like how it looks, if not how stiff it is.



Adorable!
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Less than two weeks, friends! 12 DAYS! We have been upping our walking, trying to get more accustomed to it, and I told my kids the donuts they had last night after a family activity were the last sugary stuff we were eating until our trip! (Because, you know, sugar suppresses the immune system) Everyone is on vitamin rations and getting plenty of sleep between then and now. I am PRAYING for no sickies!
I'm excited that during a trip to a Disney Store this weekend (using the 25% off coupon, yay) I finally completed our shirts! I found a different one for me (a little bigger, and less frustrating than a tight one for frequent nursing), and got another one for DS10, and DD9 will wear the blue Mickey one that he was going to. So here they are:


I also found a pack of long-sleeved onesies to go under shirts for DD4mon in case of cooler weather. I have been collecting long-sleeved shirts for everyone else to go under in case of cooler weather too. I didn't spend all this time on these shirts just to cover them up the whole trip!
Over the next few days I'm going to try to get my tentative plan for the trip in here. We usually try to be pretty open, but my husband thinks it might help us if we just have a PLAN for at least the first half of the days this time. Hmm. Let's see what we can do.
 

minnieralyks

Mysteries & Magic, Visions Fantastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Haven't gotten all the way through your report yet, but just had to say you have such cute kiddos!

All of the shirts look great! I wish I were that creative, because I would be making a whole bunch of fun shirts for our trip.

Hope you all have a fantastic and fun-filled vacation!
 

cptmemo

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Ahh it's so close! Can't wait to hear your plans :)

A fried was just there for 3 days and it was so hot! Got home and it was 35 degrees and very much winter.
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Haven't gotten all the way through your report yet, but just had to say you have such cute kiddos!

All of the shirts look great! I wish I were that creative, because I would be making a whole bunch of fun shirts for our trip.

Hope you all have a fantastic and fun-filled vacation!
Thanks! I'm glad you're following along! :)


Ahh it's so close! Can't wait to hear your plans :)

A friend was just there for 3 days and it was so hot! Got home and it was 35 degrees and very much winter.
Yes, the last two times I went (late Feb and mid Sept) they were having heat waves, so I'm hoping for some cooler weather! The forecast goes through the weekend before our trip now and it's looking good so far...

My baby has started teething and she's driving me kind of insane by chewing on everything, being grumpy, and only taking 30 minute naps... so to cope yesterday I decorated two of her new onesies (that I bought as undershirts in case it's chilly while we're there) so she has some still-festive options if she soaks her matching shirt-of-the-day...





Still working on getting my plans written down. The whole 30-minute naps issue. :-(
 
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  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    PLANS SO FAR:

    Rides we want to ride: Pretty much everything. I figure we should be able to fit it all in at least once in 4 days. Tower of Terror is obviously a priority, since it's DH's favorite and is changing... BTMRR is a priority since we didn't get to ride it last time. The kids have various priorities, ranging from Screamin' to Grizzly River Rapids to Donald's Boat. (?)

    Snacks I plan to eat: Peppermint beignets. Churros. Corn dogs. Nothing too expensive, since this is a budget trip, but those are happy little pleasures. Bengal BBQ skewers, and the Plaza Inn's Cobb salad if they still have it.

    Things I might eat if we haven't spent too much: A Monte Cristo, a funnel cake, whatever Christmas amazingness catches my eye.


    Saturday: Clean the house, finish up some last minute packing, and pack the car. We will be traveling in our 2005 Honda Odyssey, which is the slight upgrade from our 2004 Chevy Venture that bit the dust this year. Lots less miles, we could get it without financing it, and it's a Honda, so...

    Sunday morning (hopefully by 7:30 am, since DD4mon travels best first thing and since the other little darlings get up before 6 am every day) we will leave for California. It's a 5.5 hour drive, but since baby won't take any kind of bottle so far, we'll probably have to stop every 1.5-2 hours for 15-20 minutes. The other ones seem to have to go to the bathroom that often anyway, so I'll try not to be anxious about it. I'm hoping to get there by 1-2 pm local time. (Arizona doesn't do DST, so we're an hour ahead). Hopefully we all still like each other by the time we get there. We have driven from Iowa to Arizona like 6 times in the past, as well as driving from VA to AZ when we moved back home after living out there for a year, but it's been a long time since we did much distance driving, and a baby really throws a wrench in the works. The other kids are find with a 5-6 hour drive. As long as dramamine is passed around. (it doesn't make them sleepy, but we have a couple who are carsick-prone, and we so don't want to go there!)



    Two of my best friends live in Anaheim and in La Habra, so we're planning to spend the afternoon/evening visiting with them at one of their houses. I was going to stay the night there with the baby, but since we got more space and got the AirBnB for 5 nights, Jeremy (my husband) will take the 4 older kids to check in around 5-6 pm and get them to bed at a decent time. (at home DD6 and DS2 go to bed at 7 pm, which is 6 pm CA time) I will stay for a few more hours to visit with my friends (we were roommates in college, and I got to play tour guide for both of them in 2005 during a visit because neither had been Disney since they were kids and didn't think it was worth the money - they've both have AP's some since, and once friend is a current AP). One of my friends said I could borrow her double jogging stroller rather than hauling ours all the way from home. It's a BOB, and I'm sure it's super nice, but I do worry about something happening to it on my watch, and my OCD planning is itchy not knowing the stroller well beforehand, if that makes sense. I'm so goofy. :eyeroll

    The friend who has to drive back home to Anaheim will drop me at the AirBnB on the way (near the Angels stadium) hopefully not later than about 9 pm...

    Monday (first Disney day - green character shirts):
    The plan is for Jeremy to drop me and several of the kids off at the drop off area by about 8:45 and then he'll go park in Mickey & Friends or in the Toy Story lot. I'm thinking the Toy Story lot will be less road-rage inducing for him, haha, so we'll probably pick that one. We'll get all our junk through security and get in line a little early, and the kids can snack and what not while we wait. It's so nice to have older kids this time (10 and almost-9) that can go in pairs to a bathroom (not too far away) or hold the place in line for a minute if I need to go sit down and nurse (in sight, but with back support) or something. I would probably pick a line on one of the edges so I can maintain line-of-sight if those things are needed.
    Hoping the gates will open about 9:30, and we're planning to take our time up to rope drop checking out Main St. a little and soaking in the magic. We didn't do that last time because I was determined to hit Peter Pan first, and I don't want to skip it this time. It's DS2 (he's nearly 3, remember)'s first time, and he is so excited to go to Disneyland! When the baby cries he'll often try to cheer her up: "Bridget, Bridget we're going to Dinneyland!" Hoping a few characters will be out, but the name of the game Monday is enjoying the magic and staying together a lot.

    At rope drop planning to walk straight to Dumbo probably (unless Peter Pan is miraculously under 10 minutes. Ha.) and make that slow-loading ride our first. Also, its outside so DS2 can enjoy a ride without it being at all scary. After that, Alice in Wonderland, then possibly a few more Fantasyland rides, depending on how things are going. I don't want to scare the little guy, but I think the older ones would enjoy Mr. Toad, and I've never personally been on Casey Jr., so I'd like to maybe try that this time. I'm pretty sure he would like it. Note to self: we need to watch Dumbo on VidAngel or something in the next week. He's only seen clips from it, I think, because we don't have that one.
    After Fantasyland we might take the older 3 on Matterhorn and get a rider swap for later. I'd like to see the new Yeti. If the line is short-ish we might do Small World then, or we might head over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We're excited about that one, because it was closed the last time the kids went, and it's one of my favorites. If the line is short we'll probably ride it and get a rider swap. Thinking about doing either Haunted Mansion holiday or Jingle Cruise if we're feeling it then, as well as possibly grabbing an Indiana Jones FP while we're there. DD6 can't ride this one, but the older two are tall enough. Probably not going to ride Splash at that point since we won't want to be getting wet just yet. If the mood strikes us we'll probably head over to Tomorrowland after all this fun. Of course somewhere in there, we're probably going to be hungry, even with several snacks, and I might score my first corn dog of the trip at the Stage Door Cafe. OR we might just eat sandwiches and snacks and save Stage Door Cafe for later in the day.

    The afternoon is more open, depending on what we want to do. We might catch the parade that first day (4:15 every day) or we might wait. The only must-do that afternoon is Mickey and the Magical Map, since it's the only day it's playing. We will see that at either 3:20 or 5:25 probably. We will most likely go on Pirates and either Jingle Cruise or HMH (whichever we didn't hit earlier) that day, and might get another FP to try HSM or ST. It's really whatever feels good. For dinner time (by 5 for us) we'll probably eat at either Stage Door Cafe (if we just snacked earlier) or maybe over at the Jolly Holiday Cafe (there are more GF options there) and the little corn dog cart. They both sound delicious right now. If we're still going strong and crowds are decent, we might try to stay for the fireworks that night (and use some of our rider swaps too) or we might call it good at 6-7 and head back to our room, since it will take us a good 30 minutes at least to get there. That's the time (each night) that I'll be regretting not just getting a few rooms across the street, haha. If DS2 has napped at all in the stroller I'm sure we'll stick around. I'd definitely like to use one of our rider swaps on Big Thunder Mountain at night during our stay - it's my favorite to do it that way!
    We probably won't park hop Monday, unless crowds get weird, because there's so much to do there and since we want to see MatMM. There's also the castle lighting to catch during the evening and the Small World lighting that I'd like to see. I'm sure we'll be worn out, but hopefully it will be a good day, and hopefully rides in the stroller when needed will keep the DD6 and DS2 from getting too grumpy/whiny.
     
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    cptmemo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2013
    I hope you have a fantastic trip! If you have time to post any "must dos" or hints, please share :) im jealous you're already there, but Friday is still very soon for my family. Yay!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I hope you have a fantastic trip! If you have time to post any "must dos" or hints, please share :) im jealous you're already there, but Friday is still very soon for my family. Yay!
    Quick mid-trip update:
    Well, it's just as well that I didn't get a chance to carefully plan out each day like I did Monday. Very little has gone according to plan! We are here though, and no one is sick! 5 (vs 3) kids, especially with a baby AND a toddler is rough, and sometimes we can't hang, but we're doing our best! It's been chilly mornings and evenings, and yesterday morning there was a stiff breeze that about did us in (because of the baby - everyone else could handle it). The only time the crowds have been stifling is right after the parade at Disneyland Monday, but the first few hours of the days have been nice, and we have chosen not to wait more than 20-30 min for anything (and haven't used FP too much even because we're not up to all the cross park walking and timing things) and still did 15 attractions yesterday (though we were split up for a few). The longest wait was either HMH on Monday (more about -that- fun later!) or Peter Pan first thing yesterday, even though we were about 5th in line at the gates for our MM.
    Our biggest challenges have been parking (it's almost not possible to make rope drop when you park! My husband has been dropping us off and then parking and having to meet up with us, but I dislike it), keeping the baby warm enough to be happy and comfortable, getting the baby to nurse well consistently with all that's going on, and trying to get the whole concept of lines and waiting through the nearly-3-year-old's head. He's totally not into that. Oh, and our kids waking at 3:30-4:30 local time every day. There is an excellent chance we will not see the fireworks or World of Color. :-/
    But we are having a good time and making memories and taking great pictures, and I know that those wonderful night shows will be there when we come back and don't have babies to worry about. This is just a different kind of trip.

     
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    cptmemo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2013
    Quick mid-trip update:
    Well, it's just as well that I didn't get a chance to carefully plan out each day like I did Monday. Very little has gone according to plan! We are here though, and no one is sick! 5 (vs 3) kids, especially with a baby AND a toddler is rough, and sometimes we can't hang, but we're doing our best! It's been chilly mornings and evenings, and yesterday morning there was a stiff breeze that about did us in (because of the baby - everyone else could handle it). The only time the crowds have been stifling is right after the parade at Disneyland Monday, but the first few hours of the days have been nice, and we have chosen not to wait more than 20-30 min for anything (and haven't used FP too much even because we're not up to all the cross park walking and timing things) and still did 15 attractions yesterday (though we were split up for a few). The longest wait was either HMH on Monday (more about -that- fun later!) or Peter Pan first thing yesterday, even though we were about 5th in line at the gates for our MM.
    Our biggest challenges have been parking (it's almost not possible to make rope drop when you park! My husband has been dropping us off and then parking and having to meet up with us, but I dislike it), keeping the baby warm enough to be happy and comfortable, getting the baby to nurse well consistently with all that's going on, and trying to get the whole concept of lines and waiting through the nearly-3-year-old's head. He's totally not into that. Oh, and our kids waking at 3:30-4:30 local time every day. There is an excellent chance we will not see the fireworks or World of Color. :-/
    But we are having a good time and making memories and taking great pictures, and I know that those wonderful night shows will be there when we come back and don't have babies to worry about. This is just a different kind of trip.

    That has to be tricky to manage with your littlest lady--but it sounds like you're figuring it out!

    I hope the rest of your trip is fantastic :)
     
  • buttercup3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2015
    I saw you on Peter Pan!! I wanted to say hi but you guys got off before we were up to the front. And yelling at a stranger across a line would be weird! I'm glad you're having a good trip, even with things not going according to plan. I hope you have a great last day tomorrow! If you haven't seen it yet, the Beauty and the Beast show in the Royal Theatre is SO good, and would be a good place for a short rest :)
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I saw you on Peter Pan!! I wanted to say hi but you guys got off before we were up to the front. And yelling at a stranger across a line would be weird! I'm glad you're having a good trip, even with things not going according to plan. I hope you have a great last day tomorrow! If you haven't seen it yet, the Beauty and the Beast show in the Royal Theatre is SO good, and would be a good place for a short rest :)
    That's so fun! I'm glad you saw us at one of our normal moments and not when our littles were melting down, haha! :-) Spoiler alert: we couldn't make it to ANY shows except Jedi Academy. I wish we would have, but it just wasn't working out!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Okay, we are back, we are alive, and I'm going to try to knock this out faster than last time if possible, so it can be at all helpful to people who are visiting the parks in the near future!

    Our Crazy Holiday Trip - Traveling


    (Sunday, November 27th)
    We had the car all packed up the night before for the most part, and succeeded in leaving about 8 AM. The kids did pretty well on the trip. Too bad it took like 3 extra hours because of, I guess, end-of-Thanksgiving traffic. I think we spent about an hour of that just trying to get through the Palm Springs area. Seriously crazy. Thank heavens my 4-month-old recently decided that Baby Einstein is interesting, or there would have been a lot more crying than there was. Actually, at one point we were going so slow, for so long (like 5 miles an hour for 20-30 minutes) that I pulled her out of her seat for 5 minutes to nurse, since there wasn't anywhere to pull over, and she was screaming... But most of the trip was calmer.


    The Friday before we had gone to see Moana, and the kids loved it. We got the soundtrack on Spotify, and it was our vacation soundtrack. The kids can sing a large portion of the words now, and even the two-year-old constantly requests "the You're Welcome song." I have some video of them singing it. :)




    We arrived at my friend's house in La Habra about 4:30 local time. My husband and the kids stayed for 20-30 minutes to visit then headed to our AirBnB to get checked in and set up for bedtime. I stayed for another several hours to visit with my two friends, and experienced my first difficulty trying to get my daughter to sleep. Thankfully my friend had a ring sling, because mine was packed somewhere. I got her to take a couple of short naps, but there was a decent amount of crying involved.


    It was really frustrating! My friend that lives in Anaheim took the baby and I to the AirBnB, and also unloaded her BOB double stroller that she had told us we could borrow, so we didn't have to try to fit our double jogger in along with all the luggage for 7 people for a week.
    Our AirBnb was nice, if a little strange here and there (like the one toilet that had a string attached to the inside to flush it. Come on, people, that's like a $10-15 fix...) especially since the rules said not to talk to any of the neighbors about how it was an Airbnb or that we had booked it online. Fishiness, and I'm guessing their lease doesn't allow such things. We probably won't go that route again, but it was a nice space for us and we didn't have any issues.

    Apparently, my husband took the kids to DTD for "dinner" (Pretzels and smoothies - they were in heaven) and they got all Disney-excited without me. I guess that's what I get for abandoning them for a few hours of girl time. ;-)
     
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    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Our Crazy Holiday Trip - Day 1 (part 1)

    So, our day started with a bang, when all four older kids were wide awake by 3:30 AM local time. We were prepared for them to possibly be up by 4:45-5 AM, because there's a 1-hr time difference, and they're super early risers. But this was just ridiculous. DD8 was the only one that went back to sleep for a bit. The baby and I stayed "asleep" (she wakes up every 1-2 hours usually, with a sometimes longer stretch of 3-4 hours once) until like 6 AM, but my husband never really got back to sleep either. This was not a good start for our day. Did I mention my husband has had a cold or something for weeks, and was still not feeling great? I may have cried a little bit, because I didn't see things going well. He said he was going to bring DS2 and DD6 back to the room for a nap at some point. He was trying to hard to be a trooper and still help us have a good day, but he was struggling. The amount of thinking and planning and details needed to try to get everything together for the day, even though I had done all the planning before hand, was crazy. Adding a baby to the mix added at least 30% more stuff and planning, not knowing what she would need.




    Whose idea was it to not let the parking garages open until one short hour before rope drop? I don't know if we'll ever stay out-of-walking-distance-again, because this was a struggle for us throughout the trip. DH dropped me and the four older kids and the stroller off in the drop off zone on Harbor a little later than we hoped, about 9:05 AM I think. Security was a little long. The turnstile lines were a little long. And still, when they opened the gates just shy of 9:30, he was still trying to park in Toy Story. So we went in, and used the restroom, and tried to see a few characters (you have to be -fast- to get in those short lines before they close them off!) while we waited. He told us to go ahead, but I just couldn't go do rides without him with us on the first day, especially when it was the first time for DS2 (almost 3, remember) at least as far as he remembered. It was a bit crazy and chaotic, and I was frustrated that we weren't all together, but it was still fun, and DS2 was excited to see all the characters around. We saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Cruella. Possibly Tigger - I can't remember.





    I was trying to get a picture of the kids here and a kind stranger offered to take one of "all of us" (sad that DH and DD0 were missing!) Of course same kind stranger missed the memo that we were trying to take a picture -with- the train station... Haha.


    DH finally made it in and we all headed for Alice. We knew Peter Pan was a wash, since it was already like 10:10, and it wasn't in the plan for that morning anyway. (But when I looked 10 minutes later, its line was still listed at 20 minutes, for whatever that's worth.) The kids were very excited to see the Matterhorn up close, and begged to ride it right away. (DD8 and DS10)


    We ran into Alice and the Hatter on our way, and DS2 is a big fan of that movie, so we stopped for a minute. He was excited. :-)




    Alice was pretty much walk-on, and the kids were excited about that, too. Especially DD8. She loved that ride. :-) We got on Alice at 10:19, according to the pics. After that we looked at Dumbo, but I think I was more excited about that one than the kids, and the line was already long-ish looking and in the very bright sun. It wasn't hot, but the sun was warm. So we rode the teacups and everyone was happy. DH wasn't riding at this point because DD0 was fast asleep in the wrap, and he didn't want to disturb her yet. We got on the teacups at 10:24.





    They weren't too excited about anything else in Fantasyland except the boat ride (why can't I think of it's name?) and it wasn't open yet, so DH asked about Small World Holiday edition. He didn't have too many opinions about the trip, and that was one ride he was excited about, so we went to ride that with a <5 min wait. We got on at 10:34. Everyone was big fans, and the baby woke up halfway through too and liked it as well.





    I know we're only at like 10:45 that first morning, but I don't know how many pictures I can put in each post, so I'll continue in a bit! So far we were kind of sticking to "The Plan," but that was about to completely change.
     
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    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Day 1 (part 2)
    So for day #2 I had planned to hit Peter Pan and a few other Fantasyland rides, then maybe get a FP in Tomorrowland, and ride something, and then go over for the Toontown opening at 11.
    But here we were, at 10:50, having just gotten off IASW, and the kids saw Toontown and wanted to go. Okay, whatever, kiddos. I was excited for the characters to come out and have them do the whole opening thing I read about, but that didn't happen. At 11 they just opened the gates and everyone crowded in. Then when we got up to the first road division, THERE were the characters coming from the left. They did take the hands of a few kids, but at this point, we weren't run-walking and weren't at the front of that crowd anymore. But I still knew this was the best time to get a picture with Mickey with minimal wait, so we followed him to his house. I was hoping for a whole-family-picture, but there was no Photopass or cast member offering to take cameras, and my husband just stayed back and took the picture of the rest of us. I was disappointed, but pretty early on with this trip I had to give up that expectation of whole-family-photos. It was just too crazy with the baby (and the babywearing - you can never see my husband's shirts!). Next trip (in a few years) that's going to be a must-do for us, and we'll probably do photopass too. We considered it this time, but never saw many photopass photographers, and as I said, it was crazy, so I didn't press it. And it's not worth getting if you're not getting a bunch of photos, so... But I still got a few of my favorite photos of the trip at Mickey's house. My little guy is such a Mickey fan, and he was so excited to see Mickey and be in a picture with him. :)


    They had us exit through Mickey's house, which was fun. I always wish we would spend more time in Toontown just letting them play and explore, but somehow it hasn't happened yet. Oh, well. We did spend a few hours there, and they had fun. We split up just a little after this, because the kids wanted to ride Gadget's Go-Coaster, and I'm not willing to wait in line for that one, so we needed to hit it early. Everyone was tall enough for that one except the baby. I think. DS10 (sitting next to me) doesn't remember DS2 going on it, but I'm pretty sure he did. I'll have to get back to you on that one. :) <--- figured it out. He DID go, because I remember DD6 had to sit off with me the first time because we didn't know if she could ride in a seat by herself, and DS2 definitely needed to ride with my husband. So the two olders, DH, and DS2 went, then we switched (no line still) and I took DD6 along with the older two again. And then we rode it again. And then DS10 and DD8 rode it twice by themselves while DH had 2 and 6 checking out Donald's Boat, Goofy's House?, and Chip & Dale's Treehouse.



    And while I -tried- to get Miss Girly to nurse, which was a no-go for a while. This was a continuing problem throughout the trip. There was just so much going on, she wouldn't latch a lot of the time, and it was really frustrating. I got some cute pictures during that time, too, though.
    We tried in the little play garden at Goofy's, and behind Donald's boat with the water noise, and I was finally successful in the "Park" that has nothing but benches. While I did that, the rest of them went on Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, and they enjoyed it. DS2 is actually familiar with Roger Rabbit the character, because the Disneyland Fun Sing-along is one of his favorite DVD's, and it was made right when Roger Rabbit was popular.




    After their ride, they came and found me, and we tried to decide what to do. I broke out the snack bag (it was basically lunch time for us). Another theme of the trip was me NOT wanting to stop to get counter service even. The lines were decent much of the time, and I hated using up park time standing in line for fairly expensive food that they may or may not eat... These pics of DS2 were taken while they were waiting for baby girl to finish. Another theme. He was not that interesting in his picture being taken usually, and that lip and attitude came out pretty much any time we were trying to get him to wait nicely in the line, or not run away, or do anything he disagreed with. He is such a cute little toad, and acts like he's never heard of listening or sitting still over half the time. My first three weren't difficult in -this- way. Oh, children.


    We decided to head over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which was a big must-do, since it's one of my favorites, and since it was under construction during my kids' last trip. So I took the three olders on (and got a rider switch, which we somehow never used) and we waited maybe 7-10 minutes tops. The loved it! :) I taught them all how to watch the goat and put their hands up, and we had a grand time. :) We left Toontown about 11:50 and got on Big Thunder at 12:15. I'm not sure what DH and the littles were doing during this time, though I think the baby was napping.


    After a bathroom at Zocalo's (which always takes longer than you hope with a bunch of kids) We thought about getting lunch at this point, but the line for the Stage Door Cafe (where I wanted to grab a corn dog) was super long, and we decided to eat more snacks and go on Haunted Mansion Holiday instead. It said the line was 20 minutes but I think it ended up being closer to 30. :-/ And DS2, after having gotten up so early, was NOT dealing well. This is our only good quality family picture of all of us, and you can see how he's feeling. He was flipping out enough that DH gave me the baby and put him up in the wrap. Of course, while he was doing that, I got a little too close (trying to help) and he accidentally hit DD0 with his arm. Not hard, but enough that she started crying. At this point, we were about the enter the building, and we had a crying baby and a crying toddler, and we were so THAT family. It was a definite low point to the trip. We should maybe have stepped out of line with them, but after 30 minutes, we were going to try hard to go ahead and ride. Thankfully, once we got inside and things started, they both calmed down, and the rest of the ride went fine. I like the NBC version a lot more than the normal one, because I'm not a fan of spooky things. I can appreciate the Haunted Mansion in all its coolness, but I don't necessarily enjoy it. I was able to get the baby to nurse all the way through it (once we got in the Doom buggies or whatever they're called with the overlay) and that was a win.



    My one must-do of the day was Mickey's Magical Map, since it was only playing the Monday of our trip. Any guesses on if we made it?
     
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    cptmemo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2013
    Our trip did not go as planned either, for a lot of it. I'm going to start a trip report next week, once we're back home from Phoenix.

    I'm loving seeing your pictures!
     

    buttercup3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2015
    Loving your report so far! And I'm gonna guess you didn't make it to Mickey and the Magical Map?
    We made it to all the shows but not a single parade (even though we were there Friday with Paint the Night...boo!!) and didn't make the fireworks either! The kids just weren't excited about standing in the crowds!
    Thankful for YouTube ;)
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Our trip did not go as planned either, for a lot of it. I'm going to start a trip report next week, once we're back home from Phoenix.

    I'm loving seeing your pictures!
    Yes, please do!! I want to hear all about it!

    Loving your report so far! And I'm gonna guess you didn't make it to Mickey and the Magical Map?
    We made it to all the shows but not a single parade (even though we were there Friday with Paint the Night...boo!!) and didn't make the fireworks either! The kids just weren't excited about standing in the crowds!
    Thankful for YouTube ;)
    Yes, Youtube has been my solace with several things over the years that I've missed. Or when I feel the need to video a bunch of stuff from a performance, I tell myself to chill, because someone with less children and better equipment has already done it and put it on Youtube for me! ;-)
     

    ClaraOswald

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2014
    Quick mid-trip update:
    Well, it's just as well that I didn't get a chance to carefully plan out each day like I did Monday. Very little has gone according to plan! We are here though, and no one is sick! 5 (vs 3) kids, especially with a baby AND a toddler is rough, and sometimes we can't hang, but we're doing our best! It's been chilly mornings and evenings, and yesterday morning there was a stiff breeze that about did us in (because of the baby - everyone else could handle it). The only time the crowds have been stifling is right after the parade at Disneyland Monday, but the first few hours of the days have been nice, and we have chosen not to wait more than 20-30 min for anything (and haven't used FP too much even because we're not up to all the cross park walking and timing things) and still did 15 attractions yesterday (though we were split up for a few). The longest wait was either HMH on Monday (more about -that- fun later!) or Peter Pan first thing yesterday, even though we were about 5th in line at the gates for our MM.
    Our biggest challenges have been parking (it's almost not possible to make rope drop when you park! My husband has been dropping us off and then parking and having to meet up with us, but I dislike it), keeping the baby warm enough to be happy and comfortable, getting the baby to nurse well consistently with all that's going on, and trying to get the whole concept of lines and waiting through the nearly-3-year-old's head. He's totally not into that. Oh, and our kids waking at 3:30-4:30 local time every day. There is an excellent chance we will not see the fireworks or World of Color. :-/
    But we are having a good time and making memories and taking great pictures, and I know that those wonderful night shows will be there when we come back and don't have babies to worry about. This is just a different kind of trip.

    I know what you mean about a different kind of trip. That was how I felt last time with our son who was 17 months old at the time. It was our first trip with a child so it was way different. We didn't do a lot of our "usual" stuff but I didn't care too much because like you said....we can do all that when he's old and it's just a different trip. For example, we pretty much left the parks a few hours before closing every night because our son was over it by the end of the day. Not ideal but it was fine.

    Anyway....off to read more....
     

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