(our kids') California Dreams! (COMPLETE)

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
I loved the picture with the whole family!;)
Thanks! If I have a regret about the trip it's only that I didn't make some effort to get more entire-family pictures. I would have liked to have one of those that was nice enough to frame and put on the wall!
 

DorkyDisneyMom

I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request.
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Yay! So glad to see more of your trip.

I don't think I've ever seen the corn dog thing. I'll have to look for it when I'm there next. It looks delicious!
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Yay! So glad to see more of your trip.

I don't think I've ever seen the corn dog thing. I'll have to look for it when I'm there next. It looks delicious!
As you walk down Main Street, right as you enter the hub, it is right on your right. (before the Plaza Inn) It is only $7-ish dollars, and is big enough that several people could share it as a filling snack! (It comes with chips or apple slices)
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Friday! Our last day! I was so sad this was our last day, but since we had been going full tilt and not taking out precious park time for breaks in the middle of the days, it was probably good that we weren’t trying to do it for more than 3 days in a row. We could have done 4 easily though, and maybe just have taken a little easier and slower. Towards the end of the first day I realized I was catching a cold, which slowed me down a little. Of course, at Disneyland, I mostly forgot about it during the day. When I lay down to sleep at night, though, exhausted, I remembered my cold, since I couldn’t breathe. DH, especially, was dragging a little and having a hard time being patient. He was doing okay, I could just tell it was extra effort for him. ;-) We were all a little tired, and it was a long, hot day. I’m not complaining at ALL – I felt so lucky and blessed to be there with my whole family, and enjoying all the excitement, fun, and magic with my kids! So, so awesome, even with the frustrating moments or tiredness.

There was some confusion about what time the Parks actually opened and which one had early entry (one of DH’s apps was lying to him) so we were up a little early (we weren’t sure if it opened at 9 or 8). Just as well, because we managed to get over there about 8:10 and be pretty close to the front of the line to get into Disneyland (the non-EE park, of course). When the turnstiles opened we went straight to the middle-hub spot to wait for rope drop. In retrospect I might have chosen a shadier spot on this warm day, (as well as a lighter-colored clothing scheme.) I was in shorts, but my kids were still in long pants! They don’t have much of a pain threshold, and with all the running around I knew there was an excellent chance someone would trip or slip and scrape a knee. And that would be more likely to ruin their day than being too warm! (And remember, we’re from Arizona. 90º is spring/fall weather :rotfl: )




They had been asking to go on Peter Pan again, so of course it was the first ride of the day! They loved it, again. :) We followed that with Dumbo, since that’s NOT a line we wanted to stand in for very long in this weather. DH had taken DD2 on Pinnochio at some point during the previous day, and she liked it, so we took everyone on it. Disturbing little ride…





It’s a Small World had been under refurbishment for several weeks and was just finally opening today. (We kind of timed our trip to include Friday because several rides like Small World and Autopia would be opening up the last day, and very little else was closed, but it was still during the good early-spring deal!) The kids were so excited to go on it and I was excited to take them! I wish we would have made time to go more than once, but there’s always next time, right? On our way over to it though, we noticed that the Princess line (temporarily in front of Small World while the Fantasy Faire was getting ready to open) only had about 4 people in line. We had already met Cinderella and Aurora, but not Snow White. It’s too bad some of the other princesses weren’t there with that short line! But the girls still enjoyed it, and DS6 enjoyed taking pictures of them with a little camera.





Then on to Small World! This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip: I feel like it captures the joy and excitement DD5 had pretty much the entire trip. She can be kind of whiny and quite a tease at home, but she was nothing but happiness and helpfulness the whole time we were at Disneyland. When there was a stroller dispute and DS6 was pouting or throwing fit, she gave up her spot more than once, just to keep the peace. She shouldn’t have had to do that, but I was super grateful that she did, and we try to encourage selfless behavior whenever it manifests at this age, so… (they loved the ride, of course!)



After that we headed into Toontown, since it had recently opened, and I knew it would be the least-crowded right then compared to later. (Plus unbearably warm in that little plastic land later…) We had already been through Minnie’s house, but not Mickey’s. The line for Minnie said 5 minutes and the line for Mickey said 30. I asked the CM outside of Minnie’s if she thought it was –really- 30 minutes. She didn’t seem to think so… I would have been surprised if it was, that early in the day, but stranger things have happened. DH was reluctant, but I knew this was our best chance to make sure we met Mickey with minimum wait. And how can you take three kids to DLR for the first time and NOT meet the Mouse? We didn’t spend a lot of time checking his house out, but mostly walked through, and when we got to the movie set or whatever where he meets people there was only one family in front of us. Score! He was in his sorcerer robes rather than his traditional garb, which was a little sad, but at least the kids have seen that cartoon a few times, and it was familiar. :) It was fun to have a few minutes to take several pictures and let the kids interact with Mickey without a big line waiting on us. I always feel like we have to hurry through when there’s much of a line.






After meeting Mickey (!) we went over through Minnie’s house to get a picture with her. DD5 was especially excited about this one. ::yes::



Then we went over to try Gadget’s Go-Coaster (which I had never been on, due to its shortness and usually-too-long line. Actually, it was only recently that I realized it had nothing to do with Inspector Gadget, and everything to do with Rescue Rangers. {big eyeroll for that one – how did I miss it?}) DD2 was just –barely- tall enough to get on this one (by about ½ an inch) and though it was super short (44 seconds?) she loved it! We should have gone again right then, but instead we went over to go on Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin. (With a quick detour to take an adorable picture with Pluto) A fun ride, but a little dark and scary (I thought) for my kids…

And we have a lot going on today, (in-laws coming into town for the day, and my husband has a little chiropractic open house in an hour and a half, and I’m still in my pajamas.. the kids are dressed though!) so I’m going to have to stop there and pick up later. :)
 
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Moodyzblu

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Loving your report and videos too (I left comments for you) !

I took my kids to DL for the first time in October (we usually go to WDW being from the East coast) and they just LOVED it !
 

Linda67

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
What a lovely family :goodvibes
I've just spent a very enjoyable hour reading through your PTR and TR and have loved it!
You all just look so happy :thumbsup2
 
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Loving your report and videos too (I left comments for you) !

    I took my kids to DL for the first time in October (we usually go to WDW being from the East coast) and they just LOVED it !
    Thanks for the comments! My kids have been into Disney everything forever, and this was our first chance (between distance and finances) to take them. It was so great!


    Your family is adorable! Thank you so much for sharing them, and your trip, with us! :)
    Thanks for reading, and for your comment! It's fun to share it with people that are as excited about Disney as we are!

    What a lovely family :goodvibes
    I've just spent a very enjoyable hour reading through your PTR and TR and have loved it!
    You all just look so happy :thumbsup2
    I'm so glad you enjoyed it so far! We did have a great time, and spent most of the trip being happy, which was definitely one of the goals. :)
     

    burly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2004
    Finally had some time to catch up and read some trip reports including yours.
    Your kids,,,,,,,,adorable!

    Looks like you had a great trip.

    KIM
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Finally had some time to catch up and read some trip reports including yours.
    Your kids,,,,,,,,adorable!

    Looks like you had a great trip.

    KIM
    Thanks for reading! I am excited to finish it off in the next few days (with any luck). It seems like it's been a long line of sicknesses and mishaps, and we're ready to just be healthy!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    So after ToonTown we figured we should head over and see what was going on in Tomorrowland. (I don’t remember why it was so important, but I think DH wanted to take the kids on Finding Nemo, and we knew the line would only get longer and hotter!) When we got over there the line was already a decent length. Now, Nemo is a ride I can do. I can. But I don’t prefer to, and that is just after having been on it once. (Our last trip, in 2009, just DH and me) I am a little claustrophobic. Add in a long, warm line, and I am OUT, my friends.





    (That last picture makes me laugh. Kind of how things were going at that point...)

    I think DH was just a touch annoyed that I didn’t want to go on the ride too, but he survived, while I got some Autopia (which was not open our first two days) and Star Tours FP’s, and asked a nice CM standing outside of the Little Green Men Store (totally had to look that name up…) to give me a crash course in pin trading. I have read lots of threads about it, but having never seen it myself, I asked her if she would walk me through it, so I would be confident in explaining it to my kids. English was not her first language, so we had a few “wait, what?” moments (not with words, just in understanding) but I felt a lot better after our little roleplay about giving our kids their lanyards and pins.

    We purposely waited on the pin trading until the last day. Since this was a first trip for all of them, we knew there would be plenty to occupy them for the first few days, and I knew that Friday might be more crowded, and that pin trading would be something new and exciting. Silly, looking at that sentence. What kind of crazy over-planner tries to make sure there is something “new and exciting” with three little kids at Disneyland? Anyway. After waiting for them for a while (in the wrong spot) to get off Nemo, we finally met back up. I think the line was probably about 30 minutes, plus the ride itself isn’t short.

    We had a snack and walked across to the Jedi Training Academy, where a show was getting ready to start. That was on our “list,” since DS6 is a Star Wars nut (inherited/encouraged by his parents…) and we had our sign and everything all ready. But the sun was killer! We weren’t early enough to get a completely shady spot, so we were sitting partially in the shade, with my legs out in front, saving him a spot “on the line” for when the show started. Which it didn’t. First it was delayed a few minutes, due to technical difficulties, then cancelled. All that (okay, maybe 10 minutes) skin cancer time for my shins, for nothing! ;-)

    By now our Autopia FP’s were ready, but they didn’t really save us any time. We had a few good experiences with FastPass during the trip, but just as often they were unnecessary or we were frustrated trying to get the timing right. A big :P for FP enforcement. Autopia was fun, but hot. The kids liked it, but weren’t over-the-moon excited about it the way I remember my little brothers being. Different interests, I guess.



    While we were in line I had given them the lanyards and explained pin trading. They were a little ho-hum about the whole process, and not that impressed that I wanted them to wear these heavy necklace-things. (Though they liked the patterns and were interested in some of the starting pins we’d provided – 6 each.)

    Star Tours FP’s were up by now, and that was a hit, again. Definitely in the Top 5 Favorites of our trip. I took them on it, and as soon as we got off, DH hustled us over to the the Jedi Academy (which was starting in 5 minutes). It wasn’t any cooler an hour and a half later, but I’m glad we made it happen. The bright yellow sign got DS picked, and he got to wear a robe and play with a lightsaber, and show how brave he was to fight Darth Vader, and I still (we were watching the video together) am not sure how much of he thought was pretend or maybe a tiny bit real. 6-year-old boys (especially bright ones) are a puzzle at the best of times. But he loved it. :) My girls were actually kind of melting in the heat of the sun, so I left the video camera with DH at our “ringside” seat and took them up on the Terrace. Not the best view, but I could still mostly see what was happening, and my girls got to cool off and have some Gogurts.




    After our little Padawan graduated from the Academy we were =starving= and went looking for a place to have some lunch. Somehow we ended up at Rancho del Zocalo (which would not have been my first choice). DH likes Mexican food more than I do, and I didn’t see anything on the menu I wanted to try badly enough to pay $10-15 for. So I ordered a kids chicken taco two. Um, on paper it was very… healthy (wheat tortilla, apple sauce, weird mixed veggies, rice, etc.) but fairly tasteless. I added cheese, lettuce, and salsa (which I don’t tend to even like) just to add some flavor! Filling, but blah. Our kids did okay with it. They were excited about the applesauce. I supplemented with snacks. I also changed my attitude about lunch quickly when we were almost done and (TMI ALERT!!) I saw a girl quite a few tables away that had just thrown up all over, and her mom was trying to clean it up with napkins and such, and then walked her 8-9 year old to the bathroom for further clean-up. (We didn’t use that bathroom) Suddenly, my day looked infinitely better and I was grateful for all our blessings! Gross, I know, but it just goes to show that having fun and enjoying yourself are largely about perspective!

    After lunch we weren’t super sure what to do, but DD2 helped us decide by promptly falling asleep. DH offered to take her to the lower level of the Country Bear Restaurant (shady, cool-ish) and let her sleep as long as she would. It was pretty hot, and the older kids had been asking about riding Pirates again, so that’s what we did! Even though the line was much longer than we had seen it the rest of our visit. We saw our first (and nearly last) group of cheerleaders (there was a competition in CA the next day, I think? That day? I don’t remember.) No big deal. They were at least as well-behaved as MY kids… ;-) We were getting our first taste of some serious crowds, and I –remembered- how it can get in Disneyland, especially in Adventureland/Pirates area when it’s crowded… (Add in some heat, and claustrophobia, anyone?) My kids were troopers in the lines though, especially since our plans had helped us not wait in too many long ones up to that point.




    But you know that Pirates never takes THAT long to get onto, and before we knew it, we were enjoying some nice, dark A/C. Which is usually my favorite part about POTC, after the fun drops at the beginning. I’m not really into dark and scary/spooky, and kind of have to compel myself to watch movies like Lord of the Rings, POTC, etc. with DH. I can appreciate them, and even enjoy them, but I’d be happier if all movies were shot in at least partial sunlight and had little killing and lots of relationship exploration. Ha.

    After Pirates, DD2 was still completely out, so DH was entertaining himself on his phone and with taking pictures, so we decided to check out Tom Sawyer…er, the Pirate’s Lair? I remembered it being cooler and kind of fun for kids.





    (pic DH took. She is an awesome sleeper, isn’t she? Surprised the heck out of us!)

    The ride over and the Island itself were NOT so cool. Fun, yes, but it was just as warm over there, and the kiddos and I were all getting a little toasted. I don’t deal super well with heat (yes, I’m from Arizona and will probably live here the rest of my life now…) and was ready for a change of some sort. We rode back over (after much exploring – In retrospect, I think my Dad liked Tom Sawyer’s because we were old enough during most of the trips to be turned loose while he stretched out on a log bench on the backside and rested his feet for 45 minutes…) and DD2 was just waking up. Before we met up I bought the kiddos (the older 2) a churro to share with me, which they had been asking for. And then we had to decide if we should wait around until our 5:30 return time on Splash Mountain (which sounded so fun in this heat!) or get out of Disneyland and head over to the somewhat less-crowded (according to MouseWait) California Adventure.






    Video of the first half of our last day! (this installment and the one right before it!)
     
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  • sophies*mom

    A dream is a wish your heart makes.
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2011
    I giggled while watching your video because your older daughter totally copped a feel on Snow White when she gave her a hug! :rotfl:

    And I'm also hoping that our trip in 3wks isn't as hot as yours was. I could tell they were hot.
     

    Moodyzblu

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2006
    I love that you have video to go along with the TR because it just makes it so dimensional !! I love hearing the voices and seeing the smiles .. plus your kids are just oozing with cuteness !! :love:
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I giggled while watching your video because your older daughter totally copped a feel on Snow White when she gave her a hug! :rotfl:

    And I'm also hoping that our trip in 3wks isn't as hot as yours was. I could tell they were hot.
    Oh, man! I might have to take another look at our family video version (a bit longer) and choose a different scene... ;-) And it was particularly warm at that point. I believe it was 2 or 3 PM, and they had been running around on the island and then standing/riding in the sun on the raft right before that!

    I love that picture with the three kids and Mickey, they look very happy.
    :) Me too! I wish I had asked them to take several family pictures though, so one of ours might have turned out better. To anyone that's going with little kids, I would say you have to MAKE sure you get a few family photos a day, or spring for Photopass! ;-)

    I love that you have video to go along with the TR because it just makes it so dimensional !! I love hearing the voices and seeing the smiles .. plus your kids are just oozing with cuteness !! :love:
    Thanks! I'm a bit of a videophile, so it's fun to have other people watch some of our fun, too!
     

    cptmemo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2013
    How fun! I love hearing about your trip. We're going in June, and it will have been 3.5 years since our last trip. Reading about yours has helped get me excited :) Your kiddos are so cute!
     

    Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    What a great update
    I am really enjoying your TR, lots of great detail but most importantly your kids seem to be having the time of their lives :cloud9:
     

    yupikgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2007
    Wonderful TR! Adorable kids, awesome parents, making memories that will last forever! :thumbsup2:dance3:

    Enjoyed all your pics, and the videos definately make it even more exciting! Loved all the sweet tshirts that you made/bought, as well as your thriftiness with the Disney outlet finds!

    Here's to many more years of happy adventures with your kids! Looking forward to reading more!! :yay::woohoo:
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    How fun! I love hearing about your trip. We're going in June, and it will have been 3.5 years since our last trip. Reading about yours has helped get me excited :) Your kiddos are so cute!
    Thanks for reading! How exciting to be planning your own trip after (such) a long time away! 3 years is just too long, right??

    What a great update
    I am really enjoying your TR, lots of great detail but most importantly your kids seem to be having the time of their lives :cloud9:
    Thanks! We really did have an amazing vacation. All the planning (and praying) helped a lot!

    Wonderful TR! Adorable kids, awesome parents, making memories that will last forever! :thumbsup2:dance3:

    Enjoyed all your pics, and the videos definately make it even more exciting! Loved all the sweet tshirts that you made/bought, as well as your thriftiness with the Disney outlet finds!

    Here's to many more years of happy adventures with your kids! Looking forward to reading more!! :yay::woohoo:

    I'm glad you're enjoying it!!

    Sorry I haven't updated. We've had a lot going on this week, since I just found out a week ago that my son's school (where he's been going to kindergarten, and my daughter was already registered at for next year) is going to be closing after this year. It is a charter school that we have LOVED, and of course all the other decent schools in the area already have waiting lists. (We don't live in a fabulous school district, but AZ has open enrollment and there are several good magnet/charter schools in the area). A little (okay, a lot stressful!) Also, my inlaws are coming for the Easter weekend. Exciting, but also stressful. I have a lot of picking up and cleaning to do today that I've been ignoring while working on schools and a big video project. But I promise to get back to it in a few days! (There's not that much left, which makes me a little sad...) :(
     

    ladylyons

    Wishing I was closer to Disneyland
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2009
    Sorry I haven't updated. We've had a lot going on this week, since I just found out a week ago that my son's school (where he's been going to kindergarten, and my daughter was already registered at for next year) is going to be closing after this year. It is a charter school that we have LOVED, and of course all the other decent schools in the area already have waiting lists. (We don't live in a fabulous school district, but AZ has open enrollment and there are several good magnet/charter schools in the area). A little (okay, a lot stressful!) Also, my inlaws are coming for the Easter weekend. Exciting, but also stressful. I have a lot of picking up and cleaning to do today that I've been ignoring while working on schools and a big video project. But I promise to get back to it in a few days! (There's not that much left, which makes me a little sad...) :(
    First off I just want to say I really hate when things like this happen to the schools. We do live in a pretty great school district but we're still told that our kids may not go to our home school. Which is kind of bad since I was the first family to sign my DD up for Kindergarten next year also. (My DS is in Kindergarten this year!!) Hope you're able to get it all straightened out and both of them into a good school!!


    Ok are you sure your not writing about my life!!! My DH and I got engaged Feb 2004 and got married in May 2004!! A whole year before you and your DH!! We've also taken trips to DL that we shouldn't have due to finances (my DH is an electrician and when there's no work he doesn't work). But our children are only young once and it's memories we will all cherish for year's to come.

    I love reading about your trip!! You can see the pure joy on everyone's faces about just being in DL! I'm really glad you got to take this trip and experience the magic with your kids while they are still young enough to believe.

    Princesses are a sore spot in our family. My DH and 6 year old DS could care less to stop to see them but my DD is a princess in her own right (since she is the only girl). We've had moments where my DS will tell my DD that the princesses don't want to meet her which brings tears to her eyes and then I'm taking her to see them just to prove him wrong.

    I know I had more to comment on but it's late and I now don't remember what else I wanted to say. :rotfl2: Oh one other thing is we are also about a 6 hour drive to Disneyland if we don't hit traffic!! And we stayed at the Anaheim Plaza also due to the room size being so big compared to other's we've stayed in.

    Can't wait to read more about what you guys did! And your kids are adorable!!! Love all the happy smiles!!
     

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