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09 June 2013

Oh, You Know, Just Another Trip To Disneyland

I swear, if we lived back in California, I think we might just make a weekly trek to Disneyland during the off-season.  We love it that much.  So, when my friend Liz put the idea in my head of the two of us taking our four kids before summer hit, I was pretty much all systems go.  But in reality, we didn't pull the go trigger until the night before we left.  Luckily, I had laid out our clothes and snacks during the day just in case.

Liz came over without her two kiddos, Brooklyn and Zack, {in her Highlander SUV} so we could load up our carseats and double stroller a little easier.  That girl must rock at Tetris because she got everything loaded up for us.  We had two double strollers {one side-by-side and our long one}, two duffel bags of clothes, four carseats, four kids {obviously}, snack bags, dvd players, iPads and purses crammed in every available space.

We started out with the big kids in the middle and the babies in the back.  It didn't take long for the babies to fall asleep and the girls were content playing with princess dolls.  But, after Zack woke up and realized he was still in the carseat, we decided to switch the small ones to the middle so I could turn around and entertain/feed/appease as needed.

Red Vines did the trick temporarily.  I cannot even begin to tell you how disgusting the car was after we unloaded everything at our houses.  We could have been stuck in the desert and survived a week on all the food on the floor.

I have to brag on my girls for a quick second because after this trip I realized just how lucky we are to have such wonderful little travelers.  It wasn't always this way, so I am glad we've gotten to the point where they can zone out watching a show and just enjoy the ride.  {I swear Olivia could watch tv all day and would not complain once.  Not saying that's a great skill to have, but it definitely comes in handy.}

We made it to the hotel much later than we had anticipated {an accident on the road about an hour from our destination added an extra 90 minutes or so onto our trip} and there were no cribs left for our babies, but honestly, those were probably the worst things that happened on our trip.  I truly can't complain!

Before we left, we booked a hotel that was about 1/2 mile from the entrance so that we wouldn't have to drive and park at the resort.  This was the first time we had ever done that and I have to admit that it is SO much easier than driving.  {Walking the hill over the freeway wasn't my favorite thing, but it was still easier than unloading/loading/unloading/loading the strollers into the car and tram.}  Our hotel was right across the street from a gas station so we popped over there for breakfast and snacks before heading into the park.

Gas station breakfast of champions, right there!

We made it!

We saw Minnie right off the bat and I realized immediately that Sydney was not yet to the age where she was going to enjoy meeting and greeting the characters.  I didn't force it because I knew it wasn't worth it.  Fortunately, she was super excited to not only meet the princesses, but to show off her belly too.  

We decided to do a few rides in Fantasyland first...Peter Pan was at the top of our list, but the line was already 35 minutes long and we knew we needed to get on a ride fast so we rode the carousel, Dumbo and the Casey Junior Train ride back to back.

Love these two girls and I just feel so blessed that I'm able to spend my days with them.

While we rode the Casey Jr ride, someone told us to try the Storybook Canal ride, so we headed there next.  The kids kept getting antsy in line, but I tried to persevere.  Liz wised up and took her two kids to Small World where there was no line.  And, of course, with my luck, the ride broke down as we were waiting in line.  Sydney was trying to crawl through the bars to run around in the flower beds and so we just said forget it and headed over to Small World.  Seriously, it's one of my favorite rides anyway.  I'm pretty sure we ended up riding it three or four times that day.  It's a 10 or 11 minute ride, in an air-conditioned room, with tons of stuff for the kids to look at and be enthralled with.  And the line usually moves pretty quickly.  What's not to love?!

Next up was Toon Town.  I think I've said it before, but Toon Town is not my favorite part of Disneyland.  The line for Minnie and Mickey were both really long and fortunately no one was upset that we skipped that part {maybe they didn't know?}.  I tried to take the girls on one of Olivia's favorite rides, but as we got close to the front of the line, Olivia said she didn't want to go anymore.  So, I took Brooklyn back to her mom and she ended up taking her.  So, I was left with the three kids in the play area.  There's only one entrance/exit, which I had blocked, but I still was a nervous wreck trying to keep one set of eyes on three roaming children.  I kept trying to hurdle them in to little hiding spots so they would all be together and easy to look out for.

She asked Goofy to do the Hotdog Dance...and he did!

Next time I have to watch three kids in a busy place, I'm bringing a sheepdog.

I could say this ten times every day {and I probably do}, but Sydney wants to be a big girl so badly. Oh, I just love her so.

We ate lunch in Toon Town and put the two littlest ones in the side-by-side stroller.  We figured a long walk to Frontierland might put them to sleep, and thankyouJesus, it did!

Liz and I took turns taking the big girls on the Winnie-the-Pooh ride and pushing the nappers around.  I grabbed a Fast Pass for Olivia and I to ride Splash Mountain, but again she chickened out.  I don't know what happened because for the last month she had been talking about how that was her favorite ride and she bawled when I told her we might not be able to ride it since none of the other kiddos were tall enough.  We ended up giving our passes to someone further back in line and then were able to see Tiana in New Orleans Square.

We rode the Jungle Cruise on our way back towards Fantasyland and then got in line to see Peter Pan.  Here's where our one little hiccup presented itself.  We {Liz and I} really wanted to ride Peter Pan.  Along with Small World, it's one of my favorite rides at Disneyland.  Olivia usually likes it too.  But, for some reason, she was not having it that day.  She was crying and begging me not to make her ride it.  And, Sydney was working on her latest trick of slipping through the bars and walking on flowerbeds.  I just could not see us standing in the line for another 30 minutes.  It wasn't fair to the girls or to the other people waiting in line.  So, I pulled my kids out while Liz and her kids stayed in.  We found a spot in the shade, took a few deep breaths, grabbed some snacks and relaxed for a few before getting in line for the carousel again.  It was a little frustrating at the time, but if that was our only meltdown during the trip, I'd say we did pretty great!

She said she didn't want to see Captain Hook {which I believe because when he came out during the parade, she took off and hid behind the strollers}.

I think we did one more trip in to Toon Town to see if Mickey's line was any shorter, rode Small World again, and headed to the circle to grab a spot and some popcorn for the parade.  I would have to say that this was the most crowded I had seen the park in our four visits, but it still wasn't bad.  A nice family {from Gilbert!} let us squeeze in beside them and helped entertain our kids before the parade started.  They even held Zack for part of the parade!  They wanted to know if our husbands were off riding rides!

The parade is always a highlight for me and the girls.  They just love seeing all of the princesses and characters go by.  Olivia shouts as loudly as possible to get their attention and she definitely did get some kisses blown in her direction.  I always feel bad when one princess is looking right at her and she's yelling for another one's attention.  

Sydney perfected her cheesy smile while we were there and I was lucky enough to capture this crazy grin from her while we were watching the parade.  Words cannot describe how much I love this little sweet girl.

The parade is always a perfect stopping point {and, you know, a zillion other people agree because it is a crazy rush out of there afterwards} and so we headed back to the hotel for baths and bed.  I would have thought that both girls would have been wiped out from the day, but they were so excited to jump on the bed when we got back.  They did go down pretty easily though.

I originally thought that we would just go for one day, but Liz had the idea of going to California Adventure for the morning of the second day and then leaving before the kids had their naps so they would hopefully sleep some of the way home.  More time at Disneyland?  Fine by me!

We were up and ready to go the next morning and threw our duffel bags into the car and then headed back for our gas station breakfast across the street.  As crazy as it sounds, I was able to get myself and the girls ready and get our stuff packed up to check out of the hotel right on time.  That never happens when David is around.  {Sorry, babe, but it's true.}

This is a picture from the elevator of our hotel.  The building to the left of the green building in the picture is the Small World ride.  

It was great only spending a few hours at California Adventure.  In my opinion, there's just not as much stuff to do there {especially for our kiddos}.  As soon as we got in, we saw a GIANT line...I'm talking from the beginning of the park giant, just to get a fast pass for the new Cars ride.  Crazy.  So, I thought maybe the Toy Story Mania {my new favorite ride at California Adventure} might not be as crowded.  And, I was right.  It was dead towards the back of the park and we had less than a five minute wait.  Liv really likes that ride too, so it was fun for us.  Unfortunately, Liz and her kids didn't really get into it as much so we just did it once.

We did the Ariel ride a few times, the Disney Jr Live on Stage show {where we got to meet Jake afterwards} and the Monsters Inc ride before calling it quits for the day.  Of course, I had promised my girls Clarabelle's ice cream before we left so I had to fulfill that promise.  

Because pumping them full of sugar before a 7+ hour car ride is always a good idea.

Our trip home was definitely a lot easier than the ride out.  Unfortunately, Zack fell asleep in the stroller as we walked back to the car and stayed asleep while we loaded all of our stuff back in and then woke up as we were gassing up across the street, but here's another thankyouJesus, he fell asleep again a few hours into the ride home.

All in all, it was an AMAZING trip out and it was seriously easier than I thought it would be.  I'll even go so far as to say that it was easier being at Disneyland with them than it was being home by myself with them all day and night when we returned.  I'm so lucky to have such a fun friend who is willing and eager to do a spontaneous trip and who loves my kids and puts up with their craziness!  {And vice versa because I love her kids dearly.}  Sydney is not always quick to warm up to people, even people she has been around a lot, but she happily went to Liz while we were there.  Warms my Mama heart.

And, that wraps up our latest Disney trip.  As we left the park, we made sure to say, "We'll see you in the fall, Disneyland."  Because, you know we will.

1 comment:

Poppy said...

Wow! What a trip for you guys.