We have wanted to take the kids to Disneyland for a while now but I get very anxious going during busy times because of the crowds and lines! So when Trent came home for a quick visit, after working crazy hours for two weeks straight during Hurricane Sandy, we jumped at the chance to take advantage of a typically slow week at the magical kingdom. The best part of the plan was that it was a complete surprise. This worked out for two reasons, I did not have to hear about it every minute of the day and there is nothing better than an awesome reaction to a surprise (oh there is actually a 3rd reason, Trent did all the packing while I was at work so the kids wouldn’t see him).
Wednesday afternoon I left work early so we would be able to pick the kids up from school and head out. Trent was amazing and thought of literally everything we would need. He went grocery shopping so that we could eat at the hotel, he had everything charged and he packed all the things the kids needed. He also cleaned the house!! AWESOME! With the van all packed up, we headed over to the kids school. They were a little surprised to see me, as I am never able to pick them up, but got in the car and chatted about their day. I told them we had a bunch of errands to run and we better take a quick bathroom break so we made a quick trip to the QT (which included purchasing sodas, milkshakes and snacks). After driving for about 20 minutes, Aiden asked “where are we going?”. I responded, “where would you like to go?”, and was totally got off guard when he said “Disneyland”. After taking a minute to compose myself I responded with “okay, I think there is something here for you guys that you may need”. We then gave them a Disney gift bag with their game boys, candy and a Minnie/Mickey t-shirt. Aiden seemed confused and thanked us for the shirt but Anna started screaming her head off and yelled “We are really going to Disneyland?” I don’t think they believed us for a few minutes until we assured them that it would be a very mean joke if we weren’t!
We decided to stay at the Disneyland Hotel to get the full experience. I will say the convenience of it is definitely worth it but other than the neat details of Mickey throughout the room, it was just a regular hotel room. I loved being right next to Downtown Disney and it was definitely worth getting the magical hour where you get to enter the park an hour earlier than everyone else. I honestly don’t think we would have been able to ride on the new Cars ride if we didn’t get into the park early. One of the best things we did this time around was bring bagels for breakfast and make sandwiches for lunch. It saved us a ton of money and allowed us to splurge on other things. I have always wanted to eat at the Bayou restaurant inside of Pirates of the Caribbean, so we booked a reservation and had lunch there on the first day. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Other than the awesome ambiance the food sucked and it was crazy expensive. Anna did not touch her $13.00 kids meal, which was a plain cold chicken breast and a side of spaghetti. Oh well, lesson learned! I could live on the churros and that is what I did the next day.
Our first day in the park, we ran into one of my oldest friends, Edie MacDonald Gardner and her family. We didn’t have a lot of time to chat in the a.m. as we were in line for the Matterhorn but when we ran into them later at Toontown we ended up spending 5 hours with them cruising through California Adventures! She has kids the same age as mine (plus a gorgeous baby that makes me SOOOO want one) and our kids and husbands rode every single scary ride in that place! I could not believe that they even went on the Tower of Terror and liked it so much they did it again. I of course waited with Edie and the baby, in case she needed help! We had such a blast with them and it really made the day more fun. Next time, we will definitely want to go with friends.
We literally rode every single ride we wanted to and more than once. We were able to practically walk on the rides, which made the overall experience amazing. Anna was able to get lots of autographs and I was so grateful that she still loves her princesses. As great as it is that they are old enough and big enough to ride everything now, it was bittersweet that they weren’t more excited about the Disney hoopla as they once were. I was though and would love to go with people who want to see every show and deck themselves in full Disney gear!
It was a perfect trip and we had an amazing time. It will definitely be a trip I remember for a lifetime, and the kids are at the age where they should too!
|Such a fun surprise to run into my oldest friend, Edie!|
|Aiden and Anna with Taylor and Tyson|
|I love that I caught him looking scared....especially since it was just Thunder Mtn. :)|
|Nothing worse than getting wet, especially when it's kind of chilly out!|
|crazy kids.....I can't believe they went on California Screaming! And more than once!|
|I'm so glad Anna is still excited to see her princesses!|
|This is how excited I am to see the parade....|
|This is how excited Trent is to see the parade...|
|Here's the kids faking there excitement to see the parade....|
|Here's Trent trying to show more enthusiasm....|