Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Disneyland: A Review

We planned and saved for months for a day at Disneyland with our kids. We ended up going right at the start of Spring Break and though it was busy, it ended up better than I expected. In fact, it was nearly perfect! The weather was mild, we only waited a half-hour at the most for rides and were able to knock out a bunch of our favorites as well as those the kids requested.
We started off early as we had reservations for the Character Breakfast at the Plaza Inn, totally a splurge but worth every penny. Not only was the buffet yummy, but the kids got to visit with character after character as they perused the restaurant. If you're going to splurge on one meal at the park, this is the one to go to. After a quick potty/sunblock application break, we were off to our first ride, the Jungle Cruise. We spent the morning in lines for The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean then headed over to Toontown in hopes of some more character sightings and lunch. Sure enough, there was a line to visit Goofy and after fueling up with hot dogs, we were ready to go. I have to say, although some snack items are steep, lunch seemed pretty reasonable. For $30, we all ate a hearty lunch and I was happy to see that the kid's meals came with apples and carrot slices. They gobbled them right up!

After Toontown, it was time to move on. Off to Fantasyland we went, hitching rides on the carousel, Pinocchio's Daring Adventure, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and the Teacups. We also waited to visit with Rapunzel. We decided it was time for an ice cream break, so off to Main St. we went.

Bellies full, we headed to our last ride of the day and the one we waited the longest for, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Tomorrowland. Yes, the line was long but it was one we all wanted to go on and though there were a few frustrating moments with the little ones, they were very patient overall. Once we finished that ride, which was totally worth the wait, by the way, we wandered the park a bit, stopping at Pixie Hollow for a few pics of Tinkerbell's house then grabbing a kid's meal in Tomorrowland before heading out.
While the kids happily munched dinner in their strollers, we navigated the streets and stopped just once more before leaving. Letting the kids choose one final treat, a Mickey-shaped rice krispie treat for Jovie and a giant sucker for Logan, was the grand finale. A shuttle ride later and we were heading to our car just before nine. The kids were exhausted and fell asleep in the car and mommy and daddy enjoyed a peaceful ride home.

Here are a few tips to make your visit a more pleasant one:
- Keep your expectations low. You will NOT do everything in one day, and things won't be perfect. You will get tired, you may feel like your legs are going to fall off and you will probably end up sunburned. The kids will misbehave at some point and you might get grouchy with your spouse (or maybe that's just us!) But having realistic expectations helps. Go with the flow!
- Take a look at the map before heading off for the day and pinpoint what you really want to do. Keep in mind at least three or four rides you want to go on and make it happen. It's surprising how you end up in a time warp at Disneyland. An hour feels like fifteen minutes and before you know it, it's meal time or potty time then time to go!
- Bring your own snacks and drinks! This will save you a ton of time and money and allow you to pull out what you need before any meltdowns occur.
- Bring strollers for the kids!! My daughter is five and hasn't used a stroller for a couple years but we were soooo grateful we brought an extra one for her. It made navigating the crowds easier and faster and prevented her little legs from getting too tired and more importantly, from us having to carry her!
- Choose your splurges. Maybe you really want to let your kids pick souvenirs or you want to get face painting or a caricature. Whatever it is, go for it and enjoy it.
- Take many, many potty breaks. Nothing's worse than being halfway through a line when a child announces they have to go. Luckily, that didn't happen to us because mommy happens to have a tiny bladder in addition to being four-months pregnant so I had to go anyway. But it's best to know where the nearest restroom is at all times!
- Lastly, be prepared!! Bring extra snacks, clothes, wipes...etc. Anything you even think you made need, bring it. You'll be happy you did and better to have a little too much than not enough. This is where the stroller thing comes in...load that puppy up!
I hope you have the chance to take a family day somewhere special like we did. It truly couldn't have been any better. The smiles on my children's faces and the memories we made were priceless! It's something we hope to do every couple of years.
Where are you headed??


  1. I wish I could have gone with you guys! Looks like you had a blast. Boy, is Logan smiley or what?

  2. Sounds like a fun day! It looks like the two of them really had a blast. :)