Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Disneyland is FUN! Day 1 & 2

This past January Kyle and I decided we really needed to take our kids on a vacation. We've taken them to Las Vegas (cousin's wedding) and to the valley a billon times, but we've never been on a real family vacation. We've always used the excuse "They are little, they won't remember it anyway" but even Bentley remembers things from a year ago that I would have never thought he would remember. Maybe in 20 years they won't remember a lot, but for now they'll all remember the experience and family time. We knew we wanted to take the kids to the beach so we started looking at different options in California on where to go. First we looked at San Diego, Lego Land, and Sea World and after looking at prices it would only cost about $50 more a day to go to Disneyland. When you're already spending the money anyway, you mine as well through the extra $50 in! That was that- we were going to Disneyland! Spring Break was looking like the best option so we booked our hotel and invited my parents along. We ended up telling the kids about 3 weeks before we went and I'm so glad that we told them. Half the excitement around here was the kids looking up Disneyland YouTube videos and deciding what rides they wanted to go on first. They were SO excited!

The trip started on Sunday. We went to church, ate dinner at Maries, and then loaded up the van to go to Buckeye. We got to my Mom's house where she had goodies for the kids, really it was more like a Disneyland stocking- these goodie bags were packed with all kinds of loot! They had crayons, coloring books, jelly beans, shirts, playdoh kits, lanyards, autograph books, and all kinds of other goodies. I'm still shocked that the kids slept that night, but after a good nights sleep we were off to California the next morning!
Our first stop was the beach! The kids Grandma and Grandpa Gardner served their mission in Tonga and Marie came home with shells the size of your face that the kids love to play with when they go to her house. I kept prepping the kids that they won't find those kind of shells at the beach we were going to which made the shell aspect a little anti-climatic for them. They did thoroughly enjoy putting their toes in the sand though, the second they saw it they whipped their shoes off! It took a little bit for the kids to get comfortable with putting their toes in the water, but we finally got them to let the water come up to the feet and then run away from it. They were loving it! It was so fun to watch them laugh and giggle at the waves. They were all having a ton of fun so I went and sat by my parents while Kyle ran with them in the waves. Everything was going great until a bigger wave came and literally took the kids feet underneath them; it was the saddest/ funniest thing! The wave came and all the kids got completely drenched. Kyle swooped up Bentley so it wouldn't take him and then started looking for London, Macy was crawling out of the water as fast as her arms and legs would go. They all came up in big crocodile tears cold and wet. London finally warmed up to the water again and went and ran with Kyle, but Macy and Bentley were both done. They came and sat by my parents and I and we played in the sand a little bit. Then we went back to the car to get the kids warm and a change of clothes and then walked up and down the pier to kill some time. There were some surfers that we enjoyed watching for a little bit. My mom anxiety was on full force and I was pretty paranoid about the kids falling off the pier, but everyone had a hand and I had to focus on breathing a lot- we got through it and the kids had a blast. :)

We all hoped back in the cars and made our way to the hotel. The kids were completely amazed with our hotel- Macy kept saying "This is the life!". We probably haven't had to stay in a hotel with the kids since before Bentley was born so this was a whole new experience for them. Macy kept telling me it was way different than she expected- she thought it was going to have a toy box maybe and a bed, but it has TWO beds AND a TV! It was pretty adorable. It's so fun to see new things in kids eyes. We brought it all the luggage, freshened up, and then met my parents at Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. It was my parents wedding anniversary and we tagged along to celebrate!

Side Note: We've stayed at this same Super 8 Motel the past 3 times we've gone to Disneyland with Kyle's students so we decided to just stay there again. We know the hotel, it's walking distance away from Disney, and a good price. I was going to just book two hotel rooms for us and my parents until I read the fine print that said only one parking space per reservation. With two cars, we needed two parking spaces. I called my dad, told him the hotel, and was on the phone with him when he booked his own room. Fast forward to Sunday night before we went to bed and my dad said something about the address of the Super 8 on Katella. I told him I wasn't sure of the exact cross roads but I knew it was the Super 8 on Disneyland Drive... well apparently there are 2 Super 8's. One on Katella and one on Disneyland Drive and we were staying at both... we booked different hotels! Bummer! We each had a 24 notice cancellation policy so we were stuck.

The kids were pretty good at the hotel, especially for all sleeping in the same bed, and woke up bright and early ready to go to Disneyland! They each got two new Disney shirts and were so excited to wear them Kyle took the kids down for breakfast while I finished getting ready. They were all chatter boxes and talking about the things they were excited to do.

When they came back we got their Disney water bottles (also in the Disney stocking), their lanyards, and autograph books all out. We stopped at the van and picked up the awesome sit-n-stand stroller that I borrowed from my friend Stormy, and off we went! We are pretty much the luckiest people ever and scored a few free tickets to Disney (from a friend of ours that works for Disney) and waited for my parents and our favorite Disney employees in between Disneyland and California Adventure. While we had some down time we laid out some trading pins that my Mom got off Amazon and let the kids each choose some to trade through out the day.

We got into the park and snatched a picture with Robin, said a billon thank you's, and headed over to get some fastpasses for Radiator Springs racers. Since the kiosk for them is right by It's a Bugs Land, we went through there to check the line for London's first choice, Tower of Terror. The line was pretty short and the fastpasses for for the next hour, so we decided to head over to Monster's Inc for our first ride all together. On the way we found Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Frozone! The kids were a little star struck, but we got all out books out and they all got signatures. Everyone that could go on the big rides (everyone but Bentley and I) got in line for that while Bentley and I continued over to a It's a Bugs Land for the first CHURRO of the trip and a few rides we could do.

Bentley was loving life and the rides- the girls decided they were never going to go on Tower of Terror again. Pretty much the worst ride ever. We took them over to pretty much the slowest ride ever to help them realize how fun Disneyland was. The great thing about the little kid rides is the toddlers get to sit on laps, which means our uneven numbers weren't a problem most of the time.

After our group found out we got a churro they were pretty jealous, so we made a family churro stop. Raisin' kids how they should be raised. By this time we noticed that the Disney Jr. shows were starting and wanted to try and watch one so we headed over to Hollywood Land to see if we could catch a show. On the way we found Doc McStuffins (London's favorite!) and Jake (Bentley's favorite!) they were the big "we had to meet" so we were SO excited when we found them. After standing in line for them we barely made it into Disney Jr. show. They had the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc Mcstuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Sophia the First- at one point in the show gold zabloons fell from the ceiling! The kids loved the show.

The figured the girls could use some little rides after the terrifying Tower of Terror experience, so we hit the Little Mermaid and then some space ride. The big kids went of Goofy's Flying School (my FAVORITE ride) and the girls didn't enjoy that one much. London said she didn't like the dips and Macy didn't like when it felt like you were going to fly off. While they all went on that Bentley and I jetted over to Soarin' Over California to get everyone fast passes. I'm not really sure why we couldn't go on that one, but we couldn't. We met back up, ate lunch in Cars Land (at the Cozy Cone- yum!!) we got a chili cone, a chili verde cone, and a macaroni and cheese cone that we passed around to everyone to share. Super yummy!

After lunch it was time for everyone to go use their fast passes so Bentley and I stayed in Cars Land to do some of the rides in there. The line for the first ride (Mater's Jamboree) was pretty quick but the line for Luigi's Dance Cars took forever. The ride kept breaking down. Luckily half the time we were in air conditioning, but Bentley was getting pretty restless. I was totally one of those parents that pulled out my phone to keep him entertained after an hour of waiting. The girls, Kyle, and my parents went on Radiator Springs, Soarin' Over California and ______________ and loved them all. Their favorite was Soain' Over California. They even got to meet Goofy and Mater!

The day was going quick and before we knew it, it was time to line up for the parade. Bentley was getting pretty tired and the girls just needed to relax for a minute. We found a bench and got some ice cream to hold us over while we waited for the parade to start. The kids all loved the parade with the music and dancers. Macy kept saying "This is the best parade I've ever seen!!" and she was totally right.

We stopped to eat at Flo's Diner where the kids all scarfed down their food. My sandwich wasn't the best, but Kyle's chicken was pretty good. We figured we had enough time for a ride or two more, so we went over to Toy Story Mania. The line was only 45 minutes and knew the kids would love it. We got on the ride and poor Macy's shooter wasn't working. I tried to get her to use mine but she was just sad. We got off and I let the worker know it wasn't working and they let us right back on so Macy could have a chance at the ride. I'm really glad she did because Macy was nothing but smiles, she had a lot of fun!  The kids noticed the carousel  on the way to Toy Story Mania and about lost their minds until we promised we would go after Toy Story. Then we tried to hit the big ferris wheel but they had already closed it for the World of Color. Instead we decided to stroll through Cars Land before we went back to the hotel, it is such a neat place at night time with all the neon! About this time we realized that we needed to finish up the Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt that we got at the beginning of the day! We got a little map and after you find all the eggs around the park you get a souvenir egg that you get to take home. They were way tricker than we thought they would be and we found a couple of people that were looking for them too. It took us a little while and more walking, but we got all our eggs!

The kids were totally wiped out by this point. Bentley fell asleep pretty early on and London fell asleep on the way back to the hotel. It was such a great day at Disney. At one point in the afternoon we had a couple breakdowns, but it was hot and it was easily overcome. It was actually a lot easier than I expected our day to be! At the hotel, the kids all went right to sleep. Day well spent!