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!
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.
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!
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!