Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth...

It's true.

Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth.

I think between work and the hideous rain we've been receiving, we could use a little dose of Mickey.

So, we decided to go.

In two weeks.

I couldn't more excited.  Most of you know me well enough to know that I might was well be a 7 year old child when it comes to things like this.  The "magic" is real to me, and I can't WAIT to see little Jack's face during the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!

I am giddy.

So, now I need some advice...we haven't ever taken the kids anywhere like this.  Do any of you have any genius tips on disneyland with kiddos? 

Come people, I need to know all the secrets!


Ali said...

YES! We should talk. But first go get this book the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2010. It's a great read and probably worth buying if you can't get your hands on it from the library. (you might have luck getting the 2009 book from the library which would be fine as well.) We just went in September and I loved it!


Brandon and Becca said...

Brandon says "2 words, fast pass." My advice, as much as I don't like using kid leashes, with kids your kids ages you might want too. We used one in Disney World when Evan was little and it was worth it just for my sanity.

jill said...

yeah becca, pretty sure I have been a big believer in leashes since Jack learned to walk...It's the first thing on my packing list!!

jess said...

I am totally craving a Disneyland trip these days! We're planning on September or October though. We took Sadie a total of 4 times before she was 14 months, whew! The baby care centers are awesome, there is one in each park...just ask and they'll tell you where. :) They have everything! Good luck!

Amy Lindstrom~YourLifeUncommon.com said...

I agree with the unofficial guide! That will tell you all you need to know about every little secret. It comes with maps and check lists.

Your kids are little. Over stimulation is EASY! You might be tempted not to take a break...BUT TAKE A BREAK! Head back to the hotel for a little break/lunch/rest even an hour is better that nothing. If you don't, you will be hating life at right about 6pm! Then you will miss the parades!

Don't miss the parades! Pixar parade is at 5pm in California. Disney parade was at 7pm when we were there. You want to be like right in the middle of main street. That way you will be right in the middle of the performance part. You will have to get someone over there getting a seat like an hour early or more. Your kids will LOVE it though! Really!

Have so very much fun! I feel like it is my home and it needs me to visit frequently. Sigh...I miss it!

Oh, and either pack food or prepare yourself for $11 tasteless salads! However, if you are going to eat in the park the "French Market" over by Pirates has AMAZING Clam Chowder in a bread bowl with a salad. We split it. It was delish!

Amy Lindstrom~YourLifeUncommon.com said...

AND A BIG YES TO LEASHES!! You will regret it if you don't! That place can cause some SERIOUS anxiety with kids!

Cal and Whit - Hoping to Adopt said...

Jill, you are so darling! I love that you get excited for Disney Land! What a fun vacation and how fun with your two darling little kiddos! Hey, Also, Thanks for the sweet comments on our blog! :D

FishinFamily said...

Here's a few things we did...we went during the week in May which meant a lot of the 'fast passes' weren't even turned on because the wait was less than 30 minutes. The only lines we really ran in to that were longer were for Autopia (the cars) and the Disney Princess Fantasy fair (which is where they can meet the pricesses and I don't know what else because the wait was 2 hours so we said, "No thank you!"
If you go to disneyland's website you can view the calendar and see what rides will be closed while you're there. Peter Pan was only open the first day we were there, so I was SO happy we had checked that, otherwise we may have put that area off for day 2 and would've missed it.
When you get there, you go in to your left to "City Hall" and get your kids their "My First Visit" button...the characters seemed to be looking for those buttons and would say a special hello to the kids welcoming them to Disneyland. It was fun!
I used those backpack/leash things. Some people refuse to use them, I personally think they were heaven sent. The kids could run, but couldn't run too far. We also had the strollers, but these were great for when they wanted some independance.
We went to the Pixar parade in California adventure. We picked out our seat early so we were on the front row and the kids could see everything without having to bob and weave. We went in to the candy story right by the 'main street' in California where the parade runs, got the kids a sucker and then they happily sat for 30 minutes or so for the parade to come. I also had the best cookie I've ever had, and I'm sure it was fat free.
They also have 'parent pass' which is like fast pass ~ you can go right back to the ride as soon as your husband and Jack get off...so if you both want to go on a ride that Bianca isn't big enough for, you just ask for the parent pass when they go, and then switch out kids when they get done and you then get to go. We did this on Splash Mountain, I'm so glad I didn't miss it. =)
I'm not sure how long you're going for, but we had bought a 3 day hopper pass which got us in early one morning. That's the morning we headed right for Small World and Autopia. Autopia was still a forever long wait even though we were 'early' in the park. I'd suggest, if you do have an early pass, saving that ride for that morning and going right there first. It's fun, but I personally won't wait an hour again to go on that ride ha ha ha, it wasn't that great.
It was SO amazing! The most magical trip to Disneyland I've ever had. Small World and Buzz Light year ended up being our favorite rides because my kids loved it so much. Good times!!!! Have a blast. I'm excited to see pictures.

FishinFamily said...

..could've saved some time had I read the other comments first HA HAHA~

melody said...

Live it up with the stoller passes. And if you are craving chocolate cake, get the HUGE piece at that saloon place. (Horseshoe Saloon?) It is delicious and the best deal in Disneyland.

Can't wait to hear about your trip! Jonny and I were planning our next Anaheim trip just a few days ago. (And it isn't until this time next year!)

Danielle said...

Jill, We've gone with our kids several times and it's not bad. Like a few people said, the leashes work really well, especially if it's busy. Use the fast passes. Also, they have an application for phones now that shows the wait times and show times so that you don't have to run all over. Email me sometime if you want to know anything else.

Travis and Celena said...

I have no advice but I wanted to say, have fun! You guys need a break.

Sarah said...

So fun. Never taken my own kids
but here are some great saving money tips

Also, maybe take one or two days more than you normally would - because you will have melt downs, naps, etc.

My suggestion - snacks. (I'm into food you know)

Ali said...

The best thing I did - the kids each had their own fanny pack. They carried their own miniature water bottle they could refill at meal times and at drinking fountains as well as snacks for the day. We refilled every night. It meant I had to carry a lot less! I bought them adult size packs and cut the strap shorter so it fit around their waists. I first bought kids size ones (I have a pink & blue one if you're interested in them) but they were too small but maybe they would be an okay size for your little ones. Shopko had the best selection on fanny packs but Walmart had some too. They're always like 50% off at Shopko.

Crystal said...

Ok Jilly, we just got back from Disneyland on Friday and we had a blast. My 4 biggest tips are buy Ridemax software, use fast passes and the kid swap and go to the character dinner or breakfast. Ridemax is the best $15 we spent towards our trip. You download the software, put in your preferences and it creates an itinerary for you. We never waited longer than 25 minutes for any ride and we only waited that long twice. If you have a laptop, bring it along so you can tweak your plans if needs be from day to day, in case you are really tired, or found some rides your kids can't get enough of. Check it out, it worked just as planned and gave us 4-6 hours of "free time" in the afternoon. Ok, the fast passes are awesome especially when you have little kids that aren't going to ride all the rides you or Scott might like to try. The kid swap was another bonus. Simply ask the nice worker at the ride for a pass (it only works on rides that there is a height requirement on) and once one of you goes on the ride, the other one goes through the fast pass line to take your turn. If you use it on rides that the kids are tall enough for, they can ride both times! The kid swap pass works as the fast pass so it you can actually get twice the number of rides out of your fast pass. And finally, we took the girls when they were two and four and I was preggo with Asher. That trip was all about the characters signing their autograph books, which was awesome. This is where the character meals are awesome. This trip we went to the Minnie and friends breakfast and Ariel's grotto. Both are pretty pricey, but the food is good and kids under 3 eat free I think. The best part is the characters stop at your table take pictures with your kiddos and sign their books. This will save you hours by not waiting in the lines to see them around the park. If you want to call me to make sense of this crazy comment feel free. Our number is 360-682-6074. We had a fantastic trip and I attribute it to the simple pointers above. My kids honestly don't have a clue what it is like to wait in lines at the parks and we were there for 5 days.

P.S. I also recommend scheduling some down days. For us, 2 straight days in the park followed by a down day worked great.

Jessie said...

How exciting! You guys will have a blast, and I can't wait to hear all about it.

The last time I was at Disneyland I was 3 months pregnant with Crew so I never actually have taken kids before but now I know to look at this post when it becomes my turn to take the kiddos to Disneyland.

Have a blast!

melody said...

Hey, to answer your pregnant running question... you are a better woman than me! Because I was sick and felt like doing absolutely nothing the first 5 months of both pregnancies, I hardly ran at all. I walked a lot when I started feeling better. But I have heard of people who run until the day they deliver. I think that is crazy. But I guess it is possible! (My mom claims Lili's cord was tangled around her neck because she was running during the pregnancy. I doubt that. But who knows?) I can't believe your baby will be here this summer. Can't wait to see who this one looks like!