Ali's Adventures

February 29, 2012

Our Disneyland weekend

Filed under: Kids,Move,Uncategorized,Vacation — by Alison @ 12:01 am

We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Disneyland. I have to admit that I love Disney. One of the first things we did when we got E’s school calendar was figure out when we could go to Disneyland, and then when we saw how reasonable the flights were it was settled. We went down on the President’s Day weekend (same weekend as Family Day). This is one of the busiest non-summer weekends at Disney, but it really didn’t bother us.

We flew from Seattle to Long Beach on JetBlue. The airport is about 35 minutes from Disneyland and the cab cost us $45. It’s a small airport, and looks like it’s from the 60’s. JetBlue is an affordable airline, but they have seatback tv’s, and free snacks. My husband was kind enough to sit between the kids, so I had a very relaxing flight.

Instead of booking on the Disney property, we stayed at the Ramada Maingate. It was literally right across the street from the main entrance to the parks. It wasn’t fancy, and the continental breakfast left a lot to be desired. The pool was great for kids, with a sloped entrance and a water play area. There are other hotels on the same block, but all seemed very comparable.

The first morning our plan was to be at the gates for the park opening at 8am. We woke up at 7 and E threw up. She then declared herself ‘good to go’ and hurried us all to get dressed. We’d both our passes the night before at the ticket plaza. There are 2 parks in Anaheim, Disneyland and California Adventures. The main entrances to both are in a large plaza, with the entrance to Downtown Disney on the far side.

We actually made it into Disneyland before the park opened, and were waiting on Main Street for the whistle that signals the park opening. Our first stop was the newly renovated Star Tours. I got the Baby Swap pass, and Dan and E went for a ride. H waited with me while I found coffee. Once they finished, we explored the gift shop and then I got to go on the ride. It was such fun, I really like the new 3D ride. It’s also pretty cool that there are different destinations, so you can go on it a few times without knowing what’s going to happen.

R2D2 from the StarTours Line.

Other highlights from the first day, were the Finding Nemo submarine ride and meeting Mickey Mouse. H wasn’t so sure about the line to meet Mickey, and the barn was a bit dark so that they can show the cartoons to keep people entertained. We ate lunch at the park, but went back to the hotel for a rest in the afternoon. We returned to the park for dinner at the Plaza Inn. When Dan and I visited Disneyland in 2003 we loved the meal there, and it didn’t disappoint. Meals were not too expensive, it cost about $45 for dinner. The kids meals came with fruit and vegetables and milk to drink. After dinner, we wandered down Main Street and found a great spot for the parade. There was singing and dancing and characters. The kids were enthralled.

E made a friend at the parade.

Snow White is H's favourite. I only found that out at Disney.

It was a full day, the kids crashed hard when we got them to bed around 8pm. E was so exhausted we couldn’t wake her to see the fireworks.

Our second day started off a bit slower. We didn’t make it to the park for opening whistle, but still made it before the crowds. This time we started on the right side of the park with Adventureland. We managed to see all the attractions before 9:30. One of my favourites is the original Enchanted Tiki Room, without the annoying Aladdin bird that invaded DisneyWorld. The day ended with the Autopia ride and a trip on the Monorail to Downtown Disney. We watched the fireworks from in front of our hotel room, and all fell asleep before 10pm.

We had two full days at the park, and enjoyed all of it. We used the MouseWait App, that provides real-time updates for line wait times, to help us avoid big lines and took advantage of FastPasses and the Rider Swap when we could. With H not being big enough for some rides, and E not wanting to go on some, we decided early to ride alone. One of us would take the kids on another ride, or to watch a show or to have a snack, while the other enjoyed the attraction. It’s not as fun to go by yourself, but it’s better than not going at all.

I find that there’s a slower pace at Disneyland as compared to the Magic Kingdom in Florida. It may be partly because it was cooler than when we’ve visited Florida, or the fact that people aren’t just in the area for Disney, but there seems to be less stress. I also really like the fact that it’s the original Park. It’s Sleeping Beauty’s castle not Cinderella’s, some of the rides were made in the 1950’s and 60’s, and all the main attractions are in the one park. Even the cheesy gift shops in the hotel/motels seemed charming to me.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle (or Aurora's Castle or Briar Rose's Castle)

All in all a fantastic weekend. I’m already planning on going again next year. Anyone want to join me?

I think they're up for it!

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10 Comments »

  1. It looks like you had so much fun! We’re thinking of going to disney this fall

    Comment by Sara — February 29, 2012 @ 7:52 am |Reply

    • That’s a great idea. Let me know if you want some travel tips, we went to Florida when H was 5 months.

      Comment by Alison — February 29, 2012 @ 12:44 pm |Reply

  2. That sounds awesome.

    But why did E throw up? Was it a first day at the park kind of thing?

    Comment by Brie — February 29, 2012 @ 4:39 pm |Reply

    • I think it was probably a combination of excitement and too much ice cream the night before 🙂 She didn’t have any issues the rest of the weekend.

      Comment by Alison — March 1, 2012 @ 12:17 am |Reply

  3. Sounds like a lovely weekend!! I would join in a heartbeat, if I could. 🙂

    Comment by krista — February 29, 2012 @ 11:53 pm |Reply

  4. We love Disney. We’re planning a trip to California for next summer and Disneyland is on our todo list.

    Comment by Krista - The Tech Mom — March 1, 2012 @ 9:16 am |Reply

    • The boys will have a blast! Will this trip tie into Blogher?

      Comment by Alison — March 1, 2012 @ 8:52 pm |Reply

  5. I felt the same way about DIsneyland – it was almost like stepping back into a gentler, more polite place in time.

    Comment by Sharon — March 1, 2012 @ 10:06 am |Reply

    • Exactly. I also really like churros, and they’re everywhere in Disneyland. Such a tasty snack 🙂

      Comment by Alison — March 1, 2012 @ 8:53 pm |Reply


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