Well, Brian and I have been debating Disneyland for a little over a year. We finally decided to just go for it at Spring Break in April, so no school is missed, it would be good weather in California, and hopefully not quite so busy.
It began with the super anticipated airplane!! They were so excited just for that! They did great on it. They read books, and I gave them a new disney activity book on the plane that was exciting for them.
We flew into LA, and rented a car. We drove to Anaheim to find our condo (a VRBO rental), got lunch-ish/dinner/snack, then headed to Downtown Disney. Theres lots to see and do there. We mostly just walked around and looked at the shops. And we got sandwiches at Earl of Grey for dinner. We took the tired girls home to bed, and Brian and I headed to Target to get some groceries.
Pirates of the Carribean ride.
Splash Mountain- Lexi's favourite
California was having an unexpected heat wave, it was 31 degrees Celsius. And we found out Kennedy does NOT like the heat! It was just so stinkin hot and a lot of walking on cement and we all just were not ready for that. From 8 am to 11:30 it was great. At about 11, it got super busy and super hot. We fed them popsicles for lunch and kept them in the shade. Then tried to do rides inside. We stretched it out to maybe 3 or 4, then went back to our room for AC and relaxing. We rested and cooled down then went for dinner at a tiny and cheap and DELICIOUS buffet! seriously, so cheap and so good! Then the girls were tucked in and ASLEEP by 7:30. It was good. they needed the sleep. Its a lot to take in (overwhelming!) combined with the heat and walking.
After the girls were asleep, Brian and I went back to Disneyland on our own. My mom was happy to rest and read a book while the girls slept so we went to do some rides. That was fun to be able to squeeze in more time.
The next day was the BEACH!! Whoop whoop! Newport Beach. We first did a bit of shopping at ROSS and target then drove to Newport Beach (about 30 minutes). The girls LOVED the ocean! wow!! What a blast we had jumping waves, my personal fav- Boogie Boarding that Kennedy and I got really good at, and the girls loved walking the beach looking for shells with Nana.
The beach was so empty!! Apparantly, according to a lady I was talking to, it was still too cold for locals. But it was also a school/work day, so that could've helped as well. So we pretty much had the beach to ourselves until some surfers came. And we saw dolphins!! Lots of them!! and Brian and Kennedy are sure they saw a whale.
The next day was CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE! Everyone headed right to the Cars ride as soon as we could get in the gates, and I headed for the fast pass line. I got fast passes for 10:30-11:30, and it opened at 9! Thats how fast they go! While I was in line, so was the crew, so I went there and met them in line and we got on in about 5 more minutes. Then we did more rides and went back again at my fast pass time. Kennedy, Brian and I did the big roller coaster (California Screamin') and we all loved it, so we ran back in line to do it again! Lexi was able to convince Nana to go on a few rides completely out of Nana's comfort level!!! haha!! Goofy's flight school and the jelly fish one. Nana was NOT a fan of them! We found them after twice on the roller coaster and did Goofy's Flight School with Lexi again- it was one of her favs!
We jumped back to Disneyland for a little bit and took the girls on Space Mountain (we went to get a fast pass earlier that day). The girls LOVED it. It was one of their favs.
Then back to the condo for a little rest so we could have a late night! For dinner, we went to Goofy's Kitchen which is a buffet character dining experience. Goofy and all his friends take turns coming out and visiting at all the tables.
They are silly and fun and even danced with Lexi and tried to steal Kennedy's food.
the parade was quite possibly my favourite part of Disney! It was magical! Nana saved seats on a bench while we hit a few more rides, then the fireworks after that were so magical!! Oh my goodness, with Tinkerbell flying around, the music, the big fireworks....I was in heaven. Definitely a magical family moment.
After that long night, we had a resting day. That was very hard for me! I felt like we were wasting a day! We talked about Sea World or the beach again, but really, the girls were just pooped. So we stayed close, swam in the pool, I had a nap, we went for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney and Brian and Kennedy went to watch the Jungle Book at the Imax Theatre. It was still a good day, once I got it in my head that we needed a slow day ;)
On to our LAST day (Sniff, sniff!). We used our magical morning pass to get in an hour early before the park opens. Our plan was to go see the princesses during this less busy time, but I read the times wrong and the Royal Hall did not open until the regular park opening times. So we waited in line for Peter Pan's Flight (always a 40 min wait at least with no fast pass option) and that was a joke! That was the only ride I actually didn't like! Boring! And that took most of our hour. Lexi rode 3 rides with Nana while we waited in line though. So at least she got something out of it! Then on to meet the princesses at Fantasy Faire!
The rest of this day was doing our favourite rides. Indiana Jones for Kennedy and splash mountain again for Lexi. We did space mountain again, watched a Jedi Training Show, a few more rides at Disney and then Nana took the girls back to rest for 2 hours so we could stay late again. They do better with a little rest out of the heat! While they were gone, Brian and I stayed at California Adventure. I happened to be at the right spot just as a show was starting and it was Newsies!!! Men singing with newspapers and then Mickey came out. It was a cute show!! We also did Hollywood Tower of Terror and that was scary fun! We knew we had to take the girls back for that!
Funny story- as we were in line, Kennedy said we should make a bet. If she didn't scream, dad had to pay her $5. Brian agreed if she did scream, she had to take off his socks when we got home and smell them! haha! Both girls agreed and as we went up up up the hotel, I was worried about Lexi! Then we fall DOWN quick and both girls just closed their eyes gently, and did NOT make a peep! Brian screamed like crazy so obviously the girls were SO EXCITED they won $5 each for not screaming! Pretty funny.
Once the girls came back, we did more rides and had planned to go to World of Color at California Adventure that night. They decided not to do it because they didn't want to stand for the show and they wanted to do rides instead. So we did cars a couple more times, and the roller coaster and a few more. And a bit sad story, we went to see Anna & Elsa who were supposed to be there until 8, but they left early to go to the parade. So they were the only ones we didn't get to see that they were quite disappointed about. :(
Cal Adv. closes at 8 that night but as long as you're in line by then, you can get on the ride. So we lined up for Cars (We all so badly wanted to ride it in the dark! can you tell it was one of the FAV rides?!) and we waited a long time in this line. We knew we would, as it was closing and people also thought like us. Lexi got her second wind and was hysterical!! She was being so silly and funny, which got Kennedy hyper and we had a fun time in line with these 2 crazies!
So once we got off that ride, we RAN like crazy to Disneyland which closed at 9. (Nana stayed with the stroller at the entrance). The parade was going on, so we were trying to run against the crowds for that to make it onto Thunder Mountain one last time. I carried Lexi and we seriously ran! We got there and the line was super short and fast. Kennedy asked if we could go again and we were like, sure, if we can!! So we run from the exit of the ride to the entrance again and made it into the line at 8:59!!!! We were literally the last cart in on this ride for the entire night! We got off and they shut it down. Riding this ride, in the DARK, at the end of the night, at the end of our trip was magical. We just had this moment together saying bye to disneyland on this ride! This is my fav ride and I converted the girls to love it, it was definitely in their top 5. It was just so great.
So, originally, we planned to do the parade and fireworks on the last night. I changed that because I thought if they loved it, maybe we would do it again on the final night. As we were leaving Thunder Mountain, I was like, hey, the fireworks aren't going on. As we get closer to the castle, everyone is going to the exits. We found out it was too windy up high so the fireworks were cancelled. THANK GOODNESS we didn't wait for this night! What a sad ending that would've been! Instead, we ended on the biggest high. Running like crazy and laughing together as we made it on the ride twice before closing! We stuck like glue through the crowds to find Nana at our spot and walked home. Time to say goodbye to the Happiest Place on Earth!!
Oh what a time we had. I loved it all. Brian and I expected to like it, but for it to be more for our kids. We were wrong! We absolutly loved Disneyland. What a magical place! We loved that my mom was with us, that was Fantastic! It sure would've made things trickier without her. Not only for the convenience of having an extra adult, but to share these moments with Nana was special. We really missed Papa!