Friday, December 3, 2010

Disneyland Part 2- The Disneyland Report

We stayed in California for 5 days and had lots of fun at Disneyland, plus a day at Legoland that I'll write about next week. We went right after Nov 12th, because it marks the beginning of all the holiday decorations being up and all the seasonal ride-overlays are open- it's the best time of year to visit Disneyland!

My preschooler can drive.  My second-grader talks with birds- and they talk back.  My (almost) teenager can ride into space all by himself without making me worry.  I like Disneyland because it's a place where things really equalize:  Kids can do "big people" things, and adults can have just as much fun as if they were kids themselves.
 In the past we have stayed at the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel.  This time we decided to try out the Howard Johnson across from Disneyland, and stayed in one of their nicely decorated kid suites: 

Kid's room.  They loved having their own little sitting room with a flat screen TV and bathroom: 

Grown-ups room:

It was nice having two bathrooms between the 5 of us:

As far as packing goes, the number one life saver is using Eagle Creek packing cubes.  Everyone in the family has 2 cubes in their own color and it is so nice to find everyone's clothes without turning the suitcase into a fabric stew!  It's also convenient in case you have to redistribute your luggage weight at the airline check-in counter.  We were gone for 5 days, so I packed 6 outfits for everybody, plus a few of the girl's Disney princess dresses for them to wear in the park if they wanted.

For inside the park, this was our set-up: 
  •  Our Peg Perego double stroller with a Eagle Creek packing cube underneath containing band-aids, arnica gel, a bottle of water, boogie wipes and advil, which was left in the stroller.  We would leave the stroller in an area while we walked around and grab it on the way to a different area of the park, or if the girls got tired.
  • A marvelously practical Saky Sacks tote bag to hang on the stroller handle.  I put everyone's mouse ears into it whenever we went on a ride where hats were not a good idea and also kept their autograph books and pens inside so they were east to find.
  • I brought a squishy Mark Ecko messenger style handbag that was convenient to wear on rides and carry around attractions or sling over the handles of the stroller when I didn't want to carry it.  I put things in it that I didn't want to leave with the stroller. 
Some of the highlights of Disneyland:

Meet and greet with Tangled's Rapunzel.  This Rapunzel was so spot on!  I was disappointed to learn that Mandy Moore is the character's voice in the movie- and I usually love Mandy Moore- because this girl had it down perfect. When we walked in to her room, she looked at my hair and said, "Oo! I love your hair!"  Maybe it's corny, but I liked it :).  She gave such great in-character responses to the kids' questions.  Love her little pose with her hand on her hip:  

Nightmare Before Christmas holiday overlay at the Haunted Mansion.  The kids like it no matter what, but this is the only time I like the Haunted Mansion:

The Enchanted Tiki Room with Pineapple Dole Whips.  As a little girl, I remember sitting there with my heart racing as I realized that the birds were, in fact, real and that we had, in fact, angered the gods with too much celebrating.  Now I'm pretty sure they aren't, but...still... on the last day we were there I could swear Pierre the Parrot winked at me.  The best moment for us was the day a cast member named Maynard was hosting the show.  He gave the opening greeting in an incredible, unforgettable, funny tiki god voice.  The room broke out into applause for him- something I've never seen before or since.  It was that good.

it's a small world holiday overlay.  Beautiful, busy, Christmas-y.

Everyone has their favorite ride in Disneyland.  Between the 5 of us, it's the Matterhorn (or Madame Horn's as my littlest called it), Space Mountain, Pirates of the Carribbean, Splash Mountain and Astroblasters (my favorite, which was unfortunately undergoing refurbishment during our visit).  We enjoyed the fireworks,  Christmas parade and nightly "snow" and ate many, many churros.

I think this post is long enough, so I will save the Disney California Adventure part of our trip for Monday.  Have a great weekend!


  1. Im so happy i ran into your blog because it such a great read and your style is amazing!
    Im gonna follow you from now on:)
    hope you visit and follow me back!that would be fantastic!

    love from Belgium,

  2. cute pictures!! i love disneyland!! you guys look like your having a lot of fun :)
    you have such a great blog!!

    im going to follow you. i hope you can follow me back ^-^