3.14.2013

The Happiest Place on Earth {Part 3}

Day 3. Our last day.
When we first decided to go to Disney (about 2 weeks before the wedding)
We decided to only go on Saturday and Sunday since we had work & school on Monday and we were already taking off Friday to drive down to So Cal and attend the wedding on Friday afternoon.
Then I found out that I had 2 days of leave left that was never used for my maternity leave.
We decided that FOR SURE we would spend another day at Disney.
The 3 day park hopper pass was only $20 more than the 2 day Park Hopper.
It was a No Brainer. And, by doing 3 days, we could be more leisurlly about our time at the parks and not stress so much about cramming it all in.
And, because our 3rd day was a Monday, so we figured there would be less people there.
Um, NO. TONS of people.
And, the parks didn't open until 10am, so EVERYONE was there early lining up to get in the gates. 
It was nuts. These are all the people lined up in the area between Disneyland & California Adventure.
To the right is the entrance to Disneyland, to the left was the entrance to California Adventure.
While we waited in the LONG line, I had some time to go check out a personalized brick of one of my blog readers, Trisha (her last name is also Larson!)
Trisha has a brick by the Disneyland entrance in honor of her son Nathan.  Nathan was born on March 5, 2008 and went to be with Jesus when he was just 25 days old.
Every year on his birthday, March 5, Trisha and family celebrate his life by going to Disneyland.
Day 3 of our trip was March 4th. I would have so loved to have met them & given her a birthday hug, but since I was 1 day off, I took this picture instead.
 We had the park hopper pass, so the 3rd day was dedicated to doing the girls favorite rides again.
We lined up to get in to California Adventure because the girls (and us!!!) wanted to go on the Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers again.
They have Fast Passes for that ride, but the line to get the fast passes is so long and they run out of fast passes for that ride quickly.
We had a plan, as soon as we entered the gate, my mother in law was going to stand in the line for the fast passes while Kevin & I (ran) with the kids in the stroller to stand in line for the ride. 
 We ended up waiting in line for over an hour to go on the ride and my mother in law got fast passes for 4:30 (which we ended up giving to a random family since we were heading to Disneyland after lunch)
After the ride, we walked around Cars Land a little more because it is just so cute!
While we were in Cars Land, Lightening McQueen was driving through town.
And, so was Tow Mater!
Attempt at a photo of all 3 kids.
After Cars Land, Kate wanted all of us to go on the ferris wheel again.
Then we left California Adventure and walked back over to Disneyland.
Please take note of the girls shirts that they wore on Day 3.
I was one of those mom's (pre-kids) that said I would never, ever, ever buy my kids "character" clothes. Well. My girls LOOOOVE character stuff. 
When we take the girls on vacation, we tell them that they can pick out ONE thing they want to buy.
When we were on the Disney Cruise/Disney World trip we had this rule also.
It totally cut back on them begging for things all the time. 
If they wanted something (shirt, toy, stuffed animal, etc.)
I would ask "Is this the ONE thing you want?"
It made them think about if they really wanted it.
We had the same deal with this Disney trip.
Kate wanted a purple Daisy Duck shirt. Couldn't find one anywhere.
Our hotel had a little gift shop in the lobby and Kate spotted this Cinderella tshirt. She had to have it.
(And, it was a knock off, so it was only $12. Score!)
Of course, since Kate got a shirt, Claire wanted a shirt as well. She picked the Ariel/Tiana/Snow White shirt which was also a knock off and $12. 
We headed to Toon Town again because the girls wanted to go to Minnie's house & see Minnie.
Minnie!

Kevin and I wanted to take them on the Toon Town Roller Coaster.
They loved it!
Then we went on Dumbo.
We were planning on leaving the park around 3pm to head home (it is a 6 hour drive home and we all had school & work the next day) But, we were all having so much fun we decided to stay until after dinner. And, because it was a Monday afternoon, there were no lines for most of the rides.
 I really, really, really wanted to go on Splash Mountain. 
Kevin had never been on it. We asked the girls if they wanted to go on a "Log Ride"
They said sure. So, we took them on Splash Mountain. 
If you are familiar with this ride, you know that there is a 50 foot drop. 
As we are on the ride, you can see people going on the drop. 
Claire looks at us & says "Glad we aren't on THAT ride"
Little did she know, 1 minute later we would be going down that drop.
PARENTS OF THE YEAR. 
They actually loved the ride & the big drop. 
Claire said that when we went down the "Big Slide" her voice went away & she couldn't talk.
 We went on Small World & Pirates the Caribbean with only a 5 minute wait.
Couldn't leave without getting a Dole's Pineapple Whip Ice Cream. YESSSS.
 Good bye, Sleeping Beauty's Castle 
(which is weak sauce compared to Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World)
We let the girls have one last ride on the carousel.
 Then we loaded up the kids in the car, put them in their pj's, left the parking lot at 7:00pm and drove 6 hours home. Luke was a champ on the way home, slept the entire time. The girls didn't fall asleep until almost 11pm. They were too jazzed about our 3 day adventure.
We got home at 1:30 in the morning. When I woke up for work a few hours later, I was nauseous I was so tired. And sore. I did 3 days at Disney in my Rainbow Flip Flops. Those shoes aren't made for walking!
It was such a fun, fun, fun trip. I am so glad we decided to go to Disney while we were in So Cal.

Here are some thoughts & some answers to your questions that have been in the comments or emailed to me:
1. All the photos that I took during our trip were taken with my iPhone or my Canon Rebel with the kit lens!!! (I left my 50D and good lenses at home. Didn't want to worry about my good camera getting ruined.

2. Everyday we brought our lunch in. That helped cut down on cost. We made PB & J sandwiches, fruit and granola bars. We stored it all in the stroller (Double BOB)

3. A lot of you asked if I like Disneyland/California Adventure better than Walt Disney World in Florida.
Let me tell you this. We went to Walt Disney World in June 2011.
Read about it HERE.
The humidity!!!! The crowds!!!! Ahhhh!!!!
We did a 4 Day Disney Cruise (Disney Dream) and then did WDW for 4 days.
I would do the cruise again in a HEARTBEAT (after I save lots of $$$) but, Walt Disney World?
It was a little overwhelming. I am a Cali girl, I am not used to humidity.
Also, everything is SO spread out at Walt Disney World. If you want to go to another park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, etc. You have to take a bus or a shuttle.
Everything was really far apart.
At Disneyland, California Adventure & Downtown Disney, it is all right there. No shuttles, no buses, you just walk 500 yards to the other enterance. So convient.
So for us, personally, because we live 6 hours (driving) to Disneyland/California Adventure, I think we will stick to that. We don't have to fly across the country (lots of $$$ for a family of 5).
Although I think Epcot & Animal Kingdom are cool, California Adventure was AMAZING.
Magic Kingdom & Disneyland are pretty comparable and have most of the same stuff.
-Cinderella's castle at Magic Kingdom is better than Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland
-Magic Kingdom has Belle's Castle now and Disneyland has Tangled's tower & village...which opened 5 days after we got home!! Bummer.

Other notes:
The girls are 6 & 4 and it was the PERFECT ages to take them.
You have to be 40 or 42 inches for most of the "fun" rides, and they both met that.
Luke was free entry because he is under 3. 
I am so glad we took my mother in law so that we had a 1 to 1 ratio of adults/kids. 
I will  for sure bring another adult next time we go (which will probably won't be for another 3 years, when Luke is tall enough to go on all the rides)
 
 Let me know if you have any other questions & I would be happy to answer them!
Or, if you have any Disney tips leave them in the comments to share with others!
Thanks for reading about our Disney Adventures.
It really is the Happiest Place on Earth (minus a few meltdowns here and there!)

I am not sure who had more fun on the trip, our kids or us adults! :)


Read Part 1 {HERE}
Read Part 2 {HERE}

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Don't forget to enter the Giveaway for the $25 shop credit to Sewn with Love (where I bought the kids cute shirts in this photo)

Enter on THIS post! Giveaway closes on Monday, March 18, 2013!

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing all about your vaca! I loved reading about it!!

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  2. You just made my day all over again. What a sweet comment you made about my precious Nate. Seriously touched my heart that you would do that.

    Oh how I wish that we could have crossed paths too...maybe in 3 years :)

    Hugs,
    Trisha

    ps- loved the photos. It looks like you had a blast!

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  3. We went to Disneyland last November (and got married while there) and stayed on property which meant we could do Magic Hour. We were able to get Fast Passes for Racers AND ride the ride all in that hour. Totally worth the cost to stay at one of their hotels. I thought you stayed at one but now am not sure.

    You really can't compare WDW with DL. They are such two different parks. I love both!

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  4. LOVE that you "tricked" your girls into riding Splash Mountain! When I was in first grade, my family went to Disney World. I was too scared to ride Splash Mountain and stayed back with my aunt while my whole family (including my younger brother) went on the ride. I always regretted it. I went back to Disney World when I was 24 and Splash Mountain was closed for repairs!!! haha

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  5. I laughed out loud at Splash Mountain and Claire being glad she wasn't on that ride :D. Thank you for recapping your trip.

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  6. Your family is just so sweet. So, so, so sweet :).

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  7. Thank you so much for the posts about Disney Land! We are planning a trip this summer and are so excited. You're posts couldn't come at a better time. I have an almost 4 year old, who I know will love it, and a baby that's 1. I'm a new reader to your blog and I love it. I'm a teacher as well, so it's really nice to read about someone with a similar life to mine! Thanks again!

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  8. Yep, this post sealed the deal for me! Definitely choosing Disney Land over Disney World. I wonder if I'm drawn to DL more because we lived in Celebration {Disney's planned community} for 7 years?! Either way, it looks like a great place to vacation!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your fun adventures with us! :) Maybe in a couple years I'll be able to take my girls! (They're 4 and 2) Great tip on waiting till they're both a certain height!

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