Sunday, January 30, 2011

holidays at Disneyland

yes, i still have holiday posts to catch up on. (welcome to slackerville).
and yes, we braved the crowds at Disneyland over the holidays.
a wonderfully memorable experience, as Disneyland always is. 

surprisingly, i learned a few new things about Disneyland this time.
let me share:

Disneyland can reach maximum capacity.
this means that they can sell out.
even by 10:30 am.
on a Tuesday.
if you happen to arrive at Disneyland after that 10:30 sell-out mark, you may be able to purchase a California Adventure ticket....with the possibility of being able to go to Disneyland sometime after 6:30 pm.
if you are around when the head-haunchos are giving this news to everybody, be prepared to see some very sad children. and very stressed-out parents.
if, however, you get in to Disneyland before that sell-out mark, be prepared for a very jam-packed day. and by that i mean, body-to-body day. people everywhere. longest lines i've ever seen on some of the rides. and food places. and bathrooms. ok, everywhere.

but don't be sad. be prepared for a surprisingly wonderful fun-filled day. because even though it's crowded, you're at Disneyland! it's still the happiest place on earth.

now, if you're there on a crowded day, you need smartie pants like my dad, brother and hubby present.
because they'll suggest things like getting our name in our restaurant right away, and waiting in our very favorite ride-lines first so that we could be sure to enjoy 'em...and waiting in line FOR us, so that we could whisk the impatient kiddies some place else and avoid meltdowns from waiting in line.
smart, i tell you, smart.

now, if you're going during the Holidays, i suggest going on It's A Small World.

i know, i know.
the music is annoying.
and it will undoubtedly be stuck in your head all day long.
but! the kiddos love it. and they even change it up for Christmas time, and it is oh-so-cute. with Christmas Decorations from all over the world spread throughout the ride.

and they even add in Jingle Bells to the It's a Small World equally annoying round, but still, it's fun.
now,  if you are decide to go on It's A Small World, i learned that you should definitely head there first. because the line will be at least an hour long. seriously. can you imagine waiting an hour for It's A Small World? i can't either. so M waited for us.


lucky for us, it's Ellie's favorite ride. (yippee...and no, that's not a sarcastic "yippee" at all...)

other fun facts i learned about Disneyland at Christmas:

they have the most beautiful Christmas Decorations, including the loveliest Christmas tree.

bringing two little toddler girls dressed as Minnie Mouse...will give you lots of attention. because dang, they looked cute.

oh, and a baby in Minnie Mouse ears is pretty irresistible, too.

eating at Cafe Orleans is a MUST. not only is the food fantastic, but it's awesome to have a few minutes to just sit down and take a breather from the lines, the walking, and the crowds.

order the garlic fries and the Monte Cristo sandwich. it will not disappoint. and you will undoubtedly crave both things for the next 5 years. (but be sure to have some minty-fresh gum handy. because you'll be able to taste that garlic for the next 5 years, too).

and if you're lucky, while you're at Cafe Orleans, you may even get to see Princess Tiana. because she walks by there and sings there every day.

and then your toddler will stand there, amazed, waiting for her to walk by again. sadly, Tiana won't come back. but your hopeful toddler will still look pretty cute.

bring your baby bjorn. because then your baby will just zonk out for 1/2 the day. like this:

but don't be too worried. because the baby will still have some fun, too. and be dang cute at having fun while she's at it.

buying one of those autograph books is a great souvenier for a toddler. 
she'll spend half the day scribbling circles all over the thing...making long waits and lines somewhat bearable.
who said that autograph books had to be used solely or autographs?

the sparkly, glittering castle will take your breath away.

if you get bored while waiting in lines, just rip your dad's nose off. he didn't need it anyway.

it's always best to enjoy Disneyland with your favorite people. if you're lucky, your favorite people would include everyone in your entire family. hubby, kiddos, gammy, pops, brother, sister, sister in law, cousins- the works. 

now don't wait in line for the characters on a day like this. that's just crazy.
but if you must, go over to the Splash Mountain ride. and while half of your group uses their fast pass, the other half of you can take the kiddies on the Winnie the Pooh ride, 5 times in a row, because there will be no line. seriously. it's like Disneyland's best kept secret. and then when the other half comes back and it's your turn to go on Splash Mountain, they can take the kiddies to meet and hug Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and Eyeore...

{interjection: make sure you go on Splash Mountain with your parents.

you'll all laugh pretty dang hard at how wet you get. and even though you're soaked, you'll be so glad you did it.}

now back to Tigger and Pooh and Eyore... hardly anyone knows those characters are there. so if you run,  you may even have time to come and give them a hug too...after you're all DRENCHED from the Splash Mountain Ride.

but don't be too surprised when your toddler starts to melt-down at some point during the day. over-stimulation + lots of crowds + playing through nap-time = possible teary moments. but you're all having fun, remember?

all you need to do is get her on the carousel a few times to make her a little dizzy and distract her from her exhaustion. (and yours too).

{nice creepy eyes, M}

{whoa, nice creepy eyes, self}

and if you're lucky, you'll have a Gammy there who will buy the cutest Minnie Mouse to cheer that little Mini-Minnie right up.
(spoiled. cough.)

now there is lots more that you can do that that.
but the night time will come before you know it.
and everyone will be wiped out.
so in between rubbing your eyes, make sure to take a picture or two on your way out...


and realize that though it was ca-razy,
you had a magical day.
because no matter what day or how crowded,
Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth.



Jon & Jenelle said...

i just feel happy reading about your fun adventures in the Happiest Place on earth. You've inspired me to now blog about My own DL adventure~ours too was SOO crowded but youre right~who Cares?! we were at disneyland!

PS. How far Are you from DL.. we're going there soon.. do you have a season pass?.. we do!!..our minnie's could play :D

Ashley Myntti said...

I am so jealous!!!! It looks like a ton of fun! GUESS WHAT? I might be coming to San Fran for Spring Break!!!! If I do, we have to get together!!!!! Love and miss you TONS!!!!!!

The Gatchell Crew said...

Ah how I miss Disneyland. It's been far too long since we've been. I love this post it makes me feel like I am right there with you. I so remember those times, the autograph books, the character photo shoots, the kiddie land. My kids are all big & want the real rides. But we always still go back to the kiddie rides partly bc mom says so (it makes me feel like they are my little babies again) and partly bc once they get there they love them too. :) Thanks got posting Marci! :)