Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

Jason and I decided a long time ago that to celebrate our kids entering school, we'd take them to Disneyland. We think it's a big deal- going to kindergarten is an important milestone! Well, Grace is starting school this year! We asked Jason's mom to come with us to help with Jeremy, since we wanted all the focus to be on Grace (and as you know, Jeremy often hogs our attention). We left on Saturday after lunch and returned on Tuesday night. We expected to make it to Anaheim by dinner time, but L.A. traffic certainly welcomed us, and we ended up not getting to our condo until 7pm. It was a long travel day! The kids went to bed later than usual, which wasn't good, considering we wanted to catch our shuttle at 7:30am the next morning. Well, waking up the kids turned out to be easier than we thought- they were just so excited, it didn't take long to get ready and out the door. We arrived at Disneyland at 8:10am. There were no lines! First thing we did was make our way to City Hall to get the kids their "1st Visit" badges. Rather than give a detailed narrative, here are some highlights...

Jeremy's Most Memorable Moments (chosen by Jason & Jane)(in Toon Town)
-It's a Small World (he went twice)
-Playhouse Disney, Live on Stage (he was squealing and clapping the entire time)
-Heimlich's Chew Chew Train (he went twice)
-the cars in Toon Town
-Disney's Electrical Parade
-Enchanted Tiki Room (no one else seemed to enjoy this but him)

Grace's Most Memorable Moments (chosen by Grace)
(meeting Belle at the Princess Faire)
-Astro Orbitor
-Dumbo the Flying Elephant (first Disneyland ride!)
-Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
-Heimlich's Chew Chew Train (why, I don't know... it seemed so babyish for her)
-Disney Princess Fantasy Faire

Jason's Most Memorable Moments

(on Donald's Boat in Toon Town)

-Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
-watching the kids' excitement
-going on the Matterhorn Bobsleds with Grace

Jane's Most Memorable Moments

-Jeremy did sooooo well! (we only broke out the Elmo leash once and that was because we waited over an hour in line at the Finding Nemo ride)
-did I mention that Jeremy did really well? His disposition made it easier to enjoy the whole trip, and to focus on making Grace feel special. I really enjoyed spending time with her and seeing her get excited about the small things.
-I really enjoyed the "productions:" Disney's Aladdin was excellent, the Electrical Parade and Pixar's Play Parade were fun, Playhouse Disney's Live on Stage was really cute (I loved watching Jeremy- he was hooked!), Fantasmic was amazing, and the fireworks were great!
-Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters (we had so much fun... I would've gotten back in line to do that one again if we had more time)

Things we'd like to forget:

-how frustrating it was waiting for shuttle buses... we'd miss each one by a few minutes, then have to wait a half hour until the next one
-how much we paid for our meal at Ariel's Grotto (that was a splurge in honor of Grace)
-the Storybook Land Canal Boats
-Casey Jr. Circus Train
-Enchanted Tiki Room
-L.A.'s traffic on Hwy 5 (getting to Anaheim)

Overall, it was a great trip! We thought that Sunday would be much more crowded than Monday, but we were very wrong. We experienced so many things on Sunday because there were minimal waits for rides. Monday was packed with people! We waited over an hour for Grace to meet and greet with princesses at the Princess Faire. Luckily, the one princess she was anxious to meet (Jasmine) was there. In fact, we met her twice that day! On Monday, we left the parks after lunch for the kids to nap. Good thing, because we ended up staying at Disneyland until midnight! Jeremy fell asleep, and so Jason, his mom, and Grace were able to do a few more rides.

On Tuesday, we decided to take a side trip before heading home. We went to Santa Monica to visit the beach. Can you believe that this was Jeremy's first time?! I know, he's been deprived! He didn't enjoy the water too much because it was cold, but we had a wonderful, relaxing time playing in the sand.
We want to thank Aaron and Christa for lending us their Sit & Stand stroller. We're grateful to Jason's mom for joining us on this trip. She was an incredible help, and we wouldn't have had as good a time if she hadn't been with us. Thanks, Mom!
That wraps up our busy summer of travels! I can't believe it... our Grace is starting kindergarten on Monday! (lots of pics in the slideshow on the right)


Tracy said...

So fun! The shows are great and our family also regretted riding Storybook Land Canal boats. What a waste of time in the Kingdom. Wait until the kids are old enough for California Screamin! Woo hoo! And WHAT is it with Heimlich that kids like so much??

Lomeliclan said...

When we go to Disneyland, we go on Buzz Lightyear about 5 times. I dunno, something about the guns! I am glad your family had fun.