Earlier this year, Scott came home from work with an excited look on his face. He told me that his work was going to have an off-site in LA and he thought it would be fun to also take the girls to Disneyland. I may have raised my eyebrow at him and said, "You know, that won't be cheap!" but in the end, I'm glad he persisted in his wish. He's been dreaming of taking the girls to Disneyland since they were born. And now all of us are dreaming of going back.
We flew into Los Angeles on Wednesday morning and spent the afternoon, exploring the La Brea Tar Pits before heading to Santa Monica for dinner with friends. Randomly a bunch of my good friends all had babies around the same time and one of them moved to LA. We often exchange texts about parenting. Our girls are about 3 weeks apart in age so the turmoil is real.
We spent the next day exploring Santa Monica and drove the long way to Disneyland. We finally told the girls we were going to Disneyland as we drove towards the park. I'm so glad we waited because their excitement was huge which meant they asked how long until we were at Disneyland, the entire drive there!
We went through Long Beach and had a good time before checking into the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel. We got a really good deal through Costco which covered our rental car (which if you are only going to Disneyland, you do not need), hotel and 3-days of park hopper tickets. We spent the afternoon at the hotel pool and headed into Downtown Disney for dinner.
Friday Morning was our first day in Disney and this is where I'll admit that we should have reversed the order of the trip! Smart parents would have gone straight to Disneyland and started there but not me! Actually what happened is that Scott was supposed to have on off-site but then that got cancelled and we decided to forge forward with our trip. Except, I didn't keep that big change in mind. It still worked out, it was just really busy in the park (because weekend!).
We spent the first day in Disneyland before heading over to California Adventureland on Saturday. We ended up going back to Disneyland later on Saturday and spending Sunday morning there again. On Sunday, we met up with a Knitting Twitter friend of mine and her daughter. Our kids hit it off and I loved meeting Shannon in person. Scott looked at me as we headed to meet Shannon and said, "You've never met this person have you?" and I said, "I know her, we just haven't physically met yet." Luckily he knows me and knows about the tight knitter twitter community I've built up.
There were some lessons learned and tips acquired on this trip. We rented strollers in the park which was a lifesaver for little feet. I walked almost 25,000 steps one day and I know they would have melted down. We also stopped at Target and picked up a lot of snacks and water for the park which I then stuffed in the bottom of the strollers. When the kids would whine about being thirsty or hungry, I was ready with snacks. We ate cereal in the room for breakfast except when we enjoyed a character breakfast at Ariel's Grotto. We packed PB&Js for lunches one day and enjoyed hot dogs at one of the stands another day. We ate dinner out most nights which worked well for us.
I didn't over plan this trip at all. In fact, I may have under planned it. Scott had two things he wanted to do in the park - see Chewbacca and ride Pirates of the Caribbean. The Pirates ride was closed so he said he'd be back but he got to see Chewbacca. I made sure we went right there on the first day. Otherwise, I used the Disneyland App to see which rides had short lines near us and we'd go there. We used one Fast Pass for the Haunted Mansion which the girls loved. I loved the Mint Julep drinks located at the restaurant next door. We may have enjoyed them multiple days in a row. Most Fast Pass tickets didn't work for us as Maggie is still about an inch too short for the rides. She also would not have tolerated her sister going on a ride without her. It just means more rides for future visits!
By the end of the trip, I admit to feeling a bit Mombie! It was a really fun time though and I'm so glad we went. However, next time I think we'll go mid-week to cut down on the traffic.