2.07.2013

Kenner Family Vaycay 2012: Disney Days


So....Disneyland....

My parents got a killer deal on tickets at Costco--4-day hopper passes for LESS than the price of 3-day passes. We were totally stoked, because 3 days in the park is all we've ever done before. That ended up being the best thing for us.

You see, taking kids to Disneyland is hard, especially when they're all under the age of five (and the five-year-old is a total chicken and won't go on the good rides, even though he's tall enough). You don't want to leave the park to put the kids down for a nap, so they sleep in the stroller, or in your arms, or not at all. Then, they're ready for bed earlier than usual because they don't get a good nap, and by the time you get back to the hotel, feed them dinner, and put them to bed, you're too exhausted from pushing strollers and carrying sleeping children and heading off tantrums caused by sleep deprivation to even think about heading back to the park after they're asleep. So, having an entire extra day gave us plenty of time to do and see practically everything we wanted to do.

Anyway...

Monday morning we got up bright and early and headed toward the park. We were all just buzzing with excitement (because the grown-ups love Disneyland more than the children), so the mile-long walk to the park from our hotel seemed to fly by.

Heading for Disneyland

Once we got to the park, we decided to head to Cars Land right away. Since it's the newest part of the parks we figured it would be crowded most of the time and thought we could beat some of the crowds by getting there first thing. Apparently everyone else had the same idea, though, because it was pretty packed. We headed back to Radiator Springs Racers, which is sort of the big-deal ride in Cars Land. The three littles (Lucas, Matthew, and my nephew Jack) were too short to ride, so my sister-in-law, Brittany, and I volunteered to stay off with them. Cole and Chris (my brother) made sure to get us rider swap passes so we could take our turn. There was a 60 minute wait in the standby line, so Brittany and I headed over to A Bug's Land while we waited for everyone else.

There, we took the boys on their first ride, Flik's Flyers.


Oh, and I forgot to mention that it was raining. Well, more like misting, really--there weren't really all that many big rain drops, but we were still getting wet because of all the moisture in the air.

The first ride was a success, so we headed to Heimlich's Chew-Chew train. Lucas and Jack are both really into trains right now, so they loved that ride. We rounded out our time in A Bug's Land with Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies (like bumper cars). Jack and Matthew were too short for this one, so Britt sat off with them while Lucas and I took a ride.

Lucas LOVED this ride. In fact, he had a major
fit when we had to get off.
It was about time for us to meet the rest of our crew back in Cars Land, so we headed to the exit of the ride. While we waited, Lucas and Jack found some puddles and did what all boys do: jumped and splashed. They were just so delighted that Brittany and I didn't even care that they were wet practically to their armpits. In fact, they were so adorable that a few other people pulled out their cameras and started taking pictures/video (which wasn't really as creepy as it sounds, I promise).

Puddle Jumping

From there we hit the ground running. We busted through Cars Land, which is pretty cool. It's set up to look like Radiator Springs, and the characters from Cars come driving down the street every now and then. The boys thought it was totally awesome. 

Red the Fire Truck

After lunch, Grandma and Papa volunteered to stay back at the hotel so the kids could take a nap, and my siblings and I got to hang out for a little while. We were crazy and rode Grizzly River Run twice in a row and got totally soaked (it had stopped raining and the sun was out, but it wasn't particularly WARM). Then we hit a few more rides before Cole and I headed back to the hotel to relieve my parents of kid duty (and so I could change my pants--wet jeans are HORRIBLE). After we picked up the kids we headed back to California Adventure to do a few more things, including Monsters Inc.



Kyle fell in love with these Cars Land Mickey ears, so of course Grandma HAD to buy them. :) He wore them every second we were in the park for the rest of the trip. 

See how Lucas looks cranky in the background? Remember how he exhibited an unnatural attraction to poles here? Well, every time we were in line, he had to stop at EVERY pole we passed and...umm...do his thing. Here I think he was protesting because the line moved and he didn't get a chance to get acquainted with that particular pole. 

Passenger information for the Monsters Inc. ride.
Even monsters have rules.

After Monsters Inc. Brittany and Kari graciously volunteered to sit with the kids while the rest of the adults rode Tower of Terror (which is my absolute FAVORITE ride). Kyle was tall enough to go, but he is pretty gutless when it comes to thrill rides so he opted to stay off. We walked back through A Bug's Land and rode a few of those rides again with the entire crew, then decided to call it a night.

Days 2-4 were pretty much the same thing. The boys loved Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Kyle and me. I'm OBVIOUSLY a crack shot. :)

Another favorite was Toy Story Mania. It's a 3-D simulation of 5 different carnival-type games (like throwing darts at balloons, ring toss, etc.) and you get to "shoot" at the targets. The line was always pretty long, but it was totally worth the wait.




Matthew loved the Finding Nemo submarines.



I think Matthew's favorite part of the trip, though, was the sucker that he appropriated from Aunt Brittany. 



Lucas was a fan of those suckers as well.


Some of the boys' other favorites: Ariel's Undersea Adventures, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and the Disneyland Railroad.I was really surprised at how many rides Matthew could go on. I'm pretty sure he couldn't have cared less about what he could go on, but it made the whole trip easier because we didn't have to worry about someone having to sit off rides to be with him. 

Another thing the kids really enjoyed was the Disney Junior show in Hollywood Land. It had bits of their favorite Disney Junior shows (Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins), and it was so fun to see them get so excited and sing all of the songs.

We also got to meet some of our favorite Disney characters. Brittany made adorable signature books for all of the boys, and Kyle had a great time getting signatures.

the boys with Woody

Handy Manny

Us with Mickey Mouse. My dad first said, "This would be
a cute family picture for a Christmas card," until he realized
that Matthew wasn't in it. :)

Wednesday night Stephanie and Daniel (the unmarried sibs) volunteered to stay with the sleeping children so the marrieds could get some date time in. Cole and I hung out with Chris and Brittany, and we had a total blast acting like giddy teenagers. I loved being able to experience Disneyland with my boys, but it was also really nice to be able to go on all of the "big" rides and have some time with Cole. We stayed in Disneyland and hit up the Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain (twice--we're totally crazy), Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

We had so much fun on this trip. Even though it was pretty challenging at times (and I felt like I needed another vacation when we got home from this one!) we really enjoyed seeing the boys' excitement. Disneyland truly is a magical place, and it's one of my favorite places to be. 

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