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How We Do Disney(land) pt 1

This Tuesday is my mom's birthday, and we are going to spend a few days at Disneyland to celebrate! We are a Disney family through and through. The kids have been to the parks no less than eight times, not including the times that I visited the parks while super pregnant.

Usually we like to make a couple of days of it when we visit, and lately have been staying at The Ramada Maingate at the Park. We have stayed here a handful of times, and recommend it to any friends or family planning trips to Disneyland. The rates are reasonable, the staff is hospitable, the pool is large and has a "splash zone" for the kids, and you are almost directly accross the street from the main entrance to the Disneyland Resort. The rooms also have a microwave, small refrigerators , and menus of nearby restaurants that deliver. Bonus points for the fact that you are about a block from a minimart that sells Stumptown coffee products, assorted wine, and fresh fruit; and just a few blocks from an actual liqour store. If you have ever done a full day at Disney you will understand the importance of these bonus points.

Above you can see items that I deem absolutely necessary for a day at any theme park. I would have included some form of sunscreen but 1) People are crazy about whether or not sunscreen is poison 2) I usually forget to apply it more than once anyway.

When we go to the parks we usually end up walking in around ten in the morning, and that is if everyone gets up in a good mood and getting out of the hotel room goes smoothly. We almost always hit up Disneyland park first and walk around checking things out and freaking out about how long the lines are. With three young children (and impatient parents) we find it difficult to commit to lines that are over twenty minutes long, but we usually at least try and get on Winnie the Pooh, The Storybook One where you go through the whale's mouth, The Carousel, The Train that goes around the park, and Dumbo. We also like to meander mainstreet (depending on the crowds and how long the line for Starbucks is), climb the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House (ugh or Tarzan for you young people), get chocolate in Critter Country, take the kids to the petting zoo, and let the kids run around Toon Town a bit. The other thing that we do inside this park is eat. We enjoy The Carnation Cafe on Mainstreet, The BBQ Place by the petting zoo, and Pizza Planet in Tomorrowland.

Usually we really only spend three or fiour hours in Disneyland before we decide to head over to California Adventure Park. I feel like I am in the minority here, but I just really feel that this park is better suited for families with multiple small children. Or maybe it is just that there are less families in this park so it is easier to navigate. I don't know, I'm not an analyst. I'm just a mom that wants some elbow room and a drink sometimes. If you didn't know already, California Adventure Park serves alcohol. Now you know.

Right now you are either thinking that I have my priorities straight, or you are thinking that I am a lush. Who said that those two things are mutually exlusive?

Once we are in CA AD we usually hit up the Hollywood Back Lot straight away, because that is where you can find Monster's Inc, the Disney Jr. show, and the Turtle Talk attraction. If you have never done the Disney Jr. show I suggest choosing a time when you feel like Mommy needs a break, and it doesn't really matter how close to the front you are, so get there close to show time and just sit in the back instead of waiting in line. Then spend the duration of the show sprawled out on the floor giving your aching feet and back a rest while your kids jump around and annoy other parents. This is your time.

Walking through the Hollywood Backlot takes you in the back enterances of A Bug's Land and Cars Land, then through the Warf (Margarita break!) and down the Pier, where we always stop for the Ariel ride two or three times. Around this time everyone is cranky, crashing from sugar highs, and overstimulated, not to metion that my back is killing me from babywearing Charlie for hours, so we make the trek back to the Ramada. Once we are back to the room I pry our shoes off and lay on the bed while trying to figure out how on Earth the kids just got their second wind and are bouncing off the hotel walls. Honestly, this is not my favorite part of the day. I just stress out about the kids bashing their heads on a hardwood corner instead of relaxing. Luckily we only spend an hour or two "resting up" before we head back over to the parks.

I am actually going to wrap this up here and work on a part two to this post. Hopefully it will be up in a few days, but it is entirely possible that it won't be until Friday.


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