Saturday, October 05, 2013

Disney Trip Part 5 -- Seasoned Pros

I'm well aware that everyone except for my immediate family is sick of seeing reminders that I went on a super awesome trip to Disneyland, but here I am to once again send you into a jealous rage. Day three at Disney, people. This was our turning point of feeling like Disney newbies to seasoned pros. We had a system. We had a plan. We knew all the Disney tricks and tips. And after a quick pose in front of the castle mural, we were on our way.
Tip #1 - When going to Disneyland with your parents, who generously paid for way too much of your vacation, go ahead and splurge on parking so you don't have to make the mile and a half walk back to your hotel at the end of the day with sleepy, exhausted, hungry, overstimulated children through the slums of Anaheim. One walk was enough to prove to ourselves it was worth the $15 for a comfortable journey home.
Tip 2 - Pack Smarties, Dum Dums, and other sugary goodies. Also lose all motherly inhibitions regarding your children's high doses of junk. Ignore the mom next to you at lunch with a tupperware container full of steamed vegetables for her toddler. She was on day one of her Disneying. You are a day three seasoned pro. It's about the sugar. The treats. And the do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-them-happy. Also known as Smarties. Bags and bags of Smarties. Eli sat with the Smarties bag clutched under his arm whenever he was in the stroller. Which was always. And Carson eagerly popped them down with a smile.
Tip 3 - Hit Peter Pan first thing in the morning. The line will be forever long by afternoon. And this was actually one of my favorite whisk-you-through-the-outline-of-the-movie type rides. Cousin tickling and pestering helps if your children start suffering from line-induced boredom.
Tip 4 - Seize every opportunity for adorable pictures. You will stare at them for days, curled up in a ball in a dark room with tears streaming down your face when the reality hits that your blissful, careless vacation has come to an abrupt end.
Tip 5 - Keep your cool if a ride breaks down on you. As shown by Eli here:
Tip 6 - Wear matching t-shirts. How many times do I have to tell you this?
Tip 7 - Schedule your Disney trip with someone who has read up on all the blogs, books and expert advice on how to get the most out of your Disney stay.
Tip 7 - The Nemo ride is not suitable for claustrophobic, mid-twenty college students named Ben. But for children of all other ages, it was a pretty fun, smooth, and relatively uneventful ride.

Tip 8 - Thick-soled sneakers, people! We were the family who proudly slimed our kids by those height requirements.

Tip 9 - If a Disney worker offers to take your picture, make sure to remind them to take their finger off the lens.
Tip 10 - If Donald Duck appears out of thin air, seize the opportunity for many, many pictures. They will be your favorite pictures of the whole trip.

Tip 11 - Pack a lunch and a grocery sack worth of snacks, and eat on the run. 
Tip 12 - Make your husband pose for pictures. Nothing puts stars in your husband's eyes like constantly shouting, "Hey! Stop right there and look at me!" But look at the captured moment! You're welcome, Honey.
Tip 13 - Matching shirts. Seriously. Group. Found.
Tip 14 - Endure through the tiny, winding, dark, eerie caves and steep drop-offs on Tom Sawyer's Island because there is a child-mesmerizing treasure at the end of your stress and suffering.
I was serious about the treasure.

#matchingshirts #howmanytimesdoihavetotellyou
I'm not sure exactly when along our Disney trip my kids contracted their soon-to-emerge fevers, pink eye, sore throats and cold-like symptoms, but a good guess would be when they were here at this treasure.
Tip 15 - Don't lick the treasure. I repeat. Do not. Lick. The. Treasure. Or two weeks of hacking-up-a-lung, eye gooping, 103 degree fevered torture will find you.
Tip 16 - Bringing Grandma along makes all the grandkids giddy with excitement and smiles.
Tip 17 - Buy some souvenirs for Pete's sake. You only vacation once every 5 years (in our case), so a little take-home toy will prove to be worth every penny.
Case-in-point, Eli cautiously gripping his new toys the entire time on the tram.
Tip 18 - We got a lot of slack for being the first people back to the house every evening. But my number one Disney goal was to have happy kids -- which meant early bedtimes for everyone! I was determined not to be the parent dragging their overtired children around the park to the point where it wasn't even fun for them anymore. So we made, what ended up being, humorously early exits from the park each day. But we had to enjoy the beautiful house we were staying at! And this mama needs her down time! Even on vacation!

Make fun of me all you want, Jacob, but it was an early night home that brought us this adorable moment of cousinly bonding:


Rebecca said...

Cute post. Love the Donald pictures and the treasure pictures.

jlthomas said...

Great points.

See...don't you wish you had hundreds of character photos? I think someone on the trip probably does...

We're glad you came even if you called it a day a little too early most days. :-)

Kim said...

I loved all your tips. They made me laugh--especially the one about Ben and Nemo. He was here when I read it and I shared that one aloud with him.

Those were all such cute pictures. It must be the matching blue t-shirts! The picture of 9 of us sitting on that bench and posing for a picture I don't even remember doing that. Good thing you took a picture to prove I was there at that particular moment in time.

The kids and how much they loved that pirate's treasure still amazes me. I can see it if the coins weren't all glued down in place. Still don't get the fascination, but it was fascinating watching all those kids playing there for so long and so happily.

LOVE your posts. I will be so sad when the Disney trip ends. I know it has already ended, but when it comes to an end in your blogging will be a sad moment in time.