We just got back from my first trip to Disneyland. Yep, my first! It was obviously my kids first time too. I loved it. It was fun seeing what it was actually like and comparing it to what I'd imagined it to be in my 30+ years of life.
My family loved it too. Before we left my five year old wasn't convinced that it would be fun. He really wanted to go back to Legoland. Once we got to Disneyland he didn't mention Legoland once.
Here are a few things that I learned while at Disneyland...
1. Going with another family is the best! My sister-in-law and her family joined us for the trip. They'd been to Disneyland lots of times, so they knew the ins and outs and best places to go at what time. My kids loved having cousins to go on rides with. Our trip wouldn't have been nearly as fun (or as stress-free) without them!
2. I wish I would have had an over the shoulder purse. We took our diaper bag and loaded the bottom of the stroller with snacks and jackets. I had my credit card in my phone, so I didn't need a wallet, but when I wasn't wearing a jacket I didn't know where to put it. (My phone is too big to fit in my pocket.)
3. People were playing HEADS UP CHARADES on their smart phones while waiting in line. We played it in line and also played it in the car on our long drive. It was really fun.
4. It's smart to pack extra clothes. During our first day in the park, I had to deal with throw up, pee and poop. Luckily my husband was able to run back to our vacation rental house to grab more clothes. The other days, I got smart and packed extra clothes. I ended up using my little guys extra pants every day.
6. We stayed in a vacation rental house (VRBO) 3/4 of a mile from the park. It was a short walk to the tram from the employee parking garage. It was so nice to have a washer and dryer, our own swimming pool and hot tub and enough room for the kids to play. So much better than a hotel!
7. Rider Swap and Fast Passes were so great! Because my little guy couldn't go on a lot of the rides with the big kids, my husband and I got to do rider swaps. We also went early in the morning each day and got Fast Passes for the busy rides and also enjoyed the really short lines. My kids went on rides lots of times! (For example, by the time I rode a ride the second time the kids had already ridden it 5 times.)
8. Having a two year old was fun, but challenging. He could go on a lot of rides, but we did a fair amount of waiting for the other kids to go on rides. But that means that we got to spend more time in Cars Land with Lightning McQueen!
9. Fashion in Disneyland is interesting. I wasn't quite sure if I should be wearing my exercise clothes, or dressed up with bright red lipstick, or wear Mickey Mouse apparel, be bundled up like it was winter or dressed like I was going to the beach. It was raining the first two days and was a bit chilly!
10. Christmas time at Disney is really fun! I loved all the Christmas decorations everywhere. Luckily the crowds weren't too bad Tuesday and Wednesday, but it started to get really busy Thursday and Friday afternoon. (A week before Christmas)
11. I rode lots of rides with my family except for Tower of Terror. I decided that I DON'T like rides where my legs dangle. I even went on California Screamin'.
12. Birthdays are FUN in at Disneyland. My little guy turned two on our last day at Disney. Mater and Red the Fire Truck sang him happy birthday. He got to wear a Happy Birthday pin!
13. Our phones stayed charged with because we had a Goal Zero Switch! So nice to not have to worry about my phone dying from being used so much.
14. It really is a HAPPY place! We had so much fun together. Laughing and talking in lines and screaming on rides together. This was the perfect vacation to distract my kids from the sadness and stress of moving. I'm so glad we went!
I'm excited to go again to Disneyland in a few years!