Themed Weekend: Disney

mickey_minnie_disneylandYesterday, we woke up early and left on a plane for California (more on that later, but suffice to say our experience included: a barf bag, too much luggage, and a grumpypants airline attendant).

After getting settled in our guest room at the Disneyland Hotel, we headed to the park and ate lunch on Main Street USA in the little deli where turkey sandwiches are $8/pop (but healthy and tasty).

We then ran around the park - my husband carrying our 3-year-old in his arms and me carrying our 6-month-old on my back on the ERGObaby carrier (tomorrow, we'll get a stroller).

carousel-disneylandWe all went on Pirates of the Caribbean to escape the heat (yes, it's still 90+ degrees 'round these parts) and then my hero-of-a-husband & our 3-year-old went on a series of rides: Pooh, Dumbo, Pinnochio, the carousel, and the Matterhorn. Yes, the Matterhorn. She barely made the height cut-off. My husband said he held her close... and she LOVED it. You should have seen her face afterward, all breathless and beautiful and glowing.

While they rode, I planted myself in a cozy, shady spot near the exit with our 6-month-old - and we people watched together. The birds twittered, the music played, the people walked by - and we sat contentedly together.

And people smiled at us. Babies always make people smile - especially my baby with her golden hair and her decisive blue eyes.

baby-and-mama-disneylandOf course, we also waved excitedly when big sister exited a ride or rode by on the carousel. Her eyes sparkled and her smile radiated. That, my friends, was pure magic.

We didn't bring our camera or a diaper bag (just the ERGO with the bare necessities), but we did get a few shots with the iPhone.

Later that night, we ate dinner at Napolini in Downtown Disney with Caryn {Rockin' Mama} and her family (they live in Southern CA and have annual passes to the parks). Caryn is cute and thoughtful and fun-to-be-around, her husband is laid back and smart and made us laugh, and her little boy is sheer energy with a curly-haired top. We had a wonderful time.

At the end of the night, we all took baths and fell into bed - exhausted, happy, expectant of things to come.

Stay tuned for tips on "doing Disney" with little ones, traveling by plane, reviews of the Disneyland Hotel, and more.

YOUR TURN: Have you been to Disneyland?

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26 comments on “Themed Weekend: Disney”

  1. Wow, sounds like a fun time!! The last time we went to Disneyland was in July 2003, a few months after my husband and I were married. I'd love to take the kids someday soon though! We did SeaWorld in May 2008 and had a great time! Looking forward to reading your other Disney posts!

  2. We have season passes and live in Southern Cali. We were just there two weeks ago with our 6 month old and 2 year old. The toddler went on the Matterhorn too. My husband was sad that he was just under the height for the next taller set of rides.

  3. The best part of Disneyland for me is getting home at night! Like you say, plop down on the bed and fall asleep--a sound deep sleep :-) I grew up in southern california and we used to go all the time. As I've grown older I like amusement parks less and less. I just don't have the patience. You, however, seem to have gone though with relatively (as well as can be expected) flying colors.

  4. We've never been to any Disney park... my favorite place like that to go is Silver Dollar City.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip... but that flight? it doesn't sound like it was any fun, I hope the return flight goes better.

  5. No. Since we are from the Mid-west, we tend to go to DisneyWorld. I have heard that DisneyLand is so much better. I am trying to convince my husband to take a month to drive out there sometime. I would love to see California and stops along the way. Enjoy your trip!

  6. I lived in California for only 3 months. My friend and I went to Disneyland and it was like another whole world! Loved it. We have taken our children to Disneyworld. Fabulous and full of memories!
    Enjoy your trip.....Cindi

  7. I love Disneyland! We are annual pass holders all the time... this year we weren't able to ) :
    If you want to get on the ride also( I noticed you and little sister sat out a lot) , you can ask for a mom pass and they will give you two passes for you and big sister to get on the ride again with no line waiting.

    Can't wait for all the tips!

  8. I grew up in Central California so I've been to Disneyland a dozen times or so. The best we when I was a senior and went for Gradnight.

    I have to say Disneyland isn't my favorite park for rides, that would be Magic Mountain. Disney is great for attractions and kids.

    I hope you all have a blast!

  9. Taylor went on the Matterhorn when she was two and a half. She loved it too, except that when we were done she asked, "Does the next ride have any abominable snowmans?" She wasn't a giant fan of the red-eyed monster. :) Hope you guys are having a blast! I'm jealous back here...

  10. We love Disneyland. We haven't been in 3 years and I am dying to go. Just waiting until my youngest gets a bit older. I refuse to take a baby with me. I want to go on the rides just as much as my kids do!

  11. Don't forget California Adventure next door if you have time. Keith and I grew up in LA, so we were at Disneyland more times than you could imagine, largely to entertain guests and relatives. Hope you are having a blast!

  12. okay so i'm going to live vicariously through you on your trip to Disney. we constantly debate and discuss whether or not a trip like yours would be good for our family.
    i look forward to your tips!

  13. Steph...you are adorable and your girls are gorgeous! We had so much fun...Jason told me he wishes we had friends like you closer to us....the time was too short....We hope you had tons of fun today! : ) You are genuine and kind and a joy to be around. Thank you for taking a little part of your day to spend with us. I wish I had taken just one picture....sigh....Have a wonderful vacation!

  14. I've never been to Disneyland, but have been to Disney World a few times - most recently on our honeymoon, 9 years ago. We're hoping to be able to swing a trip back there sometime in the next year or two so we can take our girls - they would absolutely love it!

    I'm so glad you got to meet Caryn - she's one of my favorite blogging friends too! :)

  15. i just saw the comment above and the baby center in Disneyland (near the end of main street) and the one in California park (near the tortilla factory tour) are great. They have areas to nurse, changing areas and smaller potty for little ones. They also have highchairs and microwave for heating up baby food. We still go to use the small potty for my youngest. I really used them when Princess G was a baby plus they are air conditioned

  16. We love disneyland. Eventhough we live in WA we have taken the girls a few times. If it is really hot you can always ask for cups of ice, they don't charge for that and ice is so nice on those hot days. Make sure you ride the small world, the air conditioning is delightful and the baby can go too!!!

  17. I love visiting Disneyland! We usually visit four times per year. I have spent many content hours hanging out in shady spots. It's lovely! I look forward to hearing more about your trip!!

    You should check out the baby centers in Disneyland and in Disney's California Adventure. They're wonderful!! I've heard that ALL Disney parks have baby centers, but I haven't had a chance to verify that for myself (yet!).

  18. we ONLY go to disneyland. period! not just because i grew up 20 minutes away and have been roughly 300 times :-)
    i am truly convinced that disneyland is so much better when your kids are small. everything is right there - all the parks, hotels, restaurants. no waiting for buses or whatever. we took a 2 & 4 year old there and it was amazing. absolutely magical, perfect and amazing. they had a blast.
    i will never forget my 2-year-old turning to me after the princesses went by in the parade and saying, "mama, my dreams just came true!!!"

    i wish they would do more to promote disneyland!! there's all these disney world mom's sites, but NOTHING for disneyland!!! HAVE A BLAST!!! ride nemo for us!!!

  19. We went to Disne World last year. It was awesome!!! One of my favorite tips was to bring your sippy cups and water bottles then pack flavored water packets so when you refil your cups with the water fountain (that doesn't taste so good) you have flavor to add....saves a ton by not buying drinks all the time!

  20. Wow, I can almost feel big sister's joy through your description. I bet she was exhausted but overjoyed to be there. What a great family experience. I love Caryn at Rockin Mama. It is so fun that you got together and were able to have all your family members there too. A memorable time, I am sure!

    Great post.

  21. So fun!!! We have not taken the kids to Disney yet...but I've been begging my husband! We live closer to Disney World, and I've been pricing trips for the past few months. I'd like to go soon, but the cost is a bit high. Any tips on where to get the best deals? :)

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