It has been a year since we have been to Disneyland and we are SO ready to go! I usually don't build things up with the kids. I like to instead stealthily pack and then wake them up one morning and say "Guess what? We're going to Disneyland! Hop on up into the car." Because you know what can happen with kids and life. Someone will get sick or Jeff or I will have to work. The Real Reason: I hate the questions. My kids asking me every single day for a month: "Is TODAY the day we are going to Disneyland?" and then when I say "No, honey, we are going in 2 weeks/1 week/6 days/5 days/4 days/3 days/2 days/tomorrow. We just have to be patient." I get in response "Awwwwww! But MOM!" is not my idea of a good time.
But this time, I actually have told my kids and I told them a while ago. You see, I did this because, honestly my darling husband was a bit on the fence about whether he would be able to take time off from work to go. So...I asked Ava over a month ago, before her birthday, if she wanted to go to Disneyland for her birthday. Of course, she accepted the invitation (squeal!) and then went and told asked Daddy if we could go, with puppy dog eyes. He, of course, caved. We are going with our good friends, Jen, Steve, and their 3 kids, who are moving to the East Coast the week after our trip. We have vacationed with them for years (including our first trip to Disneyland), so it will be a special trip. We drive down from San Jose this coming Friday and will be there through the next Monday. Father's Day at Disneyland - woo hoo!
I LOVE Disneyland. I really have to be dragged out of the park when it closes. This time around, I am really looking forward to some new stuff that Disneyland has going on this summer - the new Fantasmic show might be a little too old for our kids, but we will definitely be staying up to see the new Dumbo "Magical" fireworks show, heading to Pixie Hollow (Ava and Lily love Tinkerbell!), and checking out the new electrical light parade floats. I wish we could have timed it so that it was someone's birthday (did you know you can get in FREE to Disneyland on your birthday?), like our TWINS' birthday would have been nice. Oh well. Come January, perhaps we'll be back. (The twins in our twins club, Gemini Crickets, all signed up for free tickets - what a bargain for parents of multiples!) A friend also told me that the new Toy Story Mania ride in California Adventure (the park hopper tickets allow you to go to both parks and they are right next to each other) is fantastic - she described it as similar to Astroblasters in Disneyland, but better and with 3D glasses (not sure my kids will REALLY like the 3D, but we shall see...).
Also, our trip happens to coincide with an event that Disneyland has going on that I have been invited to take part in and write about here on Me Too You. About the event: Disneyland had a contest over Mother's Day with Macy's in which it awarded a trip to Disneyland AND Disneyworld to a mom from each of the 50 states and DC. These special moms and their families will enjoy VIP treatment (for instance, a sunrise breakfast at Disneyland, a sunset dinner at Disneyworld) and will see a lot of these new things that Disney has going on.
We will be staying at the Grand Californian Hotel right above/next to Downtown Disney, which I am so excited about! I love craftsman-style architecture and it looks very plush. I don't really know a huge amount about the hotel, so I'll be sure to take some photos and share our experiences at the hotel. We have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel once and at an off-park hotel another time. Staying at the park hotels really do have some special things, in my limited experience. First of all, you have easy access to the park, but you can also get into the park 1 hour early on one day of your stay and you can easily go to character breakfasts and other fun events. And there are just little touches of Disneyland everywhere. Our favorites from the Disneyland hotel: the Tinkerbell glow in the dark wallpaper banner, the life-sized Ariel sitting beside the hot tub, the Captain Hook pirate ship in the pool.
So I'm packing a bit already (princess dresses - check, Jedi Training shirt - check). And following Disneyland on Twitter. I ordered my Vacation Planner DVD (its available to anyone who asks for one at www.disneyland.com and it is supposed to have lot of tips to plan your days in the park). And, yes...I'm counting down the days and putting up with all of the annoying questions. 5 days until we leave!
(FULL DISCLOSURE: Disneyland is footing part of our bill for our trip, as I will be covering the Moms event. Disneyland doesn't do this very often at all, but it was just the perfect opportunity since our family was already headed to the park this particular weekend anyway.)