Monday, December 5, 2011

Family Time Is The Best Time...Especially at Disneyland!

Me with the kids and my parents
This year we decided to go to Disneyland after Thanksgiving. We heard the crowds are really light at this time of year, and after our crazy experience last year, we really wanted to do it right. Last year we went the day after Christmas for 2 days...and both days the park hit maximum capacity and they had to stop letting people in! Our kids still had fun and they didn't know the difference but Chip and I had to put on a show and smile through gritted teeth. This year, however, they had the BEST time. We went Wednesday through Friday, and the first two days we never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride (if that). Friday was a little busier, but by then we had been on everything we wanted to go on many times so we used that day to skip some of the more popular attractions and go on some things I had never been on ever!
I love this sign!

We still got 6 rides in on this before it broke down
Monkey loves Pirates of the Carribean, and we rode our hearts out our first day. Good thing too, since it was closed on and off the rest of our trip due to some technical difficulties. Boo! Buddha definitely got more out of this trip being three than last year. By now he has seen many of the Disney and Pixar movies, and of course watches the Disney Jr. shows on TV. They got to meet so many characters, and I could not believe how unafraid Buddha was. He seriously believes they are real and was trying to carry on conversations with them! Monkey used to be afraid of them when he was younger but was really into meeting them this year too.

Christmas Mickey...

Buddha at Mickey's House!
Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates at California Adventure
The weather was sunny and it was warm during the day. We spent a lot of time in Fantasy Land, but of course hit the entire park and I got to share Monkey's first time on Space Mountain with him. Of course, just seeing the whole park decorated for the holidays was awesome! Especially the Haunted Mansion. There was also an amazing fireworks show. Call me crazy, but we are total Disneyheads and could do this every year.

Never ridden the pirate raft to the island before!

The castle at night. Aaah.
Monkey and I going for a cruise on Autopia
Well, and we probably will go back next year. We found out they are opening a Cars Land at California Adventure this coming summer. My boys are Cars and Cars 2 fanatics. And we enjoy this stuff just as much as they do.
The future site of Cars Land. Can. Not. Wait.

Tree at Disney by day...

By night.
We enjoyed a great meal at Wine Country Trattoria. Let's face it, corndogs and other amusement park fare gets old, so its nice to have this lovely place on site at California Adventure. Of course, there are also some really great places nearby at Downtown Disney. There are no limits when it comes to food and shopping!

We always stay at a nearby hotel that has suites. I can't tell you how much nicer it is to have the extra room so the boys can sleep on a pull-out bed in the main room and Chip and I can sleep in the other. Our room had a refrigerator and microwave and a wet bar. The sink came in really handy for Buddha's sippy cups and the refrigerator for drinks for all of us. Our Hilton Suite hotel also had a shuttle to and from the park every day that ran every half hour. The best part? The free breakfast buffet for 2. We loaded up every morning before we hit the park, and took some snacks like apples, bananas, etc. to go so that we had snacks for later. There are pros and cons to staying on and off property, and at my kids ages this works best for us for now. We look forward to our next trip!

I was not compensated by Disneyland or The Hilton for this post. All opinions and views shared are my own.


  1. Such great pictures!

    I've always wanted to see the Christmas decorations at Disney. We made the mistake of going during a holiday weekend here in France so it was jam packed! We can't wait to go back next year, hopefully not in the summer! ;)

  2. Barbara, I have seen photos of the park in France! It would be so cool to go there someday!

  3. I Love Disneyland!!! I have oodles of fantastic memories of my visits...though, mostly with my girlfriends, as adults. lol I took my boy a few years ago for the first time and he's itching to go back. Since Hubs is pretty much anti-Disney, I'm only taking the kidlets one at a time. :>

    It looks like you all had a rockin' awesome Disneyland visit!! Love all the pics you're sharing. You've send me on a marvelous trip down memory lane, via your vacation share! :>

  4. OMG I am green with envy. Such great memories, wish we could go this year but our schedules are kinda crazy. Glad your kids enjoyed meeting the walking characters, so cool!

  5. Ladies the very first pic is taken between Disneyland and CA Adventure. They actually took down the big CALIFORNIA letters that used to be there and replaced it with that Disneyland sign. The letters turn over every minute and when they turn the other side is a montage of pictures of happy people.


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