About two years ago we told the kids that as soon as Michael was 5, we could take them to Disneyland. He turned 5 on July 7th, and the very next day we were on our way to California!
It was so fun to take them, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable for everyone if my sister hadn’t come with us. I’m so glad she could come! She was such a giant help with the kids, even taking all of them for about 5 1/2 hours one night so that Ben and I could have a date night alone at Disneyland. She was seriously amazing with them the whole trip. We’re lucky she is such a great aunt and was willing to come!
We left on Tuesday early early morning and got into Orange County around noon. We wasted no time and immediately set off to Downtown Disney. We weren’t going in the park until the next day, but wanted to give the kids a taste of Disney as soon as we could. Plus we couldn’t check into our apartment we were renting for another 4 hours anyway. We ate lunch at Rainforest Café and then spent the next couple hours walking around Downtown Disney. The kids enjoyed walking around and looking in some of the shops and getting excited for Disneyland the next day.
The next day, Wednesday, we all headed off to Disneyland as soon as we could get out the door. Our apartment was literally across the street from the Disneyland Parking garage, so it was just a quick walk to the tram. It was really nice to be so close and not have to worry about parking every time we went.
Tickets passed out and ready to go in!
Lily is getting so grown-up! I had fun hanging out with her whenever it was just us. She surprised me by being ready and excited about some of the bigger rides, but she thought Tower of Terror was “way too scary!”
Ben and Michael’s favorite ride was Star Tours and Adam’s favorite was the Buzz Lightyear ride. Lily’s favorite was the Alice in Wonderland ride (so she says, although it was the It’s a Small World ride that she kept asking over and over to go on again – we said no) and my favorite was Space Mountain. I forgot to ask Anna what her favorite was, but I’m pretty sure I remember her saying that she really liked Pirates of the Caribbean.
We had at least one ice cream break every day. None of us were used to the heat, and ice cream is definitely the best way to cool off!
Peter did a lot of this:
Disneyland and California Adventure have a policy where if one adult needs to stay behind with kids too little to go on the ride, then they get a special pass to go through the fast pass lane after the rest of the group comes back. Plus they can take two other people with them. It was awesome, because either Ben or I or Anna could stay behind with Peter (or Adam and Peter, since Adam was still too small for a lot of the rides), and then whoever stayed behind could take the two older kids again. So by combining that policy with using the fast passes when we could, we all spent a lot less time waiting in lines then we otherwise would have. It was nice and worked well.
Exhausted little boy after a full day at Disneyland!
Around 3:00 that first day at Disneyland, I was nursing Peter while the rest of the group was on a ride, and I lost my phone. I set it down for a couple minutes and stupidly left where I was standing. I realized what I did pretty quickly, but when I went back to where I had lain it down, it was gone. Spent about an hour looking around for it, and then Ben found it by using the Find Your Phone feature that it apparently has. Someone had actually turned it into lost and found. It was super stressful to lose it, but I was so glad we were able to find it. But we decided to leave right after we found it just cuz we were all worn out and tired. As we were picking it up from lost and found, the parade started, so we stayed for that and left after it was done. We went back home, rested for a few hours and had dinner, then went back so we could catch the fireworks.
Some pictures from the parade:
And from the fireworks:
Sleepy boy – it was 10:00 by the time we headed back to the apartment, and he was out.
The next day we had kind of a slow start to the day and headed up to the beach right before lunch time. We had planned to spend a good half a day there, but we ended up leaving after just a few hours. It was fun, but Peter hated it and screamed the whole time he was awake. Wouldn’t nurse, wouldn’t take a bottle, and couldn’t fall asleep for a long time cuz it was too hot to be swaddled, but he really only falls asleep when he is swaddled. Hated the sun in his eyes, but hated the sunhat I brought for him, too. It was rough. That combined with Ben feeling sick after a few hours, and we decided it was better to go then try to force it to be fun, lol. The other kids did enjoy it though and were really happy we went. They had been really looking forward to it, so I was happy we could take them.
Haha, Adam makes me laugh! Such a poser.
It was a gorgeous beach, too bad we didn’t enjoy it more. I think we’re just not beach people. We like it in small doses!
Cute Peter back at home. Even though I dressed him in his swimsuit, he didn’t even get near the water. Maybe next time! By the way, Peter is getting so big! He’s my chubbiest baby yet, I love it!
Since this is already much too long, I’ll wrap it up for now. Part 2 coming soon!