Disneyland or BUST!

I am embarrassed to admit this, but when the kids were little we used to go to Disneyland three times a year. We went so much that we actually burnt them out on the Mouse. A few months ago my two youngest expressed their desire to go back to the Happiest Place on Earth. Without hesitation I booked a trip starting on their last day of school! They got out of school at 10:00 and we left for Southern California right from there. We arrived by 5:00, checked into our hotel that we booked through Get Away Today along with our four day pass to the park. I have always booked our southern California trips through this site because I save on average 30%! We walked about ten minutes to Downtown Disney and ate dinner. We then had a great time window shopping! My favorite shops there are a darling dress shop with Disney themed pin up dresses and accessories and the art gallery.

 We decided that we wanted to go to California Disney the first day. Disney has recently bought Marvel and we are HUGE superhero fans. My kids wanted to met as many of the characters as possible. When my daughter was little we stood in line for hours to meet the princesses. In her teenage years we spent hours meeting superheros. I was quite impressed with how much time each character took with each kid. Here are a few that we met:

 After meeting the characters we ventured over to Radiator Springs! Cars was my youngest favorite movie when he was a little guy.

 The best ride has got to be the Cars themed ride! Kids and grown ups enjoy it.

 Next up was the new Guardian of the Galaxy ride that recently took over the Tower of Terror. Now, I have always said that Dinseyland lines are the best to stand in. This was one line that proved my point. Here are a few pictures of what we got to see as we waited to ride (which was epic)

 As we walked around California Adventure we were pretty impressed with the attention to detail that was given to things like where Spiderman lives:

 One of my favorite places to visit is the Beast Library in which you can take a personality test to see what Disney character you most resemble.

 After we visited the library we were able to take a drawing class from a Disney illustrator. Classes are offered on the hour and you get to learn how to draw different Disney characters.

We then got to see the first ten minutes of the Incredible 2! It was not out yet, so this was a real treat!

 On day 2 we went to Disneyland!

 We stated off meeting Darth Vader in which I was terrified of and ended up pushing my son into him. It was totally embarrassing!

 We loved meeting Chewie! He gave us each a hug!

 Next we went to Fantasy Land in which I found my favorite princess — Belle!

 We tried to remove the sword in the stone, but we just didn’t have the touch.

 We ended the day at about 9:00 and walked back to our hotel.

 Day three we actually entered the park at 4:00. It was very crowded and we decided to catch two movies in Downtown Disney and lunch. When we did get into the park we visited Toon Town and finished up with Star Wars.

 On our last day we stopped in Frontier land and rode Thunder Mountain.

 We explored the island and met Capt. Jack!

 The kids took some time to unwind on Tom Sawer’s island before lunch.

 She really needed some time to herself…..

 I tried to get her a pair of ears, but she settled for invisible ones. I wore my Beauty and the Beast ones I had made by the The Ear Emporium and I am glad I did because I did not find any other ears I liked as much as these!

 When I was a little girls my favorite place to eat at Disneyland was the restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride called “The Blue Bayou”  . I would order my favorite drink –Mint Jubilee and my very favorite thing in the world — Monte Crisco! A few years ago we had dinner reservations there and we were surprised to learn that they only serve the Monte Crisco at lunch. I was heartbroken, but then the waiter told me I could get it all day just across the way at “Orleans Cafe”! We have been eating at Orleans Cafe ever since in which the Monte Crisco is $21 instead of $29.

 Sadly, I no longer can have the sandwich because of my Celiac Disease. I have to stick to a Gluten Free lifestyle and there is no better place to do that than in Disneyland! They seriously have dietary menus for everyone. I was able to get delicious shrimp and grits! 

 That afternoon we stopped for a Dole Whip float. I was surprised to learn that it is dairy free!

 Finally we took a canoe ride around the lake to burn off a few of the calories we consumed with our meal.

 An hour before we head out my daughter finally found a pair of ears! I was tickled that they were my favorite princess ones. I am not surprised though — like Belle she would rather have a library than most anything else.

 We slept in the next day, packed up our bags, checked out and were prepared to make our way across the desert. I had the kids wait with the bags at the front of the hotel only to learn that my vehicle would not start. Thankfully the battery died before I stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere. The nice maintenance men at the hotel jumped it and told me where to go. I found an Auto Zone in which I discovered that the battery was covered under warranty and the service man put it in for free. What could have ended the trip in a scary tragedy in the middle of the desert ended in a huge blessing. 

 Visiting Disneyland with teenagers is much different than with little ones. This was one of the most enjoyable trips to the park I have ever taken, but more importantly it allowed me to spend time with my kids. I took a social media break while on vacation. I only used my phone for pictures and to call my other half of the family at night. No Facebook. No Instagram. Nothing. I finished two books while on the trip and I think it was because my face was not buried in my phone. It was pure bliss! I even slept better at night which is odd because I don’t normally do well sleeping on the road. I challenge you the next time you take a trip or even leave the house to run an errand stay off of social media. You will have such a better time and can share your adventures once you get home.

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