Monday, January 10 2011 @ 10:00 AM EST
Contributed by: crazyscrapper
on Christmas morning
with a trip to Disneyland/California Adventure
and Sea World.
I was so excited and then a couple days
before Christmas started to have anxiety
about the entire thing.
I was hoping the kids would be just as excited
as I was.
And after the shock wore off
and they realized what was happening....
They WERE really excited.
We had a fabulous time.
I (with the help of my sister)
created a little Scavenger hunt
for the kids to find their big Christmas
surprise....This is how it went.
There was not a single gift under the tree this year.
All that was there was a note
Your present from Santa, mom and dad this year, stated quite simply isnít here. Not under the tree, where itís easy to see...but hidden somewhere, where could it be? To find your gift youíll have to look, maybe start where we cook!
then in the kitchen attached to the stove was
While food prep for you is never done. It is not always job #1. Mom spends hours cleaning these for you. Go the the room that makes your clothes like new!
Then off to the laundry room we ran...to find
To the 2nd story you must rise, for another hint at your Christmas surprise. Your clue resides in a storage room situation....Housing shoes, clothes, guns and dadís ammunition.
(which was upstairs in the master bedroom closet) In the closet
we found the final clue,
This final trek will bring you what you seek, think of the room with a giant LEAK. Hidden with all your outdoor pleasures, you will find your special Christmas treasure.
In the garage the kids found a huge poster that I painted HUGE Mickey Mouse ears on that read: Disneyland or Bust.......
The kids suitcases were there along with lots of travel goodies including snacks and movies for our long card drive. I also ordered Mickey Mouse ears for each kid with their names engraved. There were tickets and lanyards and Disney themed travel journals, notepads and pens for each of them to journal in and (hopefully) document their trip. I also created them each their own "Mickey and Minnie" T-shirts. That I am very proud of, I must say! We got up very early the next morning and drove the 12 hours to Anaheim. The kids did really well on the drive and we couldn't wait to get to the parks and see what was in store!
Here is a little bit of what we experienced on our California Trip.
Monday was our first full day at Disneyland. It was crowded, but we made the best of it
and got all of the rides in that we wanted to do except Indiana Jones. We left the park for dinner at In N Out (Because no trip is complete without a burger from our favorite burger joint). Then back to the park we went. We left Disneyland and were back to the hotel by 11:30pm (which was 12:30am NM time) Everyone crashed immediately and didn't' wake until close to 9am the next day. And I can only recall one minor melt down. LOL
Here are some pictures from that first day.
In the parking lot heading to the Shuttles.
Standing in front of the GINORMOUS Christmas tree on Main Street.
The first ride of the day was Space Mountain. Then we ran over to Autopia. Although, I remember that being a favorite ride of mine as a child, my children didn't think it was all that great. Lindsey waves to passers by.
Jared and the big kids were often riding bigger and faster roller coasters. Jenna (nor I for that matter) had much interest in them. So Jenna and I were together. A LOT. So please don't judge me for the overloads of pictures I have of her. While the big kids went on the Matterhorn, Jenna and I stood in line for Finding Nemo. Jenna always did great standing in lines. Most lines were an hour long. Some were more. She looked so cute and so happy it just warmed my heart.
This is on the Nemo ride, which she loved. (Until those couple scary spots) Then she didn't want to go on it ever again. LOL
Sleeping Beauty's castle is always a favorite site. It looked amazing, as always. Especially at night. Because it was the Christmas holiday the park was decked out and quite beautiful. Here is a picture from that morning.
And that morning we also met a wicked witch. She was pretty spectacular. Jenna was shy around all the characters. This was the first one we saw this day.
In line for peter pan. A very happy girl indeed.
Fantasyland was a nightmare. So we got out of that place right quick. I snapped a quick picture of my 2 little princesses in front of the castle before we went to meet the boys in Frontierland.
We had fast passes for the Haunted Mansion and then stood in line for over an hour to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. That was obviously a family favorite. And well worth the wait. Here is Jenna waiting on daddy's shoulders. She is saying "Argh", in case you can't tell.
We asked a passer by to take our family picture as we ate our packed lunch of PB and J sammies, chips and fruit. Even though we ate the same thing every day for lunch. It always tasted so yummy. When you are starving from walking and riding rides, I think anything would have tasted good.
Snapped a couple pictures of the girls trying on Minnie Ears.
Before we left for dinner, we saved a spot on Main Street for the Christmas Parade. We ate snacks (Churros and Cotton Candy - I couldn't even guess how much money we spent on those favorite things this week). And the kids shopped for keepsakes... This is what Jenna picked out that first night.
As the sun dropped, the tree was lit and we waited for the parade to start.
Day 2: California Adventure
These pictures were actually taken on Monday morning before California Adventure opened and on our way into Disneyland. As we took advantage of that opportunity (with no crowds around) and got pictures of Lindsey and Lars by the letter "L" before the crowds were too thick.
On Tuesday we slept in a bit.........(8:00am) and Went to California Adventure. Which I'm hearing, it's good we did. Disneyland hit record highs and discontinued selling tickets at some point in the day. I was glad we were at California Adventure where the crowds didn't' seem so bad. However, the weather was AMAZING that day. It was so sunny and warm we all shed our jackets by 10am. Within a few minutes of entering the park we saw Minnie and Goofy.
After the big kids went on the Tower of Terror and Jenna and I rode a few rides in Bugsland. But all morning she kept asking to ride the giant ferris wheel.
But before we did that, we caught up with the rest of the family and met Mickey and Pluto for some pictures.
Then I quick snapped pics of each of the kids with pluto. These might be some of my favorite photos from the week.
Some of our favorite 'family' rides from California Adventure included Toy Story Mania.
After this ride (which was an hour and a half wait!) We saw woody and Jessie. I was glad that my kids weren't really interested in standing in line to have their pictures taken with most characters. They were happy with just passing by and waving.
Another favorite was the 3D film "It's Tough to be a Bug" in a Bugsland. The movie was so cute (and creepy) that we did it twice in a row!
Disneyland at night was SPECTACULAR!!!! The lights were breathtaking. Monday night was incredible, while waiting in line to ride "It's a Small World". (The wait was 90 minutes) We watched a 30 minute firework show that took place right over our heads. Then following the fireworks it SNOWED!!!!!!! Fake snow shot from everywhere up and down main street. (It was some sort of foam or bubbles, but it was wet and cold) It was awesome! Here are photos of "It's a Small World" and "Sleeping Beauty's Castle", both taken on Jared's phone. I never did get a decent shot of either.
Day 3: California Adventure AND Disneyland
We anticipated rain today. And RAIN IT DID!!! It poured all morning. But we took advantage of the smaller crowds and short waits in line!
Immediately upon entering California Adventure I grabbed fast passes for World of Color waterworks show that night and California Soarin' (Probably our most favorite ride of the week, we did it twice). Then when the park opened we ran straight for California Screamin' and Toy Story Mania (again.) The kids went on Californa Screamin' -a crazy roller coaster two times, while Jenna went on the carousel and Jens held our places in line for Toy Story Mania. Then we joined him. All this while Jared was at Disneyland getting fast passes for Space Mountain. All in the rain. It was cold and wet, but we didn't' care. Just before noon we headed over to Disneyland to ride Indiana Jones and a couple other favorites. A few rides were closed due to rain, but we were still able to do a lot. And by noon the rain pretty much stopped but the crowds stayed small(er). The girls and I waited in line to see the Disney princesses. Jenna was super shy around them, but was so excited meeting them. We met Jasmine, Belle, and Tiana.
After that, the kids had pretty much had it with the parks and were ready to head back to the hotel. But before we did that, they were all itching to spend some of their Christmas money. Lars had been begging for this silly hat. We finally caved and let him buy it. It sure does fit his personality and he loves it.
Jenna picked out even more princesses. Two dress up princess packs that she absolutely adores.
Before we headed on the monorail to Downtown Disney we took a picture in front of "It's a Small World" and the Castle. Because no trip to Disneyland would be complete without one.
We really only went to one store downtown and that was the lego store. The kids were in heaven. Jenna loved the giant giraffe built out of legos. It was HUGE!
And as we said goodbye to the parks, we took one last family picture in the front. Don't mind our exhausted looks and shabby attire. It had been a long 3 days and we were wet and tired.
We went back to the hotel for a couple hours and for dinner then back to California Adventure to see the World of Color show. It WAS pretty spectacular and I'm glad we got to see it. While Jared took the little kids back to the hotel, Lindsey and I ran back to Disneyland and rode Indiana Jones. I'd have to say running around the park with my teenage daughter was one of my favorite things about this trip. We had a lot of fun!
Tomorrow I will post the rest of our California trip. Including a trip to Huntington Beach and Sea World. Until then! -J