Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A yearly tradition

Every year in September our family drives to spend the weekend at the Disneyland Resort. It's been a family tradition since Adventure Girl turned 2. Grandparents, aunts and sometimes uncles and cousins join us in the celebration and we visit this year was no exception. Our trip is to celebrate Adventure Girl's birthday. 

We drove from NorCal to SoCal to enjoy the weekend with 9 other family members. It was very special and magical because we got to see family we hadn't seen in months. For the first time we had almost the same amount of kids/adults.

We arrived Friday evening and got settled in our hotel room, this year like last we choose a good neighbor hotel and since we had such a great experience last year it was the same this year. Best Western Stovall's Inn which is across the street from DCA {Disney's California Adventure} in fact that Friday evening as we arrived to our hotel we could see the fireworks from the parks, right in the comfort of our rooms.

The next morning we got up early and got ready for our breakfast at the hotel {they include a hot breakfast -pancakes, eggs, toast, coffee, juices, cereal, pastries and fruit} by 9 we were on our way to the parks. 6 adults and 3 kids, it was so much fun on the way to the main gate as Adventure Boy was enjoying it all for the first time -he has been to Disneyland since he was 8 months but this time he knew what was going on, he identified characters as he saw them and knew what all the excitement was about.

Before our trip Disney I like to search for apps that will make our plans for our time there better, so as I searched I found an app called Disney Parks. This app has a calendar where you chose the date to see the events happening {so you won't miss a thing!} I began exploring the app a week before to see all the features it has a map of both parks (DCA and Disneyland), a list of places to dine, the weather, it also has a tab for character meet and greet. The app is free and I downloaded it on my iPhone, once you arrive at the main gate it has a locator and downloads more features plus it updates while in the park.

The map feature helped so much as it was interactive and you could view all the attractions and it's locations plus restrooms and guest services all helpful information to enjoy your day.

When we go to Disneyland we always take an extra change of clothes for the kids, extra diapers, jackets and sometimes I will bring in one or two snacks for the kids. This year just like last year I decided to rent a locker, if you have never rented one I highly recommend it. Makes your day easier to handle and your hands are free, there is also the fact that your stroller won't flip over when the child is out of it because of the weight {oh, how many times has that happened to me!} Furthermore, lockers are easy to access and they have three different sizes. We get the smaller one (regular) as we usually just put in the jackets, extra diapers and the change of clothes; it is the perfect size for a backpack full of stuff. Prices are:

Jumbo $15.00

Large $10.00

Regular $7.00

Coincidentally I also took my cell phone charger with me, I don't own a camera so my phone is my camera. However I couldn't find a place to charge it! Except while we had lunch at the Plaza Inn, but that was not enough to charge my phone completely. So I asked around and it turns out there are locker rentals for charging cell phones! These lockers are located in the locker rental are and have a power outlet in them and are $2.00 an hour just remember to bring your charger with you.  Disney thinks of everything, right?

On this trip we did a park hopper perfect if you are planning for only one day at the parks. The first park we visited was Disney's California Adventure (DCA) because we wanted to enjoy Carsland, it was everything we thought it would be and more! It was as if we were inside the movie. I highly suggest it be the first thing you visit while at DCA. It opened on my birthday this year {June 15th}. 

We got to see Red, Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. Adventure Boy couldn't believe his eyes we enjoyed the tractor ride and the racers. It is the perfect addition to DCA and best area to find Cars themed toys or apparel. 

In the evening we were a bit hungry while visiting the Baby Care Center on Main Street in the Disneyland park {perfect place to change diapers, feed baby, nurse and use a kid sized potty for children ages 4 and under read more here} we decided to enjoy some delicious corn dogs from the Corn Dog Cart it was the best idea and will now be part of our Disneyland dinner tradition! 

We were able to enjoy our corn dog outdoor, sitting on benches and the kids were able to run around a bit and burn some of the excitement for the fireworks. Needless to say the corn dogs were large enough to satisfy us and just made. :)

The fireworks were spectacular as always and were the perfect ending to our day. 

On Sunday we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen, if you haven't been to a character dining we highly recommend it. They are always buffet style so you choose what you eat, but the best part of this experience is getting one on one time with characters. In this one in particular we got to see Pluto, Goofy, Rafiki, Princess Belle, Princess Jasmine and Gepetto. We had a great time and the kids loved dancing with the characters, talking with them, having their autograph book signed and taking pictures. 

We had a splendid weekend celebrating our annual tradition and Adventure Girl had an awesome birthday as always. 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post, this post reflects only my opinion. All pictures were taken by Stroller Adventures. 

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