Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We just got back from a great trip to Disneyland. We had free passes for three of us from Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Day promotion and we had to use them by December 15th. Since our last trip the week after Thanksgiving was such a success, we decided to try that strategy again this year. It worked out perfectly!

We went on the Monday after Thanksgiving, hoping to avoid the crowds since most people would be back to school and work. Most rides had wait times between 5-20 minutes and the longest line by far was the wait to see the Disney princesses. The weather was a little cold, but warmer than at home. This year Grandpa Mark joined us at the park and we had a lot of fun with him.
I was so excited to get reservations for the character breakfast at the Plaza Inn. However, we were faced with a conundrum—we paid a pretty penny for the all you can eat buffet but didn’t want to spend too much time eating when we could be enjoying the park. The kids both really enjoyed seeing the characters and taking pictures with them. Ava’s favorite was the Fairy Godmother and Drew’s favorite was Captain Hook.
Dan made a list of everything we wanted to see and do. First on our list was Space Mountain. I’m not sure if it was a good idea to take the kids on that first, but we did and they all survived it. Although for the rest of the day Ava’s rule was “no fast rides, no scary rides, no dark rides.” We did get her to go on Big Thunder Mountain railroad, but she was not so pleased with us. Her favorites were Dumbo, Peter Pan, Small World, the Christmas parade and Pirates of the Caribbean—not too scary or too fast. Drew’s favorites were Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jedi Training. Both kids did great walking around all day with little complaining.
I love going to Disneyland at Christmastime and seeing everything decorated for the season. It’s all so beautiful and magical! Another plus of going this time of year is that Santa Claus is there! We got to visit with Santa and his reindeer and have our Santa picture for the year.

With the lines so short we were able to do everything on our list. We still had some time before the park closed but the kids were pretty tired so we took a ride on the monorail before settling down to watch the fireworks show, which we all enjoyed. Back at the hotel Drew and Ava were pretty tired and went right to sleep in their bunk beds—another favorite part of our trip for them. This morning we had a leisurely breakfast at IHOP before hitting the road for the long drive home.

Riding the shuttle to Disneyland!

 The kids with Grandpa Mark

 All decorated for Christmas

 Our family ready for a day of fun

 With Minnie

 Ava and her fairy godmother

 Drew and Ava with Captain Hook

 Grandpa with Minnie Mouse

 Star Wars Jedi Training

 It's a Small World

 Riding with Grandpa Mark

 Ava got her face painted before we met the princesses

 With Princess Aurora

 And Belle...

 And Jasmine...

 Ava and Mickey

 Toon Town

 Riding the Tea Cups

 Dan and Grandpa

 Me and the kids


 Poor Ava--she didn't want to go on Thunder Mountain

 Grandpa Mark and Drew ready for Pirates of the Carribean

 On the Jungle Cruise

 Watching the Parade

 Cinderella and Prince Charming

 Ava and Daddy


 the fireworks show

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