post-3-days of disney

It’s sat. night… about 9PM and me and the girls are back in the hotel room, while the boys are going out to finish the last batch of ‘fast passes’ for calif. Screamin’… LOL… and I am HAPPY to be back in the room.
Ok, my personal experience in the past is that you come to Disneyland while you are on vacation over here, and spend like one day… do it opening to close… you totally beat the pavement, acting like every moment is GOLDEN… only last year did we come over specifically to do Disney… and we got the 2 day park hopper pass… and we thought we were hard core… once again… we made every moment count. Rode the rides, took in the shows… the works. This time has been totally different than any other time.
We are staying on site at the ‘grand californian’. The hotel is way nice and is located right inside ‘california adventure’… which is across from Disneyland. We got a room that has, in addition to a queen bed, a set of bunk beds, with a pull out bed underneath… as well as a crib for the baby! I am feeling like the highlight of the trip for the boys has been that we let them each have their own room key. (chuckle)… surprisingly, neither has lost it even once (which is MUCH more than I can say for myself) and they certainly feel important… so funny.
It’s quite convenient to not deal with cars and parking during all of this! But there has been a lot of walking.
I think that the highlight for ME was yesterday. I calculated what the mid-point of our 3 days would be a scheduled myself a mother-to-be-massage at the spa here. It was wonderful… well, what I can remember was wonderful! I HATE IT WHEN I FALL ASLEEP during a massage… but I was SO exhausted, and so comfortable and relaxed. The therapist woke me up at the end… and I was SO MAD that I missed the ‘conditioning foot rub’!!!! I am sure that I had some physiological benefits to the massage, but I feel like I missed out on some of the phycological! LOL. It was a little easier to face the evening back at Disneyland, post-massage!
This morning was another great perk of staying here on-site… we were able to have ‘early entry’ into the park. That means 7am, as the park opens officially at 8am on sat. we were scheduled for a character breakfast at 8:10am, so we went over early and rode more rides in that hour than we could all day! (the lines have been HOLY COW long). Let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to get the kids out of bed for Disneyland than 8am church! They were bounding out of bed.
Capri has been amazing. She has been drinking this place in. I think that despite the fact she has NO IDEA what is going on here… she can feel the energy and enthusiasm from the kids, and is feeding off that! She loves all the activity and colors…it’s been very pleasant actually! She has had no prob eating and sleeping on the go.
As I said earlier… the lines are a bit obnoxious. I guess it’s the spring break curse of, well- spring! But the weather has been so absolutely perfect, that you just simply can’t complain! We have had a great time.
Is 3 days too long?
I think you definitely need to learn to pace yourself. And I didn’t really have that one figured out. But was glad to have today! We’ll sleep good tonight, in preparation for the ride home tomorrow.
The sad story of the trip… is, well, very sad.
My camera batteries died and I didn’t bring a charger.
I am so dumb. How dumb do you have to be?
So I don’t have high hopes for my scrapbooking… but we’ll hit on the highlights!!
For now… that means sleep~!

A few observations:
*for an every night fireworks show.. that is amazing
*never quite can get over the branding genius that is this park, every character, ride tied in with merchandising, food and promotion. Scary good.
*the floats may be few in the parade.. but they are stunning. I mean, just the chandeliers on the beauty and the beast float… fantastic
*as an adult, it’s still a thrill to see the characters in real life. (is that normal?)
*it’s amazing how sweet and cute a skull and cross bones is when it’s tied to Disney… the “pirate princess” take is pretty dang cute…
*I didn’t think that red hot chili peppers seemed like an obvious tie-in to Disney and Space Mountain… but frankly, I am still hearing that song in my head. Very nice addition! I liked it a lot – cory’s first words off the ride: “I want that song on my ipod”.
*it’s best not to add up your receipts. (I did get suckered into a mickey t-shirt for a family photo)
*I don’t think that quincy will forgive me for making her go on the ‘tower of terror’ again. That is pretty intense…
*there is nothing worse that being less than 1” too short to ride a ride.
*peter pan is still my favorite ride…cause I like to fly over England. (why is that line always so horrendously long? Guess I am not the only one)
*it really is pretty magical… good messages, good memories, good traditions…

good night.

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Category: Inspiration

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47 Comments

  1. Sonia 31 March, 2007 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    so sorry to hear about your batteries! That stinks! But i’m glad you and the family are having a great time! Be safe on your trip home!

  2. Cathy 1 April, 2007 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Heidi,
    My kids are 20 years and 14 and they STILL absolutely love Disney World. I must confess I love it too. It is such a happy place and Disney does a wonderful job of everything. We live in Arkansas and we have been 4 times over the years and one year even did the Disney cruise. That is the kids most favorite one! Enjoy your family even if you didn’t get lots of photos. The kids will always remember. See you in September at Creative Escape and I am loving the AYTR class.
    Cathy

  3. Ali W in NZ 1 April, 2007 at 1:54 am - Reply

    Oh Heidi, I too love the whole Disney experience. In fact, I get tears in my eyes when I watch any of the shows! Now THAT is sad…. We took DD when she was 2 for the first time and then again when she was 4. She loved both times on different levels. I scrapped the pics of her when she met Ariel for the autograph thing – the look on her face is pure adoration and amazement at the same time. i will frever treasure just the memory. So glad you enjoyed the massage too. Keep your feet up and rest – I want to see you ship shape and rockin’ at CE in Sept!!
    Ali in New Zealand (I saw you here in Auckland when you were over! Loved you! and your stuff! very excited to be doing it all again!)

  4. Katie Skiff 1 April, 2007 at 3:59 am - Reply

    I know that I would still be loving to meet the characters! Why do you think we had kids…so there is still an excuse to go! LOL…
    I am glad you are enjoying the trip!! Have fun.

  5. Lisa Russell 1 April, 2007 at 5:38 am - Reply

    We live an hour away from Disneyworld (FL) and STILL stay in the resorts there. It is the best – when you get hot in the afternoon, you just head over to the resort and swim for a bit, and head on out again. I hope you bought some disposable cameras when your batteries went out! They sell them all over the park. Glad you had a great time!

  6. Kim H 1 April, 2007 at 6:28 am - Reply

    So glad you had a wonderful time. I loved reading about it. We have already booked our Disney World vacation for NEXT spring break, where we will be taking our 12 year old and our 2 year old daughters. We just can’t wait for the “baby” to experience it–we’re not sure who’s more excited, them or us!!
    Kim

  7. stephanie 1 April, 2007 at 6:44 am - Reply

    the peter pan ride is awesome, and after all these years!

  8. Lyn Meeker 1 April, 2007 at 6:50 am - Reply

    If there is a picture that you absolutely have to have … like the castle at night and you didn’t get it because of the batteries .. you can always google it … someone has taken that picture and you can always “borrow” it! …
    Our family has been to Disney so often that the last time I was there .. I (and my son) went with my brother and his daughter and apparently the goal was to ride as many of the thrill rides in that day as possible .. no time for many pictures although they did allow a couple of minutes to stop and take a couple of them … so I decided when I got home to supplement! .. No harm in doing that — if only to capture the day we “DID DISNEY” in warp speed!

  9. Laurie Rabatich 1 April, 2007 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Heidi,
    I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself with regard to the batteries & charger.I say that any Mom with four children & another on the way deserves a huge pat on the back for “Doing Disney”.
    I remember with fondness closing down Disney @ 1a.m. with my son while my husband slept in the car with our middle daughter.Being six months pregnant @ the time didn’t slow me down-I was young!
    My son who is 21 now still reminds of the night we were the last to leave the gates of Disneyland.A special memory for both of us.

  10. Colette 1 April, 2007 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Heidi– You got me all excited for our trip to WDW in exactly 27 days. We will be in the parks for 4 days plus taking the Disney cruise for the 2nd time. That is TOTAL luxury!!! We are such huge Disney fans and love all the excitement and attention to every detail that Disney does~!! Thanks for getting me even more excited!!

  11. Vickie Jones 1 April, 2007 at 8:10 am - Reply

    we are hitting Disney next summer, it will be DS who will be 14 6th trip and DD who will be 5 2nd
    I love Pirarets of the Caribeen, and Big Thunder Mt Railroad, I could ride just those rides all day!
    Bummer on your camera!

  12. nicolinad 1 April, 2007 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Heidi – We went to Disneyland 2 weeks ago for our Spring Break. We, too, stayed on site at the Grand Californian. Growing up in Cali, I never got the experience of staying on-site and feel so fortunate that we were able to this time around. It was so convenient. And while it was pricey, I agree that it is best not to review your receipts. It is, afterall, a vacation.
    About seeing the characters…I totally feel the same way you do! It was as much of a thrill for me as it was for my 5 year old daughter, especially when Ariel blew her a kiss from atop the float. 🙂 I think at times I was even more giddy than she was. It is magical and I think it always will be no matter how old you feel.

  13. Kim 1 April, 2007 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Your blog always makes me smile. This post brought back memories of our trip with our then 5 and 2 year olds. Now baby #3 is 14 months, and we are planning to do the Disney Cruise soon. We stayed at the Grand Californian too, don’t you love getting character chocolates on your pillow? Peter Pan is totally my fave too, I can remember it from when I went with my parents many moons ago. So glad you had fun!

  14. Kary 1 April, 2007 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you had a great trip Heidi! Almost 2 years ago we did the same trip you just did–three days at the Grand Californian (and lots of rides on California Screamin’!). We went with my parents and brother in celebration of my mom’s 75th birthday and our son’s 10th (same day). It was so fun to see them walking around the parks with their big “It’s My Birthday!” buttons on! Great memories–not scrapbooked yet. At least I got my AYTR layout up before the end of the month–have a safe trip home!

  15. Gina R. 1 April, 2007 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Heidi,
    Thank you for sharing your vacation stories with us. Living vicariously through you is a wonderful, sweet and one of life’s little treasures.
    Welcome Back, safe, tired and sound!
    gina

  16. Holly Child 1 April, 2007 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Isn’t that funny how Peter Pan is always the longest line! That and Alice in Wonderland! Nobody could give a hoot about Snow White or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! LOLOL!

  17. Sophie 1 April, 2007 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    The Kodak store has battery chargers! I know I had to use one myself! Here’s to moms forgetting their battery chargers!!
    Glad you enjoyed the massage!

  18. Sophie 1 April, 2007 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    I meant to add that they will charge them for you for *free*…and right around the corner on Main Street is their most *awesome* baby changing station…complete with microwaves…little potties (for the potty training crowd) and nice ladies who are very helpful…

  19. Peter Pan 1 April, 2007 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure that I care…
    really…

  20. kim Loewen 1 April, 2007 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you had so much fun!

  21. Shannon 1 April, 2007 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Heidi –
    I am headed to Disneyland next week and I don’t even have children I go for the whole kid experience as an adult so if you still enjoy seeing all the characters that is not weird. I love Disney and everything it encompasses. I’m so glad that you enjoyed yourself and no 3 days is not too long I usually spend at least 5 – gotta soak up as much as the magic as possible.
    Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time and sorry to hear about your camera but just think it is just an excuse to have to go back soon.
    Shannon

  22. Becky 2 April, 2007 at 5:06 am - Reply

    We had the opportunity to go to Disneyland two years in a row, and my kids STILL talk about it. We are looking forward to going again this year. As the kids get older, they remember different things (and can ride those ride they weren’t tall enough to ride the last time we went) and it will surely make for dinner conversation years to come. So glad your family had a great time, even without camera batteries. (:

  23. Linda Thompson 2 April, 2007 at 7:17 am - Reply

    OH MY GOSH!! Peter Pan left a comment!!!!
    I’m impressed Heidi!! Your kids will go WILD!
    Love, love, love DISNEYLAND too!!!
    And I LOVE the Peter Pan ride too!!! My FAV!

  24. EmmaJ 2 April, 2007 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Heidi, I hope you bought a disposable camera! I know they aren’t that great, but it would be better than no camera.

  25. Christy B 2 April, 2007 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Gosh, no, adults are just BIG kids! We went to DisneyWorld almost 2 years ago and I still talk about it as much as my DD (who turned 9 at Disney, had breakfast in the Castle for her b-day! – I was more excited than her!!!) I loved everything about it and would go every year if I could afford too!!! I’m glad you had such a good time and weather!
    Christy

  26. Karla in So Cal 2 April, 2007 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Happy Monday! So glad you had a great time and a wonderful massage. I was there Friday too and boy was it crowded. We didn’t get to ride too much, but still had a great time.

  27. Katie Bartlett 2 April, 2007 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    We are headed there ourselves next week and my kids think I am a teen ager I am so excited. I Never get tired of all the Disney fun. What is this Pirate girl thing? you must tell me. Thanks for the recap. I am excited!!!

  28. Tammy 2 April, 2007 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    hi heidi!
    you’ve put into words exactly how i feel about disney. as a little girl i too can remember the “magic”,and now passing it down to my kids, gets me all teary-eyed seeing it through their eyes. funny how you mentioned about not looking at the receipts–so true, as it does add up, but hey, what vacation doesn’t? and what better way to spend money than on memories that will last forever. disney isn’t just for the kids–it’s also for the parents who don’t want to grow up either!! 🙂
    welcome home!

  29. grace.in.anaheim 2 April, 2007 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    wonderful observations 🙂 we live just down the street and sometimes take this place for granted, but glad you & the fam had a blast!! dh & the kiddies adore the chili peppers/space mtn. ride too, but i’m like you…peter pan is STILL my all-time fave ride and i’m almost ancient, lol!

  30. Anne Thompson 2 April, 2007 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Peter Pan is my favorite ride also! It has been since the first time I went to Disneyland. We took our girls there last Nov. age 2 and 3. And I tried to get them to love Peter Pan as much as me, but I just don’t think they did! Maybe next time. Glad you guys had a great time. Anne

  31. Veronica 2 April, 2007 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Peter Pan is my favourite too, it’s the first ride we did with our kids the first time we went, they were 2 1/2 and 4 and it was truly MAGICAL! I never did Disney as a kid, our kids are all so lucky to experience it. And for those who have thought about it but never done it, go do the cruise, heaven for everyone! As they always tell us in the magazines you don’t necessarily need a picture for a page, you could just scrap your list Heidi! Could be a good AYTR challenge!
    Happy Easter!
    Veronica

  32. Erin 2 April, 2007 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I left Disneyland the day before your family arrived and experienced those dreaded lines for spring break first hand! This was my first trip to Disney as an adult and it was an adults only trip, kind of a new Disney experience. Love the pirate pricess and my dear friend Jessie wore her pirate princess ears for 2 days straight! Glad you had as much fun as we did!

  33. DeVonne 2 April, 2007 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Oh Heidi we love The Grand Californian. For the past 3 years my husband and I have treated our families for New Years Eve. We stay two nights in a 3 bedroom suite and it is fabulous. I hope you signed up for the concierge room. It is the best. We also love that our kids can access Cal Adv through the hotel and not have to go through downtown disney. Even my teenagers can’t wait to go back this year. We make reservations the same day we come home so we are sure to have our same rooms. I hope your kids had a wonderful time.

  34. Vickie 3 April, 2007 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Okay, I thought I was the only adult in the world who absolutely loved the Peter Pan ride — glad to know I have a kindred spirit out there.
    Vickie in Seattle

  35. Susi 3 April, 2007 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Heidi, I am so glad you and your family have had such an awesome trip. It was always my dream to take my boys. Call me crazy, but even though they are now 22 and 18 I still want to do it. Have a safe trip home.

  36. KJ Miller 3 April, 2007 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Some of us, like Peter Pan, love being a kid, being a parent (& grandparent not there yet) and being just sweethearts in Disneyland. I never tire of the Happiest Place on Earth. You notice on the original Fantasyland rides, the lines are mostly filled with grown-ups reliving their childhood Disney fantasies. One time when the kids were young, we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and being able to Monorail back and forth was perfect. I am so excited for our big family to revisit the places we have loved for since our first 1957 trip (our family’s 50 year anniversary). love, kj

  37. Alicia 4 April, 2007 at 11:08 am - Reply

    You just revamped our entire experience to Disney World! Wasn’t that just amazing… even at OUR age! I think my husband and I were more excited than the kids! Our daughter wasn’t all that thrileed with the tower either, and little man was a half inch too short for so many rides… HIS HAIR touched!

  38. Heather 4 April, 2007 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Heidi (or anyone, really!), this pink quartz clock that I keep seeing in the ads: is there a pink HS clock or did you just spray paint the black one? Because if there IS a pink one, that’s the one I’ve got to have!!! LOL Thanks! Enjoy your blog! 🙂

  39. heidi 4 April, 2007 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Happy to hear you had a great time. I am leaving for disneyland next week. Now I have some inside info…thanks..

  40. Michelle Bostinelos 5 April, 2007 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Heidi – sounds like a great trip to Disneyland! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to go and enjoy it! Also wanted to say I love your blog, love your products. I especially love the Ghost Wings! I have some layouts up on my blog where I use them! SO much fun. check it out a http://www.songofstorms.com/blog.
    Michelle B

  41. mickey 5 April, 2007 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    what a fun adventure. Bummer about the camera, but as others mentioned, that gives you a good excuse to go again soon. :o)
    Just wanted to let you know that my kits arrived today (I got both the girl and the boy kits) and they are FABULOUS. I’m planning to start playing with them the minute the children are in bed tonight. Thanks for the great offer. You made my day (and week!). Hope you make more kits again….. I especially want to get my hands on some of those ghost wings!! Please?! :O)
    Glad you all had a great trip to Disney.

  42. Erre54 6 April, 2007 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    hi from Italy Iwould kike to go to Disneyland word.. In Italy we have gardaland and Mirabilandia,they are not so large and beautifull as Disneyland but they are wonderfull and I like to go there with My friends and my son ,also if he is 22 years old.
    Have you a good holiday on Disneyland and excuse for m English
    a kiss for your babies
    Rita

  43. erin yamabe 7 April, 2007 at 1:44 am - Reply

    i still love seeing the characters, too!

  44. Martha 7 April, 2007 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you had so much funnage!! Were off to Disney Monday and Tuesday wooohooo, and thanks for reminding me to bring my charger for my camera ;O)

  45. Nicole Bryant 15 April, 2007 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Oh we are a total Disney family! Haven’t been to the California one yet, but used to go to Orlando 2x a year when we lived stateside. Love, love, love staying in the Disney hotels, they’re all great and not having to drive or worry about parking is the best. Glad you have a great time!

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