About 9 years ago my family moved from Lodi, California to Billings, Montana. I stayed in California with my father because I’m not insane and love California too much. My mother, stepfather, two sisters and baby brother left with their moving truck in tow and me behind to enjoy the sunshine state. Every year I visit my family in Montana for a nice white christmas.
When my baby brother graduated high school and turned 18; we decided to bring him home to the golden state. He had never visited Disneyland and it had been a couple years since he had touched the Pacific ocean. After our road trip around the US we stopped and visited Billings, MT and brought my brother home with us to Cali!
When you are in LA you must visit the Santa Monica boardwalk. The parking is expensive. The crowds are heavy. But the atmosphere and the energy is incredible.
Another place we visited was the Griffith Observatory. My brother was able to view the whole city smog and all.
Disneyland was our destination. And the price tag had too many zeros on it! We bought our tickets from the kiosk in the Disneyland park. After the cast member told me my total, I started to whimper. Then she asked if we had a military ID. Low and behold… my sister did!!!!! Thank you little sister for saving me hundreds of dollars on my… Disneyland vacation. It was also my brothers birthday so he recieved a button that said “It’s My Birthday.” Walking into Disney for a Magic Morning when its your birthday is truly special. Every cast member greets you with a “Happy Birthday KYLE!” I cried. Maybe it was because of the hormones, maybe it was because I had just saved $500, or maybe there was just too much excitement over all.
By the way, my husband decided to stay home with our 3 month old. This was very difficult for me. It helped tremendously with my separation anxiety. But my milk supply was out of control. I was gone for a total of three days. And I had to pump at least 3 times a day, just to be comfortable. I had my nanny cam app on my phone so I was able to see her when ever I wanted. Which was a huge relief. I cried a couple times seeing other moms and their newborns. But this trip was for my brother and I feel guilty when I say this: but I had a very nice time. It was only the three of us and we were able to get both parks done in three days. Which it is usually a very difficult thing to do. I had the help of the Ride Max software. Everyday was specifically planned to the minute and when we had free time we would run and visit the characters. When you go to Disneyland you must invest in the $15 Ride Max software. You can view and create plans on your phone or laptop when you're on the go. This software helps you maximize your time and your use of Fast Passes!
These delicious treats are found in Critter Country at Pooh's Corner Bakery
Im at the point in post partum where I'm not a big fan of my pictures being taken. But when you're in Disneyland have the most fun you can. Its where a kid can be a kid.
Just a few tips and hints for disneyland:
- -Wake up early. I know you're on vacation but to maximize your time wake up between 5:30-6am to get your family up. If your hotel serves breakfast that is the best option. Or there is a Mcdonalds or Dennys on Harbor blvd near the east entrance. Dont go to Dennys because the wait is usually 45 minutes and ridiculous.
- -Walk into the park around 7:30 every morning! Your bags will be checked for security and you will be able to go into the park of choice and line up at the rope. Then based off of your ride max software. Run don't walk to the destination of choice.
- -Radiator springs is a must in California Adventures. But do not wait in line for the fast pass early morning. Go back around 10am or 11am and see what you can find.
- -Running to space mountain first thing is usually what everyone does. So get your fastpass and get out. Unless the ride is closed. Then go and ride Star Wars or Buzz light year. If the ride that your ride max is recommending is closed, then go to the next fast pass option. Because your fast passes have a limited time. And if you have a runner who is carrying all of your disneyland tickets, have them run to space mountain or Indiana Jones.
- -Do not eat in the park! Bring snacks. Have food in your hotel fridge. Eat at a restaurant in Downtown Disney. Everything is cheaper outside of the park. I had made a list of a few things I wanted to eat in the park. Which included: Pineapple Dole ice cream, a churro, and a mickey mouse chocolate bar from critter country. And that is what I spent my money on.
- -Between 1pm and 4pm go back to your hotel and take a nap. The crowds are heavy during this time. And the weather is usually pretty hot during the summer months. Once you are well rested retreat back to the park and you will have a better time!
- -During the fireworks. Watch them behind the castle near Dumbo. Line up at the rope closes to the mad hatter shop. This is the line for peter pan. They close down fantasy land for the firework show. and open it up around 10:30pm. We were escorted to the ride. This is much better that waiting an hour in line or waiting until 11:45 pm to get on the ride.
- -What if I told you to buy your souvenirs online! I didnt want to carry bags with me all day through the park. So I bought a few items online and had them shipped to my home!
- -California Adventures closes at 10pm so run on over to disneyland and enjoy the park at night time.