The great thing about Disneyland is it isn’t just about the rides.
It’s about the unique food, the shopping, and the atmosphere.
We loved taking the time to sit in the restaurant with my family and enjoy what my Bro-in-law calls, “pillows from heaven.” Also know as, Monte Cristo Sandwiches. The Sandwich was awesome, but the atmosphere of the restaurant made it so fun.
Disneyland has amazing shops around every corner. It is so much fun to take the time to just browse everything they have. My favorite store happens to be in Fantasy Land. The Mad Hatter is a must to visit.
It’s also about taking the time to watch the shows, stopping in each little building to see what they have to offer, and taking the time to meet the characters.
The Aladdin show was by far our family favorite.
Isaac loved it so much that he allowed the genie to put him in a deep sleep. ha ha. He really was just exhausted. Stopping to watch a show was such a good way to get out of the heat, and have a little time to relax.
Did you know that California Adventure has a little building that offers classes that teach you how to draw some of the Disney Characters? That was certainly another family favorite.
We learned how to draw Olaf, and Donald Duck.
With our kids being somewhat older, I didn’t know how they would respond to the characters.
I didn’t even know if they would be excited about them.
I knew that Tess would think it was great, but not really sure about the others.
I was pleasantly surprised to see all of them get really excited about it.
One of the best parts about the Disney characters is that each character really plays their part well.
Our favorite interaction with a character was with Minnie Mouse.
We had just walked up to get in line to see her when they announced she was taking a break.
The kids gave that disappointed look, and then before you know it; Minnie had Isaac and Stella by the hand, and is skipping right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A. It was the cutest thing. I didn’t even have my big girl camera with me this day, but luckily I caught the moment on my iphone.
I had heard before our trip that the line to see Elsa could be a beast. I made a plan and it paid off. On our early morning entry, I got through the gate and ran all the way to the Elsa line. I luckily got a “Fast Pass” ticket for 10am. (FYI: you must have everyone’s tickets with you. You can only get tickets for as many tickets as you have, and all those tickets have had to come through the Disney front gate. In other words, everyone must be checked in to Disneyland before their Elsa ticket can be given to them.)
I waited about 5 minutes for the tickets, and then we all went back right at 10am and saw Elsa right away. The neat thing about this is it is a private meeting. It was worth the run through the park. The line for this ride got out of control quick. People waited for hours, and just 20 minutes after I got my tickets, the comeback time was already up to 5:30pm. Disney really has some sort of magical hold over people, or maybe it’s Elsa’s magic; I’m not sure.
Whatever the magic, the kids loved it. I fell under the spell when I ran through the park at 7:30am.
I had to laugh when I was given the tickets. They made sure to tell me that only the person who the ticket was given to could use it, and we were not allowed to sell the fast pass tickets for $$.) WOW!! What people will do for money. That thought had never even crossed my mind. I bet you could make a pretty penny selling these. I know people will do anything not to stand in line.
Watching the kids look at these two characters was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We enjoyed about 5 minutes with these two Frozen girls. They took the time to really talk to the kids; which just adds to the magic.
Years ago, we stumbled upon this great movie. It is full of short little clips of Chip-n-Dale. Each one of our kids has had a period of time where this movie is all they wanted to watch. I can hear laughter through almost the entire hour this movie plays.
This movie has made these two little trouble makers a favorite around our home. We felt so lucky to run into them in the park. Meeting Chip-n-Dale was a highlight for Isaac.
Tess really wanted to meet Tinkerbell while we were at Disney. I discovered that Tink has her own little Fairy Hollow. She hangs out there with all the other fairies. I had no idea. This little hollow can be found to the right of the castle. Once I discovered it, we went to get in line and discovered it was an hour and half wait. I knew there had to be a better way.
The next morning we made it to the park right when it opened and took off as fast as we could. There was no line, and it made our day. Tess still talks about seeing Tink in her hollow.
Being there early that day paid off; we saw a few other pretty princesses.
The look on Tessa’s face is priceless in this picture.
Some characters we just ran into while we were walking around the park.
Peter Pan, was fun to see; and quite comical.
Other characters we waited in line to see. We tried to only wait in lines if they were fairly short. We didn’t wait longer then 15 minutes.
We discovered the line to see Mickey Mouse was quite short one day. So we jumped right in line. You have to have a picture with Mickey. I love that there are workers available to take pictures with your camera. This made it possible for our whole family to have a picture with Mickey. This day I only had my iphone; and I still love how the picture turned out. I love it because it is a memory recorded.
Besides taking the time to meet a few characters, our family really got in to pin trading.
Before we went to Disney, I ordered a few big lots of pins from eBay. Each child got about 40 pins to trade while they were in the park. I gave them a lanyard to keep their pins on, and then they decided what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to trade.
It was so much fun to scout out the workers who were wearing the lanyards with pins. If the workers have pins they have to trade with you. It was almost like we were on a treasure hunt all through Disneyland.
The kids started collecting sets, and most of them were able to put entire sets together.
There are also several stores with pins boards. The kids loved stopping at those along the way and trading their pins.
Isaac loved this so much, that in the beginning he didn’t even want to ride rides. He just wanted to find pins.
Jex and Isaac also got in to trading vinylmations. They look like this:
They all come in one shape, but come in many different characters. There is almost any Disney Character you can think of, shaped like this Mickey Mouse. This is a Star Wars character.
You can buy them in most shops at Disneyland, and then there is a shop in Disneyland and in California Adventures where you can trade them.
Trading these is kind of a unique process, as each vinylmation is hidden behind a black door with a number. You pick the number and then you trade what you have with the one behind the number you picked. This was a really a fun part of Disneyland.
For anyone taking a trip to Disney, I recommend going for enough days that you can enjoy the atmosphere and the little extras that Disney has to offer.
Take the time to meet the characters, have the great treats, and go to the shows.
I especially recommend the pin trading. This was one of the highlights of our whole trip.
Next time, I’m going to trade too.
P.S. Make sure you stop in the Candy Shops to buy a Peanut Butter Sandwich. It’s the best Peanut Butter sandwich I have ever had.