Saturday, December 29, 2007

How to Take Your Five Children to Disneyland and LOVE IT!

For Christmas this year we asked the children if they would like a ticket to Disneyland in lieu of any other presents. They all jumped up cheering "DISNEYLAND!" and so the decision was made.

Taking five children anywhere is a daunting task. I will now share with you what we did right and what we will do better next time.

What We Did Right:
  1. We stayed with friends. Yes, we are lucky enough to have friends who live within thirty minutes of the park. This was really great because the children had a place where they could play, feel comfortable, and get a good breakfast before going to the park. It was also so much fun hanging around and talking with our friends that we missed morning rush traffic and rolled on over to the park without any difficulty.
  2. We bought the one day- one park passes. These were $66 for adults and $56 for children. That is a great deal! To get into the park was $50 when I was eighteen, so the ticket prices have not kept up with inflation. If you're going to be there for four days, go ahead and get your park hopper, but we only had one day and there was more than enough to do at one park.
  3. We went to the Jedi Training Academy. Awesome show! Don't miss it! About half of the kids in the audience got to go up and learn a light saber routine.
  4. After dark, we bought one of those flashing necklaces and put it on our five-year-old. That made him really easy to spot and hard to lose in the crowd.
What We Will Do Better Next Time
  1. We will bring a picnic lunch. While my husband stood in the long line for food, my kids had enough time to run all over Tarzan's Treehouse. Then when we rejoined him and got our lunches, there was no where to sit! We had to wait until someone else finished their lunch and then we could finally eat. We could have gone on one or two more rides if we had just brought a picnic and ate it at the picnic area.
  2. We will not go into the Innoventions pavilion. There were VIDEO GAMES in there. My boys can play video games for free at home, but at Disneyland we are paying to even be there!!! I could not believe they wanted to play video games at Disneyland!
  3. We will not leave the park after ten o'clock and then drive all the way to Ventura.
Yes, the scariest part of the trip was not the spooks in the haunted mansion, but driving through Los Angeles at midnight on Christmas Eve, trying to stay awake after hiking around Disneyland all day. Thrills for young and old alike.

I always used to say that going to the beach was better than going to Disneyland. So, to prove my point, on Christmas Day we went to the beach. The trip began auspiciously when my husband drove the van's front tire off the pavement and got us stuck. We called our roadside service, but how are you going to get a tow truck on Christmas Day at some remote place on Highway 1? The dispatcher said she'd have to call us back. Then, in the true spirit of Christmas, another family noticed our situation and the father and teenage son propped the tire with some rocks and pushed the van onto the road while Russel backed it up. It was our best Christmas present all day!

The beach in December is NOT more fun than Disneyland. It was windy and cold. We got sandblasted and pretty soon everyone was crying for their shoes. So much for dipping our toes in the icy Pacific! Still, the thrill of seeing the ocean was enough that none of the children wanted to leave. I had to promise my daughter a return trip in the summertime to get her to leave the beach.

So that's the report on our Christmas Vacation! Happy New Year! Happy Three Kings Day!


Teric said...

Sounds like your trip went very well, Rebecca! Yes, driving through LA at midnight after a long day of walking around is probably *not* the best idea in the book. But I'm sure you and your family will remember Christmas 2007 for a long time.

To answer your question: Teric is the name of a Dungeons & Dragons character that I created long ago (while I was on my mission, in fact). I put quite a bit of thought into him, and he sort of grew on me, so I adopted his persona as my online presence.

Teric said...

Hehe this is fun, cross-posting on each other's blogs.

Actually, no, I didn't play any Dungeons & Dragons while I was on my mission--I simply created this character as if he were going to be part of a D&D game. I realize now that it was much less D&D than pure character creation and development--he has a pretty complicated and involved backstory behind him. I had a lot of fun (yes, on P-Day) creating him and coming up with his history and characteristics, and he has really stuck with me all these years afterward.

I've had an idea in the back of my head that keeps tickling back and forth to put him into his own novel-length story, but I haven't written down anything more than a prologue to the story (which doesn't include him at all).

I didn't know you ever played D&D! That's crazy cool. And, to be honest, I'm tickled pink that you would use me as a character reference. If you wouldn't mind, I'd enjoy it if you would tell me about your character.