Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #22 -- Thirteen Things I Learned on My Vacation

Yes, I promise, it's my last Disney-related post for a while. I just couldn't resist spending my TT this week on the trip!

In no particular order, here are thirteen things I learned on my vacation to Disneyland:

1. Do your early admission day first. Since we had multi-day parkhopper tickets, we had one early admission day. We chose to use it on our first day, and it was the best decision of the trip. Later on in the week, we would have been too wiped out to get moving early enough. Do it right away, while you're still fresh.

2. It pays to get up early. On our early admission day, we were up, dressed, and out the door before six a.m. With three children. It was brutal, but so worth it. We were the second family in line at the bag check, first in our particular line to get in, and ended up being chosen as the family to "open" Disneyland. Basically, we got to go in first, do a countdown, and wear "Honorary Disneyland Citizen" buttons all day.

3. If the gates open at eight, be there by 7:20. The lines will already be crazy.

4. Do Finding Nemo first thing, or not at all. It's a cute ride, and the younger kids loved it, but there's no way I would have stood in line for two-plus hours just to go on it. We were lucky enough to hoof it down Main Street that first day and get in line in time to be on the first round of subs going out. By the time we got off the ride, the line was almost two hours long. At 7:30 in the morning.

5. If you're *not* going to wait hours for Finding Nemo, you'll love mornings. All the other rides are easier to get on, because everyone else is waiting in line for FN. We walked on Space Mountain, Star Tours, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain -- all within the first two and a half hours of the day our first day there.

6. My almost-four-year-old is an adrenaline junky. We were a little nervous about taking the kid on some of the faster rides -- would they be too much? Ha! No fear. Hands in the air, all the way. Even on the big drop on Splash Mountain.

7. My husband couldn't talk me into trying the Maliboomer (shoots you straight up in the air 200 ft, then drops you back down), but my eight year old managed to convince me.

8. Don't miss Aladdin. Broadway-quality show in under an hour. And if you can swing it, try to get a seat in the mezzanine or balcony. Some of the special effects are amazing from there.

9. The food is insanely overpriced, though to be fair you'd get pretty decent portions. Our older two wore fanny packs they got to stock themselves from a box of snacks I'd put together before vacation. Note: goldfish crackers do not travel well. Stick to cereal bars, fruit snacks/fruit leather, rice krispy bars -- things that either hold their shape or it doesn't matter if they get a little squished. Water bottles are also a good addition, though if they don't have dedicated pouches on the fanny pack, they're liable to fall off.

10. California Adventure is not as much fun for shorter people. My youngest missed out on several of the rides because of height restrictions. Some rides/events that worked for the whole family -- Turtle Talk with Crush, Aladdin, Monsters Inc, Muppets, Soarin' Over California, the Electrical Parade.

11. The California/Oregon coast has some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever experienced. If you're not in a hurry to get anywhere, hop off the Interstate and take 1 or 101 all the way up. But be warned -- it'll take you three times as long to get where you're going, and if anyone in the car tends to get motion sickness, spring for some Dramamine. All those twisty coast drives made me a little woozy.

12. Do not -- I repeat, do NOT -- attempt to drop in on a town on the coast expecting to find a hotel room. On a Saturday. In the summer. Make reservations in advance. And don't expect to call from the road to find a place to stay. If you're taking the coast highway, you won't have cell coverage for a good portion of the drive.

13. I am physically unable to work on the computer in the car. At least, for anything requiring me to read what I'm working on. Writing totally new material without worrying about typos? Possible. Revising or editing? Fuggedaboutit.

And on that note, I'm jumping back to my revisions so I can turn them in. Soon. :)


Midas said...

Great things to know really when I make it with my kids to Disney. I just hate lines, it's what's keeping me from going...more so than money.

amy said...

Sounds like you had a blast..I cant wait to take our daughter to Disneyworld when we get back from China

Lady Rose said...

I hope to get back to Disney one day (only spent two days a couple years ago) - my next trip Universal Studios in 2010 when the new Harry Potter theme park opens.

Nicole Austin said...

Great tips! Its definitely better to go early in the day. Its not as hot and not as crowded as the afternoons.