Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Part 2--Disneyland

Day 1--Sunday

We pulled into Anaheim in the late afternoon and Sam was just itching to get over to the park. We got our shiz together, packed the two strollers (the double and the single) and headed over. The double was for the kids and the single was for all of our stuff.

Coincidentally, it was Goth day in the park. When we first arrived, I actually thought "there are a lot of scary people here...Disneyland has really gone downhill." I was relieved to hear it was Goth Day and that trench coats and combat boots are not the new thing. But seriously, whose brilliant idea was it to make Mothers Day Goth day?

We rode a few rides--Dumbo is the favorite for the little guys:

Then the crowds and the cold (it was probably in the low 60s) started to get to me and we had to get out of there. The kids and I went to bed in the hotel and Sam went back over to watch "the World of Color" show and shut the park down.

Day 2--The Magical Day according to Sam

When did I get four kids--sheesh!

I actually got comments every day on this trip about having so many kids. I got "Are they all yours?" and "You guys are really brave!" and one "God bless you" as we were getting off the elevator with all of our stuff. When did four become the new eight?

Fantasyland is my favorite. I love the teacups:

and the storybook boats:

And Winnie the Pooh. This is why I had four kids (so everyone has a buddy on the rides at Disneyland):

I just love this photo of the boys:

Sam and his mini-me:

Monday evening we took the kids to a character dinner at Goofy's kitchen:

It was a total nightmare. Sam and I just took turns going from our table to the buffet and bringing food back to the kids. The characters kept skipping our area of the restaurant. Buster melted down and Sam took him out to rock him to sleep. I had to open a can on the manager just to get some D-list characters like the Fairy Godmother, Chip and Dale and Captain Hook over to our table so we could leave.

In the end, it was worth it because Luke got to have a light saber/sword duel with Captain Hook and he was thrilled. On the way out, Luke pointed out that the Star Wars theme was playing and he had the biggest grin on his face. I figure it isn't that much longer that Disneyland will hold that kind of magic for him.

Day 3--soldiering on

We started the day in California Adventure and did a bunch of rides. Our family favorite is Midway Mania.

This is my new facebook profile picture...tons of flash= no wrinkles or freckles!

Sam made a crucial discovery this day. There is a little shop right by the Winnie the Pooh ride that sells the BEST peanut butter cookies and triple chunk brownies. We hit these hard the rest of the trip. In fact, I ate so many of these babies our last day that I actually thought I was going to throw-up in the hotel room that night...classy.

Day 4--Our last Day

Sam bought Luke and Sammie lanyards and a few pins each and officially got them started on the pin trading. Heaven help us.

Later in the day, Luke's dreams came true again when he was selected to go onstage during a Jedi training and fight Darth Vader.

As the day drew to a close, Sam decided we needed to partake of every kind of high-calorie food in the park. I waited in line for close to 30 minutes for some corn dogs. I know! All the while, Sam was hunting down one of these:

oh yes he did...the infamous turkey leg. Aaargh!

I even tried a bite and it wasn't bad. We finished with ice-cream on Main Street.

We left the park at closing time and Sam was a little downtrodden on the way back to the hotel. He felt like he left a little in the park...didn't get all the magic he needed. The day we got home, I caught him online trying to book our next vacay to Disneyland. He needs professional help!


melissa walker said...

Sam cracks me up--going back by himself! I think he and I would totally get along at Disney! I decided that one vacation I am going to go to Disney World and start at one end of the park and work my way through doing every single thing! I also love that people think having 4 kids is such a big family! I have had one woman roll down her car window and tell me that I'm awesome, just because I had the four kids and a dog with me!

Linda said...

Great pictures - FOUR kids and they ALL always look like they stepped out of a magazine. . .Does Sam do the pins himself? Or does pride keep him acting like it's for the kids? He seriously needs to get a job as Disney's legal counsel. Although that might destroy the "magic." Looks like a great time! Can't wait fot the "beach."

Lisa Cannon said...

I think you're being sarcastic about Sam. Does he really love Disney?

I want to plan a Disney trip in the fall, during Halloween. Hopefully this year. Want to go?

Brittney Engel said...

So my favorite picture is that one of you guys all in your 3-D glasses! That is the Harkness Family right there!

Sam said...

For those wondering, the World of Color show is as good as advertised. Unfortunately, the fireworks that night were canceled due to high winds.

Disneyland is a magical place and a national treasure. In order to enjoy your time at Disneyland, you need to follow certain eternal principles outlined below.

My Ten Commandments of Disneyland (in no particular order):

1. Get to the gates early; arrive at least 20 mins before the park opens. You have a limited amount of park time, don't waste it going through security or sleeping in.

2. Always hit Fantasyland first. When using Magic Morning entry, Peter Pan is your first priority. After Fantasyland, the world is your oyster.

3. Think ahead. Plan where you want to be in sixty minutes and get Fast Passes in advance if necessary. Grab switch passes even if you don't plan to use them right away. A switch pass in the hand is worth two in the bush.

4. Stop and smell the roses (and Dapper Dans). Despite the urgency to maximize your time, the best time at Disneyland is often chilling at the Corner Cafe under an umbrella or munching on a cookie at Pooh's Corner.

5. Aggressive politeness. Never overtly cut someone off or drill them with the stroller, but use passive aggressive techniques to make sure you don't lose a spot in line.

6. Don't leave anything in the park. Hit the park so hard that you can go 12-18 months without having any regrets about your time there. I think you need at least a 4 day parkhopper.

To quote Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, "Rule 76. No excuses...play like a champion."

7. Eat up. Pack lunches and snacks to defray the costs of food at the park, but don't be too miserly about the food. Disneyland has some good eats from Pooh's Corner Bakery to Gibson Girl's Ice Cream Parlor...indulge.

8. Mousewait. Use the App to track wait times in the park and see how your time is best utilized.

9. Diamonds in the Rough. I think there are some great rides/events that people ignore, such as Muppets 3D, Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc., Casey Jr., Regular Train, etc. Pick up a program and make sure you catch a parade, singing group, etc.

10. Lanyards & Pintrading. While lanyards and pins can be worn by all, pintrading should be reserved to kids. Get your kids a lanyard and a few pins, and they will be in hog heaven.

As Walt Disney so eloquently said, "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing -- that it was all started by a mouse."

Unfortunately, I needed one more day at the park. It's okay though, I already have the next trip planned out, and May 2012 will be here before you know it.

Jaime said...

So, I have been thinking about SAMs love of disneyland. Wouldn't it be fun if a bunch of us went together. I am talking married couples and leave the thirteen million children at home. I thi k it would be so fun. We would have to lie to our kids and tell them we are going to an educational trip or something. You guys up for i?

Jill said...

I am so NOT a Disneyland junkie, so it's funny to read that Sam felt like he left something in the park. I can't imagine even going to Disneyland for 4 days!

The turkey leg cracks me up.

Jill said...

I just saw Sam's 10 Commandments of Disney and am even more baffled than I was before...it's endearing, yet baffling.

Sam said...

Jaime, great idea! Psych.

Disneyland without kids is like peanut butter without jelly. It is a sin against nature.

Sam said...

Jill, if you are baffled, you should probably stick with Lagoon and/or Raging Waters.

Sarah said...

This is so funny- your husband brings a whole new meaning ( and positive connotation) to the term "Disneyland Dad". I think 4 days in Disneyland would be my husband's idea of hell on earth!

Jack's Mama said...

Sam should post his comment on the blog, too good to be hidden in the comments!
I just don't get goth...
Ever been to Disney World? I would love a comparison. As we live on the east coast, but have family in CA so it looks like Disneyland it will be!

Anonymous said...

Obviously my first comment was meant for this post. Sorry. Sorry to hear about your Grandma too. She sounds like a neat lady. (I'm still jealous you got to go to Disneyland again!) Sam's a die-hard fan. Impressive!!!

Em said...

I'm wondering if Anon is cursing the new block on anonymous comments now that he/she can't express his/her offense about the pics of the Goths.

Sam's 10 Commandments are Arabic to me. Fast passes? Pin trading? Magic Morning? Mousewait? Whatever. I do understand "Peter Pan" though--the best ride in the park. Funny, I was just telling Chuche how I can't wait for the day to take Damita to D-land (while he goes surfing). Once I decipher all the Disney-ese, these tips will come in handy. :)

Love the pic of you holding Buster with his tummy poking out. So cute. Looks like such a fun trip.

Elizabeth said...

I love your new profile pic.
Chances are I will never see DL so I love this inside look. You and Sam should start a DL advisory blog ... I am sure there are heaps of crazies oops I mean enthusiast like Sam who would read it ;-)
You Mum is right you and the kids look fab in each and every pic and I reckon the 3d glasses pic should be your Christmas Card (oh the horror says Brooke).

Elizabeth said...


Not that the pic is not cute and smiley ... just that your Chrissy Card is always so so so gorgeous...
Ummmm shutting up now!

Vermont Madsens said...

Love this post and seeing your cute kiddos at The Happiest Place on Earth! I am living vicariously through you guys here. Amen to Sam's post, I couldn't agree more with top ten and am thrilled to learn of Mousewait. Please, I beg of you, tell me you hit Captain EO. I heard they brought it back after Michael died.

nic said...

Cute pics at Disneyland. I love that Sam got the turkey leg. I see everyone eating them, so I figured they must be good. I think you need to convince Sam to take you on a Disney Cruise since he is already looking into the next Disney trip.

Jill T said...

My favorite parts of your d-land trips are hearing about Sam.

Linde said...

Wow! Sam really likes Disneyland!!

So funny your comment about 4 being the new 8 with kids! I think that is true for most people with their 1-2 kids.

Looks like you had fun.

Stephanie said...

Your family is such a riot--love the family pic in the 3D glasses! I am cracking up at all the little kiddie rides you "get" to go on. I forget what that's like. I do remember going to places like Las Vegas and how people would be amazed that we had 4 kids--as if we had 12! Once at a restaurant, some older women came up to us and told us they couldn't believe how well-behaved our kids were. It was a great moment of success...until one of them interrupted and said they needed to go use the restroom, in a less than proper way. Steve and I wanted to crawl under the table! Oh, the good old days! Enjoy :)

Stephanie said...

We have never been through Midway Mania or had a turkey leg, for that matter. I guess it's time to go back! I love that Luke got to go up on stage for Jedi training and that your took a picture with a "D-list"er (and called them that!) at the character breakfast! Sooo funny!

Brandon said...

Hello. I was there on that same weekend (Friday-Sunday) and was a bit weirded out by the goth scene on that day, as well. That's how I found your page... Google-Image searched "Disneyland Mother's Day Goth", LOL. I was trying to explain it to one of my co-workers, and well... a picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for posting. Take care.