The Great Disney Stroller Debate

A lot of the time when people are asking me about advice on their upcoming Disney trip, they ask me what kind of stroller they should bring. Do you bring your big one you use at home that is significantly bigger? Or do you bring an umbrella stroller thats much smaller?

My vote?

The big stroller.

And heres my top five reasons why:

  • You really won’t move through crowds that much faster if you have a small stroller such as an umbrella stroller. I hate to break it to you, but if you have a stroller (of any size), you’re just not going to be zipping through the park as quickly as you would sans stroller. IMG_5508
  • The storage is beautiful. Our stroller has a big pouch in the bottom and we utilize that space so dang much on our Disney vacations. We stick our sweatshirts down there, souvenirs, bags, blankets, leftover food, water bottles, etc. You don’t get that luxury with a teeny stroller. IMG_1274.jpg
  • Your little one is more comfortable in a big stroller. I love that when my boys fall asleep, I can recline them a bit, or know they have a little more wiggle room so their sleep is a little deeper (and heavens knows that little ones need those naps while in Disneyland!). IMG_8596.jpg
  • The cupholder/top storage. Ok, this is just assuming your big stroller has a cupholder and a little extra space to store things up top. I’d lose my mind without that. Thats where we keep drinks (obvs), Fast Passes (when you still needed the paper ticket), easy-to-reach snacks, pins, cel phones, sunglasses, etc. Half the time what I wear to the parks don’t have pockets, so this is something especially important to me. IMG_5162.jpg
  • A bigger stroller often times can also become a double + stroller. Its so nice to have it all just in one spot. When everyones loaded, its great to have everything we need (mainly our children) right there in one stroller – one spot. I especially love our stroller because we have a little connector piece that we bought that a third child can stand on called a glider board! (H loves to switch from his seat to the glider).

I don’t know guys. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with a big ol’ stroller. You know what the say – go big or go home!

Also, if you’re interested in the stroller we have, you can find it here. I LOVE it. Yes, its a pretty penny, but its absolutely worth it.

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63 Years of Disneyland

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Sixty-three years ago today, Disneyland opened its magical gates for the first time. If you ask me, that day changed the world. Can you even imagine a world without Disney magic? I’m so glad that Walt Disney stuck to his dream and didn’t let the naysayers convince him that he should give up on this big, magical idea.

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I’ve been a Disney-addict since birth (thanks, mom). I really, truly cannot imagine my life without the influence of Disney.

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A lot of times I get asked which I like more, Disneyland or Disney World and 95% of the time I respond with Disneyland. “Why? Disney World is bigger!” Yes, but Disneyland is Walt’s baby. Disneyland is what Walt Disney envisioned as he sat on a park bench and watched his daughters on a carousel. Disneyland is what Walt Disney saw when others only saw an orange grove. Disneyland is Walt Disney’s creation and though it is ever changing, there are still so, so many pieces of him in that magical park.

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I love Disneyland because it really is a getaway unlike any other. When you enter its gates, you leave the world behind as you enter a new, magical world of fantasy. Its a place to temporarily forget about the worldly things and let yourself have fun and immerse in the magic. Its  place to get closer to family and an incredible place to make memories you’ll remember throughout your whole life.

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Seeing the magic through my own kids eyes has been a new way for me to experience Disney recently and its better than I could have ever imagined it to be. Walt Disney is right, its a place for children of all ages! Barely born to 110 years old, its for everyone. There is something there for everyone.

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland. Thank you for the endless magic. Thank you for being my happy place and my safe haven. Thank you for being my lifestyle. Thank you for the countless memories and for the memories I haven’t yet made within your walls. Thanks to my friend (yes, i do consider us friends, thank you very much), Walt Disney for dreaming this land up and for making it a reality and a place for the world to enjoy.

Gosh, I just really love Disneyland.

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“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” -Walt Disney

Another Trip to Disneyland!

Last week I took my boys and together with my mom, the four of us went to Disneyland. It was exhausting, magical, exciting and tiring all at the same time – and it was very special and different. Leaving behind my family and Wild Man was weird, and they were all very missed, but we still had an amazing time. We decided to go at H’s speed. We did what he wanted, when he wanted to. We were pretty slow moving and sort of all over the place, but it was perfect for H. E was just happy to tag along and take in all the sights and sounds – seriously he was an angel baby, an absolute dream.

This trip was saying goodbye to A Bugs Land and hello to Pixar Fest. Bugs Land closes sometime in late summer and we aren’t 100% sure we’ll be back by then, so just in case I made sure we spent some quality time with our bug friends so if that was our last time I can rest assured that we gave it a good farewell. My mom had already seen Pixar Fest, but I hadn’t yet and I was especially excited about seeing all the Pixar themed goodness in both Disneyland and California Adventure and lets not forget all the special food! It was incredible. I’m actually planning on doing a couple posts with a little more detail about Pixar Fest in the future, so if you care, keep an eye out for those.

Some of my highlights from this magical getaway were:

  • Fantasmic, as usual. I will never tire of that show. Seeing it through H’s eyes has made it even more incredible and adds a whole new layer of magic.
  • The Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland was great. I loved the added floats. Its a water parade now and shoots water kind of unexpectedly throughout the parade. Unfortunately the first float to go by drenched my mom and E and he was heartbroken about it – but thankfully he’s a happy kid and perked back up fairly quickly and went back to enjoying the show.
  • H in the Disney Junior Show was the best. He is turning out to be a very shy little guy, but you can tell he so, so wants to be brave. In this show there is a lot of dancing and moving encouraged by little ones. I really didn’t think H would participate and would just hide in my lap but he totally got involved and danced his little heart out, pulling moves out I’ve never seen before! #magic We also got to sit in VIP seating!
  • We had a lot of awesome Cast Member interactions this trip. When a Cast Member makes my children feel special, there is nothing else like it.
  • H was map obsessed. He memorized where most his favorite rides were and he learned so many new words from the map that he’ll actually use frequently now! I should have known that Disneyland Resort would be a great form of speech therapy!
  • My boys were great. There were so many opportunities for them to be difficult, but they were phenomenal and I’m so proud of them. They make my heart happy.

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Halloween at Disneyland Info!

I get asked a lot of questions about Disneyland and I’m trying to figure out the most efficient way to answer people’s questions. So I’ve decided that on topics that I will likely get asked frequently about, I’ll write up quick blog posts to relay some information!

There is no secret my very favorite time to visit Disneyland Resort is during Halloween time. The decorations, the overlays, the characters in costumes, the food, the attractions that get fun changes for the season – it’s just my favorite and adds extra magic. If there was only one time in the year you could visit Disneyland, I would highly recommend going during Halloween time.

Disneyland just released this information about this wonderful time at the parks!

Halloween time will begin at DLR September 7th – October 31st!

Tickets for Mickeys Halloween Party go on sale June 5th for Annual Pass Holders and June 12th for those without passes. If you are wanting to go to this amazing party, I recommend buying your tickets soon as possible! These events tend to sell out quickly.

Now I’m switching gears, mostly to try and convince you all of how badly you need to go to Mickeys Halloween Party.

Yes. It is a separate ticket event, meaning you have to purchase tickets separate from your general admission tickets to go to this party but it’s so worth every single penny, I promise. Here’s why..

  • You get to dress up (all ages are permitted and there are only a few costume restrictions) and trick or treat around Disneyland and they don’t skimp on candy!
  • There is a special parade and firework show only available to those who are going to the event.
  • There are added photo spots that are so fun and turn into some of the best Disneyland pictures you’ll have in your collection.
  • Have you ever ridden a ride in Disneyland while in a Halloween costume? There is something really neat about it – I’ve thought this since I was a little girl.
  • The Dapper Dans become the Cadaver Dans and sing on a raft in the Rivers of America. It is entertaining and something so unique and special to Mickeys Halloween Party. You won’t want to miss it!

I hope that convinced you. If you need more convincing send me a message. I will be more than happy to continue the bullet points.

Now for some last little facts to add in hopes of answering more questions I may receive.

  • Mickeys Halloween Party is not every night during September 7 and October 31. It is only select nights (I believe there are 15 days?) that you can view when purchasing your ticket.
  • There are Halloween decorations and overlays in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
  • Like last year, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT will become Monsters After Dark again! Space Mountain will become Ghost Galaxy and of course, Haunted Mansion will transform into Haunted Mansion Holiday.
  • Cars Land will once again become Haul-o-Ween!
  • There is incredible Halloween merchandise sold during this time that you most definitely need to check out.
  • Oogie Boogie is taking over California Adventure this year as well!
  • The Headless Horseman will start the parade riding through the route on his horse (this is so cool).
  • Extra villains will be seen throughout the park to celebrate the holiday.

I can’t say enough just how magical Disneyland is during this spooky season. I’m getting so excited for it now just thinking about it and it’s only May! I hope I was able to answer some of your questions – if you have any more let me know! You know I’m happy to chat Disney with you all day long.

Have a magical day!

10 of My Favorite Pictures From Our Latest Disneyland Trip

Catchy title, huh?

This was originally supposed to be ‘My Top 10 Favorite Pictures from our Latest Disneyland Trip,’ in an attempt not to post the trillions of pictures we took, but I learned it is far too difficult of a task to narrow all the pictures down to my favorite ten. So instead, these are just some of my favorites. Please know there are many, many more favorites – and that the ones I chose are in no particular order.

#1: Wild Man and I overlooking Rivers of America. My dad was sitting on top of this bridge with sleeping E and it was a perfect photo op. He also took some of me and my sisters up here. I love how they turned out. Its also nice documentation of how empty the park was.

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#2: Entering the park our first morning there – first time as a family of four. (don’t let H’s face fool you – he was stoked!) My dad ran through the turnstiles before us so he could capture us all walking through the gates for E’s first time. Maybe I shouldn’t have smiled so it could have been a little more candid 😉

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#3: Brother love. We had come out of Pirates of the Caribbean and H felt the need to love on his brother. Once again my dad whipped his camera out and got the sweetest picture. …imagine how many great photos we would have missed if my dad wasn’t so on his picture taking game!

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#4: Lunch on day 1. We ate at Rancho del Zocalo (one of my faves) and we got our first picture together of the whole crew. Honestly one of my favorite parts of any Disney vacation is the food.

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#5: A sight any parent loves. During the day we miraculously got both boys to nap at the same time. I was more than happy to skip out on a few things to live up this moment and to do all in my power to make it last as long as possible.

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#6: H loves carousels. King Arthurs Carousel is hands down his favorite ride in DLR. If he had his way we would have rode this all day, all four days there. Nothing makes him happier than saddling up and holding onto the gold pole and smiling for the camera. Its the sweetest thing and ends up always being one of my favorite Disney memories. It also makes me tear up…still.

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#7: Family photo in front of Big Thunder Mountain. The last few times we were in Disneyland I had to skip out on this ride because I was pregnant with E. I was so happy to bet back on it this time. I love this ride. Its one of my favorites and I love the scenery.

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#8: Maters Junkyard Jamboree with Wild Man and The Captain. H on this ride and Luigi’s was…oh my gosh. Just the cutest. He is Cars obsessed, so being able to ride on them was amazing for him. All of Cars Land was extra exciting to him.

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#9: Wild Man, my sister and I on Matterhorn. Wild Man and I decided something.. Matterhorn, though rough, is one of our favorite rides. Sure, every time I rode it this trip I smacked my head either on the seat in front of me or the headrest behind me (I’m going to blame the fact that I’ve semi recently had a child and my stomach muscles are still less than stellar) but it is so much fun!

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#10: Our first castle picture as a family of four. Castle pictures always tend to be my favorite, but this…this is my #1 of the whole trip and my favorite castle picture we have ever done together.

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Magical Monday: Ode to the Disneyland Baby Care Center

*these pictures are not mine – i found them on google

No joke, if I could choose anywhere to work in the Disneyland Resort, I would choose to work in the Baby Care Center. I’m weirdly obsessed with it. You can find the Baby Center at the end of Main Street. If you’re walking up Main Street towards Sleeping Beauty Castle, just turn right at the end of Main Street and its right around the corner.

Its a quiet little building that is a great little baby/toddler/parent sanctuary. If you forgot a binky, diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. you can pick up what you need inside. Its quiet and calm and lovely.

As you enter, there is a small room that seems to be where people like to sit and bottle feed their little ones. Then you come into the large main room (second picture) where there is a small play area, a tv, highchairs and some seating. Beside the main room is a large, blocked off and private breast feeding area. At the end of the large room is another smaller room where you can purchase forgotten items, use a microwave, etc. Then in the back right corner there is a room with 4 changing tables (with large papers to lay down to keep it sanitary), and two small potties (that are also private).

I look forward to any chance to go in there. Is that weird? Well its the truth. We don’t do every single diaper change or nursing break in there, but its a nice option to have – especially when you are decently close to it. If you are in Disneyland and you have a little one who needs to eat, get a diaper change or just needs a moment away from the noise, commotion and stimulation, I couldn’t recommend the Baby Care Center more!

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E’s First Trip to Disneyland

Last week we went to Disneyland. Pure magic. As always. This was E’s first trip (outside of my belly) to Disneyland. It was his first trip anywhere, actually. There is no better way, in my mind, to introduce him to family vacations than by taking him to the happiest place on earth. I am not joking when I say it was magic.

H is a little older now than he was last time and gets it a little more than he did last time. His obsession with the carousels is still strong and fierce and he also has a deep love for the ‘Pww” and “Fis” rides (Winnie the Pooh + Voyage of the Little Mermaid). He was a great listener, he was shy and timid but also wild and crazy – which is a perfect description of who he is. He ate terribly but slept great. He rode in his stroller without too much complaint and when he walked, he stayed by us. I was proud of him. He was so anxious to take the whole park in he couldn’t seem to get to the next thing to look at quick enough. Disney magic through a childs eyes magnifies the magic significantly.

E was true to himself. He was happiest if I was in view and especially if I was holding him. If I was on a ride and he was left with someone else, he…lost it in most cases. That boy is a mama’s boy through and through. He ate great, he napped often and the loud noises of Disney didn’t wake him. He loved watching his brother run around and peek at him in the stroller. He was mellow and happy. He had a lot of blowouts but somehow managed to keep the mess of most of the blowouts just on the onesie he wore under his outfit. He slept through the night and was very go-with-the-flow. I know he’s only three months old but I’m going to go ahead and say he enjoyed his first trip to Disneyland.