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.


#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 😉


#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!


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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!


#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.



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!


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.

Magical Monday: Your First Trip to Disneyland Resort

We are gearing up for E’s first trip to Disneyland and I am so excited. He’ll be three months old and obviously will have not even the smallest memory of this vacation. But guess who will remember his first trip to Disneyland Resort? Me.

This got me thinking. Maybe some of you have never been to Disneyland. If you’re one of those people… This post is for you. If the day ever comes and you find yourself in the happiest place on earth this is what I, a seasoned Disney visitor, suggest you make sure you do on your first trip there. The list is short because you want plenty of time to explore Disneyland without feeling like you have to stick to some kind of guide. But these are the things I think everyone needs to experience on their first trip to DLR!

  • Go to City Hall (to your left right as you’re entering Main Street) and get yourself a First Visit button. Then wear it with pride. Cast Members pay close attention to your buttons – who knows, they may just provide you with a little extra magic knowing its your first time there!
  • Make at least one dining reservation. There are so many great places to eat in Disneyland. You can even bring your own food in if you’d like, but eating at a sit down place at least is really nice. There are character dining options – my favorite is Breakfast with Minnie at Plaza Inn (end of Main Street) and options without characters – my favorite is Cafe Orleans (in New Orleans Square).
  • Get yourself a pair of ears! Wearing a Minnie Mouse headband or a good pair of Mickey ears almost instantly ups the magic factor in your vacation. It adds a little more of that Disney sparkle in your pictures and it helps immerse you in the Disney scene.
  • Eat a treat at Jolly Holiday. Just do it. You won’t regret it. Might I suggest the Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron?
  • Also eat a Dole Whip. You get them at the Tiki Bar right outside of Tiki Room in Adventureland. If you want extra magic, buy your Dole Whip and eat it while watching Tiki Room.
  • Watch the parades/shows/fireworks. They are some of the first things I think about when I think of Disneyland. They bring so much magic – and if you have kids, they especially love the parades!

Thats it! My quick suggestions of the things you absolutely have to do on your first trip to Disneyland! If you are planning a first trip and you need some pointers or tips – lets chat! You know I’m all about talking Disney with you!

Disneyland – October 2017

*WARNING: Also no surprise, this is a picture overload post. It was impossible for me to choose only a couple pictures I wanted on this post.

I really, really hoped that we could squeeze in a Disneyland trip before baby was born. Initially I was thinking September would be ideal but as it turned out, October was the only thing we could really make work. I knew it would be a little risky because in October I hit 8 months pregnant, but its gonna take a lot more than that to keep me and my family away from a Disney Park. We spent five days there and I can safely say that all five days were pure magic and happiness. They were also full of exhaustion and very swollen feet, ankles and legs – but thats besides the point.

We had Mickey’s Halloween Party the first day and it was great. Although can I say something slightly negative? I don’t feel like Disneyland’s candy was as good this year as it usually is.. If you ask Wild Man about this he will be very vocal about the lack of Butterfingers in our trick-or-treat bags. Besides that, no complaints. Disney knows how to do a Halloween Party. One of H’s current favorite movies is Monsters Inc and Monsters University so we decided that would be our costume theme this year. Wild Man was Sulley, H was Mike and I was Boo – which also meant I got to wear pajamas to Disneyland! What more could a giant pregnant lady ask for? Usually we make our Halloween costumes. I love handmade costumes because they are so personal and they are one of a kind. But this year we were just a little too busy and a little too sick so we reluctantly purchased these costumes (mine was pieces I found from Amazon). I was bummed about it at first, but they really didn’t turn out too bad. Wild Man’s costume cracks me up and H felt like the star of the show in his – so it was a success.


My cute sisters dressed up too. One was Jane Goodall and the other was Mia Thermopolis (Princess Diaries) and HOW CUTE ARE THEY?


There were four huge highlights of this trip for me.

  1. H’s love of Carousels. King Arthurs Carousel was an instant hit. He loved riding his “howa,” (horse) and you could not wipe the giant smile off his sweet little face. He would laugh and laugh and squeal with excitement and his reaction was contagious, as he made everyone else around him laugh and smile. It was so happy. Pure. Magic. There was nothing more exciting to him and it was so special to me. I love my happy, Disney boy.
  2. The second highlight was watching the Disney Junior Live show in California Adventure. Just Wild Man and I took him to this. Its a show where you sit on the floor and watch as Disney characters dance on stage and put on a little show. Things fall from the ceiling, there are fun songs and lots of dancing. H was in heaven. It was so special. Then when Mickey and Minnie came out on stage at the end, H squealed, jumped and covered his mouth with pure excitement and I couldn’t help myself from the flood of tears that came over me. There is nothing like seeing Disney magic through your little ones eyes.
  3. Third, our last day in Disneyland Wild Man and I were doing some shopping and a girl that was probably in her early twenties approached us with a Mickey Mouse balloon that lit up and asked if H wanted it. She had apparently bought it but then decided she didn’t want it. Another very magical moment. Every time we passed the Cast Members who would hold the large bunch of balloons H would excitedly point at them and reach for them. Maybe I am a lame mom but I never wanted to get him one because they are pretty pricy and I’d rather spend money on something that won’t deflate after a while, you know? So this was kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity for H haha. The way his little face lit up when she handed the balloon to him was so special. He hugged the balloon and was so proud of his new souvenir.
  4. The last highlight is the biggest highlight and the most magical, special thing that happened and I have a hard time believing that anything could top this. I am tearing up just preparing to type this. Ok. One of our days in California Adventure we were in Cars Land and our group went on Radiator Springs Racers. H and I couldn’t join in on that ride so we decided to just wander the streets of Cars Land. We went into a small shop to look around before being in the store for a full 30 seconds, a tiny, frail, little old man approached me and asked, “could I buy a gift for your son?” Before I could answer him he kept on speaking and told me that he was never blessed with grandchildren but he loves kids. He comes to Disneyland once a week and every time he does he adopts an honorary grandchild and buys them a gift to remember their vacation to Disneyland and also him – Grandpa Perry. He told me that he and his wife used to live about an hour away and would visit the park as often as they could. She died 14 years ago and when that happened he moved to Anaheim so he could be in Disneyland, his happy place, more often and its been that long that he’s come once a week and made these magical moments for his honorary grandchildren. How could you not hear this sweet old mans story and not sob? It was impossible for me and I don’t think it was just pregnancy hormones, either. Together, he and H chose a pair of Cars Mickey Mouse ears and a Cars pinwheel with candy inside of it. I thanked him a million times. He gave me his email address so I could email him pictures of H in the ears, then he kissed H’s head and went on his way. I will never forget Grandpa Perry and I am so grateful that H gets to be one of his many honorary grandchildren.


I ate an absurd amount of treats on this trip. But thats what you’re supposed to do in Disneyland so I have absolutely no shame.


Because I was 35 weeks pregnant while on this trip, we decided to stay on the side of safety and have me use a wheelchair. It was kind of embarrassing, but it also saved me. My cute sisters were my chauffeurs most of the time and they are troopers!


Meeting characters was different this trip. In our past several trips to Disneyland H is all over the characters and very excited by them. This time he was much more timid and shy. He was still totally excited, but also needed to have a good grip on me the whole time while meeting them and wasn’t too keen on giving the usual big hugs that he has given them in the past. I thought it was so cute.


The picture below is one of my very favorites. H has this new thing where he roars at everything. A ton of our pictures from this trip include H roaring. My dad took the picture below and was standing under a monster decoration in Cars Land and H could not stop roaring at it and my dad. It cracked me up and the picture turn out so good!


It was such a fun, magical trip. I know this post is a little spacey and all over. But I have some plans of doing more specific Disney posts in the future (maybe the far future because hopefully baby comes soon!!) but for now, here is my picture dump. Right now we are focused on finishing the last couple things up before little brother makes his arrival, but after those first few weeks of newborn heaven you better believe I’ll be chomping at the bit to get back to our happy place with our new family of four!



Haunted Mansion Holiday

“‘Twas a long time ago – longer now than it seems,
In a place that, perhaps, you have seen in your dreams.
For the story that you are about to be told
Began in the holiday worlds of old.
I know you’re curious to see what’s inside.
It’s what happens when two holidays collide!

Welcome, my friends, to our Christmas delight!
Come witness a ghoulishly glorious sight.
It’s time for our holiday tale to begin.
There’s no turning back now—please, come all the way in.”

Halloween is fast approaching (YESSS!!!!) and as such, the celebrations are beginning at Disney Parks! On September 20th, Mickeys Halloween Party in Disneyland starts and I’ve blogged about this before, but this is something you have to have on your Bucket List. My very favorite time to go to Disneyland is when all their Fall/Halloween decorations and overlays are up and then when you add the Halloween Party (which is a separate ticket event in the evenings) and its the cherry on top of an already very magical, not-so-scary time. I can’t wait for our trip down there soon!

One of my very favorite things Disneyland does during this time is transform Haunted Mansion to Haunted Mansion Holiday – which opens today! Jack Skellington (from Nightmare Before Christmas) takes over the Mansion and creates the most spooktacular Christmas setup you’ll ever see! Its still very much the original Haunted Mansion, but with lots of new Christmas/Tim Burton twists. The music and audio are incredible. There is a gingerbread house thats real (so its different every year) that smells up the Ballroom with that delicious scent. There are new, unfamiliar surprises around every corner. Its incredible.

Coming from someone who calls Haunted Mansion their favorite Disney attraction and does’t love change – this should speak volumes for what a fun little change this is. I highly suggest you check it out someday. Just so you know, it runs through December then will go back to the amazing, original Haunted Mansion we all know and love.





The Captains Top Disney Reads

It will likely come as no shock to you that we have a lot of Disney books in our home (but of course we never have enough and our collection is always growing). H and I read several books throughout our day and at night H loves when his dad sits and reads to him before bed. Today as I was trying to brainstorm what I could blog about, H approached me with our newest favorite Disney book to read and thats when the idea hit me. Today I’l show you H’s favorite Disney books (for the time being).

The Captain’s Top 7 Favorite Disney Reads

Disney in Details: This is basically a bunch of hidden gems around Disney World. Our family already knew about the majority of these, but its still a fun book to have around the house and H loves the pictures!

My First Words: Its a whole bunch of images and some are Disney characters! Whats not to love?

Small Disney Board Books: A few Christmases ago my aunt H this pack of small Disney board books. There are tons of them and I don’t know that H necessarily has a favorite, but he loves them. There are so many different characters and short little stories and books that talk about characters, shapes, etc. These are a big hit.

Who’s Who: This one is probably our very favorite right now. Or mine at least. This book is the perfect tool for teaching your little one all the Disney characters – even some of the more obscure, less thought of characters. Its so much fun, there are little bios on each character and colored pictures. This book wasn’t released very long ago and H and I have already spent hours in these pages. I highly, highly recommend this book to all of you.IMG_7660

My First Colors: Ok, this one is probably H’s favorite. Its his newest Disney Baby book and its a fun one. The pages fold out which is definitely his favorite feature. Its been really nice right now too as we are working on identifying colors.IMG_7661

Hello, World!: All the It’s a Small World books are very loved in our home but this is the one we read the most. If you want to challenge yourself as a parent and try and figure out how to say ‘hello’ in a whole bunch of different languages – this ones for you!! Its a short read, but H is never disappointed by it – even though his mom surely slaughters the different languages featured inside.IMG_7662

Disney/Pixar Look and Find – Toy Story: He got book in a set of four. I don’t know if this one is his very favorite of the four but its the one we’ve looked at about 100 times already today. Look and Find is a little too advanced for him right now but he’s picking up on it more and more each time we read it and even if he isn’t in the mood to find the certain characters/things, he enjoys looking at the pages nonetheless. IMG_7663