How It All Began

I’ve been getting a few requests to include more Disney back into my blog (and instagram), and believe me – I want to! I plan to! But if we are being totally honest, I’ve just not really had the time recently to dedicate myself to the blogging world and to dive into a topic (disney) that I’m so passionate about and want to talk about in the best way that I can. Does that make sense? However, I won’t be this busy forever. So I promise you that Disney content will come – it just may take a little patience on your part. If you have any specific things about Disney you’d like to hear about, learn more about, etc, PLEASE let me know! I want to make you all happy when you’re spending your precious time on my little page, so just know that much like Mickey Mouse, I am all ears and I will bring you the content you want and deserve!

In the meantime, I thought I’d start with my Disney Story. Being a massive Disney fanatic, I get asked quite often where my obsession began.

Would it be so cliche and silly if I told you in began in the womb? ‘Cause it did!

I was born to a mom who really loved Disney. She grew up going often with her family (some of my favorite Disney pictures are the ones of her and her sister in the Disney Parks when they were younger) and she took that love and made it even bigger. She not only loved it, but dove in and learned so much about it and just made it her lifestyle. My dad (just like Craig when I married him) rolled with it. He recognized it as something my mom loved so he made it something he loved, as well.

We grew up visiting Disneyland and Disney World frequently. I was an only child for eight years, and honestly some of my greatest memories of my time as an only child are from visiting Disney. Then my sisters were born and the trips only got better. Some of my favorite family memories were made within the Disney properties and I don’t care how dorky this sounds, I’m eternally grateful for Walt Disney for creating these magical places so I could live out such wonderful, magical and amazing experiences with my loved ones.

The first time we brought Craig along on one of our Disneyland trips was exhilarating – and quite a test for him haha. We were still only dating and I was curious to see how he’d hang with us. He knew it was my favorite place and a giant piece of my life, so he fully embraced it. It was on that trip I feel like he really started to delve into the lifestyle and appreciate it in a way he’d never thought of before.

Being able to take Harrison and Emmett into the parks (can’t wait until we take Flora girl!) has been the cherry on top of this whole Disney thing. Seeing the magic through the eyes of your children, no matter their age, is beautiful. Truly exquisite. There was this one time that Harrison and Mickey shared a hug for well over a minute and that changed my world. Seeing Emmett excitedly point at each and every thing he saw as we walked down Main Street when he was around one is still one of the most tender memories. As they’re getting older and able to retain some Disney memories of their own, I try so hard to make sure they don’t forget these things. We talk about the park often. We talk about our favorite rides, listen to the music from the park and attractions and study maps frequently. And lets not forget all the Disney Park content on YouTube that we binge watch.

I’m so grateful I was born to a woman who had Disney in her veins and magically passed it on to me (and my other sisters)! Disney has shaped me in so many ways. Its kept me positive. Its given me magic. Its directed my life in many ways. It is 100% one of the most important and special things in my life. I can’t even imagine not being a Disney fanatic – and its all thanks to my amazing mama.

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Are you a Disney fan? Want to share how your Disney Story began? I’d like to start a series here on my blog where I share a short interview with people who also identify as Disney Fans! If this sounds interesting to you – comment, email me, contact me on social media, whatever and give me your email and I’ll send you over the little Disney questionnaire and in return I’ll let you know when you’ll be featured on my blog!! You can be featured with your name, or anonymously. I just want to share even more Disney on this page!!

Little Ones in Disneyland Q&A

By far the topic I get asked the most about when I’m talking Disney with someone, is about babies/toddlers/little ones in Disneyland Resort. I need to start working on blog posts for each subject I get asked about pertaining to small ones in Disney so when I get asked about it I can send them a post where I’ve given my in-depth answers, but for now while I slowly start working on those, I thought I’d do a little Q&A involving the questions I get asked most frequently. I asked on Instagram for people to send in questions they had about this, and I’ve compiled a list of the questions I get asked most often when people are planning their trips to Disneyland and picked the questions I get asked the very most/I feel are most important to know. If I didn’t answer your question in this post, please reach out to me and ask! I love talking about this – Disneyland and little humans?! My two favorites!!

 

Is it worth taking my little one to Disneyland? 

I will forever and always answer yes to this. Yes. It is always worth taking your little people to Disneyland. I know, its another person to watch, another mouth to feed, another person to care for, another factor to add to stress – but if you let it, its also another source of absolute magic. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true. The youngest I’ve taken my kids to Disneyland is at two months old, and even at two months I think its worth it. I know they aren’t going to retain any of the memories, but they still are taking stuff in. I think about my tiny babies in Disneyland and seeing them stare at lights and watch their little limbs flail around when they get excited about these new things they see. Its also adorable to watch their reactions to the new sounds. When they’re a little older, even though they still won’t keep these memories throughout their whole lives, they still will have the time of their lives in the park and you will take the cutest pictures of that. Walt Disney said that Disneyland is for people of all ages. He meant it. All ages can love and appreciate this wonderful, magical place.

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What shoes should my kid wear?

Wear what’s comfortable. Sometimes my kids wear sandals, sometimes we play it extra safe and wear comfortable sneakers. I recommend wearing what you know they walk well in and what doesn’t hurt their feet.

Is it worth it to wait in character lines? 

If you want those adorable character pictures, then absolutely. I love character pictures, so I definitely try to make it into several character lines, but my current problem right now is that my boys want nothing to do with characters right now and do not want to meet anyone. Such a fun phase. So right now it isn’t a priority for us (unless I’m in the mood to wrestle them a little bit), but you can bet as soon as they show even a little bit of interest in characters, we’ll be back in line!

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Where do I nurse my baby? 

Wherever your heart desires! I mean really, there are so many good places to breastfeed in Disneyland. There is also a Baby Care Center in both Disneyland and California Adventure (click on my link to it – this place is amazing, I love it) where you can privately nurse in a nice, quiet area. I, personally, am a fan of nursing on Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean or the Disneyland Railroad because they’re long enough that my little one gets a good feed and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of activities while nursing. (does that make sense?) There are also benches galore, spots at restaurants to sit, you name it – I’m sure you could nurse there. I was also asked if there are any places you can’t nurse. To my knowledge, no. I am more comfortable nursing with a cover, so I feel totally fine nursing anywhere.

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Umbrella stroller or our big stroller?

I am team big ol’ stroller. I absolutely get the appeal of the umbrella stroller because its smaller and in theory, you could move around the park quicker, but I will never use an umbrella stroller because I refuse to sacrifice the comfier seats for my kids, the storage and the drink holders! I will happily accept that I’ll move a little slower in crowds with my big stroller (I use the Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller) knowing that my kids can take better naps in their reclinable seats, I can stick my bags, etc underneath and can store drinks, phones, etc in the drink holders.

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What are the stroller measurements now? 

Strollers can’t be larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.

What rides have no height restrictions? 

Way more than you think. Read this postI did earlier that maps out all the non-height requirement rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. (I know its a little dated – still has Bugs Land, etc, but you’ll get the general idea!)

Is it an issue if my toddler has a tantrum? Will they ask me to leave the park?

Disneyland Resort is so loud. More than likely, your kid, even while tantrum-ing will blend right in. Don’t worry about your noise, everyone is making their own noise and if you ask me, people need to be more accepting of the fact that kids will be kids! Also, I’ve never heard of a family being asked to leave the park because of a tantrum. I’m like 99.9% sure it doesn’t happen.

What age is the best time to go with a baby?

This one is tricky for me to answer because I love taking all ages, but if I had to choose one, I’d say 2 and older (broad, I know). Before age 2, I don’t know that they get into it quite as much, but once they’re two, they can understand rides, lines, characters, parades, fireworks, etc. Also, they’re still free when they’re two! (you start paying for their tickets at three).

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Should I do the rider switch/baby swap passes for rides? 

Absolutely. My husband especially swears by these – I think he’ll be real sad when we no longer have babies to use for this! With the rider switch passes you and your group go up to the Cast Member at the entrance of the line and tell them you need a baby swap pass. Then they’ll give you some kind of slip of paper. Then the first half of your group will go through the regular line and ride the ride. When the first group is done, the second group will then take the slip of paper to the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride and be able to go through the Fast Pass line and get on the ride. Thats the very simple explanation of how to baby swap. If you have questions on how it works, ask a Cast Member! They are friendly and ready to answer your questions!

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How do you do naps in Disneyland?

This is half the reason I love bringing my nice, big stroller to Disney – so my kids can take a nice nap in them and we can stay in the park. I’ll recline them in their chair, pull the shade over them, bring a light blanket for them to use if they want and let them snooze. Sometimes we’ll still walk around and do our regular Disney things, or sometimes we’ll sit somewhere quiet and let them sleep in semi-silence. However, I also think sometimes going back to the hotel for nap time is a beautiful thing. We don’t do that nearly as often, but when we do I never have regretted it. You know your kid the best though – you know how they’ll nap the best!

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What do you recommend we don’t miss with little ones?

I’m going to be broad here – but if its a ride that your child is tall enough to ride on/has no height requirement, I say go on it! I’d especially be sure not to miss Jungle Cruise, Small World, Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Casey Jr. Circus Train, King Arthurs Carousel, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Disney Junior Dance Party, Ariels Undersea Adventure, all the parades, fireworks (if they’re not too scary) and all the Main Street shows!

Are there good food options for little ones in Disneyland?

I will bring baby food in (pouches, juice, etc) when my babies are at that certain age, but with feeding my little ones in the park, I typically just let them eat what I eat. I’ll break it down into little pieces and give them what they’ll eat.

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Can I bring baby food/snacks/juice in?

Yes! You can bring any food in you’d like to. Also, if your baby is a baby food eater and you’ve forgotten to bring it into the park, they also sell baby food at the Baby Care Centers!

Should I try to get there at rope drop even with a baby/toddler? What about for staying until close?

This one is hard to answer because again, you know your kids better than anyone else. If you kid can handle getting there early at rope drop and it won’t make them overly tired or cranky or hard later in the day – totally try to get there at rope drop so you can get there when the park first opens and the lines are a little shorter. If your kid can stay up late without ruining their night, or will sleep good in the stroller while you wait it out until close, go for it. Just do what you know will be best for your little ones! I personally just play it by ear every trip because as parents, we know sleep schedules can change weekly!

Tips for going to Disneyland while pregnant? 

Its totally doable! Just be prepared to move a little slower and take extra breaks. When I’m in Disneyland while pregnant, I know that I’ll have limited rides I can go on, but I also give myself permission to eat extra treats 😉 I get pretty sick when I’m pregnant, so I also make it a point to know where the nearest restroom is at all times so I can run there to throw up if needed (fun fact: I have a list of my favorite restrooms to throw up in, in Disneyland). Other tips I have would be to stay hydrated, don’t be ashamed if you need to go back to the hotel for a nap, sit a lot – watch the parades, go to the shows, etc, eat a lot and don’t rush yourself! If you go when you’re big pregnant, I’d recommend renting a wheelchair, too. That was a lifesaver for me when I went at eight months pregnant.

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I’d just like to wrap this up with saying, Disneyland can be so extra magical with your little ones there. I promise! Its more work, but its 1,000% worth it. Again, I promise. Seeing the magic through your little ones eyes, no matter the age, is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Also, if I didn’t answer your question here – like I said, please reach out to me!! I’m happy to answer you!! I just tried to answer my most frequently asked questions!

Have a great time in Disneyland!

xoxo

It’s Almost that Time!

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What time? Halloween time in Disneyland!!

This year, instead of the usual and wonderful Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland, it will be Oogie Boogie Bash in California Adventure! Totally not going to lie – I am bummed it isn’t being held in Disneyland, BUT several years ago when the Halloween party was in California Adventure I still loved it, so I have no doubt I’ll still love 2019s Halloween Party!

We are getting our costumes all cooked up and ready and we are bursting at the seams we are so excited to get to our favorite place during our favorite time SO soon!

How about some facts now:

  • Tickets cost $110 a person ages 3+ (I know, I know. Lots of $$$, but worth every penny)
  • Oogie Boogie Bash goes from September 17 – October 31
  • Since we don’t get the amazing firework show behind the castle, we get Villainous! A World of Color show that is sure to be amazing!
  • Mickey’s Trick and Treat – a show which is said to be an interactive Halloween party with Mickey and pals!
  • Our tried and true Frightfully Fun Parade will be there!
  • One of my personal faves, Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark will be going!!
  • There will be spooktacular overlays, decorations, photo ops and so much more!!

If you’re wanting to go, act fast and buy your tickets soon!!

And happy almost Halloween in Disneyland time!

Haunted Mansion Celebrates 50 Years!

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There was no way I was letting my all time favorite Disneyland attraction go without a birthday shoutout, especially on its 50th anniversary!!

Between the amazing, spooky theming, the music and the ballroom and attic scenes, I can’t help but be hooked! I think Haunted Mansion is my favorite because, to me, of all the rides in Disneyland, this is the one that takes you into its story in the most depth. When I enter the gates of Haunted Mansion, I’ve entered a different world. I’m no longer in Disneyland, I’m on the grounds of a haunted old mansion with creepy creeps and grim grinning ghosts. I feel like I’ve entered my own personal ghost story — and I love it.

Happy 50th, Haunted Mansion! Believe me, I’m trying really hard to “hurry baaaaack!”

Walt Disney World

Remember how we went to Disney World a while ago? Like end of March/beginning of April? Do you also remember how I still haven’t posted anything about it besides mentioning we went? Well, finally months later, here I am – posting about it.

Disney World was incredible and, you guessed it, magical.

We went with my family and together we all had a really great time. I’ve decided that instead of posting a whole bunch about it and jotting down stories, I’m just picking a picture of each of our nine days there and sharing them with you.

Enjoy!!

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Where to Take Pictures in Disneyland!

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law/BFF asked me where she should make sure her sweet little daughter had her pictures taken on their trip to Disneyland. I had a few quick answers for her, but then this really got me thinking. There are SO many good places for a photo op in DLR and I love like…all of them. Especially character pictures, but I’m leaving those out of this particular post. But maybe you don’t want to spend your whole day scouting the perfect picture area, you know? So I’ve made a small list of my top 10 places in both Disneyland and California Adventure to make sure you get your picture taken.

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10. In Front of the Balloons. You know the balloons. The ones being sold all over Disneyland? I love pictures with those behind you. You can also ask the Cast Member holding the balloons if you can hold them for a picture (you won’t be able to hold it all alone, the CM will still be holding them, just off camera). My personal favorite kind of balloon picture is one of a little one being held up in front of them so all you see are the balloons, the sky and your little one being hoisted up in dads arms. So cute.

9. The Teacup or Dumbo. Outside of these rides, they have a stationary teacup/Dumbo to sit in and take a few pictures in. You can’t miss out on these.

8. The Matterhorn. Theres just something extra Disney about this spot. Plus its a really cool area.

7. Main Street. I love Main Street. There is something extra magical about it, therefore the photo opportunities there are wonderful.

6. In front of the Partners statue. Thats the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands in the Hub at Disneyland (just a ways in front of the castle). Its iconic. Its beautiful. I love seeing people copy the post of Walt and Mickey, especially.

5. On King Arthurs Carousel. This is one of the most Disney-esque pictures I could ever suggest. Some of my favorite pictures of my boys are ones of them on a horse, enjoying the carousel.

4. Snow Whites Wishing Well. Oh I love this area (just to the right of Sleeping Beauty Castle). Its quiet and hidden away and its magical and whimsical and the picture opportunities there are lovely.

3. In Front of the Train Station. You know, like right when you walk in after getting your ticket/pass scanned. Everyone takes there picture there, and for good reason!

2. The Pink Door by Alice in Wonderland. This is in Fantasyland. Its a tiny little door near Alice in Wonderland and Teacups. Its adorable and makes for fun pictures. Its especially fun if you can put your little ones in front of it!

  1. In Front of the Castle. Obviously this is my #1, because you just can’t go wrong with a castle picture. Want to mix your castle picture up? Don’t take it right in front of the castle. Move to the side. Take it from behind the castle, in Fantasyland! Go stand at the beginning of Main Street! There are so many ways to customize this picture to make it your own. Also, if you want something super cute – my very favorite castle pictures are little babies/toddlers sitting by themselves in front of the castle. Obviously you have to wait until there isn’t a crowd thats not paying attention that may trample your tiny precious cargo, but once you get that clear spot, go for it – because this will be one of the best Disney pictures you’ve ever taken.

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10. At Carthay Circle. Its a big, interesting backdrop to have, and depending on what season/celebration you’re there for, its typically decorated really well!

9. Anywhere around Soarin’. There is an airplane thats a great photo op, the building itself is pretty neat and there is beautiful scenery around it – all of which will give you a lovely picture.

8. The Walt Disney statue on Buena Vista Street. Another classic, much like the Partners Statue in Disneyland. Its supposed to be Walt as he would have been when he first arrived in California.

7. Grizzly Peak/the Surrounding Area. There are cool waterfalls, pretty rock formations and nice scenery/nature spots. You can’t miss these ones.

6. In Front of Monsters Inc. All the doors and bright colors – love. This is one of my very favorite places for a picture. Its just so cute and bright and happy.

5. The End of Hollywood Land. There is a big poster type wall – does that makes sense? Its a fun, iconic spot.

4. With the Red Trolley Car. You’ll see it. It drives around California Adventure all throughout the day and is an adorable spot for pictures.

3. In Front of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! Its just an iconic one and the exterior of that ride (well, the whole entire ride, actually) is amazing)!

2. In Front of Pixar Pier. There are a number of spots you can stand to get an amazing Pixar Pier shot and I recommend all of them. I think my favorite is either on the bridge on your way to Pixar Pier or in the World of Color viewing area.

1. Anywhere in Cars Land. You can’t pick a bad spot here. The theming in Cars Land, as I and so many others say all the time, is incredible. You truly feel like you are in the movie when you’re here. So seriously, every single spot is a great place for a snapshot.

 

What I Hope My Kids Learn from Disney

Dear Kids,

You come from a family of Disney obsessed people. Your great grandpa started this journey, passed it to Grammy, she passed it to her kids (one of those is me) and now I’m doing my part to make sure you guys all have a special place in your heart for Disney and all its magic and wonder. I don’t know how the Disney-love will translate in your own lives as you grow up. I don’t know if you’ll find yourself saving your money to take another trip to the park or if you’ll be to every Disney movie on opening day, if you’ll have Disney decor throughout your home or if you’ll be more of a quiet and reserved fan. I’m aware of the possibility that you may not all be as Disney-crazed as some of the rest of this family, but as I said before, I just hope there is always a special spot inside of you that respects Disney and is able to identify the magic it brings into our lives.

Because Disney magic is raising you. You’re being built by Disney Magic. When I think of all the ways I want you to grow up and all the ways I want to be a good mom to you all, I find myself thinking of things I’ve learned from Disney. As silly as it sounds, its 1000% true.

Disney can teach you to dream. Disney can give you hope. Disney can remind you that there is good in the world and that most people are good. Disney can help you find joy. It can help you cope when you’re sad. It can teach you lifelong lessons and it can implant song lyrics into your mind that you’ll never forget. It can be a source of happiness. It can be a safe place you run to, to get away from reality. Disney can be a refuge. It can help you feel carefree when you are feeling weighted down. It can create magic in a regular day and a regular moment. Disney can help you embrace who you are and the unique, special individual you’re meant to be. Disney can help you change your point of view and look on the bright side. You’ll find things and characters you relate to. You’ll have moments in Disney Parks you reflect on for years and years.

Disney is a part of your childhood, I pray you always think of that with a smile on your face and are thankful for your Disney roots.

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Love, mom

Who Could Forget Minnie?

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Yesterday was Mickey’s 90th Birthday, but know who else had a birthday? His gal, Minnie, of course! I’m saddened that she so often gets overlooked. But hey, Minnie? I didn’t overlook you. I never will. 90 looks good on Minnie. She has aged gracefully, hasn’t she? I love Minnie. She is so stylish. She’s true to herself. She’s sweet. She stands up for herself. She gets the job done. She is a romantic. She is happy. My favorite thing about her is her talent at making everyone feel good about themselves. More people need to be like that. She is oh so fabulous and I hope her birthday was just that!

Happy Birthday, Minnie Mouse!

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse!

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Happy 90th Birthday, Mickey Mouse!!!

This is hands down my favorite picture ever taken of Mickey Mouse. H was so excited and a little bit nervous to meet Mickey, but he ran right up to him and gave him a big hug. The two of them sat together in this hug for several minutes and it was so special. At one point, Mickey even tried to shoo us away, seeming to tell us that he’d just hang out with H the rest of the day.

This picture captures Mickey perfectly, to me. He is happy. He is accepting. He is loving. He is friendly. He is kind. He is there and makes you feel comfy and content. Call me silly, but Mickey Mouse is home. I am so grateful for this happy guy who I’ve known since birth. He’s been there with me in my life every step of the way and I am very pleased to know he’ll be there for all of my future steps as well. There is no one else like Mickey Mouse and there never will be.

Happy Birthday, pal. You’ve aged tremendously. You deserve all the magic, just like you’ve given the world.

Holidays in Disneyland!

They’re here!

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taken from the Disneyland website

The holidays are officially at Disneyland!

The holidays in Disneyland are as magical as you’d imagine it to be. There is extra magic in the air. The Festival of the Holidays goes from November 9th to January 8th.

Some holiday fun happening in the park during the holidays are:

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

It’s a Small World Holiday

Festival of Holidays (in DCA)

Mater’s Jingle Jamboree (DCA)

Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl (DCA)

Haunted Mansion Holiday (is still going)

Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks

Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour

Don’t forget all the amazing holiday themed food and the incredible decorations and overlays!

Happy Holidays!