One of the great things about living in Northern California, is the relative ease of spontaneously driving to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. From where we are it’s about a five-to-six-hour drive, depending on who’s driving, and how many pit stops we take.
Our eight-year-old has been to Disneyland four times. Our six-year-old has been three times. When they were four and six years old they did not want to go to Disneyland. We’d gone so frequently in their short lives, that they just felt overwhelmed by crowds. So we took a two-year break before they told us they wanted to go back. It was super-fun to see them enjoy the magic when they were three and five-years-old, but now that they’re tall enough for most of the rides, we get have even more oodles of fun.
Today, I thought I’d share some of our “Handy Tips” – now that summer vacation is almost here. (We have 32 more days of school left, not that I’m keeping track, or anything.)
Handy Tip #1: Go with a good attitude. Make a deal with each other to be kind, and patient. Expect to keep the schedule fluid.
Handy tip #2: Wear comfortable, colorful kicks.
Handy Tip #8: Sleep with wild abandon.
Handy Tip #9: Ask your father’s best friend for a shoulder ride, as a joke. He may just pick you up, and rescue your feet. This may also earn your sister a ride too.
Handy Tip #10: Watch your kids as they believe in the magic.
Handy Tip #11: When your kids reach the age that they not only can, but want to ride on the rides by themselves, feel elated. It makes you remember what it felt like when you were a kid tasting freedom.
Handy Tip #12: Apparently, Disneyland really is a small world, afterall. Running into a friend from Wisconsin, at the Haunted Mansion line, you haven’t seen in over six years, priceless.
Handy Tip #13: Instagram and tweet your way through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, as you’ll likely get to meet-up with friends you’ve made online, who happen to be there at the same time. Awesome.
Handy Tip #14: Take your kids on rides that were your favorite as a child. Be sure to let them know it’s not real.
My husband took our oldest when she was four, or five years old. He neglected to tell her that Star Tours wasn’t real, that it was a movie. She didn’t know that, and when the movie shown, crashed the ship, she seriously thought she was going to die. Poor thing walked out of that ride feeling like she had a new lease on life. It does make for a great story.
Handy Tip #15: The Mad Hatter hosts some swanky, wonderfully weird creatures. Visit, dance, gaze, and applaud.
Handy Tip #16: Visit Downtown Disney. You’ll be surprised at what you find, and what you’ll take home.
Handy Tip #17: Remember to take the requisite Disney picture. Although, they might ask you to get off the wall.
Handy Tip #18: Have lunch at Ariel’s Grotto and visit with your favorite princesses. Remember your dresses.
Handy Tip #19: Visit Cars Land, and ride Radiator Springs Racers, if it’s the only thing you do.
Handy Tip #20: It’s okay to feel sad leaving the Happiest Place on Earth. Make plans to visit soon, and you’ll turn that frown, upside down.
ps. Disney provided my family with four, two-day, park-hopper passes to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. All opinions and handy tips are our own.