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Old 10-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
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Birthday Extravaganza With A Toddler and An Infant UPDATE 10/17 & 10/18!

That's right. It's official. We are most definitely going to Disneyland in just 89 short days!

For those of you that are new to my TRs we have anticipated a handful of Disneyland trips in the last couple years. Unfortunately, they have always had to get pushed "until later" due to unforeseen circumstances. Well, "later" is finally here and we are going! Flights are booked. Hotel is booked. Rental car is reserved.

But, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Let's get to the little details first shall we?


That's the Hubs (Candi) and I (Shannon).

Hubsters has been to Disneyland more times than he can count, often taking trips there as a child. Was even lucky enough to be enjoying breakfast one day as a kiddo when his parents asked him and his brother "how about we head to Disneyland today?" and with that they packed up their suitcases and the car and took off!

This will be my fourth trip to Disneyland. Never got any surprise breakfast requests, but I am beyond excited to do something similar to this for my Son.

That's the birthday boy aka Candido aka James aka Cinco (he's 5th generation which is where the nickname comes from )

This will be his first trip to Disneyland but I'm certain he knows everything there is to know thanks to his Disneyland Explorer app on the iPad

He is also the reason we are going on the trip as we will be celebrating his 3rd birthday. He knows that we are going and he knows it's for his birthday but it will still be fun to wake him up on the big day and tell him it's time to go!

Last, but definitely not least, is the newest addition to our family, Eliana. She is 6 weeks old, will be 4.5 months on the trip so this is obviously her very first visit to Disneyland - or any Disney park for that matter!


A 3rd Birthday Celebration Extravaganza

Some of you may already know this, but my poor baby was hospitalized last year on Christmas Eve with RSV and still on oxygen and recovering when his birthday came around. This, of course, resulted in us missing all the Christmas festivities and cancelling his birthday party. Being two he didn't understand why he couldn't do these things. So, this year we are doing it up big - Disney style


We are DVC owners and were somehow lucky enough to snag a reservation at the Grand Californian Villas for a week at 5 months out! If that wasn't pixie dust enough, it's in a 1 bedroom

I'm thinking this trip was just meant to be


January 11 - 17

Even though we are celebrating James' 3rd Birthday we will actually be going the week prior. Gotta take advantage of free park entry for being 2 Plus, we want to be able to celebrate the actual day with some close family back at home.

So, that covers all the basics. I hope you will join me in all the planning fun

Last edited by ariel1025; 10-18-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #2
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How fun!!! Looking forward to hearing all about it!
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by crystal1313 View Post
How fun!!! Looking forward to hearing all about it!
Thanks for joining in! I'm so glad to have you here
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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Day One Plans: First Draft

So, first, I just have to say that it drives me absolutely bananas that Disneyland doesn't post their park calendar months ahead of time like Disney World. Do they not understand that Momma needs to plan

And that is the last time I will compare the Land to the World.


I'll try

Moving on.

Day One: Travel Day

We were lucky enough to be able to grab a late morning flight that is also nonstop. Beyond excited about this. We don't have to get up when it's still dark out and will still arrive at LAX before lunch!

Like most vacations we are flying Southwest and I've already been able to "exchange" my flight twice for lower rates. Of course, that doesn't stop me from checking pricing daily to see if it can be done again. Momma likes a sale

Once we land in LAX we will have to gather up our ten million pieces of luggage. And car seats. And strollers. And camera bags. Yeah, I'm thinking we are going to have to fork over some change for one of those luggage cart things I mean, I intend to pack as light as possible, but with two kiddos I'm thinking that's near impossible.

Anyway, once we gather up our mountain of stuff we will head out to grab the shuttle over to the rental place. We are currently reserved with Thrifty, but I check pricing on the rental daily as well. And you best believe I will switch companies if I can get a better deal!

After we get our rental and get everything loaded we will plug our destination into our GPS and be on our way. But, not to Disneyland. Not yet. Our first order of business is to grab lunch at In-N-Out Burger. Yum, yum, yum! We don't have one here so it made the "must do" list.

Once we have filled our bellies and wiped the drool from our mouths we will then update the GPS to take us to our next location. This time it IS to Disneyland. Grand Californian to be exact. It will be (very) early afternoon at this point so I'm not expecting our room to be ready, but I want to go check-in and see if it's possible to have Bell Services hold our luggage for us. We are venturing back out again and I don't like the idea of the luggage being in the car with us.

After we take care of all the check-in formalities we will head back out. This time to head to Target to stock up on some food for the week. We don't plan on eating every meal in the Villa, but since we have a kitchen we are going to take advantage of it and make a few there to save some money.

With shopping complete we aren't exactly sure what our next destination will be. If the room is ready by then we will head back to the hotel and rest up. If it's not we are thinking of either roaming around Downtown Disney for a while or if it's not super cold we might take the kiddos to see the beach. We know it will be too cold to get in the water, but a walk around the pier and letting James (let's face it, Ellie is too young to notice or care ) see the ocean might be fun.

Really, the rest of the evening is just going to be a "play it by ear" type of night. We don't have any intentions of going to a Park this day. Since we will be throwing the kids off schedule with traveling I don't anticipate it being a great idea to try and conquer a park. So, easy peasy is the motto for the evening.

At some point we will need to grab dinner. This will either be something easy made in the Villa or something quick that we can grab to go so we can take it back to the Villa with us. I'm thinking Napolini since we love, love, love the pizza there!

I'm also crossing my fingers that the request I put in for a theme park view comes through and we will be able to see World of Color from our room before calling it a night. At any rate we intend to be up in the room and getting the kids into baths, PJs and bed at a decent hour to start the next day off with a bang...
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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Day One: Questions

Seeing as how we are not Anaheim area experts and we haven't been in over 5 years I thought I would post our questions for each day to see if others can help us out

Day One: Questions

1. I know all rental car places are off site at LAX; however, I've heard some companies have their counter in the airport. Is the Thrifty counter located at LAX or at their off-site location?

2. Where is the nearest In-N-Out Burger to Disneyland?

3. Will Bell Services at Grand Californian hold our luggage for us until our room is ready?

4. Where is the nearest Target to Disneyland?

5. What beach do you recommend that isn't extremely far away?

6. What is your go-to food spot that is quick and can be taken to go?

7. What is your favorite thing to do (not within the parks) when you have downtime at Disneyland?

8. Perhaps most important - what tips can you give me for traveling with an infant
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Following along!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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I can't answer question #1 and #2...because we are from NorCal and drive on our trips.

3. Pretty sure they will hold your luggage for you......we have had PPH do that for us numerous times.

4. There is a Target down the road on Harbor. The actual address is Garden Grove, but it's not too far down on Harbor. It's HUGE!

5. We never go to the beach either....but I think Newport isn't too far away.

6. We like White Water snacks in the Grand. Jazz Kitchen and Tortilla Joes both have quick service areas you could grab food to go. Jazz Kitchen has yummy beignets! MMmm

7. We just took our boys (5 & 4) to the ESPN zone to play some games. They had fun. They had a cute little mini bowling alley and some easy video type games the boys enjoyed....along with air hockey.

8. I took my oldest at ten months and my youngest at 2 months. The baby centers will be your friend!!! There is one on Main Street next to the photo store and near the little red corn dog wagon and one in DCA in the pacific wharf area behind Ghiradelli. They will be great for your 3 year old too. The have padded changing tables! They are really nice. And if he's potty training, t hey have little mini training toilets for them to use! My DS4 still uses and loves them. It will be warm inside! And, it's quiet inside which is so nice to escape the hustle and bustle for a couple minutes. They also have private nursing area (and I think an area to pump if need be), high chairs, a microwave for use, and they sell baby items in case you forget or lose something. They truly are a lifesaver! When I took my youngest at 2 months, I felt like I lived in there, LOL!

I also recommend bringing a carrier for your daughter. I used a moby wrap, and it was really nice. We went in December with my little guy, so I brought one of those warm bear suit sleepers with a hood for the nights. It worked out great because I could never get a hat to stay on his head, and he was warm and toasty. A stroller is nice to keep all your baby item in...

We just take lots of breaks with the kids so no one gets overwhelmed and has a melt down. We bring a TON of snacks and just kind of go at their pace. We don't get as much accomplished, but we all have fun!

You will have a great time! I hope that helps you. Sorry I couldn't help with all your questions. I bet if you ask a CM at the Grand, someone could tell you where the nearest In N Out is! So yummy! If you like grilled onions, try the burger animal style! It's my new favorite =)
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