vacation

Our (very short) Day at Disneyland (+ 3 tips for your visit)

We had the best of intentions. Christian had already told me which rides he wanted to go on (he studied the map before we even left Brooklyn) and I was scoping out where we’d get the best treats. Our day started a little later than I wanted, but we still made it to the Toy Story parking lot at around 9:15am. We waited in a pretty long line to get on a shuttle to the parks, but then were finally on our way and made it to Disneyland by around 9:45. After a pit stop at the restrooms and picking up our media tickets (2 of our 3 one-day park hopper tickets were gratis, thanks to Disneyland but all opinions are my own), we were headed inside.

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Our first stop was to get our ears and have the kids’ hats embroidered with their names. It is only an extra $4.99 per hat for the basic lettering (which is still so nice)!

Choosing hats and the embroidery took about 30 minutes so we were finally off to have fun inside the park. We ran into Mickey, Pluto and Minnie right at the front of the Mad Hatter shop, which leads me to my first tip:

1. Wait for your fave character & follow them to their meet & greet spot. The characters come out of the big door right past the Mad Hatter shop and they’ll interact, hug, high five while they’re on their way to their meet & greet location. If you’d like to get an autograph and photos, it’s best to follow them so you’ll be first in line.

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Christian wanted to go to ToonTown first, but on our way there, we stopped to ride the Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland. It was a bit dark and a little scary for Christian but we both enjoyed it. The wait was a short 30 minutes.

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Before heading to ToonTown, we wanted to let Elle get on her very first ride, so we took to the carousel, where we waited less than 5 minutes for our ride (which leads me to my second tip, below)! It’s hard to say whether she enjoyed it or not - she seemed a little confused about what was going on!

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2. Download the Disneyland app! The app has a map, along with ride wait times and you’ll be able to plan out where you want to go, which rides you want to get on and when.

We spent a little time over in Toon Town, where both kids got to run around and play, before going back to Fantasyland since Christian wanted to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant (a fave of his from Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld). This is, unfortunately, where things went downhill. While he and Dre were standing in line, I get a call from Dre that Christian is feeling sick and doesn’t look so good. I thought - he’s probably hungry, let’s go get some food. Which leads me to my third tip (that we didn’t follow!).

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3. Bring snacks! We had plenty of snacks at our hotel, but for whatever reason, didn’t bring any with us (besides Cheerios for Elle & my water bottle)! *smacks forehead* Fruit snacks, chips, water, granola bars - things that won’t go bad in heat.

My thought was, he’d eat, feel better, and we could continue our day. Boy was I WRONG! If you know Christian, you know he’s always happy, always smiling, always in a good mood. So to see him, at Disneyland - a place he’s been wanting to visit since going to Disneyworld last September - almost in tears because of his belly ache, hurt my heart to no end. I pretty much knew at that point that our day was over. We tried little things to make him feel better, like buying a bubble machine. His joy lasted long enough for us to walk into California adventure park, take a few pictures, and head back to the car.

I think I was the most devastated, because I know how badly he wanted to spend the day at the parks. And yes, I cried.

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Pabons in Hawaii

Pabons in Hawaii

Our long anticipated family vacation to Hawaii was a BLAST... for the kids. Before stepping foot on the airplane, I had some really grand plans. The content I'd be able to create, all the places we'd be able to visit (I had a list and some locations saved to an Instagram collection), our long days hanging out at the beach, mini hikes, cultural excursions, etc. Lemme tell you, NONE of that happened.