Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You've just won the Super Bowl! What are you going to do next?!

I'm going to DISNEYLAND!!

Okay, so maybe I didn't win the Super Bowl, but guess where we're going!!

So I grew up in beautiful, wonderful, sunny Southern California. Not far from Disneyland. I went as a newborn and multiple times a year after that. When we moved to Utah we still went about once a year. I couldn't even count how many times I've been.

(Random Fact: Did you know that when I was a kid they actually had "Mormon Night" at the Magic Kingdom?!)

Then I graduated high school. :( Stupid growing up.

Long story short, I didn't make it to the family trips from ages 18-20, and then at 20 I got married and was no longer included. I know, right? My parents are horrible.

So this will be my very first time returning to the Magic Kingdom since I was 18!

The kids have (obviously) never been. And neither has Jason. So I'm EXTRA excited!! You see, for me, watching them experience all the magic and excitement for the very first time is no different than experiencing it that way myself.

So when is this trip, you ask? Ugh. November. Still more than 6 long months away. My parents got were able to book their condo in Newport Beach Thanksgiving week. One of the most crowded times of year for Disneyland.

free lodging vs. cRaZy BuSy theme park?

Free lodging wins. It's already a spendy-enough vacay.

So here's the itinerary so far...because I know you're all just DYING to know:

  • We're leaving early the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving and heading to my parents house in Pleasant Grove.
  • We meet up with the 'rents and caravan to "Vegas Baby"! (I know I'm lame. Don't hate.)
  • Grab some In-N-Out (Jason and the kids have also never enjoyed this sinful-deliciousness.)
  • We'll probably drive by the strip and hit a few coasters before hitting-the-hay at a Motel 6 or somewhere else that's dirt cheap.
  • We'll crash some Las Vegas ward early in the morning for church and then head to Newport Beach to unpack and get to bed early.
  • Up bright and early for a MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Sleep in.
  • Hit the beach.
  • Shop Main Street in Huntington Beach.
  • Maybe visit some old amigos in Westminster.
  • Get to bed early!!
  • Up bright and early for another MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Happy Thanksgiving! Who knows if we'll cook a traditional meal at the condo or eat out. Guess we'll see!
  • Off to bed early again!
  • And once again, up bright and early for a 3rd MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Still up in the air. My mom seems to think we'll be done with the Parks at this point. I want one more day. We'll see what happens.
  • Possibly head to Vegas?
  • Come home with FABULOUS family memories and a ridiculous amount of photos and stories to post!!
Jealous? You should be. Because as I sit here typing I'm thinking of everyone who I've watched travel off to my Disneyland (yes, MY Disneyland) so far this year and those who have yet to go before I do and I'm simply green (with envy, of course).

ANYWAY, in the mean time I'm exhaustively obsessed with all things Disney. I've made a list of all Disney movies (mostly animated, plus a few extras) and highlighted those that correspond with park attractions or characters we may meet. The kids have seen many of these, but I want them to be familiar with ALL of them. And Jason...well, Jason has A LOT of catching up to do. So we're watching a Disney movie as a family once or twice a week. We own a few. My parents own a bunch. So we buy, borrow, or rent. We pop some popcorn or grab some treats and curl up on Mom and Dad's bed and watch a Disney flick. It's been really fun family time!

I'm also ordering cds left and right. The kids love the few they have and listen to them constantly. This is how I keep them from watching tv during the day. :) But I'm ready for some more Disney variety. Just this week I found steals on 6 of my favorite Disney cds and ordered them. Can't wait for them to arrive in 5-10 business days!!

And to top it all off, I made this:

(Excuse the blank walls. Still have to figure out what I want to put there. And the scary stack of totes. I was going through and packing up old clothes and had pulled them all out of the closet.)

That's right. I made a paper chain countdown. I made it a few weeks ago. At that point it was 214 links long. Yep. I spent 3 long Sunday hours cutting and taping strips of paper...while watching Disney movies with the fam, of course. :)

This RADICAL chain hangs in Payson's room. It actually makes it completely around her room. Each night we have a routine: Baths and ready for bed, family scriptures and prayer, bedtime story and personal bedtime prayers, take a piece off of our paper chain and place it in the basket (don't ask me why we're keeping all the pieces), kisses, and bed. Is it wrong that I look forward to taking the piece off the chain as much as the kids do?

Along the chain we've marked other holidays and trips and events and birthdays. Payson asks me what's coming next all the time. It's like her own personal calendar. She loves it. And I love getting the kids all excited to meet Mickey and all their favorite characters.

I waste time throughout the week looking up Disney facts, hunting for bargains on Disney movies and music, and searching for the best trip tips. It's pretty ridiculous.

Like I said, the trip is still over 6 months away! But for me, it's like Christmas! And my favorite part of Christmas is Christmas EVE. The planning, the excitement, the anticipation. So even though I can't wait to watch my kids discover my favorite childhood memories, I'm loving every second of waiting for it to come!!

Now, if you've made it this far (because I can't believe how LONG this post got!) I want everyone to share their favorite Disney character, Disney movie, or Disney memory!! Come on! Play along!!


Paityn and Mark said...

Sounds magical!

Abete and Tara Batini said...

I am totally green with envy!!! I can't wait to take my children to Disney, California or Florida. I still have 7 siblings living at home and my parents took all the "still home" kids to disney and I thought....hey wait....when did I stop being one of their children????? Oh, the pains of being a grown up. Can't wait to hear all about it.

r said...

Oh man! You've totally made me want to go now!! I've only been once or maybe twice (sad, I don't remember...). I can't wait to eventually take the kids!

Anyway, I can't think of a Disney movie I DON'T like, so I'll tell you Hazel's latest top 3, in no particular order: Alice in Wonderland, Ratatouille, and The Emperor's New Groove.

Bugs said...

We went about two years ago. It was totally wicked! It pays to have tall kids that can ride rides at such a young age. It was my first time and I can't wait to go back. My favorite ride is Space Mountain. Not a fan of waiting in line to see the characters. Found the 'nursery' a little too late after I changed a total blowout in the ultra-busy bathroom with no warm water. We went with Morgan Mea, with her awesome handicap access, jump to the front of the line awesome self. It was fun.
Enjoy your magical vacation!

The Lewis Family said...

My fave memory, my one and only road trip with someone other than fam was summer 2003 to, you guessed it, D-land! I hadn't been back since they were first building toontown! It was great times.
My fav d-princess is aurora, and movie? I will have to get back to you on that... though lilo and stitch was way cute...

Denise said...

Oh, you are going to LOVE IT! It is so fun to introduce your children to the magic of Disneyland. You walk through the tunnel, and there is main street, just like you remembered from your childhood, and your kids' eyes are huge as they see Minnie signing autographs next to the hat shop...

Since this is your first time going with kids, my best tip is: use the kid switch passes. If you use them in tandem with fast passes, you can cut out a LOT of wait time.

I love the paper chain. The anticipation is half the fun!

Linda said...

My fav character is Demetri on Anastia. You guys are going to have a blast at disneyland!

Jason & Kelli West said...

how fun for you. I am happy that you get to go. You deserve this trip. AND I just love your enthusiasm. far as my fav disney character.... little mermaid....yup. She has always been my fav cause of the red dhair!!

Tabitha said...

Girl... you crack me up!!!

Let's see...
I love all the Disney Movies.. really I do. But I would have to say I'm a classic girl. I love The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Those have to be two of my all time favorites. I can pretty much sing any song from any Disney movie though... old and new a like. :) I hope you have tons of fun!!!! :)

Liz Goble said...

My favorite Disney movie is Sleeping Beauty. My favorite Disney memory is going to Disneyland for our Honeymoon.

Mandi said...

Dang girl!! that was a long post! But fun to read! I LOVE Disneyland! I am going there this weekend!! yeah!!! I am the same way you are, i am like a kid at Christmas!! I can't wait! I LOVE Mickey and Tinkerbell! My favs. I have lots of fun memories!

The Tarin Family said...

Oh how fun and exciting! I can't wait to see the posts and everything about your trip! Too bad i have to wait 6 months! hehe!
I have one been to Disneyland 1 time, and I was 7. Pretty much the only thing I really remember is the reason why we were there in the first place, and that was to perform a dance recital for our dance group in Disneyland. Super cool if you ask me.
My family (everyone but my little family) all went back in October '07. Sucks growing up! lol!

Burgon Fam said...

Oh you arejust too funny! you cant count on me to be one of the many that are jelouse! sounds super fun!

The Tarin Family said...

Sorry! I just couldn't stand to part with my blog yet. lol! I will be deleting it in a month or two, but I'll be getting my own website/address and all soon. I'll let you know when that happens. But in the mean time, I am blogging again. haha!

Scimber said...

dude, I cant believe you havent been to d-land since we were 18! SO sad!!!!! But you will have soooo much fun. I have a lot of disney music, so let me know what you have, and I can see if I have some things you dont....theres a website called sendspace and I can just send you the mp3 over the internet.

And I really cant pick a favorite disney character/movie...its just too hard! Probably my favorite memories are just going to disneyland when my mom and dad were together and we were all happy...and Connor FALLING in the Rivers of America while trying to catch a duck. He smelt disgusting, they wouldnt even let him ride the tram, and we were parked all the way out in the Tinkerbell lot! hahahhaaaaa what a sucker.

Kathlen said...

You crack me up!!

Scimber said...

dude, devin was the best mayor of the munchkin city! haha, I was telling my sister about that when we saw the new mayor. Devin was way better, I can still hear him doing it, he cracked me up that bad!

Anonymous said...

I'm so freakin' jealous I'm almost crying! So, my favorite memory: you know the sword in stone area right in front of the carousel? Well, every day they have some kids try to pull the sword out. One day, it was me! And I did it! They crowned me "Queen for the day", plastered my picture all over the park, and let me cut in every line I went in. It was AWESOME! Now your jealous right?

Anonymous said...

oh, and my favorite disney movie is Beauty and the Beast... I totally talk and sing along with the whole movie; drives everyone else completely bonkers but I don't care :)

The Larson Family said...

How exciting for you guys! You're so funny with how excited you are. I bet your kids love to see your excitement. I can't believe there used to be a mormon night. That cracks me up.

Anyway, I always loved Pocahontas for some reason. I wanted to be just like her. I still love to sing Colors of the Wind and annoy my little boy. He hates that song for some reason. Probably because he's only ever heard me sing it!

Addicted Fisherman, SlingShotGirl, and Ms. Drool-bug said...

HAHA Love the countdown chain...I haven't made one of those since...oh actually I admit I made one for our wedding. lol. I'm way excited for you guys!


Jason and Bri said...

That is so exciting, am jealous I am dieing for a vacay, and I can't wait someday to take my kids. Well am excited for u guys, have lots of fun. But okay about the clips you just need to get small metal clips We bought ours at sally s and Roberts than u just buy fabric flowers or scrapbook flowers and glue together put whatever decorations or middles u want like rhinestones or buttons. and than glue them on to the clips, we all so got ribbon and glued ribbon on to the clip and than the flowers so the metal was covered. Its really easy. And am sure u can pretty much buy that stuff at any craft store.

Sue said...

That is so exciting!! Yay!! What a fun trip. I bet your kids love that you are so excited with them. Such a fun Mommy! I'm a huge Disney fan so I'm really excited for when Ty turns three and we'll go.
I don't know if I have a favorite character, but I always wanted to be Wendy so I could fly with Peter Pan. My sisters think I'm more like Pocahontas than Wendy because I spend so much time in the mountains..oh I know, the part when Aladdin says to Abu "come on Abu, let's go home.." I was babysitting my little sister, and that was the first time she saw the movie and she repeated it with her cute little 3 year old was so adorable.

marc, michelle and Jackson said...

Yay! We sure love Disneyland too! I really don't think I will ever get tired of going there. There is ALWAYS something exciting about entering the gates and walking down main street! I am so excited for you guys and I LOVE the paper chain!

bjcudner said...

I am so excited for you to get to go I have only been once and I was 16 bobby has been once and he was only like 6, I hope you have so much fun.

A. ShaRee Books said...

I have 2. First, was the little mermaid...since she is ME! I have since learned that the seashells tend to trigger nasty comments. :0) Second, tigger. T—I—double guh—er! He's just so CUTE and BOUNCy. Ah.

debi said...

my favorite movies are the oldies...snowball express, blackbeards ghost, original family band, lt. robin cruisoe...we used to go to the park 4 to 6 times a week...boy, do i miss it too!! enjoy! kimbers mom