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PrincessE&B
08-26-2006, 11:41 AM
We ar going from Jan 8 to 11. I have read so many things and can't wait to go.
Tell me what you would do your first time. I have two girls under five and they love all things disney.

Should I do the princess meal? Should I just do whatever and get around the parks? What is Toon Town Maddness? DO you think they would like to see some shows?

DianeM
08-26-2006, 11:49 AM
Do your kids like characters? If so, then plan on doing the "meet and greet", either at a breakfast or at the park. There are a lot of activities for kids under 5. Toon town seems to be a particular favorite, and most of Fantasyland has rides that little kids can ride on. Don't miss Pirates of the Carribean. I think Haunted Mansion will be down for removal of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Don't try to do "everything". You can't. There is just too much to do, even if you stay a week. It's a good idea to take a break in the afternoon, if your hotel is close enough to allow it. Even if the park is on short hours, it can be a long day, and a few hours of quiet time will really enhance your and your children's experience. Oh, and even if your oldest is large enough for some of the "fast" rides, don't push it. You know your children. Some kids are ready for roller coasters as soon as they are tall enough, other's aren't. There are some "kiddie" roller coasters in DCA that you can try out if you aren't sure if they are ready, but keep in mind that HM and TOT are really intense, even for adults, and your kids may find them frightening even if they like most roller coasters.

Most important - relax and have fun. Disneyland isn't about "doing", it is about "experiencing". The magic is there, all you have to do is open yourself up to it.



Should I do the princess meal? Should I just do whatever and get around the parks? What is Toon Town Maddness? DO you think they would like to see some shows?

kisroo
08-26-2006, 11:57 AM
Oh, I think every little girl should get to do the Princess lunch!!!

Don't forget the "child swap" pass and look up Darkbeer's fastpass thread (type in Fastpass in the search and it should pop up) for some advice on using the Fastpass system to save time (although you shouldn't really need it in Jan after the kids return to school).

I agree with starting off with the smaller coasters like Gadget's in ToonTown to see how your kiddos will do. Also don't miss Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates for the little ones.

Have a wonderful time!!!

~kisroo:)

3894
08-26-2006, 11:59 AM
Most important - relax and have fun. Disneyland isn't about "doing", it is about "experiencing". The magic is there, all you have to do is open yourself up to it.

Well said, Diane M.

My number one tip would be to schedule your visit like this: get to the parks at opening, have an early lunch (11, 11:30) to beat the crowds, go back to the hotel for a couple of hours after lunch for down time and plan on an early dinner (again, to beat the crowds).

DadandFamily
08-26-2006, 12:02 PM
Disneyland - Peter Pan's Flight is a must as it still is the best ride in all the parks. You really do feel like you are flying. You also should hit Its A Small World ride. Disneyland's Railroad is nice if the girls need a nap or want to rest or have lunch. Mickey's Toontown is OK, but my kids prefer the rest of the park.

California Adventure prep - To prep them for California Adventure, have the girls watch and rewatch Aladdin, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Lion King, and Monsters Inc. between now and January. California Adventure has attractions based on all these. My 3 year old and 1 year old learned a lot by relating the movies with the attractions and really enjoyed recognizing in the attractions what they saw in the movies.

California Adventure attractions - California Adventure has more to offer kids under five than does Disneyland. Disney's Aladdin musical is a must as the elaborate production is worth $30 itself. If your kids know the Aladdin movie, they will enjoy the musical. Bring your lunch to the Animation building courtyard and watch numerous Disney clips going off at once. It's a great place to hang out for an hour or two. Your girls also can talk with Crush of Finding Nemo there.

I don't know anything about the princess meal, but I imagine your girls would love it.

PrincessE&B
08-26-2006, 06:10 PM
Oh thank you! My head is in spins, I am bookmarking and reading and have a folder started. My girls are 3 and 5, I have plans to buy princess dresses after trick or treating time so they have a princess dress to wear in the park. (I read that gilrs love to do that). I hope to find a few christmas gifts (on sale) of disney things so we can take them also.
Our money is a bit tight, but who doesn't have to keep things tight these days. So I figure if I get things on sale and find other items that would work just as well (like autograph books, I read about those also), I think we can have a great time with out braking the bank. I want to bad to give them as much joy as I can so that is why I am doing what I can now to learn all I can to make it the best I can. I guess I am a sap of a mom.
Any and all ideas to save money and get the "same" results (like autograph books) would be great.
We live in N. Cal so we will drive and stay from I think the 8th to the 11th or 12th. We have yet to pick a hotel or find tickets, but I am all over the internet trying to find that information. I have read so many things I don't know what way is up.
I guess I will just take any information you are willing to give me.
Thank you all so very much.

Leap for Joy
08-26-2006, 10:45 PM
You're right about the princess dresses, they're a lot of fun! Be sure to check the seams of the dresses for edges that will be itchy. A cotton undershirt might help a little.

I have a couple of tips for the accessories: You may want to make some princess tennies to wear with their dresses. A bit of lace and fabric paint decorate plain white tennis shoes, and their little feet will last much longer. You can french braid their hair a short way, place a crown, then continue the braid and their crowns will stay in place all day.

Don't forget sunscreen! Even in January the sun can take a toll.

Have a great first trip! Be sure to take lots of pictures!!!

DadandFamily
08-26-2006, 10:57 PM
Food is expensive at DL. We go to DL about once a week. Each time, we bring our Collapsible Cooler http://www.ca-innovations.com/content/itemdetail.asp?id=76120&ShowList=8 (http://www.ca-innovations.com/content/itemdetail.asp?id=76120&ShowList=8) having Tupperware filled with food, leaving room for two ice packs. You can bring in most food as long as it's not home pre cooked (like spaghetti). Supposedly, they don't want you spilling such food on their clean floors.


We've also brought in burritos from taco bell, chicken from KFC, etc. There are numerous fast food restaurants around DL and there are large supermarkets (e.g., Albertsons is at 13220 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA). We also bring in one liter of diet drink and get cups with ice from the concession stands (cups with ice are free) and we refill the cup from our one-liter bottle as the day goes by. The Collapsible Cooler and the two liter drink are enough to meet our food need for the entire day and saves about $40 a visit.

One other DL right they might enjoy is the Winney the Pooh ride near splash moutain. It's a kiddy ride that is separated from all the other kiddy rides (cause they had no other place to put it).

After a full day at DL, my wife and I look back and realize that we've only been on four to six rides. It's such a nice place to be that just being there is enough. Just relax and enjoy. You have four days of fun ahead of you!

DadandFamily
08-26-2006, 11:10 PM
Food is expensive at DL. We go to DL about once a week. Each time, we bring our Collapsible Cooler http://www.ca-innovations.com/content/itemdetail.asp?id=76120&ShowList=8 (http://www.ca-innovations.com/content/itemdetail.asp?id=76120&ShowList=8) having Tupperware filled with food, leaving room for two ice packs. You can bring in most food as long as it's not home pre cooked (like spaghetti). Supposedly, they don't want you spilling such food on their clean floors.

We've also brought in burritos from taco bell, chicken from KFC, etc. There are numerous fast food restaurants around DL and there are large supermarkets (Albertsons is at 13220 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA). We also bring in one liter of diet drink and get cups with ice from the concession stands (cups with ice are free) and re refill the cup as the day goes by. The Collapsible Cooler and the two liter drink are enough to meet our food need for the entire day.

Rockchalker
08-27-2006, 10:41 AM
I have two girls under five and they love all things disney.

Should I do the princess meal? DO you think they would like to see some shows?

Has anyone mentioned the storytime with the princesses at the Princess Shop inside the castle? This is one of my daughter's favorite events. The princesses rotate throughout the day telling their story and then there is the meet and greet following. The area is not large, so I would recommend getting there early for a good seat.

Even for adults it is a lot of fun.

Rockchalker
08-27-2006, 11:04 AM
[QUOTE=PrincessE&B]Oh thank you! My head is in spins, I am bookmarking and reading and have a folder started. My girls are 3 and 5, I have plans to buy princess dresses after trick or treating time so they have a princess dress to wear in the park. (I read that gilrs love to do that). I hope to find a few christmas gifts (on sale) of disney things so we can take them also.
Our money is a bit tight, but who doesn't have to keep things tight these days. So I figure if I get things on sale and find other items that would work just as well (like autograph books, I read about those also), I think we can have a great time with out braking the bank. I want to bad to give them as much joy as I can so that is why I am doing what I can now to learn all I can to make it the best I can. I guess I am a sap of a mom.
Any and all ideas to save money and get the "same" results (like autograph books) would be great.
QUOTE]

I personally would splurge a little extra for the Disney autograph books, especially the ones with that include pictures. This has turned out to be our favorite keepsake from our trips and will be something that lasts and lasts. You might check e-bay for cheaper autograph books.

Costumes - Check the sales going on now at disneyshopping.com. I just bought my daughter the Sleeping Beauty costume (retail $39.95) for around $20 with free shipping and no tax. They were having a one day super sale + I got an extra 20% off with my Disney Visa card. We are giving this to her as a Christmas present for her to use at the Princess Breakfast and the Princesses and Pirates event at WDW in February. (Anyone ever done this breakfast, I heard it the character breakfast of character breakfasts and much better than Ariel's Grotto, which we did for lunch and enjoyed.)

If you don't have a Disney Visa card, I would recommend looking into getting one if you want to save money. If I remember correctly, you get 10% off dining at the park and 10% purchases (I think there is a minimum purchase.) But more importantly, you get Disney rewards that can equal big dollars toward your vacation. We traded from a United Airlines card to a Disney card last September before our trip to DL after my brother told us that they were going to pay for their Annual Passes with their reward card. We were not credit card people at the time, but now everything we can goes onto the credit card (with paying it off each month) By the time we go to WDW in February we should have over $700 spending money on the reward card.

Good luck planning your trip! You are going at a great time of the year when crowds should be limited.

Malcon10t
08-27-2006, 01:12 PM
Don't forget Talking to Crush in DCA. Also, Princess lunch would be highly recommended. You might also see if they can pilot the Mark Twain. You have to ask early. Or ride teh Fire Engine and they can ring teh bell.

sjcivilady
08-27-2006, 02:12 PM
Playhouse Disney in Calif Adv is fun for little ones - the characters from Bear in the big blue house, rollie pollie ollie, and others come out and sing and dance. The kids are all sitting on the floor, so it gets a little interactive. Your guide for the day will show the start times - get there about 20 min early.
There is also a Winnie the Pooh ride way back in Critter Country - its cute.
I don't think I would do any ride that could be scary to them to start out - Disneyland is pretty overwhelming itself I would imagine. We took my 5 yr old nephew on a ride (first one of the day) that scared him and he was "not a happy camper" for quite a while. Most of the rides in the castle area are "dark rides" and might be scary for them if they're afraid of the dark.
I try to do the parks as inexpensively as I can also - but I like to eat there, that's part of the fun - so I just bring in my own snacks. And everyone talks about sharing meals. They have kids meals for about $5 (someone update this please), just to give you an idea, and they often come in a little lunch box, which makes a cute souvenir. Try to get over to the Walmart - it's two exits north of Harbor (you'll see it on the left just before you get to Disneyland). They have a huge selection of Disney souvenirs (they just don't say "disneyland" on them) for very reasonable prices. (they did last time I was there anyway). I like to stop there for anything I forgot anyway(that way I don't stress about forgetting to pack something) .
Have fun and be sure to give us a trip report afterwards! Joan

PrincessE&B
08-27-2006, 09:33 PM
Has anyone mentioned the storytime with the princesses at the Princess Shop inside the castle? This is one of my daughter's favorite events. The princesses rotate throughout the day telling their story and then there is the meet and greet following. The area is not large, so I would recommend getting there early for a good seat.

Even for adults it is a lot of fun.


oh this sounds so nice, thank you

PrincessE&B
08-27-2006, 09:35 PM
Don't forget Talking to Crush in DCA. Also, Princess lunch would be highly recommended. You might also see if they can pilot the Mark Twain. You have to ask early. Or ride teh Fire Engine and they can ring teh bell.


more wonderful things, I have to get this in my folder right now

Malcon10t
08-27-2006, 10:22 PM
You have to let them ride Autopia! and DRIVE@!! My favorite part of our April trip was my 4yo niece, as we got in the car and she got behind the wheel... Her eyes got HUGE and she asked me very seriously "You sure?? My mom NEVER lets me drive." I still giggle over that one.

OK, and you need to see Stitch in Innoventions.

IdahoMike
08-27-2006, 11:16 PM
I took 2 boys, age 5 and 3 in June, and I would echo what most of the earlier posters said
Here is my top 10 list
1.) Take it at an easy pace, don't try to cram everything in at once, and don't try to force them onto attractions that they are unsure about.
2.) Splurge on the autograph books. Those are my kids best memories, meeting the characters. I inadvertently made the comment "it must get really hot inside those suits" and their response was "what suits?", so that was refreshing, my kids saw them as the actual characters.
3.) Do the princess storytelling, it is fun whether you have girls or boys.
4.) You can meet the big 4 princesses most every day on either side of the castle. Usually Cinderella and Belle to the left, Aurora and Snow White to the right.
5.) Turtle Talk is an absolute must! We went 3 times, my 3 y/o and I got to talk to him the 3rd time, it was a blast!
6.) It is a bit spendy, but I say do the character meal, the interaction is great!
7.) Nestle's Jr. Chef is another fun thing for small children to do
8.) Definitely get there at opening, and take a break in the afternoon. My in-laws tried to sleep in, get to the park around 11, and stay until midnight, and they were completely exhausted every day, and didn't get to go on as many attractions (not even close!) as we did by getting there at opening.
9.) In California Adventure, let them go to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, tons of fun things to do, and they can burn off some excess energy.
10.) Have fun!