Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Disneyland 2007 Recap

We just got back from our vacation – we ALL had an amazing time! We started with the long trek down to Southern California via the 5 on the last Friday of September. We were surprised at how much of nothing is out there lol! But the trip was uneventful and we had a great visit with my Aunt Lori and Uncle Dave. Toby (our black lab) stayed with them while we were at Disneyland – he of course was spoiled rotton ;)

Sunday afternoon we headed to our hotel to check in. Kian could see the “Hollywood Hotel” (a thrill ride in Californialand) from our room – which we told him was Disneyland and he often would tell us to look out and see Disneyland ;) It was cute! After that, we went to Downtown Disney to look around. We decided to have dinner at the Rainforest Café – it’s a restaurant that has “moving” animals and a “rain storm” at different times. A HUGE snake hanging from the ceiling ended up scaring the poop out of Kian…so we had to sit outside and eat…. We were wondering how the next 4 days at the Disney parks would go! We then headed back to the hotel and before Kian went to bed, we were treated to the Disneyland fireworks…we couldn’t see a lot, but we saw the ones that went high in the sky – Kian loved that!

Before we started our trip, I actually contacted Disney about their food preparations. I called and spoke to the head chef of the park - he was an amazing wealth of knowledge. Gave us a small list of places to avoid. And also assured me that each of their food places has at least one person trained in cross contamination on site - they have to pass an eight hour class in order to be certified to do this! Anyway, I felt very assured when we were there that we would have a great time without any reactions. (speaking of Kian's allergy, in some of the photos you will notice Kian's medical alert bracelet - he's really adjusted to wearing it)

Monday we headed to the park – we took a tram and then discovered that our hotel was very close in walking distance and decided for the rest of the trip we would walk to and from the park. We weren’t sure what Kian could handle ride wise so we thought It’s a Small World would be the best place to start. He’s never been on a Disney type ride before so we wanted to do one we knew for sure was not scary. A while after that we decided to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. I totally didn’t remember how scary it was!!! It has changed a bit because they added some things from the movie – but it was still scary! Kian did AWESOME! There were times he would grab my hand or he would lean up against Jamie but he did AWESOME! So well that we decided to take him into the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion was done up in the Nightmare Before Christmas theme which was really, really neat! Kian did great there and honestly there wasn’t a ride he didn’t go on – unless he couldn’t because of height requirement. The little guy even rode the Matterhorn TWICE lol

Because of the time of year that we went to the park and because we were there during the week, the park closed at 8PM every night. We decided the first day to let Kian skip his nap and see if he would make it through the day. He did amazingly well! I think it was mainly because he was doing things that he enjoyed the ENTIRE time we were there…heck we ALL enjoyed our time! The only dull moments were when we stood in line – and even with that Kian did fairly well. Every night we stayed for the parade – which is AMAZING! Kian was so amazed by it – even though it was the same thing every night, we were all still in awe :)

Tuesday we headed to Californialand. Jamie and I had never been to that park before so it was a new experience for all of us. We first headed to use some special tickets we got for booking our trip through AAA – we got preferred seating for “A Talk with Crush” – the turtle from Finding Nemo. We all sat right in front and Crush talked to Kian! He called him Kahuna Kian – so for the rest of the day Kian would say “I’m Kahuna Kian!” hehe, so cute! We then headed over to “meet” Lightening McQueen and Tow Mater from the movie Cars. Kian was in awe :) Jamie went on a few rides by himself – the one I did want to go on was Soarin’ over California – which was really neat. Kian and Jamie went on all the rides in the A Bug’s World area. There was a spinning ride that went in the air that looked like it was builtout of food boxes like Chinese take-out and animal crackers. Another ride was like the teacups but it was Francis the Ladybug that spun around and then there were bumper cars. Then we did all went on the train ride which was the caterpillar from A Bugs Life – he ate his way around the track. It was a super cute ride :) Kian enjoyed all those rides – I think he rode all of them 3 times. Californialand seems like it’s more for the older crowd, so once we hit all of what we wanted to ride and see, we headed back over to Disneyland and spent the rest of the day there.

Wednesday we had special passes (again, thanks to AAA) to get in to the opening of Toontown. Toontown in the area of the park where the characters “live.” We got to see a special opening with the mayor of Toontown and was able to get in line and meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Dale (of Chip and Dale). Kian loved that :) After that we headed to Blue Bayou for a special dinner – the restaurant functions on reservations alone and is also on part of the Pirates of the Caribbean – it’s a really neat atmosphere. It was a super neat lunch and really kid friendly – Kian even got veggie sticks and ranch dressing for dipping when Jamie and I got our soup and salad! I was very impressed with Disney and how kid friendly and focused they are.

Thursday was our last day at the park. We also had another perk of getting into the park early one day – and this was the day we chose to do so. We had breakfast at the park and then headed to some rides. Later in the day we stood in line for the new Nemo ride…AMAZING ride and worth the wait! We of course ended the day with the parade and then some souvenir shopping. I think Kian’s favorite item is a Disneyland Semi truck – he’s actually cried at night when he had to go to bed and stop playing with it lol

Friday we took it easy, checked out of our hotel and headed to Downtown Disney for some more souvenir shopping and lunch before we headed back up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house.

We had an AMAZING time and we hope to be able to do it again next year. It was a trip that we all had a blast doing – and really that’s the most important point of having a family vacation.

Here is a short slide show I put together of our vacation. We took over 500 photos! YIKES! So I pulled a select fun few.

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