Last Wednesday we surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland that I had basically been planning since the last time we went and left Kainoa at home. It was an awesome 3 day excursion that hopefully won’t be forever tainted by the 13 HOURS we spent at the airport after our 9am flight was cancelled on Saturday. But we don’t need to get into that…today. Instead I will share some valuable lessons from Disney I picked up on this trip:
1. My kids are weak.
I have not raised walkers. And Disneyland is non-stop walking. I would love to demonstrate for you how dramatic and angry Laina got every time she had to rotate the stroller with her big sister. Hunched shoulders, heavy stomping, pathetic whimpering…she’s got it down. Next time? Everyone’s getting scooters.
2. I was right to leave their brother home last year.
I got some grief last year when I chose to leave Kainoa behind and took the girls on vacation to Disneyland without him. Although he was thrilled with the adventure this year, he’s a simple little fellow and was not wooed by the rides and souvenirs. In fact, he opted NOT to go on a majority of the rides and instead preferred anything quiet and slow moving. We visited the Small World more times than I care to count and there’s no way he would have put up with the lines last year. He was barely mature enough to deal with them THIS year.
3. Parents are cuh-razy.
When you find yourself snapping at a crying child at the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH…something is wrong. I’m guilty of this. You have a small window of time to get as much done as possible and the pressure to get to it all, along with the lines and crowds, is enough to make a parent crack at a whining child. After ALL I have done to get you here, you have the audacity to whine about a CHURRO? YOU JUST ATE ONE! If I’m angry, and my child is crying…it’s time for plan B. Throw the kid a churro (yes another one) and consider taking a break.
4. My kids are just…kids.
Rushing a handful of kids to all the rides, weaving in and out of crowds, and pointing at every bright colored Disney feature to be found is overwhelming. We kept the kids at the park until 11pm on Wednesday after a long day of traveling and woke them up at 6am on Thursday to take advantage of the pass we got to enter the park one hour before it opens to the public. My kids don’t operate on lack of sleep. Thank you Kainoa for the gentle reminder to calm us the hell down. We made time for a nice nap after that.
5. Walking Burns Calories
The best part about walking ALL. DAY. LONG is that you KNOW you’re losing weight. It’s the best feeling. Shaving off a few pounds while having fun…what more could a person ask for? As it turns out 4 nights of room service, eating out, snacking on Churros and ice cream cones doesn’t only cross out the calories burned…it actually outweighs the calories burned. I walked approximately 4,500 miles in 4 days and…gained 4 pounds. Whoops a daisy.
6. There’s only room for one Evil Queen in Disneyland.
The evil queen flicked me away when I got too close to her…apparently there’s only room for one of us in the park.
7. Margaritas and meeting blog friends only helps.
I should schedule afternoon meetings with blog friends EVERY afternoon, because after a couple margaritas and some laughs with Marcy, I was rearing to go for the second half of the day. “WHO WANTS TO GET PICTURES WITH MINNIE MOUSE!?!?!” Apparently a little alcohol turns me into a giant child.
8. Doing other things is okay too…
On day three my kids were all “we want to go swimming” and I was all “say what? We still haven’t gone to Pixie Hollow or flown Dumbo or gone to Bug’s Land or…or…or…” It didn’t matter. Here we were with the magic of Disneyland at. our. fingertips, after months and months of dreaming about going again and they wanted…to swim. I didn’t get it. But I wasn’t going to push it. We live in a rainy city, who was I to stand in the way of the California sun and the beckoning pool…and as Marcy so eloquently put it…”the Disneyland experience is just as much about the hotel stay as it is the actual park”. So very true.
9. Not getting to everything on your list of things to see and do is okay.
The only thing on my personal list of things to do was to eat at the Blue Bayou and to have brunch with the princesses at Ariel’s Grotto. Yes, this was my personal list. Turns out rsvp-ing for meals at restaurants BEFORE the trip would actually be a wise idea. I never found the time to check ahead once we were there and we accomplished neither, BUT that’s okay. If we accomplished everything on my personal list than I’d have nothing to look forward to next time.
10. There will definitely be a next time…
I don’t know who loves Disneyland more…the kids? Or me living vicariously through them for round two of my childhood? Either way, I am a fan. It’s not an inexpensive trip, but I think it’s worth saving for. There’s something special about the castle and the rides and Main Street at night that just makes me happy. And for 70 bucks a day I’m definitely renting scooters for the entire family. Do you have any idea how much GROUND we could cover in one of those babies!?!