Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Make your own ears

The kids saw the cool ear headbands at Disneyland and wanted them.  Instead of shelling out the
$45 between the 3 kids, I found an easy way to make them myself.  I found a super easy tutorial from  Disney's Family Magazine and then changed it a bit.  We used stiff sticky back sheets of felt and sticky backed foam sheets instead of fighting to glue felt.  The ears stand up straight this way too.  I then added a small loop to the center of the girls headbands with a ribbon and hot glue.  They now have a place to slide in their own hair bows in different colors so they can change them with their outfits.  

They came out perfect and took about 15 minutes.  The felt foam sheets are about $1.50 each at Michael's and the headbands came from the dollar store.  $2 was a lot cheaper than souvenir prices.

My next project is going to be making the glow stick ears.

Packing for Disney

I've read a lot of packing for Disney lists online and some of them are straight up stupid.  It's also hard to find a daily list rather than an entire packing list for a week in Florida.  You gotta find what works best for you but here are our essentials.  A trip the to dollar store is a must for us.

We pack for shorter day trips with a backpack.
  • Baby wipes are a must.  Kids touch anything and everything and need wiped down before eating snacks in line and can be used as napkins, Kleenex etc.
  • Hand Sanitizer - We use the travel size that hangs outside the backpack so I don't have to unzip it each time.
  • First Aid Kit - I'm not one of those paranoid mothers that carries a full kit around but I grabbed a little kit at the dollar store and added chap stick, headache meds for us and kids Tylenol.
    • We also have to carry Epi-Pens and Benedryl because of the kids food allergies.
  • Sunscreen
  • Ponchos - just cheapy ones from the dollar store.  We do Disney all year so this is nice to have, use and throw away.
  • Dollar store glow sticks - SO much cheaper than buying them off the souvenir carts.  Especially if we are staying for a nighttime show these are essential.
  • Thermos Cups or To Go Cup to fill up with Water or Coffee - We fill these up at the water fountains throughout the day.  Any restaurant in the park will give you a cup of ice.  The kids take their water bottles.  We also bring Mio or individual portion powdered drink mixes like Kool Aid or Crystal Lite. We leave the cups empty to get through security without a problem.
  • We have to take our own food into the park due to food allergies.  We've never tried to smuggle in a whole meal from KFC or something but we have never had a problem carrying in sealed water bottles or soft sided coolers filled with food.
If we are doing a full day trip, we also bring our stroller along.  We've found it really easy to take through the park and easy to park for each ride.  The hardest part is usually getting off and on the tram.  Unless there is room in the front cart, the stroller must be folded up so kids have to be guided as well as holding any bags in the stroller and stroller.

We usually pack a second bag in the stroller that includes sweatshirts, blankets and all the extras.  This bag has no meds or wallets etc. in it.  It stays in the stroller while we go on rides.  If it were to get stolen, it would be super annoying but would not have anything we couldn't replace easily.  When we had babies, we kept the extra diapers and extra formula in there.  We carry the backpack everywhere and have all the essentials in there.

We have read so many lists that include card games or activities for kids but my thought is, if they are that bored, we should just go home.  I don't need any more junk to carry.  If we do sit down to watch a parade or wait for a show, we try to schedule them so the kids can eat at that point or they will go through pictures of our day on the camera or phone.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our First Trip

Our first trip of the year to Disneyland California was also to celebrate Allison's 6th Birthday.  She got her birthday button at the ticket booth and began a full day of hearing "Happy Birthday Princess!"  Our 9 year old experienced an annual pass for her 4th birthday but Allison was only a baby and knew only what she had seen on the Disney Channel.  This would be the first trip for our four year old son.  We got into the park around 9 after some rain and some of our coldest California weather.  Although we knew this was going to be a full day trip, we were not interested in spending all day in hour long lines and planned to skip over things if necessary.  The weather was enough to keep the morning crowds away and we started walking right onto the rides right away.  Other than Luigi's Tires and Toy Story Mania, the wait for everything else was less than 20 minutes.  We bounced back and forth between the two parks, but mainly to get back to the Market House on Main Street and get free coffee refills when it got cold and dark.  It put us back in perfect time to hit the holiday fireworks show.  We had never been to the park during the holidays and the ambiance was amazing.  The castle is breathtaking at night and everything looks so perfect with holiday cheer.  The day was perfect, we made a huge dent in our checklist for the year and the kids cannot wait to get back.

Here's what we managed to squeeze into this trip.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Chip N Dale Treehouse
Donald's Boat
Gadget's Go Coaster
Goofy's Playhouse
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Holiday Fireworks Show
Holiday Parade
Indiana Jones Adventure
It's a Small World Holiday
Jungle Cruise
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Matterhorn Bobsleds
Pirates of the Caribbean
Snow White's Scary Adventures
Splash Mountain

California Adventure
California Screamin'
King Triton's Carousel
The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Luigi's Flying Tires
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Soarin' Over California
Toy Story Mania

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We're Going to Disneyland!

This year, Santa brought us Disneyland Annual Passes and we all agree this is the best gift ever!  We were all excited for our first trip and I started looking around on Pinterest and at various websites for tips and fun stuff.  There are some really cool blogs out there dedicated to Disneyland and lots of moms blogging tips for packing.  Some of them were great and some of them were straight up stupid :X  I decided to blog our Disney journey over the next year.  I want to share what works, what doesn't work and our fun!