Disneyland or Bust 2009!!!

Our long awaited trip to Disneyland finally arrived…but not without a few hiccups before we left. We were suppose to take my niece and nephew Hollie and Dylan with us but unfortunately the day before we were suppose to leave I got a phone call from my sister Robin telling me that Dylan was really sick and so we decided we’d just have to take them next time…we were all pretty bummed…

Our next challenge was Disney morning. We were all packed and ready to roll RIGHT ON TIME..which NEVER happens…and we were on the road at 7:30am and almost out of the neighborhood when we thought we should bring my laptop for the kids to watch movies. We turned around thinking it would be a quick dash into the house, only to find my house key didn’t work. We had to call a locksmith and we didn’t get back on the road ’til 9:00am … πŸ™

We tried not to let the $79.00 hit to the pocketbook dampen our spirits and we were off!!!

Eli sure wasn’t letting it get in they way of his excitement… “We’re going to Disneyland!!!!” πŸ™‚

Things were looking up until….we got into Goodyear…two words… TRAFFIC JAM! There was tons of construction and we were barely doing 5 miles an hr. for a good 45min….sigh…

So what does one do when they are stuck in traffic with nothing better to do??? You break out the snacks of course!! πŸ˜› Popcorn balls for everyone!! πŸ˜€

A tasty treat indeed!

Walker has been losing so many teeth lately it a real effort to munch on one of these crunchy balls of fall goodness…but he doesn’t let it slow him down! πŸ™‚

However..being stuck in traffic gave me the opportunity to take a picture of this giant baby..LOL!

I’m not sure what the use of this station is. We’ve never had to stop here, I’ve never seen anyone else stopped here, and it really just slows me down from getting to Disneyland ASAP!! πŸ˜›

This came out blurry cuz I almost missed taking my camera out in time…but it worked. πŸ™‚

We had to stop for gas and lunch..feeding the kids is important I suppose..LOL…Alayna clearly enjoyed her cheeseburger or maybe it should have been called a “mustard” and pickle burger…LOL!

Finally.. 6 hrs. later we arrived at our hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Garden Grove. We’ve stayed at all sorts of hotels in the Disneyland Resort Area. We’ve stayed in super budget motels and pricier hotels. This hotel was on the higher end of the middle of the two. I loved it. We got a suite which had 2 queens in the bedroom with a bathroom, a pull out sofa in the living room and a fully stocked kitchen with table. It was PLENTY of room and it was affordable.

The Garden Grove area is considered the “resort” area..the hotels will be nicer but not typically within walking distance to the Park. But if you ask me..I’d rather pay to park my car than to wonder what I’m sleeping with at night! LOL!! πŸ˜€

The kids were giddy with excitement to be free from their car seats and found the luggage cart to be quite entertaining!

After bringing up all the luggage and settling in we decided to head down to the heated pool. Well..they said it was heated, and there were people including my kids that got in it to swim…but it was tooooo cold for me. So we all went over to the hot tub! πŸ™‚

Jared’s sister Jen, her husband Marcos and their two children Carlos and Natalie came with us. It was their 1st time to Disneyland!! Walker and Carlos are kickin’ it in the hot tub.

Jen and Natalie looking so lovely. πŸ™‚

Marcos trying to capture the memories!

After we had gone swimming we went to dinner. On our way back to our rooms we saw the hotel had this cute statue of Mickey in the lobby. I of course thought we should get a group shot of the 5 kids in front of it..how hard could it be really??? Harder than you would think!!! LOL…this is as good as it got! πŸ˜›

It’s hard to believe I know that we didn’t go to Disneyland on the first day there. I don’t’ think I’ve ever had such restraint before. But I also didn’t want to spend money on a full day ticket to only play for a few hrs. So we waited til Sunday to go.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect during our visit. It was overcast the entire time and drizzled every now and again. It doesn’t make for the best photos but I can’t complain about upper 60’s to low 70’s!!!

Another funny thing I’d like to point out is “Herd Mentality”….You can’t see it here, but behind me are MASSES of people in line to get on the tram to the park…None of them bothered to look further down the concourse to where there was a tram empty and waiting to pick up passengers!!! Lucky for US though. πŸ˜€

Quick photo op of Alayna and me. πŸ™‚ Cheese!

My adorable kiddos!! πŸ˜€

Daddy and Walker anxiously awaiting their arrival to the Park entrance! πŸ˜›

Don’t you love the “little touches” Disney puts into your visit? πŸ™‚ This is a display that you see from the tram as you leave the parking structure on your way to the Park. πŸ™‚ So cute!

I’m not sure if everyone knows this..but I LOVE FALL!!! I love the decorations, the candy, the weather, everything!!! And Disney does Halloween the best out of everyone. πŸ™‚ How cute are those character pumpkins? LOL!

We made it to the park and Walker and Eli quickly go to work on making their Master Plan for which rides they want to get to first. πŸ™‚

The Train Station…Welcomes me home….LOL!!! πŸ˜€

That about sums it up! πŸ™‚

I personally feel the the “Disney Difference” is all in the “Details”! πŸ™‚ Love it!!!

The two cannons in Town Square were built in France and used by the French Army in the 19th Century; these cannons were originally found on Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship which stood in Fantasyland.

Walt Disney kept a private apartment on the second floor of the Fire Station to use during his visits to the park. Like all fire stations, this station has a pole for the fire fighters to slide down; however, the hole in the ceiling of the ground floor was plugged for fear of guests trying to climb up the pole into the apartment. The apartment is still decorated in Victorian antique furniture, but is mainly only used for VIP tours and meetings.

It’s almost impossible to see from this picture but, in the window there is a lamp that is continuously lit. When Walt was in the Park the Cast Members knew because the lamp was on…today the lamp always remains burning in his memory.

I love looking at all the different window displays down Main Street. Some of them are so detailed and creative. This one just cracked me up! πŸ˜‰

Actor Steve Martin got his start working at the Magic Shop in Disneyland. The store is currently closed but will re-open soon! πŸ™‚

Another example of a great window display. πŸ™‚

The infamous Partners Statue.

My family patiently waiting for me to hurry up and take these pictures..LOL!

I just adore this stature of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

After my obsessive picture taking down Main St. The kids demanded we head over to The Haunted Mansion to kick off things right! πŸ™‚

Jack Skellington!! For Halloween and Christmas, Disneyland decorates the Haunted Mansion like the “Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Here are some random pics of the decorations around the attraction…did I mention “details”? πŸ˜›

Haunted Mansion light post.

Haunted Mansion Pumpkin.

Haunted Pumpkin Scarecrow.

Haunted Mansion Count Down Clock.

Oogie Boogie! πŸ˜›

Haunted Standing Clock.

The Huanted Mansion!!! πŸ™‚

Alayna and Daddy waiting in line for the ride!

Next we headed over to Autopia! I guess 6 hrs. in the car the day before was not enough time! LOL!

Aren’t we cute? πŸ˜›

Walker, Alayna and Me waiting to burn some rubber! πŸ˜›

I mentioned earlier my neice and nephew were suppose to come with us on this trip. Well, I had already bought their tickets and needed to sell them. Our wonderful friends the Riedlinger’s had mentioned to us the day before that they were thinking of going too. They were sooo kind and bought the tickets from us and we got to hang out and enjoy The Magic with our families!! πŸ˜€

A funny note about the Riedlingers…when we came during Spring Break this year, there were there too! It’s turning out to be the Kitch/Riedlinger Disney Vacation every 6 mo! πŸ˜› LOL!

Aren’t they sweet? πŸ™‚ Awwwww!

Next we were off to The Tea Cups! Patrick and I both share the dislike of spinning rides cuz they make us want to puke…so we rode together while the kids spun like washing machines! LOL πŸ˜€

Alayna was very excited about the Tea Cups!

We got our balance back and took on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!

Waiting in line can be boring..it also gives Alayna the chance to get into trouble…

She didn’t like Mommy telling her no…so she decided to pout in the corner… I had to document this moment for when she has children of her own one day! LOL! πŸ˜›

Mr. Toad was totally awesome! I think they turned down the heat in the “Hell Room”..didn’t seem to be as chokingly hot this time…..or maybe I’m just getting use to it!!! Hahahaha!!!! πŸ˜›

King Arthur’s Carousel is right next to Mr. Toad and if we didn’t get Alayna on a horse ASAP she was going to go balistic! So we ran over to appease her. πŸ™‚

Here are some little tidbits of info. for you:

The horses on the King Arthur Carousel are all individually hand- carved and painted. They are continually being repainted, and all the brass is polished every night.

Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian’s favorite horse is this Dentzel Jumper.

They painted the horse’s tooth gold so she could easily find it! πŸ™‚

There is a lot of chatter and argument about the picture above. This was taken just as you pass through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on the Fantasyland side. Some say this spike marks the center of Disneyland, some say it’s just a survey marker… I’ve researched it and it appears that it is indeed just a survey marker…but I like to believe there is more “magic” to it than that…:P

At night you can see the Evil Queen from Snow White peer through the curtains! πŸ™‚

Day 3 of our vacation-

The Disney Gallery use to be located upstairs in New Orleans Square above Pirates of the Caribbean. Since they remodled it into a Suite that they give away as a prize to guest or for VIP’s to stay the Gallery has been waiting for a new home.

The Gallery finally opened about a week ago in the space where the Disneyland Bank resided. There were lots of little treasures inside that I could have stayed and oohed and awwed over for hrs. but my group didn’t have patience for my Disney Geekdom…

However, I did find this AMAZING item!!!!!!

I was in AWE!!!

Totally inspiring!

A great peice of history! πŸ™‚

Another thing I love about Disney is what you get for your money. Some people argue that a Disneyland vacation is too expensive. I beg to differ. Where else can you go with your family that offers the quality of live performers, parades, fireworks, rides, entertainment (wholesome entertainment), exhibits, music, theatre, and great food?!?

Here is a great example…We finished at the Disney Gallery and were headed over to Cafe Orleans for our long awaited Pommes Frites and…… bam!!! We were greeted with a great marching band parade with Mickey Mouse himself!!! πŸ™‚ LOVE IT! πŸ˜€

I miss marching band! LOL! They were great! πŸ˜€

Photo op! πŸ˜›

Here are a few attempts at getting my kids to pose for me…some were successful….others..well… πŸ˜›

Mom: Laney pose like this..with your hands under your chin like a princess…

Alayna: (through gritted teeth) CHEESE!!

Mom: Not exactly dear…

Dad: Look smooth!

Walker: OK!

Dad: Perfect!

Mom: Let’s try again…

Alayna: Hmmmm…

Mom: Can you at least look at me?

Alayna: I don’t want to.

Mom: Sigh….

Dad: You’re rockin’ it dude!

Dad: Nice!

Mom: Pose for me Eli.

Eli: Grin!

Mom: That’ll work πŸ˜›

Mom: Please come sit for me?

Alayna: No…

Mom: Fine πŸ™

I sorta got her to look up at least..LOL!!

Mom: You are so handsome!

Later that night we went to see Fantasmic! This show was sort of a sore spot for Disney this summer as they were promoting it for the Summer Crowds but were never able to get the Dragon ie. Malificent to operate. Now it’s Fall and the show has been running successfully with the dragon for about a month….better late than never I suppose.

Captain Hook and Peter Pan sword fighting waaaaaay up there!!! Impressive stunts!

I know this is dark..but considering how far away I was and how dark it was…I think it came out ok πŸ˜›

Ariel and Prince Eric…Love that movie! πŸ™‚ It has a great soundtrack!!

The long awaited Malificent the Dragon. She breathes fire and the heat is soooo intense you can feel it from the audience!

She is impressive in size. The dragon is 32 feet wide and weighs approximately 18,000 pounds. When she stretches to full height, the dragon stands 45 feet tall. When she β€œlurks” beneath the β€œFantasmic!” stage prior to appearing, the dragon contracts to 22 feet tall. During the spectacular finale, she rises to stage level in 35 seconds on a custom-built elevator. Tri-color LED lighting fixtures put the gleam in the dragon’s eyes. In her spectacular appearance, Maleficent breathes a plume of fire 35 feet long, lighting the Rivers of America on fire for 25 seconds during the show. During the show, the dragon is controlled and monitored by four computer systems. The dynamic and menacing animation of the dragon is achieved via 18 axes of motion which enable a wide range of movement in her eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, neck, wings and body.

Awesome!! πŸ˜€

My kids were on the edge of their seats for the entire show.

At the end of the show the Mark Twain River Boat sails by with all of our favorite characters on board!

You can see Woody and Jessie waving good-bye! πŸ™‚

Everyone in our group said this was a great show! πŸ˜€

Day 4 of our Vacation-

Our final day at Disneyland/California Adventure started with us going over to grab a fastpass for Space Mountain..which was re-themed for Halloween, and called “Ghost Galaxy”.

Before we made it there though we took a few pictures infront of Mickey and the Train Station…It’s a MUST DO! πŸ˜›

Mickey Flowers! πŸ™‚

As we were finishing up our pictures this sweet lady comes up to us very hesitantly..and my first thought was she wanted us to take a picture of her group. But to my surprise she is holding 3 little handmade backpacks.

She starts by saying she hopes we don’t think she’s odd, but she had made these bags for her grandchildren and they weren’t going to be coming and wondered since they were for 2 boys and a 1 girl if we would like to have them.

We were taken aback and so overwhelmed with gratitude. Of course we accepted them and the kids thanked her and she went back to her group. But I felt like I need to do more than thank her..I wanted to send her a card or something……

Sweet Grandma is in the orange jacket! πŸ™‚

This was what was inside the bags…I’m pretty sure a package of fruit snacks were there too but my kids munched them before I got the picture taken. πŸ˜›

ADORABLE handmade bags!!! πŸ˜€

Now don’t think that is the end of the story…(and get out your kleenex) I walked over to her to thank her again. I just couldn’t believe how generous she was. She came over to my family and chatted with us for a bit. She said she was here with her family and extended family. They come every year at this time.

You see, a few years ago her neice passed away from a brain anyrism after they had come to Disneyland for a family vacation. So to honor her, they all come every year to remember her and to bring the family from all over the States. She said the first year 80 family members were able to come!!

After she recounted the story and as she spoke you could just feel the love she had for her neice I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and squeeze her!! What an amazing woman, full of kindness and generosity! She was wonderful!

It’s hard to top that! Jared and I just couldn’t stop talking about her and her story…

After we finished up at Disenyland we headed over for some time at DCA (Disney’s California Adventure). Jen and Marcos’s family were waiting for us and the Riedlingers wanted to challenge Jared on Toy Story Mania and ride Screamin:)

The Alcala’s πŸ˜›

They didn’t even know that Disney Geekdom krept into their minds by the last day and they started dressing in the same color! Hahahaha!!! πŸ˜›

Not too much longer and this site will be no more. DCA is getting a big overhaul in the next few yrs!

Jared looking very SMOOTH! πŸ˜€

Walker looking quite “Goofy”…hardy, har, har! πŸ˜›

MMM..candy corn! πŸ˜€

Just a small portion of the 1.2 BILLION dollar remodle!!!

The World of Color Show should be up and running for the public by Spring 2010! πŸ˜€

By day 4 my party girl just couldn’t party anymore! πŸ™‚

Waiting for the “grown ups” to get back from playing! LOL!

Cheese! πŸ˜€

After playing over by the peir we headed over to Monster’s Inc. and then to Turtle Talk with Crush. Which by the way if you have never seen Turtle Talk…YOU SHOULD!!! It’s hilrious! πŸ˜€

Just outside the theatre Dopey was taking pics with his party people! πŸ™‚ We had to get in on the action!

Natalie was less than thrilled! LOL!!!

Alayna LOVED Dopey!

He’s soooo cute!

About 2 min. into Turtle Talk Alayna decided she didn’t have time for the “Awesome Dude” and I took her outside…to our delight and surpise we found……Snow White!!!!!

Snow White was AMAZING!!!! She was every bit the character in the movie. Alayna was so estatic to see her I had a hard time keeping her in the line to wait our turn. She just wanted to go right up to her and meet her. It was PRICELESS!!!! πŸ˜€

Everytime I see this picture I get choked up…Alayna’s expression is pure joy!!! πŸ˜€

Disneyland is where Dreams Come True!!!


  • Anonymous

    I KNEW I shouldn't have read this blog!!! Now I am ACHING to go to Disneyland! I think that someday, we need to plan a trip where we go for… let's say five days, and one of those days, our husbands are in charge of the kids and you and I can go do all the Disney "Geekdom" type things!! I would love all that stuff! It looks like you guys had an awesome time and I'm very happy that you got to go!

    OH, and we lived in Quartzsite for almost three years and did our grocery shopping and went to church in Blythe. Not ONCE did we EVER get stopped at that inspection station!! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Thanks everyone!! Your comments are so sweet! πŸ™‚

    Amy that trip sounds GREAT!!! Let me know when and we are IN! πŸ˜› And that inspection station is even more annoying knowing that now! LOL!!!

  • Rachel

    Great pictures. I almost feel like I was there myself! Thanks for sharing them (I'm watching them late, but will have to show my boys in the morning, they'll love them too!)

  • Jill Ison

    holy post batman! yeah that was long but well worth it! glad you had such an awesome adventure! im with you on the scary things that may or may not live in the beds of the hotels nearest disney! and that bench is so cool! loved the pouty pic of alayna… haha i love documenting the pouts!

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