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We just returned from a short…a very short trip to Disneyland and Halloween Party. Including the six hour drive each way, we were gone a total of 51 hours. It was a whirlwind, non-stop trip.
This was a trip we decided to cancel, we put our Disney timeshare up for rent but as our September financial situation improved dramatically, Dan really wanted to still go and have a chance to get a break from real life.
Everyone Joined Us
Since our timeshare hadn’t rented, I pulled the listing and we bought Halloween party tickets as well. If that wasn’t enough, we talked my mom and one of her best friends into going with us and even paid for my oldest, Allie to fly home and go.
Sometimes I get this ‘go big or go home’ mentality, and this was one of those times. If we were going to the Halloween party, we needed to dress up!
I found this FANTASTIC little Etsy shop, The Gifting Tree and she made all of our shirts because we were going to be The Incredibles. I have nothing but great things to say about Brittney and her shop. She was always in communication with me about my order and everything arrived as promised.
All the girls ordered these red leggings to go under black shorts:Always Women’s Solid Color Full Length High Waist Leggings Red One Size
Now, there were other Incredible families there, but none as big as ours and none that had titles on their shirts. We stood out, our group of 8.
At The Right Time
Our short but sweet trip came at the right time. We all needed a break from reality. With an escalating argument with my daughter’s teacher coming to a head, it was a good time to step back and let everyone breathe.
We turned this into a birthday celebration for Aison and he wasn’t fond of the attention and only with incredible reluctance did he wear the birthday button. Attention is not his thing. I can appreciate it, although I won’t lie, he wore the button to make me happy.
I did bring some food, including fruit and my new favorite oatmeal. I eat this every day, my grain free oatmeal.Love Grown Super Oats, Simply Pure, 12 Ounce
We had lunch on the pier at California Adventures. I had a chicken Caesar salad, a great choice for the hot day. Although there was garlic in the dressing, the lunch didn’t irritate my stomach.
For dinner we ate at Café Orleans, the inexpensive version of Blue Bayou. I ordered the salmon on polenta and it was fantastic and safe for my diet. I did order beignets and had one of those bad boys dipped in raspberry sauce. SWOON. It was delicious. Sometimes, the sweets are worth it.
The next day we had Storyteller’s Café for brunch and it might have been one of the better buffets we had at Disney. It was quiet and calm with only a couple characters. My entire family could have lived off the caramel French toast. I did try a bite and it was heavenly. I didn’t want to tempt fate though, so I ate very well at the buffet.
I didn’t get to go on Guardians of the Galaxy! AAAACk…but, I will be back in November and will ride it then!
The Halloween party proved to be the best time to experience rides at Disneyland because we didn’t wait in line for more than ten minutes, and that was for Space Mountain. Everything else, we literally walked on to the ride.
Max pass the day before was great and worth the $10 per person. Once our first pass hit we were hurrying from ride to ride and it was great.
The party, for us, was worth the cost, no doubt.
- The rides had no lines. Spectacular!!
- The trick or treat was so much fun and we came away with a ridiculous amount of candy. We had 2 backpacks FULL of candy. These lightweight backpacks are a must bring to Disney, especially since we no longer use a stroller.
- The parade and fireworks are a Halloween Party only theme and were both fantastic. Everyone in our group raved about these two things.
- There are meet and greets…we were so busy doing everything else, we didn’t meet any villains. Next year!!
- The crowds after the park closes to regular guests were less. Now, we weren’t on Main Street or at New Orleans Square so those two areas might have had more people. For us, it was so quiet.
Why I Love Disney
I was never one of those people that would go to Disney each year, in fact I scoffed at friends and family that did. Now I’m becoming one of them. Why?
I realize that it’s the one place for my kids to let their guard down and just be kids. They don’t have to impress anyone, it doesn’t matter what they wear or how they act. My middle two kids are in junior high, the time to act cool and older than their age. Disney does such an amazing job of immersion, of creating a world that allows everyone to just be a kid. And right now, I appreciate that more than anything because kids grow up way too fast.
So, we are spending a lot of time at both Disneyland and Disneyworld over the next couple of years. And other people can scoff at me now. It’s okay, because I’m having too much fun to notice!
My Top 10 Disney Tips
- Get Maxpass. Right now it’s $10 a day per ticket and it’s worth it. You can start picking rides once you’re in the park and you can pick from either Disneyland or California Adventures. No more running from one Fastpass station to another!
- Free Water: Each quick service restaurant will give you cups of water for free. When it’s 90 degrees outside, this was a lifesaver.
- Send Souvenirs to Hotel: If you are staying on site you can have your packages sent straight to the hotel so you’re not stuck carrying it around. Now, lesson learned, this service ends about 2 hours before the park closes, so be careful of your timing.
- Buy Tickets online so you don’t have to wait in line once you arrive. You can hit the parks running.
- Download the Disneyland official app – You will need this for Max pass and linking all tickets together. You can also check out wait times for other rides. You can also find when and where all the characters will be at both parks.
- Save shows for later in the day – After walking all morning, taking in a show will be greatly appreciated by your feet!
- Sit down for late lunch – Our family always tries to combine meals, so we will have a late lunch and that will satisfy for dinner too. If anyone gets hungry later, we have snacks (fruit, granola bars, etc) in our backpack.
- Bring a lightweight backpack such as the Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack-Orange – You’ll hear two schools of thought on this. Once kids are out of a stroller, some people give up the idea of carrying ANYTHING extra. We still bring this lightweight backpack for small snacks and to hold my wallet and our phones. As night falls we can toss in our sunglasses as well.
- Use Single Rider When Possible – My husband and I are the only two that will go on guardians of the Galaxy. The three kids are not having any part of that ride. It makes more sense to use the single rider line and each take turns instead of using a fastpass.
- Early Morning or Late Night: There are less crowds if you arrive for rope drop and you can get your day going strong early on. Now, late nighters – at park closing the entrance to all rides close, so if you’re in line at park closing, you’ll still get to ride the rides. In addition, all the Main Street shops stay open an hour past closing, give you time to shop on your way out or even grab an ice cream cone!