Our Crazy Holiday Trip (late November 2016) - update 8/16

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 4, 2016.

  1. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    Loving your report so far. Sounds like you were able to do a lot! Your kids are so cute.
     
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  2. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Christmas craziness definitely cut into my trip reviewing. :) I've got to keep going and get this done before my memory fails me!


    After we finished at the Haunted Mansion, we took a few minutes to get our bearings and make some decisions. There was a fun little jazz band playing just outside and we listened to them for a few minutes while we discussed. They were throwing Mardi Gras beads, and our girls both got a set, which made them happy.
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    We were all pretty hungry at 2 pm, so though the line wasn't any shorter at the Stage Door Cafe, I decided to get some food for everyone while they went to get seats for Mickey's Magical Map. Well, everyone except my husband. He's GF and currently trying to not eat dairy, eggs, or most grains to see if he can figure out what's up with his stomach, so counter service places weren't as easy for him. He had grabbed a snack at the skewer place in Adventureland while we were on Big Thunder. And of course my kids were super difficult. They all wanted Power Packs (the things with yogurt, goldfish, carrots, a tiny banana, etc.) which I KNEW would not fill them up, even if they liked all the stuff. I ended up getting a corn dog and fries for me, a kids' chicken tenders and fries for DS2, and Power Packs for the other 3. I kept DD8 with me to help carry stuff. By the time we got through the line and had everything (maybe 10-15 minutes?) DH had texted to say MMM wasn't going to work out, and that they might head to Tomorrowland to find somewhere to eat. I was frustrated, and tired, and annoyed. We actually met up with them at the Hub, and sat on benches there to eat our food. Very weird - it's not an eating area, and we had a tray and everything, haha. Of course DS2 was upset that he didn't have a "Mickey bag" (the Power Packs come in bags) and no one wanted to eat their carrots, and DD6 was upset because she wanted a corn dog, apparently, but that's life feeding so many kids...


    DH said they were kind of in line to get in for seating at the show, but people just kept walking in in front of them, and he couldn't make any headway, and kids were melting down, so they just left. That was fine. It wasn't meant to be. I was kind of sad my "must do" that day didn't work out, but we knew we'd have to be flexible with so many little ones.

    We ate our food and DH left with the baby to go to the car and get something. (Back at the Toy Story parking lot.) I can't remember what, but I'm guessing it was jackets for everyone, because I think there was a breeze and we were kind of cold in the Hub. I may have said this before, but you can tell when the day went downhill, because I stopped taking many pictures. So there may be things I forget or leave out, but apparently they weren't important!

    While we waited to meet up with DH I took all the kids on Buzz Lightyear. The line was a little ridiculous - something like 15 minutes, which for Buzz is not something we'd normally wait. But DS2 was so excited about that one, and it was something we could all go on. The kid did not enjoy waiting in lines. He just didn't get it. I have a picture (not here) of me holding onto him while he tries to escape and run ahead.


    After Buzz we met up with DH. The lines were pretty long for most things, and most of us were a little exhausted from the whole 3:30 am wake up thing. He asked about going over to the Star Wars Launch Bay. I had planned that for day 3, when everyone was wearing their Star Wars shirts. And I really wanted a picture with Chewbacca. Nope, those things didn't happen. But the kids got to geek out over Star Wars stuff, and we got a few pictures with Boba Fett, and we lost the 3-year-old for a moment, and for an even scarier moment, realized we had left my dad's nice DSLR (ours was recently stolen) sitting in the stroller instead of either of our bags. Yay, that was fun. Thankfully, it was still there when I ran out to look for it. I would have enjoyed looking around so much more under different circumstances (without 5 small children and with more sleep) because I've always been a Star Wars fan. But the kids had a great time, and especially enjoyed some xBox or something game they had set up that they could play. :-)
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    Apparently we had Star Tours fast passes, because our pictures said that I took the three oldest on Star Tours (yay!) and we had a really fun time. The only part I definitely remember is when we when to the Gungun world underwater, and that was pretty cool. It was the first time DD6 had been on it, and she loved it.
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    After that things got a little intense, because the parade was just ending, and we erroneously thought moving from Star Tours to Fantasyland, through the Hub, was a good idea. Hahahaha. It was a bit claustrophobic, and a lot crazy. That's the kind of crowds I imagine are normal during the busiest weeks of the year, and I don't think I could ever deal with them, at least not with kids. But we made it through, and the line for the Teacups wasn't bad, so we decided to just go on that. It was fun, and pretty since it was starting to get dark.
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    It was now 5:30 PM, and my husband was the happiest man in the world when I told him I thought I was ready to go. It was not a best first day. We were all exhausted, and things hadn't gone quite as I hoped. But we still had a good time (especially the first couple hours) and made some memories, and got some great pictures. We trekked to the Toy Story bus pick up area, found our car, and went to the California Pizza Kitchen, where we spent probably as much as we would have at Disney on dinner, but it was quieter, and tastier (I think), and we all got to bed before it was super late. So we could get up and try again the next day to have a magical time!
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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  4. buttercup3

    buttercup3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm so happy you're continuing your report! The next few days are the same days I was there so I'm interested to see how your experience compared to ours. Your Monday sounds like our Friday!
     
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  5. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I'm trying to get photos uploaded from our 2nd day. :-) I have a fussy, teething baby, and 3 other kids that act like bedtime is a brand. new. idea. Sigh....
     
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  6. Aggiegrl

    Aggiegrl DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying this! Thanks!
     
  7. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Whoops. Kinda forgot to be working on this. But in the meantime, I got the video from our trip edited, so that's something! Since I finished the first day, I posted that far on Youtube, if you can to watch! I'm usually a little better at getting the storyline covered, but the whole 5-kids-including-a-baby thing had me more flustered than usual. I actually used some other videos from Youtube of rides I didn't get any footage on to keep the storyline intact for later remembering. :)

    Here is a clip or two of
    Our First Day - Traveling.

    And here is our First Day at Disneyland, cut down a little from our family videos length.

    Thanks, Aggiegrl! Hopefully you're still around (and all you other followers) even though it's been a while. I AM going to finish this!

    In other news, my husband said we're going to have to do an adults-only trip sometime in the next year or two so he can remember that he -likes- Disneyland. Poor guy was kinda traumatized this last trip! I'm grateful that he's willing to keep trying though!
     
  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Our Second Day at Disney!

    Man, we were tired already! The Park officially opened at 10, but it was Tuesday, and we were planning to use our 9 AM Magic Morning this trip (since our kids are up so early and since the parks were opening so late). So at about 8 am, DH dropped me and the four older kids off and went to park with the baby. He’s such a trooper. We waited in the security line for it to open for the day. I don’t think there was much of a temperature difference, but there was a stiff breeze and we were freezing just a bit. I was so glad the baby wasn’t waiting with us!
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    We might have had the busiest lines/crowds this morning, as I’ve heard people say about Magic Morning the last few years. We got in and moved immediately to the front to wait for rope drop. (I say “front,” but we were back a good 8-10 people into the crowd with our double jogger) The press of people was daunting, but it was definitely warmer with all those people on Main St in the sun than it had been waiting at security! :)
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    I was determined to do Peter Pan once this trip, since the little guy (DS2) loves Peter Pan. I’m not sure we made the right choice trying to hit it first thing after rope drop, even though I basically speed walked (with DD6 and DS2 in the stroller and the older two following me, so we weren’t as much of a crowd) and ditched the stroller and jumped in line. But we were in line by 9:04 (according to my pic time stamps) and weren’t on until like 9:38 I think. So we waited over 30 minutes for it. I definitely saw it listed at 20 minutes a few times during our trip!
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    I was also sad because DH hadn’t been able to get back from the parking lot in time for the MM rope drop, so we were far into the line by the time he made it to PP, at like 9:20 or so. Peter Pan is his favorite “kid” ride, and I really wanted him to ride it, but I just didn’t know if we could swing it. I convinced him to try though, and he joined us by squeezing past a trash can right before we entered the “fence” part of the line where it becomes basically impossible. The people around us didn’t seem to mind. Maybe it was the cute tiny baby he was wearing. I was so glad we got to go all together, since it was the only time we were able to make it on this trip!

    By 9:45 we were off the ride, and we took a quick spin on the Teacups, since there was no line really still. That was definitely one of the rides we made it on the most! Our kids enjoyed it a lot, and the zero to low wait was a big draw.

    We decided it was time to fit in another must-do and headed for the Jingle Cruise. Again, the line seemed a little long for this one, but we corralled DS2 in the toddler Tula for the line (since he was a bit grumpy already after a big day before). The weather was quite nice by now, but the kids were mostly still wearing their jackets. I think we actually only waited about 15 minutes, and even scored our only whole-family picture of the day. We had the wrong lens on the camera for such a large group, and barely got everyone in, but at least the shot exists, right?
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    Super enjoyed the Jingle Cruise. It was my first time, and so fun to have a whole new set of bad jokes and different décor to see. I wish we would have made it on one more time during our trip, and would definitely like to do it again in the future. :)
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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  9. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    On our way onto the Jingle Cruise I had grabbed fastpasses for Indy, and we decided to go ahead and use them right after, because they were up already. DH took DS10 and DD8, (who was feeling brave) but DD6 was still about an inch too short, so I took the three little ones. We meant to check out the Disneyland RR installation over in New Orleans Square, but I got distracted when I realized this was the perfect time to grab one of my must-try holiday treats: peppermint beignets. I’m not sure if I liked them more than the regular ones, but they were still super good, and of course DS2 was quite happy with my choice.

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    Unfortunately, by the time they were –finally- finished eating theirs, baby girl was having a hungry-or-tired-or-who-knows-what meltdown. So I got both kids in the stroller, but her in the sling, and headed back to Indiana Jones. I figured they should totally be done by now! It actually ended up taking them over an hour because the ride broke down while they were deep inside the temple.

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    Normally no big deal, but like I said the baby was super upset, and by the time we were done, the toddler had melted down too while we waited forever outside for them. I dislike that there’s zero cell reception down there so they couldn’t tell me what was happening earlier. I probably would have made different choices. As it was, I sent 6 and 2 up into Tarzan’s Treehouse (twice) by themselves (bad mom alert?) while I sat at the exit (so I couldn’t lose them) and tried to nurse the overtired, over-stimulated 4-month-old. She wouldn’t really nurse, and was a real handful. Probably the low point of the day.
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    They finally came back about 12:15 I think, and we decided we were ready for California Adventure. Sort of. Baby girl really needed a good nursing session, so I sent everyone else to hang out on Main Street while I visited the baby care area. Which has a name, but it completely escapes me right now. It did the trick, and the quieter, warmer atmosphere with the semi-comfy chairs helped me get a good feeding in. That was really one of our biggest struggles – getting our little girl, who barely gets enough milk from me as it is, to concentrate and work at eating. There was just so much going on!

    We had gotten smarter, and remembered to bring a pacifier for DS2 today, and by the time we park hopped and got over to what used to the be the Taste Pilot Grill in what used to be Condor Flats, he was asleep. Hallelujah! He needed that nap badly! The food was decent, and plentiful, and we enjoyed chicken sandwiches, burgers, and whatnot. The fries were GF here, too, which was exciting for DH, who needed a good calorie boost. I don’t think we were able to finish everything, which is unusual for a hungry family of our size. :)
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    At this point the kids wanted to get one of their “MUSTS” in. Grizzly River Rapids. How did we manage to do that on the coldest day we were there? I have no idea. But DS2 was still asleep, and I think the baby was too, so they detoured into the Redwood Challenge area (which I still haven’t been in since about 2005) for a while and I sat outside with the little guy in the stroller and the baby girl asleep in the sling. Fun times. J Actually, there was a guy on stilts and plenty of people watching to do, so I was mostly fine, though trying not to move too much and wake the baby.

    I love Grizzly River Rapids, but not when it’s cold, so much. And mostly not because at any moment one of my kiddos could get soaked, and I’d have to hear about it (or make a trip to the parking structure for extra clothes). At least there was absolutely no wait. Sometime we’ll have to plan to get soaked when it’s cold and just ride it over and over anyways. J As it was, I pulled out the ponchos, and the flip flops. (though somehow we were missing a pair… yikes.) DD9 opted to wear her tennis shoes. As I was lecturing them on how to avoid getting completely soaked (I know, I took all the fun out of it) and we were preparing for the first big climb, I looked over to see DD6 with her kid-sized poncho pulled all up over her head, effectively leaving her jeans completely exposed to the elements. I shut that down fast, telling her that her hair would dry way faster than her pants! Disneyland is a little more fun when you’re not the mom. We had a good ride, though, and everyone got a little soaked, but not too bad. (Thanks to the ponchos) I probably got the worst of it. DD’s shoes were pretty wet, though. DS10 said he was comfortable in the the flip flops and let her wear his for the rest of the day. He doesn’t get cold that easily, and they are (obviously) the same shoe size.
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    We made it back to DH and all went on the Little Mermaid together. Another favorite, since it’s not scary, looks really awesome, and rarely has a wait. Everyone enjoyed it. :)

    Lines weren’t bad over all, and Screamin’ looked almost walk on, according to the app, so we decided it was time to try it. It’s not DH’s favorite, so he opted to stay with the shorties while I took DS10 and DD9 on. Now DD was actually not that interested in riding Screamin’. In fact, she didn’t want to at all. But we talked her into it, telling her she just had to try it once, and she MIGHT love it. (She was our surprise Space Mountain lover when she was only 5) This is her in line face:

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    Our experience with Screamin’ coming up next time…
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  10. LALA8971

    LALA8971 My Laughing Place

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    Following along! I love your report so far!
     
  11. cptmemo

    cptmemo Mouseketeer

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    I just finished typing our trip report up (13 pages in a word doc...eek), but need to decide how I want to share pictures.

    Love hearing about your trip!
     
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  12. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Thanks! I'm trying to work on it more...

    Excited to see/read when you start!!
     
  13. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Oh man. DD8 was super not a fan. Not. Not. We waited extra long because DS10 wanted to ride in the very front the first time (he is a brave soul, apparently!) I let him ride there with another guy waiting for the front, who was also riding Screamin’ for the first time! That was fun. DD8 and I sat behind them, and I think she kept her eyes closed most of the time, which OF COURSE would be a little intense. You can’t even see her in the picture because she is holding my arm and kind of ducking down. She was traumatized for at least an hour afterwards. (eye roll at the poor dear’s very sensitive nature) I’m not sure if she was upset about the experience more or upset that we made her try it, or upset because she so didn’t like it, and felt silly or bad about it. It’s hard to tell. But anyway. DS10 LOVED it and since the line was super short, I took him on it right away again while DD8 got to ride King Triton’s Carrousel with the other kids again. Oh my little girl. I hope she’s more into it next time she visits in a few years.
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    To help cheer up DD8, DH took the older two over to RSR to let them do the single rider line. He also took baby girl in the wrap, and I took DS2 and DD6 on Luigi’s, which none of us had ever ridden. He did so much better in lines this afternoon after getting a nap at lunchtime! Luigi’s has a nice line, too, I felt like, especially when it wasn’t overly crowded. We spent 15-20 minutes in line at 4 in the afternoon. Also, they handed us a lanyard to carry through, and that gave him something to be in charge of. :) The ride was a little more fun to watch than ride, but it was really fun when our cars spun around, and the kids definitely enjoyed it. :)

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    One of my favorite pictures ever of me and DS6:
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    Then I switched with DH and nursed the baby on a bench near Stanley and waited for our older kids to get off RSR (which they loved) while DH took the two littles on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. They were on in less than 10 minutes.
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    One of my goals of this trip was to see the Sh-Boom neon-lights-turning-on, and we were at the right place at the right now. I didn’t realize (though I should have) that they play a different song during the holidays! So it was cool still, but not quite as fun (for me) as when it’s accompanied by that song. I guess it’s something to look for again next time. :) You’ll be able to see some of it in the video when I post it soon.

    I can’t remember if we had a fast pass for Soarin’ or if the line just wasn’t too bad. I kind think we had fast passes. Anyway, we went to Soarin’ about 5 pm and DH took the 3 older on it while I held down the fort with baby girl and DS2. It was kind of cold outside, and the baby wanted to nurse again, so I went into the restaurant-formerly-known-as-the-Taste-Pilot’s-Grill and Sat Mr. 2 down at a table (thankfully it wasn’t too busy) with some snacks and nursed the baby while we waited.
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    Then it was my turn (with rider switch plus our one extra fastpass, so yes we must have gotten those...)! I was pretty excited, because I hadn’t seen Soarin’ Around the World yet. We ended up top center, which was awesome placement, and I really truly enjoyed our “flight.” I was happy that Patrick was still part of the pre-show. I still can’t believe it was 15 years ago I first rode Soarin’ when CA Adventure opened. Excellent trip, and we found our people again and tried to decide what to do. Originally I had wondered about seeing World of Color this night if we could swing it.
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    But you guys, we were so tired. It had been a long (but much better, overall) day, and it was chilly, and we didn’t really feel like paying $75 for dinner and THEN making our way back to our car when we were already worn out at this point. So we called it a night. At 6:40 PM. This Disney trip seriously almost broke me. Disney with a whole herd of small children (including a baby) is not for the faint-hearted!
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    Since we had our Magic Morning this day, our best option had been parking in Mickey & Friends, so we still needed to get aboard the tram. Which, with the jogging stroller, was an adventure. We had to wait for the only spot big enough to pull it on with me (while DH juggled all 5 kids) and then it took some fellow passengers helping me grab and heft it. I was very grateful to them!

    I hadn’t actually ridden the tram before (and hadn’t parked in Mickey & Friends in probably 20 years – we always stay close) and that was pretty fun. I enjoyed doing it once, even if the stroller was a little stressful. It was also fun to get a peek at all the lit up Star Wars land construction from up high while we loaded up in our car. And then headed to Panda Express. Because yum and not so much $. We left Panda by 8 local time, but Miss 6 was exhausted and didn’t make it back to our hotel awake. :)

    That darling little sleeper was going to be the cause of a rather stressful adventure the next morning. One that, even with all my obsessive research, I hadn’t prepared for and was a bit clueless about…
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  14. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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  15. Christina-B-Na

    Christina-B-Na Mouseketeer

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    Im not all the way caught up yet but I am LOVING your trip report!! Im using it as inspiration because I can not seem to get myself together to write mine. Ugh! We had a rather rough ending to our November trip so we're actually doing a "make up" trip in a few weeks.
    Your family is sooo adorable. The family outfits turned out fantastic!
     
  16. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Thanks! It's nice to know someone else is getting some value out of it! It was a good trip, but there were definitely some rough moments, and it wore us completely out!. :-)
     
  17. Our Aussie six

    Our Aussie six Earning My Ears

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    I'm really enjoying your trip report. We are visiting DL from Australia with our four kids the week after thanksgiving this year. I hope the crowds won't be too overwhelming.
    I look forward to reading more :sunny:
     
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  18. daisy_77

    daisy_77 <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=

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    I just stumbled upon your TR..oh my gosh, your family is just precious ❤️ I loved watching your videos. Traveling with kids is so hard but the memories are priceless and stay with you forever.
     
  19. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I'm so glad it's helpful to someone else! I looked everywhere for trip reports from the week after Thanksgiving last year and couldn't find anything really, and I'm always looking for ones with lots of little kids, since those are the most helpful for me when I'm preparing. :-) I hope your week is like ours. It was busy, but only overwhelming a couple times when we got stuck in the wrong spot or when we were trying to deal with a baby's needs along with the other 4...

    Thanks for the kind words! It is helping me to do this report and relive the good memories. We were both a little shell-shocked at how exhausted we we were this time vs our first time. :) The kids still had a great time though, because they've been talking about "when we go back." Haha.
     
  20. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Disney Day Three!

    Today was supposed to be our “Star Wars” day, and the day we planned to do the Jedi Academy. I’m glad my husband got this picture of his cool shirt, because I think it was covered by the wrap the rest of the day. I did the girls’ hair like Rey (from Ep VII). It would have been a good day for meets with the Star Wars characters, if we hadn’t already kinda done that.

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    But there was one issue. DD6 couldn’t walk. Like it was painful for her to stand much or walk at all. (Later DH told me this happened before on our last trip to Legoland towards the very end of the first day. And she had been doing a lot of walking the last two days.) DH is a chiropractor, and adjusted her, but it didn’t seem to be a functionality thing. I still have no idea. So now what? Thankfully, we did have the big double stroller that she still fit in, but what do I do with a child at Disneyland who can’t walk all of a sudden? I was totally blindsided and unprepared.

    I gave her a children’s motrin in case it would help, and we headed off to open the day at Disneyland again. DH dropped us off and managed to get to us right about when the gates opened this time. He took the baby and the two older ones up to wait for rope drop and head to The Jedi Training Academy sign up and I went to City Hall to see what they could do for us to make this day still work. I didn’t really know the right questions to ask, so there was some confusion before we finally figured out that I just needed a sticker that said our stroller was a wheelchair for the day, so she could stay in it as much as possible. I took DD6 and DS2 and waited about at the Plaza as we waited for rope drop to meet up with the rest of the family.

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    There was some stress and confusion because DH didn’t catch the part where I said the kids had to be WITH him to sign up, and he had sent them to get fast passes first or something. But they got signed up. I didn’t take DD6 over to sign up because she couldn’t walk. She couldn’t really participate if she wasn’t ambulatory. (There was actually a kid in a wheelchair doing it our session, but that’s different than being confined to a honking double stroller…) After a rather exciting visit to the bathroom where I basically had to carry her in, we were ready to try this. She had been asking to ride the Astro Blasters the day before, and since I knew this day might not work out very well for her, we decided to do that first. First bit of stress. A double stroller is not the same as a wheelchair. I took it through the line only to find that there was no way it would fit through the access door. Cue slight freak out and embarrassment as we tried to make our way –back- up through the line which was longish by now. I didn’t know what to do. I am such a planner and preparer, and I had no clue how this system worked. Okay, that's not true. I had a fairly good idea how it worked, and had quickly googled what to do, but there was too much information swirling around in my head, and too many options, and I couldn't keep it all straight. I need months to memorize information like this! I finally went to the exit and asked a cast member what I should do if it didn’t fit, and she said we could wait at the exit, but would have to wait the length of the line. I was frustrated and said I had already waited in line (about 10-15 minutes, and we needed to meet with the others) and she finally said it was fine and we could go on the next time. You guys, me (at 5’3 and way too many lbs currently) carrying a 45 lb 6-year-old and trying to keep track of Mr. 2 (not light himself) and trying to get all 3 of us (since neither could ride alone) into one of those rockets (and back out!) was not for the faint of heart. But she got her ride.

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    After that we met with the rest of the family, and tried to figure out what to do while we waited for our Hyperspace Mountain fastpasses to be active. It was at that point that we made one of the worst decisions we could have at that particular morning with our circumstances…

    Most of the Disneyland Resort is fairly accessible. Even our double stroller might have fit through most of the lines in CA, though I have my doubts… If we had realized what a pain it was going to be we would have rented a single stroller for the day immediately! We didn’t think of that until after the fact, somehow, or my husband probably did, but I probably shut him down in my stress, thinking we couldn’t handle juggling two strollers AND 5 kids. (We could have) So which part is the least accessible? That’s right! Fantasyland, where we chose to go try to ride a few rides!

    It was nothing but stress. We didn’t fit where we were supposed to be able to, I didn’t understand the system well enough, and I was in a constant state of frustration and panic and not knowing what was supposed to happen. If it had just been me and her even, it would have been easier. But nope, we were a family of 7. Big families are wonderful in some ways. But not in these ways. We managed to get on Alice, but we were blocking things we shouldn’t, and DH was trying to carry her and hold onto Mr. 2 while I held the baby and stress! Then we tried the carousel, and that’s where it all melted down. I could NOT figure out how we were supposed to get on. Where we were supposed to be, what was supposed to happen. Much of the problem was that she was partially ambulatory. If I had any sense I would have just carried her into the regular line and held her, but I was trying to figure out if there was an easier way, with our stroller-as-a-wheelchair sticker. (Spoiler: Nope.) I gained so much more empathy (I’ve always tried to have some) for families with kids with different needs that have to navigate Disney differently. I was such a basket case by the time we finally got on the Carousel (usually one of my favorite rides) that I was crying and couldn’t stop pretty much the whole ride. My husband was stressed and frustrated, DD9 was sad and worried. (She’s the sensitive one) Thankfully, DD6 was almost oblivious to my stress, and was possibly even enjoying the attention.
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    I just couldn’t pull it together though. I thought that things should be better explained or set up more universally. (You see that sign above? This was not actually where we were supposed to be, for transferring, apparently, because they completely ignored us while we waited there for a while to ask how it worked or where we were supposed to go…) I really don’t do well when things don’t go as planned and I don’t have a Plan B or Plan C. I know, I probably shouldn’t have had 5 kids, and taking them on vacation always pushes it for me!

    Thankfully, the day improved from there. We went over to use our HSM fastpasses, and they were super helpful at the exit, where we were supposed to enter the line. This is one I knew I’d have a hard time carrying my heavy child through, but I was willing to if I needed to. The problem was, she needed to stay off her feet as much as possible, but on the bigger rides, that left the other parent with a baby and a 2-year-old, who was a bit of a runner. And they’re also easier to deal with some gear, but it’s hard to carry around gear when you are wearing a baby and chasing a 2-year-old. We really should have rented another stroller.

    But we got on fairly quickly, had no issues loading everyone, and the 3 older kids loved it! I loved it too, and since I’m a Star Wars fan and a Space Mountain fan, it was a win. They all love Star Wars a lot, and they just had a great ride. We almost waited in the exit line again for another ride while we were there, but then of course the ride broke down. It was still fun, though.

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    Now it was time for us to report to the Jedi Training Academy to get ready for their show. DH took Mr. 2 over to ride Finding Nemo, since he’s a big fan, and since it didn’t make sense to make him wait with us. I took the baby and the older 3 and we went up for the pre-show.

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    DD6 had been sad about not being able to participate, but I don’t think it really sank in until she saw her siblings getting their robes on. I looked over and the poor little thing had tears streaming down her face. She was so disappointed. She said she thought she could walk a little (I think the advil had been helping, as had staying off her feet mostly for several hours) and begged to be allowed to do it too. They had all been so looking forward to this. My heart was broken. What a rotten thing to happen on a Disney trip! (When we can only afford to go every 3-4 years)
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  21. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,181
    It was still about 15 minutes before it was supposed to start, so I quietly went over to the CM at the podium and explained our situation and asked if they could let us know if there were randomly any cancellations or no-shows. He said he would put her on the waitlist. I was grateful and went to tell her there was a chance, but it might not work out. Of course, Disney worked their magic, and within 2-3 minutes they called her name. She was able to slowly, carefully, walk over to the podium and answer their questions and was getting her robe in just a few minutes. 4 months later, I’m still choking up about it. She was so sad, and then I was so relieved.
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    When it was time to go back over I went over to get some seats and met up with DH, who gave me Mr. 2 and went to help DD6 make her way from the check in to the show. I think he probably carried her, but I didn’t see. The kids all did great in the show and had a wonderful time. DS10 has a great imagination, is way into Star Wars and lightsabers, and really got into it. The girls were more timid, but really enjoyed themselves. DD6 said her leg was hurting during it, but she tried to not let it show, because she really wanted to be able to do it. She was glad to take a rest in the stroller afterwards though.
    (All Photopass pictures are courtesy of my friend who has an AP with Photopass. I wish we would have made that connection earlier in the trip. I might have managed to get a full family picture…)
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    We asked the kids what they wanted to do next, and they were all interested in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again. The wait was less than 10 minutes, I think, so we went for that. I asked DD6 if she could walk in the line if I helped her, and she thought she could. I knew the line wasn’t long, so rather than try to figure out the whole enter-at-the-exit with our gargantuan stroller (which we kind of needed to keep Mr. 2 in because the baby was conked out on DH’s chest) I helped her through the line and kind of carried her when needed (like going up the stairs). Still easier than trying to figure out the DAS. It was short enough that I –think- we went twice in a row before heading over to CA for the afternoon. I don’t remember what or when we ate, so we might have mostly eaten snacks we had brought in up to that point.
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    I’m not super sure what happened when we hopped to CA about 2 pm, but I think that we went through and got fastpasses for the Tower of Terror (DH’s favorite ride, and one we were happy that we got to ride again before they changed all the theming).
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    At that point DH took the baby and went to get something small to eat, I think, and I took the four older kids on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. That is such a fun ride. Really, one of my favorites, I think. The kids always laugh their heads off. I thought it was one that was going to be hard to ride because of confusing height requirements (and I thought the older kids couldn’t ride alone because of it?) but it was a non-issue since they are both over 7. It was different in two different places on the Disneyland website. But anyway, no problem, and they loved it.
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    After that we were still waiting for DH, and the kids were a little hungry, but I didn’t want to eat a meal in Carsland (my kids are not fans of Flo’s) so we decided to get some snacks. Yummy popcorn and a churro with dipping sauce split 5 ways doesn’t go real far, but they kids enjoyed it and it was a nice break. Shall we talk about how I left our backpack with the nice DSLR in it by the Churro cone now, or later? That was a bit stressful.
    But how cute is this boy?

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    Now it was time for our TOT fastpasses, but of course the baby had fallen asleep, so DH let me go first with the older 3. Neither of the girls were very excited about it (DD8 had been when she was 5) but they were willing to try it. We probably pressured them just a bit, saying they had to try it in case they loved it this time, and how it was never going to be the same again. Nope, they were freaked out, and didn’t like it. DS10 thought it was awesome. DD8 didn’t dislike it as much as Screamin’, but didn’t want to ride again. So DH and DS10 went again while I juggled everyone else. Not the easiest task!


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    (how they all felt waiting to get on the elevator…)
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    Sweetie pie!

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    It was good to get the Tower of Terror in, since it was a must do. Now any other rides we got on it were bonuses. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    cptmemo likes this.

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