We left for vacation on a Sunday morning a little before 7:30am. On our way out of town we grabbed donuts and some coffee. The drive was perfect! Luscian slept a little over half of the way while Sean & I enjoyed some wonderful one on one time. We stopped in Bakersfield to stretch our legs & eat lunch at Panera Bread. We checked into the Disney Grand California Hotel at 1pm and waited the arrival of our friends. We were fortunate enough to have adjoining rooms. The hotel is gorgeous!! It was our first time staying at this resort. We usually stay at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel which is also fabulous, but with two children who takenaps the convenience of the Grand California Hotel won the pick. Luscian just loved our hotel room. He was extra curious about his new environment.
We loaded up the strollers walked into Disneyland by 2pm. It rained for the first hour. Nothing crazy just a light mist. That didn't stop the crowd though. Disneyland was packed!! I wore my oh so comfy Honey & Lace CA Tunic Top and Red Leggings. I made my Minnie ears out of foam, fabric, silk flowers and rhinestones. I found that Roxy slip on sneakers are a must have when you are walking all day at the park. I purchased mine at DSW for less than $40. Our first ride was the Jungle Cruise. After that we got fast passes for the Haunted Mansion & zipped through the line in minutes. We did a lot of walking around the first day and didn't focus to much time on rides due to the crowd. Our last ride of the evening before dinner was one of our favorites, Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters. Sean gets extra competitive with this one. He usually has one of the highest scores for the day. Luscian got a kick out of all the lights flashing. He also waved high & bye to almost every cast member.
We booked dinner reservations in advance through Costco Travel. This made it easy to plan around our schedule. We wanted a character dining experience so we chose Goofy's Kitchen which is inside of the Disneyland Hotel. Before we were seated we got a chance to take photos with Goofy. Luscian wasn't quite sure what to think of an over-sized dog in a chef outfit. Goofy's Kitchen is a buffet style restaurant and each character has a roll. Chip & Dale are servers, Minnie is the Baker and other characters are known to pop in during your dinner too. While we were waiting for our drink order the characters stopped by one by one to take a photo & say hello. An instant panic set in and Luscian wanted nothing to do with the characters. He was so scared! Luckily our friends daughter loved every minute of it. Luscian cheered up quick once the characters started singing & dancing.
After dinner we took a stroll down the Disney District. Our son is usually a night owl and is known for staying up past midnight. To our surprise after dinner he conked out before 9pm. We opted out of the parade and fireworks, which we were more than ok to skip because we were so tired already. We headed back to the hotel & called it a night. A great feature offered by the Grand California Hotel was their express breakfast menu. You write your order the night before on a door hanger and place it outside of your room before midnight. Your breakfast arrives hot and ready at the time you wish. We ordered breakfast each morning and it was delicious! We preferred Mickey Shaped Waffles with Banana Foster, orange juice, hot coffee and a side of fruit. It was mouth watering good!
Day two at the park was even better. The weather was amazing. Bright and sunny! Thankfully the rain was gone for good! I sported my brand new Honey & Lace Active Wear. This style is available in blue, dark pink and lime green. My inspiration for the day was all about Cinderella! My second set of Minnie ears had a blue satin bow with a crown. For the breezy California mornings and chilled nights I bought this custom zip-up hoodie from an Esty shop in Vegas. You can check out their inventory here or place a custom order. They can pretty much make anything!
A great perk for staying at one of the Disneyland resorts is the benefit of getting into the park an hour before it opens to the public. Monday morning we got a chance to gain early access into California Adventure. Cars Land was our first stop! Luscian is such a boy. He lights up when you show him a car, truck or tractor. This place was his jam! He is still a little to young to ride the majority of attractions found in cars land, but he still enjoyed taking photos with Mater and the tipping tractors.
A bugs life was the perfect place for tiny tots! Luscian was able to go on every ride in this area.
Sean and I love the Toy Story Mania ride. We went on it every chance we got. The line was long but Luscian usually took his power nap during that time and it worked out in our favor. He always woke up right when we were next in line.
Luscian's favorite ride was probably The Little Mermaid. I sing "Part of Your World" almost every day to him before he goes to sleep. Plus Ariel is a red head. I think he knows that she is apart of the "cool hair" club. As we were walking up to the ride to get in line a cast member saw that Luscian was wearing a shirt that said "Prince Charming" on it. The Cast member said "Well hello Prince Charming, follow me this way." He took us through the back entrance and put us at the front of the line! Such a magical experience. I love that Disney finds a way to make your vacation memorable. This was the highlight of our entire trip.
Can we take a second to talk about how delicious their churros are?!? Sean has a slight obsession. We have a running joke that there is always a churro fund for Sean when we go to Disneyland. We also tried their soft serve ice cream. It was quite amazing!
For dinner that night we made reservations in advance to eat at Storyteller's Cafe. Disneyland restaurants are always packed and rarely have room for walk-ins. I like the convenience of booking dining reservations online. Storyteller's Cafe is a buffet–à la carte hybrid. We opted in for the a' la' carte menu. I really enjoyed their dinner salad with corn chowder. My salad had pears in it and Luscian ate them all up. He loved my soup too. Sean ordered the steak with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. Everything tasted incredible. I preferred this meal over the character dining buffet.
For dessert we indulged in some tasty treats at Marceline's Confections in the Downtown Disney District. We ordered their chocolate & caramel covered marshmallows, rice crispy treats layered with mini chocolate chips and we should have stopped there but we didn't. We also grabbed a couple of their specialty cookies. Between the Churros, ice cream and this candy joint we were set on sugar for the rest of the year!
We went back to our hotel before the sugar coma sunk in. The kids were due for a bath and we all needed to rest our feet. Our bathroom light burnt out and the maintenance crew couldn't replace it until after 11pm. We decided to make the best of it, so we gave Luscian his Disney glow sticks to light up the space. This kid had a blast! My friend, Deborah, purchased the glow sticks in advance at the Dollar Tree. It was such a great savings since they only last for a couple of hours.
We decided to visit the park one more time before driving home. It was an easy decision since we were able to get into the Disneyland Park and hour early this time. We woke up to some incredible sunny weather. I was thankful that I brought my Honey & Lace Brea Dress. Dumbo was our first choice! I honestly don't know who had more fun, me or Luscian! My son is definitely not afraid of heights and he is down to do anything that gives him a thrill. We were able to jump on a few more rides before the park opened up to the public. The old Pinocchio ride was transformed into the "Storybook" ride. We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome after waiting in line for almost an hour. Luckily the kiddos stayed occupied entertaining each other. When you enter onto the ride you aboard a boat. It fits about 10-12 people. As you enter the whales mouth the captain shares Disney stories as you voyage through the water. The ride is in an outdoor setting and each story has its own tiny building. The craftsmanship is incredible! Luscian was infatuated by all of the stories. He couldn't keep is eyes off of the captain who was talking about far away places and magical lands.
Our last stop before heading home was inside of the New Orleans Square. They had a Pandora shop tucked away in the very back with "park" exclusive Disney charms. Sean really knows how to spoil me. I absolutely LOVE my Pandora charm bracelet. It tells a story about all of the memorable moments and milestones in my life. My mother in law gave it to me as a present and I have been adding to it ever since. When I owned my own salon I was given a shear charm. When I was pregnant with Luscian, my fabulous friend Megan gave me a baby carriage charm. I also have a snowflake because it reminds me of my hometown of Big Bear, CA. I have a citrine birthstone charm since I am born in November. The store had a handful of park exclusive charms, but I decided to go with the Castle and place it next to my Princess Crown. It is gorgeous!!! If you are a lover of charms I would recommend checking out the Pandora Store inside of the Disneyland Park.
This really was one of my favorite vacations. A dream I had since I was a little girl. I was so excited for the day I could go to Disneyland with my very own family!
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