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Picking up the pieces of Disneyland

I did want to finish up my Disneyland ideas post. AND I have 2 movies to tell you about...as it is a Monday.

Money Savers
It is much cheaper to buy a 7 day park hopper pass and share it than it is to buy a 3 or 4 day park hopper pass alone.
You can go on ebay, craigs list, KSL (for the local folks) and search. You will find lots of people selling them. Plan your trip dates. go online and find passes that will correspond with your itinerary and then buy them.
They buy the tickets (or you could and risk selling off the extra days) go to Disneyland the apr1st-5th, then they give them to you.  You use them the remainder 3 days. (I think you have a total of 12 days to use them once purchased)   It's a win win really :)
Now I have heard warnings of fraud with this. Check the persons ratings. Make sure that they have positive feedback before buying them.   We have done this twice now and it's worked out great for us both times.
You will have to arrange to meet them or have them left at the hotel front desk to pick up once you are there. but it sure saves you a lot of money this way.

When getting a hotel...think about getting one with a kitchen. Not a kitchenette wich is a mini microwave and a tiny little fridge that would barely fit a 1/2 gallon of milk.
They can be more expensive daily. but if you take in to consideration how much money you'll save on food, it's worth it.
Feeding our crew in Disney was no less than $80.00 for ONE MEAL ! You'll probably eat there. but you don't have to eat every meal out this way.
Hell, even McDonalds was $50.00 there.
We planned our menu items. made a grocery list and then went shopping once we were there. It really is also a must with little ones who drink a lot of milk still.
They have all of the stuff you need, i.e. pots and pans, dishes, silverware and baking utensils. There's a microwave (bring popcorn) and a dishwasher. It's GREAT !
We brought cups and plates for the babies....the dishes don't bounce as well as ours.
We had cereal and mac n cheese, chicken nuggets (a must, right ?) sandwiches and we even made pancakes while we were there.
Now, Chaos was much better prepared. They brought the frozen pancakes and the little sandwiches that are already made. I will TOTALLY do that next time.

You can take food into Disney. Pack a lunch. Make sure to pack lots of snacks. Pack drinks. An apple is like 2.50 in the park. (save it for the 4.00 churros :)

Disney magic
If you want to run into all of the characters....go with Chaos. I don't know how they managed it, but I'll be damned if they didn't see everyone cool the second they walked in to Disney.   It was as if they were waiting for them to arrive. :)
I can't tell you about the character meals, although I've heard they are great and it's a good way to get a little more one on one with the characters. $$$ though. There's also a beauty shop that you can have your little girls primped and pressed like a princess. Not for us.

The 2 things that I can HIGHLY recommend is this.
FAST PASSES BABY ! We just learned about them this trip. I don't know why more people don't take advantage.
There are rides that offer a "fast pass"...basically there is the regular lines and then there are the lines for the "fast pass" ticket holders.   Those tickets take you right to the front of the line and on the ride.
In order to get a fast pass you take your disney tickets and swipe them into the machine (near the entrance of the ride) it will spit out a fast pass ticket. There will be a time posted above that tells you when those tickets are good. Usually it's about an hour later.
Once that hour has passed you are able to use your disney tickets to get another fast pass for another ride. (your disney ticket will only let you get one fast pass at a time)
The advice here is this. You do not have to use the fast pass tickets at the time that is listed. You just have to use them AFTER that time.
So. You can go up to a ride and get a fast pass ticket. Then, go play and ride the other rides that don't have long lines or don't offer fast passes and shop. THEN once you are able to use your disney ticket to get another fast pass ticket (once that original fast pass time has elapsed)...go to another ride and get a fast pass ticket for that ride. Collect them as you go.
LATER. when the park is crazy and the lines are long....you now have a pocket full of VIP fast pass tickets that put you at the front of each and every line.
It's like being in a wheel chair baby.

OH ALSO.  They have tickets for the otha motha.  Ok, so if you have a baby and can't both go on a ride because someone has to stay back with the little ones.   You can get a switch pass from one of the employees.   This works like a fast pass only you don't have to wait for a time, just for your partner to return from the ride so that you can go without waiting in the long line all over again.
We did this at the tower of terror.   The pass is good for you and one other person.   So I waited back with Cam and the babies.   J, Spencer and Syd all went and then when they were done Me and Cam (and Syd...the guy was cool and let her go again) went.  MY KIDS LOVED that ride by the way.

Make sure you have the schedule (you can get it online) for the parades. The pixar parade (California side) is not every day. It really is a must to catch the parades on both the California side and the Disney side. One of the greatest things about Disneyland is their employees. There's not a one that can't answer your questions. Whether it be where the closest bathroom is or where the parade starts they know it all.
The fireworks are also scheduled differently. When we went they were only on the weekends. Figure out which day works best and then take a blanket that day. Lay it out about an hour before hand. Stay pretty close or leave someone there....people will move your blanket or push it over. Some might even sit on it :)
Park yourself right up by the castle. About 20-30 minutes before the fireworks start it packs in like sardines. Seriously. We got yelled at for going in front of the rope to get back to our spot. There would have been NO WAY to get there otherwise. I wished we would have gone back to our spot before so that we didn't have to deal with the stress. Sitting for a while would have been easier.

I think that's all of the advice I have for you.
Oh...our boys just met the height requirement for most of the big rides 40". I'm so glad we waited to go because they loved going on all of the bigger rides.

Disney rocked.   I hated it when I was young.   I don't remember enjoying it at all and I think it's because we went with someone who didn't know anything.    I remember waiting in line for over an hour for like 2 rides.   mmmm.  I think that was all we did there.
Oh and I found out Mary Poppins wasn't REALLY Mary Poppins and the whole thing was a farce and that was the final straw.

The Goods
I don't really have the goods on our new blogger in real life friends Carey and Steph.   I wish I could tell you something super juicy and dramatic.   (lips are zipped)  ;-) hee hee JK.
I will say....reading their blog I put personalities on them and when meeting them in real life it was all backwards.   I took Steph for the super mellow semi soft spoken one.   I thought Carey would be the strong minded and less soft spoken one.   Totally opposite.  :)
I also didn't know how comfortable it would be....they are a little crunchy....and structured.   I was worried that I would feel a little judged if my kids ate McDonalds for lunch and played with plastic, battery operated toys.  ha ha
SO NOT THE CASE.    They are awesome.    They believe that whatever works for your family is great for your family and they don't judge you for it.   Well unless it was hurting your child.   I'm sure that wouldn't be ok with any of us.  Or if you bring a huge big chocolate cake into Disneyland.  ha ha 
I have found from reading their blog that they have ALL of this vast knowledge of information in regards to raising children.   I mean, a child therapist and pediatrician.  Can it get any better.   They have used this training and the mountains of information at hand to decide what works for their family and what is important to them.   They use their blog to share this information.   I have sometimes felt worse when reading about some of the concepts they use.    Which makes no sense at all....I guess I felt like because they are the "trained professionals" if I wasn't using that same method, then I was doing it wrong.    I couldn't be more wrong.   (they said it themselves :)
They have these awesome tools and share it with us to use or to think about for free.   I love that.
We had so much fun putting the kids to bed and then sharing a glass(es) of wine and just talking with them for hours.
PLUS.  they chased my kids down the hall and stairs a couple of times.  (next time we are bringing a gate)
I'm a huge fan of theirs.  Bigger now after meeting them.
oh. and I still want to steal Little Miss. 

On to Monday Movie Madness (thunder, lightening)
Sorry to burst your bubble.   I got nothin really.

Butch Jamie.
The title says it all really.   A movie about a butch woman who wants to be an actress.  She "dresses" up like a girlie girl to try and get parts but fails. because she looks scary and talks like a man.   She then lands a roll as a guy.  Dates a straight girl from the cast.  Comes out.  and ends up back where she started.

My opinion : terrible.  Don't bother.

Alice in Wonderland
It's about Alice grown up, returning to wonderland to help with the fall of the Queen of hearts.
The special effects rocked.   I especially LOVED Helena Bonham Carter, who played the queen of hearts.  How did they make her head look so big ?

My opinion :  It was fine.   I really did like the special effects.  I wish they didn't have the couple of violent scenes in it so that it could be viewed by the younger crowd.   (although there were a few little kids in the theater...who does that?) 
I've heard the 3-D rocks.  I can't watch 3-D, but I do think it would be awesome to see it in 3-D if you can stand watching it. 
So, if you can watch it in 3-D....go to the theater...other wise, wait to rent it.

I want to know the names of you who actually read this post in it's entirety.  I will be sending you a gift card. :)






   
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