Most of our traveling in the last two years has involved either family in the Midwest or camping in the PacNW. Andrew and I found ourselves missing some of the variety in our travel towards the end of last year. After seemingly endless hemming & hawing, we finally made up our minds on an itinerary. Rather than toys (their grandparents are awesome at indulging their interests, so we don’t have to), the girls got a trip to Disneyland for Christmas. We purchased the tickets before the Measles Bonanza….but since the girls are vaccinated…..we took our chances (and brought VATS of hand sanitizer).
It feels like a rite of passage sometimes – the Family Disney Trip – but we do realize how very lucky we are to have taken such a getaway. I was really looking forward to the trip, even though I have issues with some of Disney’s practices and tend to limit all activities in my life specifically labeled “kid friendly” (all I hear in those words are sticky, loud, overstimulating chaos with sugar dispensing venues everywhere). At the same time, I looked at this as “their” trip – we drag them along with us all over the place and, while they have fun, too, this was a special trip catered just to them. The simple fact remains that most of what they receive is either pink, princess-y, or both……and Disney really does think of every family-friendly convenience. It was awfully nice not to have to McGyver solutions to diaper changing, booster seats, or the myriad of other *stuff* that come up on our regular travels.
A few bits that helped us immensely:
- Staying off site (Andrew and I needed a Disney Detox at the end of each day)
- packing in food (we ate regularly spaced snacks of PBJs, GORP, etc while waiting in lines, which helped pass the time, saved money, & minimized meltdowns). It left us guilt-free in our splurges of lollipops and ice cream, too.
- having LONG talks with both girls that we would not, could not, and did not want to ride every single ride for weeks in advance. They totally got it and we were able to minimize the disappointment over not seeing everything.
- ending our trip with a detox day at the beach. The kids went bananas, we did absolutely nothing, we overdosed on Vitamin D, and we all went home feeling refreshed.
We had a fantastic time. Andrew and I knew that Evelyn would have a great time, but it turned out the Claire had the most fun of all of us. She LOVED the characters. Both girls were enthralled with Cars Land, especially all lit up at night. They were excited to see the princesses, but were also ready to leave without fuss (whew). They were even willing to explore unchartered territory with their directionally challenged parents. <oops> Pics from beach day coming soon…..