Our flight to Orange County left Denver at noon on Sunday so we had plenty of time to get up and get all packed into the car without having to get up too early. Even though our trip was only 5 days total it still seemed like we had to bring so many things. Traveling with a toddler and a baby is no joke. At least we knew from our last trip that Emmy was not going to sleep in a pack and play so we did not bother bringing one.
We had to pack carseats for both kids just so they could ride in a Uber to and from the airport in California. We were checking two suitcases and the carseats, I wanted to try Cannon just sitting in the airline seat and it worked out well. We pulled up and got in line to curb-check our luggage then Cory took Cannon to park the car while I had Emmy in the stroller that we gate-checked. I was worried about having a big double stroller in the airport but it was not a problem at all and much better than holding or trying to chase both kids through security and to our gate. Luckily my Mom and Dad showed up right as we were so I had an extra set of hands.
Cannon really enjoyed riding the bus after parking the car. It was a pretty epic day for him including planes, trains and automobiles. We picked up sandwiches from Einsteins Bagels to eat on the plane and made our way to the gate. There was just enough time to let Cannon run around and look at the planes and break down the stroller before it was time to board. We flew Southwest and didn’t pay for early seating, luckily family boarding did get us three seats together, we didn’t get a seat for Emmy as when we originally bought these tickets she was only four months old. She did great and slept the last couple hours of the flight in Cory’s arms. I am happy that when we fly again in September Emmy will have her own seat, she will be 17 months then!
The flight from Denver to Orange County (we flew to John Wayne airport instead of LAX because it’s closer to Disneyland) is just about three hours. I was a little nervous about how the kids would do on the plane but they both did great, neither of them cried at all. Cannon sat at the window and watched take-off and landing. For the middle part of the flight he happily watched movies on his tablet.
We landed in California, got our luggage and ordered an Uber with no issue. It was a bit of a pain to have to install and remove both carseats for a 20 minute ride but it was necessary.
We got to our hotel about 3pm and unpacked a bit. A hotel room isn’t a great place to entertain a baby and toddler so we packed them into the stroller and headed for Downtown Disney. We intentionally planned to not go into the parks on our first day because we thought all the travel would be enough excitement for the kids. It was pretty fun to see the rides from outside the park! Our hotel was a little less than a mile from the entrance gates, it felt good to walk and not too far.
We met my parents and walked through Downtown Disney checking out all the shops and restaurants.
We decided to go to La Brea Bakery where I had the best clam chowder of my life.
After dinner we said our goodnights and rolled back to the hotel. Both kids were warm and snuggly so they fell asleep on the way back.
We got to bed as quickly as we could to rest up for our first day in Disneyland.
We started out or day with a Character Breakfast at the Grand Californian, where my parents were staying. While this was fun I wouldn’t do it again until the kids are both much older. The costumed characters were scary for both Cannon and Emmy plus the buffet was hard to navigate with a baby and toddler.
After breakfast it was time to head into Disneyland and we were all so excited!
The park was decorated for both Valentine’s Day and Mickey and Minnie’s 90th Birthday. It was all really cute.
We decided that It’s s Small World would be our first ride. We had heard that dark rides can be scary for some toddlers so we didn’t want to start with something that would put Cannon off all other rides.
Both Cannon and Emmy loved it and were ready to hit some more rides.
We had lunch in Toontown as we had heard some of the birthday food was worth trying. I especially liked the Minnie cupcake. Both kids had fallen asleep in the stroller so we let them nap for a while before it was time to play again!
Cannon enjoyed getting out to play and Emmy enjoyed lots of snuggles. I originally thought we might take a mid-day break back at the hotel for naps but both kids took great naps in the stroller so there was no need to leave the park.
You may have noticed from the photos that it was pretty rainy while we were there but we had some good rain gear and the stroller kept the kids warm and dry. It ended up being a good thing for us as we never had to wait in line more than twenty minutes.
We were so lucky to have my parents with us for this trip! Not only did we get to share the magic of the kids first trip to Disney with them but they also deepened their bond with these kiddos. Also they were kind enough to take the kids to do fun rides or go shop while Cory and I got a chance to do rides that were too big for the kids. Grandma and Grandpa got in their favorites too!
Some of Cannon’s favorites from the day were:
- It’s a Small World
- Pirates of the Caribbean ( I thought this might be too scary but he loved it)
- Winnie the Pooh
Later we had dinner reservations at the Blue Bayou. If you haven’t been there it is the restaurant that is right at the begining of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It’s dark and fun to hear all the riders in the boats and the food is amazing.
After dinner my parents called it a night but we were still ready to have fun so we got in a few more rides including Alice in Wonderland which was my childhood favorite.
This time of year Disneyland closes pretty early at 8pm and we were headed out right before they closed. We would have liked to have watched the parade but you have to claim a spot really early and at nine months and two and a half years old my kids aren’t ready to sit and wait for an hour. Some things will just have to happen on later trips.
Days 3-5 coming in another post.
Are you a big Disney person? I really do love Disneyland it has a really special place in my heart from when I was a child.
Cory and I also went just the two of us a couple times. I know some people think that’s odd but we loved it. We went for our second anniversary back in 2008.
We went again in the fall of 2015, that trip was really fun because they had all the Halloween decorations up.
That trip was extra special because on the last morning right before leaving for our flight I found out I was pregnant with Cannon. It made a fun trip that much more memorable (and explained why I was so tired and not feeling great, LOL).
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