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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Walt & Mickey.
You have to take vacations to counter act all the work hours you put in during the year.  That's what I tell myself every year when I see the cost of a family vacation.  Gasp!  Gas, food, lodging, nick nacks...it all adds up...today more than ever.

But a wise man once said: "You know, I don't recall anyone ever saying on their death bed 'Gosh, I wish I had worked MORE'."  With six daughters, I work a LOT of hours to take care of my little Princesses.  As burnt out as working can make me, I am more than willing to work a little harder for a few months to spend an entire week with them at Disneyland.

We have been seven times and completely enjoy the entire vacation every single time we go.  Happiest Place on Earth?  Yes, yes it is.  From Toon Town to Tomorrow Land, there is so much to do for the entire family, we always wish we had MORE time at the end of our stay.  We utilize Park Hopper passes to bounce back and forth between Disneyland and California adventure (directly across from each other, for those that don't know.)

I can't find the Grizzly River Run bear's name anywhere...
We have favorite spots where we like to take pictures every visit.  Like trying to squeeze our whole family into the stationary tea cup between the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and the spinning Tea Cups.  Or gathered underneath the crotch of the giant bear outside the Grizzly River Run.  Don't ask me why, I don't know.  It just sort of becomes tradition.

We found a wonderful computer program called RideMax that completely schedules our park times.  For around $40, you can download this program for up to a year and then it expires.  It contains so much data (which they update regularly) that you plug in your desired arrival and departure times to the park along with which rides you want to do and the program will spit out an itinerary that leads you to your desired rides in the shortest amount of time possible.  It utilizes Fast Passes, show times, wait times, seasonal fluctuations in visitor populations and more.

RideMax.com = Awesome!
On the homepage of RideMax.com is a customer testimonial that I agree with 100%.  It reads "...in the two days we were at Disneyland, we were able to ride absolutely everything we wanted to, without becoming completely overwhelmed by the crowds and burnt out by lines."  This is true every single time we go to Disneyland using RideMax.  Days 1-2, we ride everything we came for.  Days 3-4, we repeat it again.  Days 5-7, we we wander around the park punch-drunk on Disney awe.  Of course, this is the most financially devastating part of the week because we start to mull through the stores and buy nick nacks...or hand made chocolate treats.  Mmmm, chocolate Mickey ears...  Beware of the cholocate store next to Winnie the Pooh's ride.  Heavenly!

Wifey and I have honed our skills so much on how to do Disneyland on a budget, that I could write an entire How-To series on making a trip to Disneyland affordable AND enjoyable.  But there are tons of those guides out there.  I just wanted to let out a little of my pinned up excitement regarding our upcoming vacation.

Have you ever been to Disneyland?

~OJD

4 comments:

Mudbug said...

I worked at Walt Disney World for a year. Happiest year of my life before I met my wife.

Married her at Disney World.

Stephen said...

Lived in California for many years and yes I've been to Disneyland many times. Now that I'm in Florida I avoid Disney World at all cost. Having said that I will make one more trip sometime in the near future for my grandchild. Otherwise, no thanks. And I get a discount for being a Florida resident.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

@Mudbug..Wow, my wife would have loved getting married at Disneyland! We didn't fall in love with Disney until after we got married. We've all wondered what it would be like to work at Disney? Does it take all the fun out of it?

@Stephen..Does that mean Disney World sucks? Wifey has always wanted to try it but we can't afford to go all the way to Florida. She thinks it will be a bigger, better version of Disneyland.

Stephen said...

OJD, no, Disney World doesn't suck. It's just huge, big, spread out and very expensive and packed with people from all over this world. Disneyland can be 'done' in one day...Disney World, plan on two to three easy. Bring gold.

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