Monday, October 22, 2007

Disney's California Adventure Seeks New Adventures

Hey - more Disney equals more fun! This is certainly not a place to find late-breaking Disney news, but in case you haven't heard, Disney's California Adventure is in for a BIG remodel. This is already a fun park, but in part because it is not as crowded as Disneyland. Will the big changes bring much bigger crowds and eliminate some of the more laid back feel, or will it result in an overall better park? Check out the article on the improvements in the OC Register.

The new attractions sound fun to me. Guess that means many more trips to the Disneyland Resort as each new attraction is unveiled!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sounds of Disneyland

I thought a fun Friday morning activity would be to come up with the first five sounds I think of when I think of the Disneyland resort. So, here they are:

1) Sound of the log hitting the water at the bottom of Splash Mountain.

2) Song: It's a Small World

3) Background sounds - kids laughing, people talking, people screaming as they descend Splash Mountain

4) Disney's Electrical Parade (formerly: The Main Street Electrical Parade).

5) The voice of the ghost host in The Haunted Mansion.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Balance Between Good Parent and Sensible Parent

I was thinking about eating habits at Disneyland the other day, and thought of an experience I wanted to share with other parents. As most may know, food is really expensive at the Disneyland Resort. Also, kids are picky. While on vacation, we tended to go by the "one a day" rule. That is, we'd have a breakfast of yogurt drinks, granola bars, fruit, a bagel, or something similar in our hotel room, know we'd have some snacks during the day, and try to get in, on average, one good meal per day. That meant a full sit-down meal, even if it was just a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. (Although, for our family, pasta is more certain to make our kids happy!) This is a reasonable strategy, and helped us keep from spending a ton of money on food.

Thinking over that though, this is not the best strategy for all kids,and sometimes wasn't the best for ours. Our kids can be really hit and miss with eating. Just because they usually like chicken nuggets doesn't mean they will today, or just because I buy a $10 cheeseburger meal does not mean they will eat it even though they like some cheeseburgers sometimes.

It feels like a good parenting thing to do to make sure the kids sit and eat a real meal. Why? Maybe the sensible thing is to let them have 2 yogurt parfaits, 3 cheesesticks, a carmel apple and milk over the course of the day. Steady input keeps their blood sugar at a more constant level, and making sure kids do not go too long without food lest crankiness set in is really important. It's also sensible to not have to argue over eating while on vacation. I don't really want to have to constantly remind my kids to eat that kid's meal I just spent $10 on and waited in line for 25 minutes for. It's not worth a fight, or the stress it will cause.

Maybe it is more important, when possible, for everyone to get something they will be happy eating, at least part of the time. If that means the adults go to a place they enjoy eating and order the kids nothing but 2 slices of cheese and some applesauce, because that is what they will eat, then so be it! Don't see 2 slices of cheese on the menu? If they have cheeseburgers, they have cheese, and most places will figure out a way to give you what you want. (Particularly at a sit-down restaurant.) Maybe the kids don't have to eat "real food" at the real restaurants. It might not be so bad for them to get just fries or dessert while the parents enjoy a nice meal, and they can have some "real food" later (or earlier). That way, the cost of a full meal for the kids is not wasted when all they do is pick at it, and everyone is much happier!

What is the point of all this rambling? Be flexible! You are on vacation. Don't force your regular eating preferences and rules into what is really an un-natural eating situation - few selections, all overpriced. Sometimes being a good parent means breaking out of the regular rules and doing what is most sensible at that moment in time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Little Splash Mountain Break

From my chair, if I am too busy to think about Disneyland, I am just too busy! I spent a crazy weekend doing nothing but law school homework while my family visited relatives a few hours away. As you may have noticed from the slowing of the posts, all law and no play make for not nearly enough Disney dreaming or Disney advice. So, what's a Disney fan to do?

My answer - take a nice, relaxing ride through Splash Mountain! Well, more of a virtual ride, I guess :) Check out the video here, and soon you will be in your own laughin' place! This is sure to put a smile on your face and a song in your heart....or at least, in your head!

How do you do?
Fine. How are you?
How you come on?
Pretty good sure as you're born.
Pretty good sure as you're born.
Pretty good sure as you're born.

(From "How Do You Do?" that plays as you are splashin' along.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Disneyland Packing Tip

Hey there! Now that summer season is over, those without children may be thinking about a somewhat quieter trip to Disneyland. Or perhaps, those with children would like to take them out of school for a couple of days now that the crowds won't be quite so overwhelming for everyone. Great! Any time is a good time for Disneyland!

Seems like this is also a good time for another quick tip. This one is about packing. It works best with children's clothes, but can work on some adult items, too. For each day you will be gone, pack an entire outfit into a large Ziplock bag - pants, shirt, underwear, socks. Each morning, all your child, has to do is grab a bag and start getting dressed (or you can grab it for dressing the younger ones) - no wondering where the socks have gone or what shirt goes with what shorts. The bag can be saved and taken into the park for a variety of reasons: storing leftovers or sticky candy to be eaten later, stash a wet or dirty shirt that you've replaced with a new souvenir shirt, put your camera in it on Splash Mountain...etc. Not only does sorting clothes into bags save time and energy when it is time to get dressed, it makes the clothes easy to pack into the suitcase!

Happy packing!