Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My first Wordless Wednesday!

I was organizing some pictures from one of the old computers & found a couple of cute ones of the kids getting ready to go on their very first trip to Disneyland! Very fun! Zach's cheesy grin says it all & Molly just wanted to get in the suitcase & go ~ some things still haven't changed, LOL!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometime during the spring of 2003, we were sitting with the family discussing how my husband & I & our 2 kids (ages 1 & 5 at that time) were going to go to NYC for a couple weeks that summer for my half-sister Staci's sweet sixteen party. Now, let me first tell you that I am not an airplane person at all...never really have been. So, when my mom heard me say that we were going to New York, she said, "you're getting on an airplane?" I told her that my step-mom, Mindy, (may she rest in peace) convinced me to bring the kids out because we'd get to see everyone & Staci really would love us to be at her party. My mom right away said that we needed to go to Disneyland with the kids if I was willing to get on an airplane, to which I totally agreed! :)

So, she called her travel agent the very next day & booked a trip for us all to go down for President's Week. The travel agent booked everything for us. I wasn't involved in any of the planning at all, which is unbelievable to me now! There were 7 of us total. It was me, my husband, our 5 year old son, our 2 year old daughter, my mom, my step-dad, & my brother. We didn't have any dining reservations at all. All we knew was that we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel in connecting rooms that had a kitchenette & living room in between the bedrooms. We were flying into the John Wayne airport & had the Super Shuttle arranged to take us from the airport to the resort & back to the airport at the end of our trip.

We really didn't know much of anything about the resort or the park itself except for what we'd seen on the Disneyland website, which was nothing like it is today. We had a few questions for the travel agent here & there but she was not very helpful at all. It was rather interesting because she acted like she couldn't be bothered most of the time when we called. I was not really sure why this was the case but we were still excited nonetheless & pretty much had no idea of what to expect.

We had a rather interesting experience in dining without any reservations. It was practically impossible to get in to any sit down restaurant. Everywhere we went had a sign up that they were not taking walk-in diners. So, needless to say, we just did the best we could & ate whatever we could find until we stumbled upon Granville's Steak House (which is now Steakhouse 55) near the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel. We decided, on our 3rd day, that we needed to have breakfast at a restaurant instead of instant oatmeal in our room. Boy, are we glad we did that! Our server's name was Ashley & she was awesome. Not only was she a great server, but she gave us all sorts of tips about how to tour the parks. As soon as she figured out that we didn't have a clue about what we should be doing, she started telling us about fascinating things that you would never know about or even think to ask. It was so cool & we just loved it! We actually wanted her to just leave work & come spend the rest of our vacation with us. I could tell that she had a passion about her workplace like no one I'd ever known. We enjoyed a couple more meals there just so we could hang out with Ashley more & pick her brain! Oh yah, the food was amazing too & very reasonably priced! We really thought it would be cool to eat next door at Goofy's Kitchen so she helped us get a reservation for the following morning. We were very excited & the kids had a fabulous time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I would like to apologize for the delay in posting as I have been very busy trying to figure out where to start. After several weeks of pondering, I decided a great place to start my Magical Trip Tips would be at the beginning of my so-called Obsessive Compulsive Disney Disorder (OCDD)!

It is sort of funny that I have developed such an extreme obsession for Disney in the last 5 years or so. I didn't grow up going to Disney on a regular basis, in fact, I only went to Disneyland for an afternoon once as a child when I was about 12. The only memory that stands out in my mind from that trip was that I rode Pirates of the Caribbean with my grandma to "test it out" for my parents & my then 6 month old baby brother. I can remember being so excited about the ride when I came out of it because I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I had been on rides before at Coney Island but never anything like Pirates. I was in complete awe...the sights...the smells...it was all truly amazing! I remember coming out of the ride & telling my parents, it was amazing...you'll absolutely love it. All 4 of us got in the line & boarded our boat. They absolutely loved it until we went down the first drop. I seriously thought my mom was going to lose it because she screamed that she almost dropped my brother! Then came the second drop...oh, the horror! Next, we had a wonderful, mellow, enjoyable ride on It's A Small World so it was all good in the end. Anyway, I guess you could say that I was never in a huge hurry to go back any time soon.

I very distinctly remember the feeling of euphoria I had within me when I exited Pirates for the very first time. I was so mesmerized by that ride & tucked that memory away only to be taken out at a later time in my life when I could see the joy it brought to my own children.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hi everyone, my name is Jackie. I am wife to my pirate & mom to two fabulous children. We truly enjoy vacationing together as a family, especially to Disneyland & Walt Disney World! It's so funny because everyone who knows me, knows that I can help them with their trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. I have studied the parks on many different blogs and websites for years learning all about what Disney has to offer, from resorts to dining to park touring. My number one tip for first time visitors is to take things slow and let the magic happen. There are so many wonderful things to see everywhere and you cannot possibly see it all in one trip. Take it easy & enjoy every single little thing! You may find something you didn't know existed at all!

I decided to create this blog because I've read about so many families who have spent a whole bunch of money on their Disney vacation & felt like they didn't get everything out of it that they had hoped for. We were veteran Disneyland visitors way back when & I was completely overwhelmed when I first started to research our first trip to Walt Disney World. There are so many choices & options with four different theme parks, resorts, dining, & park tickets that it can be overwhelming at first. My goal is to help you understand the planning & how it is such a very important part of your vacation ~ even for all of you who like to fly by the seat of your pants!

I hope you enjoy my blog & if there is anything in particular you're curious about, please feel free to let me know!