Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Blog, New Post! Disneyland 2013 Part 1 (and a free printable)

Hello friends!
I am loving my new blog design and that I have a fresh clean start for blogging. My old blog was great but after a while the links got messed up and my HTML/CSS was really confusing to navigate. Starting over new was just what I needed.
Today I am going to start off with sharing about our Disneyland trip! It was fabulous, and one of the best times I have had at Disneyland. I am going to do this story in three parts, the last part will be about some fun tips and tricks for you and your family to do the next time you go.
Zack and I packed up and left early Wednesday morning (6:00 am) for Anaheim, California. It's about a 10 hour drive from where we live so we settled in for the long road trip ahead of us. I had a lot of goodies to keep my entertained, my laptop with a car invertor so I could watch movies. My iPad which had my current books, some recent issues of the better homes and gardens special interest publications, my iPhone for pictures/video recording, and of course my CD case. I ended up sleeping a lot of the way and chatting with my husband about some fun old time memories. Those are the best moments about road trips, going down memory lane and laughing at awkward experiences.
We stopped in Las Vegas for some lunch at Smash Burger (so good you should try it) and then headed non-stop into California. We checked into our hotel, which is right across the street from Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. We always stay at Desert Inn Anaheim, its close and convenient and about half the price for staying on location at one of the themed hotels. The pool isn't so hot so if you have kids and you want a good pool I would check out the Sheraton or something along those lines. Once we checked into our hotel, we then went shopping at Downtown Disney. It was so fun this year, I love it when all the Christmas music is playing and the decorations are up. Zack even liked it as he said it wasn't too overdone so bonus for me. They had set up an ice skating rink down by the movie theater which was fun to see when it was so warm outside. The little kids loved it. After that we went up onto the roof and watched the Disneyland fireworks. They are always so magical and fun.

The next day we woke up early again and got in line over at Disneyland at 7:00 am. We had a magic morning entrance which allows you to enter the park an hour before it opens. This is really useful if you use it to your advantage and ride peter pan (because this line is always nuts) and other busy rides. We ended up riding about 20 rides that first day. It was raining and so many people left the park in the middle of the day. We walked onto a bunch of rides with no problem at all. It was so fun. 

I loved being at Disneyland with the love of my life. He is so great and awesome. We had such a blast. 

We met mickey mouse, minnie mouse, tinker bell and Thor! That was the best part of the whole trip for me, Thor is my favorite avenger so it was great meeting him. 


He made a joke right before we took this photo so I was laughing. I don't know how he pulled off such a serious face after being so hilarious. 

One thing that I found difficult about the trip was the budget. Luckily we came home with extra money. I over budgeted on a lot of items but it was nice having some flexibility and being able to purchase what we needed food wise and buy some fun souvenirs. I originally budgeted about $15 per person per meal. Breakfast was free at our hotel every day and we used that to our advantage. We brought a bunch of snacks with us and some days we ate so much snacking that we only needed one meal. Most of the meals I found were about $10.00 per person so I over budgeted in that aspect. I will talk in more detail about food in Part 2! 
Before we left for the trip I made a budget worksheet to help me organize what expenses had to be taken care of. I only had four categories, hotel, fuel, food, and souvenirs. This covered everything that we would buy during our trip. The final product looked like this:

It worked out great for our trip and was really nice to help me see what things worked and what didn't. At the end of the trip I filled out all the actual prices and discovered we had a few extra dollars in each category. This was great news, especially since Christmas is only a month away. 
Well folks that is it for my first blog post on the new blog. Oh and to kick things off I am going to offer the Disneyland Budget Worksheet as free printable until the new year so grab yours while you can! 
Thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for more. 
XO
Caitlin 



2 comments:

  1. Where in Disneyland did you meet Thor? I haven't been there in a few years and don't recognize the venue you are at. Planning our next trip for Oct 2014!

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    1. It was at the innovations studio in tomorrowland. He is only there during certain times of the day, generally between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. We had to wait in line for about 45 minutes in order to see him but it was totally worth it. You can check out full details at this site here: http://micechat.com/46807-thor-meet-and-greet-tomorrowland/ I'm not sure how long Thor will be at Disneyland. They said at least through the holiday season, i'm sure you can find more information at Disney's official website. Good luck with your trip in Oct. I love Disneyland in October, all the halloween decorations are up and Minnie Mouse has the cutest candy corn outfit. Make sure and take a picture of it, its darling.

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