The Magic of Disneyland!

Let us start out by saying we love Disneyland. Well, we don’t necessarily love Disneyland, we absolutely adore it. It runs in our blood. We LIVE for Disneyland. Okay, was that too far…? Nope, sounds about right. You get the gist. Before Olive May was around, we took our Senior Trip in High School there, Ethan proposed to Molly there, we took our Honeymoon there, and took a bunch of trips to the park in between. Again, you get the idea. We are kind of Disneyland people. When we found out we were pregnant with Olive, we knew it wouldn’t slow us down at all. She was going to be one lucky kid and come along for the ride!

 

Well this Christmas was the time for our first trip! It was finally time to visit the most magical place on earth (and at the most magical time of year, no less) as a whole tribe (along with one of Ethan’s little brothers and Molly’s mom!). We had only been once before during Christmas when Ethan proposed to me, and it was one of the best trips we have taken. So we were just a litttttle excited for this trip to come around. Olive obviously had no clue what it meant to get on a plane and head to Disneyland being only 6 months old, but I could see she was excited just like us. She had that little twinkle in her eye. With this blog post, we wanted to give you our top 5 tips for conquering Disneyland (and Disney California Adventure) with a little. Things that helped us, that we hope can also help you! 🙂

 

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Tip #1: Expectations.

Manage them. Own them. Keep em’ real. We have found that throughout our many years of heading to the park (with this trip at the top of the list), it is SO important to manage your expectations. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to lower them in order to enjoy your time at the park, but we have found that when you manage your expectations, nobody is let down, and magic tends to happen 😉 An awesome Disneyland podcast that shares this same mantra is Mousetalgia. I LOVE this podcast, and they can’t speak highly enough of this tip.

 

Tip #2: Slow it dowwwwwn.

With little’s, you obviously won’t be able to conquer the entire park and hop on attractions all day long. It is OKAY and ENCOURAGED to take it slow. Breaks are good. Just because you aren’t running around like mad doesn’t mean you aren’t getting your money’s worth out of the park. In fact, if you take a break and take it slow for a second, you’ll find little quirks to the park that you may have never noticed before, and that in itself is magic. There are actually places all throughout the resort that are great for taking a quick break, such as (and definitely not limited too):

– Watching Mickey & The Magical Map.

– Watching a show at Fantasy Faire Theatre.

– Listening to the Dapper Dans on Main Street.

– Animation Academy in DCA (fun, interactive, and air conditioned. Wooo!).

 

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The Dapper Dans in their festive Holiday attire!

 

Tip #3: Baby Center in both parks. Use them!

If your little is like Olive at all, she gets so distracted trying to stare at everything (and I mean everythinggggg) while she needs to eat. That is where the Baby Center is an absolute life saver. It includes a nursing room, changing room, feeding area with highchairs (kitchen with microwave and sink), a vending machine with baby essentials for purchase (who hasn’t ran out of wipes before??), and a TV playing classic Disney movies to entertain your little, and yourself 🙂 The one in Disneyland is located at the end of Main Street, directly adjacent is the First Aid building and the Little Red Wagon. The one in DCA (Disney California Adventure) is right next to Ghirardelli and across from Cars Land. In short, the Baby Center is pure gold.

 

Tip #4: Know what rides you can go on with your little.

Just because you have a little, doesn’t mean everything is off limits. In fact, you can still do a ton of stuff. Because Olive was only 6 months old, we needed to understand what attractions had no height requirement that she would be good to go on. Magic Kingdom Mamas have this AMAZING list of attractions that have no height requirement in the park. It was a life saver for us! If you haven’t heard of MKM, give them a follow on Instagram and check out their blog posts. They are just absolutely THE BEST 🙂 Being able to go on an attractions as a whole tribe was really quite magical, so be sure to know what you can do before you go.

 

Tip #5: Live a little. Treat Yo’ Self. Throw caution to the wind. Splurge it up.

It never hurts to live a little while visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. Whether that is treating yourself to a special snack such as a churro, or going all out by reserving an awesome dining/show package, it’s important to enjoy yourself. It is super easy to get caught up in the fact that you want everything to go a certain way and be just so, when in fact, the most memorable and magical times happen when you live in the moment and enjoy yourself. Ethan always (and I mean always) gets a souvenir sipper as his treat, and it has kind of turned into a tradition. It is an inexpensive souvenir to bring home that is actually fun to use at home! Above all, enjoy the time you are spending in the park and don’t be afraid to live it up a little. It isn’t called the Happiest Place on Earth for no reason.

 

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There you have it! Our top 5 tips for tackling the Disneyland Resort with a little (and as a tribe!). Let us know what some of your tips are, and if you end up using any of ours. We always love talking Disney, so drop a trip report or just your favorite Disney memory in the comments below and let’s chat 🙂

 

From our tribe to yours,

 

Ethan, Molly & Olive May

 

Go Portland Timbers, Go!

Who else loves going to live sporting events? Umm yes please!! Who else has a little that make is way more difficult to go to live sporting events? Umm double yes please!! We have always enjoyed going to Portland Timbers games. The culture, the energy, the stadium, the crowd… the whole sha-bang. Super fantastic. Love every second. We used to go every chance we got when we were a Simmie duo. Now, with Olive in tow, we still go every chance we get! You read that right… we didn’t stop going. We didn’t throw in the towel because it was too difficult to go with Olive. We didn’t get afraid when we had an 8 week old in a pack and 6 million sets of eyes staring at us secretly burning with the question “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT BRAND NEW BABY HERE???”.

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The first match we went to as the full Simmie tribe was quite a task. Definitely unlike any match we had been to before. If you don’t know about the Portland Timbers, they are no doubt the loudest and most passionate fan base in all of MLS. So it obviously is quite interesting bringing an 8 week old child into that environment. Since Olive’s first match about 3 months ago, we have gone to 3 more matches. And guess what? Every time we bring her, it gets easier! She is becoming used to the environment, the loud chants, and all of the interaction that people give her. With that being said, there are definitely some tips we have to share when it comes to bringing your little to a live sporting event.

TIP #1: Headphones. Headphones. Headphones.

Ever since Olive starting going to games (throw a Trailblazers game in the mix as well!), she has had some awesome headphones. These headphones are absolutely dynamite. Even when she was a tiny baby, they fit her ears (and then some)! She doesn’t try to take them off at all, and when the stadium gets crazy loud after a goal, she just sits there biting her hand, minding her own business. Success.

TIP #2: Manage your expectations.

This is a MANTRA that we live our life by. Disneyland, Timbers games, even the grocery store… managing your expectations sets you up for success. No matter where you go, bringing a little is going to impact how you go about being there, and the case is no different for sporting events. When we go, we know we will not have our eyes glued to the field the entire game. We know we can’t scream and cheer like we used to. We also know that us enjoying the game goes hand in hand with Olive enjoying the game. When she is happy, we are happy (big surprise, right?). It’s okay to miss most of the game. It’s okay to be the parent walking up and down the concourse keeping their little happy (yep, that’s us). Everything is okay. Manage your expectations, and the world is your oyster! 🙂

TIP #3: Be prepared. Like for any situation. Except maybe the world blowing up.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to learn this one the hard way, but we can only imagine what that would have been like. We always (and I mean always!) have a checklist we run through before we leave the house. In the case of going to a sporting event, it is no different. Diapers, wipes, and the essentials are obviously important. But items such as a favorite toy, this little wonder, and a little snack or treat for momma or daddy, don’t come to mind as quickly. Plus, it’s always nice to open the baby bag and find a bite size Milky Way in there. A little piece of magic. Also, swapping out a larger sized diaper bag for a smaller, more compact backpack or satchel proved super helpful for us! Easier to carry, easier to store under the seats. Bing bang boom.

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Three tips from parents that are learning a new tip every time we go to a sporting event. But hey, try em out and let us know what you think! It never hurts to try something new, and it also never hurts to think a little outside of the box to keep that little wonder of yours happy.

 

from our tribe to yours,

Ethan, Molly, & Olive