Kidulting at Disney Theme Parks / My Family, the Disney Experts

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FROM THE DESK OF: Nina

I have yet another confession to make this week.

I don’t know why I keep announcing that; nearly all of my posts lately have been “confessions.” But anyway, here it goes:

I am low key one of those hardcore Disneyland-loving kids. And so is my family.

Yep, that’s right: we are one of those crazy families who wake up at 6am to make sure we’re at the gates by 7:30am so we can watch Mickey cut the velcro ribbon with those giant plastic scissors/watch everyone speed-walk their way to Space Mountain, Matterhorn, or any of those other rides with lines that end up being like a 60+ min wait after the first couple of hours. We haven’t quite reached the “matching t-shirt family” status yet… actually, I hope we never get to that level… but yeah, we’re pretty big fans.

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Now that I’m technically a “grown-up”, things are slightly different. Aiza talked about doing Disney theme parks as a non-child before, and I’d have to agree with her: it’s a much different experience visiting as an adult. Rides are utterly and completely predictable; the idea of working as a “Cast Member” at Disneyland quickly loses its appeal; you realize just how much cash you burn through when you’re trying to hydrate and water costs, like, $20…

But aside from dealing with “grown-up” stuff and making “grown-up” observations, there’s just something so magical about going to Disneyland with my fam-bam.

Here are just a few of the many traditions we uphold to keep the Disney magic going and make the most of our trips.

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How I feel pretty much every time I’m at Disneyland with my family. Yes, I am an adult; I promise.

We get there at the crack of dawn, right at opening. Like I mentioned earlier, we wake up early for Disney days. I mean, hey – tickets aren’t getting any cheaper; why not get the most out of our visits? Getting there at opening ensures you can get on all of the rides in the first hour and then just chill during the rest of the day.

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After we arrive at the crack of dawn, we utilize FastPasses. Seriously, do not sleep on that FastPass system. Get to the park, use your park ticket to get a FastPass for the longest-wait ride (usually something like Space Mountain, or Radiator Springs Racers, or Splash Mountain, or Soarin’… you get the picture), then hop on a ride that always ends up getting a long line but doesn’t offer FastPasses. (These are rides like Matterhorn and Peter Pan’s Flight. Ahem, yes, I still love the Peter Pan ride.) By the time you finish that ride, you’ll probably be able to get another FastPass for another ride before you use your first FastPass. Do this “ride-sandwiching” a few times and you’ll probably finish all of the major rides by noon.

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Source: here

And then we try to plan for at least one fine dining experience. Taking a nice rest over a good meal at Blue Bayou or Ariel’s Grotto usually gets us into a good food coma, but at least we get to walk it off going back and forth between hitting up the different “lands.”

We supplement with “smaller snacks” (read: junk food) throughout the day. Churros, Dole Whips, turkey legs, and frozen bananas… these are the food groups of the Disneyland diet.

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Mmmmm churros…
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… and Dole Whips. YUM.

To make rides interesting, we read up on fun Disney facts and scavenge for these “secret” details throughout the day. Did you know that the organ in The Haunted Mansion is the OG organ used in the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Or that there’s a secret drink menu at the Cove Bar above Ariel’s Grotto?  Or that you can see Walt Disney’s vacation apartment above the fire house in Main Street? There are tons of fun facts and hidden gems embedded within Disneyland, and we love to find them.

And lastly…

We kidult. Hard. Even my parents aren’t above hopping on it’s a small world, making silly faces during the photo op on Splash Mountain or Tower of Terror, or stuffing their faces with delicious, ridiculous junk food. The Disney parks are a place where youthfulness is encouraged, and my family has no problem playing that kid role to a T.

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Sssssoooo my family is a bunch of Disney freaks. But you know what? I don’t mind. At least it keeps us young and happy. Now excuse me while I go get on with my nerdy self and Youtube Disney songs / read up on my Disney fun facts. #suchanerd #supboyz

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