Disneyland Is Back- And We Can’t Wait To Visit

Back in 2009, we went on our first trip to Disneyland. We have retuned to the The Happiest Place on Earth numerous times. That first trip was by far the most memorable. And probably our most joyous.

The photos from our first trip are filled with fun. Those smiles from our children are still contagious. Each trip since has been equally as magical in different ways. We have loved every visit.

Last February we bought tickets for Disneyland. Our plan was to visit in the July of 2020. Alas, the world shutdown. Now there is a glimmer of hope as the Disneyland park opens once more. Only to California residents and in a limited capacity- but from what I’ve seen today, my heart yearns for a trip back there.

The tickets we bought will be honored at a later date. So we will hold onto the thought of traveling once more. Only the next time, there will be at least four adult Havelkas entering the park. They may not be children, but we will be young at heart once more.

Is a visit to Disneyland on your wish list once travel restrictions are lifted?

Summer Graffiti

As the sun continues to shine, my work days have gotten a bit brighter. Even the rail cars are getting into the spirit.

I spotted a “Lilo and Stitch” graffiti painted car outside the window today. It made me smile at the abilities of some vandals. The recognition of a cartoon character on either side of a tag is becoming commonplace.

Seeing “Lilo and Stitch” reminded me of our trip to Hawaii seven years ago. As well as our trip to Tokyo three years ago. Which got me thinking about all of our vacations to Disneyland. I really do enjoy my time with my family as we make memories.

So if a graffiti vandal can make me happy, then I really don’t mind seeing their crimes. Especially on rolling art canvases that travel the continent.

The Death of Darth Vader

In honor of the passing of Dave Prowse- the actor who wore the Darth Vader costume in the original trilogy of Star Wars films- I wanted to re-share some lighthearted images. Originally I had shared these over the years on my social media. They are of Darth Vader being not so Darth.

As a Star Wars fan I always wanted to dress up as Darth Vader. I figured I would be a perfect fit since I have the height. Previously I was Obi-Wan Kenobi, maybe it’s time to join the Dark Side.

I’ve also had my kids grow up on Star Wars. On our trips to Disneyland- they each got to enjoy a lightsaber battle against a evil foe- Darth Vader included. Here’s a video from 11 years ago: Darwin vs Darth Vader.

Reflecting on the impact that a character has had on my life is important to me. The actor behind the mask (both literal and figurative in this case) is also part of the remembrance.

Thank you Dave Prowse for your actions as an iconic sci-fi character. You will be missed.

A Decade of Disneyland at Halloween

Looking back at my memories, I saw that we spent a majority of our kids’ Halloweens in Disneyland. Since 2010 we have been enjoying haunting up the theme park.

To say I miss visiting Disneyland is an understatement. Once this pandemic clears up and travel opens again- I’d love to hit up Disneyland. No matter what time of year it is. The family and I always had a good time goofing around as we immersed ourselves in the joy of the parks.

Disneyland California Adventure 2010

We would push for full days at the parks. Lining up before the gates opened and being some of the last guests to leave at night. We made every minute count.

Honestly, some of the best parts of the trips was also the drive. We would be hyped going down the coast, then excitedly talk the drive back about all the fun we had. As cheesy as all this sounds, I am sad that we didn’t get to do it this year. Some of the biggest connections I created with my children was on these vacations. Those memories however will last me a lifetime. As is obvious by today’s blog.

In order to bring forth those good feels, I decided that tonight we are watching Disney’s Hocus Pocus as a family. I haven’t seen this film since the mid-90’s. I also have no idea of my family has seen it. I hope it holds up.

Even if traditions change and we need to adapt. We shall continue to make scary memories together as a family in a variety of ways.

Vacation Feels

It’s nearing the end of summer. It’s the final push to enjoy ourselves. I am also starting eleven days of vacation. That means time away from work, which is great to recharge the mental batteries. Even though we may not be traveling to a favorite destination.

We are still planning on having a good time as a family. Tonight we made smoked turkey legs and watched some “Disney Park Blogs” YouTube videos during dinner.

Of course we all wore our Mouse Ears! Because who knows when the next time we will be attending a Disney Park again… But the feels needed to come out. The ears brought forth joy, laughter and memories.

I’m ready to have a great time with my family during staycation. British Columbia is the next best place to be next to Disneyland! Especially if you get to share moments with loved ones.

July 4th 2020

This year, we were planning on changing up our July 4th festivities. Back in February (before the pandemic took over) we bought tickets to Disneyland and booked our favorite hotel. Up until about a month ago, we were having a tough emotional time canceling the hotel. We really wanted to experience Disneyland in the summer since we’ve had the chance to enjoy springtime and numerous times at Halloween.

We really wanted to see the Disneyland 4th of July Fireworks. I assume that Americans can put on quite the show. Tonight, we shall watch those fireworks from the comfort of our home.

As well, instead of a road trip along the West Coast of the USA, I plan on taking some of the family camping during my vacation. As our kids get older, it seems there’s a bit of freedom expected. So our oldest is choosing to stay home. As uneventful as camping is, we are still happy and healthy and ready to enjoy the world.

But tonight, we shall resort to our July 4th Tradition. A viewing of ID4: Independence Day. I love this film. I also love the fact that our kids believed me (when they were much, much younger) that this film is historically accurate. Thank you Hollywood!

Happy July 4th to our American Neighbours!

I Hadn’t Planned a Recovery

This COVID thing has finally ticked me off. Our road trip to Disneyland at the end of the month is cancelled. I really didn’t want to admit that it was a possibility. But here we are, no Disneyland trip.

And no recovery plan either. It’s not like we can drive across the border and take a break someplace else in California. We can barely travel between provinces here in Canada as it is…

I am at a loss for what to do in order to get some “Rest and Relaxation” away from the daily grind. Seems like camping is about it. But being so late to the game, I have no idea if we can even book a site at the last minute.

I’m not used to this. Last minute travel is not my thing. I like plans! Itineraries! Goals! Gosh dingit! I feel lost. I need some guidance as to what to do or where to go.

Beignets

We’ve been making lots of desserts lately. I was never a big sweets fan, but add my deep fryer- man I’m going to get fat! And the food is amazing!

We made Donuts three weeks ago. And again about a week after once we got better yeast. Two weeks ago we made Disneyland Churros. Which we made again a few days later because they turned out perfect.

Disney Blogs shared another recipe. Classic Disney Beignets. Naturally, I had to make them. They turned out fantastic! These are so mmmmmmmmm good. Definitely a repeatable treat.

These foods help us emotionally because we are missing Disneyland. We have been singing Disney songs and watching Disney films quite a bit lately. Last night we ended our evening watching Fireworks from Disneyworld. We know that our trip is getting cancelled this summer and it sucks. But at least we are trying to keep our spirits up. Mostly through all the other senses.

Are you trying new foods lately? How are you keeping your sanity?

Disneyland Churros

Disney released the greatest thing ever this week. They released their churro recipe for those of us at home who miss attending the parks. The recipe is extremely easy. Find it at Disney Parks Blog Churros.

Of course, we HAD TO MAKE THEM!

My kids had a great time helping make the churros, deep fry the churros, sugar the churros and of course- eat the churros!

It was a fun bonding time with the kids and surprisingly easy to make. (Especially with a deep fryer). I highly suggest those who love churros and miss the most magical place on earth- try this recipe. It’s a great way to bring the magic home.

And don’t forget to listen to your favorite Disney music while making them!

Mug Shots

Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

Are you as cheesy as we are?

Let me know in the comments.

18 Years

Today I celebrate 18 years of marriage to my wife. It has been an amazing journey. With far more ups than downs.

I have loved every moment. Even that time when she stabbed me in the face with her finger nails and tried to apologize acting all sweet and cute.

Or the time she thought I was taking a selfie and wanted to show that she brushes her teeth- so I took a selfie with her.

I love that ten years ago, we went on our first family trip to Disneyland. I never knew that an inner child was a real thing until I saw my wife gushing with pleasure and excitement as we wandered the parks. This also started a continuous desire to return as often as possible to Disneyland. Whenever we are having rough emotional patches- we talk about previous trips and future plans of traveling to those Magical Lands.

Through 18 years of marriage, we have created and cultivated a beautiful family. Our three kids have been a source of pride for us both. We love to joke and laugh with them. Our kids have become extensions of our personalities- sharing love into this world the same way my wife and I do.

Our love for one another has grown tremendously strong over the years. I’m lucky to have such a great partner. She is as crazy as I am. She even lets the crazy loose more when I’m around.

May our journey together not be restricted to just these first 18 years of marriage. We have a bond that I feel will last a lifetime.

Happy 18th Anniversary Lee-Anne! I love you with all my heart.

Sincerely,

Josef

Galaxy’s Edge Excitement

I am such a nerd when it comes to all things Disneyland or Star Wars related. I read blogs, follow Instagrams, I even open my Twitter feed just to find the hints and rumors. I share what I find with others who are of like mindsets. The term “Fandom” doesn’t quite express my feelings or emotions dedicated to Disneyland or Star Wars.

Last night was no exception to my love of both of these. Disneyland did a live stream of their Dedication Ceremony for the new land “Galaxy’s Edge“. No- it’s not called “Star Wars Land“. I’ll always call it by it’s true name- “Galaxy’s Edge” because- die hard fan here. That being said, my excitement level seeing the footage of this new park expansion grew last night.

But…

With our commitments to our son’s Speed Skating future and our children’s education- visiting Disneyland during the first openings of Galaxy’s Edge isn’t feasible. I’m looking on the bright side, give it a few months to a year and the crowds should slim out and the kinks worked out. So when is a good time to visit Disneyland?

We usually go in October to experience Halloween time. But over the years- it has gotten tremendously busy. Again, mentioning our children’s education being important, I don’t want to take them out of school for extended periods. Our oldest is entering grade 12 in September and our youngest is entering grade 8 and starting his high school journey. The long weekend at Canadian Thanksgiving would alleviate much of a loss. But- crowds will be higher. Dilemma!

I like to plan and book vacations well in advance. 5 months ahead of time doesn’t feel like I’ve planned properly. Planning 9-12 months ahead feels more comfortable- financially as well. As much as I’m looking at hotels and deals in autumn, I’m going to postpone a Family Disney Vacation for about a year.

I think it’s about time we hit up Disney World. It’ll have Galaxy’s Edge opened and ready when we get there next August. First stop- Discover The Magic to get some personalized service from a travel agent that specializes in these sorts of things. I’m starting to get excited!

More Than Just Rides

Disneyland is great fun. Over the course of three days, we hit probably 90% of the rides. Which is a big portion of our trip usually. We utilize the FastPass option frequently. Disneyland has a MaxPass option for an additional $10/day per person. We didn’t feel that was of any value to our trip. A few extra steps to go get a pass won’t hurt me.

Besides the rides, we love meeting the characters. Our first trip, the girls met all the princesses as they dressed as princesses. We’ve also met numerous Disney characters over the years as well.

This year is no different. We took the time to meet a few characters (not including the cockroach from Wall-E). Each and every moment so far has been filled with jokes and laughs.

Another great aspect of Disneyland and California Adventure is the shows. We stop pretty often for the short side shows on the streets.

We also like taking in some stage shows. Disneyland goes all out and is a leader in how to create these entertainment experiences. This year we enjoyed “Frozen.”

Of course fireworks, parades and other nighttime shows are wonderful to watch.

We find some great moments by trying to experience everything. We have become a true “Disney Family” and love each and every moment in the parks.

Magical Day…?

Finding joy in some of the silliest things is what I love about life. Even in Disneyland when things aren’t always as magical as you think.

We had a few “Not-So-Magical” moments Saturday. But we had fun nonetheless.

My son’s car in Autotopia died before he could even get in. When I got to the end of the ride, they stopped us all in a row to insert a new car. No big deal, but it made the ride last longer.

On our walk to the train station, I met a celebrity from Wall-E.

The cockroach.

Ya, it’s just a bug. But I had to have some fun with the idea of it.

Later in the evening while we were in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, it broke down.

Twice.

People cheered both times as the ride started up again. The Disneyland App was pretty fast at posting rides going down.

None of this made our trip any less enjoyable. In fact it made it just as memorable as previous visits to Disneyland. We are still having a great time despite these flaws behind the magic.

Portofino Aneheim

Back at the end of January/ beginning of February 2009, I was getting laid off. So we took that opportunity to go to Disneyland for the first time. I was told on the Wednesday that on the Friday I’d be laid off. So we went onto the Disneyland website and booked tickets and a hotel starting the Sunday.

That Saturday morning, Mickey and his friends called our house and the kids answered the call. Their ages were 2,4 and 6. They lit up! Immediately after the call, we packed our minivan and hit the road. We drove straight through for 26 hours taking turns driving.

We arrived at the Portifino Inn and Suites. It was perfect. Separate bedroom for the kids and only a short walk to the park. This our third time returning to stay at the hotel.

The rooms are spacious and moderately priced. Like most hotels near Disneyland, this one boasts a parking lot pool. It’s the perfect size for a quick dip to relax.

There’s only two things that would make this place one of my favorite hotels.

First, breakfast.

Unfortunately there is no breakfast offered. Nothing more than the in-room coffee is available. I’d worry that if there was breakfast offered- it’d be subpar. So maybe no breakfast is a good thing, especially for the price we pay.

Secondly, better WiFi.

Just like German WiFi- it’s the wurst. It drops constantly and has trouble connecting. Walking up to the hotel or at the pool- it works great. In the rooms, it sketches out. Having teens- (and myself) this is life ending! But we are trudging through.

We like staying at this hotel. Even with a couple of flaws. For a place to rest my head and enjoy some downtime- this place is perfect.

Tokyo DisneySea

The day before we went to Tokyo Disneyland and it was great. Like a mini version of California’s original Disneyland (Minus The Matterhorn). Today we went to DisneySea.

We didn’t expect much after the day in Disneyland. Maybe just a few different rides or variations on the classics. But nope. That’s not what we encountered. We walked into DisneySea-

It blew my freakin’ mind, man!

As you can tell by these few panoramas- the place was HUGE! Every time you entered a new “land” you couldn’t even tell that you had left the previous one. Like switching a channel on TV. It was amazing to say the very least.

Our first ride was Journey to the Center of the Earth followed by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Mysterious Island. Afterwards we wandered through Mermaid Lagoon and Arabian Coast. If we spent a second day in DisneySea- we would’ve seen the shows in the theaters and still not hit every ride.

After that, we made our way to Lost River Delta and got a FastPass for the Raging Spirits Ride. Well, Ok- everyone else got a FastPass but me. I was too damn tall. But the family had fun when we returned.

We hopped onto a Steamship and headed back to Mediterranean Harbor where we grabbed lunch and another ride on the water. This time on the Venetian Gondolas. It was a lot of fun- like the Jungle Cruise.

After the Gondolas- we wandered back to the other side to use our FastPasses on Raging Spirits and Journey to the Center of the Earth (for a second ride). Once the rides were over, we decided to walk around the Fortress Exploration where we ended up watching an Easter Show on the water.

As the evening started to settle in, we headed through Port Discovery and rode the Aquatopia ride. After that, we wandered through a mock-up of a Cape Cod town as we made our way towards American Waterfront.

It was starting to get late, so we ended up going for dinner in an old steamship in a place called The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge. It was decked out with T.R. memorabilia. It was set up like an old smoking lounge with booth tables and large leather chairs. We were placed in the center of the lounge at the large fireplace and treated like American Royalty. It was a great experience.

We ended our day with a walk towards Toy Story Mania and bought some “Little Green Dumplings” as dessert. Wandering through the shops on our way to the exit was absolute chaos. It seems that “Duffy” the bear is HUGE in Japan and everyone wants some of the merchandise that the employees were having a tough time keeping the shelves full.

All-in-all it was one of the greatest Disney Resort trips we have ever experienced. I already want to return- so does my family!

Tokyo Disneyland

Tuesday was spent exploring a crowded Tokyo Disneyland.

We awoke early to catch a couple of trains in order to arrive 30 mins prior to the park opening. As we shuffled through the gates, a sea of people were everywhere. I was amazed at the initial entry and how amazing the structure was.

Our first ride was Star Tours- with an already 20 minute wait. Just before it- I had zipped out to get a Fastpass for the Monsters: Ride and Go Seek (which was surprisingly a good ride!) Even though it was shortly after we entered the park- the second ride we tried to get on already had a 3hr stand-by line.

But that ride was Space Mountain. A ride we have been on in California numerous times. As we were about to get in line, a lady took my daughter and I aside to see if we would even fit in the ride. (We did!-but 3hrs is too long to wait.) So we wandered over to Tom Sawyers Island for a little walk around.

Of course we tried different rides and shows that aren’t in California. Lee-Anne made us go on the Beaver Brother Canoes. So I made her go see Stitch in the Tiki Room. They gave us translation devices to enjoy the lyrics in English.We also enjoyed the PhilharMagic this time in Japanese.

Of course no trip to Disneyland would be complete without a train ride, turkey leg, and a bunch of pictures in front of the castle. It made for a busy and fun adventure!

Next stop- DisneySea!

Trick or Treat! 2017 Halloween.

When I was younger, the costumes at Halloween were either store bought plastic sheets and masks or “mom-made”. Now our children go hardcore and have gone off the beaten path of traditional costumes. They have created their own designs and poses- giving their character’s life. They also received numerous questions and compliments about their designs. It seems that years of attending Comic-Cons has paid off.

For during the day at school, my daughters did “Steampunk Alice & Mad Hatter”. They worked together to create a look that worked for both of them. For trick or treating- they changed outfits to be a bit more scary.


Our youngest daughter did her take on Freddy Krueger. And our eldest did Professor Stein.  Creating costumes are becoming second nature for us. We’ve always loved Halloween and have made it special every year.


In the past we’ve hit Disneyland three times to Trick or Treat. We also attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze for a couple Halloweens. Always plenty of costumes and tons of candy!


Any time we didn’t travel, we would hit a residential neighborhood with crowded homes lining the streets. It was great for when the kids were younger. This year to trick or treat, my wife drove around our neighborhood (since the homes are spread out between 1-10 acre lots). Less houses but still a good haul. With quite a few full size chocolate bars and cans of soda.


I joined up with them at the end of their evening because I was at work all day. But in the spirit of Halloween- I still got dressed up! My coworkers were rather impressed by my outfit.(Tomorrow I’ll be sharing about making my costume.) I’ll always love Halloween and dressing up. I’m just a big kid at heart. I’ll leave you tonight with a phrase I love to say- that I even put on a t-shirt for my kids:

Many years ago with my son.

 

“When I grow up I wanna be like me.”

Vacation Planning Pt.3

Here is the planning stages thus far for our trip that we are planning for 2018.

1st Stage: Decide To Go On a Vacation.

This was easy.  Everyone loves vacations.

2nd Stage: Decide Where To Go.

This was a bit more challenging.  The family wanted to go somewhere warm or exotic.  We did Hawaii the one time and I realized that swimming in the ocean can be relaxing.  As I mentioned previously in Vacation Planning– we haven’t done much more than a few road trips up and down the West Coast.  I also pointed out our love of Disneyland and how it’s our “go-to” location.

3rd Stage:  Laying Out a Plan


I love the idea of visiting Disneyland.  It’s always the first place that comes to mind when my family talks about vacations or traveling.  I offhandedly mentioned to my wife the idea of Walt Disney World next year with a possible Disney Cruise as well.  We had some friends who have done similar trips and it seemed like a great idea.  So I began searching up Disney Cruises.

But then it dawned on me:  Why not visit a Disneyland in another country?  So I began researching every Disneyland on the planet.  Each one is fairly similar in the basic rides and visual look.  There is also rides and attractions unique to every location.  Plus they are located in beautiful cities that I have wanted to travel to.  Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong… all of them with much more to see than just Disneyland.  There are entire cultural differences to experience.  It has made it very difficult to decide which Disneyland to go to…

Next, I did what any father would do.  I sat my kids down and asked their opinions.  They were no help.  They couldn’t decide which one they would want to go to if given a choice.  So I made the decision for them.

We are going to travel to see every single Disneyland on the planet.  I can’t find anyone online who has done a single trip traveling from city to city visiting each and every Disneyland.  There are people who have been to all of the parks over the years.  I found one person who planned on visiting all of the parks in one year: Disney Around the World 2016: My Quest to Visit Every Disney Park in 1 Year.  

I figure it’s about time someone does it in one non-stop circular journey in under a month.  We are that family.

4th Stage:  Getting There


I mentioned in Vacation Planning Pt.2 that my wife figured out we can buy an “Around the World” airfare for about half the cost instead of individually buying tickets for city to city.  So now she is on board with the idea.

Because of my height, I haven’t ever really enjoyed plane rides.  I figure why not get as many flights over and done with in a short amount of time.  By flying westward first, it will keep the jet lag down to a minimum.  That way we can also end in California at the original Disneyland.

5th Stage:  The Details

We need to figure this part out still…

6th Stage: Enjoy Our Trip

Even Princesses need a break.


This will be a once in a lifetime trip.  A trip that most people would think is crazy.  But we aren’t like most people.  We are excited to see “The Happiest Place On Earth” in all of the many locations.

Now to come up with a title for our trip…

Disneyland World Hopper

Around the World in Disney Days

A Month of Disneylands

Planet Disneyland 

I need to find something that expresses the joy and the absurdity as well as the Disney-ness of it.

We’re going to Disneyland! 

All of ’em!

Vacation Planning Pt.2

Yesterday, I mentioned trying to expand our travels to be more World Wide.  Here is the link in case you missed it: Vacation Planning.  Over the past few days, I have been looking into traveling to Asia and Europe within the next two years. I started by looking on Expedia and pricing tickets from one location to another. Then my wife asked if I had looked into”Around the World” air tickets. Flying this way cuts our cost in half. Bonus

However, we are still going to need to figure out some other costs such as hotels and food. We aren’t going to be road tripping with a cooler this time. My initial estimate for the five of us hovers around $30,000 to travel for about a month.


This is a huge jump from the first trip my wife and I ever took. It is something that the two of us have talked about doing with the kids since before our first child was born. When we originally began talking about this idea, we wanted to take the kids out of school for a year of traveling the world- similar to this family: Quit Your Job and Travel the World for a Year.   However since our children now attend a Choice School, they’d  lose their spots and the advantage we have struggled so hard for them to have. So we will have to resort to a summer trip and hit the destinations filled with crowds (unfortunately).  Not really a big deal.

I am really lucky with the new position I have at my work. Because of the years of service I have already put in, I am now given five weeks vacation every year. As well when I was working on the union side, I had to work the year prior to put into the following year for vacation. This means my work owes me four weeks vacation time that I need to take over the next couple of years. For those doing the math- that’s fourteen weeks off over two years. I must take five this year. I will still have nine weeks remaining. A little over two months. That’s a lot of time off.


When I married my wife- I was at $12/hr working about 30hrs/week when we first traveled on our honeymoon. Our first vacation reflected the tight income.  It’s time that our biggest vacation reflects the salary change and growth of our family.  Our children are older and more competent than when we first traveled to Disneyland back in 2009.  Those memories are what we as a family have enjoyed the most.  


So why not incorporate a trip to Disney World along the way?  The kids would love that.  I would as well.  Pretty sure my wife wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. This is now in the works for our future big trip.

Autumn Madness 

It’s here!  One of my four favorite seasons!

Yay Autumn!

Pumpkims from a few years ago done by my children and I.


I like autumn because it means Halloween is just around the corner.  I love decorating our home for Halloween.  I love carving pumpkins as well.  I have done some pretty intricatly carved pumpkins.  I have spent 4 hours doing just one.  I love it, it brings on a zen-like sensation as I zone out.

Our first Disneyland Trick Or Treat!


I love costumes as well.  That’s one of the main reasons I love conventions as well.  I get to cosplay.  Or I get to make cosplay for my kids.  I love it!


We have spent a few Halloweens down in Disneyland Trick or Treating.  I recommend it to anyone with children.  It is so much fun!  This year, we are not heading to California (sad Joe) but we will decorate and have fun at home for the first time in about five years.

The dilema is real.


What I don’t like about autumn is that it means the year is in it’s last three months.  Crazy scramble to finish projects, do those things you thought you had plenty of time to do nine months ago.  And I can’t tell what to wear.  This time of year is screwy.  So, zippered hoodies and jeans it is.

I also don’t like pumpkin pie.  There, I said it.  It looks like poop in a pie crust.  Same texture as a soft curly turd as well.


Nope.  Still not going to eat that.  Thanks.


But I will enjoy having beverages and a fire in the family room as I relax.  Especially Weaping Reaper by Dead Frog. Love that beer.

Cheers to cuddles on the couches and colors on the trees!  Enjoy the season everyone!

Late night, early morning.

Vacations are rough.  It’s no joke that people need a vacation from their vacation when they get home. The hardest part is cramming in a few full days over and over again to make the most of your experience.  Sore feet and long lines are a small price to pay to have fun in the sun for a few days.  Vacations can be calm and relaxing.  They’re also a great way to experience life.  I’m cutting this blog post short, since I’m up early and we have a full day ahead of us.

Disneyland!  Yay!

 

60 Years of Magic!

 

Patience 

Waiting in line, so that I can wait in second line, then wait in another line so that I can wait in a line for a two minute ride.

I love Disneyland.  Specifically California Adventure.  They have alcohol.  And you can wander the park enjoying a drink while you wait in line.  They also have Fastpass.  A great way to enjoy rides throughout the day without too much hassle.  (Tip: remember to check the bottom of the ticket for when you can get your next Fastpass!)  And for those of you with small ones- Switchpass.  We totally used that option our first trip.  We’ve come to master the art of enjoying the more popular rides two to three times while it’s busy without much waiting.  We squeeze in the rides with a five/ten minute wait while we wait for the main rides.

 

Selfie!

 
Of course Disneyland gets everyone hyper.  This is where I need to have patience.  I need to remember that I was young once, and I was overwhelmed by all the excitement.  The kids are walking around everywhere, going on thrill rides, and sometimes eating junk food.  This affects their moods.  It affects my mood.  I know it affects me, so I need to control how I react.  After about eight hours, I know that we all need to stop and recalibrate.  It’s also a perfect time to grab a turkey leg and an adult beverage.  This makes my trip a little more calm.  Time for mom & dad to goof off (a bit).

  

Disneyland

Last Sunday night my family sat down to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney:Disneyland 60”.  It started off with a wonderful ten minute tribute to Mr. Walt Disney and the creation of his park.  Then the next two hours were filled with advertising for everything Disney.

With inflation since 1989, I wonder what this is worth now…

 
Maybe my children didn’t notice or maybe I’m a bit cynical.  But it was basically a two hour commercial for one of the biggest money making machines in the world.  Nowadays, Disney can basically print its own money.  The company owns Marvel and Star Wars! Why bother to advertise anyways?

 

Graph with numbers and a red line.

 

Simple.  The parks are always getting upgrades.  No one would visit 1950’s Disneyland today if it had never changed.  Disneyland had a tough time bringing in people during the early 90’s because it had become stagnant.  Then Pixar happened.  And the changes were inevitable. 20,000 Leauges Under the Sea became Finding Nemo. Astro Blasters with Buzz Lightyear was created. Woody showing up in It’s a Small World.  The park began a new era.  Plus California Adventure opened in 2001, thus expanding the park- although poorly attended at first.

1st Trip

Our first trip to Disneyland Spring 2009.

Sixty years in the making, Disneyland is a Theme Park that the world knows about.  Many have visited.  My family and I have made the 24 hour road trip there about once a year since 2009.  I love the place.  Every time we go, we experience something new and memorable.  Simple things like eating at Ariel’s Grotto and meeting the Princesses, riding in the Lilly Belle around the park, or a ride in the front of the Monorail (and having the engineer more excited to find out I work for a railroad instead of me being excited that I was in the front of the Monorail!), enjoying a lunch near the water of the Pirates ride in the Blue Bayou Restaurant, finding new Hidden Mickeys, Jedi Academy, the first time our children were each tall enough to ride the bigger coasters, meeting all of our favorite characters, Trick or Treating in Disneyland, eating a fabled turkey leg, Dole Whip,  and the list goes on.

This year we are going to Disneyland to see the Diamond Celebration before it ends.  The Season of The Force is also going on.  In a few years, we will attend in order to see Star Wars Land (ya, I’m a bit of a Star wars fan).  Perhaps one day, we will stay in a Disneyland Resort Hotel and immerse ourselves in all things Disney.  Or a night in The Dream Suite inside the park would be the ultimate experience.  Hey, sometimes dreams really do come true.

Until then, I look forward to making memories with family and friends for many years to come.