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  • Parents Who Make the Magic Happen

    What are some things you do for your kids to have a magical time at DL?

    Or, what did your parents do for you to have a magical time at DL?

    I totally commend my parents for making many road trips to DL when I was a kid. We lived in Vegas, so would go about 3-4 times a year, but couldn't afford to stay overnight on most visits. So, here's what amazes me to this day - they'd wake us three kids up at 3:30am so we could hit the road to be at the park by 9am. One parent would sleep on the way down while the other drove. Now, we'd stay ALL DAY at the park, usually until 11pm. And then, the other parent would drive us back, while the other slept. Considering that's only about 3 hours of sleep (considering we had to stop for potty breaks, etc.) for each parent, with 14 hours at the park and 300 miles of driving each way, that's pretty damn amazing! Heck, I don't even like walking back to the car after a full day of DL, and they were older than I am now.

    So, here's to the parents who make the magic happen! :bow:
    [email protected]

  • #2
    We have four kids. We usually take three to four trips to the Parks per year. Each trip we celebrate one of the kids birthdays. First off, they get to pick their seat in the vehicle (parents know what I mean) for the ride south. Once there, they get their choice of lunch or dinner at either Goofy's Kitchen or Rainforest (usually pick G-K) in honor of their B-Day. Once in the Park, they get to go to City Hall and talk to Goofy on the phone for their B-Day call and get a button or sticker. They then get to pick out the first ride of the trip. And before we leave, they get to pick the last ride of the trip. We throw in a few other things as we go along.

    They seem to like it so far...

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    • #3
      :lol: I love my son, my oldest Kyler saw me reading this thread and asked what it was about. I told him and asked him if there was something in particular he thought of that we did that made it more magical. His response...................................

      Yeah you took us. :lol:



      Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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      • #4
        Aw, what a great topic!

        We "theme" our Disneyland trips sometimes. Once we spent all week getting all the squished pennies we could fit into a penny album. Another time it was all about pins. Two visits have been all about Christmas. Two others have been all about birthdays.

        They take turns choosing rides....we make some portion of each day all about one of the kids. The awesome thing is that they never roll their eyes or fight about each other's choices. They're all up for anything. That, to me, is magical.

        The last visit was cool because each of our three daughters had about $200 in Disney Dollars to spend....if they saw something and could afford it, it was theirs. What a blast! My ten year old squeaked hers out til the last day and ended up spending her last $50 at Compass book store where she got some really great books and a Mickey tea set.

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        • #5
          I let her run wild with her firend in the parks. It is quite the magical experience for her and I....sometimes I let her drink some of my beer at DCA. She loves the dark beer also...like mother like daughter.... Oh, and one time I let her walk to mc donalds from our hotel with just her friend. She liked that the most... Ordering and paying for her own miki d's ...what could be better...LOL

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SCUBAbe
            I let her run wild with her firend in the parks. It is quite the magical experience for her and I....sometimes I let her drink some of my beer at DCA. She loves the dark beer also...like mother like daughter.... Oh, and one time I let her walk to mc donalds from our hotel with just her friend. She liked that the most... Ordering and paying for her own miki d's ...what could be better...LOL
            not down with the beer - you should give her tequila.

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            • #7
              I think for us, the way that we let the kids experience the magic of Disneyland is to let them choose what is magical to them. They go through their phases, but they own their own magic, their way.

              Being that we go to the park often, it is a challenge to make the park new and exciting for the kids. I try to take each of them on solo trips with mommy every so often. They get to pick which ever rides they want the whole day. Sometimes they even let me ride Jungle Cruise.

              The magic I am looking forward to is down the line when the kids have the appreciation for being able to go to Disneyland so much as children, just as Disneyphile has realized how special her trips to the parks were with her parents. (You should see her face light up when she tells the story in person. )
              Anything listed on the park maps as an attraction is fair game for inclusion in the Rally.
              I cannot confirm nor deny the inclusion of any attraction in the Rally.



              May the Gumballs Be with You...Always.

              NO GOATS!

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              • #8
                When we went for a birthday, the birthday girl (I lack brothers) was the boss. She chose (to some extent) which rides to go on, where to eat, when to rest, etc. This meant I got to have ice-cream sundaes for dinner every birthday because that was all I wanted (and I haven't changed ). We also got 20 Disney dollars to pick whatever souvenir we wanted. I ended up with a lot of collectible china princesses.

                We also got up disgustingly early to beat traffic, and always went to character breakfast, and (back when this was possible) took the monorail into DL from the hotel. Guess that kind of dates me.

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                • #9
                  i commend mamabot.

                  that said, my parents never let us do tha autograph thing, and i'm so glad they did. any time we got to see the characters it was all about our real, live interaction, not some forced, scripted photo op in a line.

                  something i sometimes think about as i sign autographs.

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                  • #10
                    when we make our yearly trip with my 2 sons I always stay for three days,in that time I always make sure that each of my 2 boys has a time away from the other that is thiers to do as they wish and see what they want to. Last year on our trip the real "special" moment with the family was to go up to the pilots cabin on the Twain. My wife couldnt believe that I got us up and if you have never seen a big ol' kid Dad and his two sons pilot the Twain as well as ring the bell and toot the whistle then you havent seen the magic up close My 5 year old still talks to this day about how Daddy got him up to the top of the boat and HE got to drive!!
                    REMOVE TAG BEFORE FLIGHT

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                    • #11
                      My parents paid for my first OS trip to DL in 1991 - that was pretty cool !!

                      My Biggest & fondest memory of TOTAL "Parent Disney Magic" was when I was only a small bear, and they made me get all dressed up and said we were going to visit somebody special, but they didn't say who.

                      We drove for a while, and then we turned into the local fairgrounds to find a HUGE tent set up....... and they told me the 'someone special' we were going to visit was Mickey Mouse !!

                      It was "Disney On Parade" (the one with Herbie the Love Bug 'walking' the high-wire with Goofy, and the "Lets Go Fly A Kite" finale with all these women up in the air on giant kites.)

                      I will NEVER forget that, and it is one of the best memories I have of my Mum:love:
                      DLR California - 1991, 1999, 2002, 2007, 2009
                      DLR Florida - 2002, 2007
                      DLR Tokyo - 2005
                      DLR Paris - 2011
                      DLR Hong Kong -2011
                      DLR Beijing -TBA

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                      • #12
                        My one and only trip with my parents was for one of my Birthdays which haqppens to be July 18th. I remember being surprised by a hostess wishing me a happy birthday and I was all excited. Heh. little did I know she was talking about TL's birthday. Let's see, my birthday coincided with my mom's period so she sat everything out (hardly saw her) and so it was me and my dad. Interesting thing about my dad, he had no clue what the concept of fun was. Let's see, we ate hamburgers for lunch and bought no trinkets. Magic, no concept. Thank god I grew away from my family and have discovered the magic on my own.
                        >>Alan<<
                        Member 216




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                        • #13
                          I took my daughter to DLR for her 5th birthday. We were there 5 days and it was so much fun. The first week of April we are headed down ther again to visit Sea World, Legoland, San Diego Zoo and Knott's. As a suprise we are going to Disneyland also. She has no idea and won't realize it until we get there.

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                          • #14
                            on our trips I try to add some extra magic at the hotel, doesn't matter if we stay at a Disney hotel or a good neighbor hotel I add a few extra touches to make it more magical....once Tinkerbell visited in our sleep and left some pixie dust (housekeeping got a BIG tip that day), I have left them cute plastic cups that I found at the party store (not the cheasy thin ones nice 6oz acrilic ones, they still use them) I have left partyfavor type things on their pillows (one night it was pencils, stationary and stickers with each kids favorite charactor, another night it was sticker albums, that type of stuff) inexpensive things that you pick up at the party store before you leave home. I told the kids that tinkerbell (or whichever charactor best fit the moment) must have stoped by to drop off the treats. They love it...I need to figure out this years treats. (BTW I always manage to "forget" something in the room, so I can leave the kids with Daddy and go back up to plant that days treat)

                            In the park we stay together most of the time and take turns picking rides but we also make sure that each kid gets some time alone with each parent to do what they want (on our last trip my son and I spent 2 hours riding every mainstreet vehicel, thats all he wanted to do...but I have to say I had always skipped them before, they are really quite nice, very peacefull, enjoyable way to see mainstreet. In contrast when my Daughter and I spent an evening alone we hit every E ticket that we possably could...they need the time away from each other too.)
                            procrastibating

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Whatever
                              not down with the beer - you should give her tequila.
                              oh, no!! Jose' and I had a falling out. we no longer speak. We would have to do grey goose or mailbu rum.....or perhaps a candybar or kamikaze....OMG bartender flash backs are happening...

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                              • #16
                                I am one of those parents that leaves home around 2am, drives 408 miles to Disneyland with the arrival time of 8am. We have breakfast, head into the park, stay until 5pm, get on the road at 6pm to drive another 408 miles and arrive home about 1am. Woo hoo! I can't tell you how many times we did this over the years. I'm a Disney nut. If we aren't doing a one day trip we almost always do a 3 day one.

                                To make our trips special, before we leave we have a calendar on the fridge that both my girls take turns marking a day off, bringing us closer to our actual trip date. I give them their allowance in Disney Dollars. We listen to the park tracks the whole drive down. We talk about what we are going to do and work it out together so that when we do arrive at the park, it goes smoothly. Communication is the key! Make sure each kid has a chance to express what they really want to do. During the 6 hour drive, I bring their Disneyland coloring pages and they bring some Disney themed toys. All their clothes for the trip are Disney clothing, down to the socks on their feet. I believe that part of sustaining the Disney magic is to dress the part

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                                • #17
                                  You know I know it's not DL but I have a couple little things from our only family trip to WDW that the boys still talk about, so I must've done something right! :o

                                  After arriving at the ASMo I went ahead to the room and quickly unpacked the "surprises" that I had for the boys. I had went to the disney store and got each of them Disney PJ's, a new stuffie to stay in the room so that their special stuffed animals would not get lonely, and action figure each and some coloring books and treats like that during down time and a magic towel for each for their stay, their "wdw towels" they called them I set them up on the bed from "mickey" for Shawn and from "goofy" for Kyler. They were sooooooo excited!!

                                  Also during that trip, we did the things they wanted to do most FIRST and made sure to do the things they wanted to do most. Such as trekking across MGM in a freakin' monsoon because my oldest wanted to eat at Sci-Fi soooo bad, it was worth it, he still talks about that place. We also took them to get their haircuts on MainStreet on their last day as a "treat" and they still talk about that too (mom, mom remember when we got our hair cut ON MAIN STREET :love

                                  One thing I did recently for my youngest is write to DL before his birthday and I got an autographed picture of Peter Pan(his hero along with Prince phillip)for his birthday and I gave it to him on his Birthday trip this past nov.

                                  I think the thing that always makes it the most special for the both of them is when we are just running around the parks together and I get as excited as they do to ride Haunted Mansion or see Fantasmic! again and again or to clap and yell to get the turtle's attention in the MSEP. (they love that)



                                  Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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                                  • #18
                                    My parents, especially my mother patiently lived through my Disnetologist years of being a Disneyland freak (5 - early teen). It was an obsession and they should have gone insane. They were supportive and hoped I would grow out of it. I did till we had kids. I thank my mom for saving Green Stamps and taking me to the park all those times, or when I was sick we'd just ride the Monorail round trip from the Hotel. One time I saved for a Schuco Monorail and she matched my bag of coins to afford it. That was magic. Shes gone now, but I appreciate all she did for me.

                                    Now as a parent, I can try to do the same for my kids and relive it with them. That cycle is what is magic to me about parents and Disneyland.
                                    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

                                    [FONT=Arial Narrow]

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                                    • #19
                                      my girls apprecitated that one year when we spent Christmass and DL, I took along one of those little 2' high fake trees, set it up in our room and , brought some miniature Disney ornaments and decorated so our room looked festive and Christmassy!
                                      Also a bigger suprise on Christmas morning Santa had found us , the little tree, had presents for the girls under it. How I so miss those days.

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                                      • #20
                                        Oh, I just thought of another one...

                                        we start the magic well before we leave....

                                        I have learned my lesson and do not tell the kids until 2 weeks before we go (I had to cancel one year and it crushed us all) so now I wait until nothing cn stop the trip.
                                        I love to come up with different, fun ways to tell them we are going... last time we watched the a Disney planning video (not an unusual occurance in our house, our son watches them for fun) and at one point my youngest asked if we could go sometime. I replied with , how about next week (or whatever it was I forget), my then 3 year old just beamed the biggest smile, our 8 yr old, just stared at us for several minutes silent, then when she finally realized what was happening she started bouncing off the walls.

                                        This time I think I am going to fill tons of helium balloons in a small room, hide clues in a few balloons and have them 'pop' their way to the surprise.

                                        messy, but effective. (plus, that would just be fun to watch)

                                        or I may do a treasure hunt for the vacation destination with clues around the house, but I think I like the Balloons best.
                                        procrastibating

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