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  • DL with a grand daughter turning 3

    This is my very first post but I have enjoyed reading the threads for a while. In Feb. of 07 we will be taking my Granddaughter who will be turning 3 March 3th to Disneyland. We are staying at the DLH and have requested a room with a view of the park. We will arrive on Feb 11th and leave Feb 17th. We are in no rush to leave on Sat as we only live about 4 hours to the north. We have a 7 day hopper pass and a character breakfast and Princess Dinner. Any advise or must see and do with a little one. She loves Mickey's house as she calls Disneyland and has been on a Disney crusie last year with her other Grandparents so this is not going to be strange to her. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

    Wow! What a lucky little girl! And welcome to Micechat.

    Sounds like you have plenty of time to enjoy the parks, it will certainly be fun to stay at the Disneyland Hotel

    I don't have little kid experience at DLR, but I'll toss out some suggestions anyhow. I am sure some parents will chime in!

    1. take your time and enjoy the parks at your own pace! You have plenty of time w/ a 7-day park hopper.
    2. if you can get to the parks early the Fantasyland rides will be less crowded (you will not have to wait in a loooooooong line for Dumbo!) Same for Toontown. You may get a "morning madness" early entry with your hotel room.
    3. Downtown Disney has some great activites and entertainment. Build a Bear, Rainforest Cafe, lots of musicians
    4. Enjoy the ammenities at the hotel (pool, etc.)
    5. Main street is a great place to grab a seat, ride the cars, people watch, and meet the characters
    6. The new "Princess Faire" may be fun (I haven't seen it yet)
    7. Make some "priority seating" reservations in the parks/hotel restaurants to ensure you all can get in for a bite to eat without too long a wait (60 days in advance, 714 781 dine (3463). (you aren't bound to the reservations).
    8. DCA's bugs land is fun for little kids. DCA is a fun place to hang out in general!!
    Be Nice or Leave

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    • #3
      Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

      With 7 days I'm sure you won't have a problem doing everything you'd like.

      You can take her to Mickey's Official House in Toontown, where can can meet the Big Cheese himself.

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      • #4
        Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

        I would arrange a birthday party for her at the Plaza Inn. And make sure to get her a birthday sticker!

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        • #5
          Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

          (1)If possible bring your own stroller with you from home...it will save you time and money renting one and you will be able to use it all the way back to your hotel.
          (2) February will not be very crowded but I would still consult the schedules daily to plan your parade/fireworks viewing. Ask CMs where the best seating for the parade is so you can get the best interaction with the characters.
          (3) Try not to leave anything that is really important to you until the end, unexpected cancellations happen and you don't want to be dissapointed.
          (4) Try to bring some familiar foods from home so her stomach isn't shocked by eating only restaurant food.
          (5) Look into applying for a Disney credit card, they have some nice perks like special photo opportunities with free pictures to take home.
          (6) Take a rest break daily, go back to the hotel and swim (weather permitting) or have a 'quiet time' or nap. Running from opening to closing isn't that fun for a cranky toddler. Think quality over quantity.
          (7) Go to Innoventions and send home email postcards to mom and dad and the other grandparents.
          (8) Try to watch Fantasmic! (if it is on your schedule) from the River Belle Terrace--padded seats are a plus, but more importantly you will not be too close. It can be scary for a three year old, and you can get up and leave without stepping over hundreds of people if it isn't her idea of fun.
          (9)Re-read the sticky thread on Fast Pass use, it will help you to be organized with your Fast Passes.
          Last edited by RetroMousie; 10-08-2006, 12:27 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

            Thank you for the replies. I will bring her stroller! That is a great idea for the walk back to the hotel. Also to bring along some of her own food. I wonder if they have refrigerators in the rooms? The build a bear sounds like a great idea too. I will make priority seating too. As I am sure long lines are not a good idea with little ones. Birthday stickers? Where do I get them? And I love the idea of talking to a CM about the best place to interact during the parade. Also where is Innoventions? She would love to buy and mail postcards. Maybe even to herself so she has them when she gets back home. Several years ago, on the hotel grounds, there were characters made out of wood and painted. They were great for photos. Are they still there and where are they located? Oh, thanks for the help!!! I am getting so excited all ready. Nothing like seeing DL through the eyes of a little one on their first time.
            Last edited by gigikay; 10-08-2006, 12:22 PM. Reason: spelling

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            • #7
              Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

              Make sure that your character breakfast is at Goofy's Kitchen.

              More characters per capita than the other eateries...

              Enjoy!

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              • #8
                Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                The birthday party at the Plaza Inn sounds great. I think she would have a great time. Thanks

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                • #9
                  Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                  You get the B-Day stickers at City Hall on Main St. Be sure and ask for her special phone call, too!

                  And when you are checking into the DL Hotel, be sure and ask for the autographed character photo's of Mickey and Minnie. And balloons too!

                  And of course, the B-Day pack of free tortilla's at the tortilla factory in DCA!

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                  • #10
                    Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                    The postcards I mentioned were emailed postcards, those are at Innoventions which is in Tommorrowland in the old Carousel of Progress building. You can also buy regular postcards all over the Park and mail them at Disneyland postboxes. I am sure there are many, but I can only think of the one right by the left tunnel as you pass under the train tracks upon entering. Bring your own stamps from home and pre printed address labels to make it easier.

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                    • #11
                      Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                      Thank you PirateMickey. Glad to have your suggestion on the breakfast, I don't know much about them but thought it was a great idea as she gets to eat and the characters come to her. Will ask, for sure, about the photos and balloons too. What a cute surprise.

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                      • #12
                        Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                        My advice is, from the moment you get there, ask questions. The cast members are very helpful, but they can't help you if you don't ask. Same with Disney characters, if your child wants an autograph she needs to say" can I have your autograph". Make reservations at restraunts. The advice about the early entry and Fantasyland... DO IT!!!!! Also early entry gives you some great photo ops without a bunch of people in the photo that you don't know. But the biggest advice is ASK THE CM's.

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                        • #13
                          Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                          As a previous poster said...apply for a Disney Visa...they have a special "meet and greet with the Characters at Ariel's Grotto" exclusively for card holders...the Princess Fantasy Faire sounds great...go to

                          http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disn...OMDLandingPage

                          link on new attractions and entertainment...then Disney Fantasy Faire...

                          Wherever you have reservations or just go to eat...tell them it's her birthday!
                          "Happiness is a state of mind...." Walt Disney


                          "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." Walt Disney



                          thmar

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                          • #14
                            Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                            Thanks eveyone for the help. Any other ideas?

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                            • #15
                              Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                              You can get the times that the characters are all out, take her pictures with the princesses, mickey, whoever else. The parades are always awesome! 7 days is plenty of time to do everything and anything you want.
                              "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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                              • #16
                                Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                                Hi. Last January, we purchased annual passes for the year. My daughters were 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 at the time. We have been to Disneyland six times since then and have enjoyed it more than I would have imagined. Here are some things I have learned:

                                1. Get a Disney visa card. First, your card entitles you to FREE stroller rentals (two rentals every day). We lugged our stroller all around the first couple of visits. When we discovered the Disneyland stroller rentals, it was so nice. And they are FREE to Disney credit card holders. Also, the Disney card entitles you to 10% off several restaurants and merchandise purchases over $50. And the card gives you an excellent, exclusive Character Photo Op at California Adventure with a FREE 5x7 (those are normally $15+). We only use our card for Disneyland, but it has been wonderful to have.

                                2. My daughters' favorite ride is the Winnie the Pooh ride at the back of Disneyland. The line has never been more than 8 minutes long and we ride it over and over and over again. The characters (Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger) come out at 11:00. It's a good idea to line up early, as the line to meet the characters gets very long very quickly.

                                3. Get your "Happy Birthday" sticker (or button, I think they went back to buttons this summer) BEFORE you enter Disneyland. There is an information kiosk outside of Disneyland. Go there and request your birthday sticker because there is never a line there. If you go inside, you will have to wait in a VERY long line to get your sticker from Town Hall.

                                4. Goofy will call and sing Happy Birthday to her. The best place for this to happen is at California Adventure, inside the Disney Animation Building (next to the Disney Playhouse theater). They have a phone and you can ask the CM to have Goofy call your daughter. Again, there is never a line here. If you wait at Town Hall in Disneyland, the wait can be up to an hour long (even if it looks short, it really isn't!).

                                5. If you want to see Princesses, eat at Ariel's Grotto in California Adventure. There will be a minimum of five princesses. Each Princess will come to visit your table and talk with your granddaughter. My girls LOVE this! Also, kids under three eat free and their meals come in little buckets and shovels they can take home. Be sure to make a reservation!

                                6. My daughters LOVE dressing in Princess dresses to take their pictures with the princesses. Here's what we do: They arrive at Disneyland in their dresses. We take a few pictures and they usually get tired of wearing the dresses, so we put on different clothes and then change back into the dresses when we are at Princess Fantasy Faire or Ariel's Grotto (etc). The pictures are soooo cute when they are wearing the same dress as the princess (We have both girls in Cinderella dresses with Cinderella; same for Belle and Aurora). Of course, we do not purchase the dresses at Disneyland. That would require a second mortgage! I purchase my princess dresses at the Disney Store. They are not the same as the Disneyland dresses, but very close and still very pretty. My girls play dress up with them all of the time and they have held up very well. Both girls were actually Cinderella for Halloween, with the dresses we bought in January. Anyway, disneystore.com has all of their dresses half price right now, plus an additional 25% off this week (about $18). That's much better than the $50+ you will pay at Disneyland for a dress.

                                7. Princess Fantasy Faire is fabulous for little girls. You want to get there about 30 minutes before it opens (right now, it opens at 10am, but might be different in February). Ask a CM what the schedule for the day is. There are crafts, a "coronation" ceremony (that's when the girls really like to have their princess dresses on), storytelling (wonderful stories told by the princesses themselves!). It's truly magical for my little girls.

                                8. My girls LOVE seeing and taking pictures with the characters. They actually have schedules (they aren't out randomly, as I thought when I first started going there). If there are specific characters you would like to see, ask a CM. They should know the schedule or know somebody who does. We always see characters walking around California Adventure before it opens ... twice we've seen Goofy and my girls have had the opportunity to talk with him for four or five minutes before anybody else even noticed he was there! There are usually characters in the Disney Animation Studio and very few people seem to know about that. We have had pictures taken with Sully (the monster), Chicken Little, Peter Pan and others without even having to wait more than two or three minutes.

                                9. The birthday party at Plaza Inn was totally worth the price. Both of my girls loved it! Plus, kids under three are free. We decorated miniature cakes, sang, took pictures with Mickey and Minnie, etc. Try to get a table close to the picture area (where it says Happiest Birthday on Earth) because when Mickey and Minney come, it's a mob scene! And, those closest to them will be first in line for pictures. Also, I brought along some little wrapped presents (hidden in my purse) and put them on the table so when my girls sat back down, there was a surprise birthday gift (little lipglosses and a mirror) from Minnie Mouse. They were in awe! I did that when we visited the Princesses at Ariel's Grotto, too ... just snuck the little gifts on the table when they were taking pictures. They were just so tickled that the princesses had left them little gifts. : )

                                10. My (now) 2 year old loves the following rides: Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc (in California Adventure), Peter Pan, Small World and Buzz Lightyear AstroBlasters and everything in Toontown. These are the ones we go on over and over and over again because she (and her older sister) absolutely love them.

                                12. Rainforest Cafe (in Downtown Disney) is an AMAZING place to eat. If you go, be sure to purchase their membership card thing. It's only $10, but the benefits are great. You get a FREE appetizer every time you eat there (the card is good for life!). We get the chicken strips appetizer, and that's what my girls eat, so we don't even have to pay for their meal. Plus, you get 10% off purchases in the store and they have some neat things in there.

                                13. Build-A-Bear workshop: A great experience! But, try to get there when they open, because otherwise it can be a madhouse! If you've never been to Build-A-Bear, check out their website (buildabear.com) to see what it's all about. When my parents took my girls to get their first bears, they bought a voice chip. They recorded my youngest girl's favorite song (Row, row, row your boat) on hers. Now, every time she presses the bear's hand, she screams in delight "Grammy sings Row, Row to me!" And the bear is wearing a Cinderella dress ... of course!

                                Have a great trip!

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                                • #17
                                  Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                                  : )
                                  Last edited by Hulsey4some; 11-07-2006, 09:58 PM. Reason: double posting

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                                    Originally posted by Hulsey4some View Post
                                    : )
                                    Welcome to Micechat!! Great suggestions!!
                                    I love my awesome crazy wonderful friends!!

                                    "Do you remember in kindergarten, how you�d meet a kid,
                                    then 10 seconds later you�d be playing like you were best friends?"
                                    * * *

                                    :love:

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                                      We have the Disney Visa and enjoy the rewards. The free stroller rental is nice and on our next visit we are going to do the character meet and greet at Ariel's Grotto.
                                      Last edited by doombuggy driver; 11-08-2006, 05:55 AM.
                                      Foolish Mortal
                                      sigpic

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: DL with a grand daughter turning 3

                                        Take lots of pictures / videos, etc. And after you take lots of them...take some more. We have been taking our grandson since he was 18 mos. and now he is 13 and we still take him. We have lots of pictures and videos and we all enjoy seeing them and reliving the trips.
                                        Gawrsh !!

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