Our Trip to the Happiest Place on Earth

by Christine@TheAums on October 16, 2012 · 24 comments

I’ve shared about my family’s favorite staycation destination, aka The Disneyland of Enlightenment, but last week, Grandma treated us to the real deal…the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The following collection of tweets will take you along on our journey to the happiest place on earth.

First things first: the road trip. We, meaning the 4 kids, are getting better and better at this 6-8 hour car ride down what many consider the most boring interstate in all of California, the 5 Freeway (yes, I’m originally from SoCal so I call it, “the” 5).

Have you heard of Playaway books? They are preloaded audio books that you plug earphones directly into and voila…4 quiet kids not asking if we’re there yet! We borrowed a bunch of Playaways from the library before our trip and I do not have enough kind praise for these little gadgets. I would highly recommend for airplane trips, too.

Don’t kids always sleep in when you least expect or want them to?

Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles! I took this trafficless L.A. freeway as an omen of awesome vacation memories ahead.

If you’re wondering what I’m referring to above, read all about how I get my kids to cooperate and smile for pictures.

I’m sure they exist, but I didn’t personally encounter a single one. Every worker I encountered was friendly, cheerful, and helpful with my kids. I especially loved how reassuring the Matterhorn operator was when he noticed I was being a worried mom, double-checked my 5 year old’s seat belt, and let me know she’d be fine. You see, the Matterhorn is a bobsled roller coaster where riders have to sit single file. Up until then, I was able to sit next to her on every ride so this was a big step for both of us. Her huge smile after the ride was confirmation that we have a thrill-seeking roller coaster lover on our hands.

There I said it. After having to share countless churros with my FOUR kids (what does that leave me with? Half a bite?), I became slightly obsessed with these tasty strips of fried dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Oh you’ll see…I did try to distract myself by changing the subject:

Nice try, Christine. Well, in answer to that tweet, this was the first Disney trip for my 3, 5, 6, and 8 year olds. This was pretty good timing seeing that I wasn’t pregnant or nursing and carrying a baby. While my three year old had a lot of fun and hung in as best she could, I think 5 is really the ideal age to get the most out of both Disneyland and California Adventure. Height-wise, I’d say 40 inches, although I did notice quite a few little ones walking around wearing platform tennis shoes. My youngest is 38 inches tall and couldn’t ride the new Cars ride in Cars Land which was a huge bummer. This was one of the best rides I’ve ever ridden and I do believe it is to my children what Pirates of the Caribbean is to me.

Talk about desperately trying not to think about where the next churro stand is. After a certain point it was lost cause. I became that mother who motivates with the promise of churros and threatens to not buy any at the first sign of a tantrum. I brainstormed ways Disneyland could become an even happier place on earth by offering complimentary churros while waiting in line for rides, or churros. And I tried my darndest to look loving and generous when I was asked for a bite after finally holding a fresh, hot churro to myself for all of three seconds. Also, because homeschooling can happen anytime anywhere, I threw in some churro math:

I was not alone in my love of churros judging by the long lines to get them. I was, however, alone in my authentic pronunciation (I am trying to teach my kids Spanish, you know). So I consulted my twitter friend who also happens to be a professional phonetic translator (among other awesome things):

It wasn’t such a small world anymore knowing how many people had no knowledge of such a delectable treat. Alas, all good things come to an end and we headed back to our churro-free home.

Even Mom It Forward got in on the churro action. Check out the CAPS:

I know you, like Elizabeth at Motherhood: A Descent Into Madness, might’ve been¬†hoping for more Disneyland tips, but this is all I’ve got:

There you have it, folks. So tell me, have you ever had a churro? Taken your kids to Disneyland? Written about such an important topic? Do tell.

Forget potty talk. If you give them a churro, they will smile.


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth October 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I have always pronounced it Chur (rhymes with her)-ro! I was surprised to see the other (i.e. ACCURATE, I’m sure) pronunciations!

You DID provide some good tips. I liked reading your thoughts on age and the height requirement stuff. Good to know!
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Christine@TheAums October 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Don’t forget the platform tennis shoes…I kid you not!


christine October 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Here, east of the Mississippi, we go to DisneyWorld. Instead of churros every five feet, it’s the ice cream stands. Millions of them. From what I hear, there isn’t much the same between the two places, so I can’t give any tips. Glad you had fun! Mostly glad that you had a peaceful drive.
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Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 7:05 am

I’m not sure I’d have the same obsession with ice cream, but I’d like to visit DisneyWorld someday, especially if traveling with the kids continues to be peaceful.


FreneticFit Lisa October 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Like Christine I’m a East of the M-I-ss-I-ss-I-pp-I Disney World goin girl. 9 trips. And one to Disney Land. I want to visit California Adventure. It’s been 23 years since I was at DL. It seemed tiny in comparison but it has its own magic. And Chooroes. DW ain’t got no Chooroes.
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Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 7:10 am

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that churros don’t exist everywhere in the world, or DisneyWorld at least. We sure are spoiled here in CA.


Lisa Dyer October 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I am probably still not pronouncing Churros correctly, but oh, how I love them. I understand your pain about how words that have entered English speaking countries get butchered. I cringe whenever I hear people say Karaoke (Americanized pronunciation Carryoki) Yuck. Or refer to sashimi as sushi. Many non-Japanese use the terms sashimi and sushi interchangeably, but the two dishes are actually distinct and separate. Sushi refers to any dish made with vinegar rice; and, while raw fish is one traditional sushi ingredient, many sushi dishes contain seafood that has been cooked, and others have no seafood at all.


Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 6:52 am

Lisa, let’s put our heads together and create a dessert roll with churros as the main ingredient!


Runnermom-jen October 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

I LOVE churros!!! Lol. It is our dream to take them all to Disneyworld.
Hope your withdrawals weren’t too intense ;)
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Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm

It’s taken 3 days of strict detox but I’ve finally stopped shaking and breaking out in cold sweats ;)


Jamie@SouthMainMuse October 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I grew up 30 minutes from Disney World. When I was young the place was much smaller. I remember my favorite thing to get every time we went was a frozen banana. A frozen banana dipped in chocolate rolled in crushed peanuts — on a stick. As an adult with my kids, they do have the churros at the Animal Kingdom. I can tell you exactly where they sell them. I sort of have a extrasensory perception about directions and food and well, Disney.
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Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I had my eye on those frozen bananas! They’re totally healthy, right? You should offer your services as a foody tour guide at Disney.


Lanae @Hungrigyrl October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I love churros! Can you believe up until now my kids have not been into them? We are going to Disneyland next month, I’ll have to see if they have adapted a taste for them. Or maybe keep them to myself. :) We have taken them in the past and Pirates of the Caribbean is my eldest’s fave ride. But we are going specifically for Cars Land this year – I’ll make sure we measure my little one or get big platforms! LOL
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Christine@TheAums October 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Consider it a blessing! I can’t even imagine a whole churro to myself. My kids thoroughly enjoyed Pirates…love the new Captain Jack Sparrow additions. Do you know where you’re staying yet? The Disneyland Hotel and the California Grand offer early entry called “the magic hour” to both parks depending on which day. There’s also Fast Pass which I found difficult, but if you plan ahead it probably helps a lot. Otherwise, the wait for Radiator Springs Racers can easily be 2 hours. The height is 40 inches, so do what you have to do, lol. Email me if you have any questions before your trip. I do know more than where every churro stand is located, promise.


Stasha October 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

You make me laugh. This made me , maybe, want to go to Disneyland one day. Just maybe.
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Christine@TheAums October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

I’m not sure what’s holding you back from Disneyland, but Little J is probably reaching the ideal height for most of the rides. Surely Big M is tall enough and can accompany him.


Lucy Ball October 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm

GREAT post. Um. Yes. They always sleep when they shouldn’t. Gonna check the Playaway books ASAP. ;-)
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Christine@TheAums October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thank you! Check your library. They also come in video form!


Janice October 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Aww. Our pass expired at the end of last month. It would have been totally cool to meet you there!

Anywho, you are too funny with the churro thing. We don’t get them when we go there. Too much guilt for me. But we had a pass, so I had to be strong and not get them everytime we went. Your 6-8 hr drive totally deserves a churro though!

So….you can say it right phonetically now, right? ;)
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Christine@TheAums October 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Those churros definitely set me back in my fitness goals, but they were soooooo good, and therefore, worth it…no matter how they’re pronounced.


Rachee October 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

How fun!
Love the library shoutout…we have playaways and haven’t really given them much play but I can feel some ideas about how to revive them.
Also, now I want a churrrrr(r rolling) oh!
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Christine@TheAums October 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Perrrrrfect prrrrrronunciation, Rrrrrrrachee!


@MryJhnsn from iNeedaPlaydate October 25, 2012 at 8:39 am

I love how you did this post! So very clever you are :)
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Christine@TheAums October 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Thanks, Mary…it takes a special person to appreciate all the tweets thrown in there ;)


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