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Maybe being completely mental is a good thing

Ok you guys. I went to Disneyland with my kids (2 and 4) BY MYSELF. Yes I am completely insane. But to my shock it has been done -successfully.

On the morning of August 30th I awoke realizing we had nothing on the calendar. Of course I had loads to do but there was nothing official we had to go to. I realized today is the last day of summer where we could just lounge around the house all day in our pjs or.... go to Disneyland!

We are fortunate enough to live in southern California so we can just hop up the freeway and go to Disneyland no big deal.. right? Now I know many of you carefully plan your trips to Disney from what to pack, when the kids will nap, what attractions and rides you will go on etc. And I realize this has much to do with my personality being  crazy spontaneous. However I decided (at the last minute nature lent itself well to this) to be a Disney minimalist.

So here's how I did Disney with two kids under 5 without losing my mind, without another adult, and actually had fun !!

1. What did you pack? 

Like I said, I wanted to be a Disney minimalist. For some reason beyond my comprehension anytime I go places with my kids I am somehow loaded down like a Sherpa climbing Everest with so much useless stuff. I pictured myself weighed down by a large stroller, bags cutting my shoulders and hands from all the junk stuffed inside sweating and panicking as both my kids ran in opposite directions across a crowded Disney main street while marching band appeared out of no where blocking my path.

So to AVOID that situation I allowed myself a backpack and a small umbrella stroller which could be easily abandoned in stroller parking until I needed to restrain said 2 year old. The backpack consisted of lunch (saved 60$), snacks, water bottles, and a couple of changes of clothes. Besides my wallet etc. It worked. And I even found that backpack heavy, but alas, at least we were at "Sherpa lite" mode.

2. Did you plan a time for your kids to nap in the stroller? 

Do you know my children? No. The nap would be skipped. They aren't the type to even remotely nap when something as exciting as Disneyland is going on. The napper survived and the ice cream helped.

3. How did you go on rides? 

Ok. The best thing I ever learned about 4 year olds (especially boys I think...) is if you prepare them for something they do okay. Once he knew ahead of time we couldn't go on rides that were too fast/scary/big for his baby sister he didn't worry about it. We lucked out there was hardly anyone there and had a blast on rides they both loved.

4. Have extremely low expectations

This is a common point of view for me so it was easy to do. We had no plans. We didn't do "Disney" like I remember doing it, racing from ride to ride and loving the roller coasters getting every fast pass we could get our hands on. This was Disneyland mini style. We just took our time and I got to look at everything from their perspective. And let me tell you - it was so fun! I rarely just relax and have fun with my kids. I made a point to say yes as much as I could. Yes we can go on that ride three times in a row. (HOWEVER I did have to say no at every single gift shop we passed and their are ALOT)

I was so into saying yes, that at the end of the night when we did get a little toy I let my four year old get a toy sword.... um yeah.

5.  Get ready for some seriously cute and memorable moments 

For example. When we saw Anna and Elsa from Frozen, my kids were completely and utterly starstruck. Like they just stared and stared and couldn't speak. Then in true Christmas Story  fashion, as we were leaving my four year old yells, "Anna! I love you. My name is Bobby."

Or when we went to Radiator Springs and my four year old thought we were actually in the movie Cars and couldn't believe it. He asked if we could spend the night at the Cozy Cone Motel and we pretty much spent the rest of the day there. Because we didn't have a plan.

My absolute favorite part of the day was watching a parade go by and as characters from well known pixar movies went by, I saw pure joy and excitement on my son's face as he leaned so far into the parade to who was coming and would yell "MOMMY! LOOK! It's Lightening McQueen!"

So in conclusion, let me just say my kids learned that I am kind of a good time. We had fun together. We were there for eight hours and we did it. And it was completely insane. So go do it. Worst case everyone has a melt down and you lose your mind, but hey we've all already been there done that so what's there to lose?


  1. Love it! So proud of you. I truly believe that in lowering expectations your children rise above any you could have set.


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