We have been planning a trip to D*sneyl*nd for a little over 8 months now -- well before we found out we were expecting another babe. We decided to take an entire week, and I'm so glad that we did!
We drove to CA the Sunday after Thanksgiving (not thinking about the potential traffic -- a 6 hour trip turned into 10!) We purchased 4 day tickets, and chose to stay at a motel near the park. The motel was nice - typical economy hotel - clean, non-smelly, small rooms. It definitely wasn't the H*lton, but it served our needs just fine! It was close enough to the entrance to walk, but there was also a shuttle service which was nice in the evenings when we were tuckered out.
I had read so many things about long lines that I was worried our days would be spent standing in line. B & I were extremely pleased to find out that the week after Thanksgiving is a pretty quiet week and we rarely waited very long in any line. We waited 10 minutes for most things -- some attractions we were able to walk right onto; a couple we had waits of 25 minutes.
On the days we didn't visit the park, we visited the beach, a free aquarium, and a science center (free admission bc we have a membership at our local science center.) We had leisurely days and enjoyed everything.
We took a cooler with us, and kept it stocked with ice in the room. This was great for drinks and snacks. We took a backpack to the park with us, and filled it with bottled water and snacks for our time there. We usually also purchased one treat from the park as well -- but having our own things definitely kept the cost down!
Before leaving, I did a little investigating and found that there were lots of penny-press machines at the park. I went through our change jars and filled up 2 small boxes with $25.00 of quarters and 50 pennies. While that may seem like a lot (well, it WAS heavy!) it spread out getting souvenirs over all 4 days and the boys loved searching for the machines and choosing their pennies. We did purchase books to hold the pressed pennies for $6.50 each as well.
I also purchased small moleskin books for each boy to use as an autograph book for characters they met. These books cost me $1.99 each -- vs. the $8 (and up) the official autograph books at the park cost. The boys did enjoy getting autographs, so I'm glad I brought those along.
We all had a wonderful time. My only complaints would be that the food was terrible in the park. For all the things they do right -- you would think they could provide decent snack foods! The baked goods were stale, the hot dogs were awful, and the drinks were ridiculously expensive. My other complaint was that we didn't see as many characters as I was expecting - and when they WERE out, you were lucky if they were still there after you finished a ride (with a short line!). Over 4 days, we did get quite a few pictures of the boys with different characters, but I still thought we should have seen more.
Overall, though, it was a wonderful trip. I was very tired most days -- but managed pretty well. I do think our next vacation will be another cruise though! But, I look forward to visiting D*sney again when this new babe is around 4!