Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Disneyland Tips, Tricks and TREATS!


{Pictures from our most recent trip-February 2018}

I can't stress enough that I am no Disney expert and there are amazing Disney resources online for tips and tricks. I do get a lot of friends and family ask for my advice on their first trips and things like that and I usually send them a long long long series of texts or something so I thought I would put it all in one place. These are my opinions only and things that have worked for us! There are a lot of changes happening this summer-Pixar Fest, refurbishments, return of some awesome parades, Bugs Land closing (I'm devastated) etc. I recommend going to Magic Kingdom Mamas site, they keep up with EVERYTHING and are the best resource!

FOOD

Go follow "Disney Hungry", "First Comes Disney" and "Magic Kingdom Mamas" on Instagram. I have my favorite treats that I will tell you about and a few of the great food finds we have loved and not loved so far.

Treats and Snacks:`

Favorite FAVORITE-Matterhorn Macaroon (sold at Jolly Holiday at the end of Main Street) It is a coconut macaroon covered in white chocolate and it is amazing. Ben and the kids love it too so I usually grab two.

Mickey Beignets. You can get these at the Mint Julep Bar or Cafe Orleans. The only difference is they are more expensive at Cafe Orleans but they do come with two dipping sauces. We usually just get them at the Mint Julep Bar. I love them in the morning as breakfast haha. Warning-powdered sugar EVERYWHERE.

Pooh's Corner. Right when you get off the Winne the Pooh ride there is the cutest little confectionary with every Disney treat you could dream of. I haven't tried everything I have wanted to but I surprisingly loved the Tigger Tail. The Mickey Rice Krispy was really good but not the best I've ever had. The peanut butter square that people rave about, I didn't love like I thought I would (I still really want to try the s'mores square). The cookies I have tried were good, but not the best ever.

Jalapeno and Cheese Stuffed Pretzel. I mean the pretzels at Disney are all good but this one is amazing. I think there might be more locations but the one I know of is the cart in Frontierland right outside the Mark Twain Riverboat entrance. It is exactly how it sounds, not too spicy at all (the kids eat it) but such good flavor.

Churro-overrated in my opinion. I seriously think Costco churros are just as good and 1/5th of the price. Although I know this opinion is definitely in the minority.

Dole Whip-I like this but don't love it (also an unpopular opinion) It is great on a really hot day, I just wish you got more for your money. It is refreshing, I am just more of a baked treats kind of girl. If you do get the Dole whip, make sure to go into the Tiki Room waiting area and order on that side, it is always way less of a line than the outside line.

Ice Cream-If you like Ice cream you have to have a sundae or a cone at Ghiradelli's in California Adventure. I'm not a huge ice cream person but I love getting a cone here. The scoops are ginormous and you can easily share. They have unreal looking sundaes too, on my list!

I tried the Mickey Raspberry Rose Macaron from Jolly Holiday last time. It was my very first macaron ever and it was really really good! They just came out with a rose gold lemon/strawberry one that looks even too pretty to eat.

The kids always want popcorn or cotton candy, and they are just normal popcorn and cotton candy!

Treats Bucket List:
Chocolate covered pineapple skewer from Pooh's Corner or Candy Palace
Smore's Square from Pooh's Corner or Candy Palace
Churro Funnel Cake from Big Hungry Bear
Peanut Butter Heaven Ball from Pooh's Corner
Ghiradelli's Crissy Field Sundae

Food Food:

Like I said, we have tried such a tiny fraction of all the food but this is what we have liked.

If we need something for breakfast, the breakfast Burrito from the Galactic Grill is soo good and filling (we can share it). We also tried the french toast sticks there and they were delicious (but sooo messy with the kids).

We don't usually eat breakfast at the parks but I have read every Disney blog out there and the most popular options seem to be Flo's in Cars Land and the Carnation Cafe (on my list one of these days).

I love the Chilli Burger and onion rings from Hungry Bear. (I also have been dying to try their funnel cakes).

I love the sandwiches at Jolly Holiday too. Ben doesn't though, they are too girly he says haha.

I have liked most everything we have had at Rancho Del Zocalo. It is fast and not crazy expensive.

We have eaten a few times at the Plaza Inn. Ben and I split the Fried Chicken meal (so good) meal and get some pasta for the kids to split. It is not crazy filling but perfect because you have room for dessert.

I tried the popular Chile Cone Queso for the first time at Cozy Cone this last time and loved it. I have heard good things about the Bacon Mac and Cheese Cone there too.

Best Corndog I have ever had at Little Red Wagon Corndogs.

I have not liked any of the dinner or lunch options for myself at Flo's in Cars Land but you can get a Mac and Cheese side there for $2 and it is big enough for the kid's lunch (we get one for each of them)! They love it and it is the same Mac and Cheese that is $6 at other places in the park.

They have famous soup in a bread bowl at Pacific Wharf. I don't like the popular clam chowder (only because I don't like any clam chowder) but such a fan of broccoli cheese and sometimes they have chicken pot pie in a bread bowl which is my favorite. Another great soup option is the loaded baked potato at Carnation Cafe (with a side of fried pickles) The perfect lunch! (You need a reservation here)

Seriously go follow those accounts I mentioned, they have reviewed basically everything in the parks. We usually try to eat "cheaper" for meals so I can have more treats and snacks, so I don't know much about the sit-down places. I have heard good things about the Beef Dip at French Market, the famous Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans and people love Carnation Cafe. I have heard Blue Bayou (the one inside the Pirates ride) is overrated for the price.

My food bucket list is still:
Gumbo in a bread bowl from Royal Street Veranda
French Dip from the French Market
Famous Monte Cristo Sandwich and Pomme Frites at Cafe Orleans
Breakfast at Carnation Cafe-especially their apple granola pancakes
Ben is dying to try the Lobster Nachos from Cove Bar (currently closed, but will reopen under new name and still serve these)
Bengal BBQ Pork Belly Skewers
The Paradise Garden Grill (Gyros, and skewers and rice and greek salad etc)

FAST PASSES

Ok here is my two cents about rides, fast passes, and schedules.  Park Hoppers are awesome but not necessary if you don't want to spend the extra money. It is nice to be able to hop back and forth from the parks if one is busy/not as busy etc. as well as for shows and dining options. If you do park hop, I highly recommend getting the max pass ($10 per person) as you can get all your fast passes from your app, rather than walk back and forth to parks for 100 miles.  Everyone says head to Fantasyland first but that is where EVERYONE goes first. It is always busy, Peter Pan will basically always have a 30-40 minute wait whether you go first thing or later in the afternoon. I say head to Adventureland or Tomorrowland first! Go get a fast pass for Space Mountain, then go over and go on Pirates and Haunted Mansion with no lines, then Big Thunder Mountain (or fast pass it later). Then go on Space Mountain with your FP, get a new FP for Star Tours, go on Buzz Lightyear, Autopia etc. Basically just stalk the wait times, and go with the flow.

Here are the rides you get Fast Passes for:

Remember you can only have one fast pass at a time. For example: At 8am you go get a fast pass for Star Tours. The fast pass will say "You can use this fast pass from 9:30-10:30am" so that is when you can go on the ride and "redeem" your fast pass. The fast pass will also tell you "You cannot get another fast pass until 9:30am.  Sometimes the FP's will be an hour from when you get it, sometimes they will be 3 hours away. If they are more than an hour away, it will usually be about 1.5 hours until you are allowed to obtain another one. So just plan your route accordingly.

If you are planning on going to see an evening show like Fantasmic or World of Color that night (which you should they are amazing!) Go get fast passes for the shows sometimes soon in the morning for the best spot. Although more important than the fast pass is starting to line up early. At least an hour before showtime, an hour and a half if you want the best seats in the house.

Fast Pass these rides in Disneyland (in no particular order):

Space Mountain
Star Tours
Splash Mountain (also there is single rider line)
Indiana Jones (single rider line)
Big Thunder Mountain
Matterhorn (If you even want to go on this ride, I DO NOT like it)
Haunted Mansion if there are waits over 20  minutes and you have the option to pull another fast pass.

California Adventure

Get Radiator Springs FP first, very first thing of your day (They sell out of Fast passes first and often)
World of Color
Guardians of the Galaxy (These also sell out so get these next)
Soaring Over the World
Toy Story Midway Mania
California Screaming (reopens June 23rd, 2018) (Also single rider line.)
Goofy Sky School if the line is over 20 minutes and you have a fast pass to use.

MISCELLANEOUS TIPS

-Get there early. Be in the parking garage at least an hour before the gates open. The least crowded times of all day is the first few hours after opening.
-If you don't have magic morning, go on the opposite days. Example: If there is a magic morning at Disneyland, start in CA, and vice versa.
-If your kids still nap, go to the Abe Lincoln Theatre on Main Street, it is air-conditioned and quiet, same with animation studios in CA.
-We always eat breakfast before we come, bring in sandwiches and a ton of snacks and then eat dinner somewhere at the parks.
-Bring big, huge water bottles! Water is so expensive there and you will need A LOT!
-Also, bring a portable charger. It sucks to have your phone die when you want more pictures, plus you will need to check the Disney app about 1000 times a day.
-Start getting your seats for parades and shows at least an hour before start time.
-Fantasmic-GO!
-We still haven't decided if the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure or The Toy Story Parking structure is better. There are pros and cons to both. The Mickey one only has one tiny elevator (and you can't take your stroller down the escalators. Then you have to take a tram where there is only one car that holds strollers so if there's a line it can take a long time. The Toy Story one you take buses and not trams (you still have to take down your stroller though) but not as long lines and they take you right to the gates!
-Park hopper tickets are awesome, but not necessary if you don't want to spend the extra money.
-The baby care centers (one in each park) are great for nursing, changing diapers, they have little toilets for toddlers and sell wipes/diapers etc. that we somehow always end up having to buy.
-Go stalk magic kingdom mamas website, they have information on absolutely everything.
-FANNY PACK!!! I cannot stress this enough. They don't do paper fast passes anymore (they still print them out but just as a reminder) you have to scan your park pass for everything. So keep your passes and your phone in your fanny pack and it will save you so much time!
-Go to Target beforehand and buy the disposable rain ponchos (they're less than $2) in case it rains, also we wear ours on splash mountain and Grizzly River Run like little nerds and it will save you chaffing in soggy wet clothes. The ponchos they sell in Disneyland are like $15.
-Bring a sweater for everyone, even in the summer, it gets cold at night fast, especially for the kids. If you have room, we usually bring a thin small blanket to sit on while we wait for parades/shows.
-At the end of the night, after fireworks, main street and the trams are completely insane. We have found taking the monorail out to Downtown Disney and then walking is quicker (only if you're in the Mickey and Friends lot though).
-Take advantage of Rider Switch. So if you are with a baby or even a toddler you can do this. So if we are going on a ride that the baby can't go on, you go to the cast member at the front of the ride and ask for a rider switch. So I go with Everett while Ben watches Patrick, and then Ben gets to go with Everett while I watch Patrick.
-If you haven't been recently, rider switch has kind of changed. If you want to fast pass something, everyone who is riding needs to have a fast pass on their card. So if you have paid for max pass, you have to buy one for the kid too. Does that make sense?  Before you could get away with only 2 of the people getting fast passes, and then switch with people who don't have fast passes, but you can't do that anymore.
-Another nice place to chill and take a break is Toontown. We usually sit in Goofy's house on a bench there in the shade and eat our lunch we brought while the kids play.
-In my experience Roger Rabbit, Mr. Toads and Pinnochio are too scary for little kids.
-Hidden Mickey's are on a lot of the rides, especially the older ones. Everett discovered them this last trip and it was his favorite part of the whole trip. You can look them up on youtube beforehand so you know where to look. Some of them are really hard, but it adds a fun element to the ride!
-If the park is crazy and you want a break here are some rides and areas that consistently have short or no wait times and can always count on are Turtle Talk with Crush Show, most rides in Bugs Land, It's Tough to be a Bug Show (CLOSED-SO SAD) Tiki Room, Red Woods Challenge, Chip and Dale's Treehouse, Tom Sawyers Island, Mark Twain Riverboat and all the houses in Toontown.





























  

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"Everett Says" and 5th Birthday Interview


Everett is FIVE! FIVE! We love him like the little stinker dreamboat he is. He's still so funny, so curious, and our best buddy! This year, his birthday interview answers were a little more practical, which makes me a tiny bit sad, but so fun to see how he changes from year to year. You bet your bottom dollah I'll still be asking him "What's your favorite thing to do with mom?" for his 16-year-old birthday interview.

Here are the latest "Everett-isms" most of which make my heart pop some wings and fly away.

PRAYERS: When he says his prayers instead of "I'm thankful" he say's "you're welcome"
              "you're welcome for our family"
              "you're welcome for the food"
              "you're welcome for the church"
He also meant to say "please bless our family who isn't here" and says "We're happy no one else in the family is here"

Some other favorite things he has said during prayers: "Please bless the cops don't put is in jail" "Please bless that our house is not on fire" "Please bless Jesus loves us, please bless Jesus can eat healthy"

Me-"Everett you're getting good at coloring"
Everett-"I'm self-taught"

On our last flight, the flight attendants gave the boys those little wings pins. As we were getting off the plane Everett said "Good landing pilot and thanks for the wings ladies!"

When saying goodnight "I love you as ginormous as a giant"
                                        "I love you to all the planets IN ORDER and back"

"Mom, you look beautiful, you look like a rainbow and a heart mixed together."

I sat down on the couch after cleaning up and said "Whew I'm pooped" and Evertt says VERY concerned "Ahhh mom where?!"

Me-"Everett what do you want for Christmas?"
Everett-"Just something that connects to bluetooph"

"You've got to be kidding me"

He smells a leaf off the ground "mmmm smells like lavender"

Things he says wrong that I don't ever want to correct:
-Mary Poppins: Harry Popplins
-Parmesean: carma-sean
-Kiwi: seaweed
-Hawk eye: Hot Guy
-Darth Vader: Garth Vader
-Bring us some figgy pudding: Bring us some fuddy puddy
-From the Pledge of Allegiance: And to the republic where the witches stand

Here is his birthday interview:


and here is his 4th birthday one
and his 3rd birthday one.
and another "Everett Says..." post

NEVER GROW UP!














Friday, January 26, 2018

FriYAY


Oh hi end of January, that was fast!

On one hand I love the fresh start of a new year, but on the other hand, I am not good with change. I feel this need to be super organized, have better and more goals and have everything in order. Which I don't. I would like to keep some good habits I made in 2017 like exercising regularly and making my bed, and try to let some bad ones go like always being on an empty gas tank (literally not figuratively) and being impatient with my boys.....Ok I mean really just fill up your gas tank Cassie! Why does it need to be 20 miles past "0 miles to go" for you to do something about it?> How about at a half tank you think to yourself "Oh boy, oh gee I should really fill up" Don't wait for the next time you go to Costco, it saves you like $3 just fill the freaking tank up. So there are my ambitious 2018 goals.

So far in 2018 I need two root canals, our car needs new tires and Arie is the bachelor...woof! Can only go up from here!

WOMP WOMP Downer, Sorry. 2018 has also had some great moments so far too. I co-hosted a really fun baby shower for my best friend, we are planning a Disney trip with my parents and the boys talk about it every single day.  We had a fun weekend trip to St. George with family and ....Have you guys heard of this movie The Greatest Showman? hahaha JK. Everyone is triple OBSESSED, as am I. The song "Rewrite The Stars" plays in my dreams. My brother is the only human on the planet who did not like it, it's really driving us apart. He obviously has deep seeded issues and needs help.  I also chopped off like 5 inches of hair and surprisingly haven't even cried about it once! Eat your heart out two thousand and eighteen!

++Speaking of fresh starts, I really want this Golden Coil planner! They were a Kickstarter and a local company and you can customize them and start at any date which means you don't feel guilty for not having it yet and wasting January. You can customize the cover, layout of each day/week and pick if you want extra planning sheets like fitness trackers, meal planning etc. I feel like new planners are to organizing like new workout clothes are to motivation.

++ "I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch, I'd take her if I had one wish..." Well Mr. LFO, I am your girl, because I like Abercrombie and Fitch again.  Someone on the internet told me it was cool again and I believe most of what people tell me on the internet ;), I am actually loving a lot of their stuff.  They toned down their cologne diffusers and mega logos on everything and have really comfortable, cute clothes.  HAHA, I begged for those horrible obnoxious t-shirts in Jr. High. I actually ordered some off eBay from China in grade 8 and they were so tiny and small for infants basically, but I squeezed into them anyway because ABERCROMBIE was hugely sprawled across it. Yikes  ANYWAYS! I got this sherpa forest green jacket (70$ off right now)  and this half-zip pullover for Christmas and have been wearing them nonstop. I also got this extremely comfortable waffle tee for my birthday and their Simone high waisted jeans are so comfortable and flattering (they have great sales, don't buy anything full price). I also love this jacket and this jacket and this shirt and this other half zip. ALSO sign up to become and A&F insider and you get $20 off your first purchase of $50 (including clearance stuff)

++Ok so this is going to sound pathetic. I need to preface with the fact that I love to read, but I also will admit without shame I love TV.  I also need more friends. I have this idea I want to start a TV club, you know like a book club, except we get together, eat good food and talk about our favorite TV shows and that month's episodes and characters. Can you imagine the TV club meeting after the Grey's episode that shall not be named? (I haven't watched an episode since btw, no matter how many people told me too, boycotting Shonda Rhimes forever and Mer and Der are living happily ever after in my brain).

++So the other day I was out with some girlfriends for dinner and Ben was watching the kids. I got home after everyone was asleep. In the morning I asked Everett what they had for dinner the night before, he said "We had chicken nuggets, and dad had a toaster strudel......and then someone delivered Mcdonalds later" Wait what? Who in the world delivered Mcdonalds and what 30 year old man has a toaster strudel for dinner?! Well leave it to Ben to find out that UberEats is now in Provo! Mcdonalds is the only option on there, which is all Ben would want anyway. (They now have added 2 more places since). I can't judge really, I've used it myself as well since the discovery. Ba-da-ba-ba-ba I'm lovin it. Use my code for free delivery for your first time if you just really need an Oreo Mcflurry but just can't leave the house.
CODE: eats-cassiet504ue

++Saw the movie "Forever My Girl" last night with my cousins. It was amazing. I mean, it wasn't "good" like Meryl Streep "good" you know? But it was happy and bad acting and Nicholas Sparks-esque and made me like country music for like 2 hours. A perfect girls night movie.

++I've been trying to eat healthy for like 8 months now. I'm not a person who has disillusioned themselves that healthy food actually tastes good. You know those people who are like "It's ice cream made from avocados and I really can't even taste the difference" YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF. Healthy food will always try hard, but never win. BUUUUTTT with that said, here are a few recipes I have tried that are good for being "healthy". This cauliflower crust pizza crust  (I use those pre-cut cauliflower steamer bags for it) and then put bbq sauce, chicken, red onion and cilantro on it. Also, these whole 30 lettuce wraps were really good (I used regular soy sauce instead of coconut aminos because who has that just laying around)  and my other favorite is spaghetti squash with chicken, pesto, and parmesan, I can kinda trick myself I'm eating pasta for like 4 seconds.

++These posts by Mari Andrew on Cup of Jo every Friday are my favorite. Especially this one a few weeks ago called "Lovely Nameless Feelings"

Anyways, I feel like all my posts could alternately be titled "completely random crap and thoughts" but there you go! Happy FRIDAY, may you all Ubereats Mcdonalds to yourself and go watch The Greatest Showman for the 6th time!



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Remember December

OOOOOKKKK December flew by, but I also  feel really happy and proud with the amount of Christmas spirit we squeezed out of it. Although we did have all of our Christmas stuff down less than 24 hours after Christmas (our tree was the deadest, dead, dead) I'm still wishing we could go back and do it all once more. The magic was so real this year, our boys are at fun ages where they could start to understand the story of baby Jesus, Santa was so exciting and Everett was really excited about giving this year too. The other night we had put them to bed and the monitor was switching back and forth between their two rooms and they were each singing Christmas songs to themselves in bed. Heart BOOM!

We do a little advent calendar every day leading up to the 25th, a small treat, but more exciting is the little slip of paper with a family Christmas activity every day. Some days were bigger like go look at Christmas books, go to Temple Square, go meet Santa etc. or some days were just-watch a Christmas movie, have a hot chocolate bar, make paper snowflakes etc. I have loved doing this, the kids were SO into it and it made us spend valuable family time together. They would scream and jump up and down after I announced the day's activity, even if it was just "make cookies together".

This year we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with Ben's mom and his siblings in Heber. She lives in the mountains and it was so beautiful up there with freshly falling snow on Christmas Eve.  It was really nice for all of Bens siblings to be together, an amazing prime rib dinner, Christmas movies, cookie making, playing in the snow, games, and a program and nativity. It felt cozy and happy. Christmas morning I was so excited, even awake before the kids, waiting for them to wake up with butterflies in my stomach. They were so excited, so grateful, and Santa was good to them this year. We made our way to Ben's dad's house in the afternoon and it was Christmas round 2, and Christmas delicious meal round 2 and we played "Bet your Wife" from Ellen after the kids went to bed and threw water in each other's faces. It was great. We lost.

I'm always sad to have the holidays over, but excited for a new year as well. Looking back through all these pictures for this post was therapeutic and made me feel so lucky. Auld lang syne and to all a good night.

And now a Santa-butt load of pictures from our December:

The Riverwoods Lighting!



Picking out our Christmas Tree




December 1st Boxes with new Christmas pj's, a Christmas book, hot chocolate, popcorn, advent calendars and a promise to watch a movie. We watched The Santa Clause.



December #SundayTremblays








Some family pictures with Bruno and Kim and all the fam at the Timp Temple! Look at all the boys!





Polar Express on the Heber Train with Nana. Our 3rd year and such a fun tradition.







Christmas at our place!





Visiting Santa at the Riverwoods


The biggest tree I have ever seen at the Traverse Outlets


Temple Square night 


Everett's Preschool Winter Showcase:



For my birthday this year, I asked Ben for a day in SLC all to myself. It was amazing. I shopped all day, ate great food with no one to share it with and then got to come home to my family feeling very refreshed. Next year I'm adding a massage and a movie to my day!





Tremblay Christmas card 2018. I didn't send them.


Christmas Eve at Nana's playing in the snow











 







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