Sunday, January 10, 2016

An Epic Day in our Favorite Place!

I haven't forgotten to put up our last post about our Disneyland vacation!  So here it is!  It is no surprise to anyone who knows us that Disneyland is our most favorite place to visit.  Every day there is fun no matter what and it is great to be able to share such a fun place with our kids!  

So here we are in Disneyland over the 60th Anniversary.  I spend a lot of time on some Disneyland forums before we leave just getting updated on all the new things and ins and outs and building excitement for our trip.  So, I knew that as you walk through security of the park, there is a text to win contest you can enter.  It's not super noticeable as you go through the gates but there is a word you can text each day to a certain number to win a daily prize!

So, I tried to do a good job of reminding everyone to enter the contest each morning.  On this specific morning, Peter and I were excited for our holiday tour and then a date night dinner afterwards.  Before our tour, we decided to hit up the rides in Fantasyland. As we were in line for Dumbo I reminded everyone to enter the contest. So Peter's mom handed me her phone to enter the word in for her.  We didn't think anymore of it.

So after a breakfast of Mickey Mouse pancakes with the kids, Peter and I were thrilled to be off on our own at our tour!  The tour started at 11 AM.  After a little bit of time touring other parts of the park, our tour group took off to ride the Jingle Cruise. Special tour groups get to board at the end of certain rides, so we were gathering near the exit to get on a boat where we just happened to see Peter's parents and our kids sitting.  The kids didn't want us to leave them so I was a little worried about them seeing us.  Peter's mom was on her phone. Brian, Peter's dad mentioned to us as we had to wait several minutes to get on the ride that she was on the phone with Disney and had won a daily prize! So we were anxiously waiting to hear what she had won!

Now, the tour guides and VIP tour guides in Disneyland have a nickname.  They are often times called "plaids" because they wear plaid outfits in the parks. So, in our tour group we had 3 "plaids" who were helping us out.  Right before we got on, Peter's mom let us know that we all were the lucky recipients of a VIP tour guide for the day and a ton of money in food gift cards!  Even our "plaids" were excited to get to watch someone actually win the prize!  

Our tour guide asked us if we were going to stay with the holiday tour or go be with everyone else as part of the VIP tour.  We had the VIP tour guide until 7:30 at night and since we were also receiving what felt like a VIP experience, we figured there was no sense leaving our tour. But we did cancel our dinner reservations that night so we could take full advantage of this once in a lifetime experience! 

While we finished up our tour, the rest of the family went to meet up with their guide, fill out paperwork and get started with the VIP tour. It sounds like they went and enjoyed quite a few rides while we were on our tour and then got VIP reserved seating for the parade right in front of the castle! 

This is where we met up with them.  It was such a fun experience to have a VIP tour guide.  Let me explain what this means.  For a hefty price tag ($500 an hour, for a minimum of 6 hours a day) you can hire a VIP tour guide.  These wonderful men and women basically help make all your wishes for the day come true.  They help you get on the rides right away, they can get you special meet and greets with characters, and they can work some magic and get you last minute dinner reservations at hard to get into restaurants.  

I think my favorite part of the day, was that Kristin, our guide rode all the rides with our family.  Eli quickly caught on to the magic she was creating and she became his best bud!  He wanted to ride all the rides with her!

 Another highlight was getting to meet Mickey.  The line to meet Mickey in his house is always really long and while we really wanted to meet him, we weren't sure it was going to happen.  Enter Kristin.  She walked us in a back entrance, told us to wait just a moment and we were in with the mouse!  It wasn't just a quick visit either. It felt like we had ample time to spend with him!

A quick phone call and we were in with Chewbacca too!  

Seriously, the day was just a whirlwind and so incredible. Definitely a day in Disneyland that our family will never forget!  It was a super crowded day so this prize certainly saved the day!  Thank you Disneyland Pixie Dust for treating our family to this awesome experience!