Disneyland & Disney California Adventure Family Friendly Rides

Like I have said in my many posts before, I am an over planner! I seriously went through all the rides and made a spread sheet of the rides and attractions and their details, including the following:
1955 Original Ride, Single Rider Line, Fast Pass, Rider Switch, Getting around, Character, Experience, Interactive, Slow Rides, Discovery, Indoor, Dark, Loud, Scary, Small Drops, Big Drops, Spinning, Thrill Rides, Water Rides, Stage Shows and Whats New. All this information I got off the Disneyland website.
I also put their height requirements. I put a area with my kids' heights and starred for each ride who could enjoy it. I was surprised how much we could all go on. So many people do NOT realize how family friendly Disneyland rides even are. Our 10 month old only missed out on a handful of rides we rode. The best part, we got to ride so many as a family of six! 
I read somewhere 40 is the magic number... and its true, our second youngest was just short of 40 inches and he did miss out on a few rides he really wanted to go on. But reason to go back right? 

Also, we learned if Adalie was 7 she could have rode alone in a row but she is just shy so she always had to sit with an adult. NOT a big deal because we always fit 3 in the bench seats (1 adult 2 kids) with exception of Alice in Wonderland (we did 2 kids in front and Cam and I, 1 kid and a baby in the back)
The following is from Disney's website 

Height Requirements

For your safety, some attractions at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have height requirements. View an interactive list of all attractions with height requirements or browse the list below.
Disneyland Park
32" (82 cm) or taller and accompanied by another rider 54" or taller
35" (89 cm) or taller
40" (102 cm) or taller
42" (107 cm) or taller
46" (117 cm) or taller
54" (137 cm) or taller to ride alone
Disney California Adventure Park
32" (82 cm) or taller and accompanied by another rider 54" or taller
36" (91 cm) or taller
40" (102 cm) or taller
42" (106 cm) or taller
48" (122 cm) or taller

Rides and attractions we did as a family with our little babe in tow..
(No Height Requirements)

Disneyland Railroad (Main Street)
Enchanted Tiki Room - (Adventureland)
Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)
Tarzans Treehouse (Adventureland)
Haunted Mansion (New Orleans Square) all ages can ride but scary for kids
Pirates of the Caribbean (New Orleans Square)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Critter Country)
Fantasmic (Frontierland) Night Show (NEED FASTPASS)
Alice in Wonderland (Fantasyland)
Casey Jr Circus Train (Fantasyland)
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Fantasyland)
Fireworks (Fantasyland) Night Show at Castle
Its a Small World (Fantasyland)
Meet Tink & Friends at Pixie Hollow (Fantasyland) Character Experience
Micky and the Magical Map (Fantasyland) Show
Mr. Toads Wild Ride (Fantasyland)
Pinocchio's Dating Journey (Fantasyland)
Sleeping Beauty's Castle Walk Throug (Fantasyland)
Snow White's Scary Adventures (Fantasyland)
Chip 'N Dale's Treehouse (Mickey's Toon Town)
Donald's Boat (Mickey's Toon Town)
Goofy's Playhouse (Mickey's Toon Town)
Mickey;s House and Meet Mickey (Mickey's Toon Town)
Pluto's Dog House (Mickey's Toon Town)
Astro Orbiter (Tomorrowland)
Buzz Light-Year Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland)
Monorail (Tomorrowland)
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Tomorrowland)
^I took these 3 on the Winnie the Pooh ride while Daddy and Adalie went on Splash Mountain^
Rides and attractions we didn't do but could have as a family
Main Street Vehicles (Mainstreet USA)
Aladdin's Oasis (Adventureland) Character experience
Davy Crocketts Explorer Canoes (Critter Country)
Mark Twain Riverboat (Frontierland)
Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyers (Frontierland)
Sailing Columbia (Frontierland)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (Fantasyland)
Fantasy Fair (Fantasyland)
King Arthurs Carousel (Fantasyland)
Peter's Pan's Flight (Fantasyland) This was closed when we were there
Storybook Land Canal Boats (Fantasyland) 
Minnie's House (Mickey's Toontown)
Roget Rabbits Car Toon Spin (Mickey's Toontown)
California Adventure
Anna & Elsa's Royal Welcome (Hollywood Land)
Disney Jr Live on Stage (Hollywood Land)
Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue (Hollywood Land)
Turtle Talk with Crush (Hollywood Land)
Tower of Terror (Hollywood Land) no height requirements but only Adalie and Daddy did this one
Fliks Flyers (A Bugs Land)
Heimlich's Chew Chew Train (A Bugs Land)
Princess Dot Puddle Park (A Bugs Land)
King Triton's Carousel (Paradise Pier)
The Littler Mermaid Ariel's Undersea Adventure (Paradise Pier)
Toy Story Midway Mania (Paradise Pier)
World of Color (Paradise Pier) Night Show
Rides and attractions we didn't do but could have as a family
Disney Aladdin - A musical Spectacular (Hollywood Land)
For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (Hollywood Land)
Freeze The Night A Family Dance Party (Hollywood Land)
Olafs Snow Fest (Hollywood Land)
Francis' Ladybug Boogie (A Bugs Land)
Its touch to be a bug (A Bugs Land)
Mickey's Funwheel (Paradise Pier)
We did a lot more rides but the above are ones that even babies can go on! Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is literally great for all ages! Hope this helps you while you plan your Disney vacation!

Disney Park Packing Tips

I read a ton of websites and blogs preparing for our Disneyland trip. I also asked advice from friends. This packing list worked for us! I had a hard time finding a good packing list for our whole vacation but it really is personalized to what your families needs are. 

My packing list for Disney Park

1. Extra outfit for each kid in your party 
(keep this in a separate bag you can leave in a locker or in your stroller)

If it was a cool morning and the kids were in pants, I packed a pair of shorts and an extra top. If the morning was hot but we intended to stay for night shows I packed a pair of pants and a sweater. If a kid had an accident (which happened only twice during our stay and it was our baby) I would have hated leaving the park because we didn't prepare for this though. We packed this all in a reusable bag that we left in the bottom of our stroller. No sense packing it on every ride. If someone absolutely wanted to take it

2. Pack Sunscreen and Sunglasses (pack sunscreen in a large zip bag with clothes)

Apply sunscreen on your kids before you enter the parks, trust me you will forget after it is too late! And DO NOT forget about yourself... This mama did and I got burned! We wore our sunglasses on us and packed the kids so they didn't loose them. 

3. Park passes and ID

Pack your ID in your bag you plan to carry all day every day. Put your passes somewhere that is easy to access. We put ours in a zipper pouch attached to our lanyard! Worked great for carrying passes, fast passes and ART bus passes. Because we traveled with young kids I just carried everything on my PhotoPass+ lanyard so we knew where everything was at all times. 
^^ That is the lanyard that came with our Photo Pass+ I used for passes etc too (I added a zip pouch) ^^
4. Pressed Penny containers and Autograph books

We packed these in our backpacks, you never know when you are going to come across a character or a penny press (well those are mapped out but you know what I mean) Do not forget your pens. Characters do not have pens on them. If you want an autograph, bring your book and pens or whatever creative thing you are getting signed! (some great ideas on Pinterest folks!)

5. Lunch Bag with snacks and Water Bottles

We packed a small cooler that would fit in the bottom of the stroller with snacks and water bottles. My one son does not care for water unless it is in a water bottle (he wont drink water from a cup for some weird reason) I did bring some of those squirt flavorings just in case we needed to get the kids to drink more. Water is free in the park, ask for a cup of ice water at locations with fountain pop OR fill up at a fountain


Before you enter the parks you enter security, they are making sure you aren't carrying anything illegal OR glass containers. for everyone's safety they enforced this rule.

6. Zip Bags

We actually used these for left over food, sticky snacks, you name it. Pack a few zip bags and trust me you wont forget it. 

7. Mini First Aid Kit

We packed the essentials, band-aids, afterbite, benedryl, Advil, Pepto, Gravol, Children's Tylenol, Lip Balm, Hand Sanitizer, Fingernail Clippers...
^Ouch Pouch I made for our first aid kit^
We did use, bandaids, benedryl (our son got a weird allergic reaction on his neck and ear, possibly from sun screen) Advil, Lip Balm, Hand Sanitizer and Fingernail clippers. It came in handy!

8. Camera and Phone

We are Canadian so the only reason we brought our phones to the park were for an absolute emergency (data roaming charges are outrageous) and for taking pictures. (Leave your phone in airplane mode the whole time, you can still use wifi on airplane mode) There isn't wifi in Disneyland like Disneyworld, and I was worried about not having the app with wait times but we didn't even need it! 

Camera... well this one explains itself.

9. Portable Charger 

Those battery chargers you can plug your phone into... okay we didn't use one but I could see how it would come in handy if you used your phone as a camera more than we did!

10. Ponchos

Our first two days rained! Bring your ponchos people! If you don't want to get wet on Splash Mountain or on Grizzley River Run wear these rain or shine! Buy these at the dollar store!!

11. Stroller and Baby Carrier

We brought our Boba and it worked fantastic for our baby who is used to routine and wouldn't nap in the stroller. Who doesn't love some extra snuggles?!

Stroller, we packed a double which meant one kid always had to walk but it worked okay. 

12. Grocery Bag Clip
I purchased a cheap one at our dollar store

Would never travel without one again! We snapped our backpack, shopping bags, kids surprise bags (mentioned below) and they were easy to access! No stuffing under the stroller!

13. Gum or mints

We are gum chewers, just make sure not to spit your gum out, Disney is a clean park, don't make someone's job harder because you are too lazy to find a trash can. Trash cans in Disney are pretty much every where you look!

14. Surprise bags including glow sticks, treats, activities and a new toy
I packed surprise bags for every day of our trip. These bags had 2 snack, a filling snack like goldfish and a treat like a fruit snack. A candy or sucker, glow sticks, a new Disney themed toy (saved us from the kids asking for something every time we walked by a store) and some little cheap party favors to keep them busy while we were in line. I purchased Disney themed plastic bags at our dollar store and the kids emptied their bags in these every day
This is what worked for us! 

Hope this helps you while you are planning your Disney Vacation

Disney Vacation Tips From an over planner - Getting to Disneyland, Booking hotels & Park Passes

Everything I can offer for tips, tricks, advice, and information on planning your own Disney Vacation will be found here in this post, and the Disney posts on the side bar! Well.. I hope I can do my best to offer some great information. 

This is my third Disney vacation in my life but the first one I planned myself AND the first vacation I planned for our family of six. So a little about me, well I am obsessive. When I do something I research it to death, I go full force and I make sure I execute it to THE best of my ability. I get slightly crazy and annoying when I get something in my head. To the point where my husband was really sick of me talking about Disneyland before we had even booked the trip.
This was the first time our family was taking a vacation, Cam (my hubby) and I went on a vacation nearly 2 years ago for our first ever vacation, and the longest time we had left our kids. But this time, we were bringing the kids along and doing this whole trip on our own, no friends or family joining us this time. 

So many firsts, and it gave me slight anxiety. I do not like surprises, I hate the unknown. I am a planner! I found out every pregnancy what I was having so I could plan ahead, and I hated not knowing when baby was going to arrive.  

We were on a tight budget, since my husband hasn't been working his usual decent paying job consistently for the last three years. It sure makes it hard to budget when we have slow months and then a couple good months of playing catch up. We knew he was going to get a great tax return this year and he also got a ten year bonus for loyalty to his work. With the budget stretched some months the bonus cash was going to make this possible. And on the plus side, we committed to not spending a dime of our vacation on credit, cash only!

Once I talked my husband into making this trip work... truthfully, we "needed" to get away and forget the stresses at home and just enjoy our family. I knew we could plan things in a budget so that we could go and know our limit on each meal, souvenirs, hotels, gas etc. 

Getting to Disneyland

The first way we knew we would save money is driving. I researched flights, budget flights any deals I could find and the cost just didn't seem like it would ever happen. I looked on the airline websites, deal websites like expedia... you name it! With my husband and I and our 4 kids, we had to pay for at least three of them, plus bags, plus transportation to and from the airports, and all the extra costs that go along with flying. Renting cars would require the rental of car seats (4 to be exact) so our option was getting a bus, but then we couldn't travel freely and do a beach day or get to Legoland without an additional fee...
When I say I researched flights, I mean I researched every angle. We live in Southern Alberta Canada and our closest airport that we would fly from is Calgary, Alberta. That is a two hour drive. I looked into flying from Calgary to LA, Calgary to Las Vegas and renting a car (which would also mean renting carseats), Calgary to Arizona and renting a car (and car seats) even driving to Great Falls, MT and flying the budget airline Allegiant Air to Nevada or Arizona. Everything cost more than I was willing to spend. I wanted to spend my money at our vacation destination not getting there. 

So we looked into driving. We have friends who drove recently and told us it cost them $400 in fuel. Which we couldn't believe. We drive a large SUV (Yukon XL) that is basically a truck. It cost $120 CND to fuel up at home. so based on that, we figured out miles and how many fuel ups and budgeted about $800 which was basically what we expected to pay in fuel.

Reality: Driving from Tilley to Anaheim, our hotel to Legoland and back, our hotel to Huntington Beach and back, and all the way back home to Tilley... We spent less than $400 in fuel. How? Because fuel is cheaper! From empty even at over $3/gal it was roughly $60USD. We tried to only fuel up before California and after as the closer you got to the ocean, the more expensive fuel became. Even with exchange we way over budgeted on fuel, which made us feel good that we had a cushion in our budget. 

Would I drive again? Absolutely! Even with a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 10 month old, the trip was well thought out and went much better than I expected. Our stops came at the perfect time when everyone started to get antsy, and everyone traveled amazing for driving only during the day. We tried to stop every 3-4 hours, not pushing more than 4 hours in the car.

If you can fly, by all means, do it! It would have knocked 3 traveling days off our trip, but the memories we made driving those 3 days, I would never give back. Especially the way to Disney, because we planned this awesome Treasure Hunt to reveal our surprise vacation!

So here is the break down of our road trip. 

We left our home and headed to Coutts AB, to the Sweet Grass border crossing 
ID required: passports for us, and birth certificates for the kids.
We then went to Great Falls, MT and stopped at Target. 
We could have skipped this stop but it was good for bathroom breaks and stretching the legs
Next was our final destination for Day 1, Helena Mt. We checked into our Super 8 Hotel, where we would never stay again, Ha! It was very clean but old and noisy. Great free breakfast though and free wifi that worked best in the lobby. $57/night... got what we paid for..

We left our hotel and drove to Idaho Falls, Idaho. A PERFECT place for the kids to run, 
burn energy and have a picnic. So glad we stopped here. Just off the interstate and easy to find!
Next stop was Provo Utah, our goal was to get through Salt Lake City and all those cities in that area as traffic we were told can slow you down. We only slowed down for about 20 minutes but it was busy and I was glad Cam was driving! 
We found a Subway and ate dinner and headed off for Beaver Utah
We booked the Comfort Inn at Beaver Utah online through booking.com We would stay here again and again! NICE hotel! Great sleep! Great free breakfast!

We left Beaver Utah and headed to Arizona State.
There are no stops along this short drive through Arizona but we stopped along the road at a turn out for a family picture and our next clue. 
Off to Las Vegas, We stopped at a In-N-Out burger just off the interstate and ate for less than $13
After Vegas came our final destination, Anaheim!

Booking Hotels & Park Passes

I searched every deal site, disney.com, expedia.ca, you name it, I searched it! We looked at City Passes which you can get through Disneyland, on the citypass website or Costco... But only 3 days at Disneyland and two days at other parks? Wasn't enough for what we wanted. I was told Mousesavers.com is a legit site and they post deals from different sites on their website. I checked this website often over the year of planning our trip. I priced out different times of years... It got a little excessive, Cam got a little annoyed with my constant scenarios but we finally found the best deal yet and that got Cam a little excited.

We finally booked through aRestravel.com Why? because they had a deal with Disneyland Park passes where if you bought 3 days you got the 4th free, or 4 and the 5th free... We went with 3 days at got our 4th day at Disney free! We booked our hotel through the same website as a package. It seemed to be the best deal to bundle them together. 

I looked daily at Disneyland.com, expedia.ca, and other sites for park passes, this was the first deal I came across and I would hold out again for a deal. The voucher said the passes expire but apparently they don't. You just have to use them 14 days from the first day you use it. You can't use 2 days one visit and 2 the next. 

We looked at SOOO many hotels, ratings, prices... The magic number for booking a vacation is 5! once you surpass 5 people in your family, even if baby is #6 hotel prices are more expensive! Fire code regulations in Anaheim for most hotels is 5 people. This goes for Disneyland Hotels too... A hotel room jumped nearly $500 per night in a Disneyland Resort Hotel because we have a 6th member and she would be sleeping in a playpen even... You have to book a suite for 6. We finally chose The Best Western Pavilions Plus because of the price, a friend recommendation and location and it was a normal hotel room that allowed 6 people.

We ended up getting 7 nights at the Best Western, 4 Days at Disney for the price of 3 for a total of $2163.70 

For hotels on the way to Disney and home, you could book prior on a deal site but we paid about $100/ night except our first night. 

Legoland passes, would we go here again, probably not. Mind you we didn't pay the extra for the Sea Life park or the Water Park BUT we were annoyed that things seemed to cost money in Legoland even after paying admission, like the climbing wall... Not everything cost extra but some stuff did. The park and rides were much less attractive and thrilling for our lego loving family too..Glad we saw it once but probably wont ever go again. I am also glad we didn't pay full price for park passes once we got there. I used the kids' Wii and DS game books and looked in the back for coupons. I was able to split our purchase into 2 transactions. Where 1 free kid with every adult ticket worked twice. We ended up paying 2 adults, 1 kid (since baby is free) and got 2 kids free! a $400 admission turned out being $249.00 for the family. 

Legoland seems to put deals on their passes WAY more than Disneyland offers deals. SO do research and look for these coupons. Most being a free kid admission with an adult purchase. 

Getting to Disneyland, Hotels and Park Passes cost us

3 Travel Day Hotels : $57.00, 89.00, $102.00 = $248
Disneyland Park Passes + Hotel (7 nights) = $2163.70
Legoland Passes = $249.00
Fuel = $400

Food... We budgeted $40/meal, on travel days we were way under, park days we pretty much hit right on $40. We NEVER paid for breakfast. I purchased (unhealthy) pop tarts and stayed at hotels with continental or grab and go breakfasts, which met our needs. 

Overview Tips for Booking your hotels, Park passes and getting to Disney

1. Shop around!
Do not purchase the first deal you come across, check out popular sites and compare them to Disneyland.com. Sites to check out are www.expedia.ca, aRestravel.com, getawaytoday.com, and check out Mousesavers.com for the latest deals! We can vouch for saying aRestravel.com is a legit site and the tickets and hotels booked through them were a great deal and great experience!

If you are flying, look for deals, use your airmiles, search for a good deal! Don't spend your budget getting to Disneyland!

2. Budget Budget Budget
Set a budget and stick to it! Make an educated budget, do your research! Set a budget for food, for gas, hotels and shopping. We budgeted $40 for food per meal and we stuck to it except for the occasional meal (we budgeted more for character dining, our first night at Disney) Stay somewhere hat has continental or grab and go breakfast for free! That saves a ton of money and gives you a great jump start to your day!

Where did I get $40 / meal from? Disneyland.com has all their menus posted on their website and prices (character dining prices budget way more than the posted price) I basically would look at a cheaper dining location and choose what we would eat and it averaged $40 so I stuck with $40. Our kids aren't big eaters but big snackers so I packed snacks and they shared meals!

3. Use Google Maps
If you have never been to Disneyland or the area, use google maps to get a visual! This is important when booking a hotel! Do not book a hotel that is a 20 minute drive unless you are willing to drive and pay for parking every day! If you are willing to pay for the Anaheim Resort Transportation - ART passes, then your hotel location may not matter. 

We paid for the ART, we ended up walking to the park more often than the bus because unloading our packed double stroller, folding it down and carrying kids was more of a hassle than just walking. Depends the ages of your party. If your kids are out of the stroller stage, the ART would work great! If you are walkers and don't mind the 10-20 minute walk to and from the parks don't waste your money. This cost our family $71 for 6 day passes. We could use the bus whenever it arrived (20-30 wait between stops) Would we do this again? Probably not, even on days the kids were tired we just put 2 in the stroller, 1 in the carrier and 1 walked or got a piggy back ride. It was less hassle and less stress on Cam and I. 

4. Pay for your Hotel and Passes before you go
It is easier to make the trip work when you don't have to pay for everything at one time. We purchased our park passes, hotel in Anaheim, ART passes, Photo Pass + around one month before we left. (check requirements for ART and Photo Pass +)

I highly recommend buying before hand is Disney's PhotoPass +... it is 69.95 if you buy it online prior to traveling or 99.95 in the park. When you purchase this pass online it gets mailed to you up to 14 days after purchase. Bring this along with you to Disneyland and take the voucher to the PhotoPass location (near the plaza inn) They will give you your PhotoPass+ card on a lanyard. DO NOT LOOSE your voucher and package. (they did not tell me this, I thought I lost it, if you do visit the photo pass area and they will help you) 
You NEED this for you to reap the benefits of this purchase.
Use it as much as possible! Every opportunity you see a Disney Cast Member (may be called something else) with a camera pass them your card and get photos taken! Don't forget to ask for magic shots too! On specific rides you can get your photos too! All the rides are on the lanyard on a card so you don't miss out! At the end of your stay you get all those photos free 
(well you paid for them) 
**Read through the information in your PhotoPass+ package! 

Bonus, if you do character dining packages, your photo from your dining experience which I believe is $37 or something is complimentary with your PhotoPass+... so our 2 Character dining experience photos paid for our card!

This was a purchase we were willing to make and try, we will definitely do it again. If you wish not to spend the money, cast members will take photos with your camera if you ask politely! 

I hope these tips are helpful. For Disneyland and Legoland park tips stay tuned for the next post

For more tips check out my posts on our first Disney Vacation
Check out the side panel to the left for all my travel/vacation posts. 

Our Disney Vacation - Surprise Disney / Legoland Vacation Treasure Hunt Pt 2 (with video)

This is how we revealed our Disneyland & Legoland vacation to our four kids!
We looked into flying, it was just not feasible for us. We have to pay for 5 plane tickets on a pretty small budget. We decided to drive. It was a pretty great decision! I would totally do it again!

(Car all packed and ready to go)
We paid $100 max for hotels/night that included our FREE breakfasts! 
Fuel cost us under $400 USD from Southern Alberta to Southern California and home again! 
Food was cheap, we stopped at Subway, In n Out burger and ordered in pizza. We fed our family for an average of under $25/meal on travel days.
Mom planned tons of activities and had i-pads for back up - the kids rocked it! 
The scenery isn't all that bad, it was fun driving through 6 states!

It took us 26 hours car running time on the way down and about the same on the way home
We had to wait 3 days to get to Disneyland
We drove 2 days on the way home, because we wanted to save money and time. 
One of us got car sick, twice...

So we decided to make our trip a surprise! Although we have talked about going to Disneyland for the last year at least, our kids had no idea we actually booked the trip! 

I searched for ideas for THE BIG REVEAL, love a lot of them but wanted something original! I saw a few scavenger hunt ideas to reveal the trip but thought what about if I did a treasure hunt all the way to Anaheim?! Clues along the way to keep the kids focused on the next stop not the final destination. IT WORKED! So here is how it all went down!

First I created the clues and treasure map. The clues were printed on paper, crumpled up and tea dyed. The map was printed from google maps, crumpled up, tea dyed and drawn on to make it look original and old. (Details found HERE)

We decided the surprise would be most effective if we packed the car while the kids were asleep the night before, let the morning routine go on as usual but tell the boys we are going to pick Adalie up around noon from school. They didn't even question the idea. 

We told Adalie's teachers before hand. We stopped at the school, I ran into the school told her to grab her stuff we were leaving. She was so caught off guard. She got to the car and had NO idea what was happening.

(Travel Binder in action)
We told her we were off to fuel up the Yukon. We were on an adventure. 
On the way to the next gas station I read the first clue

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
On this day, on North American ground,
A grand adventure can be found.
For ye bold of heart and quick of mind
Untold treasures ye will find.
Ye shall leave the land of Tilley
And treasure hunters ye shall be
So gather your pillows, blankets and shoes

It’s okay to start off with a lil’ snooze.
Ye be headed off to the land of Coutts
Where ye next country will be introduced
Ye are off, an adventure treasure hunt there be
a treasure to find that you’ll want to see

A TREASURE HUNT?!?! The kids cheered with excitement and couldn't wait for the next clue!
 We were off to the land of Coutts. The kids seriously thought pirates put us up to this treasure hunt. The thought of not having a chest of gold at the end of the hunt worried me, would they be upset we tricked them? Adalie then said in my moment of doubt "I am going to get a golden cup from the treasure and sell it to get money for Disneyland" There was a moment of relief, she wouldn't have to go through the trouble ;)

 (The boys loved the mini tracks I made for their lap desks)

We made it almost to the border and once we entered the United States of America I read clue two...

(Adalie wearing Daddy's glasses)
Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Avast, you have made it to stop one
Don’t quit now you are on a run
Ye be leaving ye country you’ve born and raised
For a long journey your parent’s have saved
United States of America this place be
New sites for us all to see
But first ye must answer a riddle
Don’t worry it be only little
Ye next clue can be found
At a big store, ye sign be round
Peter Pan’s arrow will hit bulls eye
A red ________in the sky

(Flag in Great Falls, MT)

We were off to Target in Great Falls for a few little things for the trip and then read the next clue

 (Everett Decided to draw on himself before we got to Target)

After Target we read Clue #3

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Ye have grabbed what the will need for the trip
Its time to get some sleep, be well rested for the next tip
Rest up for an adventurous day tomorrow
Get to bed early, or there will be great sorrow
Don’t you worry, this only be ye beginning
This pirate’s sure at the end ye’ will be grinning
Tollin Family - enjoy your night
Clue 4 will arrive when the sun gets bright 

We stopped in Helena, MT for the night. The hotels were all booked up so we ended up staying at the Super 8, not the newest or prettiest hotel by far but it was clean and the free breakfast was great!
Then we were off to read Clue #4

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Avast, you’ve rested and ate well I recalls
Ye now be on your way to Idaho Falls
Ahoy you’ve almost traveled one whole state
Montana, next Idaho, be there in no time at this rate!
Sit back and enjoy the ride to yer next stop
Share some snacks with ye neighbor or even swap
Once ye reach head down Broadway Street
To a little place ye’ll have a picnic and eat
Snake River Green Belt it be known as
Be sure to snap some pictures, stretch thee legs ye has
Enjoy thee falls and search for ye next clue
It be along River Parkway, where flowers thee grew

 (on the way out of Montana we stopped for a family photo)

 (a little break to change the babe)
 Idaho Falls! We stopped at Carls Jr... Um greasy food alert... and had our picnic

 Family photo at Idaho Falls, Idaho
 said hello to some of our Canadian friends before finding the next clue
Can I just add, our stops were planned out perfectly! I tried not to go farther than 3-4 hours between stops! That seemed to be the kids limit and so it worked great! If you are driving on a road trip through Idaho Falls, STOP! It seriously was the greatest location for the kids to run and burn off their energy! 

Cam found the next clue and we were off...

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Ahoy Matey! Stop four thee have reach
No quitting yet, there be treasure for each
Next drive is longer but sites there to see
Yer entering a new state called Utah, that’s three
Ye will pass through the capital, Salt Lake City
Mountains and lakes, sites be Arr! So pretty
Ye then will reach Provo that’s stop number five
Ye’ll grab some dinner after a few cities ye drive
Yer next clue be found off ye beaten way
At ye restaurant, at the counter ye will pay
Be sure to order a special treat
Then next clue ye be given before ye reach thee seat
Driving through Salt Lake City, UT isn't always fun... and we were warned prior to going. We went at 5pm... which could have been bad but only got delayed about a half hour... I have heard worse!
We stopped at a Subway downtown Provo Utah. It was a little more off the beaten path than we expected but our GPS led us there. It was still very good and cheap!
After that we read Clue 6.

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Alast, you have fed your little tummy, four
Ye are over half way there! Stops today? One more!
Ye have not reached the treasure I fear
But we will be staying the night at a hotel with our gear
Beaver Utah is our next stop, isn’t that cool
Quick if ye hurry ye’ll swim at the indoor pool
Once you arrive, rest up and get some sleep
Only three more stops before ye reach the treasure ye keep
Yer next clue be left while ye be fast asleep
In the car where daddy ye coffee he keep
In the morning ye rise and shine, eat breakfast and load
A riddle to solve the next clue to be showed

No photos of this one, but we stopped at the Comfort Inn in Beaver, UT... HIGHLY recommend this hotel! Very nice and clean! Free breakfast was perfect for us! It was a great stay! Much better than our first night!

When we woke up we got packed up and headed to the vehicle for the next clue

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Morning Matey, I trust ye slept well
Yer back on ye adventure, if ye be excited yell!
A riddle to solve to get yer next stop
Sorry mommy, there is no time to shop
Our next stop, won’t be a city or the ocean blue
Opa and Oma are here half the year, where Grandma just flew
The drive ye be beautiful through desert mountains we drive
Ye won’t see lakes or bodies of water, not even trees survive
On the state sign there be one star
Can you guess where ye be headed? The clue not be far
_ R   _ Z _ _ A

Off to Arizona

 Driving through Utah

 Near St George, Utah
 We forgot to stop and get a photo so we stopped at St George at a gas station for a photo, tried to get some mountains in the back. HA!
 (St George, Utah)
We stopped in Arizona and took a break to get our next clue

Cam scoped it out for snakes and scorpions first - HA! Paranoid mama here!
Family Photo in AZ
 They made it to the top... and then we got our next clue

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Ye guessed correctly, ye reached Arizona state
No cities ye will pass but hit stop six of eight
Yer next stop be short as you fill up for gas
Only two more stops and then the treasure, alas!
Ye next stop be full of music and lights
A busy city that won’t die at night
Daddy watches ye favorite pawn shop on TV
Located in this city you see
The state be Nevada where this city lies
Scallywags play games here to win a prize
Can you take a guess? Maybe use a decoder tool
The same one we use sometimes at Sunday School


12   1   19      22   5   7   1   19

LAS VEGAS, Adalie got it pretty quick after she got the first part. She thought seeing the Pawn Stars was our treasure... She was a little disappointed we weren't off to see them.

On our way to Nevada

 We stopped for lunch at IN-N-OUT and ate for under $13!

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Ye got it! ye reached Las Vegas in Nevada
Don’t ye worry, ye have not come this far to get nada
Ye have collected eight clues of ye treasure hunt adventure
Are ye ready to discover what ye be treasure?
Only one stop more on this Grand Tollin Family Treasure Hunt
I have some bad news… sorry to be so blunt
The Adventure doesn't end at stop number Eight
But me be sorry, ye will just have to wait
California state is our final destination
You will discover the treasure at the next location
Sit back and enjoy the remainder of our travels
Ye will get the next clue and then thee surprise unravels

Driving through Las Vegas, Nevada

 We stopped for a family photo in Nevada and then we were off

 Driving through Vegas

Once we almost arrived at our hotel... we read the final clues...


Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Alas! ye final clue
Are ye ready to guess! Ye be through!
Ye be Lego lovers young and old
In the Tollin family me be told
Think back to that night daddy and mommy created
A movie they said the premier awaited
The time has come! Do you believe it be true?
Grab a snack, sit back and quietly chew
The treasure you have finally found

It’s the big surprise! Quick Daddy turn up the sound!

We then popped in our Lego movie Cam and I made that we had added the kids' saying the script with out having a clue. I used my phone voice recorder and got them to say different things and then added in our lines and there's to make the video...
Our Video

 The Kids' Reaction...

This was the final clue we read at the end of the video... It wasn't until then did the kids get what their treasure was!

Ahoy there Tollin Family, Gather ‘round
Arr! Did we surprise you?
Perhaps you guessed where ye be headed to
Ye Daddy and Mommy love thee so much
Ye can’t believe the Adventure and such?
Ye off to Downtown Disney for dinner
Ye will be at Disney tomorrow to see the inner
Four days at Disney and one Legoland
And bet ye thought this trip be unplanned
Even have time to see the ocean ye first time
And play on the beach it will be prime
Be on your best behavior this week
We have reached the Happiest Place on Earth we seek
Daddy and Mommy are so proud of you four

Soak in these memories you’ll forever adore

 Our Hotel - The Best Western Pavilions Plus
 The view from the parking lot of Disneyland
 View from our hotel area (we were on the far end of the hotel in room 130, at the very end on the bottom and it was nice and quiet)
 Walking to Downtown Disney
 Palm trees... LOVE
 Downtown Disney
 Lego store in Downtown Disney

 Dinner at the Rainforest Caf

Watch our whole Treasure Hunt Video Here!

Stay tuned for much more on our Disney/Lego vacation! Many tips and what we learned to come!