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Parenting in the Park
Tips and ideas for the traveling family
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Adrienne's eMailbox

My mailbox has been filling up with suggestions from readers. Today I'll share just a few:

Adrienne's eMailbox for 10/26/01:

Cookie decorating time, again!

Before I get into my mail bag, here's a bit of news...

It is a bit early for Christmas cookie decorating, but Disneyland has a Halloween cookie decorating station set up in New Orleans Square, where you can choose from several Halloween-themed sugar cookies and decorate them with colored frosting (above).

Disneyland added a "Cup of Mud Mix-Up," option as well (above). Visitors can enjoy goodies such as creepy crawly (gummy) worms in (chocolate pudding) mud. Watch for Christmas cookie decorating to begin throughout the resort beginning November 2.

Our family enjoyed Holiday cookie decorating last year, so I know we will again!

Claire writes:

This is less practical than everyone else's advice, but here goes: I have three girls, 6, 3, and 10 months and we will be at Disneyland next week. This is our third visit since we've had children, but I lived in Southern California as a child and visited Disneyland often. We researched hotels until we found one that served a full, free breakfast, saving us paying for one meal a day. We also booked, and rebooked, and rebooked the vacation--it cost nothing extra--and it got cheaper. The airlines and the hotel kept discounting the tickets. Eventually, we ended up with an extra night at the hotel and an extra day at the parks for $91 cheaper than the original booking. We bought trip insurance and paid our deposit, then our agent told us we could try again and again to get a better deal. We also got a breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen the last time I booked everything. It's something to try and you don't lose your original booking if it's not cheaper. Play around with it.

My 6-year-old is very intelligent and cynical, but she fully believes that we chose our hotel based upon the fact that Mickey and Minnie leave treats under the pillow each night. We ordered some and personalized name tags from MouseShoppe for them ahead of time. My husband is going to jump slightly ahead of us in line and ask a CM to give the tags to the girls as they come through the gates, making them feel extra special, and like Mickey is waiting for them.

My daughter also has pulled four teeth the last two months, and is saving them to put under her pillow at Disneyland in hopes that Mickey and the Tooth Fairy will crash into one another and leave extra treats. We're also giving them each $10 to $20 Disney Dollars each day to spend as they please. Plus, I asked our hotel if we are free to take fruit from the breakfast bar with us to the park and they said, "Of course!"

And of course what makes this trip extra special is that I'm bringing my mother; not only will I get to see her delight in my children's delight, I also might get to ride on Indiana Jones Adventure with my husband again ... hasn't happened in 6 years. I'm going to try to hit all the small things that make each trip different--rides on Mark Twain, Princess Storytelling, the Sword in the Stone ceremony (with my daughter positioned just right to get chosen--that would make her life) and chocolate Mickey Mouse cookies. And I look forward to buying that one special thing each day to put under their pillows that night.

Wow-- can you imagine how excited Claire's children must be? And I love any tips that help save money and add extra time to a vacation, too!

I came back from vacation to find my mailbox full of comments about my apple- picking article. I think my favorite, though, came from Michelle in Hawaii:

I really appreciate these types of things to do while we are visiting California. So different from Hawaii where you can either go to the beach or hit the malls.

I will be printing out this article for future use. Hey, would you know of place where we can cut our own Christmas tree too? We would like to visit in December hopefully depending on all this craziness with Mr. Osama.

My wheels started turning. I went to some search engines and yellow pages Web sites and found what I expected: a few listings, but nothing consistent. I could not even find any links for the Christmas tree farms that I know about. A friend suggested that just because it is a Christmas tree farm, does not mean it would also make an optimal experience. Many "farms" in urban areas are lots underneath high- voltage power lines, while others further out may provide a better experience.

So, readers, please help me and your fellow readers. If you know of a Christmas Tree Farm in the greater Disneyland area, or even if you know of one further out that you think someone might be interested in finding, please e-mail me with its location and a brief description of it. Let me know if it is a "convenient lot," a "forest experience" or somewhere in between. I will compile a reference list here and keep it updated.

I do wonder though, how Michelle plans on getting the tree back to Hawaii.


Wanted: Your questions and feedback! They will help me plan future columns! Write me at: AdrienneK@mouseplanet.com

Adrienne's eMailbox

Adrienne's eMailbox

Send your Adrienne's eMailbox / Parenting in the Parks questions or comments to:

AdrienneK@ mouseplanet.com

Keep in mind all questions submitted to the Adrienne's eMailbox column become property of this site. They may be edited for length or style and in consideration of a family readership. Questions may also be quoted on other parts of the site too.

Not all questions may be responded to, but all will be read so I can have an idea of what you all think out there.

MORE INFO:

Here are two great scrapbooking resources:

MouseMemories, a MousePlanet affiliate, has many Disney and vacation themed accessories for scrapbooks.

If you're looking for scrapbooks and adhesives, my personal favorites are from Creative Memories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrienne gathered experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job, being Matthew and Spencer's Mom.

Adrienne, Matthew and Spencer visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.

Besides Matthew & Spencer, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The Happiest Potties on Earth website.

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