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Sunday, March 18, 2012

We stayed across the street from Disneyland but didn't go in.

Say what?

Yes it's true.  We stayed directly across the street from Disneyland California but didn't go into the park.

Crazy?  Maybe, but we had a good reason.

We drove from Phoenix to Anaheim this last week to meet up with some friends of mine who were visiting CA from Hawaii.  We wanted to be in the same hotel as them so we were at the Best Western Plus Park Place Inn and Mini Suites since that's where they were staying.  When we met up with them they'd already gone to the park two days so it wasn't like I told the 4 year old tough-luck or anything like that.  In fact, she didn't seem to mind (or understand) at all what she was missing.

Instead we all went to Knott's Berry Farm together and she had a blast!  She went from ride to ride and unlike her mother she didn't have any issues with motion sickness.

Why no Disneyland?
We're just not ready to take our 4 year old to Disney.  She wouldn't know who most of the characters were anyway since we don't watch Disney cartoon movies and don't talk about, buy or promote the princesses.  In fact until recently we just referred to them as "pretty ladies" when she received presents with Disney princesses on them.

Why no princesses or characters?  Good question.  Initially I didn't want to deal with the little girl princess mentality I'd seen around.  I couldn't stand the "I'm the Queen/Princess that's why" onsies I'd see on babies.  I didn't want her to grow up into an entitled or spoiled child.  Later I didn't want our house teeming with paraphernalia that had characters on it.  Any characters, not just princesses you won't find Dora around here either.  I also wanted her to have her own imagination, not one influenced by the prince meets princess stories.

However, that said her friend who is very into princesses and who has visited Disney many times is one of the most creative and imaginative children I know.  So there went that theory. ;)  As parents all we can do is the best we know how.  Hopefully we haven't scarred her being princess-free.  For now we avoided Disney but I'm sure one of these years she'll be going to the "happiest place on earth".

Hotel Review:
Here's the skinny on the Best Western.  The main appeal to this hotel is location, location, location.  It is directly across from the Disney gate.  This means quick to walk to, but also lots of traffic (cars and foot), loud fireworks sounds at night (at first we thought our neighbors above were heavy footed, ha), and high priced parking ($8 a day).  It is right next to many restaurants including Tony Roma's, McDonald's, Subway, CPK, Ihop and PF Chang to name a few.

The hotel was clean and offered "suites" which meant a small microwave and refrigerator.  It also had a pull out couch that the 4 year old slept on, which was very lumpy although she didn't seem to mind.  The staff was kind and helpful, the free breakfast was free (that's the only good thing about it).  All in all a pretty decent place to stay.  Nothing special but remember you're there for the location right?

When we were preparing to leave the hotel another guest chatted me up while jocking for my excellent parking spot.  He asked if we'd had enough Disneyland.  When I replied that we hadn't actually gone to the park he looked at me incredulously and said "did you know it is across the street?"  Ha!  I should have told him "why no, I was wondering if it was near here", but I didn't think quick enough for that.

Perhaps next time we visit Anaheim we'll visit Mickey's house and not just his neighborhood.

Stay tuned for more reviews from our week in California including Knott's Berry Farm, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad, the San Diego Zoo and the West Inn and Suites to name a few.

My friend Sherry and her kiddos who came all the way from Hawaii.  We had just eaten at Ihop and you can see the Best Western hotel sign in the background.  

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