family · kids · mommyhood · oc living · socal living · stay at home mom life · toddlerhood · Uncategorized

Ruiz Famille Adventures at Adventure City & Knott’s

We were confined to stay close to home over Spring Break due to my high risk pregnancy, but I wanted to make sure the girls had a fun Spring Break. So we took the girls to two theme parks over the last weekend of Spring Break (the first weekend was filled with birthday and Easter celebrations).  Saturday we ventured out to Adventure City in Stanton and Sunday we ventured over to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.  After living in Orange County for over five years, we had yet to experience either, so we were pretty excited and had no idea what to expect.

Saturday: Adventure City

We chose to do Adventure City on Saturday because our 5 yr old had Jiu Jitsu in the morning and I had read that this theme park wasn’t very big, so we figured a few hours ought to be enough.

It was very busy when we arrived; hello! Spring Break!

However, the ticket line wasn’t too line and we even got a discount on my ticket for being pregnant (because I couldn’t really ride anything).  At $19.95 per person (ages 1-54), we felt the price was very affordable for the fun packed into this little theme park.  We also opted to purchase the fun card for the arcade.

The Rides

This IS a really small theme park.  However, there is so much packed into it! The girls were able to ride all but two rides together; even our 2.5 yr old got in on the action- (she’s tall for her age, but most are 42″ minimum to ride alone or must be accompanied by an adult). The only rides our youngest was too short for was Rewind Racers and the Drop Zone. However, while the Hubs took our 5 yr old on those, I took our 2.5 yr old for a few turns on the Carousel.  My favorite moment has to be when the girls experienced the Freeway Coaster; our 5 yr old was over the moon about being able to ride alone “like a big girl,” and made a friend in line to ride with.  Our 2.5 yr old was excited to experience her VERY FIRST roller coaster with Papi like her big sister.  Their faces filled my heart with delight.  I honestly didn’t even mind having to sit out because seeing their joy was all I needed.

Just look at these faces!

Another perk at this park that I really appreciated was that there is a plethora of seating scattered throughout the park for pregnant mommas, grandparents, or other non-riders so they can watch and enjoy their littles on the rides.  There’s also plenty of shade and restrooms are conveniently located as well.  If your child loves trains, I highly recommend the Adventure City Express Train that you can all enjoy as a family- it circles the entire park and goes through some fun areas like the birthday party rooms.


Additional Fun

In addition to the rides, there is also a little petting zoo, an arcade, a rock climbing wall, and a Thomas & Friends area. We didn’t make it over to the Thomas & Friends area or the rock climbing wall but my girls loved the petting zoo, especially our 2.5 yr old.


The arcade was also pretty great; even though we did have one incident of our tickets getting jammed after a game, the staff took care of it quickly and efficiently.  I found that the games were really kid friendly and it was pretty accessible for the girls to earn tickets- much more so than Chuck E. Cheese.  Our 2.5 yr old loved the fish bowl game and the feed the dog game, our 5 yr old loved them all!  I highly recommend getting the Fun Card if you plan on hitting up the arcade; it’s definitely worth it and more than enough to split among two kiddos!


If you haven’t been to this little gem of a theme park, I highly recommend you check it out! Parking is free (although when busy you do have to go to the lot that’s a short walk further away.) They offer re-entry, stroller rentals, locker rentals, wheel chair rentals, there are plenty of food, snacks, and treats to munch on, and you can purchase gift cards for loved ones! Their hours vary and can be found on their website where you can also purchase tickets in advance:

Adventure City

If they offered annual passes, we definitely would buy!


Sunday, Knott’s Berry Farm: 

We went to Knott’s the last day of the Boysenberry Festival and we opted not to try the Boysenberry goodies (though they smelled and looked delicious) because the lines were insanely long and the girls were already anxious to get on the rides.  By the time we arrived it was lunch time (we had church in the morning) so we fueled up at Johnny Rockets because milkshakes and fries are the lunch of champs, right?

Our 2.5 yr old crashed on my lap on a bench while Papi and big sis’ rode two of the rides on the Boardwalk area next to Johnny Rockets. It turned out to be the perfect arrangement as by the time they were done, our little woke up and was ready to head to Camp Snoopy.  I will say it was very crowded and I overheard a passholder say that it was due to the Boysenberry Festival.   Regardless, our girls were very patient in line and I made sure to walk over to buy drinks and snacks for them while they waited in line. It also worked out that I couldn’t ride with them because I became the designated “potty-taker” for our potty training little!

The first couple rides took a good while due to the length of the lines.  But they were well worth it as our girls LOVED them.

Again, look at those faces! I think even Papi was a kid again!

While I was accompanying our 5 yr old in line for the Linus Launcher, on which she could ride alone, I got a call from the Hubs that our 2.5 yr old had injured her finger and he was running her to First Aid.  He told me to let our 5yr old ride the Linus Launcher (she was up next) and then meet him at First Aid.  Our 5 yr old loved the ride and mommy did her best not to show my stress and worry.


So excited to launch!

Your daredevil little will love this ride because they’ll feel like they’re flying since they get to lay on their belly!

As soon as the munchkin got off the ride, we high-tailed it over to First Aid to meet up with Papi and little sis’.  It turns out our 2.5 yr old had put her finger in a hole in the wooden fence at the Ferris Wheel ride and it had gotten stuck.  My husband was unaware and went to pull her off the fence when the line moved forward and hear a “snap.” He was worried and convinced that her finger was broken.  Luckily, First Aid had an ER nurse available and upon examination deemed that as she could bend, wiggle, and move it; it wasn’t broken.  We applied ice for the swelling and we were good to go.  The EMT and nurse were so patient and kind with our little and told us what to look out for as we kept an eye on her finger.  Furthermore, the EMT asked us what rides we wanted to go on that we hadn’t yet had a chance to experience and called in express passes for us to each ride! So for our last hour in the park we got to speed through 5 rides plus a bonus one that had no wait time! It was very nice of them and thanks to them, the girls still had a great time!


I’m not sure that I would invest in annual passes at this stage in our little’s lives yet as they can pretty much only do Camp Snoopy.  It felt really pricey for what it was.  However, we do feel it was a great Spring Break surprise and the girls really enjoyed it!



What did you do over Spring Break with your kiddos? Share in the comments!

Disney · kids · summer · summer activities · toddlerhood · toddlers

Summer Playdays

Disney Summer Play Days

Since we first moved here in 2014, we have been attending the Disney Summer Play Days.  My good friend, Robin, (who at the time was my new friend), introduced me to this awesome annual event held at the Disney Store.

In the past, we had to be very organized and call our local store ahead of time to see what time the Play Days event would be held each day.  However, this year they have made the event time 3pm, across the board. (I would still call your local store to confirm, just to be safe! )

Every year, the Summer Play Days event hosts different activities ranging from trivia challenges, art activities, and audience participation.  The prizes have also differed each year; our first year the kids received a lanyard and earned pins.  Last year it was tsum tsum charm wristbands and this year it is embroidered character patches!


The Summer Playdays event officially kicked off on June 10th, but don’t worry! There’s still time to jump in on the fun!

Nothing like Summer Play Days with our Peeps! (my girls never look at the camera lol)

Visit the Disney Store for more information.

This is a fun, free event that’s offered daily and is a nice excuse to get out of the house on a weekly basis.  Note; though the event is offered daily, it is not necessary to attend daily.  Each new badge is released on Wednesdays, however, they will continue to handout the same badge until the following Wednesday’s release (or until supplies run out).  While you’re there, you can peruse the Disney Store summer deals (there’s usually good sales! And the clearance area always has some good and inexpensive finds!).



Disneyland · family · mommyhood · parenting · toddlerhood

Our Disney Escapade

This past weekend we decided to spend the day between the Disneyland and California adventure parks; it was Dad’s bday weekend and he wanted to go. Since the munchkin and I frequent the park with our friends (we’re AP holders), we decided this day would be all about what Dad wanted to do. We caught all the shows we could squeeze into one day and even visited the Animation Academy in California Adventure since we’d never been in there before; by the way, this is an excellent place to hideout from the heat! 
(Heading out to Disneyland with Elsa and Winnie in tow)
(Let’s not forget the Elsa & Anna tee and Sofia the first sneakers!)

Our first stop was one of my husband’s favorite shows, (and it helps that our munchkin is obsessed with it too); Aladdin the musical. This show never gets old, and we snagged incredible seats this time; fourth row center and isle seats! (See photos below)

Up next was the Mickey & The Magic Map show at the Disneyland park followed by The Beauty & The Beast show at the Royal Theatre, (which my husband can’t get enough of. These guys are the kings of puns and one liners)
As we were leaving the Royal Theatre we noticed the Reception Hall wait was only 10 minutes, since we’ve never gone in, we decided to check it out. I knew this was where you meet the princesses; that particular day they were Snow White, Ariel, and a surprise royal guest (Cinderella). Now, I didn’t think Our munchkin would really care about them because A. She’s only seen The little mermaid and Beauty & The Beast out of the classical princess movies and B. She’s never shown much interest in any aside from Elsa and Sofia the First.
Now, if you don’t know me, you might now know that I’ve spent a significant amount of energy resisting introducing my toddler to the classic Disney princesses world. In fact, she saw The Little Mermaid while I was away.  My reasons are that I want her to see those movies when she has developed a little bit more of a criteria for herself on the princess stereotype. I want her to strive to be more than just a princess. I want her to know that she’s strong enough on her own; she need not wait for Prince Charming or a fairy godmother to rescue her or change her circumstances. And I acknowledge that Disney has taken significant leaps in the direction of changing with the times and writing princesses that are more self-sufficient, multi dimensional characters that little girls can look up to. Still, I resisted the princess thing until I couldn’t; it started with Sofia the First. I figure, at least Sofia teaches young viewers strong morals like how to handle challenges in friendships or staying true to your moral compass in spite of outside pressures, being yourself, and (my favorite); just because you’re a princess or a girl doesn’t mean you can’t compete in derby’s or participate in outdoor activities. 
Where was this going? Oh yeah:
So here we are about to meet three Disney classic princesses.  I couldn’t have imagined my munchkin’s reaction:
She was shy but in complete awe. It was as if her facial expression was saying, “you’re real!”
If there’s an equivalent of starstruck for toddlers, this was it. (See pics below).

Cinderella even told her how she was friends with Sofia (after seeing her Sofia the first sneakers) and our munchkin also showed her her Elsa doll. 

So yes, I’ve fought the good fight where the princess thing is concerned, but I must say, after seeing our munchkin’s face light up and witnessing what a magical moment this was for her; there’s not way I would trade that in. I figure she’s getting plenty of “more than just a princess,” toys, books, and empowering messages from me at home 😉
After our royal Disney encounter, we crossed back to catch the Disney Jr. Show but our peanut passed out so we decided a late lunch break was in order before the Pixar Play Parade. Let me tell you, the water spraying features in that parade were very welcome. In fact, I would say the soldiers guns, the alien’s laser blasters, and the gas nozzles the dancers carry in cars could all be additional soakers. Just sayin’.

(Knocked out for exactly one hour, she awoke when the Pixar parade music started!)

After the Pixar parade we crossed back over to Disneyland to catch the Frozen float and the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. Our munchkin’s Elsa doll caught sight of Elsa (see photos) and she waved at her and made an “I’m flattered” gesture. Our peanut was elated!
(“Elsa! Elsa!”)
(Elsa spotted her doll!)

(“Bye bye, Elsa!”)

We crossed back over, ventured into the Animation Academy where we learned to draw Minnie Mouse in Steamboat Willie and took a break from the blazing heat 🙂
We ended our night with a prime viewing spot of the World of Color show; courtesy of our fast pass.
It was the perfect family birthday outing that my loving hubby wanted and deserved 🙂 Yay for APs! 
What has been your favorite or most memorable Disney visit?