I will be doing a full trip report later, but today I wanted to highlight my favorite parts of our trip to Disneyland!
10. The Disney Jr. Show
Carter and Vanessa both loved this 20 minute show that included the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, and a few others. It was entertaining, concise, well-written, and had fun surprises like bubbles and streamers from the ceiling. It was cute to see Carter yell out his name at the beginning of the show when the performer asked all the kids to say their names.
9. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Daniel and I got a few hours to ourselves on the night of our first day at the parks, and we walked right on to Big Thunder Mountain twice in a row. I felt like I was 15 again. Theme park dates are the bomb.
8. Vanessa on It’s A Small World
Vanessa was a little leery of many rides and the big costume characters, but she loved every part of It’s A Small World (and a couple of other rides). She just looked around at everything, reached toward the characters and waved at them.
7. Special Treatment
While we were sitting on the curb waiting for the Disneyland parade to start, an employee came up to us and asked if we’d like to move to reserved bench seating (front row). We said yes! Just a little of that Disney Magic!
6. Riding Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree after closing
With about an hour to go before the park was going to close, Daniel, Carter, and I wanted to go on Luigi’s Flying Tires for the first time, and hopefully Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree for a second time (third for Carter- he went with my mom once). The line for the tires was long, and once we got off the ride, it was just past 11 (closing time). We started to leave, but when we passed the Mater ride, they were still letting people on, so we walked right on the ride and got to ride it again!
5. It’s A Bug’s Land
On our first morning, we rode the Mater ride and had fast passes for the Radiator Springs Racers for later that afternoon, so after walking around Cars Land for a little bit, we went next door to It’s A Bug’s Land. The rides there had no wait, so we rode almost all of them several times! Carter loved the bumper cars!
4. California Screamin’ Fast Passes
On the second day, when Daniel got us all fast passes for the Radiator Springs Racers, the machine also gave him four fast passes for the big roller coaster. Each pass was good for up to 6 people! So Daniel and I got to ride the roller coaster twice, and we gave the other passes to a couple of families who were about to join the regular line queue.
3. Surprises from Mickey
In an attempt to avoid bringing my children into the Disney gift shops, I planned on buying them some Disney toys ahead of time and leaving them in the hotel room for them to get after a day at the park. My mom ended up getting all the goodies for them. On the first day they got Mickey and Minnie stuffies and beach towels, then Carter got a set of Cars toys while Vanessa got a set of Pooh Bear toys, and then they both got a set of beach toys for the third day (when we went to the beach). They loved it, and we saved ourselves from gift shop meltdowns!
2. The Radiator Springs Racers
We were lucky enough to get fast passes for this ride on both days (they sell out in the first hour the park is open), as well as two extra passes for a baby swap, so we had a total of 14 rides on the Racers! Carter and I went four times, Daniel went three times, my dad went twice, and my mom went once! I can honestly say this was the best ride I have ever been on. I’m grateful I didn’t have to wait in line for the regular two hours, but it would have been worth it. SO well done!
That’s how much we spent, not counting gas and a couple of meals while traveling. I bought Carter a toy for $7 in the park (a little toy version of the tractors from the Mater ride), and we paid $2 for parking at the beach. My parents treated us to our hotel room, all meals, and our park tickets, not to mention treats and shirts for the kids! We had a fantastic time! Thanks so much, Gramma and Grampa!!!
And for your viewing pleasure, here is what Vanessa did on the beach…