Disneyland 2009

I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was in high school.  That would be about, oh, 15 years ago!  Yikes!  I was so excited to have the opportunity to go with my husband and two older boys this Christmas season!  Let me tell you, Disneyland is BEAUTIFUL during the holiday season.  There are Christmas decorations all around the park, including a huge Christmas tree with beautiful ornaments and lights weaved throughout it.  Even the characters are dressed in Christmas attire.

We woke up super early and headed to the park before it opened – 8:00 a.m.  As I was driving, Brian (our oldest) announced, “Mom…there’s Disneyland..you’re passing it!”  I saw the front gate but remembered there being a parking lot.  I told him, “Brian, I know where I’m going and that’s not the entrance we’re looking for.  I’m the driver, ok?”  I drove for a mile and leaned over to my husband….”Um, I think we passed Disneyland.”  Shoot!  I turned around at the first available spot to do a U-turn.  As I headed back, I saw a sign pointing us in the direction of the parking lot.  Parking was $14.00 and was located across the street from the gates.  Apparently, in the 15 years I’ve been away from Disneyland, they have replaced the parking lot with California Adventure – woops – lol!

We headed in with a crowd of people, where we picked up our passes.  The boys were so excited – all of them!  They even received “First Visit” buttons to wear (I didn’t wear one).  Once we were in the park, we headed straight to Tomorrowland, where we enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear Rocketships.  Let me just tell you, riding them as a child and riding them as an adult are 2 totally different things!  I was worried I was going to fall out (and a little dizzy) - lol – but Dallen had a blast making the rocket ship go up and down, as did Brian with George!

After the Rocket Ships, Brian and George headed over to Star Wars.  Unfortunately, Dallen wasn’t tall enough, so we headed across the way to go on the Buzz Lighyear Astro Blasters.  That was a fun ride.  I didn’t figure out until the end that you could turn your Star Cruiser a full 360 degrees.  At least I know for next time!

We then headed over to the Submarines, which used to be very generic when I was a kid.  I remember the big fish, coral reefs, and mermaids.  Now, the ride is centered around “Finding Nemo” and was actually a lot of fun!  Video to come soon!

After the Submarine, we had a blast at Autopia!  I am confident that it will be a very long time before Brian gets his driver’s license – lol!  He had a great time driving and I had fun as well :)  Both George and I (in our individual cars) pressed down on the gas pedals while the kids steared the vehicle – scary!  LOL  Dallen drove with George and he could barely even see over the wheel.  It was so cute!  LOL

After Autopia, we headed over to New Orlean’s Square.  On our way, I had to have my picture with the boys in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  George took the picture, otherwise I would have loved for him to be in it as well :)  The castle was beautifully decorated for the holidays.  It was absolutely gorgeous!

We stopped at the Casey Jr. Train Ride (you know, the train on Dumbo - “I think I can..I think I can”).  It was cute.  We rode in the Monkey Car – lol!  Dallen really loved it and Brian seemed to enjoy it as well.  I didn’t have my camera in my hand, but when the train stopped at the end of the ride, George jumped up and down and gripped the bars like a monkey.  It was so funny!

We passed Thunder Mountain (one of my favorites) because Dallen wasn’t big enough yet and headed straight for the Pirates of the Caribbean.  The line was pretty long but seemed to move quickly.  This was definitely one of the rides I wanted my kids to experience.  I didn’t get any pictures but it was really fun.  Oh, and Jack Sparrow is now a part of the ride!  I would have been totally surprised this had a fellow Disney visitor not let me know some of the differences in the rides.  It was like finding Waldo but instead finding Jack Sparrow – lol!  The kids loved it!

Our final ride for the day was the Haunted Mansion.  It was not as scary as normal because it was focused on Jack the Pumpkin King, and now Brian loves the movie!  We also went on It’s A Small World (more to come).  It was beautifully decorated and had a combination of “It’s a Small World” and “Jingle Bells” playing.  This was one of my most favorite rides at Disneyland this time!

Overall, it was a really fun trip and a great first experience for the kids.  A lot has changed, but I am excited to go back again this year!  We want to extend a big thank you to Disneyland for making this possible!

I received complimentary passes for my family and I to Disneyland as part of the media.  All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine!

Line Break

Author: Shannon Gosney (4223 Articles)

Shannon Gosney is the author of The Mommy-Files, a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. With 3 active boys, Shannon loves living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

Comments

  1. 1

    So much fun. We are season pass holders and visit the park all the time. Now that my daughters are both feeling better, we will be making a trip next week. I really wanted to go this week because usually, the week after New Years is so empty. Everyone who vacationed here came over the holidays.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure, love the pictures. Before I had kids, I did not visit the park often. When we took Aiyana, I did the same thing with the parking structure.

  2. 2

    SOOO much fun!!! I can’t wait to be able to go there with my own little one someday!!! I love hearing about all the fun rides and remembering when I was there a million years ago! :)

  3. 3

    How fun!! I wish I could get free tickets :) Looks like a blast!!

  4. 4

    I am so jealous!!
    Seriously, I can just IMAGE all the memories you gave your boys.
    It sounds like you all had a beyond wonderful time :D

  5. 5

    Looks like you had a blast!

  6. 6

    It is so true that it is the happiest place on earth! We are annual pass holders to Disney World, and since it is only 10 minutes from the house, we go there all the time. We too LOVE to go at the holidays because it is SO festive.
    I have already posted our first day visit with Alexander and will be posted the next two days visits soon.
    So glad you were able to take the kids, they will remember it forever. Hope you get to go back soon!

  7. 7
    Heidi Bokor says:

    It definitely sounds and looks like you had a good time! We went in June….busy time yes, but we had a blast. We got the three day park hopper with California Disney. The first day we did the big rides with long waits (using the fast passes, which I commented on in your When to Visit Disney post) at Disneyland, the second day was all California Disney, and the third was anything we missed and we went on some things twice. We had a big breakfast out of the part, just ate snacks during the day, then left the park to have a big dinner, then went back to the park until closing! Saved more money doing it that way! We had a blast too. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

  8. 8

    I can tell you all had a great time – amazing how much it has changed over the years, isn’t it? Still magical though.

  9. 9

    I am in desperate need of a vacation & would LOVE to go to Disneyland/Disney World!! Like you said, the holiday season would make it that much better. I can only imagine how beautiful & magical everything looked. Ahhhh!

  10. 10

    Hi Shannon! I’m headed to Disneyland in two weeks, I’m so excited!

    I’m a Seattle area blogger (new to the scene, lol) and I’d love to chat with you! Send me an email at seattlebabygear@gmail.com! Hope to talk to you soon!

    Rachel

Add Your Comment

*