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!