Anyone who knows my mom knows she loves Disneyland. The rest of us think it’s pretty great too! Last winter, my mom started really talking up Disneyland with Elias and Simon. She started showing them youtube videos of all the rides, discussing who was tall enough to ride which ones, and in general just drumming up a lot of excitement. Her ploy worked. Nathan and I started talking about how to get ourselves to Disneyland.
We saved Disney reward points for over two years, and that paid for all of our meals. We also saved for the travel portion of our budget, and last April we made a plan.
On October 11th, we picked Elias up from school about an hour early and headed to the airport with Ama and Baba for our Disneyland adventure.
The short version? It was amazing and magical just like Disneyland is supposed to be, but I don’t remember the last time I felt so exhausted!
There is more to say than I care to write down, but I thought I’d share some pictures and stories for the memory books. Caleb won’t remember any of it after all, and he’ll probably have fun looking back some day.
Wednesday morning we woke up bright and early and went to California Adventure. We had a plan: head straight for the Radiator Springs Racers. Elias and Simon were so excited. Here they are in line:
The last time we went to Disneyland, Elias didn’t like any of the big rides. This time, both boys loved most of them. They had a blast on Radiator Springs Racers, and because of Caleb, we had to do ride swap. For Elias and Simon, it was the best because they got to go again with Nathan using the ride swap. Two rides for the price of one!
We explored the rest of Cars land for awhile. The other rides are pretty cute. Luigi’s Roadsters is a lot of fun.
We also took both boys on the Tower of Terror. It scared them both pretty good. We thought we scarred Simon for life for awhile, but he eventually recovered. Elias will tell you he liked it, but judging by his body language, he was pretty scared. (Although he did elect to go again on the ride swap with my parents so it couldn’t have been that bad for him).
After that scary ride, we hung out in Bug’s land for awhile. No scary rides there! The boys got to taste their first churros. Caleb got tired, and took a nap on Baba. Actually, this became a regular occurrence. I think Caleb took a Baba nap every day we were there.
I just love this picture of Ama, Baba, Elias, and Caleb on Flik’s Fliers. The joy on my mom’s face is priceless. The boys are so lucky to have her enthusiasm and energy. Caleb slept through the ride.
Caleb did eventually wake up, though, and got to enjoy the golden zephyr ride. He enjoyed looking over the side at everything down below.
We got to enjoy so many rides and so much time together. One thing I really wanted to do while we were there was see a parade. We caught one on Wednesday afternoon. Simon was mesmerized.
We ended the day with some ice cream and a family photo with Mater. I couldn’t believe we spent the entire day in the park with no rest time. 8 am to 8 pm!
The fun wasn’t over, though, and we got up even earlier the next day! Thursday we were at the Disneyland gate by 7 am. We weren’t the only crazy ones, though. There were a ton of people there.
First we went to dumbo. Simon had been talking about the dumbo ride every night during our bedtime talk for months. His dream finally game true! You can’t tell…but here we are on dumbo.
We also spent a lot of time in tomorrowland where they have a “build your own droid” section of a shop. Both of the boys really loved that. They each got to build one, and thanks to Ama, later got to build two more!
Thursday we also got to meet our first character: Mickey himself!
The highlight for Elias was riding space mountain. He got to ride it six times due to ride swap. We didn’t have Simon try after the Tower of Terror fiasco, but Elias really wanted to try, and he loved it! Both Elias and Simon really loved Thunder mountain as well.
Friday morning we went to a character breakfast. The boys started out the morning with a dance party. I don’t know how they had so much energy after two long days, but they were amazing troopers!
After breakfast we were back at California Adventure, and we headed straight to Toy Story Mania. I think our one regret of the trip is that we didn’t get on this ride more than once. There really is nothing like it.
Elias loved the silly symphony swings. He was very serious about the rides and was ready with his hands up.
Another of Elias’ favorites was Goofy’s Sky School.
Friday afternoon we spent a lot of time visiting characters. Elias and Simon loved collecting autographs and giving high fives. Caleb just loved squeezing all of the noses and he laughed pretty hard about it, too!
Here is Elias getting ready for the Grizzly river rapids on Friday afternoon. We got soaked, and went back to the hotel to change and rest a bit before dinner!
Saturday morning we headed back to Disneyland for our final day of fun. We signed Elias up for the trials of the temple show, and he got to cross blades with Darth Vader himself!
We rode rides all day despite big crowds and all three of the boys did amazing. By 8 pm or so we ended up with both Simon and Caleb asleep. We got on one last ride…It’s a Small World. Here’s proof for Simon that he rode it:
Sunday morning we went to Goofy’s kitchen. Our plane didn’t leave until late afternoon so we had some time to kill. They boys loved seeing Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip, and Dale. Simon was so tickled by Minnie, and Caleb really loved her too. It was so fun seeing how much joy they got from the experience.
I’m so thankful that the seven of us got to have this experience together. Disney really knows how to make things magical! It was exhausting, but was worth it!
It was such a joy for Baba and Ama to get to experience Disneyland with the Smith family! We had such a fun time and loved every minute. I would agree that we were pretty sore for a few days after we got home but it was worth every ache and pain! Thank you for sharing Disneyland with us!