I received a discounted rate for accommodations and park passes to attend the Disney Social Media Moms conference at Disneyland. I was responsible for the purchase of the conference package and travel at my own expense. All opinions are my own.
Disneyland is truly one of my favorite places on earth! My husband asked me while headed off to Disneyland a few weeks ago, why we always went to Disney. We’ve been nearly every year since our boys were old enough to enjoy the park. To me and my boys, there is no place on earth like Disneyland! There is just truly a magic there at the park that lets us let loose, have fun, create memories, and like the commercials say: “Show off our Disney Side”.
This trip, we decided to leave our youngest two boys at home who are 3 and 1 to avoid the need for naptimes, strollers, diapers, tons of potty breaks, and tired legs of little ones. I have to say, I haven’t been to Disneyland without little ones in tow for so many years that I forgot how truly fun Disney is when you are stuck on a nap schedule and height restrictions. We had an absolute blast in the parks with our 5 and 7 year old boys.
Tyler, who is just 5, got to experience his first time on all the big coasters and he didn’t hold back. Before every ride he would ask, “Does it have big drops?” He asked my husband that same question before Space Mountain. My husband told him no, so he wouldn’t want to back out.
As they moved forward through the line and approached the front there is an announcement that roughly exclaims, “This ride is a thrill ride featuring fast speeds, big drops, big turns…” My son looked up in terror saying there was no way he was going on that ride!
As they boarded the ride and started the trek up the first hill through a lit up tunnel like a launching strip and off on the first big drop and turn, Tyler yelled out “This is freakin’ awesome!!!!!!!!!!” He couldn’t wait to get back on the ride again and we went on Space Mountain 5 times during our stay. It was his favorite of all the rides.
Another favorite moment was taking our boys on Tower of Terror. We told them it was an elevator ride – nothing more. As we started going up the ride, my 7 year old – gripping with all his might onto the handles – exclaimed, “I’m so dead!” While it was both of their least favorite ride in the park, it was a priceless memory for my husband and I to watch their nervous faces and smile knowing they were completely safe, despite how they felt. Maybe it was a bit cruel, but they walked off the ride in smiles, even though they refused to go again. We all still laugh together about Nathan’s funny saying.
That night, we all got to experience a first as we watched the Magic of Color show which is such a fantastic show! We all watched in amazement as the jets shot up water and a projector, fire and lights were used to present a show featuring all of our most favorite Disney movies and characters making them come to life before us.
That’s part of the magic of Disneyland – being able to experience moments like my son had that were totally unexpected and fun. Or sharing in a completely new experience and being able to share our awe with each other. Even times of fear and being able to come out laughing and smiling is something we won’t soon forget. Being right there with my kids as they enjoy and have fun makes everything worth it.
One of the best experiences we had was the unique experience we had to enjoy breakfast in Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure park. We were given early access to this one part of the park before the park was even open and they kept Cars Land closed just for us until 9am. We were able to ride and enjoy the three Cars Land rides with absolutely no line. In fact, we went on the Radiator Racers six different times running right to the front of the queue each time and even choosing two different cars once so we could try to race each other. That ride is totally awesome, my favorite in the park! It’s so incredibly cool be completely immersed in the Cars world and race on what feels like the real Arizona desert.
This was our first time to stay on-site in the Disneyland Hotel and it made me completely rethink the way I plan our trips. It was absolutely wonderful to be just a short walk to the Disneyland gates and avoid the long drive into the park and long walk to get to the trams and the often delays that can occur trying to get to Disneyland. It was an enormous time saver. The resort also had a gorgeous pool with monorail inspired water slides! There was lots of dining options, shopping, and even entertainment around as part of Downtown Disney that helped the magic of Disneyland continue even outside the park gates.
Disneyland still is, and will continue to be, one of my favorite places on earth. When you are looking to book a trip, consider staying on the property in one of the three Disney hotels and go with a multi-day pass. There is SO much to see in the parks that you really need more than a day or two.