Thursday, September 27, 2012

We are finally here ~ The Happiest Place on Earth!

We spent such a magical five days at Disneyland ~ it was a absolutely fabulous trip, sunny and hot, and we enjoyed every minute of it.  We had a lot of time, so we never felt rushed (well, that's a stretch of the truth and my mom might disagree...I tend to rush everyone.  It's hard for me not to be in a hurry, as I didn't want to waste a second!) or overwhelmed.  The kids loved it!  They loved the rides, the characters, the parades and the shows.  They did great, too, which if I am really being honest, I would have thought we would have seen more fits.  I was pleasantly surprised by their positive attitudes and general good natured-ness.
I have literally been looking forward to this trip since the day that Carter was born ~ I love Disneyland and have been so excited to share the magic of it with my children.  I'm not sure they fully grasped the wonder of it all, but they really had a fantastic time.  They seemed to both be at the perfect age to enjoy it fully.  Carter was tall enough to go on every ride...his favorite was "Screamin' California."  Kennedy was just over the 42" requirement, so she was able to do everything but Screamin' California.  She was our little adrenaline junkie and had so much fun on all of the roller coasters.  She loved Tower of Terror, too.  Our crazy kiddos!
The task of wading through the 500+ pictures from our trip has seemed a bit overwhelming.  I'm afraid that I may never get the chance to blog about our amazing adventures if I don't just start somewhere.  So, the pictures are largely unedited and may seem a bit random, as well.  But there are stories to tell and they're always more fun to read if there are pictures to go along with them.
On our way...
Kyle sat up in first class while we slummed it back in coach. 
He had never ridden first class, so we had talked about it before we got to the airport.  I was supportive until  about mid way through the flight when the kids' excitement was about ready to push me over the edge.  I changed movies about four times, read books, got crayons out, then markers, then a different coloring book, then the iPad.  They were pumped and I'm thankful it was only a two hour flight!

It became our tradition to take a picture each morning as we waited outside for the shuttle...
here's day #1!
They were so excited to get to the park ~ we arrived early enough on Saturday and were able to really enjoy the day at Disneyland.

We're here, we're here!
I wanted so badly to take a nice photo with the train station in the background, but it just wasn't happening.  Just about the time we got settled (and trust me when I say the kids were not happy about delaying our start for a picture!), another family scouted into our picture.  The kids were complaining about the sun and this is what we ended up with.  Can you even tell we are at Disneyland?  Bummer.

No time for lolly gagging, we headed into Adventure Land and started the fun!
Being my tradition (from my last 5 trips to Disney), we rode on Thunder Mountain Railroad first.  
The kids loved it and I seriously got so much joy from seeing the smiles on their faces.  Kennedy had her hands up the whole time and squealed with delight as we twisted and turned.

We had a few minutes before we could return with our fast pass for Splash Mountain, so we rode the Winnie the Pooh ride first...again, I thought this would be a cute place for a picture, and again the sun was too bright for cooperation (at least for one of my darling subjects :).

Probably the best thing about this ride was the fact that it was cool and air conditioned...the weather really was hot, but with cool rides and lots of shade, we did great.

Haunted Mansion
The park transitioned to their Halloween decorations the day before we arrived, so the Haunted Mansion was decked out in "The Nightmare Before Christmas".  I actually thought it was less scary than I remembered.  As we were waiting in the big elevator at the entrance, Kyle grabbed Carter and said "boo!", I think that was the scariest part!  The two guys next to us jumped so high!  It was hilarious!  Kyle's the biggest kid of them all.

Waiting for Star Tours with a "treasure."
I was really afraid that the kids would suffer from bad cases of the "gimmies" while we were in Disneyland.  But, again, they totally surprised me and didn't ask for much.  They were satisfied with the few "treasures" and just enjoyed their time at the parks.

Kennedy had been talking incessantly about getting a scrapbook and having all the characters and princesses sign it.  This was her first treasure and it kept her happy for the entire trip!  I think it was the real motivation she needed to approach the characters ~ she really wanted them to sign her book.  I'm not sure she would have removed herself from my leg without it :)  She was so proud to show it off when we got home and it has been a constant companion ever since.

It was such a gift to be able to share this trip with my mom, as well.  The kids loved having her there and it was so helpful to have an extra set of hands.  She loves Disneyland, too, and was game for going on all the rides.  Kennedy chose to sit with her on nearly every ride and was her constant companion.

Star Tours
My mom was laughing so hard during this ride, because she got to sit next to Carter.  He was so into it!

Carter got chosen for the Jedi Training Academy
He was one of the last children picked and was so excited (although in Carter's typical stoic, serious excitement).  He took the whole thing very seriously, listened intently and was aggressive in his fight with Darth Vader.
Practicing the moves with the Jedi Master

The Jedi Master leading the show was so funny...I loved his commentary as the kids fought Darth Vader.  As Carter got up, a few of the comments that were made were:
"ooh, you're serious about this."
"that's a lot of intense anger!"
"you're really going to take his head off"

He did great in battle

Very proud to be a Jedi

Such a great way to cap off our first day at the Magic Kingdom. 

We only spent about 6 hours at the park this day, because everyone was tired and we had a late night planned for the next night.  
But it was the perfect start to our trip!
*I had a second to reread and edit this post - my apologies for the poor grammer and spelling.  I was distracted and rushed which isn't a good combination when trying to write.


  1. Yay!! I've been excited to see these pictures!! You'll be so happy in the years to come to have the details of this special trip recorded. It's a lot of work, but so worth preserving. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time! And if it makes you feel better, the photo right inside the gate is always such a hard one to get! I think it turned out just great. :) Can't wait to see the rest....

  2. FUN!! It's been so long since I've been to Disneyland and this post puts the longing in my heart to take the kids - not yet, but we're getting there. So glad you had a good time and that the kids were as into the rides as you. Can't wait to see more pictures and hear more!