At 9:30 on Wednesday night, Jared came home and said.... "Let's go to Disneyland!" So... we started packing and by 2:30 a.m. were ready to go. We woke the kids up and put them in the car and watched with excitement as we told them we were driving to Disneyland. They were surprised and happy, but very sleepy, so they slept. At 8:30 am, we pulled into the Disney Parking Lot. We were chosen as Sheriff Woody's guest of the day and got FREE parking right next to the shuttle. It was an awesome start to our magical day :)
After a few pit stops on Main Street, we made our way to the River Belle Terrace for Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast. Yummy! With our tummies filled, we were ready to begin our adventure, so off to Adventureland we went. First stop... Pirates! Last time we went to Disneyland was when Rand was 5 and Mitch was 2. It was terrible. Rand was afraid of everything! So this time when he was running to get on the ride, I was so excited. Mitch and Mackay were a little nervous to start with such a dark one, so Rand and I went together. So much fun. I have never been to Disneyland when the crowds were so small. The wait times were amazing. We rode Indiana Jones twice in 20 minutes. The stroller pass is just another reason Disney gets it right. Jared would go with the kids, and then with the stroller pass, I would go to the front of the line and ride again with the boys. We did every ride/attraction in Adventureland before 2:00 that day. No ride had a wait over 15 minutes the entire day. It was the best! We got on all the big rides with our fast passes and did the small ones in between. It was the perfect age for our kids. Rand loved it, Mitch was fearless, and the magic of it all on Mackay's face was priceless! We rode and played and ate until we couldn't keep our eyes open anymore. Went and checked into the hotel at about 8 pm, with the intention of going back for the fireworks that night, however, in the time it took us to drive from the parking lot to our hotel, less than a mile away, the boys had fallen asleep in the car. So we called it a night, and got up early the next morning for more magic.
Friday was another glorious day. Beautiful weather, crowds a little bigger, but still not bad, and we were all so happy and relaxed. The kids were so good. No fighting, no crying, no begging, just MAGIC! This was also the day that I FINALLY got to have one of those gigantic corn dogs I've seen every time I've been, but never eaten. Oh, I ate it this time! The biggest corn dog I have ever seen. Amazing! The best corn dog I have ever eaten. I can still feel it clogging my arteries, and totatlly worth it. Mackay loved It's a Small World! We went on it 3 times. Here is his reaction:
Rand had a big day on Friday. He was ready to redeem himself at the Jedi Training. Last time we were there, he was selected to go up onstage, and chickened out at the last minute. So... this time, he was ready! He and Mitch were selected to become Jedi knights. When it came time to fight either Darth Vader or Darth Maul... they were split. Rand went to fight Darth Maul, and Mitch went up on stage to fight Darth Vader, and got to force push the storm troopers. While standing in line, Rand was spinning his light saber, doing all kinds of impressive Jedi moves, and the Jedi Master said... "No twirling or spinning... that is reserved for the advanced class." Rand's cheeks went red with embarrasement.
He took it very seriously, and walked a little taller after defeating the evil one!
Mitch ducking just before taking Vader out with his green light saber :)
We got Fast Passes for the new water show World of Color. It was good, but so crowded it made it hard to see anything. Especially for our little ones, so Jared and I held one big boy each on our shoulders for 30 minutes to watch the show. I needed a chiropractor and a massage by the end of that, but they loved it, so again.. worth it.
Saturday we took a break and went to Newport Beach. We knew the crowds would be big because of the holiday weekend. We got there about 10:30, and were lucky enough to find parking near the pier after only 25 minutes of driving around. It was COLD and overcast when we first got there, but finally burned off about 1:00. The water was FREEZING, but we still went in and played. We built 2 very cool sand castles, played squash ball, searched for shells, and ate ice cream. Before we left, Jared rented this very cool bike, and we cruised around the boardwalk on this baby. :) You can just imagine the looks we got. :)
We went back to the hotel, showered and then went over to Disneyland for the rest of the evening. We got there just in time for Fantasmic, but had terrible seats. Mackay was falling asleep on my shoulder, but kept waking up to talk about the bad witch, and Mickey Mouse. As soon as it was over, we hurried over toward the castle so we could watch the fireworks. I just loved it. Even while carrying a sleeping 2 year old. Jared and the boys went on a few more rides before turning in for the night.
Sunday morning we used our early entrance that we got with our park hopper, and got to enter an hour before everyone else. We ran to Space Mountin and rode it 2 more times, making our grand total 8. 8 times on Space Mtn in 3 days! Not bad! Once while riding, the ride broke down, and the lights came on. Rand, Mitch and I were at the highest point of the ride, and got to see the inside of the ride. Very cool! They let us finish the ride with the lights on, and then let us go again dark. We spent most of the day at California Adventure. Rand and Mitch finally agreed to go on the Tower of Terror! They were freaked out, but came out smiling :) Rand rode California Screamin with me twice! I was so surprised at how brave he was. He loved it, and wanted to keep going. What a fun age our kids were this trip. They all loved it. That night we ate dinner early, and then set up camp for a great seat to see Fantasmic at 7:00 pm. The show didnt' start until 9!! It was the best! My favorite part of the trip was being right next to the fence, right on the water, watching Fantasmic. The magic on the boys faces, especially Mackay... so awesome! He just kept saying... "Mickey Mouse, bad witch... magic wand!" then would pretend to be Mickey shooting the bad witch. So dang cute!
The next morning we packed up and went to the park one more time, this time just to buy their souvineers and get one last mint julep for Jared. Oh... and ride Splash Mountain one last time! AND... Tom Sawyers Island, and one last churro, and.... and.... we didnt' end up leaving the park until 3:30 pm. We got gas and some lunch and drove home. Didn't get here until almost 11 pm. Nothing like squeezing every last drop out of a vacation! It was our first vacation in almost 3 years. After everything we've been through together in the last year, it was nice to just be together as a family and have some fun! Jared was relaxed and fun, the kids smiled and laughed all weekend long, I felt happy and joyful and carefree for the first time in a long time. It is just a magic place. I found myself with tears in my eyes so many times... and felt so silly so many times. It's just Disneyland after all. Just Disneyland? I don't know... something about it makes it worth every last dime.