We took a trip out to visit my oldest BFF and her family in Huntington Beach, California. You know what’s nearby? Disneyland! The kids didn’t even know that there was such a place. But they know Disney. They know the movies and the characters and the songs. So we knew they would be amazed once they got there. Jeff’s parents were gracious enough to gift us tickets to the land of magic and even let us use their timeshare.
We left the RV and doggie at my mom’s in AZ, rented a car, and took off for the west coast! First on the agenda was to visit Claudia. We have been friends since the 1st grade. Our meeting went something like “Hi, my birthday is June 4th, when is yours?”. “MINE toooooooo!” And the rest is history. We hadn’t seen eachother in over 3 years and were long overdue for a visit. We hung out at the condo. We went to the beach. We played miniature golf. We talked and laughed. The kids played and had a sleepover. We may not see eachother or talk as often as we’d like, but seeing the kids interact…mini versions of ourselves…full circle, just makes me happy inside.
There was no mention of Disneyland. I knew if I mentioned it we would have to hear about it every single day until the day we went. So we kept mum. And it was AGONIZING! I also knew they would ask for every single trinket and treasure once we got into the park and let’s be honest, that would break our budget. So I went to the store and bought them some things:
-a cute necklace & bracelet (so they wouldn’t ask for ones in the park)
-new purses with matching sunglasses (so they could carry their own things & protect the eyes while we were out all day)
-a tiny pad of paper, matching tiny pen & stickers (to keep them busy while we were in lines)
-a light up stick thing from the $1 section (so they could join in during the light parade & we wouldn’t have to spend $20 on something that lit up)
-fruit strip & granola bar
The next morning they woke up to their surprises. Then we told them to get dressed because we had somewhere to go: a park. We hopped on the shuttle that led from the resort to the park. Everyone was wearing Disneyland ears, shirts adorned with characters. There was chatter about the park and rides. Still, the girls were clueless. Lilly kept saying “Why are we taking a bus to the park? Why is it taking so long? What is the park?”. A lady overheard and was astonished that we were able to keep it a surprise. The shuttle stopped, we got off and Lilly, perplexed about the lack of this being a park, started to question it until I pointed up at the sign and she read it. “Disneyland!”. There was some jumping up and down and excitement just over the word, but really they had no idea what was to come. They were amazed and starry eyed for the rest of the day.
We rode so many rides. We learned about Fast Passes and thanks to a friend’s suggestions (thx Angela if you’re reading this!) we were able to avoid a day of long lines. I think the Dumbo ride may have been our longest wait!
We arrived during the Magic Morning hours where if you paid extra, you get in early. We didn’t do that so we had to wait around a little. But that meant the line to get in was short. But then we got to the Main Street USA area and had to wait for them to let us non special pass holders in. The kids were already wide eyed and amazed. As soon as they let us in, we darted over to Tomorrowland where we attempted to get the kids into the Jedi Training at the Star Wars Launch Bay. Sadly, all of the spots had been taken for the whole day due to the early comers. So we grabbed a FASTPASS for Star Tours and hopped in the quick moving line of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The kids loved zipping around, spinning and shooting the aliens. Smiles on their faces, we went across the way to hop in line for Star Tours. We didn’t even need the fastpass, as the regular line was going very quick at that time of day. This ride was a 3D motion-simulated flight. They LOVED it! Violet giggled with glee as Lilly at 1st denounced this was fake, tried to figure out what was going on over the top of her 3D glasses and then ultimately gave in and squealed with delight. They were hooked on the rides and the lights and the sensations.
The rides and attractions for our day were as follows:
-Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
-Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (where Lilly insisted on telling us the WHOLE time that it was fake)
-Sleeping Beauty Castle
-Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
-Gadget’s Go Coaster (where Lilly and I rode in the front seat, hands up!)
Then, snacks depleted & little legs getting tired, we left for a very late lunch/early dinner back at the resort. Once we gained our second wind, bellies full, we went back to the park for more fun! This time we rode:
-Mad Tea Party
-Alice in Wonderland
-watched a small portion of the light parade