Friday, August 23, 2013

"The Happiest Place on Earth"

Everyone's childhood memories should include Disneyland, right?  Jason and I decided long ago that since we love to travel and experience new things, our family would probably not be the kind that went to Disneyland every chance we got.  We definitely wanted to take our kids, but if we only went a few times, we wanted to make sure it was for something special.  We decided that it would be to celebrate a milestone- starting kindergarten!  Our family went several years ago for Grace, and with Jeremy entering kindergarten this year, our family has been looking forward to this special trip for quite some time.  Hard to believe that we're celebrating our "little boy" becoming a "big boy" and heading off to school!  

We returned from Edmonton on Saturday, rested up, did laundry, and repacked our bags to hit the road on Sunday.  We got a 3-day hopper pass and decided we'd spend a whole day in Disneyland, a whole day in California Adventure, and then the last day would be spent between the two parks.  We stayed at a suites hotel several miles from the parks and took advantage of their shuttle buses.  

Jason's mom came with us for Grace's trip, so of course we wanted her to come for Jeremy's trip.  Our friends, the Wiens family, got annual Disney passes this year, and so they also joined us. 

Jason's Memories
Jason's favorite ride was the Tower of Terror, and he somehow convinced Grace to go with him.  She did (and says it was her worst).
 He loved California Screaming (and went several times).  
He also says he loved hanging out with our friends, and that I went on some rides, particularly me on the Radiator Springs Racers.

Grace's Memories
"I will never forget going on the Tower of Terror.  It was so creepy and kinda scary.  I remember meeting lots of characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Mary Poppins.
I loved Star Tours, California Screaming rollercoaster, the Toy Story one, the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jedi Training."

Jeremy's Memories
"I remember the Cars Land rides.  I went on the water one (Grizzly Run).  I liked Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story ride and Star Tours and Space Mountain and Water Mountain (Splash Mountain) and the one that goes around and around (Astro Orbitor).  I liked meeting Mickey and some other ones."

Jeremy was heartbroken he didn't get chosen to train as a Jedi (Grace did), and he cried for most of the show.  We felt so bad for him (he loves Star Wars), so we decided to get him a custom lightsaber so he could keep training at home. 

Jane's Memories
I am not a risk-taker... I get nauseous very easily... I do not like roller coasters...  I do not like that "tickle-in-your-tummy" feeling...  (I blame my parents!  I often think that if my parents had encouraged me to take more risks when I was younger, I wouldn't be such a scaredy-cat!  I can blame my parents because my sister and brother feel the exact same way as I do when it comes to roller coasters and stuff like this! It must connect back to my parents!)  Knowing this about myself, I am perfectly content to go along anyway and be a spectator.  I expect to sit around and wait while others go on rides and do "crazy" things, hahaha.  However, this trip was huge for me, in that I worked up a tiny bit of courage to go on a few rides.  It mostly came from thinking, "If Jeremy isn't scared, maybe I should try it..."  It's amazing, right, that my 5 year old son could make me totally re-evaluate fears I've had pretty much my whole life.  Anyway, I am proud of myself for going on:
 Splash Mountain (Mom and I got completely soaked!)
 Radiator Springs Racers (omg, what a ride)

I loved the shooting rides we went on- Astroblasters and Toy Story Midway Mania.
And while I waited for the others, I treated myself to snacks like:
I also spent time watching Gabe so that Aaron and Christa could go on rides (I wasn't going to ride anyway, so I was happy to hang out with him so they could go)
Such a cutie! 

Here are a few more random pics from our trip:

We overpaid to have breakfast with Micky and Friends (such a rip off, but since we did Ariel's Grotto with Grace, Jeremy got to choose Surf's Up)
We stayed late one evening for fireworks, and then next night, we stayed for the World of Colors show.  We enjoyed both, and the kids did great despite waking up early and staying up late for all of our 3 days.

Things We Could've Done Without
-Our musty and damp hotel room
-the awful traffic driving down to Disneyland (due to construction)
-Mike & Sully to the Rescue Ride (considering that we spent 45 mins. in line, this ride was a let down for all of us)
-can you believe that we can't think of anything else?!

Things We Want to Remember in Case We Go Again
-we brought our own food for lunch and snacks and then bought dinner in both parks
-no more character meals!!!
-Turtle Talk with Crush and the Animation building was a nice break from the heat
-California Adventure closes earlier than Disneyland
-the 2nd showing of the World of Colors is later, but would give us better views
-get Fast Passes for Radiator Springs Racers as soon as we get into the park!!!!
-buying Disney t-shirts beforehand at home saved us money as opposed to buying them for more at the parks

Our whole family had an AWESOME time and we are so glad we got to share such wonderful memories with Grandma and the Wiens family!

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