The Happiest Place on Earth {Part 1}

If you are visiting from Kelly's Korner, welcome! 
We just got back from 3 days at Disneyland/California Adventure!
Disneyland is one of my favorite places to go and with kids, it is even more magical!

Last Friday, we headed down to Southern California to attend the wedding of one of our former youth group kids. The wedding was on a Friday afternoon, so Kevin and I thought it would be fun if we took the kids with us and then surprise them on Saturday morning by taking them to Disneyland for the weekend. Even though we live in California, we have never taken them to Disneyland.
(We did go on a Disney Cruise & DisneyWorld during the summer of 2011. You can read about it Here, Here & Here)
 We left Friday morning to head down south. Highway 5 is looooong and boring.
 Luckily, I had Starbucks. And, curlers in my hair. You see, our hotel was at Disneyland, so we were going straight to the wedding without going to the hotel. 
Gotta love no make up & wearing curlers in your hair for a 6 hour car ride.
 And, I graded 160 math tests (since I was playing hooky from school, I needed to get work done!)
When we got into town, we stopped at Coffee Bean (my favorite) and changed clothes in their bathroom. Are we classy or what?
At the wedding. Make up on & no more curlers.
The happy couple.
While we were at the wedding, my mother in law took the girls to Chuck E Cheese in the same town the reception was in. We invited my mother in law to come with us so she could watch the girls during the reception and then come to Disneyland with us. 
After the wedding, we drove to Disneyland & checked into our hotel after 11pm.
I was so excited about the big surprise in the morning!
The next morning we asked them "If you could do anything today, what would you want to do?"  Claire says, "Go to Disneyland"
And, then we said, "Perfect, because we are AT DISNEYLAND!"
I had shirts for all of them to wear. Here is Luke in his:
{Shirts from Here

We ate breakfast at the hotel & walked across the street to Disneyland!
Don't forget your 1st time buttons from Customer Relations!

 It was a beautiful 85 degree day! We totally lucked out with the weather.
Main St. Disneyland.
Hi, Walt & Mickey!
Glad I remembered to bring their mouse ears. Kate asked for them as soon as we said where we were going.
First ride, the Carrousel.
When we went on the Disney Cruise, Kate could care less about the characters. She was all about them on this trip.
Train Ride
 Toon Town:
Luke's first pair of ears!
Small World. Luke LOVED this ride. Stimulation Overload.
Parade Time! We got awesome seats because we were having an ice cream break about 30 minutes before the parade started.

Our kids were SPENT by dinner time. It was a full, fun day. 

Tips from the first day:
  • We had no agenda. Since we were going to be there for 3 days, we took it easy the first day.
  • No real plan. If there was a ride that the girls wanted to go on, my mother in law got fast passes for all of us while we stood in line for another line.
  • We brought in our own lunch (to save $) and made sure we had lots of snacks to avoid meltdowns.
  • Since it was so warm out we made sure we did an inside ride, then an outside ride. (Inside rides we love Winnie the Pooh, Small World, Nemo Submarine, Buzz Light Year, Pirates of the Caribbean, Roger Rabbit. Luke was able to go on all these rides also!)
  •  We brought our Double Bob stroller. Luke & Claire sat in the seats and Kate sat on the big foot rest of the Bob. Worked perfectly.
We headed back to the hotel to give them dinner & put them to bed. 
Then, my mother in law stayed in the hotel with the kids & then Kevin and I had a date night! 
Woot Woot!
First thing on our agenda was to head to California Adventure & go on Tower of Terror:

The last time Kevin and I went to Disneyland was 11 years ago (we took my younger sister Becks for her 18th birthday). California Adventure had just opened up the year before, but we didn't go. So, this was our first time going. That night we didn't explore the park, we just went on Tower of Terror.

Have you been on that ride? OH MY GOSH. SO fun. So Scary. Love it.

This ride is like an elevator that drops you several floors, a very quickly & multiple times.
The first drop, I grabbed Kevin's leg AND the leg of the random girl next to me. That was embarrassing.
Then we ran over to Disneyland to go on rides there. The fireworks show was going on, which is gorgeous. But that means....less people in lines for the fun rides! Woot Woot!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle lit up at night:

Walt & Mickey at night:

We went on some of our favorite rides, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn and my favorite...

Check out the hidden Mikey face in the seats of Space Mountain:

It was so fun running around the park at night like a bunch of kids (without our kids!)
We got back to the hotel around midnight and went to sleep for a few hours.
We would be waking up early the next morning to go to California Adventure, we couldn't wait to check out the new Cars Land!

Read Part 2 {HERE}
Read Part 3{HERE}


  1. What an amazing trip!!! (I can't believe you got ready in a car and a loo! I don't look that well put together getting ready at home!lol) I love the girls expressions in these pics, they look so in awe!! Awesome that you got your own time to head out too!! Looking forward to part 2!

  2. How fun! I would have totally blown the surprise before we got there.
    And random, but where did you get in your shirt that you wore that day? It is too cute!

  3. Love the curlers in the hair picture! I do that often myself.

    You did well hiding such a big surprise...and packing all of the goodies to go along with it.

  4. That looks like sooo much fun! My 4 year old is BEGGING to go. I'm pretty sure we're going to take our kids in October, so I'm loving all the tips and ideas! Plus, those shirts are to-die-for! Did you have the mouse ears made before you went or just get them there?

  5. Youre making me about 3 clicks from booking another trip! Man I miss this place!!

  6. I love, love, love this post! I love surprises like this and I love Disney...so cute! Your kids look absolutely precious in their Disney shirts too. So sweet!

  7. This looks like so much fun (and it makes me missing living at Disney World like crazy)! I love that it was totally a surprise and Claire asked to go to Disneyland. You guys are the most fun parents ever! And as always, your pictures are wonderful!

  8. so great. i love disneyland, and have so many great memories going with my family growing up. your kids are gonna have some great ones. :)

    and i love that they wear their ears. :) classic.


  9. such great photos!
    the girls look so happy to be there!

  10. Love all the photos! It makes me want to go so bad!! Your kids' faces make me happy--so filled with joy!!

  11. YAY!!! Disney is the BEST! We used to live in SoCal and went often, but now we live in GA and haven't been in 2 years (although we have been to WDW.) My boys are DYING to go to Cars Land. We will be there in July. My kids are already counting down the days (confession: so am I!)

  12. My shirt is from Old Navy (circa Fall 2011) We got the girls their mouse ears when we went to Disney World 2 years ago.

  13. Oh, and we got Luke's ears the 1st day we were at Disneyland!

  14. So fun that you guys got to have a date at the park!! I kind of want to go to Disney without Pearson! Of course I want to take him someday, but I've heard it a different experience at each age. I went at age 4, age 10 and age 17. So now it's time to go as an adult, then I can go as a Mommy! Ha!!

  15. I LOVE that you got a date night at Disneyland! How fun was that?!! We go almost every year, we love it!

  16. yay for the bean! we will be there (at the bean, not disneyland) next week. WE MUST play after spring break. It's been way too long.

  17. SO MUCH FUN!!! Your family is adorable! Love that you brought your MIL so you could have family fun and date times too! Great idea.



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