*My family and I were invited to preview the new holiday features at The Disneyland Resort on behalf of Savvy Sassy Moms. All opinions are mine. Be prepared, this post is long and features lots of reminiscing.
I grew up in Anaheim. Which means I got to go to Disneyland a lot. We had annual passes for many years and one of those years was the 30th year anniversary celebration in 1985. Every time you went through the gate you got something. It was usually a collectible pin, but you could also win tickets to Disneyland. My mom would take us every day after school to see what we would win (I mean, there were also cars, etc. that were up for grabs). I remember even going in the rain. Clearly, that is not ideal. You could say that Disneyland had lost its sparkle for me. And getting to go so often, on off-peak times, makes you a little bit reluctant to deal with the crowds. And then I had children. You know that you will end up at Disneyland at some point (and oh yeah, now there is also California Adventure which is super new to me since that was not around during my kid years). We waited until my oldest son was 4 before taking him the first time. I wanted to make sure he could really experience all of it. And, well, he wasn’t very expressive with his emotions and I felt like if I was going to spend the money, I need some high-pitched screaming or jazz hands at the very least.
So my almost five-year old had never been. When I was asked to cover the holiday preview at both parks for Savvy Sassy Moms (go read the full post over there where I give all the details on the holiday features) I started to get really excited. He would give me the child-like wonder I wanted to see. So I kept the trip a surprise and told them the morning of. We would have two-day park hopper passes and get to stay a night at the Disneyland Hotel. The only HUGE bummer was that my husband was in Australia on business so he couldn’t experience it with us! I texted him pictures constantly though. And my mom came with me which was huge. Not only is she a HUGE help to me, it was also fun going back to a place I had been so many times with her.
The boys couldn’t have been more excited! We stopped by the hotel to drop off our bags before heading to the parks. I know that I have been to the hotel before (back in college I think?) but what I found was a really nicely done hotel. While it had hidden Mickeys and character features, it didn’t feel child-like. The colors were great, the materials were nice and I really liked it. And we hadn’t even seen the room yet! We decided to hit the parks and sneak back later to change in to pants for the evening.
We headed straight to Cars Land and started riding the rides. The boys were in heaven. And since it was a Thursday, the crowds were not that bad. We rode three rides and then made our way to Radiator Springs Racers.
Where the line was quite long. The boys were really good for about 20 minutes but then I started hearing, “Mommy, I want to go home.” What? No. But they persevered and when we finally got to ride it. O loved it. M said he really liked it but finally changed his mind to say it was scary. But that was their first fast ride and it made me remember how much fun the rides at Disneyland are. Evey where you look, whether you are waiting in line to actually on the ride, the details are just amazing. And the staff is incredible. They are so friendly, full of amazing information and really do make your time in the parks enjoyable.
Oh yeah and we might have gotten THE RADDEST THING EVER along with my “media” pass. When we checked in for the blogger event we were given coupons for a few of the rides. With these, we could walk in the exit and walk RIGHT ON THE RIDE! Boom.
I was super excited to find out that one such pass could be used on It’s a Small World, my favorite ride. You guys! I just really love that ride! From the way the building looks to the all the colors and happiness on the inside, I just really freaking love it. I was excited to share it with the kids too.
The coolest part is that they have given it a holiday make-over. In almost every area, there are holiday decorations that go along with the country represented. There are carols playing and everything seem even more joyous than usual. It was so rad to watch the kid’s faces. I suddenly realized that I had a smile on my face for the entire ride. What a nerd. [Read more...]