We LOVE Disneyland and the only thing we like better than taking trips to the Happiest Place on Earth is going there with our friends. We have been fortunate enough to go to Disneyland twice now with friends and we absolutely loved it. You can see my post here about our other trip with our friends the Armstrong’s.
This time we got to go to Disneyland with our adopted Aunt Rio and Uncle Kalab. We met them a few years ago in Utah and we all fell in love with them. The kids adore them and Noah and I really enjoy them as well. They would babysit for our kids when we lived in Utah and came to visit us several times when we lived in Vegas. We knew we would be moving to Alabama in a few months so we wanted to make the most of our last few months there and get in a last-minute Disneyland trip. Kalab and Rio came down from Utah to go with us. We drove and they fly. We rented a house right outside the park (which I highly recommend). It was so nice to have a house and a full kitchen and to be able to spread out while we were there. And it was much cheaper for us to all stay in the house then it would have been to rent several hotel rooms.
Our favorite time to go to Disney parks is during the holidays. Disney goes all out for the Holidays and it’s so fun to see all the cool new decorations. This trip we planned it so that we would be going during Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration AND Halloween.
The entrance to Disneyland is so much fun during Halloween. I just love all the pumpkin Characters.
One of our favorite rides at Disneyland California Adventure is Grizzly River Rapids. It’s a GREAT way to beat the heat, because you will most likely get soaked. We all definitely got extremely wet and it felt great. We like to go earlier in the day so that we can dry off during the day, it’s no fun to be wet all evening long.Aowyn was our only kid not tall enough to ride the ride so she went and stood on the bridge where the water would spray her when the boats came down the hill. She had a blast!! It was a big bummer that she couldn’t ride it though because who knows when the next time we will be on that coast and able to go back to ride that ride again will be.
Because Aowyn wasn’t big enough to ride, the other kids got super lucky and got to ride the ride twice in a row. The rider swap pass is great because it allows one parent to stay back with the child who can’t ride and then when the other parent (or adult) comes back they simply trade out and the parent who didn’t get to ride can go back straight to the front of the line and get a chance to ride the ride without having to wait. You can see more tips and tricks on my post here.
The California Screamin’ ride in California Adventure is a large roller coaster that is a ton of fun, however the height requirement on the ride is the highest in either parks and so my little ones are still to small to ride. King Tritons carousel is right next to the California Screaming’ so we always ride the carousel while we wait for the rest of our party to return.
For the 60th Celebration they had these super cute backdrops for some of the bigger more popular rides. It was so cute because you could go and pose in fun, silly ways to look like you were on the rides. The kids really likes the California Screaming’ backdrop.
Of course we had to pose in front of the 60th Celebration sign and conveniently we don’t have our 7-year-old little man pictured. Braddoc HATES taking pictures with us and will avoid it at all costs. It’s a very rare thing for him to decide he wants in on the picture. And of course when you have some random stranger take your picture you never end up with a great one. This will have to do!
I LOVE the small world ride and all of the cute characters in there. The song does however get stuck in your head and its hard to get it out, but seeing all the “hidden” Disney characters throughout the ride is a lot of fun. The kids always shout out when they see one, its like a contest to see who spots them first.
We also love to get our Mickey Ears. We buy the kids a souvenir every time we go and this year they all wanted new ears. Tayton and Landon LOVED the Star Wars ears.
We also announced to the internet world that we were expected our 5th baby. 5 kids and a family of 7, my the odds be ever in our favor.
We try to put the boys all in themed shirts so that if one of them goes missing we can say, “They have on (this themed) shirt.” to the people who are helping us find them. I know in the stress of losing a child that its hard to remember what exactly they are wearing. This trip we actually lost Aowyn for a minute (but it felt like an eternity). It was the scariest time in my life. I had one kid with me, Kalab and Rio had another one and then I thought Noah had two in the stroller. When we left the area we went to get a time pass for the next ride we all thought we had the kids. Between 4 adults you would think we would have track of all of the kids. It turns out that Aowyn slipped out of the front seat of the stroller (that you can’t see if you are pushing the stroller) and walked over to see the water. After about 100 yards I caught up to Noah to do a head count and realized that Aowyn was not in the stroller. I frantically ran back to find her and she was standing right there where we had been last, sobbing. I was a bit irritated because she was right in front of the information desk where two cast members were standing and they could both see her. She was obviously in distress and crying and neither of them even tried to see if she was okay. I am so grateful to have found her. It was less than a minute between the time we left her and the time we got back to her but it was the scariest minute ever. She still reminds me of this day often. It breaks my heart that she had to go through the fear of thinking she was lost.
We always try to make them a Disney theme. One day we did Star Wars, one day was Mickey and one day was Pixar.
Each time we go to the park we are able to get a handicap pass for our son with Autism (you can read some of my Autism Mom posts here). The passes are great because they allow us to wait for the ride outside of the ride so that he doesn’t get overwhelmed by standing in line. We get a return time and can go do something else while we wait. Each time I get the passes the kids go wait with Dad at the Fire Station on Main Street next to Town Hall and they always take a picture on the old Fire Engine (cart.) I love seeing all the pictures that they take on the rides. Since I can’t see my kids faces during the ride it is always fun to see their expressions when we get off. Splash Mountain is our families favorite ride at the Disneyland Park and its one we can all ride so of course we have to ride it multiple times.
There is a big giant ball that rolls around in the water outside of Space Mountain and for some reason my kids are all obsessed with it.
Kalab rocking the Darth Mickey ears. We got the most comments on those ears. EVERYONE wanted them and would ask us where we found them.
This trip was the first time that our whole family could ride Space Mountain. The little two were scared at first but ended up loving it so we rode it several times. During Halloween Disneyland turns a couple of rides into Halloween “scary” themed rides and Space Mountain is one of them. It has fire ghost all through it so instead of it just being a ride in space you are hit with fire ghosts around every turn. Its pretty exciting. My handsome hubbies birthday is the end of September and that’s usually when we go because the Halloween stuff is already up and the parks aren’t nearly as busy so we usually end up spending his birthday at Disneyland… what a lucky guy.
These two are just two big kids together. They were goofing off while we waited for the Jungle Cruise. It was Noah’s birthday and Kalab’s first time at Disneyland….. lets just say that Disneyland doesn’t look highly upon adults goofing off and they were reprimand almost as soon as we took this picture by a few of the Disney Cast members…. shame on you over grown boys. We also LOVE Tower of Terror in California Adventure. It has to be one of my most favorite rides. I have however heard that they are talking about changing it to fit with the Super Hero theme that the park is going too in that section… I hope that’s not true because I really love this ride. This trip was also Aowyn’s first time riding this ride. I thought she wouldn’t want to ride it but she did and she ended up loving it, don’t let her scared look fool you, she begged to ride it over and over again. The kids love to look at the map and plan out where we are going to go next. They had a good planning session while we at lunch in California Adventure.
I saw the houndstooth Halloween style Mickey Ears and HADE to buy them. I LOVE them!!! They combined two of my most favorite things and turned them into Mickey Ears… it doesn’t get much better then that.
The Haunted Mansion has always been the best ride in my opinion. They go all out inside that ride and in true Disney fashion not a single thing is forgotten. I love looking at all the props and special effects that go into play to make this ride what it is. The Haunted Mansion is another ride that Disney re-does for Halloween. The ride becomes A Nightmare Before Christmas complete with everything spooky to turn it into a journey through the movie. Jack Skellington would be proud.
I always get a scary taste of what it will be like when my boys start driving when we ride the Autotopia ride. Hopefully they improve their driving skills drastically in the next few years.
A Bugs Land is such fun area that’s made to make you feel like you are tiny like a bug. Its a great area for those little riders in your group. I think we are outgrowing this area because the kids only wanted to ride one ride here before moving onto bigger and better things.
No trip to Disney is complete without seeing the Characters and giving them lots of hugs. This trip we were so busy running to rides that we missed a lot of the characters but anytime we had a chance to see them we did. Braddoc rarely will get in the picture with Characters so when he does we take full advantage of getting pictures. He used to be terrified of the Characters but now he loves to give them hugs and high fives.
I loved seeing the mixture of the Diamond Celebration and the Halloween decorations. This sign is one of my favorite. I want to put this on a sign and hang it in our front entry. I get all giddy like a little kid and my breath catches in my throat when we first walk into the park and see this sign. I feel like a little kid every time we go to Disneyland, it really is The Happiest Place on Earth.
For each Halloween they put out this huge Mickey Pumpkin at the start of Main Street so you can take your picture with it. We have one here almost every time we have come, its so much fun to see the kids grow. Heres one from our trip when I was pregnant with Aowyn.
I love that the Characters on Main Street are all dressed in Halloween Costumes. Donald is a pumpkin, Minnie is a Witch, Mickey is a Wizard/Sorcerer, Goofy is a Skeleton and you can see Chip and Dale in the background as old timey policemen. We also pose in front of Mr Toads Wild ride.
Picture from a few years past:
The flowers and plants all around the park are so gorgeous!! I love looking at them and seeing all the work that goes into keep the park beautiful and fun and exciting for families. The Story Book Canal ride is a ton of fun. I have always been a sucker for miniature things and seeing some of the Disney Stories come to life in miniature form on this ride is a blast. They even added in Anna and Elsa’s castle to the ride since we had been there last.
Pooh’s Corner is right outside Splash Mountain so we had to get our pictures with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger while we were there. Tayton has always loved Winnie the Pooh, he even had a birthday party that was 100 Acre Woods themed (go here to see that party.)
Last but certainly not least on this trip we tried to catch the Fairies over in Pixie Hollow but we got there too late to be able to see them for the day and we were leaving the next day. Even though we missed the Fairies we were able to see Tinkerbell’s house and some of the other fun things that Pixie Hollow has to offer.
We are sad to be moving across country and away from Disneyland but so excited to be moving closer to Disney World (only 4.5 hours away), so now we have lots of fun memories to make at Disney World. Noah and I had our honeymoon at Disney World but our kids have never been. We are so excited to take them and hope that it’s sooner rather than later.
See my Tips and Tricks Post here:
See my Ride Tips here: