Thursday, April 10, 2014

Disneyland, Again

Every year I say that this year will be the last time we come to Disneyland for a while. But then come summer I start looking for seat sales, and hotel deals, and before I know we're booked to return at spring break.

This year was no different. 

Disneyland is currently my absolute favourite place to go as a family. There is something for everyone of every age. 

When we first took the kids, Eamon was just over a year old. He couldn't go on very many rides, but he got on enough to be happy and he thoroughly enjoyed them - especially the carousel. But the best part, because he wasn't yet two, his flight was free. And because he wasn't yet three, he got into Disneyland for free!

As for Meaghan on that first trip, she was three so we had to buy her a ticket. She could go on more rides than Eamon, but the big thrill for her was to be able to see the Disney princesses in person. At that age she absolutely believed that she was seeing the real princesses. The look on her face when she saw her favourite, Aurora, was outstanding. Very little beats that complete look of delight, joy and love.

As the kids have grown older the thrill of the princesses has declined and no one cares about having a photo with Tinkerbell, the thrill of the rides has increased. Every trip they get on at least one new (and bigger and scarier) ride. 

Back when Tinkerbell was magical and amazing.

This year, Meaghan would have quite happily remained drenched the entire trip if it meant another go around on Splash Mountain. She's surprised she's never wanted to try it before, but this was the year to be brave and get wet. 

Eamon heard lots about Space Mountain last year and decided he would try it out this trip. He loved it! Unfortunately for Kerry and I, he's not yet old enough to ride on his own so one of us had to go with him. I don't really love it, but closed eyes and yoga-style breathing got me through it.

Even though we've been a few times now, there remains rides the kids have not yet tried. Meaghan continues to build up her confidence and nerve to try out California Screaming. That loop de loop is rather terrifying. Eamon has grown enough now to try out Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, that ride was closed this trip, but Eamon talks excitedly about riding it next time.

Even Kerry had something to look forward to this spring. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad recently reopened after a lengthy shutdown for refurbishment. In true Disney style, the changes made to the ride made it faster, louder and more exciting.

But, as the kids have grown and as we continue our not-quite-annual treks, Disneyland has become more than just the rides. Both kids notice details now and have started looking for the hidden Mickeys throughout the park. They are happy to slow down a bit and enjoy just being there. They want to see the parade, the fireworks, and some of the shows on offer. While we can't pack in everything every time we go, we do get to see different things every time we go. This year we finally made it to Aladdin. I can't believe it took us so long.

But, this is the magic of Disneyland: If you go for just one day you have a fabulous time and don't really feel like you're missing out or getting ripped off. If you go multiple times throughout the year you continue to find hidden gems to prevent the feeling that you've seen it all and are getting ripped off.

I'm still glowing from our visit, so expect a few more posts over the next while about some of my favourite bits.


  1. Great post! I miss Disneyland and it hasn't even been quite a year yet since we were there. It's a magical place for all ages.

  2. Sounds like, for your family, it truly is the Happiest Place on Earth!