I just got my photos back from our trip to Disneyland, YAY!  This was our first family trip to the most magical place on Earth, Disneyland. The kids and I don't think any of us were prepared for the excitement or magic awaiting us.

We surprised the kids right after school (watch video here)  just before scooping them up into the car. They couldn't believe we were actually going and that we were leaving in a matter of minutes. We left baby Ivory with grandma because she is too big to carry all day and too little to enjoy or remember the trip.  I was definitely reluctant to leave my little Button but after 15 min at the park I knew it was the smart decision, she would have been a sweaty cranky baby the whole time.

Balloons and Mickey

The 5 hour car ride was relatively painless thanks to the travel bags Mickey Mouse sent to the kids (they were in the surprise box that came the balloons and a note from Mickey).  We got to the hotel pretty late so the kids went to bed willingly with the pending day of happiness only hours away.

Lathered in sunscreen with 2 backpacks stuffed full of necessities and snacks we hitched a ride on the trolly to the Disney California Adventure park for Day 1 of fun. I will say that we had the unfortunate luck of going during a record breaking heat wave in Cali. It must have been hotter at the park than it was in Phoenix that weekend which was an unexpected plot twist for us because we thought we would be escaping the heat. The joke was most definitely on us because I get irritable heat disorder when I get too hot. No body likes a grumpy pants at the happiest place on earth (#lookout).

I also feel bad for the Boss because me and my 3 little kids are little sissies when it comes to riding rides. We were even a little scared on the Cars ride and I think that has a fear factor of zero. LOL. I wasn't bothered at all when Dempsey was too short to ride most of the rides because those were usually the rides I was too afraid to get on anyways so I was happy to stay with her safely on the ground. Kingston and London quickly stopped trusting their dad when he would try and coerce  them into riding the much faster and taller rides, poor guy just wanted a little thrill and instead he got a whole lot of carousels and baby rides.

carousels and baby rides

Day two was even HOTTER than we bargained for but even more fun because we went to the main Disneyland park. Call me sentimental but I am a sucker for the iconic Disneyland castle and the classic Disney rides and characters. We got our fill of the Tea Cup ride and It's a Small World, LOL!

Our strategy was to ride as many indoor rides as we could hit during the afternoon when it was the hottest. I think we had at least 10 frozen lemonades in an attempt to cool down. We zipped all over that park jumping from one ride to the next cutting across the park to see specific shows the kids requested as well. If it wasn't so hot I would have loved to go one more day to catch all the rides and shows we missed but I don't think the Boss would have been able to handle 4 whiny wimps another day.

We tried to take some decent photos the first day but juggling three kids plus all of our stuff in a chaotic theme park makes it kind of a challenge to stop and capture those perfect photos. I was so unbelievably thankful when Jaana (from Photography by Jaana) commented on one of my IG photos about her Disneyland photography. I didn't even know that you could hire someone to take photos at Disneyland but by the end of the first day I could see very well why you would want to.

By nothing short of a scheduling miracle Jaana was able to join us for Day 2 at Disneyland and aside from the actual tickets to Disneyland it was the BEST investment of the whole trip. Me and my kids have looked at these photos at least 100 times since we got them and I can't wait to have them printed in a book for them.

We keep laughing and talking about all the experiences we had and I am just so thankful to have some amazing pictures to remember our trip.  I tried to narrow it down to my fav photos to share with you but there are just so many good ones I had to include a bunch. Thank you again Jaana for capturing our memories so perfectly!

[click thumbnails to view photo gallery]

Favorite things from our Disney trip:

DempseyFace painting, frozen lemonade, It's a Small World, Toontown, Carousels, Disney Junior Live on Stage and the Dumbo ride. She cried her eyes out when the Dumbo ride was over!

London – The Tangled show, Mickey Mouse ears, meeting the princesses, the acorn roller coaster in Toontown (I've never seen her SO EXCITED in my life), Little Mermaid ride, The Aladdin show,  Fantasmic Light show.

Kingston – Grizzly River Run (hands down his fav), frozen lemonade, Mickey and the Magic Map show, Toy Story/Midway Mania ride, Star-wars Jedi Training Academy, Tarzan's Treehouse, all the gift shops. (He loves to look and look!)

Me – Turkey leg! (lets just say ALL THE FOOD to cover my bases), the Aladdin show, World of Color light show, Pirates of the Caribbean ride (and not just bc it's indoors and air conditioned), Main street shops, Tarzan's Treehouse, All of Fantasyland, my all time favorite thing is hearing my kids replay stories from our trip. I love hearing their memories from their own perspective and seeing their faces light up when they talk about it!

Boss Man – I asked him about his favorite things from the trip and you can tell he is a lot more sentimental than I am from his answer. He said ” I loved how much the kids liked the little roller coaster in Toontown. I loved watching them watch all the shows. Probably my fav was watching London give a jewel to each princess. I loved both water shows. I loved the look on their faces after they saw their face paint. Too many things. I could go on and on.” Awe! Such a good daddy!

My favorite quote from the whole trip was from London. “Next time we come to Disneyland we need to bring a pickax!” LOL! I can't even explain to you the context of this conversation.  LOL.

I think we definitely have enough memories to last us a few years until our next trip, hopefully we get to go again when Ivory is old enough to enjoy it! There is certainly no place on earth like Disneyland, it's like getting to play inside someone's vivid imagination. I am sad the dream is over but so incredibly happy we got to go.