Disneyland! Better than we expected!

Expectations of Disneyland

If you want to have a remarkable time making memories as a family, you have to visit Disneyland Park in California. It surpassed our expectations!

We made some AMAZING memories at Disneyland! We thought it would be fun, nice, a decent time. Wow, we were way off base! We were absolutely surprised but how much we LOVED going to Disneyland. They treat you so well, everyone is polite and helpful, and it’s SO clean. Overall we had a great experience and this post is packed full of pictures of all the fun we had.

Disney was our plan of attack after my husband returned from his trip to Paris, France. My mom,  Grandma Sandy had just spent an entire week with us and we were ready for a day or two to get ready for Disney. Time to play, learn, catch up with Daddy and relax a bit. 

We celebrated Gwen’s 5th birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 3rd and had all her favorite meals. We took her swimming and to the playground and called it a great day!

Preparing for our Disney Trip

The night before our day at Disneyland, I made sure to shower all the kids, pick out everyone’s outfits, and get to bed early. Disneyland was the next day!!

I made fried egg sandwiches ahead of time so that they could eat in the van for the long morning drive the next day.

The kids knew why we needed to get to sleep early. We were leaving for Disneyland at 6:30 am the next day! 

It wasn’t only the kids that were excited, but Tony and I were too! Yes, I said Tony was excited to go to Disney too 😉 We were looking forward to giving our kiddos the experience of Disney and make some great family memories. Boy did we ever! 

Caffeinate yourself, Parents!

But first, we needed coffee….and a bathroom break during our 1 1/2 hour drive to Disney from our campground. So we grabbed the adults some much-needed ‘fuel’ at Starbucks while stopping for the kiddos to use the bathroom. We learned that gas stations in California do not have bathrooms, and many restaurants have coded locks on them. We have learned that we usually have to make a purchase to use the bathroom. 

Starbucks has been our go-to while needing potty breaks in California! As we do not mind spending a few dollars on an espresso or americano to use a clean bathroom. 🙂 

Parking and Strollers at Disneyland

We arrived before 9:00 am to the parking garage and went through security before loading onto the tram. I made the mistake of bringing our bottle of kombucha in our coolor….it’s glass….oops! They poured it into a cup for us so the kids could drink it while walking and threw the glass away. No problem! 

We figured out that our bike-trailer-stroller was supposed to go on the last car of the tram, as we couldn’t fold it up. Luckily the nice tram employee helped us into the front car with the handicapped people after we had worked our way to the front of the line for the second car not knowing this! 

Amazing Customer Service at Disneyland

I have to say right here and now that during our entire experience at Disneyland, EVERY person who worked there was exceptionally nice. They were super helpful, very polite and very cheerful. Even the parking lot attendant guy!

We planned to arrive when Disneyland opened at 9:00 am but we didn’t walk in until 9:20 after all the parking and tram riding. 

We made it to Disney!!

Potty Breaks for the Littles – Take them Often!

Riley really wanted to sign up for “Jedi Training” so we had to rush back to the Starwars area right away to sign him up. While Tony took Riley back, I stood in line with the girls for our first ride. Needless to say, I wished we would have done a potty break beforehand! Jasmine was dancing around like crazy and we were getting to the front of the line already! I texted Tony and he and Riley were on their way back so I quickly handed Jas over the rail to Tony so he could run her back to the bathroom, then he handed her back over the rail to me in time to get on the ride. Shesh! We learned our lesson. Bathroom breaks before standing in line!

Rides to Enjoy at Disneyland

We loved Mickey’s Toon Town and all the fun things to see and do there. If you have little kiddos, and you can only make it to part of the park, be sure to get back to Mickey’s Toon Town. 

The weather was amazing and Tony made the comment that while we were in Toon Town we felt like we were in a fake bubble or something. Look at the crisp blue sky that is REAL and then the Toon Town decor and buildings! It was pretty crazy. 

Jasmine LOVED the roller coaster and screamed when we got off because she wanted to go on again. 

Gwendolyn was excited to go on a big-kid ride with Lilya and Riley to Space Mountain. However, after that, she no longer wanted to go on the ‘big-kid’ rides. I think it was too scary for her. She loved going to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. She asked to change into her dress to walk through it….then afterward wanted to change out of her dress to ride on the Tea Cups again. 🙂 

Lilya loved Splash Mountain and managed to go on a few of the big kids rides with Tony and Riley while I took Gwen and Jasmine to rides like Dumbo and the Carousel. 

The entire family did manage to enjoy the Carousel another time, as the line was the shortest and fastest to get through. 

Riley really liked Space Mountain, even if Gweny was terrified!

However, Riley LOVED Jedi Training!

Jedi Training at Disneyland

Jedi Training was the highlight of our time at Disneyland. Remember, Tony had to take Riley to sign him up only 20 minutes after the park opened, and he barely got a spot for the 3:30 show! It’s a very popular event!

Then, at 3 o’clock Riley arrived 30 minutes before the ‘show’, aka ‘training’. He was given a robe and some instructions and lined up with all the other kids and marched onto the stage. The girls and I sat on the ground right up front to see the entire show. The actors ‘trained’ the children while acting out a scene with Darth Vador and the new villain (name??).  During the show/training each child was able to battle one of the villains. Riley took his job seriously and even helped use the force to open up the stage in order to reveal the villains. 

That is when Jasmine started to cry! She was terrified until I was able to calm her down and explain that it just pretend. Then she started to get excited for Riley. It was an awesome 30-minute performance by some fantastic actors and many children including Riley!

We grabbed dinner at the grill and watched the second showing of Jedi training that did not include Riley. He was excited to see it from an audience side of things. 

The kids were excited to use their spending money from their grandparents to buy some yummy treats throughout the day! 

They also liked looking through the shops trying to decide what souvenir they wanted to buy at the end of the day. We did tell them we’d make the purchase at the end of the day so that we wouldn’t have to carry around the souvenir all day long. 

Jasmine fell in love with the pillow pets! First, she wanted the ‘boy mouse’ then she decided on Dumbo after we went on the Dumbo ride. Lilya and Gwendolyn followed along and all 3 girls purchased pillow pets! 

Riley was excited to finally find a watch that he liked and used his spending money on that. 

What a day! We managed to walk over 7 miles and stayed 12 hours at Disneyland! 

Disneyland was WAY better than our Expectations!

Besides a little fussiness from our toddler who did not get a nap, there were no major meltdowns of any kind. The kids were thrilled to have spending money to buy their favorite treats and souvenirs and I was glad that we packed a 24 pack of water in our bike-trailer-stroller along with many yummy snacks and even a meal of egg salad with chips to keep us going. 

Thank you to all the grandparents that sent money our way to help the kiddos have such a magical experience at Disneyland! The memories we made were fantastic and we could for sure see ourselves wanting to go back sometime!!


  1. Ah, such wonderful memories!!!! Everyone looked so excited and happy ……… and clean, ha!!!

  2. Wow!!! Looks like the perfect day! Jedi training looks AWESOME!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *