17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is there still Magic at Disneyland?

Well, I suppose there is a different kind of magic for different ages and personalities. We spent 3 days in February at Disneyland/California Adventure, with great weather and low crowds and had what I would call a magical/succesful experience.

I remember Disneyland as a place of awe and giddy excitement. I went several times as I was growing up. I wondered if we had waited too long to take our children (it has always seemed like more than I could handle). We recently took our children to Disneyland for their first time. Our oldest is 10, then 8, 6, 4, and twins under 2. Before we left I heard my 8 year old daughter say that she would rather go to grandma's house. I thought maybe they were too old for Disneyland and since we have never talked about it and nurtured excitement for what they could experience, it would not be magical.

My 4 year old boy, W, sat next to me on the "Tower of Terror". His eyes were wide and as we got off the ride and walked outside he looked to the left and to the right and thoughtfully asked me " Mom, are we back on our world?" Oh, Thank You Disney (California Adventure) for a precious memory. He insists that "Tower of Terror" is his favorite ride, but he wouldn't go on it more than once. There was his magic.

My 8 year old girl, H, loves to sing and act. We visited the Disney Animation, Sorcerer's Workshop (in California Adventure)...mostly to let the twins run around in an uncrowded area. They have many computers you can do fun things on. H got to tape her voice singing and talking as Ariel and then listen to herself as part of the movie...that was so cool! It is a magical thing to actually be in a movie. Thank you Disney!

Another really neat experience happened at the Jedi Training Academy in Tommorowland, in Disneyland. Several times a day A Jedi Master Arrives on stage and picks out several younglings to become Padawans and train them as Jedi's. Well, W, really wanted to do this and waited in the designated area for the show to start. All my children were waiting with him. When they started picking kids--so few, from so many. My oldest daughter, S, picked up her little brother as high as she could until he was seen and got picked. (I found this moment quite magical ). W got to fight the real Darth Vader (way cool) and Darth Maul and several storm troopers. Thank you Disney...and yes, W's souvenir from Disneyland is his Certificate from Jedi Training Academy and a Light saber.

Well, Disneyland has changed over the years and I'm happy to say that it was still magical for me (25 years later). My favorite ride has always been Space Mountain... It still is. Except now you rock with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. One of my childrens favorite quotes from Disneyland has become "No matter what planet you are from, get ready to ROCK... in 5...4...3...2...1 AAAHHH" Thank you Disney for making this ride Rock for me and my children.

Because of Stroller passes, DH and I both got to ride everything. The twins were terrified, yet fascinated by the characters that were walking around Disneyland. I also really liked the Aladin show at the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.

6 year old daughter, R, took the Pirate Oath while we were going through New Orleans Square "I swear to run from any fight I cannot win and win any fight I cannot run from". R also wondered why Cruella De Ville asked me "Are all these from the same litter" when we went to take our picture next to her. The ride R picked first, when it came her turn, was the Haunted Mansion. We had told her that a ghost would try and sit next to her so the ghost could come out of the ride with her and leave the Haunted Mansion. She really wanted to see if ghosts were real (there was a hint of possibility). I think R is at the age of unbelieving. Not quite the 4 year old who really thinks its possible that we could be on another world. But not quite the 8 and 10 year old who are excited to be a part of the whole experience and make it good for others.

I can say that it's never too late to go to Disneyland. But the experience is different for children of all ages (as they say). I haven't asked my 8 year old if she would still rather go to Grandma's house than Disneyland. I wonder what she would answer? I'm glad we finally did it. We will go again...soon.


  • We live about an hour away from Disneyland and whenever I need a break from reality we set out for the park. My heart always sighs as we enter and walk down Main Street and into a dffernt world. Luckily all my kids have caught the magic too and each time is an adventure, even the tenth time. Mr. Disney was an inspired man.
    posted by Anonymous mimi at 2/27/2007 01:26:00 PM  

  • Oh, what a fun trip! We are big Disneyland fans. We took our 4 year old for the first time when she was 18 months old and she loved every part of it - the characters, the rides, the music. It was the most magical trip for all of us! We went again 9 months after that for Christmas and Disneyland at Christmas time is just spectacular! I'm excited to go again with all of our girls. The twins are just 9 months old now so we'll wait another year or so...and bring along a mother's helper or two LOL.
    posted by Blogger Tandy at 2/27/2007 01:31:00 PM  

  • I love Disneyland! I went 3 times in one year, and I was 18! I'm moving back to California for the summer. I definatly need to make time to go there. Thanks for the reminder of that magical place. Now I have Disneyland fever. Maybe I'm just sick of Rexburg. With this weather, it's anything but magical.
    posted by Anonymous Mia at 2/27/2007 02:04:00 PM  

  • While I am not a huge Disney fan in my everyday life (if I see another product plastered with Disney Princess faces, I might scream). Disneyland is a whole different story. I love going there. We took Princess there for the first time a year and a half ago. To see the magic of Disneyland again through a 3 year olds eyes was fantastic.

    We have season passes now that we live in CA (Shaleen you should have called us and we would have hung out with you for a couple hours!). I love all the little things that make the place so magical - the talking trash can in Tomorrow Land, making cookies sprinkled with fairy dust at the end of main street, and playing musical chairs with Alice and the Mad Hatter to name a few.

    But by far the most magical day we had at DIsneyland occured last October. Princess was the "Jolly Holiday Mary Poppins" for Halloween so a few days after I let her wear her costume to Disneyland and we tracked down the "Jolly Holiday Mary Poppins" at the park so they could meet (the information desk happily wrote down all the appearance and show times for us). Princess was able to meet "Mary Poppins" and dance with her in a show in front of the castle. I have never seen a bigger smile on a little face.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/27/2007 02:53:00 PM  

  • I'm with Carrie- while I can't take another Princess anything, DISNEYLAND is a whole nother thing. I LOVE Disneyland, and when I took my kids for the first time this last summer (5,3 and 4 mos) it was totally magic.

    We can't wait to go again. There are just some things Disney does right, and the parks are one of them.
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 2/27/2007 04:15:00 PM  

  • I always loved the Magic of Disneyland, but for me it is even more delightful to watch my children fall in love with the Magic Kingdom.

    I just asked for an annual pass for my b-day, so I am hoping to frequent lots this spring.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 2/27/2007 04:30:00 PM  

  • I remember going and liking it as a kid, but it was AMAZING seeing it through the eyes of my 4 year old. And when our day was through...I wanted to be a real live Disney princess....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/27/2007 06:45:00 PM  

  • I went this past year with a friend and we both had a blast! Grown-ups sans kids. It was still magical. I can't wait to take T when he is older.

    This is a great post Shaleen. I can totally picture you & your family on all the rides. It also shows what love you have for your kids. What a great vacation.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/27/2007 08:36:00 PM  

  • Sorry, there was no magic in the kingdom for any of our kids. They didn't grow up with Mickey and the gang, nor did they see any of the Disney movies or tv shows.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/28/2007 09:33:00 AM  

  • I live about 20 minutes away from Disneyland and haven't been there yet. My kids would rather do Magic Mountain.

    Sounds like you guys had a blast.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 2/28/2007 01:35:00 PM  

  • We were probably there on the same day... crazy! I litterally grew up at Disneyland as a kid, so much so that it was easy to take it for granted. But going back with your little ones breathes a whole new life into it. My DH went with us and it was only his second time there, he didn't like how scary all the kids rides were... it made him mad! I have to agree, they are scary, but they have always been that way... tell me PLEASE about the stroller pass???? I would have love to have gone on Space Mountain. We are going again this week... tell!
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 2/28/2007 06:35:00 PM  

  • The kid swap is the best! When we went we got fast passes (one per ride) for as many as we could. Then we got the kid swap pass, and we got through rides in 30 minutes each. We're planning on going again next year, and I can't wait!
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 3/01/2007 08:11:00 AM  

  • I grew up at Disneyland. My dad worked for Disney so we went ALL the time!! Last year we spent a week there with our kids, ages 8, 3 and 7 months. It was their first time and it was SOOO much fun. To see the magic and excitement in their eyes was incredible. I think they were a little overwhelmed at first, but that quickly went away. And we were just there again last week. The magic still exists for kids as well as adults.
    posted by Anonymous idaho at 3/01/2007 04:04:00 PM  

  • Zinone, The stroller passes are easy. There is always a Disney employee at the end of the line and you and your husband and the stroller walk up and just ask for a stroller pass. One of you waits in line, and the other waits at the exit and walks in when you get off and rides without waiting. The pass lets you and another person go together so my older kids got to ride twice (once with me and once with their Dad). Fast passes are also great be sure to get those.

    I only went on a few of the kids rides and my 20months babies were scared. They liked the carousel. Bear Country in CA adventure is a great place to chill for a while.

    We were there over Valentines. Actually, I think we are going again the weekend of 24th in March. Yes we bought annual passes and we invested in a Motor Home. Carrie, we would love to come and see you guys.
    posted by Blogger Shaleen at 3/02/2007 09:16:00 AM  

  • My father is from southern Cali and we have family in the San Diego/Coronado area. I have been many, many times and loved it each of them. Especially the time I tripped on Main Street and went headfirst into one of the polls with the horse heads...that was fun. I can't wait to take our 7 month old there...
    posted by Blogger Amy at 3/03/2007 07:46:00 PM  

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