For a recap of our first and only other trip to Disneyland and why exactly it is so nostalgic for me, you can read my previous post from 3 years ago.
And what a difference 3 years can make. I'm glad we went when we did 3 years ago. The kids were too young to be tall enough for rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Star Tours. And they were definitely too afraid to take pictures with the characters. So the last time we went, I focused on rides in Fantasyland and Toon Town. This visit was completely opposite. Although we did make it to Fantasyland and go on a few of my favorites like the Mad Hatter teacups and the Storybook Canal rides, we never even stepped foot in Toon Town. Most of their favorites were in Tomorrowland with Jake's favorite ride being the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Jadyn's being the Little Nemo submarine. They both loved, loved, loved Space Mountain and Autopia was also a mutual hit. We also spent a lot of time in Adventureland and New Orleans Square too, not only for rides like Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean (one of my faves) and the Haunted Mansion but also so we could play over at Tom Sawyer's Island. I am pretty sure Jake would have been perfectly content staying there all day.
Here we are arriving on the first of our two day visit. I think at this point the last thing the kids wanted to do was stop to take a picture:
As I mentioned, Autopia (driving the cars) was a favorite with both kids. If you look at the picture of Jake driving the car from my post on his 5th birthday, his expressions were of pure joy and complete concentration. Even after 3 years, some things never change (except the safety goggles he insisted on wearing almost the entire day):
Jadyn also had fun on this ride, but can I just say - she is not the best driver.
I seriously fear the day she gets her learner's permit:
And while the only character Jake cared to be photographed with was this stormtrooper:
Jadyn on the other hand got really into finding the various characters for pictures and on the second day, brought a notebook for autographs as well. I was able to distract her when I saw a character with a long line but we lucked out and she was able to get an autograph and picture with her favorite of all the Disney princesses - Ariel from the Little Mermaid. She also met Jesse from Toy Story, Pluto and the Red Queen and Rabbit from Alice and Wonderland.
And what trip to Disneyland would be complete without going on It's a Small World? One of my favorites for the simple and yet powerful message, even if it does mean you'll be singing the song for days afterwards:
In the 3 years in between visits to Disneyland, we have gone to other amusement parks, most notably Legoland and Knott's Berry Farm as well as the county fair. While each of these places has something uniquely fun about them, there is something just so magical about Disneyland. I don't know I will be able to stop myself from waiting another 3 years before we return again.