I love going to Disneyland (if that wasn’t already obvious) and we’re lucky that we live close and can go often. I had a blast when I took James to Disneyland for his birthday – he was so daring and wanted to go on every ride. Annabel, on the other hand, errs on the side of EXTREME CAUTION when it comes to rides. This is a girl who thinks a lazy river is “too fast.” So when Mike and I surprised the kids this past Saturday with a trip to Disneyland, I didn’t know how it was going to go.

Right away, Annie declared, “I’m NOT going on Thunder Mountain,” the roller coaster that James went on for his birthday trip. James wasn’t having that, though, and started trolling her the way only a little brother can. “Okay Annie, I go on Thunder Mountain and you go sit on a bench.”

Mike and I called a time out on Thunder Mountain trash talking so we could enjoy some other activities, like meeting characters and going to a Disney Junior dance party.

Meeting Spider Man

meeting spider man

So Goofy

Dance party

But James could only be distracted from rides for so long, and after a few hours he started insisting on “Rides! Rides! Riiiiiiiides!” Funny enough, the first ride that Annie and James could agree on is Mike’s least-favorite ride ever – the Ferris Wheel.

Mike HATES heights. But he can’t resist puppy dog eyes from his kids, so up in the air we went. But he definitely didn’t like it.

scared mike

After the Ferris Wheel, I suggested Mike try the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. You know, a ride that lifts you several hundred feet up in the air and then *drops* you. I’m such a good wife. But James wasn’t going to let Mike go alone. “I wanna go! I wanna see Star Lord!” We discovered that the minimum height requirement was 40-inches tall…and James is 41.5. Mike agreed to take him along on the ride, but told me to stay close. “If he freaks out, I’m going to call you,” he threatened.

While the boys went on the ride, Annie and I did her favorite thing – shop. She looked at every single item at every single shop near the Guardians ride. After about 30 minutes, I got a text from Mike:

Mike's text


Star Lord


James is cool

That kid kills me.

After spending half the day in California Adventure, we headed over to Disneyland, where James immediately started pushing to go on Thunder Mountain. We got in line, and Annie was NOT pleased.

unhappy annie

I told her that if we got to the front of the line and she decided she didn’t want to go on the ride, she didn’t have to. But she wasn’t about to let her little brother show her up.

scared Annie

Annnnd the verdict?

she loved it!

She LOVED it. In fact, she and I went on it two more times (which is my limit…I thought I was gonna hurl after our third ride).

After the roller coasters, we took in a parade, where James found a new way to sleep.

sleeping James

sleepy James

Yes, he was LITERALLY SLEEPING like that. Children are so weird.

Locals (and people who are planning to go to Disneyland), we tried the new “Max Pass” and it is LEGIT. For $10 more per ticket, you can reserve fast passes on your phone, plus you get free downloads of any photo taken by a park photographer. I was skeptical of it, but it was so, sooooo worth it. I think it perfectly melds the ability to book fast passes (like Disney World visitors can) with the day-of spontaneity that I love about Disneyland.

We finished our trip with two firsts: the kids got to drive cars on the Autopia, and I FINALLY got to see the Fantasmic show, something I’ve wanted to watch since I was a teenager.

This was easily the most fun I’ve had at Disneyland with my kids. Now that Annie has realized rides are fun, I feel like a whole new world has opened up for us! Now we just need James to grow another inch or so taller, and the world will be our oyster.