On Saturday, we were invited to Disneyland to check out the new things the resort is doing for the 60th anniversary of the park’s opening. The last few times I’ve been to Disneyland I’d seen the preparation for big celebration, so I was looking forward to seeing it all finished. The entire area in and around the parks has cool diamond banners up:

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

And Sleeping Beauty’s castle is sparkling:

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

The kids were, of course, ecstatic.

ready for disneyland

James has hit the age of understanding, and started to recognize his favorites from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as soon as we got to the park. “Mimm-ee! Dom-ald! Guh-fee! Daisy! Mickey!” It was so cute hearing him identify the characters. Annabel still loves her some characters, so we made it our mission to meet as many as we could.

The kids had fun playing in Mickey’s house, which was nice because it took about an hour of waiting to meet him (we were sooo happy Mickey’s house had air conditioning).

in Mickey's house

in Mickey's house

When it came time to finally have face time with the main mouse, Annabel was jumping up and down. I thought James might be scared, but he walked right up and said, “Hi Mickey!” It wasn’t an open-mouthed smile of glee like his sister’s a few years ago, but it was still damn cute.

meeting mickey mouse

meeting mickey mouse

At this point, Mike suddenly developed a huge migraine, and didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want the kids to have to leave, but he knew he couldn’t stay in the park. Luckily for Mike, I am a “what would I do if I got a migraine here” kind of thinker. I get migraines a lot, plus I’ve been to Disneyland twice with hyperemesis gravidarum…I know where every trash can and bathroom is in that entire place! I told him to go to the car and lay down in the back. We were parked at the end of a long row in a parking structure, so I knew the car would be cool and safe. The poor guy was in bad shape when he got back to the car. First he was hot, then he was shivering so badly that he ended up using floor mats as blankets and his balled-up shorts for a pillow! Laying down did the trick, though, and he was able to come back to us eventually.

In the meantime, my mom and I made sure the kids were able to meet a few more characters:

with donald

meeting minnie mouse

We also saw the new Inside Out float that starts the Pixar Parade at California Adventure. Both of the kids were sooooo excited about that:

Inside Out

Meanwhile, in a sea of princesses, I was excited that Mrs. Incredible has a normal-sized rear end:

normal ass

Annabel is iffy on rides (she’s totally Mike’s child), but James is all about that ride life. I managed to take him on a few and he felt so special riding without Annabel.

all about that ride life

hi annie!

After the sun went down, Mike rejoined us and we went to the first of the new 60th anniversary shows, World of Color, inside of California Adventure. It is freaking amazing. The new show goes through the history of Disneyland, and is a huge display of water, fire, and animations/projections on water. Yes, water. And it’s narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, or as my kids call him, Uncle Barney.

world of color

It was cool watching the show with my mom who, as an LA native, witnessed the opening of Disneyland and all the pomp that came with it. She was also hugely into the Musketeers and remembered every “old” reference in the World of Color show.

When that ended, we hightailed it back to Disneyland to catch the end of their fireworks show. The show now incorporates a bunch of new Disney movies (like Frozen), and has projections all over the buildings of Main Street and on the Matterhorn. James was like, “OMG THIS IS AMAZING!” while Annabel was like, “HOLY $#!% THIS IS SO LOUD GET ME OUT OF HERE.” Annabel prefers her fireworks booms to be from a respectful distance.

Finally, we finished the evening with the new Paint the Night parade, which is like the old electrical parade but on steroids. The kids both thought this parade was legit:

paint the night parade

paint the night parade

We never stay until the park closes, so this was a first for us…and getting out of there with the other eight billion people who stayed until midnight was not my favorite part of the day. My kids, however, were total troopers with all of the walking, long lines, and waiting. I was proud of them. One of these days I’ll have to write out all of my tips for Disneyland & the resort. We’re so lucky to live close and go often, and I’ve definitely picked up some good tricks from my 35 years of living here!

Everyone says Disney through the eyes of a child is a completely different experience, and it sounds cliché but it’s really true with my kids. They are just so elated the entire time we’re within the parks…it’s like Disney is pumping out magic air. Which, let’s be honest, they probably are.