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:
And Sleeping Beauty’s castle is sparkling:
The kids were, of course, ecstatic.
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).
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.
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:
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:
Meanwhile, in a sea of princesses, I was excited that Mrs. Incredible has a normal-sized rear end:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Love the last picture. The look on your daughter’s face is priceless. I have a similar picture of my kids, when they were that age, watching the Electric Light Parade at DisneyWorld. It truly is the happiest place on earth
Disney also has First Aid where Mike could have laid down. I am glad he is feeling better.
Amy C. says:
I agree. First Aid would have been perfect for Mike. They could have put him in his own room complete with bed, blankie, pillow, and Mickey Mouse plush! Plus some Ibuprofen perhaps? It is a good place to go since they can get an ambulance there quickly if need be (not that he would need one but just in case!). It is a nice place. Trust me. I’ve worked in there :).
Would love tips for both parks as we are going in March and have one day at each. One princess-obsessed four year old girl and an 8 year old boy.
Love this post!
We’re going in March and I would love to read your tips. I follow Casey from DLR Prep and she is amazing!
Love seeing DL through the eyes of your kids! I agree so much – while I’ve never been to Disneyland, seeing Disneyworld through my kids’ eyes was such a great experience (& no matter the age)! Disneyworld is one of our most favorite places and I would love to see your tips as visiting CA and Disneyland is high on my list of things to do. Thanks for sharing all that you do!
Magic!!! Love the pictures! Hope Mikes doing better with his migraines.
He is! He’d never really had a headache like that before. Lots better now, thank you!
Three things: 1) Poor Mike. Hope he is better and does NOT have that again. 2) Neil Patrick Harris???!!! Love him…. 3) It is fun to see the magic….when we go we hook up with a friend that works behind the scenes and there is definitely magic that they have to pull off. Oh-and soon there will be a new princess actress….from my area who is super rock star and this will be her dream come true!!!
Oh, how cool! And exciting news about the new princess!
Poor Mike!!!! Migraines suck…so much so that they are an auto-fill word on both my phone & Kindle. Cannot imagine being at Disneyland with one! Glad you had an extra adult with you to help with the kids. And now you know, even in SoCal, always carry a dark blanket in your trunk, cuz you never know…
James’ look of joy on that ride: priceless!!!!
And both the kids at the light parade!!! Oh my goodness, you can feel the awe oozing out of every pore! How fun!!!
Melissa Miller says:
Do you know how long the 60th anniversary is going on for? We are thinking of visiting in February.
James’s face has changed recently it seems. It looks much leaner, like he’s made that transition from toddler into little boy. He’s a cutie.
Annie’s beautiful, too, of course.
Elisha Shern says:
The elf comes to homes in December and every night, after the kids are asleep, flies back to the North Pole to tell Santa what’s up. The next morning, the elf returns to a different spot in the house from where it was the day before. The kids are supposed to find the elf and talk to it, but never touch it, as touching the elf makes it lose its magic.