Our Mini Disneyland Vacation

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to take a mini-vacation as a family. It couldn’t have come at a better time, since we’ve been really busy lately and really needed some time to just be away & enjoy some family time. Between wedding planning, work, and daily life, we haven’t had much time to connect lately and so we took a much needed road trip to Disneyland!


There’s a whole lotta nothin’ between Vegas & Anaheim.

On Friday, we picked up Justin from work {it’s on the way to Cali} & headed out to our hotel, the Hotel Menage. It wasn’t exactly a luxury hotel {No mini-bar?! But I wanted a cold Snickers..}, but it was really close to Disneyland & it was clean & had the bare essentials, so it was just fine. They also have a really good breakfast buffet, something that matters a lot to us when we travel!

Disneyland Castle

On Saturday morning, we woke up & got ready. We headed over to Disneyland & Shane immediately wanted to find some of the rides we’d looked at on the computer the day before. First we went on “The Rocket Ships” {Shane’s name}:

Disneyland Astro Orbitor

Then we made our way to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Shane loved Dumbo & cried when it was over! {Don’t worry, we got back in line later & went again.}

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride

I got photo bombed by an elephant.

Then, Shane decided he just had to ride the The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride next, which was all the way across the park. &Since the only maps we had were on our phones, which couldn’t hold a signal, it took us awhile to get there. &The best part? Once we got there, Shane freaked out & didn’t want to ride it anyway. Sigh. {Yeah, I totally rode it by myself.}

At least on the way we found some pretty friendly ducks & Shane watched them for a solid twenty minutes while we tried to get un-lost.

Ducks at Disneyland

I love that you can see Shane’s shadow in this picture as he watches the ducks.

He decided he wanted to ride the Astro Orbitor {rockets} again, and afterwards we stopped for lunch at the Tomorrowland Terrace, where Shane got to watch the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy. He’s never seen Star Wars but knew that Darth Vader was a bad guy, so he wasn’t so sure about it at first. But a few minutes in, he got really into it, and then he was sad when it was over!

Disneyland Soundsational Parade

After lunch, we caught the end of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, something that Shane remembered & loved from our last visit. He was bummed that he missed Mickey {his favorite &the first in the line-up} but loved the rest of it!

Disneyland Carousel 2

We rode a few more rides after that, including the Carousel {twice}, Dumbo again, and the Jungle Cruise. After the Jungle Cruise, we stopped for our first-ever Dole Whips. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re these delicious soft-serve pineapple sorbet treats & you can get them by themselves or as a float on top of pineapple juice as well. They are even more amazing than they sound, which is why the line to get one rivals any of the rides at the park. They’re worth it though!

As we enjoyed our Dole Whips, we suddenly heard the familiar music for the Soundsational Parade- and we caught it from the very beginning this time! As much as Shane loved the rides at the park, I really think that the parade is his favorite thing about Disneyland. &I can’t blame him, as I apparently loved it as a kid too.

Dad and daughter at Disney world

My dad & I watching the parade at Disney World {circa 1991}

Once we stopped in the gift shop {of course!}, an experience you can read more about in my guest post on the YesVideo blog, it was time to head back to our hotel. Shane was sad to leave the park, but definitely tired & ready to go to bed. We made a pit stop at Chick-fil-A for the first time since we always hear about them & don’t have any locations here, and Justin totally fell in love.

Astro Orbitors Disneyland

Once we got to the hotel, Shane barely took his shoes off before he fell asleep! We woke up Sunday morning, stopped at the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast, and then headed home. Shane got sick on the ride home so that was rough, but the rest of the weekend was just as magical as we’ve come to expect from Disneyland!

It was so nice to take a weekend admist the chaos to make some family memories. While Shane only wanted to go on four different rides {about a million times each}, and we got lost & he got sick the next day, the main things that we will remember are the smiles when it was our turn to go on a ride, the feeling of the air on our face as we spun in circles above the crowds, the amazement in his eyes as characters he recognized walked past, and the many hugs & “thank you’s” that showed us just how truly happy Shane was for the experience. At his age, there’s no telling whether or not Shane will remember this trip when he’s grown up, but I know I’ll never forget it.

Have you ever been to Disneyland?

Note: I would like to thank YesVideo, who provided a stipend to cover a portion of this trip & allowed us to make wonderful memories as a family.

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  1. says

    We usually go to DisneyWorld or on Disney Cruises but we went to Disneyland once when our daughter was just shy of 4 years old. That was before the California Adventure park (they were just building it at the time), so it was the perfect size for a pre-schooler. Just enough to keep her busy, but not enough to overwhelm her. I’d like to go again since it’s been 13 years since we were last there.
    Tammy recently posted..A Giant Surprise!


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