Sunday, August 15, 2010


I've decided that the reason Disneyland is the "happiest place on Earth" is because it is all about the family. The rides and environment are family-friendly, and we had a great time exploring the park with a good chunk of the Wride/Barnard clan.

We rode:
Finding Nemo Submarine Ride
Peter Pan
Jungle Cruise
Thunder Mountain (Spencer did this one 4x)
Buzz Lightyear space ranger ride (I think this one was a three-peat for much of our crowd)
Indiana Jones
Tarzan's Treehouse
King Arthur's Carousel
Sleeping Beauty Castle Tour
Space Mountain
Flying Rockets

How did we accomplish so much in one day, you ask? Well, the answer is...17 hours in the park, two teenage fast pass runners, and kids so excited about Disneyland they were willing to run around from 7AM until midnight with just a short break in the afternoon. How did we manage 17 hours in the park? Two REALLY awesome grandparents treated us all to a night at the Disneyland Hotel.


And...THANK YOU!!!

Since we spent the night on the property, we were able to enter the park an hour early and monorail in, which dropped us off right by the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride. From there, we bounced around, fast-passing this or that, revisiting rides we enjoyed, and working the baby swap. It was SO nice to be able to take the kiddos back to the hotel for a midday repose. Without that, there is no way we would have lasted until midnight. AND...a big shout out to Baby John, who is the best baby in the world when it comes to traveling. He snuggles into the Baby Bjorn and goes with the flow, napping when he needs to, and people-watching when awake.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. Emily is demonstrating how excited we ALL were to head to the park. Even though we got in late the night before, it was no problem to get the kids up and ready by 6:30AM.

The first roller coaster of the day: Matterhorn. It was a hit with the kids, despite the scary abominable snowman. Emma likes to talk about him a lot, even though she flatly refused to go on this ride.

Most of the day's cast, waiting for Thunder Mountain (Spencer's favorite ride). Pictured are: Marie, Emily, Spencer, Daniel, Ryan, Maddie, Laura, Alec, Valerie, and Brad. Missing from this photo are: Adam, Emma, John, Tammy, and Tyler.

Our kids were at the PERFECT age for Disneyland. Spencer was old enough for roller coasters; Emma loves princesses; and we have taken all our children to Disneyland while they were infants, so John needed his turn. One perk of Emma's princess adoration...she likes them only from a distance. We saw a few, and she was thrilled about that, but she didn't want to go anywhere near them; thus, we spent no time in line for individual photo ops.

Ryan and Emily on the teacups. Classic!

The rest of the crowd was in the "fast" teacup, with Adam at the wheel.

Daddy explaining the wonders of "Small World" to Emma. This was a definite favorite for lovie.


All of the cousins took turns examining the map and deciding where we should go.

It wouldn't be a ride to Disneyland without riding on Dumbo!

Emma rode the carousel while the boys tried to pull the sword out of the stone. Grandpa helped her stay on and reported later on their conversation. "My horse is a good horse. He is a good horse because his name is Rick." She still talks about good ole Rick.

This picture says it all. We were SO grateful to have a plethora of stroller seats (and people to push them). On the way home, nearly all the kids fell asleep. Spencer is totally zonked out behind Ryan, the lone survivor of the walk back to the hotel. The end of a truly MAGICAL day.