Disneyland: Still Magical

kids at disneyland

When I was a kid we did the same thing every summer. We got in the car and drove from Tucson across the border to Sonora, Mexico and kept driving through the stifling 100 degree heat until we got to San Carlos. It was hot and dry just like Tucson, but with a beautiful beach and lots of friends and family.

A couple of times, though, we did something different. Something so different that it still seems magical. Instead of driving south, we hopped on the interstate and headed west. I don’t remember how old I was the first time I went to Disneyland, but I can remember the photo that has since been lost, from that trip. My mom is hugging me and you can see the whale’s mouth from Pinnochio in the background.

I’ve been back many times since, but to me it’s just as magical. Sharing Disneyland with my kids has been a much different experience. We don’t drive across the desert to get there. We hop on the freeway and a mere 40 minutes later we’re at our destination.

For them, it’s not a very special thing we do every 5 years. When they were little we had an annual pass. We would go to Disneyland and hang out for an afternoon. Now that they are in school we don’t go as often, which makes it that much more special when we do go.

I think this last visit was just as magical for them as it was for me. We hadn’t gone for a while and the trip was a complete surprise. Thanks to run Disney, I was able to participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon. And thanks to Disneyland, I was able to get passes to take my husband and two boys to the park on Saturday.

Now, spending the day walking around Disneyland wasn’t the smartest thing for me to do the day before a half marathon, but it was great for my family. It was the first time my youngest could go on all the rides and had enough energy to last most of the day.

It was also our first time on the new Star Tours. We love Star Wars so for us it was fantastic. It’s in 3D, which I don’t usually like, but it’s very well done here, and there are 54 variations so the two times we went we had different beginning, middle, and endings. Just watching the boys laugh and hoot and holler made it that much more exciting.  If that wasn’t enough, their dreams came true when they were pulled out of the crowd to do the Jedi Training Academy. Even my younger, shyer son battled Darth Vader and both boys were awesome.

I don’t know if Disneyland will hold the same magical place in their childhood as it did for me, but I know they’ll have some great memories.

Here are some pictures from the day.

My older son battling Darth Vader
My baby taking on Darth Vader

 

Gluten-Free burger and sweet potato fries at the Hungry Bear Restaurant (Here’s more on gluten-free at Disneyland)

 

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Comments: 7

  1. Pattie Cordova September 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm Reply

    We did the same thing every year too… One week in Sonora, MX and two weeks in Sinaloa, MX. Going to Disneyland was a real treat – even though we live in its backyard. I'm taking my sons there for their first time in December – can't wait!

  2. MamiofMultiples.com September 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm Reply

    So much fun! Your boys are adorable.

  3. Carla September 10, 2011 at 12:55 am Reply

    We did Disney every year when I was a kid and it never got old. It has a special place in my heart and I can't wait to make it there again with our girls =)

  4. Morena September 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm Reply

    First let me say those sweet potato fries just made my mouth water! :D Its great to see some healthy options to eat there!
    Anyway, what I was really going to say is that for me, Disney was a super special experience as a kid, as we travelled all the way from Peru to go there a few times. I havent been there in so long now, it would be great to check out all the new games. And that star wars jedi training is an awesome idea!

  5. Bren Herrera September 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm Reply

    we lived in Miami until I was 7, so we used to do the same thing every year, though to Disney World and Epcot Center. I've never been Disney Land. Looks like your kids had a great time!

    Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™
    http://www.flanboyanteats.com

  6. The Wise Latina Club September 12, 2011 at 2:59 am Reply

    What wonderful photos, story, and most important memories. Those stay with you a lifetime!

  7. Ana Flores {@SpanglishBaby} September 12, 2011 at 4:43 am Reply

    The first time I went to Disney{World} was when I was 12. I had been begging and wishing upon every star to go for years.
    Now that we live so close to Disneyland and we go at least 4 times per year, I always fear that my girl will lose the Disney wanderlust, but it somehow is always magical for her.
    And, yes, those sweet potato fries look delish!!

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