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