Disneyland: The Old, New, Tried and True Favorites!

Just tuning in? Be sure to read my introductory post Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: A Glimpse Behind Mickey’s Magic Curtain.

During my kids’ future therapy sessions, there is one thing they’ll never be able to accuse me: “we didn’t travel very much.”

Jamie and I kept our trip to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration a secret from them, which is tough when you’re a blabbermouth like me. But there is nothing more awesome than waking them up at 4:30 a.m. for school, only to announce in the dark–while wearing your Mickey ears–that “we’re going to Disneyland today!”

And also just a wee bit creepy.

Requisite family photo in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Disneyland Hotel

This is my third time to Disneyland with the kids and one of my favorites, primarily because we had four days in the park. Usually we’re rushing from ride to ride but this gave us the opportunity to visit our favorite attractions at a more leisurely pace, take breaks and keep going back for more.

There were our old favorites:

Radiator Springs Racers and big hair do not mix

Flying on Silly Symphony Swings

Minnie and Mini-Minnie

Gadget Go Coaster by day

Our favorite Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night

California Adventure’s charming Buena Vista Street

There were some not-so favorites:

Terrified Bode on Splash Mountain

Bode will also attest there is nothing fun about Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

Mickey’s Fun Wheel

You can ride one of the traditional gondolas mounted to the outer rim -or- board one of the 16-inch “free-mounted” gondolas that slip and slide back and forth along the inside spokes. A couple of years ago, we chose the more adventurous free-sliding gondolas and oh, the look on Bode’s face when that thing started rocking. We figured we’d give it another try and his coping mechanism (or lack thereof) was about the same. Think: spread eagle on the bench.

Do you see my smile below? I am faking it and have vowed never to teach my daughter how to drive. I had just endured her taking the wheel of a gas-powered car and speeding her way through a winding track, knocking into the guide rail hundreds of times.


Autopia does not equal utopia for nervous parents but she sure had a blast!

Also not pictured: Me on Space Mountain. Any roller-coaster that races through the cosmos to the edge of the galaxy and back–in the DARK–is no friend of mine.

There were some new-to-us favorites:

Dole Whip Virgins no more

The Jungle Cruise’s tour of rivers in Asia, Africa and South America

Riding the Matterhorn

Disneyland Hotel’s headboards that magically lit up

Making and racing cars at The LEGO Store in Downtown Disney

The kids listened to a celebrity storytime by Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of “Sofia the First”) and David Arquette (of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”) following the announcement of their “Give a Book, Get a Book” where Disney Junior will donate up to one million books to U.S. communities in need (see how you can donate a book).

Celebrity storytime

Yes, she is chomping at his knee.

Because nothing helps you wait for celebrity storytime quite like a bean bag mosh pit in the Disneyland Hotel ballroom.

Tomorrow: Stay tuned tomorrow for the sordid details of my runDisney. Think sick deathbed but it was very much worth it. Note: I was invited to attend the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The conference fee I paid included discounted lodging and park tickets for my family and sponsor swag.

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