Ah, Disneyland. One of my favorite places on earth. It was so nice to visit again, even if I did end up basically crippling myself by walking for twelve hours on a pulled groin muscle. (The doctor told me this week that the path to recovery was not walking for several weeks. Oh, and I have three kids–and it’s summer. I am still confused about how I will ever actually recover.)

But! Pulled groin aside, Disneyland was as amazing as ever. Even though we got to bed late, the kids were so excited that they got up early enough for us to get a head start on our Disneyland dreams.

We started off by taking the kids to the teacups, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, It’s a Small World, and Snow White–which always scares the girls. In fact, Mary spent the entire ride with her head in Abe’s lap and did not look up once. Lydia spent the ride leaning into me with her head down and her eyes squeezed shut. Ammon had no idea what was going on, so he looked at everything. Hopefully he didn’t get nightmares!

I kept thinking we should get a family photo, but I never got around to it. This is the closest thing I’ve got.

Then we went to the French Market for lunch. I adore their corn chowder, and so we ordered that, some salad, and some kid meals for the kids. Ammon was asleep by that point, so we parked him under the table. After the kids finished eating, Abe took the girls to Splash Mountain for their very first real roller coaster ride while I put my feet up and stayed with sleeping Ammon.

When Ammon woke up, I wandered over to Splash Mountain to watch the ride. I had forgotten about the steep drop at the end, and I immediately called Abe and begged him to mentally prepare the girls for it. I honestly pictured them both having actual, real live heart attacks going down the drop. They are both relatively cautious little people.

Abe assured me he would prepare the girls, but after the ride he told me he felt a little bad about taking Mary on the ride. She enjoyed everything until the final drop, at which point she experienced sheer terror with no pleasurable side effects. After the drop, Abe had his hands around her and could feel her little heart racing. She spent the rest of the ride repeating over and over, “That wasn’t a very good idea. Can I get off now?”

But we were proud of the girls for surviving their first roller coaster! Here is a picture where Mary’s feelings about the situation are caught on camera:

After the harrowing encounter with Splash Mountain, we let the girls stand in line to visit Winnie the Pooh and friends. It was a little more their speed.

After-Pooh treats!

Then we wandered over to the parade. I looooooove the Disneyland Parade. I can hum the song right now: M-I-C-K-E-Y Mmm-O-U-S-EEEEEEE!!!!!! I actually get slightly teary eyed at the parade just because of the overwhelming positive emotion. I love the great lengths Disneyland goes to to make little kids and grown-ups smile and be happy.

Watching the parade.

After the parade, we went to Tomorrowland and rode the Astro Orbiter, the Buzz Lightyear ride, the Finding Nemo submarine, and the auto cars.

Waiting in line for the astro-orbiter, Abe helped Ammon out by becoming his human swing.

Daddies make the best rides.

Entertaining Ammon in line for Finding Nemo. (Keeping Ammon happy in line was a major theme of this trip. Note that we employed every trick in the book: Mickey Mouse bubble wands, candy, ice cream, cotton candy–you name it, we tried it.)

The kids LOVED this Buzz Lightyear ride. Mary got 5,000 points but couldn’t remember that so kept proudly saying she got “FIVE POINTS!!!”

After Tomorrowland, we headed back to the French Market where I had corn chowder again. Can I just say that I love that corn chowder?

Then we squeezed in the carousel before heading to the electric lights parade.

At the electric light parade, we were scared we wouldn’t be able to see anything because we were late. Thankfully, we happened to pass a section marked “reserved,” and the Disneyland attendant noticed my baby bump and my slo0000w limp–and gave us front row seats!! We found out later it was a section for people with special needs.

I live for the mouth-open wonder that Disneyland elicits from my kids. It is, hands down, one of my favorite expressions. When my kids wear this expression (which is how they experience so much of Disneyland), I feel all sorts of warm and fuzzies inside. I am so grateful to be a–their, specifically–mom!!

After the parade, high winds made the fireworks impossible. That was fine with me because we were saturated with Disneyland joy. We finished by letting the kids each pick a toy from the store, which is our Disneyland tradition. We know it’s all overpriced, but a Disneyland day is, in my opinion, a day to go all out. We LOVE you, Disneyland!!

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