We got back from our trip to Disneyland on Sunday evening. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time!
The good folks at Disneyland invited our family, along with only 49 other Mom Bloggers and their families (only 10 from outside the Southern California Area!) to check out Disneyland all decorated for the Christmas holiday.
If you've never been to Disneyland, you HAVE to go - yes, Disneyworld is truly fantastic, but Disneyland is the Original - and seeing it all glammed up for Christmas makes it extra special (look for another post in the coming days - including video - to see just how great it really is!).
The girls had no idea that we were going away for the weekend - in fact, Mr. Pink Lemonade had fibbed to them, telling them we were leaving really early to go Christmas shopping (Little Miss Lauren, in her usual form, informed him that shopping was not a good reason for missing a day of school!).
We left San Francisco bright and earlyFriday morning at 9:30am and arrived in Los Angeles at 10:30am (we were so early, there wasn't even a gate for our airplane when we landed!). We retrieved our luggage and headed outside to catch the Disney Express bus that would take us to our hotel. The girls still had no idea where we were going... (I did get to spot a TV star while we were waiting, I saw Justin Chambers who plays Alex Karev on Grey's Anatomy drive past us while we were waiting for our bus). When the city-size bus arrived plastered all over the sides with Sleeping Beauty's Castle and Mickey and his friends, the girls finally realized where we were going (Little Miss Lauren just kept hugging me saying "Thank you, I Love You!!!" all smiles).
We checked into the Disneyland Hotel and headed out to explore the parks before our evening event.
We started at Disney's California Adventure park - I, personally, love this park - it's usually quieter and the walkways are wider so even if it's crowded, it doesn't seem like it is. We headed straight for Toy Story Mania, the newest ride in the parks (it had just opened in June and we have been dying to check it out). It was so great - I went in not expecting much, thinking it would just be Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters with lots of video, but I totally LOVED it!! It is such a fun ride and I really like the fact that the ride stops at each game so you can play instead of continuously moving like in the Buzz Lightyear ride - we loved it so much, we rode it three more times during our stay!
That evening, we were fortunate enough to be part of an event put on by the park for the invited Mom Bloggers and their families. It was held in one of the ballrooms at The Grand Californian Hotel - they had craft stations for the kids (including airbrushed tatoos and - this is cool - the kids had Mickey, Minnie Goofy and Belle all to themselves for the entire evening!) There was a special kid's buffet with chicken strips, mac & cheese and applesauce for the kids along with gigantic snowflake shaped rice crispy treats - all served in, of course, mickey shaped plates. The grownups had an equally impressive dinner buffet, sans the mickey plates. While the kids ate, all of us Moms got to sit in on a presentation from the head pastry chef for the parks and his assistant who told us all about the great holiday-themed desserts the park offers. They also demonstrated how to make a gingerbread house and showed us this year's massive gingerbread creation the chef does every year for the ballroom scene's banquet table inside the Haunted Mansion. This year, it was an 8ft. long casket with a 6ft long gingerbread man zombie that pops up and down - if you get to the park this season, ride the Haunted Mansion and check out the creation made entirely of gingerbread! We also learned about Disney's Photo Pass, it's an awesome way to capture the memories from your Disney trip and turn them into keepsakes! (more about this later). After the presentation and dinner were done, we were escorted over to Disneyland to watch the fireworks and see it snow on Main Street. The fireworks at Disneyland are so great, always better that any I've ever seen before, completely synchronized to the music, never a dud to be noticed! The fireworks finale ends with snowfall all up and down Main Street - so cool!
Saturday, we had a blast at both Disneyland and California Adventure. We capped off the evening with the 50th annual Candlelight Procession at the Disneyland park. We were so excited to be able to witness this event - I had heard of it at the Florida parks, but didn't know they did it in California. This event is only held once a year so we were so lucky to be able to be there for it (I took lots of video so I'll post more when it's edited).
We took advantage of the Magical Morning early admission on Sunday and got to enter the park 1 hour before it opened to the public. There were no lines and, although we had taken advantage of early admission many times in the past, I had never experienced anything like this - it was so completely wonderful! For the first time in my whole life, we were the only ones in New Orleans Square and the first people to ride Snow White or Pinocchio - WOW!!
Unfortunately, our trip could not last forever, so by lunchtime, it was time to head back to catch the bus to the Los Angeles airport and go home.
We will always remember our magical trip at this time of the year to Disneyland - we are so grateful to the folks at Disney for inviting us to be a part of this event - thank you so much.
More about our Disney trip in the days to come!
Turning Lemons into Pink Lemonade!
Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade
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