As Kindergarden was nearing an end, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a surprise and celebration of such a successful and fun year together.  I wanted the family to go to Disneyland.  I grew up in Florida so I’ve been do Disney World before but never Land.  I knew the whole family would enjoy it.  As his Kindergarten time was coming to end I mentioned to Zander that there would be a HUGE surprise.  He started doing double the work to make it end sooner. lol  Zander officially finished Kindergarten May 21, 2010 a week a head of schedule, giving me some time do some Disneyland planning.

I did some research on the internet and found this website that was very helpful, www.mousesavers.com  I also went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the book, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2010 This was worth every penny.  I brought it home and read it from cover to cover.  From this book I really got some great ideas and tips.  We used their Dumbo-or-Die-in-a-Day schedule which is a list of what to do at Disneyland (DL) in one day with children.  I tell you it saved so much time in that we weren’t asking after every ride, “what’s next?”, “where do we go?”  The day went so smoothly that we stayed from early morning till after the fireworks with a 6 year old, 2 year old and 10 month old.

After equipping my self with knowledge.. I began making my lists.  What needed to be completed before leaving (Dale’s

The night before headed to dinner..love this pic

list/My list), what needs to be purchased before leaving, what needs to be pack…confession the first list was what lists to be made.. Yes I’m a huge list maker and box checker..((blush)) and then I was off to complete my many tasks.  During the evenings with the kids, I would show them youtube videos of some of the rides that they would be taking at DL.  This was really nice way to prepare them of what to expect especially for my more timid Lexi.

Packing always seems to take longer than needs to but some how we finally got on the road and headed to Cali!!  We found an awesome deal and stayed at Park Vue Inn which is right across from DL.  We checked in, got a bit to eat for dinner and a good night sleep the night before.  At dinner Zander made a picture of what he thought the day would be like at Disney the next day.  And before I headed to bed I filled the kids knapsacks with snacks and a lil bottle water that can be refilled at the park.  These were such a help.  The kids were not always asking for drink and something to eat that cost an arm and a leg and it also kept them busy during some of the wait time.

The next morning we up early, got ready, packed up and ate our free continental breakfast..  The kids (and Dale) love the waffles Daddy makes when we stay at hotels.  Then we walked over to DL, bought our tickets, rented 2 strollers (DL does not have doubles because in some areas double strollers really don’t fit–so they say), Dale got in line and I waited in the pick up stroller line.  Soon we were on Main Street completely surrounded by an enormous crowd of people waiting for the official opening of DL.  Zander told Dale, ” Daddy, Disneyland is boring.” We couldn’t help but laugh while Dale told him, “Its not even open yet, Son!”

Zander, 6; Lexi, 2; Aiden, 10 months

Our very first stop was Dumbo!!  Zander wanted “an elephant with yellow” and Lexi said “pink”.  Fortunately they were side by side.  It was a hit for the first ride.  Then we were off to Peter Pan’s Flight.

Next up we picked the Story Bookland Canal Boats.  We saw miniature lands of Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, and more.  Above us on the train was a little girl that waving to us several times throughout the ride.  The kids loved it and waved back.

Next, we took some cute pics in a tea cup and then went on the Mad Tea party.  Everyone loved this and giggled.  During the ride Lexi said in a dragging it out voice, “Iiiii’mmm  Dizzzzyyyyy!!””  It was sooo cute. Then we were on the Alice in Wonderland.

After Alice we went into a shop, got Mickey ears and First Visit buttons  At first Lexi wasn’t too sure about wearing her ears but they were adorable and finally she decided she wear them.

Then we headed off to Mickey’s Toontown and rode Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.

Off and on all day Lexi would help Aiden and tried to take care of him.  They are getting really close.  She especially loves to make him laugh.  They are becoming great friends.

I took Zander on his 1st real roller coaster, Gadget Go Coaster.  he was super excited.  Afterwards, he said, “Woah!!  I don’t

Zander, very excited for his first real roller coaster!

know if I could do that again.”  But he would have done that ride over and over if we ‘d let him.  He loved it!

Then we were off to Goofy’s playhouse.  The kids enjoyed checking it out.  Even Aiden stretched his legs.  Lexi loves slides.  She did the slide over and over.  I love seeing her smile.

We took a tour of Mickey’s house and at the end visited (took pics with) Mickey. We then checked out Chip n Dale’s Treehouse and Donald’s Boat.

But then we were off to catch the DL railroad. The conductor asked if Zander wanted to help do the “ALL ABOARD!”  Zander was very serious and loved it!  While on the railroad I took some pics.  Lexi didn’t want me to take her picture so she pulled her lower eye lid down.  She is so funny.  I took the pic any way!

We took the DL railroad to New Orleans Square.  We finally took a break for lunch.  We choose a fresh market and ate outside.  The food was great.  We enjoyed the live jazz band playing.  The kids swayed to the music.  When the songs ended Lexi would clap and cheer.  Aiden would copy her.

Mickey Mouse!!

We went to Critter Country and rode Winnie the Pooh.  Before leaving home this was one of the rides we previewed at home and as the ride began Zander said, “Oh we saw this on Mommy’s computer!”  He was very excited.  Lexi thought it was loud and covered her ears during the ride.

Then we went back to Fantasyland to ride Its’ a Small World.  it was the longest wait time but the longest ride time of the day, too.  During the ride I noticed Zander holding his nose for a bit.  I asked Dale later what Zander was trying to tell me.  He said that Zander was pretending he was underwater with Ariel the Mermaid.. =D

We went to visit the Disney Princesses at the Theatre but it was a 3 hour wait.  Instead Lexi and I went shopping in the Princess shop.  She picked out a wand and I got her a hip pack with the princesses on it.  Afterwards, Lexi and Aiden fell asleep so Zander and I went on the King Arthur Carousel and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey just the two of us.  On our way to Tomorrowland we saw the parade.

The Jedi Training was one of the best highlights of the day.  It is very entertaining.  Lexi slept thru most of it but the rest of us laughed and enjoyed the show.  Later Zander got a light saber of course!

Jedi Training

We got a FASTPASS for Buzz Lightyear.  It was very cool!  The kids are already looking forward to the movie Toy Story 3 so this was neat for them.  It was definitely a big hit with them.  Daddy had the high score but every one enjoyed shooting.  Even Lexi did quite well.  Aiden of course enjoyed the lazers, colors and sounds.

Dale and Zander went on the Autopia.  Then we all had fun on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  The cutest pic of Aiden

Aiden trying to touch the bubbles

reaching out to the window to try to feel the bubbles and water.  He seemed to love the ride.

We took a trip on the monorail and then dinner.  We also saw Captain EO in 3D.  (this was not on the schedule but something hubby really wanted to do)

We then took some time to find a place to watch the fireworks.  As we watched and I heard the Disney theme song, I looked back at my family, cried and couldn’t help but think,

“Yes, dreams really do come true!”

We had a great day!  We enjoyed every moment!  It was an awesome day!

Editor’s Note:  I began writing this post several months ago in June.  Hope that explains the timeline.  I couldn’t upload pics and had to wait till Dale fixed it.

The Grand Finale (aka Magic Alley - Zander used to call it that)

They are so cute!

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