Family Vacation 2011 – Disneyland

The classic Disneyland picture...

The classic Disneyland picture…

Over the years our family has figured out that 2 days in Anaheim, one day at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure, is about as much fun as we can handle. Nothing beats the excitement of entering the park on that first morning and nothing beats the comfort of your pillow when you collapse exhausted in bed after 2 full days of fun.

Waiting in line...

Waiting in line…

Sam was pretty happy this time because he was tall enough to ride most all the rides, except for the Autopia cars. Nancy was her usual timid self on the roller-coaster type rides but did make an exception for Star Wars and Indiana Jones. They weren’t terribly excited to ride on Splash Mountain but I was determined to get one of those photos at the end with our whole family in one log so I made it a mandatory part of the trip.

Enjoying the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (yeah, I know it's been changed - it will always be Swiss Family Robinson to me)

Enjoying the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (yeah, I know it’s been changed – it will always be Swiss Family Robinson to me)

It’s fun to go with the kids when they’re young and the “magicalness” of the place seems very real to them, but it’s more fun to go with them when they’re older. “Magicalness” wears off after about 30 minutes and then crying, potty breaks, and tiredness hit home. When they’re older they’ll pretty much go all day long and it’s the grown ups that say, “You kids go off and ride whatever you want while I sit here on this nice bench. Meet back in an hour”.

Not my favorite ride, but Nancy seemed to like it

Not my favorite ride, but Nancy seemed to like it

The other good part about having older kids is that you can say “No way am I waiting in line to ride Dumbo – you take your sister over there and wait with her while I sit here on this nice bench in the shade…” The other good part is being able to say, “You have your own money that you earned from babysitting. Go buy one of those $12 ice cream bars if you want one. Oh, what’s that? You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on a $12 ice cream bar? So, stopping off at the Walmart on the way home and getting a box of Popsicles doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all?”

Star Wars

Star Wars

Only Sam and Emily were brave enough to go on the Matterhorn with me

Only Sam and Emily were brave enough to go on the Matterhorn with me

Our family has always liked carousels.

Our family has always liked carousels.

Caroline is finally big enough to drive herself!

Caroline is finally big enough to drive by herself!

This guy still needs a grown-up to drive with him.

This guy still needs a grown-up to drive with him.

After one day at Disneyland we spent the second day at California Adventure. The kids enjoyed the various rides – especially the rotating swings ride. I’m pretty good at roller coasters but there was no way I was going on those flying swings so the kids gave me a hard time about it while I sat down on a nice bench and watched them. After about 3 straight turns on the flying swings their queasy stomachs helped them see that maybe sitting down on a nice bench was not such a bad idea after all.

At California Adventure

At California Adventure

Last time we went to California Adventure I got wet on the raft ride and spent the rest of the day in semi-dampness. This time we were much smarter and brought a backpack full of ponchos with us. We hit the raft ride first thing in the morning when the park opened up and there was nobody on it so they let us just stay buckled in the raft and go around again. The ponchos even convinced Nancy to go on the ride and she seemed to enjoy it.

Riding the carnival rides.

Riding the flying swings

Our favorite raft ride

Our favorite raft ride

And finally, the pièce de résistance, a photo of our entire family in one log on the Splash Mountain ride:

Splash Mountain 2011

Splash Mountain 2011

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