Let me first just say that I never understood the extreme love and devotion some people have for Disney. The mickey ears, the bumper stickers, the clothing, etc. I just never got all that into it. Dont get me wrong, I love a good Disney flick as much as the next person, but the CRAZE that is Disney just never struck me. Until now. Once you go to Disney World on a Make-A-Wish your views and opinions of Disney just change. We had the best family vacation EVER and once we had a taste all we could think about was getting a little more (and I imagine this will be the case for the rest of our lives, yes we are officially Disney crazed). Plus it was a birthday gift for Caden (Disney World is all he talkes about since our trip). So... we have been saving our credit card points (we have a lot of them people...think medical bills) for a little family trip to Disneyland.
We decided this time we were going to surprise the kids so we packed up in secret and woke them up with the big surprise that instead of school, they'd be getting on an airplane and going to Disneyland! They were so excited and Caden kept saying "we're going to Disney World!" (I don't think he really cared where we were going as long as it had a Dumbo ride).
We wrote Cami a note telling her, but since Caden cant read yet we printed up some pictures so he'd understand what we'd be doing. He carried this paper all through the airport and pulled it out to show everyone he met.
Here is a little video of the kids after we told them they were going.
It was very early so they were still waking up, but SO excited!!
Caden couldn't contain himself on the airplane. He was NOT his normal easy going self. He was wild and loud and crazy. It was fun for him, stressful for Mommy.
Cami is a terrific little traveler. She had her ipod with her Justin and Selena and she was good to go.
Our first activity was the San Diego Zoo. Give Kids The World was nice enough to give us tickets, so we rented a car and drove down. This zoo was AMAZING! Not only was it gigantic and had every animal known to man, you could tell the animals were happy. They were playing and interacting instead of hiding in a corner of their cage. It was so wonderful to see the passion on the employee's faces as they talked about the animals and each and every one of them had a vast knowledge and answered all our questions. This zoo was like a breath of fresh air compared to the others I've been to (okay, not literally a breath of fresh air).
We went on a tour of the zoo and saw/learned about a lot of the animals.
We saw my FAVORITES... panda's!
Can you see the little Panada in the background. I am so in love with these creatures.
They are AMAZING!
These Polar Bears were playing so cute together in the water.
It was my favorite part of the day.
The gorilla's were so active. They were all running around playing and chasing each other. Except for this one, she was the Mama who was content to sit and watch. Cami just loved studying her up close and personal.
We watched a cute show.
(dont mind Caden's face in this picture. It is a rarity to get him to smile for the camera).
Then we spent the next three days in Disneyland. There is nothing that warms my heart more than watching my kids as they take in all that this magical kingdom has to offer. They were so excited to be there and October is such a fun time of year to go. Everything is all decked out for Halloween and all the villains come out to visit the kids. It's a happy, spooky good time for all.
The first ride we headed to was Dumbo, because it's all we had been hearing about for six months. Caden could hardly contain his excitement, but true to his nature when he got on the ride he was cool, calm and collected the entire time (until we got off that is.. then he cried saying "I wanna do it again, again").
Yep, I let my kids dress up. I told you I am Disney through and through now.
We really wanted to try to stay away from the characters because we got the ultimate experience on our Make-A-Wish trip, but the kids begged, so we saw some characters.
We had a busy three days, but we got to go on most of the rides...
Cami (as always) danced in the street for all to see. She is a performer by heart.
We saw the World of Color show (which I highly recommend by the way).
Toon Town was closed when we went to Disney World (they are building a Beauty and the Beast castle...um WOW) so we enjoyed exploring Toon Town with the kids.
We also got to enjoy California Adventure which we obviously didn't get to experience at Disney World
We saw a parade...
We had a wonderful time. It is so great to have an excuse to focus 100% on your kids for 5 straight days... it is EXHAUSTING, but great all the same.
By the end of the trip we had two happy, sleepy kids.
...and Caden hasn't put down his new stuffed Dumbo ever since.