If you think Disneyland is over commercialized and adds zero value to your child’s learning/travelling experience. You are right. The money spent standing 50% of your time in a line in the sweltering heat, whilst your kids are going insane crazy from all the waiting for the ride that lasts a whole minute, may seem not worth it.
For you, as the parent your freaking out every time you lose sight of your kid, imagining in that moment they will be swept away, disappearing in a large crowd of excited Disney fans wearing Mickey Mouse ears stampeding toward ‘winnie the Pooh’ when you realize they were standing behind you the whole time drooling over the over sized rainbow smothered Mickey Lollipop, a charming little women is selling for a million bucks.
Despite all of that, waiting, Money spending and panicking, there is a wealth of happiness there. The quality family time we had there was incredible and worth all of the above. We did not stop having, yes FUN! It was awesome and we only spent one day there!
From arrival in the car park and shuttle direct into the park (which btw was only 20 bucks for all day parking and shuttle). To the moment we left just over 12 hours later was for the most part a totally AH-MAZ-ING!
First of all the ferals had no idea we were going to Disneyland as we told them we were going to get some jabs done. Mwahaha the surprise when they realized was priceless! The women at the desk was lovely as were all ‘Cast members’ she engaged with the ferals, and after finding out they were ‘first timers’ she handed them a BIG first timer Badge (YES FREEBIE!) and sent us on our way. We were in!
Walking through to Tomorrowland we hit the first ride ‘The astro Orbiter‘ very short wait time as we were in at doors opening, served us well for them to have a taste of a ride before the real waiting starts! From there we zoomed straight into ‘Buzz lightyear astro blasters‘ 5 minutes wait again,BOOM. We split up into two different spaceships shooting Zurg and his evil minions. Mike and I may have got a little competitive on what level we reached but I maintain that I was only spinning the ship Ferals 2 and 3 were shooting. So it doesn’t count Mike! Feeling kinda giddy, from all the excitement we head over to ‘SPACE MOUNTAIN‘ wowser 40 minute wait. We hadn’t been there long but knowing our ferals they WILL get hungry and being the first long wait we anticipated boredom. So a quick pick me up from Starbucks 3 over-sized Mickey shaped cookies.
Although the queue actually took longer than 40 minutes (over an hour!!!) it didn’t seem that long, maybe because the ferals were on a sugar high or its something Disney puts in the air too make us giddy but the time came to climb into our carriages. Now Feral 1 being 8 is allowed to ride alone, and us having two youngster meant we HAD to ride next to them. Feral 1 went in the carriage between Mike and I and i have to admit I was Crapping myself that he would fall out (don’t you just love that irrational mother brain!) However that ride set the standard for the rest of the day, IT WAS SO GOOD! We couldn’t stop laughing and chattering about how we felt going around in the dark at top speed even Feral 3 enjoyed it! That was it, our mission was set!
There was a huge wait at ‘Starwars Tours’ and no fast pass so we decided to skip it for the time being and head over to the ‘Matterhorn Bobsleds’ and grabbed a fast pass. For anyone not sure on the fast pass system you put your tickets in the fast pass machine and it gives you back tickets with a wait time of around 40 minutes to 1 hour. You then come back between your time slot which lasts an hour and you have limited waiting! FOR FREE! So whilst we waited for the ‘Matterhorn’, we went over to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ ride and took a nice slow car type journey through the freaky world of Alice. Naturally it was time for a family selfie. CHEESE.
We still had time to kill after this and so nipped straight over to ‘Storybook land canal boats’ aww this little boat ride was so cute! All the boats were named after female Disney characters. and the Cast member aboard told a story as we went past miniature lands from classic Disney stories, with Miniature trees, miniature castles. SO CUTE! Coming off this ride made it perfect timing for the ‘Matterhorn Bobsled’ and it worked out well as when we looked back the line for the previous two rides were huge! BONUS!
This bobsled ride again freaked me out a little Feral 2 and 3 only being 4 and 5 were allowed to sit in their own seat in front just like a bobsled. Their little bodies seemed to small strapped in just a seat belt, but to be fair to the staff they triple checked the ferals restraints. Still I poked my arms through and held Feral 3 aswell as Mike doing the same to feral 2, The bruises proof we are being conscientious/paranoid parents (mainly me). This ride was good and fast but it was also scary. Big yetis are places in parts that you least expect and growl at you which meant Feral 3 had his hands over his ears and eyes closed the whole time! Still that didn’t deter him!
Remember me Eddie!! Next up ToonTown! We love Roger Rabbit so I was really excited by this one, After grabbing some lunch we headed over to ‘Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin’ We had quickly grabbed fast passes before lunch so headed straight in. 1Not only was the ride awesome it was air conditioned, which we welcomed as the Heat was reaching high 30’s. After mooching around Toontown and popping into ‘Chip and dales tree-house’ we lined up for what seems FOREVER in ‘Gadgets go Coaster’ (man that was a bust!) It lasted around 30 seconds and wasn’t at all exciting, by this point we had waited for a crap coaster for 40 odd minutes in the blazing sun with no shade. The ferals were wilting and we weren’t coping well with it at all! We walked around to Thunder mountain to find it closed! Ah no!
On the stop off for hydration we spotted Woody, and it took all my power to not shout ‘ANDYS COMING’ because Feral 3 asked me not to as he couldn’t believe the REAL Woody was there! The Closure to ‘Thunder mountain’ was a bit devastating so we went to check out ‘Splash mountain’ 130 minute wait! WHAT. Fast pass Fast pass. Cool except we now had around 3-4 hours before we could get on (this one was not just the usual 40-60 wait!!). We had a quick trip round the hundred Acre wood in ‘The many adventures of winnie the pooh’ and went to watch the parade.
This is what happened next with little tired legs, I shouldered Feral 3 and of course he falls asleep up there. We sat down in a great spot, but the lack of shade on the Main street was excruciating. There was no shade I covered up sleeping beauty and told the others to sit behind the bench in the limited shade whilst mike got sustenance.
The parade started with the most awesome marching band playing Music from The Lion King, these humans were something else. Everyone sat there in awe.
Next up was the Parade, again this was so good, the ferals enjoyed every bit of it singing and waving to all the characters. The ferals got high fives from peter pan. Once the parade had finished we were particularly over heated (me in particular) but plowed on over to Adventureland and had a ride on the ‘Jungle Cruise’ This was a nice cool boat ride with a cast member telling awful one liners the whole time which the ferals found funny. It was getting to a point were we were all flagging a little and needed to rest and get some food. We also needed to be near splash mountain as our fast passes would be ready soon. On the way through to Critter country Mike run to ‘Thunder mountain’ to see if it had reopened, it had, YAY! Fast pass that bad boy!
We stopped in to the Hungry Bear grabbed some food, standard Chips, burgers, and nuggets situation. IT WAS NOW TIME! Splash mountain here we come! The fast pass again was so blooming worth it the wait was still 140 minutes, we were the annoying people who raced past everyone we could feel their raging gaze burning holes in our backs but we didn’t care we waited approx 7 minutes HA! OH MY GOOOOOONESSS!! This ride was one of our Top 2. It was so worth it it lasted a fair while and there was twists and turns and a story on the way it had drops and the intense climb to the the big drop. So much fun!
Once off this ride we had 5 minutes to run to our next and last ride ‘Thunder mountain’ just trying run through a busy crowd with kids is hard, but we made it. VICTORY IS OURS! Feral 3 was a little apprehensive but once on again this was a cool ride. It finished the day off nicely and after being there for 12 hours we were done. We didn’t stay for the fireworks, we had 3 very tired kids, and quit whilst we were ahead and on a high! Pit stop into the shop were the ferals all chose something, and a smooth transition into shuttle bus and car park. A very slight hairy moment when we couldn’t remember what lot or where we parked the car in the sea of thousands but by pure luck we walked right to it!
It was a top day, from start to finish everyone was lovely and most things went smoothly. The ferals did so well, we walked a lot. Mikes fitbit recorded over 18,500 steps and 9 miles in total and that was for a 6ft2 man with wide strides. Imagine what 3 little kids did!! I thought that was pretty incredible! It was all so worth it, the quality time we spent together, we did not stop laughing, joking and chatting. The whole experience was totally amazing. The ferals enjoyed their parents being kids and us parents experienced the wonder and enjoyment of our kids faces at every turn.
That, my friends, is what you cannot put a price on.