Notes on the Happiest Place on Earth

We’ve just returned from two _______ days at Disneyland!

You fill in the blank:

A. Fun Filled

B. Terrifying

C. Delightful

D. All of the above…

If you answered D, you’re correct!

Fun filled: Disneyland is magical. From the word “go!” — point of fact – we drove up to the in process renovation of the Disneyland Resort Hotel. My dear hubby got the bags out of the car while I sashayed up to check in, girls in tow. With my winning smile firmly in place, I asked the desk clerk if a room upgrade was possible. He frowned at me, glanced at the girls, then suggested that maybe his newest employees could get us a room in the new wing.

Newest employees? That would be great! I grinned. He leaned over the counter and called my daughters back, dressed them in employee vests, and allowed a 6 year old and a four year old to hunt and peck letters of our reservation into the computer. Darned if we didn’t get a brand new room in the renovated Dreams tower, complete with carved wall mural, “A Dream is a Wish” music box, and LED fireworks light show behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle as a night light.

Each girl received a balloon, an autographed picture of the 1950s Disney cast, and entry into the kingdom!

Terrifying? Not for my oldest. Rachel is up for everything, though she has to be reminded to ride the little kid rides, as she calls them. LOVES them while she’s on them, but would rather ride an endless stream of Splash Mountain, Grizzly Rapids, and of course – Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road. Her four year old sister? Chickened out of Splash Mountain at the last possible moment. Again. Perry and I discovered the wonderful world of Parent Passes, which enables one parent to pass of the kid that won’t go, while the other rides, and vice versa.

Ellie wailed on her way out, begging for another go around on the psychadellic trip that is Winnie the Pooh’s Heffalump adventure. She opted for the toddler track, riding Mr. Toad’s wild ride, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Small World, Buzz Light Year, and at CA Adventure – King Triton’s Merry Go Round, and the new Toy Story Midway Game. The girls played together at the “Smoke Jumper’s Camp” at Grizzly Bear Country, running up and down rope bridges, swinging on tire swings, and laughing themselves silly.

All was fine and good, until she watched us all “Trading her Off” with increasingly long face. She tried the Soarin’ California and discovered that flying was cool! More fun when we were all together… and “Not dat scawy.”

I convinced her that getting her grandmother onto the Grizzly Rapids ride was her bounden duty. She went to great lengths to encase her grandmother in waterproof capes, and drag her onto the river raft ride. Ellie was the wettest kid on the boat. We laughed until our sides hurt, at how waves crested her head at every drop. She loved it. Loved the attention. The drama! and ultimately decided, at the very end of day two, to brave Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road.

The end result? In her golden haired brilliance, she grins, “Mommy! I weally wike wollah coastahs!”

Ah, if only she’d have decided that before the end of day two!

It’s a delight to see your kids relish new found things. Her boundaries are expanding. Her universe is bigger for having been brave. More than one set of parents and grandparents warned us to not rush this part… soon, they’ll be tromping all over the park calling “Single!” and jumping to the front of the line, staying out until park close, as long as they phone in at regular intervals.

For now, we’re riding roller coasters as a family…and our Disney trips for the next years to come will be all the more full because of it!

About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

4 responses to “Notes on the Happiest Place on Earth”

  1. Glenn says :

    Thanks for sharing your trip, I remember well the first time my wife and daughter walked under that arch. Their eyes got so big, and they have never returned to normal. It’s awesome what the Disney Cast Members do to make your stay unforgettable, and having experienced special treatment at the Hotel, I believe that the Hotel Staff has the most leeway to start the magic for a Disneyland Resort guest.
    I agree with Ellie I really like the Roller Coasters too!

  2. Ashley says :

    Glenn, thanks for happening by. I’ll be posting some pictures shortly!

    Disneyland is our favorite place to celebrate life and make memories to last a lifetime… enjoyed being with my mom and dad, as much as with my own kids!


  3. Bev says :

    Love your recap, stories I felt like I was there. I could imagine Rachel’s wise and patient manner and hear Ellie’s enthusiasm. Thanks for the three minute Disney trip.

  4. Ashley Ludwig says :

    My pleasure, Bev! and, no lines! tee hee

    Have an awesome day!

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