Disneyland, the happiest place on the earth. We had wanted to go for many years. But one circumstance or another prevented us. Finally, we had the vacation time and the money. We were ready. Disneyland, here we come!

Ready for our Disneyland day!

After breakfast and a little shopping at Downtown Disney, we entered the park at open and started our first day in the Disneyland resort in Disneyland, the first park Walt Disney built. We had a magical first day full of shows, rides, and meeting of our heroes.

Character Meet and Greets:

Minnie Mouse – We got to meet her as soon as we entered the park. She was walking down Main Street taking pictures, giving out her autograph, and of course giving out hugs

Ariel – We waited 30 minutes at the Royal Hall but my children will tell you it was worth every minute. As soon as they entered they met Ariel, who was friendly and excited to talk with them.

Cinderella – Cinderella as next, chatting with the children, complimenting them on their shoes, and engaging them in a twirl contest

Snow White – Snow White was last. She was so happy to meet the kids, and was bright and engaging. The kids just loved her and asked to send their regards to the dwarfs

Kylo Ren – For whatever reason my kids just wanted to meet people from the dark side. My son made sure to let Kylo know he wasn’t afraid of him. For me, I didn’t find Kylo as scary as the next foe we meet…*

Darth Vader – Darth Vader was tall, and scary. He comes up to you imposing and commands you into the room with him. You go, because he has commanded it. He seems to really control the force. Except for my son. He made sure to tell Darth that he was not afraid of him, and that he should go talk to his son…Luke


Star Tours – Was a fantastic ride that has you in a cruiser jumping into hyperspace trying to outrun the First Order. It’s one of newest rides, and it does an excellent job of making you feel like you are in a space cruiser. It’s a 3D simulated adventure we loved it so much we did it twice! My son declared it his favorite ride out of all the parks.

Space Moutain – It’s classic and you have to go on it once. However, my family may never forgive me for taking them on it. I told them it was a roller coaster but a tame one. Apparently, my memory of it in Florida (which I rode when I was 14) was not quite accurate and the dark just made it more terrifying. When it stopped my daughter burst into tears, my son said that was the scariest thing he ever did, and my husband accused me of trying to kill him with a heart attack. I thought it was fun…

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – This is a fun game where you ride around inside shooting blasters at Zerg and his followers. All of us enjoyed this ride, and my daughter was bitterly disappointed when we weren’t able to make it back to that part of the park again to ride it one more time.

Indiana Jones – My kids don’t know Indiana Jones but my husband and I were excited for this ride. After Space Moutian all were weary of anything marked as dark or with sudden drops, but they all agreed to go. We had a scare at the end where my daughter just came to the measuring line and they were trying to decide if she was tall enough to go. Thankfully her hair was puffy that day and they gave her a pass. The kids loved the ride, and I was particularly impressed at the part where we went toward the boulder. I wish we had had a picture of my reaction

Pirates of the Caribbean – Another Disney classic we had to ride. Ever enjoyed the gentle ride, but I was disturbed to see they still had the scene where the pirate was selling the women as wives. I believe that’s changing in the future, but it made me cringe realizing my kids were watching this…


River Belle Terrace – We ate dinner at the River Belle Terrace as part of their Fantasmic Dining Package (Well we thought we did, then at the end they said we didn’t actually reserve that, but we worked it out). We were all tired and hungry at that point, but found the food delectable. I ate a pulled pork sandwich and my husband the ribs. The kids got Mac and Cheese. I enjoyed the outside of the Maleficent dessert, but the cayenne in the middle was bit much for me. The kids and my husband enjoyed their parfaits. It’s a bit pricey, but the seats you get for the show are worth it


The true delight of the evening was the Fanstasmic! show. On the lake, an adventure including water, lights, fireworks, two giant boats, and a story filled with all your favorite characters, it’s a delight for everyone. The dinning package had included a pass to an area upfront. You had to sit on the ground, but (as we later learned) that actually turned out to be better. You got an up close view, and it was much more comfortable than trying to help the kids see over standing adults.

The show had colors, water dancing and projections

Many of th favorite princesses made an appearance during the show*

Malificent made a scary, fiery appearance*

Our favorite parts where the large boats that came around, with the Pirates fighting, and the river boat hosting all our favorite characters*

At the end of the evening, we were tired and weary from our full day. The kids walked back to the hotel and fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows. My Fitbit said I walked over 19,000 steps, more than it had ever recorded for me. Considering I had just had knee surgery three months prior, I considered that pretty good. I had no idea that the next day would squash that record. But at that moment, I settled my head into bed, content with the wonderful day we had, and looking forward to the fun that we expected in day two of our Disneyland adventure.


  • Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
  • Hours: Check the website or Disneyland App for the park hours on the day you are planning to visit
  • Cost: Start at $97 a day. The best deals are found when purchasing hotel and tickets together

This was a stop during our Great Southern California Adventure

*Starred photos taken by Atma Photography

2 thoughts on “Disneyland

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