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As those of you on Facebook know we surprised the boys with a trip to DISNEYLAND!! I LOVE surprises like this. We had just sent off the last boy from a sleepover and were talking to the boys about what we should do that day. Dad suggested the fair and I said it was too crowded on the weekend. My oldest jokingly suggested “Fine then let’s go to Disneyland” “Ok!” we said. And for the next 10 minutes we had to convince them that we weren’t pulling their legs. I had to pull out the printed tickets to prove it haha! Guess we joke around with them too much huh?

So they packed, we packed, and we were on our way. We have family in southern California so there are no real arrangements to be made for where to stay other than who “gets” us this time. We arrived in time for dinner and bed so we could wake up bright and early.

Our first (and main) order of business for the day was Carsland at California Adventure! We have been talking about wanting to go since it first opened. We got a fast pass for Radiator Springs Racers when we first got into the park by reccomendation of others (and I’m SO glad we did!) then we stepped foot onto Route 66!

(You know I love to tell stories through my photos so here is our trip through our photos)

The first ride we came to was Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and the wait was very short. We hopped in line and listened to Mater serenade us with his amazing voice 😉 We loved when he repeated the instructions in Spanish. His “accent” was hysterical.

Really cute/fun ride! The boys knew they wanted to eat something out of a cone and no one really had breakfast so we headed towards the Cozy Cone Motel.

Breakfast from a cone was pretty darn good! We got the bacon scrambled cone and the verde scrambled cone.

Since we had our fast pass we decided to hit up the other big rides at California Adventure while it was still early. California Screamin was next on our list.

I LOVE his face right before the ride started. I was able to capture it quick on my phone.

Then we went to one of my favorites Toy Story Mania. If you aren’t familiar it’s an interactive 3D ride where you get to play carnival type games and try to earn more points than your partner. For the official record I am the family champion.

We decided to head over to Disneyland and come back when it was time to use our fast pass!

I LOVE the nostalgic/magical/happy feeling I get when walking into Disneyland. Nothing like it! It was all decorated for Halloween which gives it that added Holiday feel.


To make it even better the castle already had snow on it! (If you go between November 12, 2012 and Jan 6, 2013 you’ll have the pleasure of seeing the whole place decked out in Holiday cheer)

We went on so many rides here and I took the time to talk with the boys while we were in line. I love the time together we have on these trips and Disneyland is so fun for the boys that they don’t bicker back and forth as usual lol!

A Disneyland tip – if you are celebrating while you’re at the park (birthday, anniversary, honeymoon,  your first time) let a cast member know and they can tell you where to pick up a pin! The next day was his birthday so we got him one and people/characters all throughout the day will tell you Happy Birthday!


It was early afternoon and time to head back to California Adventure to finish our trip to Route 66! I was able to stop and get another photo of the 4 of us.

Walking down Route 66 the boys kept yelling out things they noticed – “Mom! look at this! Wait no look at this! Take a picture of this!” You really feel like you are in a different place. So cool!

Lightning McQueen! Look he’s looking right at me!

Radiator Springs Racers was definitely all of our favorite rides. You get to drive/ride in a car through Route 66, get all cleaned up, and RACE through the desert against another car. It went faster than we thought and put a smile on all of our faces! (It helped that we won) 😉

A snack is much needed in the afternoon.

At this point my little one started seeming “off” to me. Not because of his weird face but he started getting quieter. I asked him if he was ok and he said his head was really hurting so I set off in search for some children’s pain meds. (Bad Mom for not having some with me) The staff at First Aid were super nice and helpful and had just what we needed. 

We started moving a lot slower at this point so rides that we could sit for a bit were good. Luigi’s Flying Tires was a fun interactive bumper car sort of ride where the tires are floating on air and you steer by leaning in the direction you want to go.

We enjoyed more of California Adventure and headed back to Carsland one more time as it turned dark. It really lights up and has new life at night!

Then my little man really pooped out. He started to feel warm and I had to convince him that it was ok for him to say he was ready to go home. An 8 year olds worst nightmare – leaving Disneyland and California Adventure at 7:30pm when you wanted to stay all night. Poor guy.

We said “See you next time” to Carsland and headed back.

One thing I truly LOVE about Disney is their hard work and willingness to make your trip special even with special needs. I can’t eat gluten and often just plan on having my own food on hand (which sometimes isn’t fun when everyone else around you has fun new food to eat). Disneyland has amazing food intolerance/allergy policies. You can get a list of what’s available at Guest Services or talk to a head chef at each restaurant location.

The chefs will prepare your meal themselves and bring it out seperately. Everyone is so happy to help and you NEVER feel like you’re a burden or a “pain” because you have a special request. I’ve rarely experienced the awesome treatment you get at the Disney parks anywhere else. I can’t say enough good things about vacationing with Disney and food intolerances/allergies. 

Is it obvious that we are huge Disney fans?! We will for sure be back (hopefully sometime soon!) If you’re thinking of going soon take advantage of the holiday events and be sure to share your adventures with me!

Anyone else big Disney fans? What’s your favorite ride?! My top rides are Tower of Terror, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, and Big Thunder Mountain! (ok I picked more than one)

Disclosure: I was given 2 media passes to the Disneyland Park and California Adventure but was not required to post or was compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own and our love for Disney is geniune 😉

(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)

Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!


  1. All for the Boys Reply

    Oh have fun!! Don't forget to get his pin 😉 I know you all will love it!

  2. Oh man, reading a post like this is so bittersweet. I love reading stories about trips to Disneyland because I mega LOVE Disneyland, but it's also bitter because it will still be a few years before we can go again. 🙁 Thanks for giving me a few happy minutes of imagining what it will be like when I go with my boys again. 🙂

  3. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and loving it. As a Mom to (now!) 3 boys I am loving it.
    AND as a Mom to two die-hard Cars fans, Carsland has been on my radar since i heard about it! Loved this review and hope to take my kiddos there some day!
    Also? I think your boys are gorgeous and so well dressed! Well done, Mama! 🙂

  4. We took our kids last February to Disneyworld. It was their first time (ages 7, 3.5 and 1). I agree with their customer service. I also just love the feel of Disney. Everything is so clean and you are surrounded by other families so you never really feel like you are too much of a bother to others. I wish we could go back soon but we may have to wait a few years and go to CA for Disney.

    My favorite ride was in Animal Kingdom, Everest. My 7 year old loved it also. Loved Peter Pan's Flight because it brought back memories of when I had gone when I was younger and to see my 3.5 years old face through it was wonderful. Also, all their 4D shows were great!!

  5. Your photos and blog are so awesome. I'm surprised that you don't have more comments! I'd LOVE to take our boys (7 and 9) to Disneyland but as it's on the other side of the planet I'm not sure if it will ever happen. Am trying hard to win a trip from here (New Zealand) but so far no luck. Got to keep on trying :o) In the meantime I love reading your disney posts and imagining it's us there. Your boys even remind me a little of mine… one blond, one brunette.

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