Disneyland, Surprise!

After Vegas instead of heading home, we decided to surprise the kids and take them to Disneyland for a few days. We had it planned a few weeks in advanced, but kept it from the kids. I packed two suitcases, one for Vegas, one for Disneyland. I packed all the kids Disney shirts and other Disney related items that we could use. At one point while I was packing Natalya asked, “why in the world do we need all these clothes for two days!” Good thing she is 5 and didn’t think anything beyond that.

As we left Vegas we headed towards California, but the kids still thought we were headed home. About an hour into the drive Tanner was sure we were going the wrong direction. He even said “Salt Lake is back that way, we are headed to California!”. We tricked him by saying we were taking a new route that took us north through Nevada and then we would head east when needed. He bought it. Randomly while we were driving through Death Valley, Tanner looked out the window and said, “Where are we, Death Valley or something?” He is too smart for us. Luckily they were all distracted enough to not notice signs and things. We stopped for lunch in Barstow at an awesome sit down Pizza Hut. I was worried the kids would over hear someone say something about California. Plus all the kids had on Disney shirts (yes they never questioned that either), so I thought for sure someone would ask if we were headed to Disneyland, but no! We were safe. In fact, we made it a lot farther than we expected. Here is a small portion of the video we took, the original one is 7 minutes long. The first part of the video, which I cut out, was us pulling off the freeway pretending we were lost and if the kids could help us read signs and figure out where we were.  We drove right by the entrance of Disneyland… and only Tanner mentioned that he thought he saw a sign that said Disneyland. We drove all the way into the parking lot of the Disneyland Hotel before anyone figured anything out.

After we unpacked and checked out the room, we headed out to spend a few hours swimming. The pool was awesome, and had a separate area with some water slides. The kids all had a blast! Afterwards we went to spend some time in Downtown Disney to eat dinner and do some shopping (and most importantly get some Haagan Daz). We thought we would get back in time to watch the fireworks from our hotel room, but we just missed it.


We woke up bright and early the next day so we could be to the gate in time for Magical Mornings. I loved that we could just get ready and walk out the door and practically be at the front gate. It was so much better than parking, lugging a stroller and four kids all by ourselves. The kids were all very excited to get going!


We spent the first part of the morning doing all the Fantasyland rides. It was great because of the time of year and it being early in the morning we had no lines. The only bad part was having to force Nadia onto rides kicking and screaming. She was not a fan! She would be ok during the ride, but going on and getting off she would be screaming! We were the worst parents in the world forcing her to go on! On the other hand, Sasha, the baby, loved them all! If you ask Nadia which ride was her favorite? The carousel which she rode on three times. Near lunchtime Trent took the older kids on Splash Mountain, and I took Nadia to meet Tinkerbell and her Fairy friends! She loved it! After splash mountain Trent was going to take the older kids right onto Indiana Jones, but soon realized Natalya was not tall enough. She was not happy as documented in the picture. We went to the Tiki Room instead.


We had lunch on New Orleans Square (my favorite place in all Disneyland). Nadia wanted her own Monte Cristo, and I was just glad to get my mint julep (I have had one every time I have gone to Disneyland, even when I was little ). From then on we hit as many rides as we could. Including the Princess Fantasy Faire. At one point we had to take a little break cause the kids were so tired. We parked at a table and watched a few sessions of the Jedi Training, and also decided to get some dinner while we were there. Nadia even took a little nap!


After that we hit up the rides we missed, plus went on some of our favorites again (splash mountain, pirates, haunted mansion). We had been on it’s a small world earlier where we convinced Nadia to go on (and she loved it), so we then told her Pirates was just like it’s a small world, but with Pirates. She bought it and went on with no problem. After the ride was done she said she liked it, but she didn’t care to go on it again.  when we were done we parked it for a bit so we could catch Fantasmic. We saw the show two years ago, but honestly I could watch it every night and love it! The park closed soon after so we called it a day.



Only to wake up early again to hit California Adventure! We also checked out of our hotel so I was sure to snap some pictures of our awesome room. The headboard not only lit up, but it has a music box that played “When you wish upon a star”. They didn’t leave out any detail!


We were pretty low key at California Adventure. It was pretty hot and a little bit more crowded than Disneyland. Plus after spring break, family in town, Vegas and Disneyland all in a row, we were all tired. Nadia was much better about rides this time around. At one point we went on Monsters Inc. At the end there was a little delay where we were stuck for a few minutes. While we were there one of the Monsters talked to us! I was holding Sasha and the monster said ” Hey, lady in the front row, that is a cute monster you have there! If she gives you any trouble you let me know”. It was pretty funny. We also had Natalya go on Tower of Terror. She was pretty terrified after, but no she claims she loved it!


By the end of the day Sasha had it, she wanted a real nap, and she was hot and tired. Around 5 we called it quits, packed up and headed back home to Utah. Even though it was a short trip we had a blast! Within minutes of getting into the car Sasha was asleep and slept the entire way home.



2 thoughts on “Disneyland, Surprise!

  1. Jessica

    That is so fun! I love that you guys got away with it all the way to the hotel. LOL! You can see where Tanner starts to get wise to you in the car. 🙂 So fun! Great memories to be had, I’m sure!

  2. Janell

    Ha! That was hilarious. It was great watching Tanner’s face. He’s a smartie. And Natalya’s grumpy face is classic. Lots of fun. 🙂

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