December 21, 2014

What a Grand Time: Disneyland With The Grandkids




Choosing experiences over things has been one of the basic foundations of my marriage to Betty and in raising our two daughters. We try to make family memories whenever possible.

That approach has been transferred to the next generation. Our oldest daughter and her husband decided that this holiday season would not involve a fully decorated tree and piles of presents for their three kids. Rather, a four day trip to Disneyland and California Adventure Park would make memories that will last a lifetime. And, to make it even more special, one of the days would be "Grandparents' Day" with both sets of grandparents invited to join mom and dad, the three kids, and their aunt in the Magic Kingdom.

Betty and I and my son-in-law's parents piled into our car for the 350 mile trip from Phoenix to Disneyland and back to make Grandparents Day a special day to remember. For almost 14 hours, the ten of us rode every ride we could, saw spectacular shows, ate way too much junk food, watched fireworks, experienced snow falling on Main Street, and made memories for everyone involved.

Our grandchildren had the time of their young lives. They experienced the joy of being surrounded by their family - several generations worth, all sharing the same good times.

Was it worth all that driving and money to see the smiles and feel the love? Was the worth the one lost cell phone (that was eventually found!) and rain coat? Absolutely. We would do it again in a heartbeat. I'd even ride on a roller coaster again!












































The reason for the trip!




23 comments:

  1. What a lovely way to spend this holiday season. Wonderful pics--beautiful smiles. Enjoying time with family and making memories that will last forever---seems that may the best gift to give and receive. If we're able to share life with family and friends, we are truly blessed. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Bob.

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    1. Anything you buy that isn't memories will eventually break or fall apart. Memories are purchased forever.

      Merry Christmas to you,too, Pam.

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  2. What happy smiling faces!! Family--that's what it's all about! Happy Holidays to you and yours and thanks for sharing all year long!!

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    1. You are very welcome, Madeline. Thanks to you and Ken for being such loyal readers.

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  3. Fun times; must be especially precious with the grandchildren. We sent to Orlando's Disneyworld several times with the kids at Christmas. Mostly wonderful memories. But I also recall Space Mountain, which my daughter insisted on riding ... and how it scared the bejessus out of me!

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    1. I skipped Space Mountain, too. I am not a roller coaster person. In fact, my ride on Thunder Mountain was my first roller coaster since as a child I rode on a very small one at some local circus, and didn't like it.

      Epot Center at Disneyworld is my personal favorite of all the Disney parks.

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  4. There are some special memories made at Disney- land and world. Lots of smiling faces. Thank you for sharing your family! Enjoy the Holy Days- now and always. It is all about a Child and the rest of the children isn't it :)

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    1. It is about the Child and His grace. Thanks, Janette.

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  5. My husband worked for Walt Disney Imagineering for many, many years. We had everything Disney (including a time share as part of his salary perks). It was amazing. Free access to everything Disney worldwide, including the NYC Broadway shows, movies, etc! Best years of our lives. Even now, we enjoy that monthly Disney pension!
    Can't wait for our daughter to grow up so we can go back to Disney and have a blast. We still have non-expiring entrance tickets to use up!
    Loved the photos. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. How could you not? Disney is the happiest place on earth. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Betty wanted to work in the Imagineering Department of Disney for years though it never happened. She thought it would be the perfect job in the perfect environment. You sound like you would agree!

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  6. Perfect! Memories are my focus too. My kids likely don't remember many Christmas gifts but, they sure remember all the great fun we had over our three-day Christmas celebration! I can tell that they are passing this along to my grandchildren as well. Disneyland with my grandchildren would be amazing! Merry Christmas!

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    1. While the grandparents were there for a night and one day, the rest of the family experienced both Disneyland and California Adventure for four days. They returned home exhausted and full of joy.

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  7. What a wonderful experience for everyone! I'm percolating an idea of having Christmas in July with the whole family. Seems we always end up last on the list for the 'official' holidays, I think it might be nice to create our own. Seeing those happy little faces is priceless! Well done.
    b

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    1. With Christmas and the holidays happening when the weather in much of the country can be poor, doing a gathering in the summer makes perfect sense. Go for it!

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  8. Spent a week there in October with kids and grandkids, stayed onsite and had a whirlwind adventure. My 8 y/o grandson knows I don't handle some 'roller coaster-y' rides well so when we'd get off a particularly wild ride he would ask me, with concern, "Are you OK Grandma?" Hadn't been there in almost 30 years - what a difference, and in a very good way. Loved it ! So glad you took the time to go. Memories like these will never fade. I still remember my first trip in 1957.

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    1. It is a place that never grows old because they are constantly reinventing themselves.

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  9. What a fun trip! I love to go to Disneyland with my family as well. I'm sure you had to do a bunch of financial planning to go. It can be really difficult to save money to do these kinds of things, especially if you are retired. That is why we all should start saving now for things such as retirement.

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    1. Our portion of the cost came from our 2014 vacation budget since we had been planning for it since last spring.

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  10. Now that is a wonderful way to spend a day with your family and extended family!! When your grand kids are older, it will be wonderful for them to reflect back on that day. You can bet they wouldn't remember the "new toy", but they will that Disney experience.

    I wish you and Betty a wonderful Christmas and a great 2015!

    Dale

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    1. Betty took well over 1,000 photos so the memories will be there for a long, long time!

      Thanks for the kind wishes, Dale, and the same to you and yours.

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  11. Great post! Even at 60, I still enjoy Disneyland. Last September we had the opportunity to visit the magic Kingdom with our adorable granddaughters. We had a great time and I'm sure our grandkids will remember it for years to come!

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    1. It remains a magic place year after year, doesn't it.

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