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The Happiest Place on Earth

A few days ago we took our fam to Disneyland. It was our third visit to the Magic Kingdom since we’ve had children. In a way that is odd since I grew up going to Disneyland every year. We could. We lived 60 miles from the Matterhorn.

On my first visit back after a decade+ hiatus, tears welled up in my eyes. I walked into Main Street and in so many ways, I was taken back in time.

Those of you who didn’t visit as a child might think I’m nuts. The rest of you, well, you understand. There’s something about Disneyland that brings out the kid in us and reminds us of the best of being a child.

For this visit, I didn’t spend hours planning and scheming as I’ve done in years past. We took it a little more spontaneously than other times. We can. We live about 60 miles from the Matterhorn.

The weather did not disappoint. It was a Mary Poppins kind of forecast, practically perfect in every way. The crowds were slim. (I’m going in February every year from now on!) And I don’t think there was a fight or squabble among my crew the entire day.

Sure, there were some downsides. There were the guys “flipping off” the camera on Space Mountain, blocking our faces in the photo. There were the folks issuing blood-curdling screams during the Haunted Mansion tour that clearly freaked out my already-on-the-edge kiddo. There was the toddler crying during the first full five minutes of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Oh wait. That was my child.

We certainly didn’t have the place to ourselves and it showed in some ways. People are people. And your toes will get stepped on — even in the Magic Kingdom.

In the days leading up to our little day trip, hubs and I joked that we were heading to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” My nine year old son, still free from the advertising mottos that we grew up with, curiously inquired, “What’s the happiest place on Earth?” I explained to him about the marketing slogan of yesteryear.

And then our conversation got serious as he took the question literally.

What IS the happiest place on Earth?

And I looked at him and I knew. Even though I love Disneyland with every part of my being. Even though I dream of season passes and stays in the Dream Suite. Even though I could “do Disney” for days on end — much to the chagrin of my husband.

I looked at him and said, “I think the happiest place is being with you guys. Wherever that is.”

May YOUR home be the happiest place on Earth today.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful post in every way:)

  2. We are Disney World People. My favorite slogan is “It’s time to remember the Magic”.

    But seriously I would have to agree, no matter where you are being with your family is the happiest place on earth.

  3. My sister bought my family the deluxe annual passes this year for Christmas. We activated them on the 16th of January and have already used them 3 times. Like you, I could go to Disneyland all the time. The passes have made it more relaxing and we are able to enjoy a lot of the side shows and spend time looking for the hidden mickey’s (yes we bought the book)!

  4. OH, Disneyland is so fun. I remember when my grandfather took me to Disneyland. WE stayed there the entire day. Im glad that you were able to enjoy some fun with your family there. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  5. Love how you had everyone where RED! We do that with our 5 boys when we go to the County Fair each year. It is easy to spot the boys when I know everyone is wearing the same color.

    • I chuckled when I saw that because it brought back the memory of when I dressed my (then) very active 3.5 yo in a red shirt so I could spot him easily at a park where we met some friends for a play date. We were there no more than 15 minutes when a day camp bus pulled up and a herd of kids in matching red t-shirts came off the bus and swarmed the playground!

      • Jessica Fisher says:

        Yes, my husband says we need to choose a different color. There were quite a few groups and families doing the same thing.

  6. We’ve had season passes for years and mid-week in January/February are the best (and non-holiday weekends). The older kids just want the fun rides but the littlest one is still in the “shock and awe” stage. Meeting characters and riding dumbo are precious memories!

    Planning a trip to Orlando or maybe a Disney cruise in a year or so…gotta go before they all grow up and move out!

  7. Lynette W. says:

    Great Post Jess! When I saw your “catch” phrase post on FB two thoughts popped into my head simultaneously – any where with my kids/hubby and Disneyland! LOL! Great Minds think a like :) I’m there with ya all the way with the Disneyland love and visiting! So looking forward to my up coming trip (18 days and counting) on getting away with my hubby at Disney! Can not wait!

  8. My hubby and I honeymooned at DisneyWorld Orlando. So fun! We just moved to Los Angeles, and we have two little ones, so we are definitely brainstorming ideas for saving up for annual family passes!

    So glad that you had fun with your fam!

  9. I completely agree, family first then Disney, although mine is Disney World. I especially love being with my little family in the world. We have 310 days lol until hitting Disney World at Christmastime, our first trip as DVC members! I looked forward to many more trips with my princess and hubbie and thankfully she should enjoy it for awhile longer as she is not even 2 yet and hubbie is already in Love with Disney(went on our honeymoon for me and that was it for him, he was hooked.) :0)

  10. We were there last week too!!! The weather WAS perfect and the lines were short! Awesome time!!!

  11. I get a lot of grief at work for not being a Disney fan. My first trip there was as an adult so maybe I missed something – I guess it’s all my mother’s fault :) I do agree that anywhere my family is would be the happiest place for me. Glad you guys had a good time.

    • I’m not a Disney fan either, so I know what you mean. I have to be so careful not to step on toes with my opinions regarding Disney (and I’ve not always been successful in that regard!).

      We’ve taken our children on several extensive trips (some international), and some people question how we can do that. To me it’s simple, I’d rather take my children to see the real world and not an imaginary one. But, to each family their own!

      I’m glad you had a wonderful time, FishFam!

  12. We go to Disney World and had passes last year. (Wish we could afford to renew) I hear they are building separate princess castles for each princess and they’ll have a whole princess “land/area”. I think it opens late spring this year. I’m so excited I can’t stand it! My 3 yo princess and I will be dressed and ready to go!

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