All the Disneyland Photos and That's It

by | Feb 10, 2015 | Lego, Travel With Kids | 24 comments

I feel like I keep telling you guys that I’m finally feeling better, but I’m going to stop doing that. Because, really, I’m not. This pregnancy, even at sixteen weeks, well into what has almost always been the do-all-the-things part of pregnancy for me . . . has been hard. I’m still having first trimester-type nausea and fatigue, combined with early-onset third trimester stuff like heartburn and other things I won’t go into. So, I’m just going to say that I’m not feeling great, but life and blogging go on, as much as possible anyway.

They are NOT barfy. Just bummed that Sleeping Beauty’s castle was all closed off and screened over.

So, even though I’ve been racking my brain for some “content” to go along with the Disneyland photo dump. I just don’t got it tonight. And I didn’t got it last night either. So, you get the photos. That is all.

If you like the Catholic All Year page on Facebook, you’ve seen a couple of these. If you follow me on Instagram, (do you? it’s my favorite. I’m @kendra_tierney.) you’ve seen even more of them. But no one has seen them all. Until now.

Nana and Grandad take us all to Disneyland for each kid’s sixth birthday (because they are they BEST.)
We’ve ended up going two Februarys in a row, since we went a couple of
months late for Gus’s birthday last year, and a few months early for
Anita’s sixth birthday, which is next July.

It also just so happened that we went on Betty’s actual eleventh birthday. So, lots to celebrate.

We drove from our house in the valley down to Anaheim on Thursday afternoon, and spent the evening at Downtown Disney.

We went to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, which my kids believe to be THE fanciest restaurant on the entire planet.

Wait, who is that?

Oh. It’s Frankie.

Betty got a birthday Volcano Cake, sans sparkler ’cause California is l.a.m.e. like that. I’m sure many a wildfire was set inside the Rainforest Cafe before someone finally got some laws passed against them.

Next stop was the Lego store. I love just watching the kids inside the Lego Store. They love it all so much.

Bobby had saved up for months to buy a Lego set for himself while we were there. He had a baggie o’ cash, and a coupon he had clipped from his Lego magazine. (Do your kids get Lego magazine? It’s FREE!) It’s was the adorablest.

Next day, Friday, we went to Disneyland. The lines usually aren’t TOO bad on a weekday in February, but they were really not bad on a weekday in February in the midst of a measles scare. If you vaccinate, seriously, get thee to Disneyland.

I know, Indiana Jones Ride, I know . . . but I totally did anyway.

Haunted Mansion. VERY scary, see?

Jungle Cruise, mostly just adorable.

All four of our eligible kiddos got selected for Jedi training.

I love this photo so very much. Anita is utterly nonplussed, staring down Darth Vader.

There was a recurring theme all day of her insisting that she wanted to go on rides, then hating them once she was on them. Take Space Mountain here, for instance.

Fortunately, Grandad was there to make her feel better afterwards. And talk her into the next one.

Nine years to go Gus . . . 

Thirteen for you TiggerFrankie.

Now Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride she DID like.

The next day, Lulu awoke looking lovely and refreshed, from her pack n’ play tent. We always try to cram the pack n’ play into a bathroom, but it didn’t fit, so the husband set it up under the hanging bar and draped all the random-piece-of-fabric-they-put-across-the-foot-of-the-bed-to-look-fancy-s down from the hanging rack over the pack and play, to make it a little darker and less hey-I-can-see-all-my-friends at night.

And off we went to Disney California Adventure.

The most amazing ride in the park, and maybe anywhere, ever, is the Radiator Springs Racers. It’s everything you love about Disney rides all rolled into one. It has the movie immersion experience of the classic Fantasyland rides, but also has a thrill ride component. And the technology is truly jaw-dropping. We booked it right to the fastpass line, and then the actual line, so we could go twice. But you have to be forty inches tall to ride. Frankie is 39.95 inches tall. So I folded up two maps into little squares and stuck them in the heels of his shoes. Voila. He loved it. Next time I’ll remember to put him in his cowboy boots.

I do not recommend the Frozen Sing Along Show. Neither does Bobby.

Frankie was great and not at all cranky all day, except when Lulu and I needed to sit on the bench on King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea, which meant that Frankie had to move from a green whale to a purple whale. It was THE worst. He was super mad.

But everyone loved the Green Army Men Show.

And the Play Parade. Lulu was pretty flabbergasted by the whole thing actually.

Cars Land is just not to be believed. We go to a different National Park each year with the kids, and I gotta say, Disney has done a pretty amazing job replicating nature here. At night, they have it all lit up like sunset.

And all the old neon signs are so fun. We went to Flo’s V8 Diner for dinner.

Then basked in the orange glow of the Cozy Cone Motel and got some ice cream.

They have crammed a LOT of Frozen-themed attractions into California Adventure. They’ve replaced the very clever Muppet 4D movie with a super-lame Watch Clips of the Movie Frozen show, they’ve replaced the UH-mazing Toy Story Zoetrope with a chance to look at some ladies dressed as Anna and Elsa. Blerg.

But even a certified Frozen-hater like myself could appreciate Olaf’s Snow Fest. We went inside an arena, which was impressively decorated to look like a Norwegian village, and the kids got to play in REAL SNOW. Now, I know that for almost all of you, that sounds like a really terrible idea. But my kids (except for a two year stint in Chicago) have always lived in California, and for them, snow is really magical.


The falling snow is just bubble snow, but it was still lovely.

And on the ground was real (man made) snow that you could use if it turned out that, despite all your Frozen-bashing, you DID want to build a snowman.

There was also a sledding hill. If you wanted to go sledding, you have to head over that that line right away, because they only let you stay in the snow area for a set amount of time. My kids all wanted to play in the snow, so they didn’t get in line. So they didn’t get to go sledding. Except for Gus, who charmed his way into the last sled ride of some gal’s shift, because he is THAT charming.

And that, plus all the other rides not pictured, and corn dogs, and churros, and not waiting in line to meet costumed characters, because I do not get that, was that. We headed home Saturday night and our altar boys were on the job Sunday morning. It’s nice to have a day to recover from a vacation.

I’ve got plenty more mailbag answers I can throw up here, and someday, there will again be content on this blog. But until then, I can always just take more pictures of the kids.

For more on our Disneyland habits, check out:

Big Family Disneyland Hacks


  1. Hope

    We were at Disneyworld in September and everyone loved it. Disney does a great job at the magic! I loved hearing you say you put maps in the shoes. We consistently said our oldest was 14 (he turned 14 two months later) so that we could all ride together. Terrible, I know! It was one of those do what you gotta do so everyone enjoys themselves! Glad you had fun, I enjoy the pictures. I hope the nausea passes soon.

  2. Mirtilli Rossi

    hang in there! nice that you can get around and have fun to take your mind off the ughs. pictures of kids are great content.

  3. Angel Gebeau

    I LOVE the playpen tent hack! I'll be trying that one out on our next hotel stay. Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Tracy Bua Smith

    Great pics and fun! Feel better soon! You certainly do more when having preggo sickness than I have ever been able to do. All I could do was literally sit on my couch for hours and try no to move. If I moved and got up I was in the bathroom puking. 🙁 Glad you can get your mind off things with family fun!

  5. Katrina

    Only Pregnant women cry at all the wonderfulness of another families Disney pictures!!!

  6. Anna-bird

    My family is a total Disney family!! Seeing Mr. Toad's Wild Ride just made me nostalgic…I still can't believe they got rid of it in Disney World.

  7. Amanda

    So much fun! I had never been (to California at all!) until last summer, and we went to CA Adventure, but there was no Frozen stuff yet. Cars Land was the best, but the fastpass wait was so long we only had my son and an adult go – which was apparently a mistake. 🙁 We did gain a new family joke, when my only child old enough went on the water ride and spent his time wailing "this is noooootttt fuuuuuunnnn" Ha. The rest of us enjoyed it.

  8. Nancy Shuman

    Great photos, as always. Those with the real snow are magical – "let's put this in an ad" kind of magical. But I'm afraid I'm right there with Bobby on the Frozen Sing Along. His face says it all.

  9. Nanacamille

    Just a magical trip. It's so special to see the kids being amazed by everything they see. They are great kids and so much fun to be with.

  10. Nanacamille

    Just a magical trip. It's so special to see the kids being amazed by everything they see. They are great kids and so much fun to be with.

  11. EC

    This is great! We are taking our girls next month. Did you get your Fast Passes right away? Can my husband stand in line for them without us? The girls would be so disappointed if they didn't get to meet Tinkerbell and the fairies in Pixie Hollow. Thanks! Oh, I'm glad they limit the time in the Olaf Snow. My California girls would want to stay there all day, ha!

  12. Julie

    I hope you feel better..and I second that the Frozen Sing-a-Long is one to skip!

  13. Anonymous

    Hey- we like content, for sure. But, I bet many of readers are not very disappointed with adorable pictures of your kids. I am not, at any rate.

  14. Heather

    I directed Fiddler on the Roof with a community theatre group a few years back. There's this really haunting wistful song at the end about Anatevka – the city they're being forced to leave. We staged it with "falling snow" for special effect and it was that soapy snow. Our cast came up with a parody song where instead of saying, "An-a-tev-ka, An-a-tev-ka" they sang "Instant car wash, instant car wash" in rehearsal. Soapy fake snow always reminds me of that.

  15. Nanacamille

    There are girls in "Princess dresses" all over both parks at Disneyland but only ONE TIGGER. Guests and crew members alike were calling out" Hi Tigger" to him both days. He would look back at them mildly amused because of course he is Frankie after all.

  16. Cammie Wollner

    I'm so curious to see what the castle is going to look like when it's uncovered!

    And Frankie is such a cute Tigger and the pictures in the snow look absolutely magical!

  17. Amanda

    I'm not sure which I love more, Bobby's look during the Frozen Sing Along (right there with ya Bobby!) or Anita's look of amazement at the snow, or Frankie's classic resting-cranky-face or Lulu's look of baby wonder. Bobby might win cause we all know how I feel about Frozen 😉

    I know exactly what you mean about the pregnancy sickness. Ugh. I've given up telling the kids I'll feel better soon, I just tell them I'll feel better after the baby is born. If I feel better before then we can all be pleasantly surprised. 14 weeks down, 26 to go….unless baby decides to be 2 weeks late like #3 😉 I hope you truly feel better soon and have a smooth second half of pregnancy!

  18. Erin Franco

    What a beautiful family. It amazes me that Disneyland doesn't stress you out (and your pregnant!). I would love you to write a post on the most helpful mindset to have when you vacation with your family. You make it look fun, and all I can think of when I think of Disneyland is, "I'm exhausted already just thinking about it"!

  19. Son Mom

    Great pictures! I have a "cranky Frankie" and she had a face just like that when we went to the Rainforest Cafe 🙂 Looks like it was a wonderful trip, and I hope you're feeling better soon!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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