After Yosemite, we drove to Anaheim and surprised the kids by announcing that we were going to Disneyland. {Squeals all around}! J's sister is getting married to an awesome guy who also happens to work at the Magical Kingdom. He was able to get us into the park for free AND hook us up with all kinds of passes to get us to the front of the lines.

What a difference that made! We were able to go on twice as many rides as we did 3 years ago, and half of the kids were big enough to go on some of the more intense rides, so J and I tag-teamed it and took turns staying with the baby. We had a blast. {We should have made friends with a park employee years ago! It's the best way to do Disneyland, hands down.}

It was a hot day, but we spent most of it indoors {thanks to avoiding long lines!} and consequently, felt energetic enough that we stayed from the opening of the gates until the last of the fireworks died off. It was a long, full, memorable day. We even tried out California Adventure, but concluded that it felt too much like a prettied up carnival, lacking some of the fantastical charm that Disneyland embodies. {However, we did enjoy the Toy Story Midway Mania game.}

Baby R took a few naps in the stroller, but the one we really wore out was E. By dinner time, he ignored the fireworks, put his face on the table and fell soundly asleep. We were unable to wake him for the rest of the night!

{Best ride? Star Tours got my vote, J loved Indiana Jones, and as always, the Finding Nemo submarine, the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean were high on the list.}

And so we say farewell to the Happiest Place on Earth-- at least until we go back  in another 3 years.

*We did actually take tons of pictures on the "real" camera, but I haven't downloaded them yet. These are my iphone pics.

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