“Family” Vacation

This last week we went on a family vacation to Disneyland. By family I mean, my great-grandmother, her other caregiver and her daughter and husband, and me. The other caregiver and her family have been quite a few times and everyone had been more recently that I had.

I’ve been to Disneyland once in my life before this. I was 13 years old and they were still building California Adventures. My dad took my sister and I as our end of the summer adventure. We spent a week in the car driving from Washington to the Grand Canyon to Disneyland and then home for the school year with my mom. It was a great trip, although my sister and I didn’t appreciate the “big hole in the ground” that is the Grand Canyon as much as my dad would have liked.

I was really excited to go on this trip. It had been so long since I had been there, so much had changed, and to be honest I didn’t remember as much about my first visit as I thought I did. I remembered the Indiana Jones ride, which I think we rode the most when I was there as a kid. I remembered seeing the Matterhorn and riding Space Mountain, I remembered the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I remembered some things that aren’t there anymore. But most of the things I saw when I was there this time were new to me.

A lot has changed in the fourteen years since I’d been to Disneyland. Not just the fact that they’ve added California Adventure, but Disneyland itself has changed quite a bit since then. They’ve added new rides and attractions and changed some of the old ones. Pirates of the Caribbean for instance had changed because the new movies had come out, they added some Jack Sparrow and other characters from the new movies. Space Mountain has become Hyperspace Mountain thanks to Disney’s purchase of the Star Wars franchise and the new movie coming out. There’s a bunch of stuff dedicated to Frozen, although that’s all in California Adventure. Haunted Mansion was all Nightmare Before Christmas, although I don’t know if that’s new or not, I don’t remember going on it before.

Whatever the case may be, the whole park was basically new to me. We stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It was really nice. We all shared one room, so it was a little cramped, but I don’t really have anything to complain about. We were only in the room to sleep or change clothes. We got 4 day park hoppers so we spent 85% of our time in the parks and probably 10% of the time in Downtown Disney. I’ll write an additional post with pictures and things in it and talk about each thing in a minute.

I didn’t take as many pictures as I had planned to. But I couldn’t be bothered carrying around my good camera and although I took some pictures with my phone I just didn’t think about it much and ended up taking more videos than photos. As a group we were trying to get a bunch of pictures and videos for my grandma so we can put them on a digital picture frame and a DVD so she can “go back to Disneyland” as much as possible. The reality is this was most likely her last trip. I recorded at least one parade, maybe 2, I don’t remember, I recorded a couple of rides since she can’t get on most of them, and a couple that she just really likes. Then I recorded their special Christmas/Winter World of Color show.

That show was AMAZING!

The other caregiver’s husband took a bunch of pictures with his camera so between my pictures, his pictures, my videos, and all the pictures their daughter took on her phone we should have a good amount of material to put on the digital frame and the DVD. I’ll put all the images to music and let the sounds from the recordings play during those. I’ll alternate between pictures and videos so the DVD stays interesting.

Boy does it feel good to be home.

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