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Lessons learned at Disneyland

Nichole Beaudry strives to capture the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments with her children.She earned her undergraduate degree in English from The University of Texas and her masters in English from California State Univers...

Are your kids ready for Disneyland?

If you think that Disneyland is just for older kids and you’ve been putting it off, you might just be missing the boat. Read on to find out why you should get out your calendar and book your family’s trip now!
My trip to Cars Land
Are your kids ready for Disneyland?

A common refrain

“You have to take your kids to Disneyland!”

I can’t count the people who have told me that. But, my husband and I have postponed taking our kids out of fear that they would be too young to truly enjoy the experience. We finally settled on taking them next year, when our daughter will be 6 and our son will be 3.

Then, last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the park with a group of writers and within steps of the entrance to Disney California Adventure Park, I began to suspect that putting off our trip has been a mistake.

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Are your kids ready for Disneyland?

Maybe my kids are ready for Disneyland

As we walked down Buena Vista Street, a true celebration of Walt Disney’s early days in animation, the excitement in the park was palpable.

My guilt over having never taken them to Disneyland increased with every step I took. By the time I reached the entrance to Cars Land, I was visualizing our calendar, trying to figure out how to not only expedite our trip, but also extend our time spent there because it became clear that we’ll need a few more days than I expected to fully explore all that Disneyland has to offer.

As I walked past each of the new attractions, I felt twinges of guilt. Everything in Cars Land would have delighted my kids, but it was the Radiator Springs Racers that would have sealed the deal. On this indoor/outdoor adventure, you take your seat in one of many unique cars and then you’re off on a high-speed race through the twists and turns of Ornament Valley.

Are your kids ready for Disneyland?

I would have given anything to see my daughter’s face as I experienced the joys of Cars Land. Covering over 12 acres, you feel as though Radiator Springs has been brought to life.

My heart ached when we got close to Luigi’s Flying Tires, as I could imagine how excited my son would be to board those 9-foot wide tires that just float on air!

By the time we exited Cars Land, I was certain that our entire family would have an amazing time. I always thought that Disneyland was in our distant future and never realized just how much it had to offer kids of all ages.

Don't miss our tips for taking young children to amusement parks >>

Fun for everyone

Eager to shake off my guilt, we quickly made our way to the Matterhorn, where we grabbed a seat aboard the new bobsled trains. By the time we made the 80-foot ascent to the peak and careened back down, through dark caves and around twists and turns, I felt like a teenager again. So much fun!

With my feet back on the ground, I spent the rest of the day soaking everything in, making notes of all that I wanted to show my kids and experience again with them.

If you're like me and you’ve been putting off your first trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, take one peek at the interactive Cars Land website and I think you’ll be poring through your calendar and making plans to visit sooner than you’d planned!

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