Our day with Hallie at Disneyland could not have gone better if we tried. We got there before the park opened to ensure we would be one of the first families in the park. If they handed out a t-shirt for their first 50 guests we would’ve received one.

Hallie wore a special button that the park had given her telling everyone that it was her birthday. At first I thought it was just a simple gesture, but that button was more. Every single employee – whether it was a ride controller, snack bar attendee, janitor, character, etc – has been instructed to wish a happy birthday to anyone wearing a button. She received so much attention for that simple button, it totally made her day. At first we thought the first couple employees were just kind, but then we realized every single person we encountered wished her a happy birthday, what seven year old wouldn’t appreciate that kind of attention.

We had previously mapped out all the rides we wanted to go on and detailed a schedule as to what we would ride first. We walked on to our first ride, Peter Pan, and Hallie immediately fell in love. We were most definitely the coolest parents ever!

From there we quickly made our way to the Matterhorn. There was no one there when our ride was done, so we just went around again. We went from ride to ride without a single wait in line. Clearly our efforts to get there early had totally paid off. We jumped from ride to ride in no time flat. We made it Tomorrowland where Hallie fell in love with Space Mountain. Fortunately we did all the kiddie rides before because nothing compares to fast roller coasters.


By 10:15 we had gone on 14 rides – which is more than most get in a whole day. Most would slow down at this point – Hallie was determined to do more. We kept jumping rides. We were in awe at how few people were in the park. We kept waiting for all the people to show up and yet we kept walking on every ride. We knew that the park closed early for the day because they were doing a special Halloween with Mickey night so evidently some didn’t think it was worth their time. However those coming for the Halloween special would be able to enter the park at 3 – so we knew to get everything in before then.



Up until 3pm the longest wait we had seen was 5 minutes for the Haunted Mansion. After 3 pm the wait increased to 15 minutes which is still so short for Disneyland, but for spoiled people like us 15 minutes was like an eternity. We did a couple more rides – including our third time at Space Mountain before we found a place to sit and enjoy the parade at 5.


The park was decorated for Halloween which was fun – I can’t imagine what they do for Christmas!


We made the six hour drive home after leaving the park that night. Hallie recounted all of her favorite things. She loved the roller coasters, she could’ve stayed on them all day if we let her. She was a little old for the princesses and characters, but still enjoyed them. She was a great age because she enjoyed the adult rides which made it fun for Steve and I. Hallie fell asleep within one hour of getting in the car and Steve and I talked about how much fun we had for the remainder of the trip. We went over the highlights, funny comments and overall experience. Like I said before, we wouldn’t change one thing. We happened to be there when no one else was and that made all the difference in our one-day quick trip.

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