Top Five Things that Surprised Me About Disneyland:
1. It seemed smaller than I imagined. Fantasyland to Critter Country seemed like miles away on the map, but when we started walking we were there in no time.
2. It was much cleaner than I thought possible, given the crowds. I expected overflowing garbage and litter and disgusting bathrooms. While the bathrooms did seem like busy public bathrooms, I don't recall seeing any litter and the garbage cans were emptied religiously.
3. Jackson is now way too cool for princesses. We went to a princess meal, primarily for Sydney. While I didn't expect Jackson to have long embraces with the royals, I did expect he might look, smile or acknowledge their existence. He definitely wasn't posing for any pictures.
4. My kids did not ask for toys or candy. Pretty much every major ride had a gift shop jammed with toys and lollipops the size of their heads. They walked right through as if they didn't see them. On Tuesday we were given a Disney gift card with $62 for Sydney's birthday (in lieu of the birthday free entry since we had a 5 day pass). We told the kids they each could spend $31 on whatever they wanted. The only limitation we gave them was no gigantic things that couldn't be checked or easily carried onto the plane -- like the 4 foot stick with a skull on the end of it that Jackson was eyeing in the Indiana Jones shop. They carefully considered their options with Sydney choosing a Marie stuffie (Aristocats) and a Tinker Bell bracelet and Jackson opting for a stuffed snaked (Indiana Jones) and a Star Wars laser gun.
5. I actually managed to leave Jackson to go to the bathroom leaving him alone TWICE. I rarely do this at home and only if he is going to the bathroom himself. He is almost 8, after all.