Happy Mexicans at the happiest place on earth

Cindy with her parents and grandfather

On Friday evening, my mom called.

“Do you have a Disneyland annual pass?”

“Yeah,” I told her.

“Okay, good. We’re taking Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni to Disneyland on Sunday with your tía Martha, she has a pass. Do you want to go?”

“Hmmm, my pass isn’t good on Sunday, we’ll have to pay. Let me think about it.”

Papa Chepe and Mama Toni

Sean was down to go and it seemed worth the expense to spend a day at Disneyland with my grandparents. I don’t know who came up with the idea to take my grandparents to Disneyland. Maybe after dinner on Thursday, tía Martha was talking about how her pass expires soon and she planned to go on Sunday. My mom might have chimed in that she had some free park hopper passes. Either way, plans came together to take my grandparents to Disneyland for the first time in 35 years.

Loved this band

Late Sunday morning, Sean and I headed down to Anaheim. My parents and the rest of the family were already there, waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion. After upgrading our passes we entered Disneyland and briefly enjoyed the brass band playing Christmas carols on Main Street.

Taking the train

On the Disneyland Railroad

We easily found the family, all 9 of them, outside the Haunted Mansion. With Sean and I, our group grew to 11. We rode the Disneyland Railroad over to It’s A Small World where we waited a bit in the wheelchair accessible line. While there, my cousin Nancy and two of her friends joined us. We were now 14 people.

A few generations on an It's A Small World boat

Papá Chepe and Mom

My grandparents can still walk, but can’t handle a whole day at Disneyland. We bypassed some lines because of the chairs. As one might expect, they didn’t get on any roller coasters or rides with lots of shaking and jolting. They mainly took it easy watching shows and doing the slow/calm rides. It’s A Small World was perfect for them. We filled a whole boat with our group and enjoyed a ride around the world.

Space Mountain

Waiting in line for the Matterhorn

In the temple of doom?

Afterward, the group split up for a few hours. The parents, grandparents tía Marth and tío Pancho staked out a good spot along the Christmas Fantasy Parade route. The younger crew went off to Tomorrowland for some non-elderly friendly rides. In a few hours, we got through Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters, the Matterhorn and Indiana Jones.

Martha and Luz on the Winnie The Pooh ride

We joined the parents/grandparents for a late lunch at the Hungry Bear restaurant. I suggested riding the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh since it was calm and adjacent to the restaurant. Half the group sat out that ride, but waited for us to head over to Mark Twain Riverboat.

On the Mark Twain Riverboat

Tió Pancho and tía Martha stayed on the lower deck of the Riverboat with Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni. Everyone else climbed up a level or two. While snapping some photos on the top level with my parents, the riverboat pilot asked Sean and I if we’d like to go up to the wheelhouse. I immediately answered yes and grabbed my parents who were on the same level. We passed through the tiny pilot’s quarters and up into equally small wheelhouse.

Dad does some riverboat navigating

Up in the wheelhouse

Up in the wheelhouse of the Mark Twain Riverboat

In my many previous trips to Disneyland, I’ve always passed up the Mark Twain Riverboat. I don’t even remember going on it as a kid. Jesse, the pilot who invited us up, let us ring the bell and blow the whistle. As we circled Tom Sawyer Island, we talked about working at Disneyland and my mom told Jesse the trip was special because we’d brought along her 91- and 88-year old parents. Before we left, we signed the guestbook and snapped more photos. If you ever get invited up to the wheelhouse, go! It’s quite the treat and you’ll feel like you’re in on the secret Disneyland.

Jesse, the riverboat pilot, invited us up


Dad and Mama Toní on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

We stayed in Frontierland for Big Thunder Mountain (sans grandparents) and the Tiki Room. We also took advantage of the short line for Buzz Lightyear once again. This time, we took the grandparents. I’m not sure how well they did in the game. The group split up a second time. The grandparents, tía Martha and tío Pancho stayed at Disneyland to relax and stake out a good spot for watching the fireworks.

Mickey's Fun Wheel

The parents and cousins headed over to California Adventures to enjoy some rides before it closed at 9. We left my parents at the World of Color line (they had fast passes) and then headed over to California Screaming and Midway Mania. Our group kept getting smaller, but it was still fun. We watched a little bit of the World of Color show before deciding to leave California Adventure. The cousins and friends returned to Disneyland to meet up with their parents and watch the fireworks show.

C-3PO in Star Tours

Sean and I took the monorail from Downtown Disney back to the Tomorrowland to use our Star Tours fast passes. Even with the pass, we still waited a while. We ate dinner in New Orleans Square, did the Haunted Mansion and watched Fantasmic. It wasn’t even 11, but we were ready to go home. It was a long day, even if we did show up at noon.

CIndy gives the side eye to this.

I’m really glad I took my mom up on the invitation. I see my cousins often, but this is the first time I’ve gone to Disneyland with them. It was also fun to see the grandparents and parents enjoy Disneyland. It might have been tough trying to organize and please everyone and navigate the wheelchairs around crowd and strollers, but it was well worth it. I don’t think I’ll get many more opportunities like this.

Thanks to Sean for letting me borrow several of his photos… not like I asked.


6 thoughts on “Happy Mexicans at the happiest place on earth

  1. Martha Mascote says:

    Picture perfect memories…beautiful… to have been able to go to Disneyland with your parents and GRANDPARENTS…is a wonderful gift you will hold dear forever. Now I have a better perspective as to the picture I asked you about of Charlie what are you thinking.

  2. Martha Mascote says:

    Um e-mail still to come I have to talk to my brother first…

    Love you Cindy and Sean. Tia Paty

  3. I used to have a big united family. It all changed after my grandparents died …

    You have a lovely family and I think it’s great that Sean is a family man too. Felicidades! Eres una persona muy afortunada.


  4. Ernie Ureño says:

    Loved reading this entry and seeing all the pictures of the family with my abuelitos at Disneylandia. It reminded me a little of when we took my abuelito to the Doyers game a couple years ago… if only for hanging out with mi Abue outside of the house.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s