It’s the journalist in me. If something happens, I need to document it. In journalism, I document my city and region’s history. At home, I document the history of my family.
One of our favorite history-making activities – going to Disneyland! That’s why every time we go, I make a book to remember it.
For my son’s second birthday we headed to the happiest place on earth! Of course we had pictures galore! When we returned home I put it all in a Shutterfly book. I documented the sweet exchange between Daisy Duck in which he told her “Uppsy daisy!”
I wrote the book in what I imagined J.C.’s inner dialogue would have sounded like. At the end of the book, I had an adorable shot of him with the words, “I had a great trip at Disneyland, I can’t wait to go
A year or so later we went back to Disneyland. He wanted to do things similar to how they unfolded in his first Disneyland book. Ride the carousel with Mom, Dumbo ride with Dad. We also tried out some rides he was too small for the first time. That included the rockets, in which he sang “Miles, miles, miles from Tomorrowland… (yes, I have it on video).” We rode (and sang) the rockets several times.
At the end of the whole thing as we were leaving he said, “I had a great birthday at Disneyland, I can’t wait to go back.”
My husband and I started laughing hysterically and had to explain, “This isn’t your birthday!”
When we got home, as we were looking through the pictures, I realized J.C. had a lot more to say about the trip than I did. I let him take it away, writing his own Disneyland book. It was so sweet to know what he was thinking as he experienced Disneyland as a 3-year-old. Writing those memories down as his memories will forever stay with not only him, but me.
Here’s how to make the perfect Disneyland book for your family to remember your special trip!
Tip #1 – Let Your Child Tell the Story
Sitting down with your child to listen to a story you already know can be tough. There can be bouncing on the bed, running around, dumping out crayons, pushing brothers (can you tell I already did this?). But in the end, it WILL be worth it.
For the CarsLand page J.C. got really into a story about “Mom” buying some oil can-water bottles.
“The oil cans were so oiled that it reminds me when I said, ‘Mommy, will you get us some oil cans from Dinoco?’ Mommy said, ‘Yeah.’ And she went off to get some oil. When she got back I was drinking up.”
Tip #2 – The Story Doesn’t Have to Be the Whole Truth
Okay, I know I started out saying this was my tie to journalism in the home. Scratch that. At work it’s nothing but the truth, always the truth. Even in my family scrapbooks – I always document everything to a tee how things went down. This is a Disneyland book only for my son. It’s a book about imagination. In my son’s mind – anything can happen when you go to Disneyland. I would maybe make an asterisk somewhere with a note, “This story was told by J.C. with a bit of imagination involved.” That way your children’s children won’t think you were almost the star of the “Paint the Night Parade,” as J.C. was in this story.
This is how J.C.’s story goes, “The parade was so good as paint. We were so glad to see it. I was like, ‘Oh, I want to go on there with Olaf.’ And he was clapping and he was like, ‘Come up here, come up here – I have a volunteer to help me with my jobs.’ And I was like, ‘I want to come up there, but I can’t.”
Even as I type this, it reminds me of the enthusiasm in which J.C. told this story. He was clapping, clapping looking all around as if he were Olaf looking into a crowd. When he “announced” he found a volunteer he put his sights on an imaginary volunteer in the imaginary audience and waved him up. Now, that’s a memory I don’t want to forget.
Tip #3 – Let Your Child Lead the Way
Remember this is their
book. If you find yourself cringing at every weird detail they want to add (eh hem, a weird pirate hat digital sticker), you need your own book. While I say this is my son’s book, it’s every bit as much mine. I love
the memory of the fact that J.C. wanted a pirate hat on his head. I tried to put it in one of the blank spaces. He wouldn’t have it saying, “Down a bit, down a bit, I want it on my head.” And guess what? I even captioned it that way! Do I want to put the pirate hat on his head in our family scrapbook? Not necessarily (okay, not a chance!). But hey, that’s why I have a family scrapbook (and you should too!).
Tip #4 – Check Out Shutterfly’s New Disneyland-themed Book Template
I love the new theme! There are plenty of pictures of the Mickey characters that fit perfectly on the pages. It’s not a make or break tip though. Our first Disneyland book was before Shutterfly launched the Disney theme.
If you’d like to start saving memories, head to Shutterfly
and print 101 photos completely free using this link