Thanks for all the birthday wishes this week you guys! And thanks for making it an extra fun birthday week by participating in our little Disney challenge. Paul and I liked talking about who guessed what each day and which pictures were the hardest to guess and I have to admit I am sad that it is ending because I have loved getting your emails every day and reveling in the birthday wishes. I honestly woke up this morning and thought "it's my birthday!" then "oh wait, that was yesterday" but then I cheered up knowing I still have the rest of birthday month (including our Halloween party on Saturday, Kayli coming to visit, the ward Trunk-or-Treat, and Halloween itself) to look forward to. October really is the best.
But without further ado... This morning I tallied the final late night entries and per Carrie's request, here are some statistics:
- Total number of points possible over all five days - 58
- The two photos with the most incorrect guesses were both of the Matterhorn pictures (from Day 2 and Day 5 - loads of people guess Grizzly Rapids for the Yeti footprint on Day 5) so next time you all go to the picture you had better pay attention to that ride! :)
- The high score was 51/58 and the low score was 4/58 (but not everybody participated everyday). The second lowest score was 28/58 and she happens to be one of the prize winners!! (I will announce in just a second so be patient. Or just scroll on down a little more...)
- First and second place were only ONE point apart.
- There were 13 people who participated, not counting Paul who acted aghast last night when I told him that I hadn't been keeping a tally of his guesses. But he took a few of the pictures so there is no way he could win and have this be a fair competition.
- There were 497 total entries from correct guesses. That was a lot of little slips of paper with in initials on them that I had to cut up. Fortunately Clara was there to help fold them all in half.
- There wasn't a single photo that stumped everybody, so the pictures were definitely guessable, even the ones that were super hard.
Here is my tally page along with the pot of entries (Clara's mickey ears weren't big enough) and the four fabulous prizes:
And with all that out of the way, the winners of the drawing and the prizes they won are:
Erin G. - Sour Cherry Balls (my top favorite candy from Disneyland aside from the Disney toffee which I didn't think would ship too well)
Whitney B. - Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook (have you had the Blue Bayou Monte Cristo sandwich? Because that recipe is in here and it is my favorite food from Disneyland. We just made those sandwiches for dinner earlier this week and they were divine.)
Deborah N. - Mickey Mouse measuring cups! They are just too, too cute and Clara keeps wanting to play with them. I have three sets of measuring cups because somehow I go through them like crazy and I guess I just love having lots of measuring cup options (it's a totally weird thing, I know).
And the high score winner is...Sara Y.! We saw these crazy cute and useful clip magnets in mickey shapes (his pants, gloves, shoes and ears). You can stick them on your fridge and clip things to them, etc. I hope you love them!
Now on to a barrage of photos from our trip. First stop, the obligatory photo at the entrance of the park in front of the train station.
We totally planned on starting out with the Peter Pan ride the first day but we were 10 minutes late getting to the park and the line was already 40 minutes long so we opted for Dumbo instead and saved Peter Pan for Day 2. Dumbo was a huge favorite with Clara and she asked for it often. When we took her on Haunted Mansion she got really freaked out and as soon as we got off the ride she sniffed, "mine so brave. Go on Dumbo now." bahaha.
There was a lot of climbing while we stood in line. Unfortunately we had more lines this day in the park than I have experienced in a long time. Even at that, we never waited longer than 30 minutes for a ride though so it wasn't awful.
Clara is a big fan of putting her hands up in the air while on rides. Seriously, she would tell me "hands up, mommy!" if I let mine drop.
Bob and I braved the Teacups with Clara while Paul and Donna watched from the side. I actually went on it with her both days because there was NO line either time and we walked right on and my stomach handled it just fine. Clara really loved this ride and squealed and helped turn the wheel by walking her hands around the edges.
I have this photography trick for getting a more natural smile out of Clara like in the picture below: instead of telling her to say "cheese" I tell her to give me a little laugh. She does a fake (but totally hilarious) little laugh and it results (often, at least if we are lucky) in a pretty natural smile that is better than a forced "cheese" face. Grandpa and Grandma Nash were dying every time she did her fake laugh for a picture because it is the funniest thing you have ever heard. I have got to get it on video before she changes it.
We went on the Finding Nemo ride with Clara thinking she might like it since that is one of the Disney movies that she will watch (Cars is the only other one. She is afraid of Lucifer in Cinderella and Captain Hook in Peter Pan which are the only other movies we have tried.) But she was terrified on the submarines! It was loud and dark and cramped and smelled awful in there and she clutched at me and Paul the entire time. We won't be doing that ride again I think.
The Autopia was another big hit for Clara though. And we are so glad that you can use fast passes on this ride because the line is always so long!
We have been so lucky in that we have always had grandparents go to Disneyland with us when we have taken Clara. It has been nice to be able to go on every ride we wanted and then do the stroller swap with them, and Clara has loved having the one-on-one time with her grandparents.
It's a Small World was another big hit with Clara.
Really, it was only that first room in the Haunted Mansion that caused problems for Clara. She didn't like being packed in with all the other people in the dark and this was the only time both days that she was truly frightened. But once the doors opened and we walked through to where the "doom buggies" were waiting and got in our own car she actually settled right down and seemed interested, if guarded, in the rest of the ride. I actually adored this version of the Haunted Mansion ride. It was so different from the regular ride and I could not stop grinning, especially in the room where the ghosts dance around because there was a huge gingerbread structure and obviously gingerbread scent was pumped into the room. But also, I loved going into the room where the huge cemetery is and seeing a snow and jack-o-lantern covered peak from Nightmare Before Christmas. It was just so oddly beautiful and strange and spooky - I wanted to go again but didn't want to put Clara through it another time so once had to be enough.
Easily Clara's favorite ride is Mater's Junkyard Jamboree in Cars Land. We hadn't been on it before but oh my goodness, it is a blast. Possibly my new favorite ride too. Paul waited outside while I rode this with Clara the first time because he thought it would make him sick and that he wouldn't like it, but the line was only 10 minutes long and Bob and Donna were on Radiator Springs Racers so I just decided to try this with her. She laughed and laughed and laughed as we were whipped and twirled around a "dance floor" by the little tractors. And she kept telling me "mine hear Mater!" because he talks and sings during the line and the ride even though you don't actually see him. As soon as we got off, we dragged Paul back in line with us to ride it again, then when Bob and Donna got there we did it one more time. Except we got separated because the ride attendants overfilled the line and so we didn't get to do it at the same time, so Bob and Donna were given a card to do it again, which we held onto for the next day, which turned out to be smart since there was a 40 minute wait on Day 2 that we walked right past.
One of my favorite things about this ride was the lighting - I think it is totally a ride to do in the evening, rather than during the daytime when the sun is blazing overhead because there is no shade but at night there are twinkly lights strung overhead that make it truly magical.
I know Clara is clutching to Paul like she is afraid but she totally wasn't. She just knew that they were about to be spun around and she was bracing against him waiting for the ride to start. She giggled like a little maniac during the whole thing every time we went on it.
I got the high score on the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. Paul was impressed until I told him that my strategy was to take out all of his high point value targets first. I'm sneaky like that.
Oh, it also helped that Bob and Donna took Clara on the ride with them so that I could really focus on the targets in order to beat Paul. :) A little healthy competition is good every now and then, even in marriage, I think.
Day 2 - First up, Peter Pan.
Then Dumbo again, this time with Grandpa and Grandma.
Clara's very favorite movie is "Cars" and she was thrilled to meet Mater. I was wearing a birthday button (it was close enough to my birthday that I felt justified) and Mater even wished me a happy birthday.
We went to the Halloween Carnival where Billy Hill and the Hillbillies play. Clara and I danced at the hoe down which is why she was smiling so big here with her eyes closed.
There were tons of characters here in costume if you could chase them down. They were constantly moving around, I think because the point of this area is to interact with them, not necessarily get them to pose for photo ops. Last year when my sister went with her girls at Halloween time my niece Emma got to color at a table with Minnie which was a highlight for her. Clara colored but only Chip was near the coloring tables and he was swamped by other kids.
Paul got a candy corn cotton candy that was literally the size of Clara's torso. I felt like a terrible parent letting her have this but she didn't eat too much and I brushed her teeth for like 10 minutes that night. And you are only a kid once, right?
The last thing we did at the park was use the pass to go on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree one time, then we took a picture with Lightning McQueen, which was pretty special for Clara. It was the perfect way to end our trip.
Maybe we will squeeze in one more trip before Clara turns 3 and we have to pay for her? For anybody thinking of going any time soon, I have to recommend doing your own contest of pictures or trivia or something because it totally made us more alert this visit and was so much fun. And because I want to participate. :)