Thursday, January 28, 2016

Disneyland 2016

A few weeks ago we were talking with Tabby and came up with a plan for a little last minute trip to Disneyland.  As luck would have it, my mom and Jessica were able to join us for a quick trip, which was so much fun.  The girls did great in the hotel and just loved exploring.  The drive down isn't bad - only 5 1/2 hours - and the girls did great.  And we made it just in time to scoot into Anaheim before traffic got bad.

On Friday morning, we met Tabby and her brother Ted at the entrance to Disneyland.  Ted is a Disney photographer and was super generous to get us all in.  We got to spend a little more time with him in the evening after his shift and Rose even gave him a surprise kiss on the cheek that was so darling.

Before we even had a chance to head into the park, Ariel came out front with no one around her and Clara was able to walk right over and start talking with her idol.  It was really a magical moment and Clara's face was one of rapture as she chatted with Ariel about her favorite color (purple, to which Ariel responded "like my seashells!" and Clara nodded enthusiastically).  Rose went over to say hi as well and Ariel admired her curls.  I'm sure I have said it before on here but honestly the people who play the Disney characters in the parks are angels and they do just the best job of being caring and engaging and staying in character.  I never thought I would care about this much, but it turns out that this has been a big part of our Disney experiences for a few years now and some of my best memories are of seeing our girls interact with these people.

And speaking of magical moments with Disney characters, this walk through Fantasyland with Mary Poppings and Burt was another one.  We spotted them sauntering along all by themselves near the Dumbo ride and they gestured for the girls to walk with them.  The girls each took a hand and walked all around Fantasyland like it was this totally normal thing to do.  It was darling.

I don't have a lot of photos from the rest of the day because I left my camera put away most of the time.  But we rode all the big rides and had a blast.  Clara did Matterhorn for the first time and rode it twice in a row because there was no line.  She also specifically requested Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Peter Pan.  I overdid things a bit by taking her on Tower of Terror, which definitely terrorized her (she didn't cry but was close and while we were going up and down she was yelling "I don't want to go on this ever again!").  But she loved, loved, loved the Ariel ride in California Adventure and went on that twice, back-to-back.  And of course the girls loved the parade.

Before going to Disneyland, I had showed Clara video of the Jedi Training Academy show and talked with her about learning to be a Jedi.  She has actually watched the 3 original movies with Paul and seemed semi-enthusiastic about this so we went and signed her up for a spot in the 3:30 session.  She got her jedi robe and lightsaber, but after getting through the first couple of moves in their training, she got overwhelmed at the idea that Darth Vader was coming (which I had told her about in advance) and a Jedi master talked to her for a bit while Clara's bottom lip started trembling.  I think seeing me wave encouragingly actually made things worse for her because then she just wanted to turn in her robe and lightsaber and just come sit with me, but at least she tried.

After a delicious dinner of Monte Cristo sandwiches at Cafe Orleans, we said goodbye to Tabby and Ted and then Jessica and I helped my mom get the girls in the van and then she took them to the hotel and put them to bed (she said they were asleep before they even left the parking lot) while Jessica and I stayed almost until closing time riding Space Mountain (it is Star Wars themed now and SO awesome - it should always have been like that!) and Splash Mountain.  It was a fast trip and weekend, but so much fun.


  1. So, so fun! I'm so glad it was a good day and really wish we could've been there. I love every photo, but especially the one of Clara with Jess on the Dumbo ride. She looks so grown up! And the character experiences sound amazing!

  2. Oh my gosh those pictures with characters are priceless! What luck to have them all to yourself!

  3. There is so much awesome in this post it feels horrible to focus on one - but seriously, isn't the new version of space mountain amazeballs?


Your turn...