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.
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.