The girls and I did a quick weekend trip to southern California this past weekend to visit Tabby and go to California Adventure. We left just as soon as Clara got out of school on Friday and got to our hotel right around 7:00 p.m. The next morning we got up bright and early to get to the park when it opened at 8:00 a.m.
Right off the bat we decided to hit up the Anna & Elsa meet & greet. I think this turned out to be a smart move because there was no wait at all. I feel like I gush about this with every post about our Disney trips, but I just love the way the princesses interact with our girls. They show so much interest and love. This was our first time meeting Elsa & Anna and while they aren't my favorite princesses, my heart was so full hearing Elsa almost immediately engage Clara in a discussion about being a big sister and what that's like. Clara (like all oldest siblings, I'm sure) sometimes gets really frustrated with her little sister who wants to do everything Clara does and gets in her way or messes things up for her. When this happens, she often grieves that "being a big sister is so hard!", especially if she got in trouble for yelling (or worse) at Rose for whatever the offense was. Rose and Anna bonded over their love of blue dresses.
As we were walking out of the Elsa & Anna area, Rose spotted Sofia the First. We don't know this princess and haven't ever watched her show, but that didn't matter to the girls at all. Rose went right up to her for a big hug.
And just as we left her, Minnie Mouse walked out in front of us. So we followed her until she stopped at her meet & greet location. I love when that happens because it meant we were first in line and didn't have to wait. So in our first 20 minutes in the park, we met 4 different characters!
We rode lots of rides and the lines while bad, were manageable thanks to hitting them at the right times. We walked right on the Ariel ride and the carousel and had fast passes for Soarin' and Radiator Springs Racers. The carousel is always a hit and Clara was determined to ride on the turquoise humpback whale.
The longest line we waited in was probably a 30 minute line for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. Rose was hilarious on that ride - she actually got the idea of pulling the little knob on a string to shoot balls at objects and she giggled madly while I kept shouting at her to "pull! pull!". The girls were so cute in their 3D glasses.
Clara saw cotton candy and I caved, thinking of how if daddy were there he would have bought some for the girls. They loved it and this picture cracks me up. I love their expressions and I have kinda sorta given up on the idea of images where both girls are smiling directly at the camera. I find I like these more candid, real shots even better because they show what it was really like.
Both girls loved Radiator Springs Racers and wanted to go again (we didn't - the standby line was 1 hour 45 minutes long - thank goodness for Fast Passes). Rose was a little shocked once the ride sped up and started going really fast around curves and during the up and down section, but she still had fun on it. Soarin' Over The World was a whole different story for her though. We went on that one late in the afternoon and Rose was exhausted and starting to show it. She wasn't thrilled about getting on it in the first place, and then when we lifted up into the air and the screen showed us flying through the clouds, Rose lost it completely. Not a tantrum or anything; just more sheer terror from what I'm pretty sure is a fear of heights. Rose panicked each time we "flew" over a new vista or sailed right off the edges of cliffs or mountains. But she didn't cry and as soon as it ended she started exclaiming (as if in shock and trying to reassure herself) "I'm alright! I'm alright!" She was smiling and giggling (from nerves) and when I asked if she wanted to do it again she sobered up immediately with an emphatic "NO!".
It's a really amazing ride (I love the new version - this was my first time going on it!) and Clara even noticed the grassy smell when we flew over the elephants on the African savannah.
For a special treat, we did lunch at Ariel's Grotto. We had such a good time at our character breakfast back in October with Jennie's family that I thought this would be awesome since the princesses come around. It was fun, but definitely not something I would do again. It took too much time out of the day in the park, it was really expensive, and you can see all these same princesses at Disneyland at the Fantasy Faire area for free. The girls had fun though and scarfed up every last bit of their food.
It is always nice to catch up with Tabby and we are so lucky that her brother works for Disney and gets us in so we don't have to pay every time we go. The girls love her and are always so excited to see her walk up.
And we finished off our day watching the "Frozen" stage production at the Hyperiod Theater, which was amazing! The actors were a little over the top, but the girls absolutely loved it and Rose was literally on the edge of her seat the entire time. The girls were thrilled to know all the songs and I had to keep shushing Rose who was pretty loud about her favorites.
And when the show got out, we left the park to get in the car and drive home. We only had one quick pit stop for gas, potty, and food on the way home and made it back by 11:00 with both girls sleeping soundly in the back.
We have had a few really busy weekends in a row it feels like and now we are looking forward to staying closer to home for a bit I think!