Thursday, May 26, 2011

Disneyland Trip

We took our family vacation for the year a bit early to avoid the summer crowds. Best decision ever. Lucy, according to her teacher, excels in all areas of the curriculum, so I wasn't too worried about pulling her out of school for four days, though it wasn't something I took lightly. However, it's like throwing away time and money to go in the middle of summer when it's hot and crowded and nobody's truly happy in the Happiest Place on Earth, right? So it was a good thing to go when we did. On our spring vacation we really had a ton of fun, but, boy, this kind of "vacation" is busy! More like a trip, a business trip with lots of fun, too. Grueling but fun. We were up early every day, walked miles all day long and stayed up late each night. It's kind of a relief to have done the Disney trip and have it checked off the list for the next year or two (or three?). Or maybe we'll be back next year for more fun!


Day one: The family in front of the famous (tiny) castle, which, seriously, looks smaller and smaller each time I see it. I guess I'm growing up.


First ride we took was It's a Small World After All. Love this ride! It had been years since I had been on it because the most recent time we went it was closed for refurbishment and the time before that was more than a decade ago. We went on it too many times to count and had a blast each and every time.


Annabel on It's a Small World.


We bought the girls autograph books upon entry and whipped out the pens and books as soon as we saw our first Disney character: Goofy! He's so funny. The girls really got into the autograph books. Great advice from multiple friends to get those books. Thanks, guys!


Annabel smiling with Goofy. Oh, by the way, the kids were not scared of any of the characters. What a difference from three years ago. Lucy and Annabel both were terrified of all of them then. Aww, they are growing up. Sam, of course, has never shown any fear of the big fuzzy guys.


We saw three of the favorite princesses right away, and the girls were over the moon. Snow White was so sweet.


Sleeping Beauty with the girls, one of Annabel's favorites. I have to say, Aurora was a little bossy. Perhaps a mom herself?


Lucy's absolute favorite, Ariel. Seeing these princesses right away made up my mind to skip the character dining and spend that time and money on more rides, treats and souvenirs. Yay!


Sammy and Paul, in line for the Peter Pan ride.


Lucy and Annabel were invited to ride in the front of the horse-drawn streetcar. A strong horse named Brother drew it up Main Street. The girls were on cloud nine (Sammy sat with me and loved it, too.). The great thing about going for four days was that we got to enjoy things like this and the redwood playground and the shows and the animation academy that we might not have taken the time to do had we had less time.


Annabel on the carousel, always a favorite.


Mr. Fearless on the carousel.


Lucy on the carousel. Something funny the girls always do after riding is they feed the animal they rode on pretend food before patting them and saying goodbye. Horses get hay; other animals get fish or whatever they usually eat. It's really cute.


Annabel with her daily helping of cotton candy. Oh, my word! This girl and her cotton candy. She'd never tasted it until her friend Mia's birthday party in May, but since then she sees it and is mesmerized. We were at Disneyland, so we actually allowed her to have it every day as her treat. She was in heaven!


The girls on the Casey Jr. Circus Train. Paul and Sammy were in the monkey cage car just behind us (so appropriate!). This continued to be just as fun for all of them as it was three years ago. We went on this at least four times. Maybe six? Maybe eight? Who knows. Lost count, but it was fun.




The kids on Dumbo. Right before the pushing and shoving started. And then the scratching and gouging out of eyes started. See how the light is low? Yeah, we weren't even close to heading back to the hotel because we wanted to see the fireworks, but the kids were letting us know they were getting close to being done. We ignored it. Wheee! We're at Disneyland! We did stay late for the fireworks but, sadly, the "Remember, Dreams Come True! Fireworks Spectacular" was canceled because of high winds. Sorry kids, no dreams coming true tonight! They all fell asleep on the way back to the hotel.


Day two: Started off the day at California Adventure Park at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail playground and ZIP LINE! Wahooo! Sammy was too short, but the taller shorties were up for it and had a blast zipping down the hill over and over and over again.


Lucy in the foreground and Annabel in the background having just been whipped up and back at the end of the zip line. Do you see her smile?


And her smile too?


Ready to roll again!


The kids with the bears of something. We never saw the movie. Maybe we'll have to now.


The family with the unknown bears.


Sammy with his favorite, Tow Mater. Pretty excited kid! He also posed with Lightning McQueen but that picture didn't turn out so well because he knew his turn was up and that realization didn't sit well with him. Classic 2-year-old tantrum! By the way, the park is building an entire Radiator Springs section all based on Cars. We'll be back to see that for sure, as Sammy is so into Cars.


Lucy and Annabel in front of the Pixie Hollow book.


The girls with Tinker Bell and Iridessa. A sassy duo, true to their characters' form.
This was day three for us, when it rained until noon. We got a late start, staring out at the rain from the hotel windows and obsessively checking Weather.com until 10:0o a.m. By then I was on a mission, combing stores for ponchos (sold out) and umbrellas (only the most expensive models left). We arrived at Disneyland just before noon with said expensive rain gear, and then the clouds parted and the sun shined for the rest of the day (good thing I kept my receipt!).


Lucy and me up in a tree. Chip and Dale's tree. We couldn't figure out what happened to the leaves. Sudden Oak Death? Hope not.
This was the day of the roller coaster for us. Paul went on Space Mountain, and the girls and I went on the one in ToonTown (Annabel didn't like it at all). Lucy was game, so I took her on the Matterhorn, and then Big Thunder Mountain, my all-time favorite. She liked the latter and went again the next day!



Day four: We met Minnie Mouse at her house!


We tried to cage the girls!


The girls did a little weight lifting!


The girls drove a firetruck in Mickey's ToonTown!


The kids with Sailor Mickey. Lucy was quick to note that he was in different attire, but he was still Mickey and really shouldn't be signing her autograph book again. He was the same mouse, right? Just different clothes. Uh, best not look at that second autograph too closely, sweetie.


The family with Mickey. Sammy with his hands in his mouth. This was what caused the sudden splash of vomit in the Autopia line earlier, which we promptly cleaned up with the many sanitizing wipes and gels we carry as responsible parents. My only guess is two-year molars. But why must you gag yourself, my child? The girls have their souvenirs in hand: Ariel and Marie from The Aristocats.


The kids each got to pick something in the gift shop and Sammy picked a light saber. Best. Souvenir. Ever. Totally suits him. (Perhaps we lost our minds in that gift shop? That's, like, the worst thing to give a kid who is prone to hitting! Duh!) That night we also saw the World of Color show, which, honestly, is amazing. Loved that, and it more than made up for missing the fireworks. Great way to end our fabulous four-day stay at Disneyland! Highly recommend this kind of business trip, I mean, vacation to every family out there!

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