We got back late last night from our first ever big family vacation and boy are we pooped! We spent a week at Disneyland, Legoland and the beach. In anticipation of our trip, Clara got some of her friends ready for Disneyland. Here is Amarilla dressed as Captain Hook, Magic is Sleeping Beauty, and Coconut is Cinderella. She also made one of Robert’s cars into Buzz Lightyear. I thought it was so sweet. I got into the fun and became a rockstar mom the morning we left when I showed her my Willow Tree mother daughter figurine with Mickey ears that I taped on.
We’re lucky to get to hang out in the United Club because of Daddy’s preferred status. We got a light breakfast and comfy chairs to sit in for an hour or so before boarding our flight. The kids hadn’t flown since their trip to Albuquerque when Chris and I went to Europe so Robert didn’t remember it. They were both really good and played video games the whole time.
We got to LA a little before lunch time and went to a nearby mall to eat lunch and grab some snacks at Target. As we got close to our hotel and started seeing Disney stuff, I was downright giddy I was so excited. Chris thought I was pretty ridiculous. Our hotel was right across the street from the entrance to Disneyland, so we went over to Downtown Disney that evening for dinner and let the spoiling begin. When Daddy and Robert spotted a store called Ridemakerz, which is essentially a Build a Bear for cars, they had to go back and make a car for Robert. I thought for sure he’d want to make Lightning McQueen or Francesco, but he fell in love with the shiny silver racecar and made it r/c. He was able to totally customize it and then go over to the “garage” and use a tool to put some of the pieces on it. And Clara eventually settled on the My Little Pony Pinkie Pie and dressed her as Ariel.
We got to bed early that night so we could be up bright and early for our first day at the happiest place on Earth. I apologize for the insane number of picture here
We got to the gate about 7:15 and were close to the front. It was so much fun as they countdown to opening the gates. I told Chris “See, I’m not the only one who gets excited about Disneyland.” They open the gates to Main Street about 20-30 minutes before the official park opening, so we leisurely strolled to the area we wanted to go after 8:00.
We headed through Sleeping Beauty’s castle first. Clara begged to do the castle walk-through from the first moment she saw it. We put it off though. I had read that we should do everything we wanted in Fantasyland first thing before it got busy, so that’s what we did. Our first ride was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. We hopped right into a car with no line. Clara was terrified. I had tried so had to prepare her for the rides. I told her some would be dark, but that everything was pretend and that nothing would fall on her or touch her. My poor girl is just so innocent and scares so easily that she was terrified on most rides. No amount of talking her through it helped her cope the rides that took us through the dark.
Snow White’s Grotto and Wishing Well
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Next up was the teacups. Chris opted to just take pictures for this one.
I should have sat it out too. I don’t do too well with spinny rides.
Still no lines as we rode Alice in Wonderland. A minute or so in and the ride stopped and light came on. It was probably a good thing because as we waited for someone to come let us out, we showed Clara all the little details of the ride. She could see how everything worked, how stuff is just painted, plugs in the wall, walkways and stairs to get out, etc. I think it helped her understand that it wasn’t real. We were stuck for about minutes and never did make it back on.
We were going to get a Fastpass for Autopia, but the line wasn’t very long so we went ahead and waited to ride it. I was with Robert, so I had a very bumpy ride. I controlled the gas, but he had us hitting the track the whole way. He was in heaven of course.
We HAD to do It’s a Small World. As much as I knew we shouldn’t do it, we had to. Longest 10 minutes of my life Nah, it’s not that bad. If anything, you have to appreciate the artistry of all of the dolls and backgrounds. It is huge and just keeps going and going. There is so much detail and I was just in awe thinking about the amount of work that must have gone into it.
We rode the Casey Jr. Circus train next and it was the first line we had to wait in that was more than five minutes I think. We went and grabbed Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I usually left Chris with the kids while I ran to get Fastpasses so they could rest for a few minutes. While we waited for our time, we did Pirates of the Caribbean next and Clara didn’t like it. AT. ALL. At one point, there is a projection of Davy Jones, with his long, tentacled beard, on what looks to be a waterfall that your boat is heading straight for. As we started going under the waterfall, which was just an illusion, she freaked out. She was screaming, crying and grabbing hold of me for dear life. Then our boat went fast down a pitch black tunnel. Oh my goodness, she was hysterical. She could not get off that boat fast enough. I eventually realized her fear was of tunnels. Later in the trip, we went through a very innocent, not scary at all tunnel and she scooted over and grabbed my arm. There’s a lot of tunnels in a theme park so you can see why she was conflicted.
I grabbed Splash Mountain FPs, then we bypassed a very long line to get onto Big Thunder Mountain. That was our first Fastpass experience and it was lovely. I cannot imagine waiting in those lines. Clara was a little nervous but we convinced her to go on. We tried to push her a little, but not too much. We wanted her to have fun but also wanted her to face some of her fears. This was her first roller coaster. She was pretty scared and let out a few good screams but there were no tears. She was still on the fence about it when we got off, but later decided she liked it! She even wanted to go on it again and we did on Wednesday. Robert was just like his Daddy on the big rides. He enjoyed them, but there was zero expression on his face. No screaming, no smiling, no nothing. Just straight faced on everything.
We went on the Winnie the Pooh ride and then Splash Mountain. I was in the front and ended up soaked! They both loved it. It was time for lunch at this point, so we had lunch overlooking the Rivers of America. If anyone is concerned that we scarred our daughter for life on this trip, you can see that she was still all smiles.
Mark Twain Riverboat
We went over to Mickey’s Toontown after lunch, but didn’t stay for long. The line to see Mickey was an hour long, so we were not up for that. We just walked through and the kids played with the cartoon-y things like this barbell and Robert had a grand time playing Goofy’s piano. Every key made a different silly noise.
It was getting really hot and really crowded at this point, so we went back to the hotel for naps. We went back in the evening for the parade. Before picking a spot to sit, we watched Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. I wasn’t sure what to expect but Chris said it was really good. I’m not the most patriotic individual, but even I choked up a little watching the Mr. Lincoln robot giving a speech. He was so incredibly lifelike. He stood up from his chair. He looked down at his notes as he spoke. It was quite impressive. The hostess said he is so lifelike that people have asked him for his autograph. I was glad we went. We grabbed a treat and sat and waited for the parade.
The lines were terrible at this point, but I really wanted to stay for the fireworks. Chris obliged although he wasn’t just thrilled about it. We did Astro Blasters, which ended up being one of my favorites. You and one other person sit in a pod and shoot at targets. You get to see your score as you go. Chris wooped us all of course. It was so much fun! This big animatronic Buzz was giving instructions on his etch a sketch just before getting on the ride.
We went over to Adventureland afterwards and stood in a looooooong line for the Jungle Cruise. Our captain was hilarious. He asked one little girl if she like zebras. Then he said, “Lions like zebras too, actually they love them. They’re like bffs”, right as we came upon a group of lions with a dead zebra they were eating on. Oh my goodness, I was rolling.
We explored Tarzan’s treehouse and then went over to get a snack and find somewhere to stand for the fireworks. The crowds were insane! Poor Chris; he so didn’t want to be there. We watched for a while but the kids were tired and ready to go, so we headed back to the entrance. It was packed solid all the way down Main Street. I couldn’t believe the sheer number of people that were packed into that space.
It was 10:00 when we got back to the hotel and we couldn’t get in bed fast enough.