This was such a fun trip to Disneyland! One of the best! Katie and Andrew came with us and we loved having them along to share our day.
When we were approaching Disneyland and sitting at the red light on the corner of Harbor Blvd and Ball Road (you can't really see Disneyland yet because an overpass is in the way), Libby starts pointing and squealing and waving her arms in excitement. She knew! She knew where we were! She is 18 months old and she knows the approach to the Happiest Place on Earth - How cool is that!
We ended up parking in the Jesse Parking Lot, not the best, but it wasn't too bad. There were plenty of buses shuttling people from the Toy Story parking lots as opposed to the minimal number of buses that transported people from the Pongo parking lot last November. I don't like having to park in the overflow parking lots because that just means the whole day will be nothing but crowds and long lines. This was true in some parts of the park, but in other areas it really wasn't bad at all.
We got in the ticket line because I needed a new annual pass. There wasn't anyone in the lines for tickets! We were at the window swiping my credit card in no time. This time I added the parking pass to it. It was expensive, but taking these little princesses to the Happiest Place on Earth is well worth it when they are this enchanted by the Disney magic. And, we made Walt happy, right?
We went up Main Street, through the castle, up and inside the castle to see the Sleeping Beauty story, rode the carousel, went through the Small World, saw the Princesses, toured Toon Town, rode Winnie the Pooh, and went to the Tiki Room. All of those things were very very fun. But the highlights of the day were the Celebration Street Party Parade where Gracie got to dance with Pooh Bear and the Princess Tiana Show where Gracie got to go up and dance with Tiana and play a tambourine! We also tried two rides for the first time: The Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland caterpillar ride.
The Pirate ride was pretty dark and scary, but we made it through without any crying. A wee bit of screaming, but that was just me. You ride a boat through this ride, very similar to Small World. But as you go into a dark tunnel, your boat takes a dive down a steep slope. Not far, but far enough that you sploosh at the bottom of the slope and get splashed. Then, it happens again. This is right where Libby woke up from her nap. In the dark pirate cove in a boat, splashed with cold water while falling down a river. She was wide-eyed and clung to me fast and hard through the whole ride. Gracie clung to Katie for dear life through the first half of the ride, then when we finally got to the cute puppets, she was fine and had fun. When we left the ride, Gracie was singing "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate's life for me", so I think she had a good time on that ride.
The Alice in Wonderland ride is one I've never been brave enough to try. The reason is: back in June of 1997 when Katie was 8 and Lexie was 6, we stood in line for this ride. It was a hot day and the shade of the two big trees was refreshing while standing in that long line. We worked our way back and forth toward the front of the line when the unthinkable happened. Directly overhead, a big fat bird in the tree released all of his pent up poop and it landed ON MY HEAD! This must have been a 5 gallon bird. It was all over my head, down my neck, on my shoulder and down my front and my back and on my arm. I screamed under the white slime and the crowd parted like I was Moses. I ran screaming and people pointed the way to the bathroom as I ran by looking like a horror film character. The ladies room had a line, but everyone backed away and let me through and I stuck my head in the sink and tried to wash up as best I could. Of course, nobody helped me, ewww, yuck. Luckily, my long hair was pulled back tight, gelled and braided, so it didn't penetrate much through my helmet hair. I was able to wash off pretty good but now my shirt was poopy and wet too, so I ran over to the nearest gift shop and bought a new shirt. When I got back to the Alice in Wonderland ride to meet up with my husband and daughters (pre-cell phone era, I was just hoping they'd be there), I saw them emerging from the ride on a caterpillar. The girls were all smiles. Since that day, I haven't been brave enough to stand under those trees in the Alice in Wonderland ride again.
Today, we did it. We waited till it was dark to avoid birds. It worked! We successfully made it to the caterpiller cars and boarded a pink caterpillar! Poop Free! The little car went into the ride and just as we entered the "rabbit hole" and went over the little peak for the gentle drop into the rabbit hole and Alice's Wonderland when our caterpillar car jerked to a complete stop. We were maybe 3 or 4 feet into the ride. All the lights came on and an announcement that the ride was broken, stay put and a Disney cast member would come help us soon. 20 minutes later, they found us in the rabbit hole and let us out of our caterpillar. We had to walk through part of the ride and they opened an emergency exit door and let us out.
Score: Alice 2, Mary 0.
Oh, by the way, the Princess Jasmine costumes were a big hit! The girls were comfortable, the costumes held together and they were just adorable! We heard comments from people all day long about how cute the little Jasmines were. Here is a pic of both of them. Libby didn't get beads, but now that I had to spend a day man-handling her all day, I'm glad I skipped the beads on her outfit. Here are both the girls in all their Princess Jasmine Glory.