Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disneyland in Mismatched Shoes

Last week: Wyoming and Montana. This week: Disneyland. Next week: Catalina Island. May is a busy month for outings!

Going to Disneyland is a physically demanding day and I wasn't really feeling like taking the plunge into the pool of exhaustion that follows a day at Disneyland. But, if I was going to get the kids to the Happiest Place on Earth at least once per month, I figured I would just ignore my laziness and get going. I had another cup of coffee and mustered up some energy.

The kids slept great the night before, they woke up happy, ate a great breakfast of sausage and eggs. Libby filled up a diaper (always good before an outing!). They were clean and wearing matching dresses that they picked out themselves. My husband had to work late, so if we come home late they won't miss any Daddy time. My gas tank was full. The weather was perfect too! All signs pointed to a great day at Disneyland. How could I argue with that?

I didn't tell the kids where we were going; I just asked them if they wanted to go out and do something. They ran to the door! Guess they were done resting from our roadtrip and ready to go again. I insisted we all wear shoes, and the hunt for footwear ensued. I could not find matching shoes for Libby anywhere! I found one white, one red and one blue shoe. Three mismatched shoes. Oh well, I stuck a red and a blue on her - they were the same style and there was one for each foot. Good 'nuff! I put on the Minnie Mouse ear hat and took them out to buckle them up. Finally, Gracie said, "Are we going to Disneyland?" The ears were the big tip-off.

We parked in the Woody parking lot at 11:30am and we hit the freeway to head for home at 7:30pm. It was an 8 hour day and I'm sure feeling it today!

We managed to do quite a bit. Even found some new things we've never done before! I love discovering new attractions (new to us). Of course the first thing we did was walk up Main Street to the Castle and tour Sleeping Beauty's story. This is one of our favorite attractions and we never leave until Princess Aurora's dress is pink.

Then we made our way to the Princess Fantasy Faire to see the princesses. The line was as long as it gets! Gracie actually told me "Lets come back later". Fine with me! We walked right onto the Small World without waiting. As always, the puppets were awesome and the song never gets old. Both girls were singing along this time - I love that Libby sings now! She knows the tune and mimics the sounds well enough.

Then we went to Toon Town to visit Minnie Mouse. She was beautiful and sweet as ever. She even gave Libby some kisses.We checked on the Princess line again and it was just too long. Looked to be over an hour wait. Gracie was not excited about it one bit. I was shocked, but I'm not going to argue. We've met all of the princesses except Pocahontas and she is rare. Plus, the girls were not wearing princess costumes, so it was ok to miss the princess line-up. We made our way over to Pixie Hollow to meet Tinkerbell.

The line for Tinkerbell was pretty long too. But the waiting area is fun and you have some elbow room. The line is a bridge over a little pond complete with ducks and ferns and fairy statues hiding around the foliage. Today they had water shooting from one side of the sidewalk to the other over the top of the people. The girls just loved it! When it was our turn, Gracie got super excited because she saw *gasp* The Blue Fairy! She was beautiful! We rounded the corner and visited with Tinkerbell herself. She blew kisses back and forth with Libby and gave Gracie several very nice hugs.

Gracie wanted to go see Winnie the Pooh next. He's a long walk away from Pixie Hollow, so off we went. On the way, we stopped at the Tiki Room. I thought I knew where the Tiki Room was and headed for it, but Gracie was pointing and telling me to "go that way!". Sure enough, she led me right to the Tiki Room. Who needs a map when you've got a 4 yr old Disneyland enthusiast?

Singing with the birds and flowers and drumming with the totem poles is a highlight! The girls sing and whistle and pat their knees. They love the Tiki Room! Gracie is getting good - she covered her ears right before the clap of thunder. She is still amazed that it stopped raining when we go outside. One of these days, she'll figure that out too.

Right next to the Tiki Room is a meet-and-greet area for Aladdin and Jasmine. Today, Jasmine was there and the line was exceptionally short! We hopped in and got to visit Jasmine. She's been the favorite princess around here lately. Gracie loved seeing her and Libby loved, well, herself. Libby stood right in front of the Disney Photopass photographer and said "Cheese!" He ignored her for a bit, focusing on his job to take photos of the princess. The people in line behind us were Ooohing and Awwwing over Libby's antics.

As we passed by New Orleans Square, Gracie searched the area for Princess Tiana. No sign of her, but wait! Who is that! Singing pirates! We stopped to watch them play music and sing pirate songs, they were great! The girls watched with caution, just in case. They were pirates, after all.

By the time we got to Critter Country, Pooh and his friends were gone. Aw, pooey. We just flipped around and headed back the way we came. On Main Street we saw a quartet of singers, they were fun to watch. Then we headed over to California Adventure.

In California Adventure Park, we found some new things to do. We went to the Muppet 3D Movie where Gracie laughed her head off! And we went to the Disney Playhouse show which was awesome in so many ways. Mickey and friends puppets, singing, and bubbles fell from the ceiling - the girls were beyond thrilled! When we came out of there, it was time to find a spot to sit and watch the parade. We had a great spot for viewing, but Libby fell asleep in the back of the stroller so she missed the whole parade. Gracie sat in the front seat of the stroller and I parked it so she was right on the front line and I sat on the sidewalk next to her. We had a little picnic while we waited for the parade to start.

The parade was the best! It was the Pixar Play Parade. Characters from some of Gracie's favorite Pixar movies marched right past us. Boo from Monsters, Inc. came right up to Gracie and a dancer gave Gracie a high five. We saw characters from Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Bug's Life, Toy Story and Cars. When Gracie saw Lightning McQueen from Cars, the real Lightning McQueen, she got super excited!

After the parade, California Adventure was closing and the entire mob of visitors headed out. Most went back to Disneyland. I suggested we go home now and Gracie was having none of that! So I took them back to Disneyland. Rather than fight the crowds on Main Street where the California Adventure visitors were entering and the Disneyland visitors were gathering for the Celebration Parade, I parked the stroller at the train station and we hopped on the train. We rode it all the way around the park. Gracie lit up with excitement when we traveled through the Small World! After the train ride, the girls were ready to head for home. Perfect timing since the crowds were staying for the parade (same one we've seen three or four times now).

Both girls slept all the way home. When we got home, Daddy pulled in the driveway before I even had the doors open to get the girls out. Gracie never did wake up, she slept all night long too! Love that! Libby just had a nap in California Adventure, followed by a nap all the way home, so she was ready to rock and roll when she got out of the van.

It was a really fun and wonderful day! So glad I didn't give in to laziness and just stay home today. The weather was perfect all day long and the girls were so well behaved and happy! Can't beat that!

One of the funniest things about the whole day was Gracie telling everyone we met (attraction workers, bus drivers, people in line, anyone who could hear her voice!) something new. Rather than her daily declaration that it's her birthday today, she changed it up a bit. She told people, "This is my new dress I got for my Grandma's birthday. It has stripes." I'm so glad she found something new to say instead of "Today is my birthday, I'm turning 4" and I was really glad she didn't whine about not wearing a princess costume! Double bonus!

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