Monday, June 24, 2013

Disneyland: Days One and Two

Our family finally took the plunge and decided to go to Disneyland.  We were already in Vegas for Jim's work thing, so after he was done, we took a few days and drove to California to explore Disneyland.  It was the kids', and my first trip there.  Jim had been as a teenager, but didn't really remember all that much.  We were all pretty excited!  And as an added bonus. . .we got Jim's tickets for free because he had some rewards points saved up on his bank card!  Yahoo!!  Our hotel was also paid for, as Jim has several free hotels stays as well from all the traveling he does - double score!!

We pulled into Disneyland early Sunday evening, and after checking into our hotel, we drove to Downtown Disney to explore, eat dinner, and pick up our tickets so we wouldn't have to waste time waiting in line for our tickets the next morning.

We stayed at The Hilton, and although the rooms were just your average hotel rooms, the breakfast was phenomenal!  We upgraded our stay to include The Hilton's breakfast package, and I'm really glad we did!  It was delicious!  Every breakfast item you could think of was served!  There was an omelet station, they cooked french toast, waffles, and pancakes (banana, blueberry, or chocolate chip) to order.  Their yogurt cups were served in champagne glasses with real fresh berries on the bottom and garnishing the top.  There was even some Asian breakfast fair that was fun to sample.  If we had to pay for this breakfast out of pocket it would have cost mucho dinero.  I'm glad we upgraded our stay to include it!  Well worth it!  
Arriving at our hotel -- there was a Monsters University display set up.  My kids loved it!

First night at Disneyland.  We explored Downtown Disney, and picked up our park tickets

Our own Hulk with the lego Hulk.  We call Hunter the Hulk, because when he gets angry enough, he turns into a green monster. . . just like, well, The Hulk
On Monday morning we got to Disneyland Park right when it opened.  We were able to hit a few of the major rides without waiting in line at all.  Before our trip, I had been showing the kids Disneyland on a few apps I downloaded.  Hunter was adamant about NOT riding on Splash Mountain or, "The one with the big waterfall."  As parents, we decided to take him anyway.  There was no wait in line, and we thought he might actually like it, when all was said and done.  When we got on ride Hunter turned to me and said, "This isn't the one with the big waterfall, right?"  I didn't want to lie to the poor chap, so I said, "Let's just wait and see."  As we were riding the nice, peaceful part of the ride Hunter turned to me and said, "I think this is the Winnie the Pooh ride!" and he happily turned around smiling. After the first little plunge I think he figured out what ride we were actually on, and he begged to come sit on my lap.  That just wasn't a possibility so I wrapped my arms around him, and told him I wouldn't let go, and that we were on a cool tough guy adventure!  I also pointed out all the cool Brer sights and sounds along the way.
He thought we were on a tame Winnie the Pooh ride still.
As we climbed the tall hill to the big waterfall I could feel my little guy's heart beating a mile-a-minute beneath my hands.  He was also making a whimpering sound, and I did feel a twinge of guilt for tricking him onto Splash Mountain.  However, when we saw the souvenir photo from the ride Jim and I couldn't stop laughing, and we applauded our children for being so brave!  I was actually surprised that Tralee looked as terrified as she did because she was the one who was most excited to ride Splash Mountain this time around.  I guess it IS a little intense for a four and six-year-old.  This photo will keep us giggling for years to come, and when Hunter is a big tough teenage who thinks nothing will harm him, I'll just whip out this picture and remind him of his tender, fearful, four-year-old self.

After Splash Mountain, we actually did take the wee ones on the Winnie the Pooh ride, but Hunter was skeptical   He kept asking if there was a big waterfall at the end.  He actually asked that question on almost every ride he wasn't sure of the rest of the day.

After Splash Mountain
So, if you look at the picture above, and the picture below you might notice something different about Tralee's dress.  In the photo above, the hem is perfect, but the dress appears to be a bit too long.  In the photo below, the hem is hacked and jagged looking, but the dress is a better length.  Let me elaborate.  Tralee requested that a make her a Princess Aurora dress before our trip.  I agreed, and lovingly created this number for her out of t-shirts.  I thought the length might be a bit too long, but she would grow into it.  However, after riding Splash Mountain, the water weighed down the dress, and made it WAY TOO LONG, and Tralee started tripping all over the place.  Jim and I made the executive decision to hack off four inches to save our fair princess.  We asked a lady at a shop if she had some scissors  and I cut away.  The hem was no longer perfect, but my daughter wasn't falling over and scrapping up her knees anymore.  

In front of Aurora's castle

My little princess adores Sleeping Beauty, so to be at her mecca was all-to-thrilling for my little munchkin.

Dreaming of true love's kiss

Waiting in line to see the princesses
On this Disney adventure Tralee wanted to meet Princess Aurora.  That's pretty much all she could talk about.  So, we waited in line to make her dream come true.  First we met Cinderella and Ariel.
Cinderella and Tralee

Hunter joined the picture
Jim's favorite princess is Cinderella.  He has a "thing" for her, so he HAD to get his picture with her as well.  She's the only other woman in our marriage that I've had to compete with!  :)

Hunter and Ariel.  He's telling her all about how he only likes to swim in "hot pools"
After meeting Cinderella and Ariel, we turned the corner and there was Aurora.  I watched as Tralee's eyes lit up, I heard her gasp with excitement, and run over to her favorite princess and wrap her little arms around her.  Aurora gathered her up, and they embraced for a good minute or so.  I knew how excited Tralee was to meet Aurora, but I had no idea how much it meant to her until this moment.  I had to bite my tongue to stop the tears from welling.  It was magical.

Hunter also had to tell Sleeping Beauty about he hot pool conversation he had with Ariel.

Look at how happy Tralee is!
After meeting some princesses, we went on some more rides.  We were pretty lucky on our first day at the parks.  We didn't really wait in very many lines, and if we did, it wasn't for very long.  We also did Fast Pass and Child Pass when needed, so it worked out pretty well!

It started getting busy in the early afternoon, so we went back to our hotel to swim in the pool, and then take a nap.  Around 4:00 p.m. we walked back to the park, and finished out the day.  One of the first rides we went on, was Space Mountain.  Tralee was really excited to go on one of her first ever roller coasters!

After riding Space Mountain for the first time

She wanted to go again with Jim, so he took her while I waited with Hunter.  We used the child pass.  Love those things!

Tralee and Buzz Lightyear

Jim had to take a picture of his score, because he was WAAAAAAYYYYY ahead of the rest of us in points!

Riding the new Star Tours.  

After Tomorrow Land, we rushed over to Toontown before it closed.  I think this was Hunter's favorite part of the park.  He loved exploring all the houses, and he even rode Goofy's Barnstormer ride with the rest of us!  Brave boy!!

Hunter and Mommy in Toontown

Checking out Minnie's fridge

Tralee playing on Mickey's piano

Jim and the kids in front of Chip 'n Dale's house

Goofy's place

Donald's boat

We met Mickey!!

Jim and Hunty checked out Tinkerbelle's village while Tralee and I rode the Matterhorn.  I love this picture for some reason.
After riding a few more rides, and watching the fireworks show, we walked back to the hotel.  Both of the kids fell asleep on the walk back.  Jim and I had a heck of a time carrying/pushing them both back to our room.  I think the fact that they were oblivious to anything but their dreams meant our first day in the parks was a success!!
Tralee was dead to the world
Dreaming of Disneyland

California Adventure Park post coming soon. . . 


Boom said...

Awesome! I was second thinking Disney after Hershey Park, but you can really do it right! I'm now remembering how fun it can be!!!! Thanks for the great posts! Love them!


kimmalee said...

Oh I love this post! How darling the Tralee was so thrilled to meet her princess. I'm glad you guys got to do this. Disneyland is the greatest. Can't wait to see more of your trip!