So we went to Disneyland a couple weeks ago. Tyson got an entire 9 consecutive days off, and we are finally back into the swing of family life after being somewhat out of touch with routine and reality.
The last time we were at Disneyland, it was a completely last minute trip, and we only went for one day. The kids were 3 and 4 years old at the time, and I don't think they remembered a whole lot about the trip, except for that Dawson remembered he had battled Darth Vader (and WON!) and Anabelle remembered that her tummy got sick on one of the rides and there were princesses.
This was a whole different ball game. We bought annual passes, planned a three day trip, got the whole fam damily involved, and showed up prepared.
Now might be a good time to mention, our lovely Jessica works for Disney and got us the ROYAL hook up. She takes her Disney pretty seriously~ which is one of the many reasons I adore her so. All that said- she actually got all TEN of us special Disney t-shirts to wear... so we were actually that cool family that all looked like we belonged there and had money to burn. She ALSO called me wayyyyy back in the fall when the uuuuuber expensive authentic Disney ball gown costumes went on clearance after Halloween and offered to use her discount for our favorite little princess. Since the gowns HAPPEN to be, oh, a cool $75, once you're inside the park... I gladly obliged.
So... day one... Dawson was Woody, and Anabelle was Cinderella (in a wedding gown).
Side note: if anyone ever needs a super affordable, super clean, super great value hotel for Disney, I would HIGHLY recommend the Candy Cane Inn. Between the fact that its next door to the main entrance (we walked), it also has a pool, spa, kiddie pool, free shuttle, and free poolside continental breakfast. Its around $100/night. Brilliant.
So... the first stop the first day was the Bibbity Bobbity Bo-tique, where my daughter was transformed into a true Disney Diva before my very eyes by her personal fairy godmother (all pre-arranged as a birthday surprise by Jessica and KJ, the Disney miracle worker(s)). She got to choose her own hairstyle, her own tiara, her own ring that Princess Jasmine plucked from the cave of wonders, got her nails polished, her makeup done, and her own private bath in pixie dust. She was completely dumbfounded and hardly spoke the whole time... but not a day goes by now that she doesn't apply makeup to anything that breaths and sits still long enough to be tortured. I think its safe to say, it made an impression (our cat has never looked or smelled more beautiful...)
And so our day1 of adventure continued. We hit up all the rides we wanted, and never waited once. The weather was 70 degrees and sunny. There was minimal whining, and plenty of energy to go around...
Yep. She's pretty well taken care of I'd say...
We ate our weight in cotton candy...
Dawson raced race cars, 'wasn't even kind of a little bit scared' on the haunted house, couldn't WAIT to ride 'Tower of Terror," and was the first kid chosen to vanquish Darth Vader.
Anabelle was admittedly "too shy," but adored watching her brother from the sidelines.
Anabelle was particularly looking forward to discovering the mystery of the Tiki Room...
...and had no problem what so ever letting me know promptly and LOUDLY that she was "kinda bored of this ride" not long after the first singing plant number was concluded. She's a tough crowd...
We saw several beloved Disney characters, but only made it a point to pose with the favorites. Dawson has had a Jasmin fetish since I can remember. I asked him once why he loved her so much (we rarely watch Aladdin!), and I assumed he would say he liked the tiger.
My little ladies man will maintain to this day... Jasmine is his favorite because he "loves her jewels." I hope he uses that as an actual pick up line one day. It would be a great story to tell my grand kids. ;)
We concluded day one in California Adventure.
Anabelle ADORED Soaring over California ride, and, not gonna lie, I cry just about every time I go on it. I think I just really, really feel pride of the Golden State! I know I'm weird. Anabelle just squealed and kicked her feet and laughed the whole time and was SO AMAZED and kept asking over and over "are we really flying?!? Is this for reals?!" It was a bonding moment.
I mentioned earlier Dawson couldn't WAIT to ride the Tower of Terror. When he told the kids at school he was going to Disneyland and how he couldn't wait to ride the Haunted Mansion (which I made a big deal about not knowing if they were ready for), some little booger planted seeds of wonder in my innocent baby's head about the evil Tower. The cool boys at the lunch table all told him it was awesome and super scary and he absolutely must ride it. He told us over and over again about how it said something about saying "goodbye to the earth!," and throughout the day at Disneyland I would catch him staring longingly at it off in the distance. He had a lot of questions about the structural integrity as the time approached to ride it, as it was built to look old and falling apart... I assured him Grandpa the builder extraordinaire wouldn't allow his family inside a building that wasn't built to code. He just about had a nervous breakdown once we got inside he just couldn't take the suspense. Anabelle had no qualms at all about the giant free fall she was about to take (ignorance is bliss!). After the ride was over... I think they had both had about enough terror to last a lifetime in them. They were sososososoSO scared.
Anabelle said "It hurt my tummy so bad I couldn't even scream!" and Dawson said it wasn't as bad as he thought... but did NOT want to ride again.
Valuable teaching moment and life lesson: Don't listen to the cool kids at school. They lie. Listen to mommy. And sometimes daddy. ;)
Day 2 was just as fun. Anabelle was Jesse from Toy Story, and Dawson dressed in his size 3T pirate costume from our dress up archives. He looked SO CUTE in his skull bandanna... which lasted long enough for this ONE picture...
...and then it was 'hot and it itched his head and it was bothering him and wahhhhh!' so he took it off... and looked a LOT like Sir Elton John in the younger years with his frilly shirt and cool shades. :)
Whatever. Pirate or aspiring rock star... he still pulled it off. What a kid.
Luckily the Elton getup was temporary... because Dawson chose the coolest souvenir of all...
An Indiana Jones set complete with a gun, a whip, a hat, a pouch of jewels (that he didn't have to steal from any princesses!), and a treasure map! What a MAN this kid is... he must have known deep down his Mommy has had a crush on Indiana Jones since she was 6 years old herself. *SWOON*
I won't bore you with every single detail. We all had a great time.
Anabelle was very particular about which characters she would or would not take a photo with.
I feel like she used good discretion.
The days all ended with the kids being carried home half awake begging and pleading for the mercy of bedtime and snoring away with dirt and sticky still caked between their fingers in a matter of seconds.
The mark of any good time is complete and utter exhaustion...
Watching them have the time of their lives and getting to spend quality family time in the beautiful sunshine in the dead of Winter for three whole days was the closest thing to actual magic a mom could ask for.