Our Disneyland vacation had finally come! It felt like a month since we had been counting down. That's probably because it was a month of counting down.
AB talked and talked and talked about how she was going to see Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy and love them and hug them and give them fist bumps.
We were READY.
We got our family/friends discounted tickets from an AM blog follower and new friend (THANK YOU D!) and we chose to do one park/one day to save a bit on the cost because we aren't baller status just yet. We also went with the Holiday Inn Anaheim and for a TOTAL of $92 bucks, WITH parking...and about a 13-15 minute walk to Downtown Disney, that's a damn fine price for me.
Now... we had braved Disneyland once before, you may recall, back when AB was about two (we got in for free, don't worry), and let me tell you, we lasted mere hours before ending that shit show.
This time though, we said: She's three and a half, it'll be different! She holds our hands now!
Plus, instead of that all-inclusive romantic vacay we were planning sans the beast, we figured now that we're adding to the Anonymous family, AB deserved a special last treat with her family before we can't ever afford anything again... and where should you go to spend the last of your money? DISNEYLAND OF COURSE!
They day started off as smoothly as any day can after two hours in traffic and construction zone fiascos. It's OK. We're Californians. We're seasoned for that.
We parked at the hotel, loaded up our stroller with:
So, we weren't going to do Pirates first, but my work texted me offering to treat us to dinner there if we could get reservations, so we headed there first thing and figured might as well hop on the ride.
AB LOVES pirates. I mean, we took her to Pirates day in Ventura and she has been acting like a pirate with her jewels ever since.
AND MY GOD ARE WE IDIOTS.
At first it was fun. See? A smiling, happy child! Yay us! Good parents.
And then, well then the first drop happened. We thought she was laughing. She, um, wasn't laughing. We had traumatized her to the point of screaming for her paci, which she hasn't used in months. We spent the remainder of the ride trying to point out the doggies and the pretty dresses. Fortunately it's actually a loud ride and AB is a quiet, albeit dramatic crier.
Good thing we had a surprise up our sleeves. AB's grandma wanted to treat her to a special princess makeover at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique. We told AB we would be seeing princesses soon and dressing up... and luckily had about three hours to dry those tears.
TO THE CAROUSEL WE WENT! Well, first we went toward the Teacups and baby was like, BITCH DON'T EVEN. So, then we went to the carousel.
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE WE WERE GONNA GET OUT OF THIS PARK ALIVE!
We then took the little train that went by It's a Small World but if you think for one second I wanted to trapped in literally the longest ride in the park, that's a hell no. We waved to those people, from the train.
And then we ate lunch. Again, thanks for the cooler/packing tips. I honestly didn't know you could bring them in (and food). HUGE budget saver. And the grapes I packed were godly.
THEN IT WAS TIME TO GET DRESSED LIKED A PRINCESS AND IT WAS COMPLETELY MAGICAL.
I mean, guys, it's a bit pricey. BUT, AB loved every second of it. She picked out her dress, and then she got changed into her dress and they give her a large tiara to take home and a magic wand. And then they set her up in a special little barber seat and do her hair and her nails and her make-up and she looooooooooooooves that shit.
The package also included professional photos with a Cinderella carriage set, which turned out super duper adorable, and then she got to go in through a special entrance to meet all of the princesses and take photos with them.
After the princess makeover, the day was looking up! We went on the Dumbo ride, AB and Dad went on the rocket ride while I ate a Churro, we cried all the way through the Buzz Lightyear ride, we caught a parade, we took the obligatory photos in front of the castle and the park entrance... and we ended up dining at Rainforest Cafe. AB loved it, until the lights dimmed and the thunder began and the gorillas started moving. Then we cried some more. Then my husband drank another beer. And then we went back to the hotel and passed out. AND THAT WAS ONLY DAY ONE!
DAY TWO: CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE!
First we decided to do a character dining breakfast and this is probably the time in which my wallet weeped the most. It's basically a $100 breakfast buffet with characters. AB was NOT having the characters at all. "I don't like Mickey." We had to walk around the other side of the restaurant to get food... that AB wasn't hungry for. NEVER AGAIN. But now we know, and at least it can't be said we didn't make an effort for her to see literally every character!
Lots of other children at the restaurant seemed to really be enjoying it, but can't we get some mimosas up in this joint?!
After buffet-ing, we headed to California Adventure.
There's this ladybug ride there, it's basically like Teacups on crack and AB loved the shit out of this ride so fiercely I can't even tell you. There really is no logic here. NONE AT ALL. She went on the bumpers cars with Dad and loved the tractor ride as well.
Then there was this Disney Junior dance show and it was totally adorable and I could have sat in there for like eight hours and drank water. AB didn't get up and jive with everyone else, but it didn't stop her from enjoying it.
Up next was lunch, followed by more of the same rides and lots of me sitting on shaded benches acting like I was about to go into labor.
And then we caught FROZEN at the Hyperion Theater in the park. Hour long. AB was laughing and squealing with delight for a solid 40 minutes. And then minute 41 came and the bad guys were chasing Anna and for some reason AB forgot she's seen this movie before and cried and cried and cried (remarkably silently) for the remainder of the show.
We recovered by going The Little Mermaid sea kingdom ride. JUST KIDDING. AB cried the second we got in the cart for that as well!
But alas, we found ourselves back at the ladybugs and our little potato regained that smile and we ended the day on a positive note!
I'm having vacation blues today. It was also our last vacation before the baby comes, so shit is getting really real and the realization that our family of three is expanding has me sad and excited. Sad to lose the dynamic we have, excited to add to it.
Thank you to everyone who helped us plan our trip and for all your tips and tricks! And thanks for letting me spam you with our vacation!
PS we downloaded the Disneyland app which was perfect for locating where characters were (you know if your child likes that sort of thing) and bathrooms!
9/7/2017 10:40:26 pm
Loved this Jess! Great job and I'm thoroughly enjoying reliving my early Mom-hood through you! I have no grandchildren...only grand cats!
9/8/2017 11:04:39 am
This was like being right there with you but without the crying. A fantastic, life-like re-telling of every parents trip to D'land with a toddler.
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