Well, I love the Disney parks, so it was only natural that when given the opportunity to take our girls, I would be first in line. I have also always wanted to see a Disney park during the Christmas season, so I was doubly excited. And, it lived up to all the hype. It was magical. It was Christmasy and got even more so in the evening. However, all of the magic comes at a price. On this trip, that price was enjoying the park with 67,000 other people when a normal day at Disneyland only brings in about 40,000 guests. It was packed. Fortunately, we had our doublewide baby mover to clear our path, but it was still mind-numbing to realize how many masses of people we had to get through to do anything. It was also the press day for the Rose Bowl, so things kept being blocked off so that football players could do photo opps with the news crews. Crazy. That said, we had a great day, but I would definitely avoid the week between Christmas and New Year (and much of the holiday season in general) in the future.
We started our riding on the Jungle Cruise, because the line was relatively short (30 minutes), and I knew the girls would love it. They did, and Bella's oohhing and aahhing over everything was truly delightful. Lily took it all in rather stoically, per our predictions.
(our entourage - John's parents and sister Rachel and her boyfriend, Drew)
Another ride we got to enjoy was the iconic Tea Cup ride.
And then, Dumbo. Lily got to go on this one twice in a row, because Rachel and Drew, had ended up going in the next group. This was Lily's favorite ride.
We managed to sneak in a ride on the train, from which we could take in some of the hordes of people.
We ate lunch in Fantasyland and caught a glimpse of Rapunzel and her long hair, but as the wait time was 75 minutes, we forewent the opportunity to get a picture with her and settled for seeing her walk past our table. By this point in the day, Bella was quite worn out and ready to nap in the stroller, as indicated by her rubbing her belly button. We have realized that that is her official signal to tap out.
After wandering through Tomorrowland and taking in another ride, we made our way to the parade route and got some Mickey shaped treats. (always one of my favorite activities) We also took pictures with the castle.
This series of pictures should give you a good indication of how the girls felt about the Mickey sugar cookie. Lily gave most of it to Bella and then showed us her "Crazy Eyes" again. They made many appearances on this trip to the delight of everyone. The parade was magical (as you can see by my face).
By this point in the evening, we were pretty worn out, but wanted to hit a few more attractions before calling it a day. The Nemo submarine ride is truly amazing, and I was reminded of how many times I have heard that movie in the last year to recognize every line in the ride. Then, we headed over to It's a Small World, or as we will call it from here on out, It's a Small Fiasco. (John also said it could be called, "Small World, Long Line.") It is beautifully done up in Christmas lights for the season, and we had heard that the inside was also tricked out. The line said it was only going to take about 45 minutes, so we trekked on in.
After being in line for well over an hour, holding the dead weight of our young children, and Lily finally giving in to sleep, the line split, and we had the misfortune of picking the wrong line. The line that the handicap access fed into. The line that came to a standstill multiple times, enough to where the little boy in front of us starting asking all of the questions that I had in my mind about when it was ever going to be our turn. When our turn finally came, we tried to wake Lily, to no avail. The pictures tell the story, especially the one that is not staged where John and I are gamely trying to enjoy hearing Jingle Bells mixed with It's a Small World.
As we were leaving, John said, "When I break my leg, the first place we are coming is Disneyland. And, we will get to go on every ride before everyone else, and it will be awesome." As we left the park, we took in the beauty of Sleeping Beauty's castle decked out in lights, and the lights and the tree on Main Street. I really do love it there.
As we saw the castle, and I was remarking on how pretty it was, John said, "The beauty, the splendor and the wonder - they remind me of something. Your face." On that note, I knew we were a little over the crowds and ready to make our way out of the park. The girls were out before we got out of the parking lot.
All in all, it was a great day to spend time with family and experience the wonder of Disneyland with our girls. Though we didn't do a single "big" ride, we had a great time, and I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to be able to do this. It was magical.