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30 April 2012

Happiest Place on Earth + A California Adventure

Have you guys been on the edge of your seat waiting for the Day 2 adventures of the Michelson Family Does Disneyland?!  Well, here you go!

After seeing Olivia's excitement upon meeting the various characters at Disneyland, David and I decided that we would try to get there as early as possible so we could meet some of the princesses at the Princess Fantasy Faire.  We did a pretty good job of getting everyone ready and out the door, but had a few hiccups once we got to the parking structure.  Tickets were left in the car {but we realized it before boarding the shuttle} and then there was a problem when they scanned our tickets {but that was easily resolved}.  So, we didn't quite make it there as the gates were opening up.  But, we were still pretty early and decided to forge ahead with our original game plan.  And, I am so glad we did!  We ended up waiting a little over 30 minutes {by far the longest wait for anything we did}, but it was so worth it seeing her interact with the three princesses we met.

We first met Belle and Olivia was so excited to meet her.  She kept telling her how it was her birthday and she showed her how to make the three with her hand.  Then she went on to tell her all about meeting Minnie and Mickey and Pluto and how Pluto did "3" with his hand differently than her.  It was so cute seeing Belle's reaction to her.  Those princesses must have sore cheeks by the end of the day because they were smiling non-stop!

She met Ariel next and told her all about riding on the Dumbo ride.  Ariel asked her if her friend Scuttle {the seagull from The Little Mermaid} was up there flying around and Olivia had no clue what she was talking about.  Olivia then went on to tell her all about how I had bought her new shoes and painted her fingernails and toenails.  {Which hadn't been painted in over a week and were totally chipping, but Ariel told her how beautiful they looked. So sweet.}  Ariel's photographer absolutely LOVED Olivia and was blown away by how well she could communicate with the princess.

Our third princess to meet was Tiana from the Princess and the Frog.  I didn't know how Olivia would react to her since she had never seen the movie.  We tried to watch it with her in the hospital when I had Sydney, but she didn't really like it.  But, I had nothing to worry about.  Tiana was a charmer and is now one of Olivia's favorite princesses.  She likes to tell me that Tiana is from "The Weeziana" {Louisiana}.  

No joke, after this experience we probably all could have gone home happy campers.  It is hard to put into words how exciting it was for us as parents to watch our little girl {she is so not a baby anymore} holding her own with these princesses.  Our hearts were just so full watching her soaking in everything.

We decided that since it was just the four of us, we would just kind of take it easy the rest of the day.  Our passes allowed us to hop over to California Adventure, so we decided to do a couple things in Disneyland before heading over there.  We went into Toontown again to check out some things we hadn't done the day before.  We saw Chip and Dale's Treehouse, went into the post office and Olivia even rode her first roller coaster!  She got to meet Goofy and then rode the Roger Rabbit ride {and got scared}.

{Yes, Sydney was on this trip too!}

One of the "cast members" in Toontown told us when and where we could meet Donald, so we made a mental note of that and tried to get some other things done before we went to the Main Street to see him.  We rode the Casey Jr train {duh, she loves Dumbo} and started to wait in line to meet Tinkerbell, but after seeing Princess Aurora head to her area, David made a mad dash to see her.  Sorry, Tink, you'll have to wait to meet our princess until next time.

We rode It's a Small World one more time {because it really is probably MY favorite ride and both the girls LOVED it} and then headed into the Main Street area to see Donald.  And, wouldn't you know it, we just missed him.  We got to see him head off to his little break area, but that was it.  {And, while David may be fast at tracking them down on their way to their site, I'm grateful he wasn't like some of the crazed fans who chased them down on their way out.}  We DID, however, get to see Minnie and Mickey again.

And, I know this may sound a little crazy because the characters don't talk and their face is permanently smiling, but ohmygosh, Minnie absolutely loved Olivia.  Like, kept pumping her hands near her heart loved her.

And, I was beyond thrilled to see Mickey in a tux.

After this, we had the token photo taken in front of the Disneyland entrance and strolled across the lot to California Adventure.  The only plan we had for there was to see a Disney Junior show,  do the Ariel ride and just sort of walk around a bit.  Getting the park hopper ticket was a really last minute thing so we didn't do much research on the park.  It was actually nice being over there because {even though Disneyland wasn't super crowded} there were virtually no crowds there.  

Olivia fell asleep in her stroller for about 5 minutes {the only nap she took that entire week} and then we got in line for the Disney Junior show.  It was in a little auditorium with a stage up front.  The show was really cute.  It was centered around Mickey Mouse Clubhouse {which is one of Olivia's favorite shows} and then had little snippets with Handy Manny, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Little Einsteins.  They did the theme songs which had Olivia {and lots of the other kids} up dancing and clapping and the characters were huge puppets.  Olivia kept yelling out to them, "Hi Minnie! Hi Mickey! We just saw you and hugged you!"  Adorable.  So glad we decided to do CA Adventure too - just for this show!

We met Handy Manny after the show.

We took a much needed break after the show and sat for some lunch.  I don't think I mentioned this, but we packed waters, lunches and snacks for all of us.  So, over the course of the two days there, the only thing we bought were two diet cokes and two oranges.  It was great too because we didn't have to worry about where or what we were going to eat.

Good as gold the entire trip!  Can't wait for her to be old enough to enjoy it.  
{Wait, yes I can.  Stay a baby a little longer please!}

Full bellies = happy faces!

Next on our list was the Ariel ride.  Several people had recommended it and it did not disappoint.  The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies and the colors and music were amazing.  We rode the ride 3 times in a row.  We would hop off, walk through the ropes and get right back on.  Perfect time of year to go.  Unfortunately, as I went to take pictures of this ride, my camera battery died.  So, from this point on, the rest of my pictures were with cell phones.

After this, we strolled around the park and let Olivia ride yet another carousel - King Triton's - this one was underwater-themed.  Same thing, we rode it three times and only got off because we saw Buzz Lightyear and wanted to get our picture taken with him.

Happy as can be.

This little munchkin crashed out during this part of our trip.

Olivia got scared of Buzz and chickened out at the last minute, but it was clear to me that Buzz thought Sydney was out of this world.  {hee hee}

David saw that there was an area for younger kids called "A Bug's Land" and so we headed over there.  It was a perfect place for toddlers with all of the rides - we did a little "chew chew" train where Heimlich eats his way through various {scented} food and then Olivia finally got to do a bumper car bug!  There were spinning lady bugs {that were way worse than the spinning teacups} and a fun flying ride that we all got to go into. 

We wrapped up our California Adventure with a ride on Monster's Inc: Mike and Sully to the Rescue.  Monster's Inc is David's favorite animated movie - I think he could quote the entire movie if he had to - so I am so glad we were able to do this ride.  We lucked into so many things on our trip {being in the right place at the right time to meet characters and princesses} and this was just another example of that.  We were headed out when we decided to just walk past the ride and saw that it was closed down temporarily.  They told us it would be open in a few minutes so we sort of hung around the area and went in when it opened back up.  The only time we "waited" was the amount of time it took us to snake through the maze that is set up for the usual crowd of people.  It's so crazy to think that there are times when the park is so full that people wait an hour to go on a 2 minute ride.  And, I feel so blessed that we weren't there during that time!

We left the parks on a good note.  We had the time of our lives and left wanting more.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip or a better way to spend our biggest girl's 3rd birthday.  We had so much fun and can't wait to go back.  Hopefully Sarah and the girls will meet us again and maybe we can even convince some of our other SLO friends to come too. {Sarah R, I'm talking to you!}  And, you know next time we want Nana and Poppy and Uncle Rhino to join in on the fun.  There were so many rides I thought David would have liked to go on, but the trip was really all about Olivia.

As we left the park, I saw Olivia waving her arms around and ran in front of her to see what she was doing.  Can you tell?

She was hugging Disneyland.
Kaboom.  My heart exploding.

Family picture on the way out.

Now, here are a couple things I want to make sure I document:

*At Minnie's house, she has a kitchen with a refrigerator with various types of cheese, an oven with a rising cake inside, and a dishwasher that suds and bubbles.  On our way into the park on the 2nd day, Olivia said that she wanted to meet Cinderella and she asked me where Cinderella lived.  Then she said, "I wonder if Cinderella's house has a dishwasher too."  {Too which David quickly replied, "No, remember, Cinderella has to do all the dishes by hand!"

*Some of the rides {I'm talking to you Snow White} are sort of scary.  I was really amazed at how scary some of the child-geared rides were.  Even the Winnie the Pooh ride was a little trippy.  Whenever Olivia got scared, she would cover her ears.  Eyes usually stayed wide open, but the ears got covered.

*We pretty much saw all the characters, even Chip and Dale, but not once saw even a glimpse of Daisy.  I guess it's a reason to go back!

If you stuck with me for this whole post, pat yourself on the back.  
And, thank you for loving my kiddos.


Mom Cooper said...

Wow Amanda, a very well written blog of your adventures. I felt like I was right there with you. I know it was all about Olivia, but I was glad Sydney got a few kudos and pictures as well. So glad you, as a family, were able to go. Yes, next time Nana and Poppy and I'm sure Uncle Rhino want to go to.

BTW where did our little baby girl go? Olivia seems so grown up now. Well, on most days!!

Poppy said...

That was an awesome trip Sis. I feel like I was there with you kids. I guess Nan & Poppy are gonna have to the next trip.


Irma said...

Vicariously living through Olivia's celebration at its best! The happiest place on earth for me is anywhere my grandchildren are!