Monday, May 4, 2015

Disneyland, day one {2015}

Having not quite adjusted to the time change, our kids were up early the next morning. Not to mention, we were excited and eager to be up and moving! It was Andrew's 32nd birthday and we were optimistic that we had a fantastic day ahead. I paid close attention to the kids as we ate breakfast and was pleased to see that the cough had dissipated. The older three seemed full of energy! Hallelujah! After breakfast we made the ten minute walk to the park. As we entered that final stretch of sidewalk that leads to the iconic entrances of the two parks, my heart skipped a beat. Disney music filled the air! Much to the embarrassment of my children, I began to dance and skip. Only Lottie agreed to join me! I would repeat this embarrassing scene each morning. They would laugh and tell me how awful I was. :) 
 
After choosing the wrong line to enter the park (as always), we finally made it inside! We'd be spending the day in Disneyland! After a few "necessary" photos, we made our way to the Jungle Cruise. It would be the first ride of our trip!
  
My boys make me swoon.
Despite his aversion to attention,
Andrew was a good sport to wear the birthday pin.

Lottie is at a fantastic Disney age. Everything is real. However, we soon learned that this not only includes lovely Princesses and the always friendly Mickey and Minnie Mouse; but it also means that the animals on the Jungle Cruise and the frightening pirates of the Caribbean are also real. 
She was so scared! When Henry was her age, he tried every ride! We soon learned that Lottie would need to stay away from all things dark and scary (although, she would eventually embrace Pirates because I told her that Jack Sparrow is a hero). I had to talk her through a lot of the rides, reassuring her that she was safe, etc.
 
The six of us generally stayed in the same area and would alternate between being all together and then utilizing the fast pass system and rider swap benefit. It's great to be all together, but I also look forward to the one on one time that happens when we separate the big and little kids.
Still not feeling one hundred percent, as well as fast approaching the age of two, this was a classic example of how Forrest responded to my request for kid pictures. So more often than not, it was just the big three...
We stayed in the park all day. I've never felt the need to return to the hotel for nap time. We recommend the ride "Small World" for putting toddlers like Forrest to sleep. He passed right out!
As for Lottie, she just crawled into my lap while we saved our spot for the parade.
 
Speaking of parades, there is no escaping that Disney magic when watching your children dance and enthusiastically wave to the Disney characters as they pass by. The highlight of our first day came as Lottie watched the princess float approach. Her eyes grew wide, she waved her hand with extra excitement and hoped to be acknowledged.

And then it happened. This photo is terrible quality but it's the best I have.
Princess Belle, followed by Cinderella, caught sight of Lottie and waved to her. When I asked,

"Lottie, did the Princesses just wave to you?" She turned to me and nodded with a smile. I was stunned to see tears in her eyes. She was that happy! Oh my goodness. Somebody pinch me!
(Lottie on the finding nemo submarine)
Still not feeling his best, Forrest stayed close to Dad during the parade.
He still really liked it.

Other highlights from that day include Eliza bumping into a friend from her class while riding the carousel. She was so surprised! It was fun to chat with her and her family for a few minutes. If Eliza had her wish, we would have skipped the small kid attractions and focused all of our attention on roller coasters. Despite herself, she still enjoyed meeting characters as well as the parade. Henry was just so fun to be with as he was up for everything and anything (most of the time). He hasn't been since he was four so Disneyland felt new to him too. When he was four (like Lottie) NOTHING scared him. He did every coaster and handled every spook with ease. It was fun to be back and remember that first trip.
That evening, I took Lottie and Forrest back for a proper bedtime while Andrew and the big kids stayed as late as possible. We would switch off each night. I didn't feel cheated at all that he stayed. It was nice knowing they were there bonding, squeezing in as much as they could! And to be honest, the earlier bedtime agreed with me!

We had an amazing first day!

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