I did a little bit more digging and found a pic of M inside of “it’s a small world” and she was just mesmerized by the whole thing. Look at her face:
And I found one more princess picture! This time, our little princess was awake for it but she wasn’t too sure what to think, so I had to jump into the picture with them. This was her first character interaction! It was really fun and this Snow White was just beautiful! In case you missed my previous post about M’s big brother stepping in for princess pictures while she was napping, take a look!
It’s such a treat to find these old pics! Having these wonderful experiences & seeing them through the eyes of my children is what has made Disney such a special vacation for our family every single time we go!
People often ask me why I’m not tired of Disney vacations yet & I just laugh…I could never get tired of something so wonderful! How about you? What keeps your family returning to Disney year after year?
This first trip to Disneyland was such a treasure and the start of many wonderful Disney Parks vacations to come.
I’m going to give you a little bit of history here to start. My mom used to fly down with my brother [who is 13 years younger than me] to California every so often to visit my Grandma. They would go to Disneyland & play after dinner sometimes. Their routine was that they always rode “it’s a small world” first thing. My mom absolutely LOVES that ride! It is her very favorite! Here is a picture that I absolutely treasure:
This is my mom, holding M looking at “it’s a small world” for the very first time! You can just see the wonder and amazement in M’s eyes as she watches what is happening…she didn’t know what to think! Look at the wonderful smile on my mom’s face too! She was so excited to see this & sharing it with her grandchildren was awesome & just such a sweet moment!
Z was such a prince on this trip too! M, being only 2, napped quite a bit during our park-touring time & it just so happened that when the Disney Princesses were all out in their places around the Sleeping Beauty Castle, she was napping! So, Z very modestly said that since it was so important to me that we got autographs & pics of them all, he would step in and take the pictures…FOR ME! What a great sport!
First we met Cinderella….
Next, we met Belle…
Then we met Aurora in her blue dress…
And finally Ariel in her Grotto, Z’s favorite of them all!
It was very fun and we just loved how much attention each princess gave to him and were so excited to see him! It was cute because every one of them told him how cool it was that he was doing this for his sister & his mom!
I was organizing some pictures from one of the old computers & found a couple of cute ones of the kids getting ready to go on their very first trip to Disneyland! Very fun! Z’s cheesy grin says it all & M just wanted to get in the suitcase & go ~ some things still haven’t changed, LOL!
Sometime during the spring of 2003, we were sitting with the family discussing how my husband and I and our 2 kids (ages 1 & 5 at that time) were going to go to NYC for a couple weeks that summer for my half-sister S’s sweet sixteen party. Now, let me first tell you that I am not an airplane person at all…never really have been. So, when my mom heard me say that we were going to New York, she said, “you’re getting on an airplane?” I told her that my step-mom, (may she rest in peace) convinced me to bring the kids out because we’d get to see everyone and S really would love us to be at her party. My mom right away said that we needed to go to Disneyland with the kids if I was willing to get on an airplane, to which I totally agreed! :)
So, she called her travel agent the very next day and booked a trip for us all to go down for President’s Week. The travel agent booked everything for us. I wasn’t involved in any of the planning at all, which is unbelievable to me now! There were 7 of us total. It was me, my husband, our 5 year old son, our 2 year old daughter, my mom, my step-dad and my brother. We didn’t have any dining reservations at all. All we knew was that we were staying at The Disneyland Hotel in connecting rooms that had a kitchenette and living room in between the bedrooms. We were flying into the John Wayne airport and had the Super Shuttle arranged to take us from the airport to the resort and back to the airport at the end of our trip.
We really didn’t know much of anything about the resort or the park itself except for what we’d seen on the Disneyland website, which was nothing like it is today. We had a few questions for the travel agent here and there but she was not very helpful at all. It was rather interesting because she acted like she couldn’t be bothered most of the time when we called. I was not really sure why this was the case but we were still excited nonetheless and pretty much had no idea of what to expect.
We had a rather interesting experience in dining without any reservations. It was practically impossible to get in to any sit down restaurant. Everywhere we went had a sign up that they were not taking walk-in diners. So, needless to say, we just did the best we could and ate whatever we could find until we stumbled upon Granville’s Steak House (which is now Steakhouse 55) near the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel. We decided, on our 3rd day, that we needed to have breakfast at a restaurant instead of instant oatmeal in our room. Boy, are we glad we did that! Our server was A and she was awesome. Not only was she a great server, but she gave us all sorts of tips about how to tour the Parks. As soon as she figured out that we didn’t have a clue about what we should be doing, she started telling us about fascinating things that you would never know about or even think to ask. It was so cool and we just loved it! We actually wanted her to just leave work and come spend the rest of our vacation with us. I could tell that she had a passion about her workplace like no one I’d ever known. We enjoyed a couple more meals there just so we could hang out with A more and pick her brain! Oh yah, the food was amazing too and very reasonably priced! We really thought it would be cool to eat next door at Goofy’s Kitchen so she helped us get a reservation for the following morning. We were very excited and the kids had a fabulous time!
Notice where M is looking in this picture! More about that later!
I would like to apologize for the delay in posting as I have been very busy trying to figure out where to start. After several weeks of pondering, I decided a great place to start my Magical Trip Tips would be at the beginning of my so-called Obsessive Compulsive Disney Disorder (OCDD)!
It is sort of funny that I have developed such an extreme obsession for Disney in the last 5 years or so. I didn’t grow up going to Disney on a regular basis, in fact, I only went to Disneyland for an afternoon once as a child when I was about 12. The only memory that stands out in my mind from that trip was that I rode Pirates of the Caribbean with my grandma to “test it out” for my parents and my then 6 month old baby brother. I can remember being so excited about the ride when I came out of it because I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I had been on rides before at Coney Island but never anything like Pirates. I was in complete awe…the sights…the smells…it was all truly amazing! I remember coming out of the ride and telling my parents, it was amazing…you’ll absolutely love it. All 4 of us got in the line and boarded our boat. They absolutely loved it until we went down the first drop. I seriously thought my mom was going to lose it because she screamed that she almost dropped my brother! Then came the second drop…oh, the horror! Next, we had a wonderful, mellow, enjoyable ride on “it’s a small world” so it was all good in the end. Anyway, I guess you could say that I was never in a huge hurry to go back any time soon.
I very distinctly remember the feeling of euphoria I had within me when I exited Pirates for the very first time. I was so mesmerized by that ride and tucked that memory away only to be taken out at a later time in my life when I could see the joy it brought to my own children.