Posts Tagged ‘disneyland’

… and breathe …

July 7, 2014

We’ve been home nearly a week, and finally I feel awake enough in an evening to write something. I could fold laundry instead, but I’m sure that won’t go anywhere (sadly).

The teacups - a beloved classic

The teacups – a beloved classic

Minnie Mouse!

Minnie Mouse!

Princess Anna from Frozen

Princess Anna from Frozen

We had a lovely time in our last two days at Disneyland. It was very hot, but we found enough shade and indoor activities and icecream to keep us reasonably comfortable.  Fainjin repaid the girls’ patience while he queued to meet the Avengers by (somewhat grudgingly) lining up to meet princesses and fairies. We all rode the teacups, and the Buzz Lightyear ride again. We discovered ToonTown, explored the Pirates’ Den, saw the Parade, met Alice and the Mad Hatter, took Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, and just generally did whatever took our collective fancy as opportunity arose.

Waiting for the parade

Waiting for the parade

Hi Snow White!

Hi Snow White!

The flight home went very smoothly. We were all worn out from a day at Disneyland, and Fainjin was asleep before we even took off. He slept at least 9 hours before waking – I wish I had that sort of skill! The girls took longer to fall asleep, and slept about 6 hours or so I think. Pearl was upset when she woke to discover her glasses had fallen to the floor and she couldn’t easily locate them. A lovely lady sitting across the aisle from her (I was on Pearl’s other side) helped us search through the tangle of blankets, pillows and headphones. Eventually I sent Fainjin down between the seats on his hands & knees and he found them quickly. Small children can be useful, even on airplanes!

We arrived home in the morning, sorted out a few things, and headed to school for pick-up time at 3pm. The kids were very excited to see their teachers & friends again, and enjoyed the brief celebrity status accorded by their prolonged absence. But we were all asleep by about 6:30pm I think!

We’ve settled more and more as the week has gone on. We managed all three days of school and work but were very grateful when the weekend and school holidays came along. Morning wakings have slid from 4am towards 7am, and lasting longer in the evenings.  The cold and dark aren’t really helping, but the weather hasn’t been all that bad, and it’s so good to be home.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.


June 27, 2014
Babess nonchalantly eats a strawberry while Captain Hook signs her autograph book

Babess nonchalantly eats a strawberry while Captain Hook signs her autograph book

Breakfast With Minnie was the start to our day, with Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles and made-to-order omelettes while characters dropped in to chat, sign autographs and pose for photos. Peter Pan was heaps of fun – the only character we saw today who talks. I came back from the buffet with my own breakfast to find him perched on my chair chatting to my younger children.  They were all so cute together! Babess had obviously asked him lots of questions, because she was telling me all about where Tinkerbell was and other bits and pieces after he’d gone.

Peter Pan perches with a pen

Peter Pan perches with a pen

We rode some rides – Babess & I enjoyed the famous teacups – and wandered the park. The kids found the cars in Autopia hard to steer, enjoyed the Small World, and loved the Buzz Lightyear shooting game/ride.  Fainjin glowed with delight meeting Thor and Captain America, having dressed especially for the occasion in his Avengers t-shirt (which both of them noticed and commented on).

We returned to the hotel in mid-afternoon for a break. After dinner I asked whether they wanted to go to bed or back to Disneyland. Back to Disneyland! was the cry. We went to Downtown Disney to catch the monorail, but had to stop in the Lego Store and examine the Build-a-Bear outfits first. When we eventually got back to Disneyland it was time to join the crowds in front of the castle for the fireworks. It was dark, and the kids got droopy. Before the show even started Fainjin & Pearl were begging to go home, but we were pretty much trapped by the crowds. Our view of the fireworks was obscured by some trees, but it was still spectacular. As soon as it was over, we made our way back to the hotel again, leaving rides unridden for another day (luckily we do still have a couple).

© UpsideBackwards 2014.


June 14, 2011

I managed to keep the fact that we were going to Disneyland a secret from Pearl right up until we were on our way from LAX to Anaheim.  She was half-asleep in the car when our lovely friend asked which of the hotels “near Disneyland” we were staying in.  She sat bolt upright, her eyes like saucers, and looked enquiringly at me, holding her breath.

“Yes,” I admitted, “we are going to Disneyland.”

She didn’t seem too unhappy at the thought…

We arrived at our hotel just as the fireworks started.  The concierge directed Pearl to a good vantage point to watch while I dealt with the formalities.  And then we crashed into bed, having flown 14 hours that day as well as a 90-minute train ride and lots of time in airports and security, immigration and customs lines.

I didn’t expect to enjoy Disneyland much.  I expected long lines, cheesy insincere smiles, and tiresome crowds.  But I knew that Pearl would love it.

I had a great time!

We spent most of our time in FantasyLand and ToonTown, but explored the rest of the park as well over our two days there.  We met lots of characters, some because we stood in long lines to do so, and some just wandering around.  The lines were tolerable (except for one that turned out to be quite a bit longer than the sign at the beginning had promised).  The smiles were sincere, or at least incredibly realistic.  The staff, sorry – “cast members”, were unfailingly polite and charming and really seemed to enjoy their jobs.

Pearl meets Rapunzel

Pearl is exactly the right age to enjoy and remember Disneyland, and she was walking on air to meet her favourite princesses.  She found the Sleeping Beauty castle walk-through to be surprisingly scary (as did other children we encountered hurrying for the exit!), but loved the carousel and It’s A Small World.

It's A Small World - New Zealand!

On the second morning, I had booked us in for Breakfast with Minnie in the Park.  That was a very worth-while exercise.  We got into the park before everyone else, and went straight to the restaurant.  As we arrived at our table, we were greeted by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and Eeyore, and while we enjoyed our buffet breakfast other characters came and visited us and spent time at our table.  They signed Pearl’s autograph book, posed for photos, gave hugs, and occasionally got up and danced.

Pearl, Fairy Godmother, Chip, and Eeyore's ear

My favourite memory of this part of the trip is the way Pearl clutched my arm at the exit of It’s A Small World, and – eyes shining brightly – exclaimed, “That was AWESOME!”

Fireworks behind Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disclosure:  Our visit to Disneyland, and Breakfast with Minnie, as indeed our whole trip, were at our own expense.  I was not asked to review our visit or write this post, and Disney is unaware I have done so (at least until they read it here!).  I have neither sought nor been offered compensation in any form for this post.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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