At the end of September we packed up the van and headed to Disneyland! I think we started planning it back in February or March so it took for.ev.er to get here! When the day finally came we packed the van and headed out to California. We were lucky enough to have J.rue's parent's join us, and it was so fun to go with everyone. Sadly, for this post, I have way better videos than pictures, but you'll get the idea. We drove to St. George the first night, went to church with J.rue''s grandpa, and then drove the rest of the way to California.
The kids did so well in the car for 2 days straight. Of course, my 2 of aren't ones to be swayed by food (how are they my children?) so we were constantly passing back books and ipads, but really, they did great! However, they were SO happy once we got there. We stayed in an Air BNB condo and Ellie was convinced this was our new house and she LOVED IT! She got to sleep in a top bunk and I've never seen her more excited to go to bed. I'm so glad we got a condo. It was so nice to have a kitchen and living area, plus we were within a short walking distance from the park, which was amazing.
We did almost 4 whole days in the park, which was a lot, but really nice because we didn't feel rushed to get to anything. On Monday we went to Mickey's Halloween Party and Jeremy's birthday! He was such a good sport and followed Ellie around wherever she wanted to go. We dressed the kids up. Ellie was Ariel and Fitz was Dopey. When we got there I was shocked, it was not busy AT ALL. We started at Magic Kingdom and spent the whole afternoon and evening there. We rode it all and didn't wait for anything longer than 15 minutes. Ellie's favorites were the boat ride, dumbo, Peter Pan, and the tea cups. I think she rode the tea cups 4 times total. We did a little trick or treating and enjoyed the parade after. It was so fun! We headed back to our condo late that night. Ellie was out and Fitz was still ready to party. Where do they get their energy?
On Tuesday we headed back to the park and decided to do Disneyland again. This time we headed towards splash mountain. Gary and Lisa rode that while we rode Winnie the Poo, which was probably in Ellie's top 2, most likely because of the birthday scene at the end. Right when we stepped off of the ride we spotted Pooh and Tigger and they were our first character encounter. Fitz about lost his mind (in a good way) and just wanted to poke and grab their faces. It was so cute!
The nicest thing about being in mixed company is all of the adults took turns riding the big rides while the other ones took the kids on other things. And then we'd head back to the ride to do a stroller swap. It was great! I'm really not kidding when I say that we rode everything, except maybe 2 small rides. One of the snacks I for sure wanted to try were the beignets. We stopped by the Mint Julep Bar and found out that their seasonal flavor was butterscotch. They were AH mazing. Nana spoiled Ellie and got her one of those cute pink Mickey balloons and it was a favorite for that whole week. Those balloons are worth every penny. Ellie was so proud of it.
Ellie couldn't get enough of the rides but was a very good sport about not being tall enough for anything with height restrictions. Every time she saw us go on a ride without her she would say, "when we come back to Disley land can I pleeeeease ride that one with you?". She is such a sweet girl. There were also lots of good naps that were had because of the extra downtime we had. Her other favorite part, obviously, was meeting the princesses. This was the best age to take her! All of it was real and all of it was magic in her eyes, making it magic for all of us to witness. I was actually surprised how much Fitz loved it. Most of the time I'm sure he had no idea what was going on, but he totally plays off of his sisters excitement and LOVED meeting the characters as well.
After Ellie started meeting some of the characters she was dead set on meeting Minnie Mouse. It took us a few days to time it right but we finally timed it right and met Minnie, Donald, Mickey, and Pluto. I think Ellie could have spent all day just in Minnie's house. It was so cute. Oh and it must also be noted that I devoured one of those blessed turkey legs. I'm still drooling thinking about it.
On Wednesday we took a breather. We were going to head to the beach but none of us had the energy. This is my only regret because I know how much j.rue and the kids would have loved it. I'm not the biggest beach fan (you know, because of the pale skin.) but I could have sucked it up. On Thursday and Friday we spent most of the day in California Adventure and J.rue and I ended our trip with a few of the big rides in Disneyland we had missed while Gary and Lisa took the kids back to the hotel Friday evening (bless them!)
California Adventure was so fun. The kids loved the Bug's Life land and Cars land was the cutest ever! I think we rode Mater's Junkyard Jamboree 3 times. I'm really sad I don't have more pictures of us here! We went to the Disney Junior show, which Ellie loved. She sang her heart out during every song and collected as many gold deblunes as she could. The Frozen show was amazing! The effects, the stage, and the actors could not be beat. We hit up the World of Color show the first evening there. I loved it. Ellie thought it was loud, hot, and late. I'm hoping next time I'll have more of a fan club with me. Gary was such a good sport and carrying Fitz on his shoulders for most of the time and Fitz loved being able to see everything and wave at everyone. The best part though was the lunch at Ariel's Grotto with all of the princesses. We got Ellie all dolled up, Nana got her the cutest bubble wand, and we headed across the pier to meet the princesses. This was the most magical part of the whole trip. I savored it and was so sad for it to be over. Ellie still talks to this day about meeting the princesses and can name every single one.
We were seated toward the end of the princesses route so Ellie got to spend quite a bit of time talking to each of them. Fitz had a crush on Rapunzel for sure and couldn't stop grinning and waving to her. Ellie anxiously awaited meeting Cinderella, who was the last princess. When she finally got there Ellie jumped right into her arms for a hug and did a twirl in her dress. Cinderella was the best and even called Ellie her twin sister. I'm pretty sure Ellie will never forget that moment until the day she dies. After she listened to Ellie tell her all of her secrets she held her hand and they twirled together. Probably the best (and cutest) moment of her life to date.
The trip really was magical and I'm so glad that we went when we did. We loved sharing it with Jeremy's parents and we can't wait to go back! Every once in a while Ellie will ask when we're moving back into "that new house" so we can "go to Disley Land again every day".
I hope we can go back so soon Ellie Bean, before you're too big!