We got back from Disney yesterday evening and we had a GREAT time! I would say the biggest struggle was the car ride there and back. Little Miss doesn't like to be cooped up in the car seat for longer than an hour or so at a time. After that, she starts whining and then goes into full throttle crying. We actually got lucky and she fell asleep shortly after we left and got a good two hour nap in. After a quick rest stop, we put Elmo on the DVD player and she was good for another hour or so and didn't start whining until right before we stopped for lunch. After lunch was another story though...she whined and cried every half hour or so and we ended up making quite a few stops. A ride that should have taken about 6.5 or 7 hours took us 8 hours.
Once there we checked into our hotel, the Candy Cane Inn,(we love this place) and headed to Downtown Disney for some dinner and to pick up our park tickets. On Sunday morning we actually got up, had breakfast, took the hotel shuttle and were at the main gates to Disneyland by 8am. I thought that was pretty darn good for new parents on our first trip! We made a beeline to Fantasyland and rode Dumbo, the carousel, the teacups, Alice in Wonderland, the storybook boats, and Small World. Lauren seemed to like them all, especially Dumbo (she called it "Bo"). We really expected her to fuss and cry on the rides, since she doesn't like the carousel at the zoo or train ride at the park. I'm chalking it up to that Disney magic!
After that we met up with Michelle. It was really nice to see her again. We met almost two years ago to the day on a bloggy friends trip to Disneyland. It's so hard to believe that two years has passed! We all had lunch together, visited with Pooh and Tigger, and rode the Winnie the Pooh ride. Michelle, thanks again for meeting up with us and for the adorable little bracelet you made for Lauren. I put it away until she's old enough to wear it without ripping it off her arm! ;)
As we were saying our good-byes to Michelle, Little Miss decided to catch some sleep in her stroller and gave us a nice break. We took advantage of it and took a nice rest while sipping on some Hagen-Dazs malts (yum) in the air conditioning of the Grand Californian Hotel lobby. After that, we headed back into Disneyland and did all the attractions in Toontown.
We ended our day with the new fireworks show, which was AMAZING. Kim, do not miss this show on your trip. Also, make sure you watch it from a spot where you can see the castle (center is best). The show is a medley of the music and sounds from the major Disney attractions. The images they reflect on the castle and the fireworks they display are totally in sync with the music. It was a 9:30 show and we noticed people already starting to sit for it at 7pm! We got into the circle area in the front of the castle at about 8:45 and still had a great spot. I was holding Lauren up to see everything during the show and the cutest part was when she pointed up to Tinkerbell, who was flying over the castle, and said "bird?"
On Sunday, we went to California Adventure. It was record breaking heat that day, which did put a little damper on things. I actually broke down and bought one of those stupid squirt bottles with the fan on it...that thing was my saving grace! Also, we kind of made a little vow to try to schedule future Disney trips in the fall.
Oh, about the pink, puppy dog harness...there were TONS of kids with these stuffed animal harnesses on at Disney. We saw the monkeys and bears mostly, but no other pink puppies. No one gave us a second look. We used it every time Lauren was out of the stroller in a crowded place. She loved it and wanted to wear it. Also, when she had it on, she insisted that the "tail" be held. It worked out great and gave us peace of mind.
The Safety Tat also worked out great, but this is what it looked like after the wear and tear of 1.5 days at Disney. Next time, I will remove it each night and apply a new one each morning. We got several comments on it while in lines...all positive.
It was so great watching Lauren experience Disney for the first time! It was awesome seeing the look on her face when she saw the characters...especially during the parade. Besides the car rides, she was a real trooper and hung right in there all day thanks to her stroller power naps.
Here's a compilation of our photos. You parents will definitely recognize the music from Playhouse Disney (gotta love Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger and Pooh)...