The Happiest Place On Earth

We did it! We went! This sweet little girl, myself(plus the Mabes), and my parents visited the happiest place on earth last week during the middle of our visit to Phoenix. And while, normally, I’d be talking about a trip to Target that included a Starbucks stop at the beginning of it, we actually DID go to Disneyland and I can’t wait to tell you all about our day there!

We left on Monday afternoon and made the 5.5 hour drive with relative ease. A viewing of Robin Hood and one Disney princess sing a long helped us complete the journey and before we knew it we were at our hotel.

We stayed at an off site hotel(Marriott) but it was literally right across the street from Disneyland and was absolutely perfect. Mom requested a princess room and that was exactly what we got! Of course, Abigail thought it was fabulous.

The next morning we took it slowish and ate some muffins and fruit in our hotel room before heading out around 9 to go to the park. Disneyland didn’t open until 10, but Downtown Disney opened up well before then. We walked over to get me the sweet nectar of life(vanilla latte) that I needed to get through the day, perused the giant Disney store to get Abigail’s souvenir ideas percolating, grabbed her an autograph book to take to the characters she was going to meet, and by the time we were done with that it was 10 o’clock and Disneyland time!

The day started off pretty cool and shady so we definitely needed jackets, but by the time the park opened the sun was super warm and it was time to shed some layers. (Once the sun set we were glad to have our layers to put back on though!)

Of course we had to take a picture with the iconic Mickey garden entrance to Disney!

So, our original plan was to go to Fantasy Faire and meet the princesses first thing. I had heard this area could get really busy so we headed over there immediately at park opening. Except, the wait time was already 75 minutes and about to be bumped up to 90. Um, no thanks. So we decided to skip meeting princesses for a while and head to Toon Town instead…..which didn’t open until 11. Womp womp. We headed back to do some rides instead and as we were looking at our map, perky as you please, here comes Peter Pan skipping(?) down the road.

He was all by himself and my mom says, “Peter! Can you sign your name?!” and he retorts, “I don’t know. Can I?” Then he tells Abigail he will only do it if she will take a picture with him.

And then proceeded to run away with my daughter. Ha!

But really, it was awesome. He told her to cross her arms for the picture and he spent a good bit of time with her. By the time we were done the massive meet a spotted character line had formed and I couldn’t believe our good luck at snagging him before anyone else!

While waiting for Toon Town to open so we could go meet Mickey and Minnie, we decided to do some rides. First up was the tea cups! Abigail was super excited about this ride and she really, really, really wanted to ride in a purple cup. How amazing that she got one!

The line for this ride wasn’t bad at all either. They can get a lot of people on and off at once so the line moved quickly. It was great!

Next, we did the Storybook Land ride. Y’all, I’ll be honest, this is one I do not get. The line looked deceptively short but moved incredibly slow. This ride was one of my bigger regrets of the day(longest line, shortest payoff) but Abigail was incredibly happy with it and talked about it for a while afterwards, so I guess we still get to call it a win 🙂

By the time we FINALLY got away from Storybook ride Toon Town was open and we headed over to Minnie’s house. We had quite the wait to see her but of course, Minnie Mouse is worth it.

Mickey’s house is right next door to Minnie’s so after we met her that was where we headed next. Thank goodness for all the free entertainment that keeps you busy while you stand and wait to meet your favorite characters.
Case in point.

Then she got to meet the big man himself and that was all kinds of exciting. She was a little overwhelmed each time she met someone new because she had to remember to ask politely for them to sign her book and hand them her pen and open a new page and say thank you and give them a hug and smile for a picture and just take in this giant character in her face and….it was a lot for her brain to process! But she would squeal with excitement when she first saw them and would chatter away happily after we walked away about how fun it was.

We explored Toon Town a bit more, saw some fun characters walking around, ate lunch here, and Abigail got to do her favorite part of the entire Disney day twice:

Riding the roller coaster. She seriously super loved that ride, it was awesome.
After that we decided to head back to Fantasy Faire and see if the wait time had diminished since we first got there. Amazingly, it had! The wait was only around ten minutes, score!
While we were waiting in line and just about to head in, one of the workers asked Abigail, “Who are your favorite princesses?” and she thought for a second and said, “Belle and Cinderella!” He just smiled super big and then said, “go and head on in then.”
We rounded the corner and who should we meet first? The lovely Belle.

She was awesome. She told Abigail “this is how Princesses pose” and I give that a 10 out of 10 performance to both parties.

We rounded the next corner and who should we see? But Cinderella! Call me hormonal, but I could have teared up at her little face and the awesomeness of the two princesses she had just listed as her favorites being the ones right inside. It was perfect.

And then of course we saw Snow White, who was AMAZING. Quite the actress and it was great. She asked Abigail what she’d had for lunch and then they had a long conversation about pie and she congratulated Abigail on her very first visit to Disney.
Visiting princesses for the mega win.

After we saw the princesses Miss Abigail decided it would be a good time to do some more rides, so we headed over to Dumbo.

I only have one decent picture of this because I took the opportunity sans kid to:

Eat a churro! Everyone told me that I needed to get one so naturally, who was I to say no? I gobbled that thing up by myself while Abigail happily flew on an elephant and was none the wiser for it 😉

Then she was able to get Mama on another ride! Thankfully the merry go round is nice and leisurely so we really enjoyed riding that together.
After that she was really started to look tired and in need of a break so we thought it might be a good time to go camp out and find a spot to watch the parade that would be starting relatively soon.

Pappy went off in search of Mickey ice cream ears(success!) and it was a perfect afternoon treat while she got to rest and recover a little bit before the parade started.

Then the parade. Y’all. This was hands down my favorite part of the day. I actually wasn’t really looking forward to it that much, I guess I didn’t know what to expect? But it was amazing. call me hormonal(again) but I totally teared up watching her and seeing her get to see every.single.one. of her favorite characters all in one place.
Her age is just so much fun because the characters aren’t scary to her at all but they are still absolutely 100% real. Gah, it’s the most precious thing.
Oh, and she got a kiss from Captain Hook. What’s up with my girl and the Peter Pan characters??

The last big thing she really, really wanted to do was the Astro Orbiter. She had seen it on a Disneyland sing a long that we have(along with all of the other Disneyland things that we did) and talked about riding “the airplanes” ever since we entered the park.

After this, we rode the train and then headed out of the park. But on our way….

The goof went walking past! So of course we had to stop to get an autograph and a picture together. She loved him and kept talking about “what a nice guy” he was after.

Then we went back to Downtown Disney for her to settle on her souvenir(a new Minnie for the win!) and I came away with a new mug and ornament to put on our tree this year to remind us of our trip and also a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament for Miss Mabel. We grabbed dinner at the Jazz Kitchen where OH MY WORD I had basically the best dinner of my life. By then it was after 8, so we walked back to our hotel, got into our jammies, and this happened:

Out before the lights were even off. To me that looks like a day well spent 🙂

We had the most wonderful and amazing time. It was everything that a day at Disney should be. We were able to do everything that was really important to her and I’m just so happy with how the entire thing went. We absolutely can not wait to go back again- and for sure hope to take Daddy with us next time!

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  1. At the risk of sounding cheesy, looks like a "Sleeping Beauty" right there. 🙂 Your day looks fabulous and makes me SO excited to take my daughter there someday! Fun following along with your blog each week!

  2. Looks like such a successful trip! Abigail is just darling!!! So magical watching it all through her eyes I am sure! Can't wait to do this with Hallie!

  3. I was teary eyed reading this. We are huge Disney fans, and there is just no other place like it. You two very obviously had the very best of days (even if a Dole Whip wasn't in the cards;)! There is just nothing more magical than meeting all of the character favorites, riding the infamous rides (Dumbo!), and eating some of the best food in all the land. So, so glad you had such a perfect time!

  4. Aww, looks like you guys had an awesome time! I love Disneylland, and it's always extra magical when you can get the characters all to yourself early in the day as they head to their spots! 🙂

  5. Oh, how fun!!! It looks and sounds like the perfect day! How fun that you got to meet so many characters! I can't wait until we can take Emerson to Disneyworld! I love me some Disney, and it's been too long since my last visit… I'm so glad you all were able to go and that you had such a fun day!!

  6. We saw the same princesses (except they looked a little different) and they were in the same order. Our Belle was the best out of the three with Snow White in a close second.

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time. But it also seemed a little bit busier than our days there the week before. Now that you've posted your review, I need to get mine done!!

  7. This looks like you all had the best time, and her little face when she is with the princesses?! Priceless. We are headed to Disney World in August and I cannot wait 🙂

  8. OH MY GOSH! This makes me want to go to Disney like right now! It looks all so, pardon my pun, magicial! Love all the princess pictures and the one with minnie too! That ice cream mickey seems like the perfect afternoon treat too! Looks like such a fun trip at just the right age. We want to wait for Callie to be just a little older before going… well to have an experience like you described. Old enough to get it but young enough for it to be magic! 🙂

  9. How precious!! I just love Disneyland – all the characters, the food and all the smiles. Abigail seemed like she was smiling ALL day long and I'll have to file these trip details away for future reference. I'm so glad she got the Mickey ice cream and got to meet so many of her favorites. What a special trip!!

  10. CK just read this post with me and we LOVED it! She said Abigail was her new best friend and that means she is Abigail's new best friend, too. Then she said, "She sure looks sweet sleeping right there, doesn't she?" <3

  11. i got teary just reading this post so I can't even imagine how you were 😉 seriously. I LOVE disneyland, and I cried when I first went (in 2011…. lol) because it was like being a child again. no shame. i cannot wait to have kids and take them there, or to disney world (yeah i cried when i went there in 2012 as well).

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