This past Monday, I put Maeve in her carseat at 4am and headed to the airport... she woke up drowsy when we were in the parking garage asking if we were at school, not recognizing anything around her. It was in this half asleep state that I told her I had a different plan for the day. Instead of school, we were going to take a plane and go to Disneyland! So, we touched down in Orange County at 8:45am, headed to our hotel to unload, and were in Disney by 10:30am that morning. It was SO SO fun.
We spent 3 days and 3 nights at Disneyland and Disney's California. We had fantastic weather and it was a great time of year to avoid crowds (although, I have to say, I was still shocked at the number of people there... but I was assured that, in fact, it was a ghost town in comparison to peak season. I can't imagine).
There are a few things that I will associate with this trip--
- Belly laughing. Maeve did so much belly laughing and screaming, it, in itself, was reason enough to come on this trip;
- Magic. I wanted to come when Disney would be magical to Maeve. It was. She would wave and blow kisses to the characters wandering around the park, and also the inanimate characters she would see during the rides. She would yell, "Hi _________!" to various characters from afar, and they would always look up and wave at her.
- Happy people. I really don't know that I've ever experienced this -- but I kid you not, I did not witness one unhappy or grumpy person for the entire time we were at Disney. Not one rude comment or impatient gesture. It was weird, in a very good way.
- Moving. Always moving. I knew that Maeve was a fidgety kid anyway, but it has never been more apparent than when we were waiting for rides. She could not stand still to save her life. Thank goodness the lines were quite short... wowza. Ha.
- Hangover. I didn't truly have one because I didn't have a drop of alcohol on the entire trip, but every morning I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. It wasn't a good plan, in the end, to go minimalistic, and leave the make-up at home, because I'm pretty sure that would've helped the appearance anyway. Ha. Tylenol would've helped too. Oh, or maybe I should have simply hydrated myself during the day. There's that. Don't worry, I persevered and made myself have fun. Ha. Maeve waking up in the 5am hour every morning didn't help matters either. I forgot about the early sunrise.... Ugh.
- Rides. Maeve's favorites were Goofy's Flying School, The Little Mermaid, Autopia, Splash Mountain, Grizzly Run, Swings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Soarin' Over California, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Great time of year to go... we hit up almost every ride, I think.
It was a "Mommy and Maeve Trip".... packed full of fun! At one point Maeve declared Disneyland "the best place ever".
Honestly, plane rides are so easy now.... Here we are heading south :-)
We even got to see the beautiful sunrise en route...
Hilariously, when we were getting ready to head to Disney from our hotel on the first day, Maeve was more concerned with laying out the outfits she planned on wearing the following two days, instead of getting to the gates...
The Diva has arrived...
She was so happy, she just danced all the time...
First purchase -- Princess sunglasses. Obviously.
So funny. On most of the rides they warn you that you can't use flash photography, and so when the ride ended and we were getting ready to get off, I was trying to take a picture of Maeve. She was smiling, but this was her reaction when my flash went off -- I was seriously breaking the rules!
Tea cups. I didn't let her know that the cups had a much bigger capability of spinning... Whenever I told her that I would get sick if we went on too many spinny rides, she would just tell me to 'keep my mouth shut and then I would be okay'. Ha.
We were so lucky... we got to meet a ton of Disney characters. During the day at one point, Maeve was so overwhelmed with joy that she said to me, "I might be freaking out, Mom...."
Happy balloons... Not so happy that we purchased one, but happy, nevertheless.
It was so funny to watch the little kids in line -- Maeve would instantly become BFF with other little kids in line and insist we do more rides with them etc... After we had done a couple of rides together with this family, this incredibly nice mom took it for the team and went on the swings with Maeve, even though she was afraid of heights, because my inner ears were not happy with me at this moment and it would not have gone well. I'll have you know, that I managed the swings without incident the following night. Ha.
Hollywood! We caught a couple of cool shows here -- the Aladdin performance was amazing. So many different things to do and see.
Cotton candy and Sofia the First. What more could you ask for??
Maeve was game for anything... which made Disney that much more fun. Here we are on the Tower of Terror! See... she's laughing. Maybe out of sheer terror, but she's laughing. Proof.
Who's so tough and brave?? She actually took pride on being brave and would specifically point out that things were not spooky. The only two rides that she didn't want to repeat were 'Tower of Terror' and 'Space Mountain'. Not a problem... It was fun to be able to do them at least once.
Lightening was even around for a visit...
Because Disney is magical, you're even willing to dip into her college account to pay for some face painting...
But, when you make someone this happy, you do it.
However, one should plan more thoroughly. That face painting lasted one hour max -- we did the Grizzly Run 3 times in a row. Maeve was running to get back in line and belly laughed throughout the whole ride. Thank you Ann for suggesting we bring extra clothes.
Ice cream at sunset looking out over the pier....
Maeve had an incredible amount of stamina -- she loves to have fun. We left our hotel every morning at 8am and got back every night at 8:45pm... she enjoyed it all.
The 'World of Color' show was so good, we caught it two nights in a row...
'Watch out Disney, here I come!'
Because I love my child, I packed her a Princess dress and pulled it out on the last day for her to wear...
...because, of course, we had to do the princess breakfast. It is what you do when your daughter is infatuated with princesses, right? She was actually tongue-tied with them.... A rare occurrence.
When you feel the rhythm, you just dance wherever you are...
We ran into Minnie, and Maeve just launched into her arms. Minnie was so sweet to Maeve.
Crazy driver at the wheel!
Oh the parades. If only I could bottle Maeve's joy... She danced, waved, and jumped for the whole thing.
Not in focus, but the sheer joy is evident...
Too tired to even lean back... She fell asleep every night as we headed out of the park... So much playing makes a girl exhausted!
On our last day in California, we spent the morning in Disney Downtown..
Appropriately enough, the plane we flew home in was newly painted "Cars" and it was its first day flying. The incoming pilot stopped and gave Maeve his 'ears' for her to have.
Flying home. Dreaming about our next trip to Disneyland...
Some video proof of fun: