Tuesday, July 17, 2012


We are home from Disneyland.

We left home early, early in the morning.  We caught a very early flight and we were up and at it long before the sun came up.  My husband and I were a little nervous about the security line at the airport, but we didn't need to be.  Haley started off queuing up like a professional, a skill that she would prove to use many times over the next few days.  The flight was uneventful, as they say, and we caught a taxi to our hotel.

We stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel inside Disneyland Resort.  We were immediately greeted by a statue of Goofy and my brother and his family.  After we checked in and checked our luggage, (and Haley did a little shopping) we were off to the park.  Since it was the first time at Disneyland for at least half of our group we started there.  As we entered the park the first thing Haley noticed was the train.  We decided that that would be our first "ride" at Disneyland.  We got right on the train and I pulled out the sunscreen.  Everyone doused themselves in sunscreen as we took in the surroundings from the rails.

We took the complete loop around Disneyland and ended up right back at the entrance.  As we stepped off of the train the first thing that we noticed was one of Haley's favorite characters, Cruella DeVil!  We had to get a picture taken with her.  Then, because we had been up since 3:15 am we decided that we needed to eat lunch.  We ate at the Carnation Cafe and it was delicious.

We decided to start at Adventureland and went on the Jungle Cruise.  Haley wasn't too sure about getting into a boat, but she liked it.  I learned pretty quickly that I had to be careful of my reactions.  Haley's Big Sis and I were screaming and jumping at every little thing and I could tell that Haley was getting more nervous by the second.  I started laughing and saying things like "How fun!" and "Isn't that silly?" just to lighten the mood. 

Haley really enjoyed Tarzan's Tree House.  I wasn't sure how she would take all of those steps up and down, but she did really well.  The payoff was that she got to see the characters that she loves up close and full size.  She really liked it.

After that we headed into New Orleans Square, remembering to curb my reactions became really important when we went into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I had forgotten how dark it was in there.  It got really dark and we dropped quite rapidly and I screamed and then I remembered to laugh and say "Fun!" and then Haley did too.  At the end of that ride Haley turned to me and said "Incredible."

The Haunted Mansion was a little tricky.  We had to step in to moving cars.  I wasn't sure how we would do it.  Haley's Big Sis went first and just asked the operator if they could stop the ride or slow it down for her sister.  They did and it was no problem.  There were a few rides throughout the parks that were like that and the Cast Members were very accomodating.

Haley really had no trouble with the lines throughout the whole week.  I had done some research before we left and was prepared to ask for a Guest Assistance Pass, but we never went looking for one.  Every time we needed a ride to be slowed down or needed a little extra time to get in a car or out of a car we were allowed that.  I must say that Disneyland and every one of it's Cast Members are amazing.  They are there to make sure you have a magical time and we did.

We decided to hop on the Disneyland train again and head over to Fantasyland.  Haley's Big Sis had one goal, she wanted to meet all of the princesses (and female characters) from her favorite movies that she could.  She made it her mission to find Rapunzel from Tangled.  It took us a while to track her down and when we finally did there was a good long wait.  I decided that Haley wouldn't be into that and we headed off to ride King Arthur's Carrousel.  Haley really likes carrousels and this one was centrally located so that we could see most of Fantasyland and keep tabs on her sister and the rest of our family.

They were still in line when we got off of that ride so then we got in line for Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  We had to wait in the sun for that one, but Haley held up pretty well.  When we got close they handed Haley a "magic feather" which was made of wood or plastic and was black.  We were supposed to give it to the Cast Member that ran the ride, I think they used them to count how many people got on the ride.  Haley held on to it until we got into the "flying Dumbo" and as I looked down to fasten our seat belt she hucked it into the water.  I gasped.  The Cast Member came for our feather and I apologized and told her what Haley had done.  She just smiled and kept walking.

Before we had left for Disneyland I suggested that we take afternoon breaks and after everyone had met Rapunzel and Flynn Rider they thought it was time for one.  We decided we wanted to ride the monorail to Downtown Disney and walk back to the hotel from there.  Once in the hotel everyone rested.  Haley found her spot on the couch in our room and fell asleep.  Actually everyone slept except for me.  After awhile I woke everyone up and we went swimming at the pool.  After that my brother got us Subway sandwiches that we ate in our rooms.  Then we were ready for more.  We rode the monorail back in to the park.

Since we were in Tomorrowland we rode the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, which turned out to be very cool.  We rode cars in Autopia and then split up in to two groups, those that wanted to ride "thrill rides" and those that didn't.  Those that didn't turned out to be me, my Mom, my Husband and Haley.  We headed back to Fantasyland.  It was starting to cool down and the line for it's a small world wasn't too bad so that is where we headed.  Haley loved that ride.  She still seemed cautious about the whole boat idea, but once we were inside she sang the song at the top of her lungs the entire ride.

After that we rode the Casey Jr. Circus Train.  I think this had to be one of the highlights for Haley.  She has been watching Dumbo a lot lately and she loved hearing the song that she is used to.  She loved it when Casey Jr. chugged up the hill saying "I think I can, I think I can..."  It was dark when we got off of that ride and we decided to check out a spot to watch the fireworks from.  My Mom was most excited about seeing the Disneyland fire works.

We walked all around the square in front of the Castle which was already full of people.  We found ourselves a spot and waited.  After about fifteen minutes of that Haley said "I'm done." and started walking away from us.  I caught up with her and coaxed her back saying that the Boom Bang was going to start soon.  We stood there a little longer and then she started to act like she was going to leave again.  I sat down and she sat on my lap.  Pretty soon a cast member with a flashlight told me there was no sitting.  We stood up again and luckily the fireworks started right after that.  The fireworks show was amazing!  After that we tried in vain to find my brother and the others.  I soon realized that the little group that I was with was done for the night and we headed back to the hotel.

It had been a full day.

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