How many of your kids get super excited when you tell them you’re taking them to Disneyland? I do this thing with Emerald where I get her all hyped up when we are taking her somewhere fun. Going to Disneyland being one of those things. So what I do is I ask her over and over again if she wants to go to Disneyland, and if I don’t get the reaction I was expecting I turn around and yell “Disneyland! We’re going to Disneyland!” I jump up and down and dance I say “woohoo” with my hands in the air, anything to get her excited. It almost always works. She starts telling me she’s excited and imitates my hand gestures. Her birthday was no exception. I was definitely over the top that morning. But you can’t blame me, my baby turned two! My husband always gives me this crazy look, but I’ve learned to just ignore him.
We arrive at Disneyland and my husband and I realized we haven’t eaten. So we’re starving, I’m feeling nauseous, my husband says he’s about to pass out so we are hurrying across the park, trying to make our way to the Red Rose Inn. This mama was craving their yummy garlic fires. But I’m distracted by the fact that Ariel, Snow White, and Cinderella are in the castle for a meet and greet and there isn’t a huge line. Of course we had to meet the princesses before they left regardless of how hungry we were, it was after all Ariel, one of Emerald’s favorite princesses. And let me say it was worth the extra 15 minutes of starvation.
Emerald was so happy to see the princesses, she walked in and immediately saw Snow White. She would’ve ran to her but there was a group before us, so we had to explain to her that she needed to wait. Which as you can imagine didn’t go too well with our two year old. She was about to throw a fit but thankfully the group before us was finished so it was our munchkins turn to meet Snow White. Ariel was next. I knew she’d be really excited to see her since she loves The Little Mermaid. Again we had to wait but this time she wasn’t taking no for an answer. She ran up to the princess and started yelling and clapping and kept saying “Mermaid, mermaid!” The group before us got the point that Emerald wasn’t going to wait. It was funny to see. The princess greeted her with open arms and much to our surprise Emerald went up to her without a problem. It was the sweetest thing to watch. She walks up to Ariel, shy at first, but then it was as if she remembered they were friends. She started talking to the princess, mostly rambling, but I heard her say mommy and daddy. I couldn’t make out what she was saying since I was trying to keep my distance. You know, letting her be a big girl. I knew Ariel didn’t know what she was talking about either, but she made it seem as if she did which made Emerald feel very comfortable. I made sure to record the whole visit. It was the perfect photo op. Cinderella was different, she’s not familiar with her as much as the other princesses but she handled it very well. Well enough to get a photo.
We said our good byes and were walking towards Fantasyland. We were finally going to get food, when my husband spotted Belle. And instinct took over. I ran to the line and asked the cast member if we were able to see Belle and she said yes. I was shocked. We’ve been bringing Emerald to Disneyland since she was 6 months old and was never able to get a photo with Belle or Beast. They’d always walk through the park not stopping for photos, so we were getting a photo with Belle. Even if my husband passed out and I threw up all over the place, we were not leaving without Emerald meeting Belle. Her reaction was priceless. I can’t explain how excited she was. I know I keep saying that, but she really was excited. It makes my heart so happy that I can do this for her, that I can bring her so much happiness. I know I’m doing something right as a mother.
We didn’t get on too many rides. One ride we didn’t want to skip was The Haunted Mansion, since it’s all dressed up as The Nightmare Before Christmas, another favorite of hers. We made sure to grab a fast past, the wait time can get pretty long. Another ride we wanted to get on was Pirates Of The Caribbean. We use to take her on it when she was little and she would always fall asleep on it. It never failed, even with people screaming she’d just fall asleep. We weren’t sure that would be the case this time since she’s older and understands more. I was worried she would freak out on the drops and when Emerald is afraid and goes straight victim mode, there’s very little we can do to console her. I was concerned she might want to jump ship, literally. So I was nervous, especially when she decided she wanted to sit between my husband and I instead of on our lap. I think she was trying to be a big girl, so I just went along with it. First drop comes and I hold on to her tight, I was prepared for the kicking and screaming but it never happened. I was so proud of her. She sat there, didn’t cry, didn’t say she was scared just sat there and enjoyed the ride. I wanted to cry because it was a big moment. I saw my baby be a big girl, and it was beautiful. I know it’s just a ride but seeing fear in your child’s eyes is one of the worst thing a parent can witness, fear of any kind hurts because you never want them to feel unsafe. And I know first hand how traumatizing a ride could be (thanks mom). It scarred me for life. So I was relieved it went as smooth as it did. I wouldn’t want to read a post by Emerald saying I traumatized her from riding roller coasters forever.
We were only there for a few hours but I made sure to make dinner reservations. It was her special day so I wasn’t trying to cut it short by skipping out on dinner with Disney characters. Originally I wanted to make reservations at The Blu Bayou Restaurant (characters-no, delicious filet mignon-yes). But of course, I was late on calling to make reservations so they were completely booked. Plan B was to have dinner with characters. It’s such a fun experience. I highly recommend making reservations where they have character dining, the kids love it. We took her to Ariel’s Grotto last year. But since they no longer have that restaurant, my mom suggested Goofy’s Kitchen. I made sure to call right away. It worked out better than the original plan since she had so much fun seeing Mickey and Minnie at dinner. It was a fun experience, a little pricey for buffet but the overall experience was worth it.
And that’s where we ended our night. Dinner with papa, grandma and mommy and daddy. Plus with all of her favorite characters. We managed to see everything we thought she’d enjoy, from characters to decorations. Mommy was able to get as many photos as I could, daddy enjoyed watching his little girl have a happy day, and we did it without any issues. It was the perfect day and I hope it’s one she will remember for years to come. If not, I’ll have proof she had a great birthday. Can’t wait to see how excited she’ll be when we go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!