Ridiculous amounts of fun: A mother-daughter Disneyland adventure, in pictures

With T-30 hours until Disneyland, I was on the phone with Disney Dining to make reservations for a “Character Breakfast” where you get to eat and visit with various Disney stars. At one point, the employee asked me “How many children?” Pausing for a second, I replied, “Err, four… grown up ones.” She didn’t miss a beat.

***
A day and change later, we were there. My mom, sisters and I, up since 3:30-4 a.m. and freshly road-tripped, had made it to Disney proper where the speed limit is 14 miles per hour and the valets call you “princess.” If I had any doubt that Disney magic works at all ages, it went away right about then. And thus began 2.5 days of fun.
My mom and sister, Brenda, hadn’t been back in nigh on 17 years. For my annual pass-holding sister, Emily, and I, who’d popped in a few years back, it was incredible to see their reactions. It occurred to me, too, that we’d never done a family vacation before, let alone a girls’ trip. It didn’t take long to declare that it should be an annual event of some sort. There is nothing like stepping out of reality, riding roller coasters, screaming your head off, eating ice cream and churros for breakfast (really), snapping hundreds of pictures, and spending time with the ones you love. Even if it’s not Disney-style, please take time this year to get away with your friends and family. You will not regret it!
Any big adventures planned this year?
xoxo,
Shawna
P.S. A few (thousand) photos for your amusement:
My castle! The sight of “snow” was strange considering it was 85 degrees the day we arrived.
I was hoping against hope that it would be quiet in Disneyland after New Years. For the record, Socal schools apparently don’t go back in session until the second week of January.

 

It unnerved me that employees told us it was busier after New Years than it was at Christmas!

 

Although I adored the Christmas decorations, lights and music, I was thoroughly over Christmas by the end of our visit!
Hot churros. Perhaps one of the best things about Disneyland. I’m completely serious.

 

Pirate ship!
Our first ride and one of my historical favorites. I was sad to see how much the new movies have influenced the attraction.

 

I admit, I almost mugged a kid for what I thought was his Ewok backpack.

 

Turned out to be a Wookie, although we did see an Ewok later on the trip.

 

Nightmare before Christmas-themed Haunted Masion.

 

Such a cool ride!

 

Always a little spooky.

 

Jungle cruise with “life like” wild animals.

 

On sale, springing for the Disneyland Hotel is totally worth it.

 

Excellent service and comfortable, well-appointed accommodations.

 

What getting up at 3:30 a.m., driving 7 hours, and going to Disneyland looks like.

 

Perhaps the coolest “It’s a Small World” ever looks.
We hit rides during the nightly fireworks. The scariest? A pitch-dark trip on the Matterhorn. Whoa.

 

We rode the Teacups three times!

 

Weeeeeee. We also learned that four adults will not fit in one teacup and that paella + teacups is not the best idea.

 

Rode Dumbo for the first time. Pretty fun actually.

 

My pretty sister and I have our feather, ready to fly!

 

Snow White’s ride was terrifying!

 

And a little disjointed in the story… Scary, scary, scary then POOF, happy ending. Ah, what can you do?

 

I’ve threatened Mr. T that I will covered our entire house in lights next year.
My ladies! I’m so glad they liked their Christmas present.
At our Character Breakfast, the food was buffet style and highly kid-friendly.

 

Macaroni and Cheese pizza? Pretty tasty actually.

 

Yes, they had hot dogs, chicken strips and mac & cheese on the breakfast buffet. Hilarious.

 

The birthday girl enjoyed a cupcake and serenade by a chipmunk.
So I sampled a lot, I was on vacation, dammit. My favorites were the verde chicken enchiladas, mac & cheese pizza and ICE CREAM. Contrary to earlier reports, the Mickey waffles did not come close to matching the goodness of my Christmas waffles, and the eggs benedict was a bit mushy.

 

Lots of mischief on this trip.
A Chewbacca backpack? Hysterical!

 

I was strongly tempted, but the $60 price tag, small storage compartment and thought of carrying a hairbear around Disneyland in the 90-degree heat dissuaded me. I bought this Ewok “Save the Trees” t-shirt instead.

 

We bought parkhopper passes so we could bounce between Disneyland and California Adventure. Sadly, the latter park was under major construction during our visit.

 

Tower of Terror!

 

The cutest toddler in town. Not sure if I’m horrified or impressed by her Minnie heels.

 

California Adventure is patterned after famous California locales like the Boardwalk.

 

Brenda overcame her fear of Space Mountain although that squirt in the front mocked us for screaming like girls.

 

We took a cursory tour of Toon Town.

 

Goofy’s House!

 

A fun place for kids.

 

Someone needs a churro.

 

Lots of superfluous photos during the 60-minute wait for Thunder Mountain. The only annoying part of our trip was long lines.

 

Thunder Mountain is on my top five rides list.

 

I know, another one. I love this castle!

 

Yeah, our room came equipped with a personal fireworks show. I did almost kill my sister when she flipped on the “When You Wish Upon a Star” serenade at 6 a.m. though!

 

True story!
A neat feature of being a Disneyland Hotel guest is the “Magic Morning” where they let you into the park an hour before it opens. We knocked out 10 rides before 2 p.m. during the high season. Not bad!

 

This is what I’m talking about.

 

Star Tours will likely garner a reference in my dissertation.

 

They parody TSA and have baggage and security “screenings” including these scanners and lots of jokes about security. Crazy!

 

Space Mountain!

 

On our second ride, we agreed to do hands-up. I think half-way should count!

 

It’s a Small World!

 

I’m threatening to topiary our front shrubs in the shape of moose now.

 

The Christmas flair reduced the irritation of the “It’s a small world after alllllll” song.

 

Best use of papier mache I believe.

 

You know I love me my alligators.

 

I think our house could totally rock safari topiary.

 

Zen and the art of topiary.
Classic.

 

Brenda’s indicating that this is her third trip on Thunder Mountain. The night before, she sucked down a huge coffee. While we dragged our exhausted behinds into bed, she went out and rode coasters. As a single rider, she bypassed the lines entirely!

 

Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain lived up to its name for once.

 

I would totally win the wet jeans contest. I got laughed at. A lot.

 

Kebbege, as Mr. T would say.

 

At California Adventure.

 

Shrimps!

 

A slightly creeptastic Ariel.

 

My favorite sea witch, Ursula.

 

Brenda’s boyfriend.

 

California Adventure!

 

Tower of Terror, round two. Brenda’s inner Brooklynite coming out.

 

Always take time to dance with the alligators.

 

And we will. 🙂

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