Friday, July 7, 2017

Disneyland 2017

I wish I could forget it.  I wish it didn't call me to.  I wish I didn't just long for it. But alas.... Disney is a part of me and no matter how hard I try, it's ingrained in me.

That being said, I had no intentions on going to Disneyland this trip to California.  I took Brad to Disneyland last June and it was awesome.  He was an easy 5 month old baby.  He was happy anywhere.  12 months later..... not so much.  I knew Disneyland would be a terrible place for Brad.  He loves to move, he loves to explore, he hates to be held, he hates to have to sit still, and he would hate lines.

But then my dear dear friend Jo offered to sign us in...... free Disneyland????? WHO could possibly turn that down???? So we took on the challenge of taking a very active 17 month old to Disneyland.

Of course I had to give myself a pep talk before we went.  I had to tell myself it was okay if we didn't go on very many rides.  It was okay if we didn't stay long.  And it's probably a good thing I did because our Disney trip was definitely shorter and less eventful than any other day I've ever had in the park.  That being said, I  still couldn't sleep the night before we went to the park.  Why you ask?  BECAUSE I WAS SO EXCITED!  I just love Disneyland.

We strategically drove to Disneyland during Brad's morning nap thinking he'd sleep the 90 minutes and be ready to play when we got there..... of course he didn't sleep a wink in the car.  So by the time we got there he was already pretty cranky.  But it is the happiest place on earth, so even with a sleep deprived baby it was AWESOME!

Starting 2 months ago, now every person has to go through a serious security check to even get into Downtown Disney.  Full on metal detectors, everything.  I knew that this would probably take some time when I saw the wait times on the Disneyland App.  It's kinda a bummer world that we live in that we constantly have to go through security checks... but of course I would much rather be safe than sorry.  So this is where the fun began!

The first thing we did when we got into the park was of course get the picture that I've been dreaming of.  And I must say, it turned out just as I dreamed.  This place is just magic.

First thing we did a ride that would make Brad happy.  So we went to the Carousel.  He liked it.

Holding on tight!

Then we started to head towards one of my favorite area of Disneyland, Orleans Square.  Thunder Mountain was down so the crowds around Pirates were huge.  So we decided to get some lunch at Hungry Bear.  I was disappointed because I wanted to try something new but of course convenience wins out in crowds.

The menu was new! I had an absolutely delicious strawberry, almond, feta, cranberry salad.  (Way better than any other salad I've eaten at Disney.)

Jo had the onion rings that were KILLER good.

But one thing that Jason got took the prize for the best.... a churro funnel cake.  I have never even been tempted by a funnel cake.  But this thing was AMAZING.  It was like a huge churro for a fraction of the price.  ($7.50 for a funnel cake big enough to easily satisfy 3 people)

After we got fast passes to Splash Mountain (for Jason and I to use later) and then we went over to California Adventure.  Even the line for The Little Mermaid was 25 minutes long.... but we decided it would be a good ride for Brad.  So we went on it.  Brad was so mesmerized the entire ride.  It was awesome.

After I took Brad on the Carousel next to California Screamin' while Jason rode the ride.  Brad liked the Carousel but what he loved WAY more was watching California Screamin' take off.  (You can watch the beginning of the ride when the roller coaster starts from a dead stop to 55 mph in 4 seconds.)  Every time Brad watched the coaster go by he would point and say, "Uh oh."  He loved it.
So I went on California Screamin' while Jason took Brad on the carousal and watch the roller coaster.


At this point we had to say goodbye to Jo... she had to get to work!  But we absolutely loved our time with her.  She is so wonderful!

After we went back to Disneyland to use our Splash Mt fast passes.  I sure love that ride!

 It was only during this time that Brad FINALLY took a good nap.  He had a pretty difficult time because he was so so sleepy.  But he finally slept while Jason and I walked around the park.  I was able to finally show Jason what I did when I worked at Disneyland.  (Jason hadn't been to Disneyland in 5 years when we got engaged!)  We went to get pictures at the Castle.... but of course Brad was still sleeping and there was no way we were going to wake him up!

So this was as good as I was going to get.  Hallelujah for sleeping babies.

We also took Brad on The Jungle Cruise and finally Pirates.  He was still snugly from his nap.  We were worried how he'd handle Pirates, but shockingly he did great!  He was scared and would jump from Jason to me back and forth every few minutes but he didn't scream or even cry!


We went back over to California Adventure one last time to go on Soarin' Over the World.  It was absolutely breath taking.  Arguably in my top 3 favorite rides now!

We went back to Disneyland to eat dinner at the Jolly Holiday.  I got the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich with one of my favorite Disney treats for dessert.

Then we went to visit Jo at the Plaza Inn, where she works, to say goodbye.  As we were with Jo we asked Brad if he wanted to leave.  He said No No No over and over again.  

It was so cute.

Then as we were walking out of the park we stopped in Downtown Disney to let Brad get all his wiggles out before the long drive home.  He danced and danced to the live music with the other kids. It was the perfect ending to our wonderful day at Disney.

Ended up being a long exhausting delightful day at Disney.  Would I recommend someone paying the hundreds of dollars it costs to go to Disneyland to take their 17 month old?  Absolutely not!  But for a "free" day at the parks, it was still pretty magical.  We both can't wait until Brad is old enough to really enjoy the magic of this wonderful place.

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