Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Birthday at Disneyland!!

Thursday was Hadley's 5th birthday. Wow. They all say time goes fast. It is these milestones that make the speed real. Here is a picture of Hadley on her 1st birthday. So sweet and adorable. I remember she walked just a couple days later. 

And here she is at 5. A happy girl in a matching yellow tea cup. What could be better??? 

Meeting Belle!!! Hadley was over the moon excited to meet Belle in person and for Belle to wish her a Happy Birthday. The whole Disney princess effect is HUGE! I must say the parks do an incredible job fulfilling and magnifying these dream into reality. During the Disneyland parade we must have seen 10 princesses (including Anna and Elsa) and 8 of them personally said Happy Birthday to Hadley. She was in awe. It was awesome. The joy on her face said it all and made the entire trip worth it. If you ever go to Disney near a birthday, the Happy Birthday pin is not to be missed! 

Before our trip I gathered some tips from my Disneyland pros. Here are a few worth sharing: 
  • Arrive early and get the fast passes for the rides that are the most important. We focused on Radiator Springs Racers and Soaring Over California. Both were awesome! Racers was sold out by 11 am. 
  • Use the parent pass option. If there are kids in the group that can't ride due to height then one parent can hang back and rotate back on after the first adult gets off without waiting in line. 
  • Check in at City Hall for a Happy Birthday or First Time or Anniversary button for a little extra love from characters. It works! 
  • Pack snacks. Start with the healthy ones first. 
  • With little kids, take advantage of all of the shows and attractions (like the parade) that don't require a line. 
  • For the parades, arrive about 45 minutes in advance and grab a spot on the shady side of the street.
  • Wear shorts with usable pockets. 
  • Download an app that shows approximate wait times for rides. 

 My tips: 
  • Do not tell your little girls they have the opportunity to meet Anna and Elsa in person. This line is insane and not worth it in my opinion. I only told Hadley about the float and she was so happy to see them! No need to wait 2-3 hours to "meet" them for 2 minutes. 
  • Bring a stroller. Even Hadley at 5 enjoyed a break from walking and it kept our pace up to get more in. Harrison at 3 took a solid hour nap. 
  • Leave the baby at home. Hannah was much happier napping in her own bed. If your spending a fortune to go to Disneyland spend a few more bucks on a sitter to actually enjoy it.  
  • Love the huge Tarzan tree house that used to be the Swiss Family Tree house. The kids had a blast exploring, climbing and seeing the park from above. 

 Things we missed that sounded great: 
  • Dole Whip 
  • Churros 
  • Character dinning at Aerial's Grotto 
  • The Magic Hour!! We will do this when the kids get bigger for sure. 

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