April 15, 2009

Disneyland #2: Characters

My kids don't have much Disney stuff, so before the trip I ordered these 2 sweatshirts from DisneyOutlet.com for $6.99/each (if you don't live in Southern Cal, just know it's cold here early morning and night). Samantha picked Pluto because, you guessed it, this was the only red sweatshirt. And then she really wanted me to pick green for Timothy's favorite color. Believe it or not, Samantha's sweatshirt is a size smaller than Timothy's. She's just that little.

TIP: Disney Shopping has fantastic deals, and they've got some cute products for Earth Day which is April 22nd. In addition, if you take 3 bottles to a Disney store on Earth Day, you get a free gift while supplies last.

So what's funny is that I didn't really plan on focusing on the Disneyland characters, but once you're there the Disneyland magic takes over! We didn't get our first autograph until Day #2, and I had no idea how happy that would make me feel (oh yeah, and my kids). My friend Sheila gave me tons of Disney advice before we went, so I knew to buy an autograph book before going. I purchased small spiral pads from the $1 section at Target that had Lightning McQueen on the front. I'm sure there are cheap princess notepads somewhere as well. Since Disney has yet to don a princess in red, though, Samantha passed on all things princess. She's excited enough to say "Oh, a princess" and then moves on to her favorite color.

These days instead of the characters walking around as freely as they used to, many of them have a "home" where you stand in line to take pictures with them or get their autograph. It makes me kind of sad because it doesn't seem as spontaneous and magical that way.

TIP: Mickey's Toon Town (where you find Mickey & his friends) opens an hour later than the rest of the park. During that first hour they are at the very front of the park giving autographs. Yes, there are small lines/crowds that have developed, but they are much shorter than in Toon Town, and you don't feel like you're in line for a ride just to get a picture.

TIP: The downside is that you may need to rush to a very popular ride first thing in order to avoid long lines. Samantha isn't 40 inches, so we didn't have that need (option). The Disney map will tell you what areas you can find all kinds of characters. Another option, though, if you want to get the autographs 1st thing in the morning is to try the popular rides during the parades.



We stop this exciting autographing to talk to Dad in Thailand! "See, Dad, I just met Minnie and Chip & Dale!!!"

Samantha was scared to have her picture taken with Cruella Deville (no brainer) and Goofy. Goofy is scary? Even though Cruella was "mean" she was one of the more enjoyable charcters to interact with because she talked. Sheila told me that Cruella liked her daughter wearing red instead of the "awful pink" that was everywhere. Cruella told Timothy she liked that his sister was wearing black with white polka dots. Last picture on this post for reference.

When Dan and I were "dating" (long distance) he gave me a goofy stuffed animal, so honey this picture is for you!

Mad Hatter was very funny, but he & Alice wouldn't stand still so no one could get in a line. It was frustrating!

Even though Samantha barely knew who Pluto was when she picked out this sweatshirt, because he was on her shirt she developed a special connection to him. This picture doesn't even do it justice (maybe if you click to enlarge it you can see better), but she was glowing seeing him. It's like how I've heard girls are with the princesses. She was in total awe!

And then she had to show Pluto that he was on her sweatshirt:

When we finished, she said, "Mom, I want to show Pluto my stroller." (This sit-n-stand was a God send from a mom in my MOPS group, and because it was "new" the kids thought of it as a special treat!)

Here's the one picture we had to get by standing in the fairly long Mickey line (although I hear that's nothing compared to the Princess line-the ONLY way to see the princesses). See how it's not as cool to have an exit door in the background? In the morning, though, he was standing in front of the Fire Station on Main Street, and that would have been great. We just didn't get over to him in time.

This was the only picture of characters I got at California Adventure (although there are plenty of others!) That's the "San Francisco Bridge" in the background.

Samantha wasn't the only one influenced by her sweatshirt. I wish I had gotten a picture of Timothy with Buzz Lightyear (Disney regulars, is there a Buzz?) Timothy picked this gun as his 1 souvenir, and Samantha quickly followed suit!


Sheila said...

Great pics! My kids were upset that they didn't get to see Daisy. They'll be jealous! Buzz is in the parades but I have never seen him just walking around DL.

Alicia said...

Seeing Daisy was totally random-and happened about 2 hours before the end of the whole thing! And I never saw Donald! I was actually surprised they're not part of Toon Town!

Christi said...

Love it all!!! We saw Buzz at MGM I think...I don't remember. Looks like you had a ton of fun! Can't wait to see more!

Dan said...

Alicia, you looked great standing next to Goofy. Thank you for the reminder of those fun days of our courtship! Here's to many more goofy moments!

The Wristen Family said...

Alicia, Buzz is usually walking around Astro Blasters. ALL the times that we have gone I have never seen him appear for a picture session until our very last trip. It was a total fluke and Caedmon saw him first of course. We happened upon him and he stopped so we could get his picture with little man. I am not sure who was happier me or Caedmon.

Zoe Isabella said...

I love the pictures!!!!!!!! You all look terrific! I so wish we could go to Disneyworld, it's crazy...it is 2 hours away but so darn expensive! :(
Have a great day,

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I'm totally wanting to go to Disneyland now!!