The parks didn't open until 10:00 during the week, and although we had early morning access on Tuesday and Wednesday, we had a lazy, late morning on day 3. It worked out great, as we had stayed up late the night before to watch the fireworks.
Our plan was the spend all of day 3 at Disneyland and to go as long as the kids could make it. We had a long day planned for day 4, so we didn't want to push it.
Ready to start our day of fun!
Thanks to some great advice from my friend, Shannon, we planned for a morning of meeting the princesses. Getting in line before they actually arrived on sight was a great idea - it really limited our wait time. We headed straight towards Merida, as she was the only princess that Carter had any interest in seeing. He had been told that he could shoot a bow and arrow, which he thought would be super cool. It's funny to look at these pictures and see his little personality. You can tell he was a little shy, a little impressed and a little embarrassed. Again, it took Kennedy a few minutes to warm up, but then she started talking...and talking and talking and talking. Merida was so sweet, never rushing her along. She spoke with a Scottish accent and had the greatest wig. She was gorgeous and looked just like the princess in the movie.
I was a little awe-struck, too.
Posing for pictures
He hit the bulls eye ~ way to go Carter!
Kennedy didn't want to try this time.
The normal princess area is under renovation, so three princesses set up shop and rotate throughout the day. We got in line a few minutes before they arrived and were pleased to see Cinderella was the first in line...one of our very favorites!
She was so very sweet and kind. Really, Disney does such a good job casting and training these ladies. It was such a magical experience and they were all so lovely to Kennedy...showing such patience and sweetness.
Kennedy was in awe a little bit, it was so cute to watch her interactions.
Cinderella was Mommy and Nana's favorite too, we were lucky enough to sneak a quick picture.
Next up was Aurora
She, too, was very kind, although her disposition was quite different than Cinderella. I had been warned that Princess Aurora is often kind of snooty, which I didn't really find but her demeanor was definitely different. Kennedy was warming up by this point and had a lot of very important information to share. Again, I was so thankful that we weren't rushed along and that the Princesses listened so graciously.
Posing with Sleeping Beauty
"Umm...I know there are many important things that I want to tell you, Mulan. I'm just having a hard time concentrating."
Oh my goodness, was Kennedy cute by this point. She really became animated and just wanted to stay and chat.
A lovely smile with the lovely Mulan
Oh Rapunzel...of course there is a story that goes along with this scowl. We left the main princess area and headed through Fantasyland to Rapunzel's Tower. We got in line a bit before her 11:00 arrival and proceeded to wait...and wait and wait. I think we waited nearly 40 minutes in the hot sun and Kennedy was about done with the whole thing. We had one or two people in front of us, and I knew we were oh-so close to a full fledged meltdown. At this point, I wasn't above bribery, I just wanted to snap a quick picture and move along with our day - we were all a little tired of lines by this point. I offered ice cream, shopping for her new princess dress, anything and everything that I could think of to distract her and keep her content while we waited another five minutes. She made it, but was really done and didn't even want to get a picture, she pretty much hid behind my leg. I was able to extract her and helped her ask for her autographs and then got a quick photo and rushed out of there. Thankfully it was time for a bite to eat and we all cooled off in a nicely air conditioned restaurant and recouped. Whew, crisis diverted! Lemonade and a princess dress were next on the list!
We stayed in Fantasyland and rode a few rides with shorter lines.
Alice in Wonderland was fun...
Here we go!
Finally, it was shopping time!
Kennedy had been talking about getting a princess dress for weeks and was so excited to explore the Bibbity Boppity Boutique.
She really wanted the Princess Ariel dress...thankfully they didn't have her size on the rack and she was easily persuaded to make another choice.
Favorite princess #2 wins - Cinderella!
Someone was thrilled!
Mommy breathed a sigh of relief. I really like Ariel, but the dress just wasn't cute. And you kind of pay a small fortune, so I wanted her to have a pretty dress. Cinderella's accessories kind of won Kennedy over - there were gloves, a purse, wand and crown that went with her dress. We bought the lot and left with one very content little princess.
Thankfully it will double as a Halloween costume, so it helped justify the expense.
A little more time spent exploring Fantasyland -
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
We found this cute area decorated for fall harvest...I couldn't resist a few pictures. Some were more cooperative than others.
That's better, smiles all around
And we found Woody!
This was an exciting surprise, he was tucked out of the way and there was no line.
The kids were over joyed!
Thunder Mountain again
I think, in total, we might have ridden this 15 times!
It never had much of a line and would always perk the kids right up. Helps that it is my very favorite, too.
hands up, guys!
A day in the hot sun called for a special stop at the Main Street ice cream shop.
Big, melty ice cream cones ~ delicious!
The bright sunlight didn't do much for our photos...It was hard to get a good one without shadows and squints. But the background of this is so perfect, too good to pass up!
Enjoying the Jungle Cruise
The kids really enjoyed this one...this was towards the end of the day and both Carter and Kennedy were getting tired. Kyle graciously offered to take them back to the hotel, so that my mom and I could stay and watch the parade (she was leaving before us on Wednesday and wouldn't have had another chance - we went Wednesday afternoon). We rode Space Mountain and then just staked out great seats for the parade and people watched. We shared popcorn, rested and enjoyed every single second of the parade. It was a wonderful way to cap off a great day! So fun to share some special time with my mama.
Carter got a "treasure"...The Indiana Jones ride wasn't even running, but he saw this hat, whip and gun and knew this was the gift he wanted that day. I was kind of sad that he didn't find more that excited him, but I was happy to know that he was satisfied with all the rides and some yummy treats. He was quite easy to please. And he loves his adventure gear!