We saw Thor at Disneyland this week. He started off with this fun introduction.
Then I got to take a picture with him.
Guinevere would not go up to him! This is not terribly surprising since he is pretty intimidating looking. We waited until everyone had finished and watched. Guinevere expressed interest in his cape. She said she had a pink cape and a blue cape. We tried to go up to him after everyone else had met him, but she still wouldn’t leave the stroller. Oh, well!
One more video.
It’s Halloweentime at Disneyland.
I was a guest on the Capturing Magic podcast this week, and my episode is live.
Capturing Magic Podcast on iTunes
I talk about capturing people in my photos at Disneyland.
Disneyland was open for 24 hours straight, from 6am to 6am. We didn’t even attempt to go all 24 hours, though there were many that did! We were most interested in the late night events. We let Guinevere nap late, and she woke up around 6pm. We were in the park by around 7pm. We went to DCA first for dinner and shared the exclusive macaroni & cheese pizza at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta.
After that we crossed over to Disneyland.
I had read that there would be Storm Troopers in Tomorrowland but I didn’t see any, so Jerrod took Guinevere on Autopia.
By the time we were done with that, it was almost time for the fireworks. After the fireworks we rode the Astro Orbiter. When we got to the Stage Door Cafe to have some exclusive Monte Cristo Bites, the 10:30 showing of Fantasmic started. We were able to mostly watch the whole show.
Guinevere said she wanted to go on the Winnie the Pooh ride, so we headed to Critter Country. I changed her into her pajamas at the Hungry Bear restrooms, but when we got to the Winnie the Pooh ride she said she didn’t want to ride it.
That was okay, we just headed back to Fantasyland and one of our most anticipated late night events, a 12:30am Soundsational Parade! Guinevere was happy to wait for the parade, and was so excited when it started.
It was the most exciting Disneyland parade I’ve ever seen! I doubt there was anyone that wasn’t a huge fan, and it felt like a midnight premiere. The crowd was especially excited and responsive, and the performers really rose to the occasion.
By the time the parade was finished it was after 1am. Another late night event we wanted to experience was a pajama party in Toon Town after midnight. I’ve rarely seen so many people entering Toon Town! We gave Guinevere the choice of who to see first, and she chose Mickey Mouse.
After greeting Mickey in his pajamas, Guinevere and Jerrod were getting tired and didn’t want to wait for more characters, so we started walking out. Guinevere fell asleep on the way to the car. We left at about 2am.
Inspired by Britt of Britt-ish designs‘ “Project Mouse” stuff and of course the “Project Life” trend, I’ve been doing a Project Mouse that’s a bit more like Project Life. Since I’m a local, I don’t go to Disneyland on vacation, I go for a couple hours, sometimes weekly. I take lots of pictures but I never make a big vacation “album” or anything.
My idea is to do a page per visit, similar to the page per week I would do for project life. Some visits needed a two page spread. Actually, I found some visits, like my daughter’s birthday, needed a third page. I’ve found that if I was having trouble getting everything on the page sometimes I just need to add a page and it’s amazing how quickly I’m able to get it together.
One thing I’ve been doing is I try to make a psd file and put down a little journaling about what we did that day, and I’ll usually put the pictures in too. This is usually that night or the next day. Often I do it during Guinevere’s post-Disneyland nap! I don’t usually do anything else with it right away, but when I’m ready to create, everything is right there and I haven’t forgotten the details of the day.
Here are the pages I’ve made so far.
I’m hoping to be able to eventually backtrack to Guinevere’s first trip to Disneyland. I know she would love looking at a book of all of her days at Disneyland.
Amy has been living in Washington DC for several months now, trying to make her dream job come true. She visited us for the weekend and of course one of the days was Disneyland day! Guinevere and I arrived just as the rest of the group were getting on the Dumbo ride. I was able to pass her over to Grandpa and she got to ride with Grammy, no waiting!
We went to wait in line to meet Rapunzel and while we waited, Pinochio came and stood nearby to greet guests. Holly, Amy, Guinevere and I went to take a picture with him while my parents and Melodee waited in the Rapunzel line.
We had lunch in Frontierland at the Stage Door Cafe and Holly and Amy’s friend Kristin joined us. We all love Kristin and she loves playing with Guinevere. We rode Pirates which Guinevere was very interested in, then went to wait for the parade.
Guinevere had everyone in hysterics as she sang and danced along with the Soundsational Parade.
And we tried to wake up Figaro, but he wouldn’t wake!
Let me preface my report by explaining that I live about 10 minutes from Disneyland and I have an Annual Pass. I’m also a former cast member and my sister is a current cast member.
I love Disneyland and go there often, but obviously we don’t need to stay at the hotels because we live in the area. So I’ve never had a “Disney Vacation”. We also never took real vacations growing up. If we went anywhere it was to visit family in the midwest, or it was a day trip. The first time I stayed in one of the hotels at the resort was the night of my wedding almost four years ago when we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel.
My husband and I were feeling desperate for some alone time. With his birthday coming up this week, we decided to stay the night at the Grand Californian Hotel.
We left our toddler with Gramma and went to have dinner and some alone time for the evening. We were going to do Blue Bayou but opted not to. We had a great date night, then went home to pick up our daughter to spend the night with us back at the hotel. It was so much fun, we let her walk around the hotel grounds a bit and showed her our room, then we went through the downtown disney entrance and got smoothies at Jamba Juice, which was so close to the hotel entrance(And they give a 10% AP discount!). We were able to just enjoy the room, watch the olympics and in the morning we got a room service breakfast. I think it was definitely worth the experience even though we live here.
We spent a little time in DCA, rode Little Mermaid and such, but this is where we got the best of both worlds because we left at about 2pm and our 16mo Guinevere was asleep before we were even off of Disneyland Drive. She napped for 2 hours when we got home!
But this little overnight “trip” has kind of opened my eyes to something I’d never experienced. When we walked from the hotel right into Downtown Disney, my husband said “Downtown Disney is the best downtown there is!” And then it hit me. That’s what Downtown Disney is for! In June we went to San Francisco for a conference and we stayed at a hotel that was “downtown” but we didn’t feel too comfortable walking around and it was not stroller friendly at all. Downtown Disney is like the “downtown” you would experience living in a city, but Disneyfied. I didn’t really get that before, as a local. It just seemed like a Disney adjacent mall(and it is that too).
This really made me want to experience this “on the premises” type vacation again, so much that I’m going to start planning a trip to Disney World in Florida, something I’ve never cared that much about before. But I really want to get that “resort” experience and I’d like to do it somewhere I don’t actually live. I didn’t appreciate until now how different the local experience is to the “resort guest” experience. Don’t take it the wrong way, I LOVE being a local. But I want to get that other experience too.