We did it! Anna’s first trip to Disneyland was a great time. We wore each other out (see the last picture), but we have memories that will last a lifetime.
Thanks to the help of her aunt Sophie and uncle Bridger, we successfully made the long drive to Anaheim and back with Anna, who hates being in her car seat. She was so happy every time she could get out!
Anna didn’t quite know what to expect about the whole thing, but as we walked up to the front gates of Disneyland, she noticed the giant pumpkin versions of her beloved Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto and she was excited.
The first day at the park was for Mickey’s Halloween Party, a ticketed event that offers special fireworks, a new parade, fun music and atmosphere, and trick-or-treating stations all over the park. We created t-shirts for the event, and Sophie and Bridger made matching hats! Anna got a long braid to compliment her Rapunzel shirt. This event was perfect, because the sun went down just a few hours after we arrived.
We first stopped by City Hall to pick up our Guest Assistance Card, which we hoped would allow us to avoid waiting in lines out in the sun. It did help some of the time, but only when the alternate entrance was out of the sun or very, very short.
Our first ride was Peter Pan, a family favorite. As we approached the line, there was no cast member to ask where we should go and what to do. The the normal line was an hour wait, and Anna would need to wear her hood, gloves, and gear the whole time. The only other option was to get in the line for wheelchair access. Unfortunately, that wait was just as long as the normal line, and had even more sun exposure. We kept Anna in the shade as much as we could.
The G.A.C. did help us with some rides like Dumbo and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, but for others like Alice in Wonderland, it wasn’t much help. We were grateful to have it, but we wished Disneyland could have done more for the times when the alternate entrance line was still out in the sun. We stayed for two more days at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and each day when the sun went down we were so happy to not have to worry about Anna’s safety and comfort. It got very hot at times!
Anna’s favorite ride was Dumbo, by far. She still remembers it when we talk about Disneyland. She also loved seeing Mickey in Fantasmic and anytime we passed him by. She loved dancing with the Disney characters, trick-or-treating, and the parades.
Jesse from Toy Story was happy to meet Anna…and to our amazement Anna ran right up to her and gave her a hug and a high-five!
It was a magical trip, as always. It took a day or two to recover – but we had a blast!