It was William's 4th birthday, Friday, September 28. We did not tell the kids we were planning a trip to Disneyland. It would be very special, as Joy's first trip to Disneyland and William's first time to Carsland.
The morning of, we woke up and did our regular morning routine, but we told the kids we were going on an adventure. They were very excited, probably more so because they didn't know what the adventure was.
By 8:30am, we were pulling into the parking structure. We kept asking William if he knew where we were, but he was having trouble figuring it out. We got a great parking spot (Donald 8A) right by the elevator. We had brought a single jogging stroller and a Moby wrap with us to get around the park. Elijah alternated between the Moby and the stroller, and Joy also took a few turns in the stroller. It worked really well; the jogging stroller is so easy to manuever, I could easily steer it with one hand while holding onto Joy with the other.
Of course, the tram ride from the parking structure to the park was exciting. William finally figured out where we were going when he heard the conductor talking about Disneyland. We met Chris Hunter at the entrance plaza; many thanks to him for getting us passes for the day.
Once inside, we headed straight to Main Street...and stopped for a restroom break. I took Joy to the Ladies' Room, and Omar took William and Elijah to change Elijah's diaper. Joy and I made it back out first, and Joy was very entertained watching the horse-drawn trolley car.
When we were all together again, we headed straight up Main Street. We caught a glimpse of Mickey Mouse on the way. Then Joy spotted the castle...
It was every princess's dream come true...
We went into the castle and toured the Sleeping Beauty panaromas. While strolling through, Elijah started getting restless. So when we came out, Elijah and I took a bench in the shade where we could watch Daddy, Joy, and William ride the carousel.
We were still busy when they finished, so they headed off towards the Dumbo ride. Elijah finished eating and then had a hiccup...drenched my shirt, my pants, his onesie, and even left a puddle on the bench. I changed Elijah's onesie, and put him in the stroller. We walked to Dumbo, and the Bean fell asleep while I caught a few photos.
After Dumbo, William was asking to see Buzz Lightyear. We headed to Tomorrow Land, but got side tracked when we saw there was no line for the teacups. I got to ride this time, while Omar stayed with Elijah still sleeping in the stroller. Joy loooved the teacups. She kept asking to go on the teacups again, but sadly, we never made it back that way.
After the teacups, we made it over to the Buzz Lightyear ride. We all went on the ride, but Elijah and Joy did not really enjoy it. William, of course, had a blast. And in the gift shop, we finally found a Zurg action figure for him. William carried him for most of the rest of the day.
Omar had seen the schedule, and we knew Rapunzel had just started her greeting hours. We headed back to Fantasy Land. I thought I would never stand an hour in line just for a picture, but Joy had to meet Rapunzel. Joy, Elijah (in the Moby), and I got in line, while Omar and William went to get lunch. Joy was so well behaved in line. It was almost an hour wait, and she never once complained or got restless. Elijah took a nap.
Halfway through, Daddy and William came by to drop off a mini cheese pizza, some french fries, and juice box. Then they left again to ride Astro Blasters and Star Tours. All the waiting was worth it in the end, though. Joy got to meet Rapunzel. She wouldn't say a single word to Rapunzel, but after we left, she told me, "I had fun with Rapunzel!"
As soon as we left Rapunzel, Elijah insisted it was time to eat. As we headed towards Tomorrow Land, looking for a bench on the way, we saw Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Evil Queen, Ariel, and the Fairy Godmother from Cinderalla. Unfortunately, Elijah prevented us from catching any more photos at that time. Joy was very patient. Every time during the day that I stopped to feed Elijah and she was left waiting, she grabbed the water bottles out of the stroller to entertain herself.
When we caught up with Daddy and William, they were looking kind of sad. They had waited half an hour for Star Tours before finding out that William was an inch too short. But the staff was really nice about it. We got a Star Tours Fast Pass to use when William is tall enough, and we got a fast pass to use that day for any ride we wanted. We decided to use the Fast Pass for the whole family to ride the Finding Nemo submarines.
As we were walking that way, a little girl dressed up as Belle walked up to Joy to see her princess dress, and stood there trying to chat with Joy and William. Of course, my kids just stared at her and didn't say a word, but she was adorable.
On the way to Nemo, Joy rebelled against holding Mommy and Daddy's hands, and insisted on holding William's hand instead. We allowed this, and Daddy kept hold of the tail of the monkey riding on William's back.
We jumped straight to the front of the line for the submarines. Elijah was fascinated the first half of the ride. It was very bright and colorful out the windows, and he alternated between staring out the windows and staring at Joy sitting next to him.
He got a little upset when the bombs and loud noises started, but I was able to keep him fairly calm so that we didn't disturb our fellow passengers.
After Nemo, we knew the kids were starting to reach their limit, so it was time to head to the grand finale (Carsland). We told William we had one more special surprise for him. We put Joy into the stroller to make better time, and I carried the Bean (a little too hot at that point for the Moby). And as I predicted to Omar when I told him to put Joy in the stroller, she took a power nap on the way to California Adventure.
William kept asking what the surprise was, but as soon as he saw it, he knew: "I'm going to see Cars!" He was so excited, he wanted to see everything. Daddy and William did most of the exploring in Carsland, while Joy, Elijah, and I rested. We saw Mater...
Joy and I spotted Lightening McQueen twice. Each time, we texted Daddy, but by the time they got back, Lightening McQueen was gone. Finally, the kids were getting cranky, and we knew it was time to go, but William had to see Lightening McQueen. So we bought a couple of chocolate ice cream cones and camped out. Sure enough, just as we were finishing our cones, there came Lightening McQueen! The highlight of William's day:
Heading back to the car, Joy was in the stroller, Elijah in the Moby, and William was holding my hand. William was being so good, not complaining at all, but I could feel by the weight and drag of his hand in mine that he was wearing out. Lucky, Daddy is there when you need a pick up...
We made a short stop in Downtown Disney to buy souvenirs. Joy really wanted one of the giant lollipops. I thought it would be an adorable picture, so I asked Joy to smile...
No, really Joy, give me a smile...
Come on now, a big smile...
Fine, just say cheese...
But Omar finally got the winning pic...
In honor of one of his first rides at Disneyland, we bought Elijah a stuffed Nemo.
It was pretty much a perfect day. We didn't do a lot, but we had a fantastic time. The kids loved everything they saw (and didn't miss the things they didn't see). Every one was so welled behaved and happy all day long. We left just in time. Even with a movie on in the car, William was out cold in about 5 minutes.
We postponed the actually birthday "party" until the next day. Grandma made William a superhero cake. With M&Ms according to William's special request.
I think he liked it a little bit. =)