I can’t even count how many times I’ve been to Disneyland. When you work for “The Mouse” and you have a coveted Silver Pass, you can go for FREE – with three friends – whenever you want! For a Disneyphile like me, this was heaven. Plus, it was great for my visiting family – here and in Florida – and it was REALLY great for impressing dates.
But… that was many years ago. Before I had a child.
Great timing, right?
Now that my daughter is about to turn 4 – and our apartment looks like a Disney Princess threw up all over it – my husband and I decided to take advantage of her obsession and plan a trip for her birthday.
Like I said, I’ve been to “the happiest place on earth” MANY times. I have the WORST sense of direction in the world, yet I could get you to any ride in that park with my eyes closed. I know how to “do” Disneyland. I give GREAT Disneyland. But this is different. This time it’s about her.
Suddenly, I am a woman possessed. A woman on a mission. I have become completely and totally OBSESSED with preparing for this little trip! It’s two days out of our lives, but you would think we were about to backpack through Europe for the summer!
So I started doing the requisite research, pouring over the Disneyland site, googling “Disneyland with a 4-year old,” “Tips for preschoolers at Disneyland.” The good news is, there is A LOT of information out there to help parents who are planning a trip to The Magic Kingdom. The bad news is, there is A LOT of information out there to help parents who are planning a trip to The Magic Kingdom!!!! It’s like I suddenly started another part-time job!
I did take away some good stuff, like the fact that it would cost us approximately $150 for two adults and one tiny picky eater to dine with the princesses at Ariel’s Grotto. (Sorry, kiddo, but it looks like we’ll be slumming’ it with Minnie and Friends at the tried-and-true Plaza Inn character breakfast.)
I don’t know why I’m obsessing. WE LIVE HERE. This will NOT be our only time at the rodeo! Maybe it’s because it’s her first time? Maybe it’s because I was lucky enough to get free park-hopper tickets from a dear old friend? Maybe it’s just because I keep imagining her little face when she looks up at Cinderella’s castle, meets Ariel – her favorite, makes the Dumbo elephant fly high in the air, or experiences the wonder of “Fantasmic” for the very first time?
Then again, who am I kidding? I know my daughter. She is SO unpredictable.
No matter what I envision, or how meticulously I plan, I NEVER know what’s gonna happen.
Maybe she’ll be afraid to get close enough to the characters for pictures? Maybe she will refuse to wait on the long lines. Maybe we won’t be able to get her to leave the giant store on Main Street!
And let’s not forget the most important thing: she’s not even going to remember any of it!
But WE will.
So… IS Disneyland the happiest place on earth for my soon-to-be four year-old? Stay tuned for Part Two…