I had originally reserved a spot for Mila to get a perfectly princess makeover at the famous, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside the castle, but cancelled my reservation a few days before we left for a number of reasons. 1) I really didn't care to be tied down to a schedule while on vacation, 2) Mila is a glass case of emotions and the princess makeover was too expensive to chance a meltdown, and 3) Mila is not a fan of the signature Cinderella "bun", making that clear time and time again during our season of dance. No, Mila prefers her princesses a little unruly, evidenced by the fact that most of her toy princesses lack of clothes and legs or both. While packing for the trip, though, I threw in Mila's Elsa dress, a last minute decision just in case. And after spending two days admiring all her favorite princesses in the real, and being called a princess herself by nearly everyone she met, Mila was adamant by the end of our day that it was her time to "Let it Go," and let her true ice princess show. So instead of paying $60 for a tight sparkly bun, we dressed her up in her Elsa dress and I did my best to give her an Elsa braid that would make her fit for the crown. Then she hopped in her chariot and we made our way back to Magic Kingdom for a night truly fit for a queen. And her handsome big brother.
Disney was packed that night, but I hardly noticed. I couldn't take my eyes off Cruz's sun-kissed cheeks and big brown eyes as he drank in the sights around him, Mila's soft blond braid and how sweet she looked in her little Elsa dress against the grand splendor of the backdrop. The California weather just couldn't be matched, and I felt over the moon happy to be there with my sweet family. While I could have just waltzed around Fantasyland all night, soaking in the sights and photographing our cute kids, Beau had other ideas and became quickly impatient with the very long lines! If I'm the dreamer, he's the doer, through and through! We did the carousel and the famous tea cups, then made our way to the Blue Bayou Cafe for one special dinner reservation.
A few final pictures by the castle before the sun went down. These are some of my favorites and say so much about our little family this summer.
When doing a little research preparing for our trip, I was ecstatic to discover that this was the first summer the famous electrical parade would be returning to the streets of Disneyland. Due to a monsoon rain that cancelled the much-anticipated parade back at Disney World on our last trip, I wanted to make sure I had a front row seat to this iconic Disney tradition. The message boards I read all said the same thing - because the parade had been on hiatus up until this summer, the crowds were out of control. We either had to find a spot on the sidewalk literally hours before the parade started, or sign up for an electrical parade dinner package with reserved seating for the parade. And because we had to eat anyways, this seemed like the perfect splurge for our special night at Disney.
The crowds were no joke and this little decision became one of the best of our trip. We dined in the famous Blue Bayou restaurant, a New Orleans' style four-course feast fit for adults and kids of all ages. We became props in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and watched as boats of riders made their way down the river next to our table. It was expensive, but well worth it as we received four golden tickets to a roped off VIP area right on the sidewalk just minutes before the parade was to start.
The night was just as I anticipated it to be, with a few added bits of pixie dust for the taking. We ended up sitting right next to a family we had met in the elevator the day before, a magical coincidence in and of itself with literally millions of people in our proximity. This family had a little blondie about Mila's age and the two became instant friends in the elevator. And to add to their new little friendship, Mila was dressed as Elsa and her friend as Anna. Much like the cinematic sisterhood, our girls were soon holding hands and sharing a bond that seemed just as Walt himself had envisioned so many years before. Her family, who had been to Disney many times before, asked if our kids wanted to share a blanket, handed them a bag of snacks and glow sticks, and prepped our kids for all that was to come.
Soon enough, the parade started, and it was just as I dreamed it to be. It was old Disney in all its glory, and I felt as if I had stepped back in time. My eyes darted back and forth from the grand lit-up floats, to the lit-up faces of the kids who waved their lit-up wands and waved their tiny hands to Mickey and Donald, Cinderella and her Prince Charming, and Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. They were in such a good spot, had the opportunity to interact with several characters, and I shook my head in amazement at how lucky they were to experience all this. We laughed when one of the Ugly Step-Sisters pointed to Cruz and asked if he was her Prince Charming, and I did my best to take it all in before the last float made its way by and we all turned our sights toward the castle for its grand finale.
After Tinkerbell flew through the sky and tapped her little wand on the top of the castle, after the sky was lit up with lights and melodies of Star Wars and Pirates and Beauty and the Beast, and after we made our way through the thick crowds hand in hand back to our little home away from home, Cruz looked up at me and said, "Mom, I wish I had a time machine because I would go back to this night forever." He had officially fallen victim to the magic and would never be the same again. ;)
And Elsa wouldn't be either!