It was the stop they had both been waiting for…the home of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and Cinderella (and all the princesses!). 4 years old is a good age for a first trip to this wonderland. Before the girls started talking about it (after fellow classmates had already made their first visits), I always thought that 5 or 6 years old would be the youngest we’d want to take them. After all, with entry fees the way they are, I wanted to make sure they remembered this first trip.
But honestly, whether they remember this trip in detail or not just doesn’t matter. It was one of those living in the moment kinds of things. The excitement they exuded after each ride, the wonder at all the princesses and cartoon characters they recognized, the sheer happiness written all over their faces – it made me realize that *I* would certainly not forget our girls’ first trip to Disneyland. Watching them all day made me think what a great thing it is to be a parent.
We began with a short ride in an old fashioned car to the front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Unfortunately, this is a facade, for the most part, and “K”‘s curiosity to actually see Sleeping Beauty’s sleeping chamber was not possible. Our first stop, however, was to find some breakfast…which we did, in Tomorrowland. Then we decided to obtain all the FastPasses we could to minimize any waiting times for rides. Buzz Lightyear was first on the list but as it turned out, it was best to simply wait 5-10 minutes to do the actual ride. Splash Mountain was the only ride that was worth a FastPass. All day long, the wait time was about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Ugh! We decided no ride was worth a wait that long – especially with twin 4-year-olds in tow.
It was a long, very long day but surprisingly, far less stressful than I anticipated. In fact, it was downright fun! “L” and “K” were real troopers, soaking in everything they saw (Snow White, Cinderella, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Dumbo), enjoying every moment on a ride (Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Thunder Mountain Railroad), savoring every treat (funnel cakes and ice cream!).
We arrived at 8:30am, departed at 10:30pm. I thought “T” might have to carry “K” all the way to the parking garage. But once we were in the middle of our last shopping stop, she woke up to choose her last souvenir. “L”, on the other hand, declared that she would sleep when we got to our truck. I had a feeling that she wanted to make sure she didn’t miss a single thing before we left.
A successful first trip? Absolutely. In fact, the question, “When are we coming back to Disneyland?” was asked in earnest before we even walked through the gate.