Happy 5th Birthday to Storyteller & Songwriter!

IMG_9353_9354_comb_cropped Does this age feel different to you? It does to me. Kinda like their preschool years are gone and they’ve entered that little elementary school girl phase? How did 5 years go by so fast?

Well, Disneyland seemed to have recognized that this would be an extra special year and tempted us to visit with free admission on their birthday. And we went. It was a quick trip. A drive down to San Diego to stay with my parents (after a FAB 5-year-old fairy birthday party for their best friend in Menlo Park) on Saturday to celebrate their birthday with family on Sunday. Then an early morning trip to Anaheim on Monday morning for a day at the happiest place on earth. We returned home last night at about 2:30am. It was tough but well worth it.

All Songwriter could talk about was Splash Mountain. Storyteller was looking forward to the ride where she got to shoot the bad guys (Buzz Lightyear) – our first ride of the day.

Buoyed by our first visit in July last  year when we discovered what thrillseekers our girls were at 4 1/2 years old, we were set to obtain FastPasses for the rollercoaster-type rides, much like last time. But we made one critical error…we went directly to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. No warmup at the Go Coaster in ToonTown. We didn’t realize our mistake until we each led a [loudly] crying daughter off the ride and away from the exit.

“Mommy!” Storyteller screamed. “You thought I was laughing. I wasn’t! I was screaming! I was so scared!” Oh.

Actually, I knew she was scared on the ride. I held onto her tight but every time we got jostled from side to side, I could feel her fear. There was nothing I could do but hold tight and ensure her I was right there. Apparently, it was the same for Songwriter. As soon as each saw the other crying after getting out of the cars, they cried even louder. Uh oh. Traumatized…and the day just began.

Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn. Here we thought we might be able to try out the Matterhorn this time around. Oh well. Glad we decided not to add Space Mountain to the itinerary. Splash Mountain was in jeopardy…we’d already obtained the FastPasses to that one. Luckily, there would be about 3.5 hours before we could take advantage of the official cut in line. Good thing. We could probably use the delay to mellow them out and distract them with other things…like Fantasyland. Time for something more younger-kid-friendly. Dumbo. Peter Pan. Storybook Land. It’s A Small World.

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Songwriter didn’t shy away from Splash Mountain. She was visibly nervous about it but she still really wanted to go. Storyteller chanted, “but we don’t have to go, right, Pappa?” By the time we got to Splash Mountain, there was no question. Storyteller was not getting in line, much less the ride. Time to shop for lollipops.

Songwriter LOVED Splash Mountain. In hindsight, I think we should have encouraged Storyteller to give it a try since there isn’t nearly as much jostling about and most of the ride consists of dips and lots of singing. Next time.

Did you ever hear about Tarzan’s Treehouse? We didn’t before…but we now love it. It gave us several minutes of hangin’ out time while the girls went up and down and up and down and up and down and backwards and forwards…well, you get the idea. A great place for them to run off some of that endless energy.

IMG_9346 The only characters we took the time to stand in line for a photo with were Aladdin and Jasmine. We hesitated but the line guy said they’d be leaving soon. Don’t know why but that did it. Aladdin was especially entertaining. In fact, when Storyteller first spied them, she waved at Aladdin, shouted his name and demanded to know where was Abu (sp?), Aladdin’s monkey. Jokingly, he pointed to the top of the next building at a bunch of hanging bananas (fake, of course)…and Storyteller took off to where he pointed, with Songwriter close behind. And Aladdin in hot pursuit. I think he felt bad that he told them where Abu was, not expecting they would believe him and run off. He probably also heard the panic in my voice as I screamed for them to come back. So, we got in line while Aladdin collected the girls. hahaha That’s what he gets.

Missed the princess faire. It had already closed. Next time. Visited Minnie Mouse’s house in ToonTown. Mickey’s house was closed. Did the Go Coaster with minimal protest. Girls loved it. Whew! Just had to get them back on that horse (so to speak). Wouldn’t want them leaving with such a scary memory of rollercoasters. BTW, pretty darn cool shot here by Truls, huh. He was playing with a slow shutter speed. We were rounding a curve on the Go Coaster and he was sitting behind us. He held the camera close to his chest. So creative.

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11 hours. It was enough. Last time, we did 14 hours but that was their first time and we were just driving to San Diego afterward. We had a long drive back to the Bay Area. Girls conked out within seconds of strapping in and laying their heads back. Got in around 2:30 in the morning. A tough schedule but well worth every minute.

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An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.

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