Naturally we were all very excited when we woke up the next morning after the long journey from San Jose. After all, we were headed for the happiest place on earth!
We had purchased 2-day park hopper tickets which allowed us 2-day unlimited access to both Disneyland and California Adventure Park. It was Pete’s and my second visit there, and we were very anxious to share the *happiness* with our boy. We did not need to pay for Ethan’s admission ticket though, because kids under 3 can enjoy free admission!
But this is what greeted us when we were about to go out of the room:
We had already kinda expected it as the weather forecast for the day showed that it would be pouring that day. SIGH.
Ethan had some boxed apple juice in our room before we went for breakfast. I could tell he was getting hungry, and somehow he discovered how to open the fridge on his own.
So we had breakfast at the hotel, and after that, since it was still raining heavily, we decided that we would drive to Disneyland instead of our original plan of walking there. Despite our hotel being about 15 minutes’ walking distance to Disneyland, we decided not to get drenched in the rain, and besides it was definitely getting heavier. The parking fee was $12, but thankfully it was a sheltered parking lot.
Ethan was very excited as soon as we parked the car, and kept saying, “Mickey” or “Mickey Mouse”. Coincidentally, we parked at the Mickey Mouse level.
We then took a tram to Downtown Disney, and visited one of the biggest souvenir shops there. We had to buy rain ponchos for ourselves because it was still pouring when we arrived. Too bad there weren’t any ponchos in Ethan’s size, so he had to make do with his hooded jacket. We did manage to get a few quick shots of Ethan wearing that ever-popular Mickey Mouse hat though, but it looked like he was too eager to enter the park!
Since it was still drizzling, we could only enjoy the rides that were somewhat sheltered, and the first one we saw was the Disneyland railroad train at Main Street!
And running and skipping as fast as he could to board the train was Ethan, all the while screaming, “choo choo train!” He would also get impatient when the train stopped at certain stations to pick up passengers and took a long time to get going.
The rain certainly did not dampen our spirits, and when we finished a complete ride round Disneyland, we spotted Mickey and some of his friends entering a nearby building. So we rushed into the building, and I tell you, I will never forget that priceless look of admiration and joy on Ethan’s face as he met Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. He was really star-struck! So much so that I think he really could not believe he was seeing the onscreen characters he loves in real life! Look at some of the pictures, it’s as if he was checking to see if they were real!
We then continued our adventure round Disneyland, snapping photos whenever we could, and trying to do as many things as possible in spite of the rain. As you can see, it was not easy getting our boy to pose for photos because he became easily distracted by all the sights and sounds around him!
See how wet Ethan’s pants got after a while of hopping around in the puddles? 😛
The crowds weren’t that humunguous and the queues for the rides weren’t that long, probably because of the rain, and we managed to squeeze in a few rides before lunchtime. From past experience with Ethan, we purposely went for rides where the three of us could go on, and that included the Storybook Land canal boat ride and the ever-popular It’s a Small World. Although Pete and I were apprehensive that the It’s a Small World ride would result in the song sticking to our heads for days to come (it did the last time we went on it!), we knew it was going to be an enjoyable experience for Ethan. Here’s Daddy and Ethan all ready for the ride…
We were actually very happy with the It’s a Small World ride. Because it was the Christmas season, the music they played was a mixture of Christmas carols interspersed with It’s a Small World, and so the experience was truly truly amazing. Throw in all the colors and wonderful sights and you have a very happy toddler (and Mommy and Daddy too)!
Lunch was, of course, burgers and chips….well, cuz most of the restaurants in Disneyland serve that. Ethan thoroughly enjoyed his chips, but still would not take our burgers…A rather funny incident happened though. Ethan was drinking water from a plastic cup, and when he was done, he began playing with the cup, and suddenly he tore it! Instinctively, I said, “Oh no! You tore the cup?! Quick, say sorry to the cup, Ethan!” and he went, “Sorry, cup…” 😛
The rain stopped around lunch time, so after we had eaten, we were able to roam around without our rain ponchos. Took a few other train rides (yep, there are several here in Disney), and even had the chance to do a boat ride!
Here are two precious shots of Ethan enjoying a casual male-bonding moment with Daddy. My hands had nothing else better to do while we were waiting in line for one of the rides…. heh.
We headed for Mickey’s Toontown next, and I remembered it being one of the most colorful places in Disney.
And as soon as Ethan caught sight of the slide in Goofy’s playhouse, he ran towards it and had the time of his life! Ah, the simple pleasures that makes a boy happy huh?
Some of the Disney characters were available for photo sessions too, and Ethan managed to get one with Goofy. After queuing up for a bit, I tested Ethan to see if he would go take a photo with Goofy on his own, and he did!
Well, he looks a little confused there, but still, it’s a priceless photo!
Here’s one of Ethan and Pete in one of the Toontown buses. Ethan loves climbing up to the driver’s seat, rotating the wheel, and shouting, “Move!”
It was certainly difficult to pry Ethan away from Toontown, but we managed, somehow. And after all that excitement, Ethan finally fell asleep, all tired out, on Pete’s shoulders, at about 3:30p.m. So Pete and I took the opportunity to sit down at a nearby cafe and had clam chowder instead.
Ethan woke up shortly after that, and we headed for the “castle”, since he demanded for it. He really really loves the castle, I can tell, cuz even today, he still remembers the “castle”. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle really is a breathtaking view, especially during Christmastime.
Oh yeah, we also managed to enjoy It’s a Small World for the second time that night. And the night decorations make the place look so much like fairyland. Plus, on the way there, there was a *snow* experience for us too, as soap bubbles were released making it look and feel like snow. It was magical…
Before we called it a day, we witnessed the special “A Christmas Fantasy” parade. Ethan was very happy when he caught a glimpse of Mickey and his friends, Buzz Lightyear and Woody (whom he refers to as the “cowboy”).
It was a long, tiring but very fulfilling day for all of us, and after Ethan had his warm nightly bath, we could tell he was exhausted because he “asked” me to sleep with him. Normally he would play around first and then sleep a little bit later, but immediately after he had his milk, he wanted to sleep. He even hugged his Mickey Mouse soft toy to sleep, but not before looking at Mickey with a look of wonderment, not really believing that he had met Mickey in the flesh.