Mara turned SIX last week! Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun. She is intelligent, beautiful, creative, stubborn, compassionate, sassy, inventive, hilarious… I could go on and on. She’s my kid and I love her, which is why we decided to subject ourselves to Disneyland for her birthday! We were going to go on her actual birthday but the weather was going to be nicer the day before. We took some photos but mostly just tried to enjoy the day. Honestly, we were just having way too much fun to be bothered.
These two nuggets were SO HAPPY! Look how cute they are! The first thing we did when we got through the gate was procure a Happy Birthday button for Mara and a 1st Visit button for Wesson. These, along with a few others, can be found at just about every store in the park – and they’re free! As we walked along the park, throughout the entire day, cast members would come up to Mara in her Cinderella dress, call her princess or your highness (some even bowed) and told her happy birthday. Can you imagine how special that made her feel? She was absolutely glowing. Not to be left out, Wesson got lots of attention too for his 1st visit milestone.
When we talked about meeting characters prior to going we made the kids pick just a few so that our entire day wasn’t consumed by waiting in line to take a photo. Mara decided that the two she HAD to see were Cinderella and her absolute favorite Princess, Ariel. We decided to get that over with immediately to avoid sweaty photos with tired kids. When we got in line for Ariel and Snow White (package deal) there was a third mystery character that wasn’t listed on the board. Guess who it was!
Ella herself! Three for one, baby! She asked Mara if she had been going through her wardrobe.
Ariel said Disneyland was her favorite place in the human world. Snow White surprised us right inside the door which made the kids laugh. Wesson tried to hide from all of the princesses but each one of them called him out, hahah! He was a little pink in the cheeks when we walked out of there.
We encountered Aurora hanging out in front of the spinning teacups. She tried to get Mara to spin dresses with her but she wasn’t having it.
While we waited in line, Daddy and Wesson rode the Teacups. I had heard that the solid purple teacup goes faster than the rest, and a cast member told me that as well as we were standing in line to schmooze with Aurora. Something to keep in mind if you ever find yourself wanting to throw up.
This is my favorite set of photos captured that day, taken by Justin, before Dumbo took off and after the ride started:
SO MUCH HAPPINESS!
We met Mickey, of course. Wesson graciously allowed his photo to be taken with his favorite mouse.
Speaking of photos, the park had photographers all over the place. If you wanted to pay $40 you’d get a copy of all the photos and in theory never have to take your own. I finally looked at them a few days later and the photos were pretty terrible. I’m thankful for the few snaps I took myself and glad I didn’t bother with the photo fee.
We rode as many rides as we could get into that day and reaffirmed what we already knew: Mara is a roller-coaster kid like Daddy and roller-coasters give Wesson and Mommy regrets.
We ended a perfectly exciting day with the best light parade ever! All the characters had light up costumes, and Alice told everyone it was their unbirthday. Pete rode his dragon, Smee went paddling by in a canoe, and Pinocchio danced his wooden buns off.
Mara looked down from Justin’s shoulders and exclaimed “nobody told me this parade was gonna be so great!” The day couldn’t have been more magical.
They slept the whole way home.
The next day was her actual birthday!
She awoke to a room covered in whirligigs, My Little Pony decorations and lots of balloons. We did all the traditional birthday things: open presents, measure our height, make cupcakes, and plan our birthday freebie excursion. A lot, and I mean A LOT of businesses give free something or others to you consumers on their birthday, and kids are no exception. Mara decided she wanted her free birthday meal from Red Robin so off we went.
We also stopped by Toys R Us. They had sent a certificate for a free stuffed animal, a free book, and a $3 gift card! Here is a photo that I took just now because lately i’ve been trying to live in the moment and not take so many photos – like a monster.
After she picked her toy and got her Geoffrey and book, the manager gave her a helium balloon and paper crown! Bonus!
We left there and headed to the Disney Store in Temecula. The night before when we were at Disneyland we let the kids pick a souvenir. Wesson had his heart set on one of those strange looking Tsum Tsum creatures in the shape of Chewbacca, as seen here:
It’s like a really hairy jelly bean the size of a small dog. There’s actually one that’s bigger than this, so you could potentially own an even larger toy that looks as if you wrenched it from the shower drain with one of those barbed, flexy plastic tools used to mine for hairballs. The Disney Store takes better wookie photos than I.
Anyway, so while we were there, the store employee noticed that Mara was wearing her birthday pin from Disneyland and snaked out of her that it was, indeed, her day of birth. As we continued to shop the music picked up and over the loudspeaker the employee announced that today princess Mara was turning six! The store staff and all of the customers gathered in the middle of the store to sing and clap for our favorite girl. The video screen read Princess Mara is Six, and the store displays all had fireworks projected onto them. They gave her yet another birthday button, this time with little Mickey ears drawn on the first ‘a’ in her name. If you ask her, the little Sharpie Mickey ears were her very favorite thing of that whole experience.
We are SO never going to be able to beat this birthday.