We decided it was time for a trip to Anaheim to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. Well, we actually visited the place next door to the Happiest Place on Earth. ("Happy Adjacent"?) Harper is fully potty trained, still fits into her stroller (barely) and loves Cars and Frozen so it was a good time to hit the theme park for the first time.
First of all, big ups and many many thanks to our friends who work at Disney who got us free tickets into the park. This is a huge deal, saving us hundreds of $$. So much less pressure to HAVE FUN when you haven't paid the entrance fee. Very grateful for that.
Second, we chose California Adventure over Disneyland proper because Harper doesn't know the old school Disney stuff. She knows who Mickey and Minnie are, and knows some of the princesses, but her real love (at the moment) is Cars. (She likes Frozen as well, but not quite as much.) So off to Cal Adventure and Radiator Springs we went!
We got dressed and ready to go and Harper accessorized with the hat. That's my hipster girl. She also stuck close to Kurt who was doing a last minute bathroom stop before hitting the road.
Upon arrival we raced over to Cars Land and found Lightning McQueen! Okay sorry, no picture here of him with Harper, we didn't take our own photo and are waiting for the official one to arrive... but here is "LaQueen" (as Harper calls him) so you know what he looks like.
I think Haprer was a bit confused, overwhelmed by this giant theme park that looks like the movie she loves. Or we were doing too much "Oooh look Harper! It's Radiator Springs! Lightning McQueen! Mater!" etc. Either way she was a little fussy at first. Then we got in line to ride the Radiator Springs racers and she settled down during the 40 minute wait.
There is much to look at and lovely views while in line. The bottle walls were cool. I looked at each little crevice and wondered how much gum and trash got jammed into those things. Then I wondered whose job it was to clean those tiny openings every day (every few hours?). Glad it's not me.
While in line I was worried she'd have to go potty right as we got to the loading platform. Luckily she didn't. (Wouldn't it be genius if parks had bathrooms in the ride line? If you have to wait over an hour in line, a bathroom might be handy...just sayin'.)
So then we got on the ride and traumatized our child. Parenting win! Okay okay, Harper was big enough for the ride (just barely) and it's mostly a little car ride through Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley. Here's a picture I ganked from the web of the ride:
Well, it's called "Racers" for a reason as you "race" the car next to you. And you go fast! And you go up and down a lot and whip around tight corners! Oh boy. Luckily the seats were three across so Harper was between us. She didn't cry but when it was over and we were arriving at the unloading spot I asked her if she was okay and she kept saying, "I'm scared, Mama." Knife to my heart! So when we got out, I held her and we told her how brave she was. She seemed to recover quickly though and we bought her a hat and a t-shirt. Shopping makes everything better!
Harper wore her hat for about five minutes so I made it my own.
By then it was time for a snack and what better place to get one than Flo's V8 Cafe. (There's a great christmas card picture if I ever saw one! Thank you kind strangers who took the pic!)
Harper loved the Cozy Cone and kept wanting to go into them, but they are just little snack shops with windows. So we took a selfie instead.
We almost went on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree ride, but when it was our turn, Harper said no. No problem! Enough trauma for one day. Or so we thought...but that's for another post.
We departed Cars Land and headed for the Pier. Stay tuned for another installment of our California Adventure!