We arrive at our hotel tired, sunburned, exhausted, and tired. It was roughly 6pm. We had to unpack and get the kids settled before walking somewhere for dinner. My mom had to return the rental car so I stayed behind with the kids. She came back a seething madwoman because the rental place had closed an hour before she got there.
So we head next door to Denny’s for some food before crashing for the night. The overflowing lobby told us otherwise. We trek back to the other side of the hotel and head right into Tony Romas. The smells are great, the booth is uncomfortable, but the mojito is cold and delicious. The kids are all excited to check out Disneyland the next morning and we dig into our bread.
Nearly 2 hours later we are finally finished with the molasses-in-winter service and mediocre food. Needless to say, we are more than ready for bed. The kids had other plans, however. I think I finally got to sleep around 11:30/12 that night. The alarm goes off at 6am the next morning so my mom can be ready to return the car and have everyone get to our character breakfast on time at 8:30. She heads out to return the car and get picked up by my brother and his wife and their 18 month old.
I am on my own to get myself and the kids to the Disneyland Hotel with all the gear and spares and extras i have packed. I figure at 7:45, i have plenty of time.
Turns out it’s nearly a mile away.
We had to walk across the street, down the entrance street, through the bag check, across the giant pavilion that divides both park entrances, through to the next bag check, and all the way down the entire Downtown Disney. We arrive with time to spare… somehow. My mom, on the other hand, is having her own harrowing car return drama and manages to get to Goofy’s Kitchen ten minutes after our reservation time.
There were a few things to occupy the kids while we waited. There was a random small car in the lobby kids could climb in and ‘drive’. My kids had been waiting about 10 minutes before i opened this can of worms. My son insisted on ‘driving’ first, and then allowed his sister to drive after I threatened and barked at him. This was the resulting picture which i find an appropriate pictorial representation of a lot of what we experienced on this trip.
My daughter is chomping at the bit to meet Goofy, who is standing outside the dining room taking pictures with each group who goes in to eat. Everyone arrives and it’s her time. She cannot stand the excitement! She finally meets him and he plays with her toy a little, much to her delight, and she gets to hug and kiss him.
She was dancing with glee.
We go into eat and are seated right beside the door the characters are entering and exiting from. Great luck! My brother and his wife decide their kid can’t be on the end because all the characters will try to
harass play with him and instead put him between Grandma and mommy…. with his back to the door.
This works until Rafiki comes in to greet us. I don’t know if y’all know who this is, but imagine Freddy Kreuger, a monkey, a crayon and the devil made an animal baby, and that’s Rafiki. He’s the baboon from Lion King.
Not exactly a warm and fuzzy being. My nephew was fine with him until he stuck his furry devil baboon hand out to touch the little guy, and that’s when he lost it. He lost *it* along with any and all faith the door behind him opened up to anything but hell. He did not trust any other characters that tried to say hello.
I can’t blame him, really.
My daughter, however, was jumping up and volunteering to take the attention for everyone at our table. She loved the whole experience. Cinderella – her favorite Princess/person/Character, etc was also on the list. She was beside herself with joy. When it came time for Cindy to come to our table, my daughter was already on her feet ready to tackle her. It was going fantastically, and to my amazement, my daughter then asked to see Cinderella’s shoes before letting her go to the next table. I’d be lying if i said i wasn’t proud just then.
We oohed and aaahhed at the pretty bow and giant fake rock in the middle. My daughter was duly impressed. The breakfast was a big hit, and after seeing Dale (“where’s the other one?!” my daughter demanded) Pluto, and Mulan it was time to start the Park Adventure!