Chris and I lived in Southern California for 2 years before we ever went to Disney, even though it was only a 45 minute drive (on a good day) from our house. It never came up as a place we as adults would want to go. I always thought of Disney as just a place for kids. The first time we went was on our anniversary and we had the best time and quickly realized this was a place that let’s adults be kids themselves. This was before Cars Land, before the Star Wars takeover, and before Frozen mania. It was a crowded theme park, but nowhere near what it’s like now. We’ve been back a few times over the years and loved every bit of standing in line for rides, seeing how many new foods we can try, and the boozy treats offered at California Adventure. It was truly a magical place. That being said, everything about Disney changes when you go with your own child and see everything again, for the first time.
We took Chan on her first trip to Disney just before she turned 2. I’ll never forget watching her meet Minnie Mouse (AKA her BFF) for the first time. She was in awe that Minnie, Mickey and Donald were right in front of her and hugged them so tight. She even gave Donald a kiss on the beak which completely shocked me. It was so impromptu and sweet! I knew right away we’d be visiting Disney a lot in the future so we took the plunge and got annual passes. We’ve been a few times since her first visit and each time I love watching her face light up when she see’s one of her Clubhouse friends. Suddenly you see the magic behind every detail they put into the Cast Member costumes, in the queue lines, the musical numbers, and the park design itself. The fireworks show at the end of the night gets me every, single, time. Nothing more beautiful than thousands of parents standing in the middle of Main Street bawling while their kids are passed out in the stroller.
We made a special trip this week because they just opened a new Frozen Musical at the Hyperion Theater in California Adventure. And we have the cheapo passes that are blacked out from now until September so we had to squeeze in a visit. And I’m sure like in a lot of houses, Elsa and Anna rule the roost around here. After Minnie, they are her favorite gals. Every morning we listen to the Frozen soundtrack during breakfast. Thank God it’s not unbearable or I might lose my shizz. So of course I wanted to take her to see The Frozen Musical. Not just because I know she loves the music and characters, but because I love the idea of her seeing live theater. And it did not disappoint! All of the characters were brought to life on stage and the audience was swept up in all of it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when their parents, ya know, disappear into the ocean… Special shout out out to Bruce, the actor who played Olaf! He brought some much-needed levity to the show. The costumes were beautiful, and the puppeteers were a special surprise. I loved watching Chan get so into it. She was mesmerized by the whole production. Once again I think she was blown away by the fact she could actually see her heroes live and in person. She didn’t want it to end. And neither did I. Or rather, I don’t want that magical feeling to end. I know one day she’s going to grow up and probably be the teenage girl who doesn’t want to be seen at Disney with her mom. Embarrassing! But until that time comes I’m going to cherish every chance I get to take her to the Magic Kingdom and watch that twinkle in her eye when she runs to hug Minnie. Or when she’s taking the plunge on the Pirates ride. Or snuggles into my arms while we watch the fireworks and cry. I mean, everyone else cries. Magic.