Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth

Our main purpose in heading to Southern California was so that my mom and I could attend Disneyland on our birthday. I am lucky enough to have been born as the same day as my mom- it truly is an honor to share celebrations with such an amazing woman like she is.

Disneyland has long been the favorite destination of my family- my parents took me there when I was 18 months and tell about how I would make them keep riding Alice in Wonderland over and over and then I would cry as we left the park. So when we found out that we could get in for FREE on our birthday, we decided that was the perfect way to celebrate. You pre-register on the Disney website and then print off your certificate and bring that to the main ticket window on the DAY of your birthday along with a government issued ID. They then give you a special ticket and a badge with your name on it that you wear around the park.

All of the workers tell you "happy birthday" as well as random people as you walk around the park. My sisters Cynthia and Sarah also came- my dad had to stay home to take care of the fourth Stults daughter Miss Spankie- so we missed him.

But I was thrilled that my dear husband William was able to take TWO days off work so that we could celebrate with us since my birthday was on a Tuesday. This truly was the BEST gift that he gave me since has long been my dream to go to Disneyland with that special someone. This was only William's second time at Disneyland- the first was on the Google trip- so it was super fun for both of us. He even went on the redesigned version of "Its a Small World" (that was definitely a one time act of love) with us. I have always liked this ride so it was fun to ride it again and find where they incorporated the movie characters with the dolls from other countries.

William was able to maximize the spinning on the teacups- they had to put the brakes on him but that was fine with me and Sarah.

We rode Space Mountain twice, Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, Innoventions (I had no idea that they frequently change up the exhibits inside- William now wants a super duper technology house now), Monorail, the Matterhorn- one of my all time favorites-

Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise (which we had zero wait for and was quite funny after having seen all of the live animals for days down in San Diego)- here you can see where we were able to go under the waterfall and the "hippo"
Something new to the park beyond the concept of fast passes are "single riders". With the single rider, you have a MUCH shorter line as long as you are willing to go by yourself and be put with any random party that needs another person. We used this for Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones and it is really such a great idea. We also got two fast passes for Indiana Jones so that was the ride we went on the most. Twice I sat by William and the ride became known as "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Torment." Throughout the whole ride, William would be shooting puffs of air at me (like the spears) and having creepy crawling things all over me- this made it one of the most entertaining rides for both of us. We had gotten to the park fairly early and so we were able to do all of the rides that we had wanted to at least once because in the late afternoon things became SUPER crowded. Like ridiculous lines and so we decided to then go and eat.

To celebrate our birthdays, we did not have cupcakes (shocker I know!) but we had an even more SPECTACULAR dessert- the VOLCANO at Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney. If you had not have this dessert, you should because it is amazing- a brownie cake with lots of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge.

They even gave us each one candle to blow out :-) They used to have a real sparkler at the top of the cake but they sadly got rid of them due to the fire hazard. So we were happy to get our two candles :-)

One relatively unknown attraction is in the upstairs of Sleeping Beauty's castle. They have little models from the story on display and they had changed them since the last time I was there. They now incorporate projection technology in some of the scenes.

It was such an incredible birthday- to be at the place that is one of my all time favorites and with so many important people in my life, it truly was such a happy day!
Thanks for the great birthday present Mickey!

See- dreams really do come true :-)


Danika said...

We went to Disneyland with a group of friends who also had a little one. We totally made out with the fast passes and rider switch programs. Half of us would get the rider switch, while the other half would ride with fast pass, then we'd use our fast pass while they waited with the kids, then whoever really liked the ride went again with the rider switch. For some of the rides when we used the rider switch they had us go through the exit and just jump on. NO line at all!!! It was awesome.

Happy Birthday Cheryl! You deserve to have all your dreams come true.

Brad and Erin said...

Happy Birthday. Looks like you had a fun day.

Ly + Alan said...

We love disneyland and we love cheryl and william! =)

Petertammenson said...

Oh, such fun! You are such a kid at heart!!! And happy birthday!

The Andersen Family said...

What a perfect day! I'm so glad - you deserve it!!

I have to go to the Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival someday. You've sold me (I'll take your advice and get icecream).

Thanks for your note - our blog is barely alive. ;)