We planned to head down early on Saturday morning, play as much as possible until check-in, and then hang at the hotel for a bit before dinner and showtime. Despite starting our day at 6:30am, we didn't get to the parks until around 10:30am, so we didn't have quite as much playtime as I would have liked. I was also a little bummed to learn that it's not officially Christmas at the parks until the following weekend, and "it's a small world" was still getting decked for the holidays. Plus, since they were filming the Christmas parade the next day, the front of the castle was all blocked off. I had all these ideas of what Alice's first trip would be like and was kind of sad that we couldn't ride "small world" or take a photo in front of the castle. I had remind myself that we'll still get to celebrate all those first times, no matter which trip they happen on. I'll just have to remember to take the photos!
Luckily, Snow White's Grotto was still accessible, so we were able to take some great castle photos after all.
|Jon & his little princess|
Alice fell asleep while we waited for the Enchanted Tiki Room, and slept through most of the show. She woke up just in time to see the tikis play the drums and wasn't at all fazed by the thunder and lightning. She was also unafraid of the stretching elevator in the Haunted Mansion and craned her neck as far as she could to see Jack Skellington's frightful holiday decor. We all had lunch at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon and introduced Alice to one of our favorite gems, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. She definitely enjoyed the music, the clapping, and the extravagant millinery of the "red hat" ladies sitting in front of us. She slept through our train ride but when the train broke down after only one stop, we decided to head to the hotel.
After setting up the pack & play and pouring a glass of wine, we took advantage of the lovely afternoon light and had an impromptu photo shoot. If you're so inclined, you can see the full bounty in the baby photo gallery.
After the light faded, we dressed Alice in her cold weather bear suit and headed off to dinner. She's recently discovered how to fall asleep by herself and she thoughtfully practiced this new skill and took a nap while we enjoyed a really nice dinner at California Adventure's Golden Vine Trattoria before the World of Color show. Alice fell asleep while we were waiting for the show to start but woke up mid-way through and watched all the water and colors with eyes as big as saucers.
We've been eagerly awaiting this new spectacular since it was announced a few years ago, and the visuals did not disappoint. The water and color were absolutely breathtaking but I thought the story-telling and structure was a bit lacking. Overall, it just seemed a little disorganized with no real cohesive musical or thematic elements tying the segments together. I loved the World of Color theme and would have liked to see it used more creatively than a bookend. The show is definitely worth seeing though, and we enjoyed it a second time from our balcony where we could see the very top of the water over the trees in the distance.
Before we headed home the next day, we decided to get a special souvenir for Alice. Jon wanted to get a stuffed Mickey to commemorate her first trip, but we couldn't decide which to get and wanted to see if Alice could break the tie. We held up a very sophisticated cable-knit black and white Steamboat Willie Mickey, a super-soft vintage-looking Mickey, and a very cute Pook-A-Looz Mickey. She was completely ambivalent about all three options, her expression did not change at all. Jon grabbed a nearby Minnie Mouse, just for comparison, and her little face completely lit up and her tiny hands immediately shot out toward it. We didn't need any more convincing and came home with the very first toy Alice picked out. I also couldn't resist the Alice in Wonderland Pook-A-Looz. I haven't been able to get a good photo of Alice with either her Minnie or her little namesake, but here's a little peek if you aren't familiar with the cute new Pook-A-Looz:
All in all, it was a great little trip and a great way to introduce Alice to Disneyland. I can't wait for our next visit! I'm pretty sure a Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts Pook-A-Looz will find their way home with us. Or maybe Santa will help unite those pals...