Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth. We always head to the park with that in mind, though, when we get there, the kids often get frustrated at the lines, the crowds, and the waiting, waiting, waiting! And, don’t get me wrong, we go with the best of plans. We try to get there early, do the longest waits first so then we can later relax. >But, with little ones, relaxing isn’t always in the plan.
We took a look at the map online and wanted to get our day scheduled out to fit the needs for all 3 of our children, aged 5, 9, and 12. My goal with my 5 year old was to get to see some princesses, something we have not done in the past. We found a kiosk that sold autograph books and purchased one with a big pen.
We headed to the Princess Faire in Fantasyland where you can see up to 3 princess at a time. The wait was 90 minutes. Painful for a 5 year old, no snacks, and because it was an hour and a half!! Other moms are the best advice-givers and sometimes they’ve done the attraction before, so you can ask them what it’s like. What I found was that the up to 3 princesses at the Princess Faire translates into probably only one! 30 minutes in, my daughter was exhausted, hungry, and cranky. We stepped out of line and took a detour to the store at the end of the attraction. $30 later I placated my daughter with a two-in-one disney doll.
So with a very sad daughter, we headed over to the new Tangled attraction. Rapunzel’s tower has been made into a special meet-and-greet area, and because it’s my daughter’s favorite (we even had a Rapunzel themed birthday party for her last month) we had to visit.
The meet-and-greet was scheduled for noon, it was 11am and the crowd was already building. I got in line with my daughter and touched base with my husband who was off with the older kids doing some of the bigger, faster rides. We needed food, we were in line for an hour for the activity to even start, and by the time we got in position we were at the “30 minutes from this point” spot.
Another hour and a half wait. I tried to distract her with talking about the tower, how Rapunzel’s hair was tangled around it, and if she had any special questions to ask her. “Was Flynn going to be there, Maximus? Pascal?” That lasted about 20 minutes, then the whining set in. Finally my husband showed up and with no food in hand. Do you know how hard it is to find hot dogs in Disneyland? I jumped out of line and went on a search for snacks, we’d eat a full lunch after meeting Rapunzel. I found chips and fruit nearby and for $1.79 for a small banana, I freaked out and then had to buy two, some apple chips and a bag of off-brand cheese puffs.
Getting back in line to relieve my husband and older kids, they headed to the Matterhorn since my youngest didn’t meet the height requirement. We ate our snacks in record time and waited and waited some more. You can’t reason with a five-year-old, so even my “it’ll be so worth it!” meant nothing to her.
Finally the line moved, slowly but surely. At this point I tried hard to talk my daughter out of jumping out of line and getting on another ride. “Honey we can’t wait that long and not see anything like at the Princess Faire.”
Finally, finally after 2 hours of being in the park and not having seen a princess and rode only the Carousel, my tear-streaked sweetie entered the room where Rapunzel, her hair in all it’s glory, and Flynn Rider stood. My daughter’s eyes were as large as saucers and she was immediately shy. Only would she approach them with me by her side, so we walked up and politely asked if she would sign our autograph book. We touched her amazing hair and my daughter requested that Flynn NOT be in the photo with her and the princess! I cracked up, but he understood.
She stood there in shock with big eyes and a fast-beating heart. After we walked out of the room and she said how pretty she was, her next words were, “NOW can we eat hotdogs, that took FOREVER!”
I won’t say that the two hours of our day were wasted for that one priceless opportunity, but the rest of the day sure seemed to fly by. Did our plans go out the window, yes. Did we see everything in a day, no.
It breaks my heart to see my kids sad, especially at the happiest place on earth. I admit, that my patience with Disneyland was tested and I got frustrated as well. The lines seem to get worse and longer each new visit. I wonder if there is ever a time to go when the lines aren’t so long and we can all be smiling all day. If there is, I’d love to know!
I received media passes to attend both Disneyland and California Adventure.