Saturday, April 07, 2012

Summer Vacation Week 2 (part2)

Another donation, another post!  Keep'em coming!

We pick up our epic journey to Southern California on what is possibly the best day of the entire trip. It's hard to put into words how incredible this day was. My brother-in-law worked for Corporate Disney so the whole day cost practically nothing...making it even more special. BIG time thanks to Tom and Christin for making this day possible for us.

We started as early as we could...braved the LA traffic to get to Disneyland when it opened. The girls had gone over the map with Christin and had the whole day planned out the night before but nothing could prepare them for experiencing the real deal.

Taking a second to get a picture of the family in front of the castle.
Just as we were about to walk through the castle, we looked over and saw Ariel (Katy's favorite princess!). So we stood in line for a few minutes and was able to meet our first of MANY princesses that day.
The girls were a little shy at first...but that wore off during the day.
Moments after they met Ariel, you can still see their glow. Gonna be an amazing day!
So we walk through the castle and are overwhelmed by the people and choices (or at least I was). We look into meeting Rapunzel but it's still over an hour away so we head for the best first ride...Dumbo!!
I skipped out so I could take pictures but as I'm watching the fun, I notice a line rapidly forming for Rapunzel!! So we book it over there and grab a place in line but realize we're late...gonna be close to an hour before we get through it. So here's where my sister wins the prize for "Best Aunt"...she stays in line alone while we go jump on the carousel! What a trooper!!!
Hard to tell but I think they were having a good time.
Funny story, I was wondering around checking out another ride nearby while Lisa and the girls caught up with Christin in line. After checking out the other ride, I was watching from a distance and captured this picture. What I found out later was that everyone was in line with a family that had triplets...two girls and one boy!! They were a bit older but still had plenty in common. I took the picture because I noticed how happy and talkative the girls were being. It made sense later when I found out why.
So we still had another 20 or 30 minutes in line...the first time that day the girls really had to be patient. They had their moments but overall did wonderful! So here's the part that some of you have heard me talk about...I was BLOWN AWAY by our experience with Rapunzel and Flynn.

The two people they had hired to be Rapunzel and Flynn were incredible. Every family that came through had their own time with them in this very cool room set up for photos. There were other staffers standing around but we really didn't notice them until I looked back at the pictures and saw them standing in the background. There was no rush at all while Rapunzel and Flynn were completely engaging, loveable, truly amazing characters! I know it had a huge impact on the girls but they really impressed me the most! I know that sounds ridiculous but it was a HUGE highlight of our trip. Well done Disney!

Katy really couldn't believe her eyes when we walked in and got our first glance.
While Katy and the girls talked to Rapunzel, I think Flynn met his match with Olivia. She didn't give an inch! Love it!!
Right off the bat, I loved how Rapunzel recognized how she had two very cute but shy girls on her hands. She immediately got down to their level and started chatting away. Before long, the girls were talking and saying the cutest things. Realizing now that a video would have been a great idea. I think you can still tell by their facial expressions.

What I loved about this whole thing...that's not a person that is just getting a paycheck as she's pretending to be a Disney princess...she is making a serious effort to earn those girls love. Her arms aren't around their shoulders...that is a legit hug and I think it is fantastic!! Are you getting the picture that I was a happy dad?!!!
I didn't get any good pictures of it but Flynn took out the crown to show the girls. They were so overwhelmed that they wouldn't go near it. Rapunzel had to hold it on their heads which was hilarious. After all of that, they still asked if we'd like a family photo. How awesome! Those smiles were not forced. We were all having an awesome time!! Again...well done Disney!!
I think all of this happened before 11am!  Still plenty left of this day...just as soon as we get our next donation!

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