Welcome, Princess, Happy Birthday!

Just as Flight had opened his birthday gifts yesterday at the breakfast table, so did WoodSprite. As much fun as it was to see her brother and sister delight in what they had picked out for their younger sister, I only snapped pictures of WoodSprite’s joyful reactions. I think these just about capture it…

Starting off as close to opening time as we could manage, which brought us through the gates at 9:45ish, we made our way through the park counterclockwise. We first had to stop for a photo op.

Almost the same picture, right? The Disney version is 1/100th the size of the real one in Zermatt. How do I know such things? While I’d like to say it’s because I’m really good at surveying on the fly, it’s actually right there on the Disneyland website.

WoodSprite is way more animated than Flight, maybe because it’s this princess’ birthday?

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Actually, mine was five days ago, it was the other princess’ big day. And a big day it was. Pretty much an ideal 6th birthday celebration, at least from this more seasoned royal person’s perspective.

As we made our way through Fantasyland, we first stopped at the Mad Tea Party to get our woozy on. Everyone except Flight that is, he obeyed the “Guests who are prone to motion sickness should not ride.”

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We then rode Space Mountain which was appropriately “Halloweened up” and now called “Ghost Galaxy.” I don’t know what that means to you, but to the folks at Disney it was an odd combination of caricatured demons and the Bodies exhibit. Not scary really, just strange. Both Firebolt and WoodSprite made it through the ride (WoodSprite is sitting next to me) without much fuss, other than both commenting on its weirdness.

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Still scratching our heads following our Ghost Galaxy experience, we meandered over to the Buzz Lightyear ride and delighted in reminding Keeper that at two he bailed out of the line just as we were about to get on in response to the enormous animatronic Zurg.  He didn’t know Zurg was part of this adventure and that clearly exceeds his comfort level – Nope. WoodSprite, four years older than that had no such concerns and gleefully rode with me.

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Matterhorn Bobsleds it is! Initially Flight had fed me some insider gouge about which line to wait in because Disneyland newbies don’t know any better. We learned said insider gouge has been overtaken by this cool thing called the internet (look it up, it was created by Al Gore). Apparently that was back in the day when the overhead sky cabs still passed through the Matterhorn and the bobsleds ran around it. WHOA, what?! Although I don’t know when that was overhauled, here’s a pic from 1959:

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That seems pretty trippy and probably not in the best interest of safety. Clearly envisioned and engineered by the same generation who gave the thumbs up to the ironing board

Needless to say both Matterhorn lines were impressively long and we made our first attempt at a FastPass to assign a time to our Matterhorn Bobsledding adventure. The girls saw a face-painting station right next to FastPass stations (brilliant layout Disney), which wasn’t yet peopled by cast members. We vowed to come back after riding the Matterhorn.

To pass the time, we sauntered over to “it’s a small world.” Sadly, (that’s from our girls’ perspective, not mine – I was giving thanks), that damnable ride was closed as it was being outfitted for the upcoming holidays. WoodSprite, however, found her perfect gift (my parents and my sister’s family had combined birthday giving forces to provide her spending money at Disneyland) at the store nearest the end of that ride.

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Not at all resembling Brave’s princess in coloring or temperament (HA!), WoodSprite hardly surprised us when she picked out Merida’s bow and arrow set. Although it took measurable mad logic skills to provide enough clear and convincing evidence to obstinate WoodSprite, I was able to get her to see the wisdom of returning to this particular kiosk to purchase her gift at the end of the day so she wouldn’t have to carry it around the park all day. I say I as I was left to my own creative devices in persuasion tactics as the men folk were busy texting each other.

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Kidding! Flight was busy FastPassing us to our next adventure after the Matterhorn and Keeper was probably watching a youtube science video.

Apparently the Matterhorn’s Yeti doesn’t approve of Stanford or peace symbols because he hollered at the girls every time he saw us, much to the distress of said princesses. To spool down from that adventure the girls faces were indeed painted:

Woodsprite opted for a Halloween spider and Firebolt went with a sparkly princess something or other theme.  To further decompress, we rode the canal boats through Storybook Land.

That was a first, and probably a last, for both me and Flight, but the girls seemed to enjoy it. The painted face and Storyland bliss lasted for about 20 minutes until we rode Splash Mountain.

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I must confess, I think Song of the South may be the only Disney movie I have not yet seen. Aside from the references in Fletch Lives, I am wholly unfamiliar with this storyline and was mostly perplexed by the ride. Until the end – that was AWESOME.

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For most of us.

Most notably NOT for the birthday girl.

However, her spirits were noticeably improved after her smudged spider was restored to its pre-Splash Mountain glory.

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As the day wound down, we made good on our promise to get WoodSprite her new archery set.

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She happily toted her new weapon to Downtown Disney where we met Flight’s parents for her birthday dinner at Rainforest Café. Flight and I did our standard search for the best campsite by looking at all restaurants’ menus. I’m not sure how we managed it, but we talked WoodSprite out of several better culinary experiences, each she had already agreed to, thinking the Rainforest Café would be a better birthday dinner venue for a 6-year old. Shame on us.

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Although dinner was palatable, conversation was certainly made trickier by the live music competing with the World Series – apparently the Dodgers were making a fine showing and the crowd streaming by was sharing in the enthusiasm. Ah, well. We made for the Lego Store in Downtown Disney and I found the next a propos project for our family:

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Unfortunately both the cost and the number of (small) pieces were entirely prohibitive for our current lifestyle and we left empty-handed, but thoroughly pleased with our stop.

On to bed…

But wait, there’s more…

We popped over to Disney California Adventures to catch the World of Color light show – a perfect way to round out WoodSprite’s birthday.

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Now to catch a few winks before we return in the morning to start anew…

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