Our final birthday gift to Stella was a trip to Disneyland. We had been planning this trip for months, but decided not to tell Stella until the night before we were to leave.
She was surprised, excited, but at the same time, I don’t think she quite understood what it was really all about.
Once we arrived at the Disneyland hotel, Stella started to understand the magnitude and excitement of the gift. And all of the staff at Disneyland really did their best to make it a special adventure for Stella.
It started out with a simple birthday welcome gift when we checked into our hotel – a teddy bear, a signed picture of Cinderella (Stella’s favorite princess) and an autograph book.
We arrived at Disneyland park in time to see the tail-end of the afternoon parade and the first glimpse of princesses. From that point on, it was all about seeing princesses.
Our first encounter was at the Princess Grotto, where she met Cinderella, Aurora and Ariel.
The next day, we had lunch at Ariel’s grotto, where we met Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. We waited in line to see Merida, we stumbled upon Princess Tiana while searching for the Pirates of the Caribbean and we tried our best to see Rapunzel, who was kind of like our Holy Grail of the princesses – we heard of her, but never seemed to be able to see her.
On our last day, we bought Stella a makeover at the Bibbidi, Bobbidi Boutique. She spent the morning getting her hair, make-up and nails done, got a new princess dress (Rapunzel’s dress) and a mini photo-shoot. They then gave her a special, private visit with the princesses in the Princess Grotto.
And on our last day, we also saw Rapunzel. Michael and I were bound and determined to have Stella see this princess before we left – so yes, we saw all the princesses that were to be seen at Disneyland.
We met other characters too, but it was really all about the princesses. We also did some of the rides, including but not limited to: the Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s A Small World (twice), Flying Dumbo, the Teacups, Soaring over California and Finding Nemo.
Stella and I even rode on Splash Mountain. So, naïve, I failed to realize that half of the ride was in the dark! and I thought I was going to die (but I didn’t) and we made it and will never do that one again – even though at the end of the ride, we were laughing.
I have to give props to Disney. The staff did everything to make Stella’s visit special. From eye contact during the parade, acknowledging her dressing like a princess, to simply calling her “Princess”, it made her feel special and it made me feel good.
Oh, and yes, we did ride on a Ferris Wheel – “Mickey’s Fun Wheel” to be exact:
Money and time well spent. A very special gift. A great vacation and I am so ready to go again 🙂