Disneyland at Christmas is magical! It's the one season of the year that Thomas and I have never been before and it was so magical. This was our fourth trip since February 2015 and I want to say that it was our best trip yet. At 3.5 years old Ellie was so good on all the rides and is finally tall enough to ride a roller coaster - the true highlight of our trip.
Traffic in our area has gotten increasingly more ridiculous and while my dad is in transition from selling his house and waiting for his renters lease to be up on his condo he moved into his office. He is no longer practicing so he was able to move all of his stuff in. There is just enough room for a bed and a pop up cot. His office is a mere 15 minutes to the airport so we asked if we could stay the night at his place and then have him drop us off at the airport. Y'all it was crazy, Ellie had so much fun hanging out with Grandpa and Finnley loved it too. All four of us managed to sleep in the queen bed together and then off to the plane in the morning.
The airport that we leave from is usually super packed and it can take at least an hour to get through security. But the travel gods were on our side. There was literally NO line at the check in counter and then maybe 30 people (that's being generous) in line for security. The whole process was about 25 minutes - talk about reducing our travel anxiety!!!
The only downfall is that we were at the airport 2.5 hours before boarding so we had to entertain the girls for quite some time at our gate. But we finally got on and Ellie chose our seats, the flight went well and I am a huge believer of having a car seat for your toddler.
Finnley did great on the plane and only got fussy for a couple minutes but we were able to keep her fairly quiet and after some convincing we got Ellie to take her nap for half of the flight.
Then off to the shuttle and Finnley rode in Ellie's car seat. We were the first ones on the shuttle and then unfortunately we were the last ones dropped off. The girls did great and we got checked into our room. This was the best hotel - location wise. We were right across the street from the entry gate. It was perfection.
After we got all checked in we got changed and loaded up to head on into Disneyland!!
All of the Holiday Decor around the park was so cool. We made our way to Fantasyland to our first ride, which is always the carousel and my heart was so incredibly full.
I saw Merida, a first, and we weren't able to follow her so this is the best shot I could get.
We got in line for Dumbo and switched kiddos so I could ride with Ellie.
Then it was time for ToonTown to get a ride on the roller coaster before it got too dark. Look at all the Christmas lights! I think I might be a fan of colored lights and may change things up at our house next year!
We did the rider swap, so Thomas went with Ellie first while I waited holding Finnley.
Then it was my turn. I handed Finnley over to Thomas and Ellie and I took a spin!
Ellie loved the roller coaster. Her first ride she was in shock so didn't seem too excited during the ride but then when I got on with her she knew what to expect and had so much fun. It seriously was the highlight of our trip. She was so sad that we didn't get to take a third ride, but we told her we would go on it again.
All the excitement was too much for Finnley. She fell asleep and we managed to get her into the stroller for that!
As we were heading back to Main Street USA the Castle was lit up and roped off for the parade/fireworks so we were able to snap a few photos of it with no one in sight. How beautiful? and notice the reflection in the moat.
We then went into one of the shops to get Ellie a new Minnie Mouse sweatshirt. She was getting too big for the one we got her on our first trip so we gave it to Finnley. Now we are a matching family with 3 Minnie Mouses and a Mickey Mouse!! After a long day of travel and packed Disneyland this was the best photo we could get.
We had a blast on our first day in Disneyland as a family of four and Finnley did so incredibly well...much better than we hoped for!