Friday, September 11, 2009

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Many months ago, when Bridget first expressed interest in princesses, I thought it would be fun to take her to Disneyland to meet the real princesses. But you don't just GO to Disneyland for no reason, right? It has to be the reward at the end of an epic battle. All we needed was a battle. Never fear! Bridget is three. The struggle we sought came in the form of her waking up a dozen times a night and yelling from her bedroom for one of us to come sleep with her or having her appear by our bedside (stealth mode, naturally) and begging to sleep with us.

Not. So. Much.

So! I found some poster board, Bridget and I made a trip to the craft store for princess stickers, we drew boxes on the poster board and VOILA! A bedtime chart! Every time she went the entire night sleeping in her own bed, she got a sticker. Once the sticker chart was full, we'd plan our journey to the princess castle where Bridget could meet her idols. The chart was seven weeks long. And it worked like a charm. She sleeps in her bed without complaint and we got to take our sweet little princess to Disneyland.
I'll skip some stuff (I'll probably blog about it later, but this is going to be the post to end all posts and I don't want to include everything leading up to Disneyland right now). We walked to Disneyland from our hotello (what Bridget kept calling the hotels we stayed in) first thing last Wednesday morning. We bought the autograph book and headed to the princess castle. When it came into view I freaked out and pointed and shrieked. Bridget looked straight up in the air for the castle. Why do kids do that? I'm pointing forward - why do they never look where I'm pointing? So weird. She finally found it and began purposefully walking right in. (By the way, the skirt she's wearing was made by Aunt Allyn and arrived the day before we left. I still cry every time I think about it - I'm crying right now. It was so cute and exactly right. Bridget was the only girl at Disneyland who was her very own princess. I can't see what I've written... time to move on.) We were accosted by anxious pixie-dusters immediately.
Bridget had an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with her Fairy Godmother, Ashley. Everyone called her "princess" and she was in the chair getting her hair, nails and make-up done. Brian and I watched her from a bench right across from her chair. After the hair was done and it was time to choose a crown and some jewels, I thought Bridget might need help. She never speaks to strangers and she's beyond shy. By the time I stood up, she had picked a crown and a ring. She knew exactly what she wanted. The weight of the crown was very natural to her - she knew how to respond to the responsibility of being royalty. (Seriously. She believed she was turning into a princess. She even thanked Fairy Godmother Ashley benevolently.) They turned her around for the big reveal in the magic mirror at the end and she had this look that said, "It's finally happened. I'm a princess now." (Btw, there was a Disneyland photographer taking pictures of Bridget and she actually got after me for showing Bridget what she looked like on my camera when part of her hair was sticking straight up. Dude.) And now for my favorite picture of the day. Here is Bridget standing in front of one of the castle doors, beaming after her transformation.
We went right over to the merry go round for a quick ride before going to Ariel's Grotto for lunch. As Bridget and I were standing in line a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked if a Disneyland photographer could take pictures of us and if we would ride twice. What? So a guy named Gerald took photos of Bridget (and also me - boooo) while she rode on the merry go round. Then they had us move to a different horse and a film crew suddenly appeared to take video of her. Very unnerving. I had to sign a release, but the lady said they'd probably never end up using it. If anyone happens to see us anywhere, let me know. :) Check out the size of that jewel. I ended up wearing that thing most of the day.

The first real princess Bridget met (you know, the whole reason we came to the castle) was Princess Ariel. Bridget stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth and forgot all about her royal presence when she posed with the princesses. Too star struck.

Belle was the only one who could get Bridget to smile. Can you tell Bridget's tongue is in her cheek in every photo? She was so nervous! I'm glad we did the lunch at Ariel's Grotto because we were really there for the princess stuff and we were lucky to meet so many of them at once. However, Ariel's Grotto is in California Adventures and there was no other reason for us to go there despite the advice we got to go to the Bug's Life show. (To quote Bridget, "I DON'T LIKE IT.") So, more money to get into both parks and then quite a lot of money to spend on lunch. I don't know... We ended up seeing Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Belle at the Princess Fantasy Faire. I guess that means we would have missed Ariel and Cinderella and the day would have been ruined.

We spent the rest of the day in Disneyland. Thank goodness we were in time to meet Donald Duck (my personal hero) and then we met Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ("she didn't talk") at their houses in Toon Town.
It was so fun just walking around with Bridget - so many people stopped her to tell her she looked beautiful and they loved her dress. I had several moms ask where I bought the skirt because their daughters had noticed Bridget and wanted it. Sometimes Bridget would shock both of us and say, "thank you" to people. We rode as many rides as Bridget could go on - the girl loves an outdoor roller coaster, but not the dark indoor ones. She loved the teacups, too. We met Tinkerbell (where are her pants?) and her friend, Fawn (I think that's her name - who wants her autograph?). Then Bridget started asking about Mulan.
It was getting late and we hadn't seen Mulan yet. This entire vacation's success was hinging on a Mulan sighting. I stood in line with the other chumps at the Princess Fantasy Faire to wait and hope that Mulan was one of the princesses on the other side of the wall. The family behind me started talking about how cute Mulan was when they went through the line a few minutes before. That meant that her half hour was almost up. BAH! Curse you, Disney Princess V.P.! Or whatever they call that person. I would be in line for another 30 minutes at least. Brian and Bridget came back from the tea cups and I told them the bad news. Then I noticed Mulan was peeking through the bushes on her way out of the faire. I jumped over three sets of chains and begged her to stop for a picture with Bridget. She was so sweet - I think she was a little surprised to hear that she was THE ONE we wanted to meet. I found myself biting my tongue so that I wouldn't tell this actor that she has made my daughter want to be brave.

We tried to wait for the parade with the spazzy singers, but I couldn't take it. We couldn't see anything and it was so loud. While I went to find our Christmas ornament (a tradition we started years ago - we get a Christmas tree ornament while we're on vacation during the year), Brian took Bridget back to the merry go round for one last ride. Who should be on the horse in front of Brian and Bridget but Nicolas Cage? OF COURSE Nicolas Cage was riding the merry go round with Brian. Luckily I was with Brian when Mr. Cage came walking by after signing autographs (no doubt right next to the one from Mickey Mouse) and letting people take pictures of him because I would not have believed him. Even with that grainy photo he took from his phone. I don't know what it says about me, but I couldn't bring myself to take his picture when he was only a few feet in front of me. I've decided it's class. Hee! Bridget never had a melt down, never acted tired - she was a princess and a trooper all day. Of course she fell asleep on the way home in the stroller. And of course the next day (while we were driving) she had many many melt downs of the "don't you know who I am" variety. I'd still live our day in Disneyland over and over again. I'm now a believer. :)

14 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I'm sure this is something she will remember forever! How fun!

Hey, I don't know if you saw my blog post about the giveaway I'm doing, highlighting my blog reader's businesses. I was wondering if you wanted to participate?

You are absolutely under no obligation, and I literally get nothing out of if, I'm just trying to help my bloggy friends out.

Your Halloween bags are super cute!

Jess said...

What a dream come true! That is so neat you got to do that for Bridget- meeting princesses, becoming a princess... I am inspired.

melissa said...

That was the sweetest post, ever. I LOVE her skirt. I'm so, so happy for her!

Ashley said...

Magical! I love the picture of her looking at her nails, I love the picture of her looking concerned at Snow White (seriously, that is one HUGE grin). How sweet. I hope it works out to take my girls someday, Abbey would die. Or put her tongue in her cheek all day, which I totally bet would be the case. Sweet Bridget, what a lucky princess.

kenzie said...

I'm so happy the magic was felt! I love the skirt! So sweet of Aunty Allyn. We didn't see any princesses; I guess you have to seek them out.
I saw Lauren Graham standing right behind me in the airport and couldn't bring myself to take her picture either. I feel bad for celebrities because they can't be normal people in public. They can't even enjoy a day at Disneyland! Maybe Nick enjoyed it though.

allyn said...

i have been waiting very impatiently for this post! she looks sooooo sweet and royal in all of the pictures. her facial expressions crack me up. i am so glad it was such a magical day for you and that you were able to see every single disney princess on the planet.


(p.s. sorry about the veryvery long draw string waist band. the bow was suppose to be really big in the back with like four sides to it. it looks cute around her waist, too, but i didn't have time to give hair brained instructions...until now)

Katy said...

OH, aren't little girls just so sweet!! I love this post. She is so cute. I love Disneyland-I'm an American, after all.

Mr and Mrs C said...

I loved reading about Bridgets wonderful experience! Sounds like you and Brian had fun too...as parents it's a great feeling to be able to give our kids their dreams come true!

K.Q. said...

She is so precious! I can't wait to do that with Lyla!

Jen said...

Thanks for making me cry. Mulan anyway...

Angie said...

Wow. Really wonderful.

Reg said...

Well it's a good thing you didn't ask us for Disneyland advice. We didn't see a single princess.

Andrea Lei said...

WOW! I am loving your day in the Happiest Place on Earth! You did a great job posting it all and I love the beauty parlor! I agree with Bridgie, Mulan has to be my favorite too! I also agree about Nicholas Cage, I can't stand how sexy he thinks he is and I would rather vomit!

koryn said...

Oh! We have been scheming for a Disneyland trip this coming summer and I now feel so inspired! Bridget truly looked the princess part! I am loving the makeover idea! She looked so engrossed.

The whole trip sounded just lovely (I am guessing the awful parts have been duly glossed over) and I am happy that you all had so much fun together.