I’m not sure if it was the old-town setting that made him think of it, but as we were walking down Mainstreet on our first day at Disneyland, Hudson mentions, “Mommie, I wish they would have The Music Man here. That would be so cool.” (He’s still at the age where pretty much anything fun can be found at Disneyland.) To which I reply, “I know! Me too, Hudson- wouldn’t that be awesome!?!”
You’ll NEVER guess what awesomeness was there to welcome us at the entrance the very next day:
Ahahaha that’s right! A REAL, LIVE marching band!!! (Isn’t it strange how The Music Man somehow keeps creeping into these posts?) I was so proud of Papa who asked the Conductor if he took requests! I didn’t even think of that! “Seventy-six trombones led the big parade..!” (Of course.) He eagerly obliged and even thanked S for making a request afterwards! The girls (and I mostly) marched to the music while a slightly embarrassed Hp (I know- he’s getting to that age already!?!) just looked on, grinning still! It was so nice, the Conductor rushed over to take a picture with Hp while I was clicking away at the band!
Have you ever been to the adorable little corner of Disneyland called Critter Country? You have to go all the way past Pirates of the Caribbean and beyond Splash Mountain, but it’s there! Tucked away and surrounded by trees is a place devoted to one of our absolute MOST FAVORITE children’s book characters, Winnie the Pooh!
My love for all-things Pooh started out in the third-grade. We put on a mini-musical and sang what are now my own kids’ favorite songs! We love all of the classic Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne (the cartoon-ish, mass-marketed Pooh not so much) because they are so clever, written so beautifully, and they really are quite funny! You really ought to go and read them on your own (said in a very Pooh-like manner :)), but here are just a few of my favorite quotes to get you going:
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
*This last one is not far from something Sweetie (Rabbit) might say in response to moi (Pooh) :P:
“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?”
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”
– A.A. Milne
Besides reading the books I have in my collection (I was a Librarian in an elementary school in our pre-children days), we often check out books-on-CD from our local Public library. The kids are well-familiar with many of the stories now, these being no exception. We are also in love with the films. Two of our favorites are SO CUTE, you must rent (Redbox!) them for your family’s next movie night! There is nothing like hearing your little ones laughing out loud, and laugh out loud they shall.
Because I was busy nursing a hungry baby the last couple of trips to Disney, I never had the pleasure of visiting Critter Country until this time around. I never even knew what I was missing out on! Just look at those honey pots! (Doesn’t just saying the words “honey pots” make you happy though?)
The Winnie the Pooh ride is just like any of the rides you will find in Fantasyland- minus the jump-out-at-you freakishly dark and scary aspects. *We thought this might be just the place to immediately follow our Little NEMO incident. 😛
Here are our little bees buzzing around during our (all-but five minute) wait to get onto our beehives.
You can see that Bg is is still traumatized and apprehensive as we begin to approach the entrance…
But look! It’s nothing but smiles, fun, and (blurry) surprises inside!
We decided to buy Bg her souvenir earlier on in the day so she could have a small furry friend to hug whenever she was afraid.
Bg adores her little pink Piglet-friend and sleeps with him every night now!
Maybe it’s because we know the characters so well, but no one (particularly of the female persuasion) was scared to meet them!
Blowing kisses at Eyore:
We thought Disney could have done a little better with loveable ol’ Tigger. He was very…florescent. (Papa said he reminded him of a second-rate character from somewhere like Lotte World or something.) 😛
T-I-double “guh”-errrrr, that spells Tigger!
The cast got plenty of love that day from the Kim family. We took quite a bit of time “greeting.” High-fives and hugs all around…
You have to be strategic in the planning of a day at Disney to maximize your time when you have 3 young’uns. We’ve always at least attempted to give the kids a “nap time,” and we seem to have found the perfect spot! S discovered it the last time we were here. There’s a low-traffic way leading to Adventureland that’s nice and quiet…
Hudson is beyond napping age, so he was flopping around, but it was good for him to get some down time in. Bf? She always takes a while to fall asleep.
Anyone and everyone who happened to walk by all gave a look that said, “Wow, that’s a good idea, wish I thought of that!”
Papa strolled Bg around (who always takes the longest to fall asleep and is the first one up- go figure)…just look at those feet! All 3 of our pups were never good “stroller sleepers” after the infant stage anyway. Do you like our make-shift “tent”? We always pack a sheet and those handy-dandy clips for nap time (and other uses). This time, I even had a moment of sheer genius and threw in a large garbage bag to cover exposed little heads just in case it rained later, and rain it did! It actually POURED. That’s right- you can just call me McGyver. 😛
S picked up a little “treat” while Bg slept.
A chimichunga from somewhere around the corner? He said it was alright…looked better than it tasted I think.
So here is a picture of Papa’s usual “fun face.” (Notice his mouth is facing in the opposite direction as someone who is typically seen as having FUN.)
Here is a sour one. This was due to a very LOUD ride operator on our Jungle Cruise boat. (I think he makes this same face in reaction to me (?) sometimes. I have no idea why.) Do you think the “fun face” can be contagious? Just look at Bg! Oh Papa. (She is actually eating a chip here :P.)
S even found a HAT at the gift shop that was perfect for him!
I’m not sure what it is, but something about DISNEYLAND brings out a bit more “FUN” out of Papa’s “fun face.” (Just look at that twinkle in his eye!)
As S might say, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” (What Disney character quoted this famous line?!?)
THAT, my friend, is the world-famous, Disneyland corn dog! I’m not going to say much more about it because SO. MANY. CRAZIES. already have, only that you must must absolutely MUST try one, we always always do whenever we go, and it’s THE BESTEST corn dog you’ll ever have in your entire life.
Hudson knows a good thing when he eats one. He chewed away an ENTIRE 36-inch (okay, so I’m not sure how large they are exactly, just that they are MASSIVE), corn dog on his own for the first time, plus fish sticks on the side!! Insanity. “Argh!”
Hmmm…I wonder WHO he gets his appetite from. Two peas in a pod!
We could literally talk Disney food forever… But REALLY THOUGH, all corn dogs aside, what truly brings out the FUNner “fun face” in Papa is the simple joy that comes from seeing OUR happy faces loving every minute of it (particularly that of his happy happy! wife :P)! Papa LOVES Disneyland just as much as the rest of us do- if not even more…(probably even the MOST?)!?! All of the planning, manual labor, packing and loading up of the van, driving the van, (Papa drives 100 percent of the time whenever we’re together. I. NEVER. EVER. drive when we’re together), cleaning up messes, taking the stroller down and up, off and on the tram, running around getting us food (and drink when his wife gets really thirsty :P)…you name it, he does it all! Yes. He really does thrive on doing this sort of thing (what normal human beings would call “hard-work”) and he absolutely relishes every second of it.
Here he is capturing some of that happiness!
I love parades. I always wished I was a Disney Princess so I could ride on one of those floats…I guess I’ll settle for being able to see our little Mickey ears get to march in one! (2010)
2009. I couldn’t resist…
Thank you for joining us (bearing with me) on our most MAGICAL experience!
We’ll be “back soon“! xo