What a sweet way to start a Sunday…knowing it was only the beginning of an extremely sweet week (I am referring to both sweet as in super cool and loads of sugar – craziness)!

After a wonderful sleep in a very comfy bed, we woke to head down to the StoryTeller’s Cafe. Excited for our first of four character dining experiences, also slightly apprehensive whether the food would be to mine, especially Dai’s liking. We were pleasantly pleased! A scrumptous and vast selection awaited us. A favourite being the Mickey Mouse waffles!

Both the girls were saucer-eyed when they first layed eyes upon Chip, Dale, Kenei, Koda, Terk and the Racoon. Later we figured out the bears are not able to sign autographs (so we chose to trace Koda’s paw) and with a few minutes of deliberation, we figured out the racoon was Meeko from Pocahontas (way to go Chardonae, very good memory girl). Brie was determined to get a picture with Terk, so 20 extra minutes later, we were off to day 1 in the park!

First stop, Disneyland. Our hotel is such a treat…less than a 5 minute walk to the Disneyland entrance, and less than 2 to California Adventure. For those who may not be aware, California Adventure seems to be the ‘new age Disney’ a.k.a Pixar – Monsters Inc, Cars, Toy Story, Bug’s Life, with an ole’ school feel on the Pier. We have a private entrance into California Adventure and are able to walk directly into Downtown Disney. On the outskirts, so much has changed since I last visited DL (maybe 1996?) – my goodness. The heart of Disney is still the same to me though…

The ever favourite ride of my childhood, DUMBO, still sits on the other side of the carosaul once you enter through the huge castle gates (guess I am larger than before because the huge castle is now only big to me 🙂 The Tea Cups remain the same, as well as the Haunted Mansion and the majority of the park. We immediately went to the info/guest services booth to purchase the infamous autograph books and do our first ‘pin trading’. Man, they got paraphernalia figured out…not only just the traditional Mickey book, but now Tinkerbell, Princesses, Cars, you name it. This ‘pin trading’ thing seems to be celebrating 10 years of trading and some people look to be hard core about it. You purchase some character pins, put them on a lapel and supposedly any staff (a.k.a cast member) must trade at your request if they do not already have the pin you’re trying to trade with them. Our travel agent started us off with a set of 4 for each girl, and it took them a few days in to really engage in the idea. Something they will have for life and be able to return with in years to come.

Another thing we discovered on day one, was the ‘1st visit’ pin. It’s complimentary from any guest services booth or city hall on Main Street. Along with ‘celebrating’ pins and possibly another one too. I know every time I saw someone wearing the 1st visit pin, no matter the age, it brought a smile to my face.

Speaking of smile, I have to say our trip has been so awesome! It’s as if someone is ensuring all goes our way…I will give further details in entries to come, but let’s just say from line ups, to reservations, to perks, to timing, we have been spoiled in every way. Looking forward to sharing more very soon!

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