McG Christmas Adventure : Disneyland | McGowan Images Blog


McG Christmas Adventure : Disneyland

Back in the fall when we were planning this trip, it was Mack’s job to book the hotels and buy tickets and such. I remember very clearly that he turned around one afternoon in the office and grabbed my hands and said, “Sweetheart, I’ve made a decision about the Disneyland tickets.”

At this point, I started hyperventilating, but I ADORE Disneyland, and the idea that Mack was going to tell me we couldn’t go was just kiiiiind of ruining my life. I was ready to grovel and beg and trade vacation days… whatever I had to do to get our family to Disneyland for ONE day over our Christmas vacation.

Mack said, “So, I was looking for two day tickets, and they’re $600”. I can’t get a read on him, I don’t know if he’s saying that’s too much… should I tell him just one day is ok with me? AHHHHH!!!

He then finishes, “But it’s only $750 to do THREE days. So really, I think it’s financially irresponsible for us to go to Disneyland for two days instead of three. Does three days work for you?”

And I cried and I clapped and I hugged him and promised him many many hundreds of kisses, and that’s the story of how we decided to do three Disney days. 🙂

We started on Wednesday, January 2nd, and the crowds weren’t NEAR as bad as we were expecting. My sister Sam, who lives in Malibu, was able to join us this day, and we all had a blast with Aunt Sam!

Pretty much the first thing we did was see Cinderella coming out for the coming, and Dorothy RAN up to her. Nearly form-tackled the poor princess. Luckily, she handled it like a champ… almost like it was her JOB or something. 😉

Let me stop here (before we get into another set of princess pictures) and say I KNOW this blog is a little more Dot heavy than Jack heavy. Jack’s in a weird place as far as liking me to take his picture, and I didn’t force him. I can still force Dorothy, though. Muahahahahaha. We did lots of Star Wars/coaster/sword stuff just for him, but it isn’t represented here as much.

We stood in line for over an hour to meet Merida, and it was totally worth it. She was so lovely, with a great Scottish accent, and talked to Dottie for nearly 10 minutes about anything and everything. I love that THIS is the princess my daughter wants to be… the Brave one, with the weapons, who loves life and climbs mountains!

Oh! Quick note. Photos like the ones below without the McG watermark are ones we bought from the Disneyland Photographers. Thank goodness for PhotoPass… we made great use of that service!

Parade time!

When my sister took our family picture in front of the castle, she got a little carried away, and started channeling Austin Powers as she got all up in our collective grills. “Grrr baby, work it!”

We put the camera away after dark, so we don’t have any images of the Fantasmic show or our time in Adventureland… but it was a super wonderful 16-hour day!

Day Two was spent at California Adventure! We’d never been to this park, and as cool as it was, I really need another trip to fully wrap my brain around it. Both Disneyland AND California Adventure were at capacity this day, and it was so crowded it was hard to enjoy. The design, as always, was outstanding, and we still had a great time… I just want to be able to go back and really get to know the place more.

CarsLand is AMAZING. It really feels like you’re there, inside the movie, in Radiator Springs. We didn’t get to do the racing ride because the wait was no less than 3 hours all day… but we’ll go back. We’ll get ‘er done, as Mater would say. 🙂

Yes, Dorothy DID fall asleep just like that up on Mack’s shoulders.

That night, we were lucky enough to get amazing seats for the “World of Color” show. It truly is, without a doubt, the most amazing show of it’s kind that I’ve ever seen. It’s like the Bellagio fountains on uppers in technicolor, three times as long and fabulous. That’s the closest thing I can compare it to, but really, there’s no comparison. And our pictures don’t do it justice. I can’t wait to see it again!

On the third morning, we didn’t rush to the park as early because we were all VERY tired. But it was still really sparse when we got in, which was nice! While the boys road the Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountain, Dorothy and I waited in line to meet three princesses. They were all VERY complimentary of her dress. 🙂

Jack used the gift card our friends Kevin & Nicole gave him for Christmas, and bought this amazing pirate hat… complete with dreads!

And in the evening, we put the camera away and focused on just soaking up as much magic as we could, together. We cried over the fireworks show, Jack built his own light-saber, Dorothy rode Dumbo again… and again. It was a magical three days, and I literally am already hopping in my seat excited to do it all over again.

Let’s end today’s installment with a picture that’s unattractive of all four of us, staring into the sun in different directions… ok?

Bahahahaha! Love it! 🙂

Tomorrow’s grand finale of vacation images will be our favorite from our time in Flagstaff and at the Grand Canyon. It’s a shorter post than these other two, but lots of pretty. 🙂

  1. abby says:

    you guys do disney right 🙂 love this post… especially the parade pics of dot!

  2. Angela V says:

    #13-14 (Dot at the parade) are priceless. #27 should be printed and sold to me as wall art for my home. That is all. 🙂

  3. LeighAnn Standridge says:

    The pictures of Dorothy at the parade are my favorite! True happiness and excitement! So Cute!

  4. megB says:

    Ughhhhhhh, there’s just so, SO much to love here! Dorothy at the parade, Dorothy meeting Merida, Jack in the pirate hat, ALL THE FAMILY PHOTOS (I especially love the first one Sam took!!). Hoping do Disney as a family – with y’all – one day. That sounds so weird, right?!

  5. KaylaS says:

    Ummm Dorthy running to Cinderalla made me catch my breath, I have a picture (not as good as yours of course) of me a little older but doing the same thing, its priceless! Beautiful family! Makes me excited to take my kiddos there one day!

  6. Jackie Moss says:

    Ok, these are all fantastic. BUT the pictures of Dot at the parade made my heart melt, she’s too adorable. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a picture of someone looking so genuinely excited. ugh, heart destroyed.

  7. debbie says:

    The mind-blowing level of innocent excitement from your precious little girl over meeting the Princesses is absolutely breath-taking and tear-making!

  8. Mike says:

    Dot at the parade. *heart melting*

    Merida, Captain Jack, family photos, and CarsLand!!

    I just can’t separate Disney & McG in my mind. You’re making ME so excited for the day when I return to the wonderful world of Disney.

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