Over The Top Mommy

Fun at the Newest Farrell’s in Buena Park!

We were so excited to attend a pre-opening VIP event last weekend at the new Farrell’s in Buena Park. It actually didn’t feel like we even went to a restaurant, it was more like this giant party with 200 of our newest friends, that just kept on going!
Upon our arrival in the parking lot, the girls immediately spotted the Medevial Times mobile and insisted on posing for a picture with it! (Little did they know, they’d soon meet the actual knights inside the restaurant!)

I love the location of this newest Farrell’s because it’s very close to so many of the family attractions that the city of Buena Park has to offer, including Knott’s Berry Farm and Medevial Times. After checking in with the Farrell’s hostess, we were greeted by Alesha from Medevial Times. She had a promotional table set up and was handing out Medevial Times swag and coupons for the attraction. Alesha really interacted with my girls and even visited our table a few times, once we were seated.

Two of the Medevial Times’ Knights were walking around inside the restaurant, passing out t-shirts and crowns and helping the Farrell’s crew deliver some of the exciting desserts that require a whole lot of singing and hoopla! The girls REALLY wanted to order The Zoo, which is one of those desserts, JUST so they could have it delivered by the knights, but we also knew there was NO WAY that the four of us could finish a dessert that had like 1000 scoops of ice cream!
The energy of the entire staff at Farrell’s was amazing and it was something you could feel right when you walked in the front door! I think this is why it felt like we were at a party. While you’re at your table, you are constantly being invited to participate in songs and clapping and although it does seem like there’s non-stop drum banging occurring throughout your entire visit (because there is), you’re so busy having fun that you don’t seem to mind it nor the fact that your child or children are NOT sitting quietly at your table and that’s OK under these circumstances!

We started off with Farrell’s Ooey Gooey Cheese Sticks as an appetizer. For lunch, I ordered the Fabulous French Dip sandwich and the girls all ordered the sliders off of the children’s menu. There was even an option to upgrade the regular fries to chili cheese fries, so of course they hopped on that opportunity right away! We were careful NOT to eat too much regular food since we were ultimately trying to save room for some of their infamously crazy-good desserts! 

Farrell’s isn’t just a fun family restaurant, it’s a total entertainment package, something that you don’t get at typical restaurant. This was apparent after just a few of the talented and energetic crew spent some time at our table, amusing the girls. First, “Max” stopped by our table, and the girls immediately spotted one of the buttons he was wearing which had a pickle on it. He then explained to me that the button was actually Mr. Bob Farrell’s original motto. 

I think the girls took that as their cue to not only start asking him for pickles every time he passed by our table, but also to nickname him “Mr. Pickles“! Not long after that, we came to learn that “Mr. Pickles” was actually half of an infamous entertainment duo that you can probably meet at just about any Farrell’s community event, and at a future Farrell’s openings. The other half of the duo was nicknamed “Mr. Jake” by the girls. Jake is best known as “The Purveyor of Good Times” in the Farrell’s world. These 2 guys were so good with my girls, brought them stickers, pickles and took boatloads of pics with them. I think the girls instantly became lifelong fans after spending about 5 minutes with this duo! 

The girls were extremely impressed when they got to witness an epic ice cream eating contest between the Medevial Times knights and the team of “Mr. Pickles” and “Mr. Jake“.  Each team took a very different approach to how they were going to beat out the other one. While the knights continued mowing through their trough, the Farrell’s duo actually utilized glasses of water to wash it down, while stirring the ice cream and making it more liquid. I couldn’t actually watch for very long, but the fact that “Mr. Jake” did it all with a camera headband on is even more hilarious! I’m kinda wondering where THAT video footage is? 

When it came time for our own desserts, we decided to share an order of the “Ice Cream Nachos” (yep, they exist) and a “Banana Split” and yep…our desserts were accompanied by drumbeats and a song! Both of these desserts were giant and yummy! I jokingly told the girls, who are all competitive cheerleaders, that if this had been one of their cheer competitions, that they would’ve placed first! (I may have helped them a little bit) 

 Everything about Farrell’s is so nostalgic. Their menus are printed on newsprint and you actually can take them home with you. The drinks are served in (plastic) vintage Coca-Cola glasses and there are little American flags stuck into just about every appetizer, burger and dessert. The decor is mostly black and white, with touches of red here and there and each table has an old-fashioned stained glass lamp hanging above it. The servers wear uniforms adorned with armbands and these adorable straw hats that are available for purchase in their shop.

Each Farrell’s location features a shop where you can buy logo merchandise and choose from a HUGE variety of old-fashioned candies. The shop also has a ton of other fun trinkets available, including Farrell’s mustaches. 

My daughter and her entourage just didn’t want to leave the place! I don’t think we were there any less than 3 hours!  After they spent time getting their posters autographed by their staff favorites, and taking MORE pictures with them, it was finally time to say goodbye! 

Whether you remember Farrell’s from its way-back-when original locations, or you are just learning about it now, it’s something you need to experience just once! Emi hasn’t stopped talking about it since the other day and is just begging to go back again. It was THAT much fun! 
                                                Farrell’s in Buena Park is NOW OPEN! 
                                                                               650 Beach Blvd.
                                                                         Buena Park, CA 90620
                                                                       Phone # (714) 484-9700

 

 

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It’s Time to Show My #DisneySide…..Again!

If you aren’t familiar with Disney’s most recent campaign, Disney Side, it’s this really fun campaign spotlighting Disney lovers’ own love for Disney, whether it be showing their #DisneySide while in a Disney park or on a Disney vacation or showing it off at home or just in their everyday life, it’s a chance to have some fun and show the rest of the (social media) world at the same time!
One of the latest opportunities to participate in this campaign was the chance to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration. There were 1000s of applicants who applied to host one of these parties at home, to be held between February 15 and March 1st, integrating a party kit which they chosen hosts would be receiving. I decided to apply for it but felt discouraged at first when January 10th came and went and I didn’t receive an acceptance email. I didn’t talk about it to anyone, but I was disappointed, until I saw some other people mention online that they also had heard nothing nor had they heard of others getting an acceptance email. At that point, a little bit of hope re-ignited inside of me. I still chose not to talk about it to anyone though. I sometimes feel like if you talk about something too much, it won’t happen. 

And then I got this……. I was ecstatic!!! 

My Facebook newsfeed was blowing up with a ton of people who had also received the magical email, as were my Instagram and Twitter timelines. It was such an exciting day for so many of us. I don’t think I slept that night because all of a sudden my brain wouldn’t shut off with ideas for my #DisneySide party! I was literally up for work at 2:30 a.m. that next morning because my wheels wouldn’t stop turning enough for me to sleep. I think this euphoria stayed with me for about 2 days before I could go back to being normal again, whatever that is. 
 Next came more excitement because at this point, the chosen ones were now all waiting for our “magical boxes” to be delivered by UPS! My mind started spinning again because it seemed like every post I’d see was relating to the date of delivery, the weight of the box or boxes, people trying to guess what was going to be in the boxes, people trying to ask others if they knew about the contents of the box, etc. It was nuts! I understand how excited and anxious everyone was, but for me, I just wanted to be completely surprised and I knew my box would come at some point! I tried to stay away from anything posted that might give anything away and I definitely didn’t worry myself about when my box was being delivered. One day I got the email about my delivery and coincidentally, I happened to be home on the day my box was delivered. Not only was I home on that day, but I was home at the moment the UPS guy rang my doorbell, which is rare, since I’m hardly ever home for more than 5 minutes at a time! Boy was he in for a surprise! Just as he was trying to hand me the big box, with the magical blue #DisneySide tape on it, I asked if we could take a selfie? At first he seemed confused, and actually acted as if I were making a joke. It didn’t take him long to learn just how serious I was! Yep, as I started to explain WHAT the importance of the box was, I also stressed that it was vital I make “as big a deal as possible” about the delivery of my party kit! 

I swear our UPS guy was cut out for this stuff! After we took the first shot with my iphone, I realized that it didn’t get the wording on the box in, plus it was actually my bad side, so we switched spots! 

Then he kept offering to switch poses and spots and try different angles! He was HILARIOUS and the best sport about it! He told me that he often chats with my husband when he delivers to our house, so he was no stranger to convo on my porch! I’m seriously considering inviting him to my #DisneySide party! I mean, he WAS one of the first highlights of this process. People who saw the pic, LOVED how fun our UPS guy is!
Next came the box opening. Unfortunately my box was delivered around 2pm and my daughter was still in school which meant that I HAD to wait until I picked her up from school to tell her about it and actually open it. 

Emi was so excited about all of the goodies that were inside of our box, but her biggest “WOW!!!” came right when she opened the box and saw there was an American Tourister suitcase!!! And it was purple!

 I think the suitcase may have been the coolest part for Emi! 
 

We were both overwhelmed by all of the goodies inside of the suitcase though! There was a whole bunch of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plates, cups, cupcake liners and a matching tablecloth with some coordinating hanging decorations! There was a hostess planning kit with suggestions for games and even a face painting guide. There were Craisins, like they serve in the parks, and these adorable rubber bracelets and stickers and some adorable Minnie and Mickey prints, all to give out to our guests. There was also a huge box of printer photo paper from HP! I know there were other things too. The list just goes on.  It was all so Magical! I mean seriously, how amazing to have been chosen for this opportunity and now this generous pile of things to help us with our party? Wow! 
I guess it’s  time to get to planning! Stay tuned for more details and a post about our #DisneySide Party!  http://disneyside.disneyparks.disney.go.com

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Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia CD & Giveaway!

I will fully admit that I actually enjoy watching many of my daughter’s Disney Channel and Disney Junior shows and movies with her. Although”Sofia the First” is aimed at the younger, preschool audience, it is one of those feel-good shows that seems to enamor her whenever it comes on. The storyline is about a young girl, “Sofia”, who transforms from a “regular girl” into a princess, and becomes part of a blended family, overnight, after her mother marries a king. The episodes are lighthearted and often include a positive, empowering message in them, that they are convey to the  young audience.
 I recently had the opportunity to preview the new CD, “Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia” on Walt Disney Records. The day that the CD arrived was what we like to call “A Happy Mail Day” at our house! You can see my daughter doing one of her “signature incognito poses” with the envelope!
After listening to the CD just once, Emily and I had already fallen in love with so many of the songs! Now we can’t stop singing them on a daily basis! This CD is what’s currently playing in my car!
 Sofia the First, Songs from Enchancia includes 15 tracks, a bonus track & 4 karaoke instrumentals!
 Here’s a list of the songs on the CD:
1. Sisters and Brothers-Sofia
2. Merraway Cove-Sven, Oona and Sofia
3. The Love We Share-Ariel and Sofia
4. Bigger is Better-Amber
5. (You Can Always) Count on Bailywick-Cast
6. Make It Right-Belle and Sofia
7. Good Little Witch (Ballad)-Sofia
8. Good Little Witch-Lucinda and Sofia
 9. The Ride of Your Lives-Jasmine, Sofia and Amber
10.A Recipe for Adventure-Aunt Tilly and Sofia
11.Bring My Best Friend Back-Clover and Sofia
12.The Simple Life-Cast
13.Make Way for Miss Nettle-Miss Nettle
14.Enchancia-Ruby, Jade and Sofia
BONUS TRACK 
15.Be Who You Wanna Be-Jake and Sofia
BONUS KARAOKE INSTRUMENTALS
16.Merraway Cove
17.Bigger is Better
 18.Good Little Witch
19.A Recipe for Adventure”Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia” is available now for purchase on Amazon or for immediate download on iTunes !

 Here comes the magical part….Disney Music is offering three (3) lucky readers of Over the Top Mommy, the chance to win a  copy of “Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia” of their very own! This giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18+ years of age and ends 2/26. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance(s) to win! Good luck everyone! a Rafflecopter giveawayI am a participating Influencer at The Entertainment New Media Network. I have received free product for review and to give to my readers. I was not compensated for this review and all expressed opinions are strictly my own.
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See The Fresh Beat Band Live! in Concert at the Nokia Theater Live L.A.! (Giveaway)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own.
The Fresh Beat Band is making its way back to LA and Emi and I couldn’t be more excited about seeing them perform live for our second time! We had tons of fun singing and dancing along with Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout at their concert in 2012!
Our love for The Fresh Beat Band runs deep and originated in our own living room, a few years back, while watching their live-action music series show on Nickelodeon, which is aimed at teaching preschoolers about music appreciation, but clearly it’s also designed to keep moms like me “cool”! Their songs are really catchy and it’s just hard for me NOT to sing (and dance) along with Emi! I know this probably won’t surprise anyone, but I think I probably know all the words to all of their songs! I also do a mean “Freeze Dance“!

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe Fresh Beat Band will be performing a ton of hits from seasons 1, 2 and 3 of their TV show, like “Here We Go“, “A Friend Like You“, “Bananas” and “Just Like a Rockstar“.  The concert has such a fun, interactive environment, as Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer), Marina (Tara Perry), Twist (Jon Beavers) and Shout (Thomas Hobson) encourage the audience’s dancing and singing right along with them from their seats! These multi-talented performers will amaze you, as will their energetic group of backup dancers, who don’t seem to run out of steam either.

The Fresh Beat Band will be performing in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live on Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9. The are scheduled to peform 2 shows each of those days, one at 1pm and one at 5pm. I highly recommend taking your family to one of these shows! It’s such a fun, family experience!
For more show & ticket information, click here.
NOW FOR THE MOST EXCITING PART….
YOU can win two tickets to see The Fresh Beat Band live
at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live on Saturday, February 8 at 1:00 p.m.!
Now, try not to “Go Bananas” and enter below! Good luck! Hope to see you there!
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Healthier Snacking With Pretzel Crisps

Let’s talk about snacking. Lately, it seems to be one of my favorite activities. I don’t know if it’s an increased use of social media, such as Instagram, where at any moment, I can go on and view pictures of yummy food that people have posted, which seems to make me want to go and eat those foods, if it’s those days that I’m “eating my feelings” or just the fact that it’s so trendy to label yourself as a “foodie” now? I honestly don’t know what is going on? In all actuality, I actually think I talk a lot more about snacks than I do eat them, which is probably a good thing, especially since I need to set a good example for my 8 year old daughter. There is a point when one should find some healthy alternatives to turn to when it’s your so-called “go time”! For me, my new favorite is Pretzel Crisps! Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a big box of a variety of Pretzel Crisps flavors for my family and I to sample. The box included the flavors Everything, Sesame, Buffalo Wing, Jalapeño Jack, Honey Mustard and Onion, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, Chipotle Cheddar, Garlic Parmesan, and Original. I basically spent the entire food holiday season with Pretzel Crisps by my side, and now I didn’t feel like I ate way too much over the holidays, like so many people complained about when January rolled around.

This is my favorite flavor…Original!

Although my own nutrition and eating are important, I’m also very skeptical about what kinds of foods to buy for my daughter. There are so many snack foods that are just loaded with artificial colors and preservatives and just have little to no nutritional value. I think the biggest challenge, however, is that even though I may not send some of those snacks to school with her, there are always going to be other kids who DO bring them. I feel like I’m on a constant mission to find snacks she’ll WANT to take with her and Pretzel Crisps are something I can send, that she loves!
If you do a comparison between Pretzel Crisps and “chips”, you’ll find that Classic Pretzel Crisps have 110 calories and 0g of fat per serving and potato chips, on average, have about 150 calories and 10g of fat per serving! In my comparison research I also discovered that pita chips have 130 calories and 5g of fat per serving. I guess I was under a false impression that pita chips were healthy? What’s scariest to me about these statistics is that most kids are eating way more than just 1 serving of chips at a time. Some of those “Big Bags” have 3 servings in them! My daughter LOVES taking Pretzel Crisps in her lunchbox now, which makes me a happy mom. The Pretzel Crisp slogan is “Rethink your pretzel!” but I actually think I just “Rethought my daughter’s snacks” in the process!
Have YOU tried Pretzel Crisps yet? If so, what’s YOUR favorite flavor?
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Happy New Year 2014 Printables by Lauren McKinsey

I cannot believe Christmas is already over and now we’re quickly moving onto celebrating the arrival of the new year! I can’t resist the adorable printable collections by Lauren McKinsey! Look at her newest one….Happy New Year 2014! It has hanging gift tags, circle tags (in 3 different sizes), drink wraps, straw flags, tent cards, signs, cards to write, plastic bag foldover labels, miniature candy bar wrappers, Hershey’s kiss stickers, push pop wraps and kids coloring sheets! I love the colors and the designs of this entire collection! I also love how she used Sixlets from Sweetworks.  Below are just some of the pics. Click here to find the entire collection.

You can get a free printable from her collection by clicking here!
I can already tell that 2014 is going to be a great year! Cheers!
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We Love Casey’s Cupcakes!

I absolutely LOVE anything pink! One of my main nicknames is actually “Pinky”! The first time I Casey’s Cupcakes boutique, I was in awe of all the details. With so many cupcake stores open in Orange County and so much competition, it really takes something special to stand out above the others. If you’ve spent any amount of time in a Casey’s Cupcakes boutique, like maybe to enjoy one of her cupcakes and a coffee, you can also watch the episode of “Cupcake Wars” that she was on and that she won! Yep, not only is she adorable, but she can bake….and bake under some major pressure!

Recently, Casey’s hosted a photo contest on Instagram. I didn’t NEED an excuse to go into her Fashion Island store and enjoy a Confetti Cupcake, but if I had needed one, this was it! The store looked extra beautiful because it was all decorated for Christmas! Although there were so many cupcakes to choose from, including her Flavor of the Month: Glamorous Gingerbread, but Emi and I are still always drawn to the Casey Confetti Cupcake. This cupcake is so yummy, I swear I could eat two in one sitting, all by myself! I’m not even sure if I like the frosting or the actual cupcake more? Both parts are amazing! Before I let Emi sit down to enjoy her cupcake, I had to snap a couple pics of her in front of the adorable Casey’s Christmas tree!

I think this expression on Emi’s face says it all! 

This is definitely our favorite cupcake of them all….Casey’s Confetti Cupcake!

So…imagine our excitement when we found out that we’d won FIRST PLACE in the photo contest! I told Emi that we’d split the prize package, since it was her photo that won the contest, but it was me that submitted the picture. Emi actually negotiated with me that I also get her one of the Casey dolls. I thought it was a fair deal! We returned back to the Fashion Island store to pick up the prize package on Christmas Eve,wearing our matching hot pink jackets! You have to DRESS the part, right?

As if we hadn’t already loved Casey’s Cupcakes already, now we’re even bigger fans! If you haven’t visited one of her 5 locations, you need to get yourself to one soon! She also offers packages for “Decorate Your Own Cupcake Parties and a very special “Tea Party and Tiaras exclusively at the Woodbury location, which is something that Emi is hoping to do next! Have you visited a Casey’s Cupcakes location yet? If so, what was your favorite cupcake flavor?
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A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland

A Christmas Fantasy Parade is my favorite parade to watch at The Disneyland Resort. This year, Emi and I had the opportunity to be in the park on one of the days that ABC was filming for their Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Show! It was so exciting to be able to see things that aren’t normally in the regular Christmas Fantasy Parade.

We loved seeing all of these characters from Toy Story, who normally appear in the Pixar Play Parade at DCA.
It was also fun to see a bit of Cars Land over on The Disneyland Side!

Although we weren’t able to sit in the area where all of the cameras were filming, we did secure a spot on the curb, right in front of Plaza Inn, which is where the floats and characters entered the filming area. This meant that almost all of them had time to look our way and wave prior to entering the main filming area on Main Street, U.S.A.! What a great spot to be seated!
This is one of my favorite pics. It’s just something you never see at Disneyland…Sulley next to The Matterhorn!
It was fun to see all of the little guest dancers that were invited to dance in the Monsters University part of the parade. You can tell how excited they were by their big smiles!

I always get excited for this part, which is the traditional opening of this parade. She’s my favorite dancer in the parade!

More of my fav characters…mainly Wendy! (for obvious reasons)

Look at the giant balloon! So cute! Emi loves these elves because she thinks they know her own elf on the shelf!

So many smiley faces, so many great characters!

The First Lady of the North Pole!
I adore watching this parade and notice something new each time that we do. I love the music, I love the costumes, I love the dancing and I love how much it reminds me of childhood.
What’s YOUR favorite part of a Christmas Fantasy Parade?

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Holiday Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread is a holiday necessity in our home! It’s so easy to make and is something that we all enjoy eating for breakfast on a festive day like 4th of July or Christmas. There are always leftovers to munch on throughout the entirety of the day too!
Lately, I’ve been trying to handwrite recipes that I make and put them into a recipe book for my daughter to have when she’s an adult.

Hand writing recipes takes WAY MORE time than just typing them out on a computer, but I think it’ll be more meaningful for her to have things I wrote.
Ingredients:
  • 4 cans of Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits (not the flaky ones)
  • 1 2/3 c. sugar
  •  2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously butter a bundt cake pan.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • Melt butter in a measuring cup in the microwave.
  • Cut up biscuits, 1 can at a time, roll pieces in cinnamon sugar mixture and layer them in pan.
  • After cutting up each can of biscuits, top the layer with some melted butter. Continue until all cans are cut up and layered.
  • Pour remaining butter over the top of the pan and sprinkle some extra cinnamon sugar on top.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, maybe a little longer if necessary. It should be golden brown on top.
  • Remove pan from oven and let it cool slightly prior to serving.
Just seeing this pic is making me want more!

Is your mouth watering yet?

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Christmas Eve Morning at The Disneyland Resort With Our Elf on the Shelf!

What do you do when it’s Christmas Eve day, you don’t have to be at dinner until 6:30 p.m. and you still haven’t had a chance to take your daughter to see Santa yet? You head straight to The Disneyland Resort, that’s what you do! What a beautiful, sunny, Southern California morning it was, too! There aren’t too many places you can be where you actually NEED to wear sunblock on December 24th!

Emily & I decided to visit Disney’s California Adventure first! There was NO LINE to see Santa over at Elias & Company! We walked right in and Santa immediately struck up a conversation with Emily. As you can tell by this photo, she was mesmerized by him.

I’m pretty sure she’s asking him for the Frozen castle here.
I love everything about the setup of this Santa location. It’s just so old fashioned and Christmas-y and if it hadn’t been so blazing hot, I would’ve put Emi in her actual Christmas dress for the photo. Regardless, I think we got some beautiful pictures to add to her memory book.

Santa also had an absolutely beautiful elf named “Tinsel” that was helping him and passing out candy canes to the guests as they exited from sitting for their photo. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of Emi with her also.

Seriously though, how adorable is this elf?

Emi and I also had another mission on our visit….we had to bring her Elves on the Shelf with us! Yep, they had written her a note, asking if she could take them to Disneyland! They told her that Santa had given special permission for Mommy to touch the elves to move them and take them to Disneyland. We just hadn’t had much time during December to visit the parks and since the elves were returning to The North Pole that evening, this was our LAST chance. The tricky part about this was that 1)only Mommy could touch the elves, because children DON’T touch the Elf on the Shelf and 2)We needed to be careful as NOT to spoil any magic for other children at The Resort. I carried the elves in our backpack and we took them out for a few photo opportunities. There was one incident when two small children spotted them and were trying to tell their mom they had seen them, so we just sat back and pretended not to notice the elves and then as soon as the children were long gone, we grabbed the elves, stuffed them BACK into our backpack and ran! It was pretty funny to have elf shenanigans going on!

Our elves INSISTED on wearing these buttons!
There are always a lot of “good parts” about each trip to the parks but on this particular day, Emi was REALLY excited about getting to ride in the front of Monorail Blue….WITH her elves! Since there weren’t any other children up there with us (who might’ve gotten freaked out), we could have the elves out of the backpack!
Patiently awaiting the front spot on Monorail Blue!
This is Disney Magic at work!
CM Manuel even let the elves help navigate, once we started moving and had to sit down!

It was such a great Christmas Eve morning at The Disneyland Resort! We are so blessed to be able to just run over to the parks for a few hours and be able to do something like this! Happy Holidays!

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