Over The Top Mommy

SoCal Fun

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Is Now Open at LEGOLAND California Resort and It’s Adorable!

now-openHave you heard the exciting news? LEGO Friends Heartlake City is now open at LEGOLAND California Resort! The newest area at the resort is a must-see for all LEGO fans of all ages! As soon as you walk through the entrance to the city brought to life straight out of the “LEGO Friends” TV show,  you can meet your favorite LEGO friends, Mia, Olivia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma and get a glimpse inside of their LEGO lives!

my-lego-friendThroughout Heartlake City there are several clever LEGO brick creations and life-sized figures of each of the LEGO friends. There are lots of great photo opportunities there.

fun-experiences

  • Mia’s Riding Camp: Guests can experience an adventure on a carousel that’s perfect for riders of all ages and heights. Take a horseback ride atop one of 60 carousel horses (both moving and non-moving. Guests can also opt to sit inside one of the stationary jeeps on the carousel. mias-riding-camp
  • Heartlake Stables: Inside of this shaded stable area, guests can enjoy LEGO brick building activities and learn a little bit about horses. There’s plenty of seating here for adults to rest their legs while watching their little ones play. You’ll also want to take advantage of the cute photo opportunity to sit on one of the horses in the front area of the stable! (As a convenience, your photos are available for purchase inside the park) heartlake-stables
  • Heartlake Fountain: This heart-shaped fountain is a focal point in the center of the city. Guests are welcome to play in the water, which is especially perfect on warm days. If you plan to have “splash time” on your visit, you might want to bring an extra change of clothes.heartlake-fountain
  • Friends Forever Stage: Mia, Olivia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma perform their “LEGO Friends to the Rescue” show live on stage. Guests can sing and dance along with them. There are also opportunities to meet the LEGO Friends sometimes, if you hang around after the show. To check for showtimes, click hereheartlake-stage
  • Heartlake City Boutique: Guests can shop til they drop here for LEGO Friends toys and a bunch of adorable items. Once you head into this boutique, I can guarantee you won’t come out empty handed! You’ll also find the LEGO Friends Hot Air Balloon in the center of the store. let-the-shopping-begin
  • The LEGO Movie Experience: Experience a bit of movie magic as you get a behind-the-scenes look at a real movie set! Step onto the LEGO Movie soundstage, check out movie footage and explore some of the awesome models which helped inspire the new and completely original 3D animated adventure THE LEGO MOVIE. You can even find characters from the LEGO Movie to take pictures with!

food-options

  • City Park Crêperie: Enjoy sweet, delicious crêpes at this pop-up crêperie located in the center of Heartlake City. The menu features a sugar crêpe, a Nutella crêpe, a Nutella & bananas crêpe, and a berries crêpe. We tried a Nutella  crêpe this time but need to go back soon and try a different one. What a treat! nutella-crepe
  • Wok n’ Bowl Ramen: This gourmet Japanese style Ramen House features freshly prepared stir-fry dishes such as orange chicken and teriyaki and ramen noodles with pork belly, chicken, or vegetables. Kids meals are also offered here.

We had such a fun day visiting Heartlake City! When I asked my daughter what her favorite part about the day was, she told me it was getting to talk to Stephanie and Emma and seeing them perform on stage with the other LEGO Friends.

my-favorite-part

selfie-with-lego-friendsMy heart melts when I see her so happy. She also asked if we could return to LEGOLAND tomorrow. For me, it’s all about spending time together and creating new memories.  In LEGO Friends Heartlake City there’s the opportunity to do just that!

lego-friends-journalFor more information and to purchase tickets to LEGOLAND California Resort, click here. *Heartlake City is included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. Connect with LEGOLAND California on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

lego-friends-foreverA very special thank you to LEGOLAND California for inviting us to attend a special media day in the park and providing us with lunch. All opinions are 100% my own. 

When a Cast Member Makes a Magical First Impression on You! Meet One of My Favorites: Ronna From Disney’s Yacht Club! #DisneySMMC

They say that first impressions are everything and I completely agree with that statement. You never truly get a chance to re-do a first impression. This is especially true in businesses such as restaurants, stores, and hotels. When a guest walks into an establishment for some type of service,  they start to form an opinion about that place of business based on the way they were treated by the first person they encountered who was working there.

first-impressions-are-everythingMy family and I recently took our first trip to Walt Disney World Resort for the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. We were so excited to be all booked at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort during our trip! After taking the red-eye from Southern California to Orlando, Florida, we finally arrived at our destination around 6:30 a.m. on a very minimal amount of sleep. I may, or may not, have entered the lobby of Disney’s Yacht Club while sleep walking. As I entered the check-in line, I was immediately greeted at the front desk by one of the sweetest cast members in the place! Talk about making a lasting first impression! Even as I sit here writing this post, I miss that sweet lady.

disneys-yacht-club-resortHer name was Ronna and she was just beginning her shift that day. As I glanced over the counter, into her work area, I noticed she had a few personal items, such as pens and a paper pad, that were purple! I love purple! I didn’t even need to ask if purple was her favorite color because it was so obvious.

how-fun-are-her-purple-accessoriesMy asking her immediately sparked such a pleasant conversation between us, as she proceeded to check me (and my family that was sleeping on a couch in the hotel lobby at that moment) into our room. I also noticed that Ronna was from Chicago, specifically from the same area that I have family. Again, we hit it off talking about Chicago.

look-for-ronnaI appreciated how much time Ronna took to thoroughly explain everything I needed to know about the hotel to me. There was a lot to take in and get to know about this giant resort hotel, as well as the parks. I could see why Disney had hired Ronna to work for them…because she’s a magical person who makes magic for guests….which is exactly what a cast member is supposed to do!

meet-cast-member-RonnaFor the duration of our stay, I kept checking the front desk, each time we’d walk by, to see if Ronna was working. I finally learned that she also works next door at the front desk at Disney’s Beach Club  Resort (it’s an adjacent property to the Yacht Club). On our last day, just before leaving on The Magical Express for the airport, we finally found her working again. I re-introduced myself (but of course she remembered me) and told her that I wanted to thank her again for being so kind. I think she was a little surprised that I came back to tell her that.

we-heart-ronnaThen I asked if we could take a picture together and if I could also photograph her alone. I think she almost cried happy tears from my request, which made me also get happy tears in my eyes! As you can see from the pictures, Ronna is absolutely adorable and I hope we get to go back there someday soon and visit her when we do! She was our first impression of the Walt Disney World Resort and I’d have to say that she made a magical one.

Have YOU had any magical experiences with Disney Cast Members before? If so, where were you and how did they make an impression on you?

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® Took My Breath Away!

welcome-to-the-flower-fieldsI recently had the opportunity to spend the day at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®, which is located in Carlsbad. They were a magnificent sight that I’d caught a glimpse of a couple times when I’d driven through Carlsbad, but I had never gotten to actually stop and go inside. The Flower Fields feature 50 acres of Giant Tecolote® Ranunculus flowers with colors that pop against the light blue sky. They’re just a hop, a skip and a jump away from the Pacific Ocean, so it creates this picturesque backdrop.

close-to-the-oceanWhen you first enter the front gates and are standing there in front of what seems to be an endless field of flowers, it’s absolutely breathtaking!  It’s a sight that everyone should get to experience annually when it’s in full bloom! I was there about 2 weeks prior to the full bloom. If it was already this beautiful then, I can’t imagine at full bloom!

flowers-for-daysThis year, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are open for the 2015 season from March 1-May 10 ( Mother’s Day). The fields are extra vibrant this year and bloomed a little early, most likely attributing this to the mild fall and winter we’ve had. Needless to say, they are a spectacular sight and a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

antique-tractor-ride

Visitors have the opportunity to take an open-air ride in an antique tractor wagon, through The Flower Fields, for a nominal fee. The ride is accompanied by an audio commentary of the history of The Flower Fields. It provides for a relaxing ride through the fields and is perfect for picture taking. Guests also have the option to exit the wagon and walk around. The cost for a wagon ride is $5.00 for Adults and $3.00 for Children 3-10.

take-a-ridedrivingProbably the most special part about my visit to The Flower Fields was getting meet Paul Ecke III. He’s the owner of the Flower Fields and the man behind the entire operation. Mr. Ecke has extensive family history tied to the agricultural history in this area, dating back about 100 years. Both Mr. Ecke and Mr. Fred Clarke, the General Manager of The Flower Fields, rode around the fields with our group and provided us with some really wonderful information about all that goes on there on a year-round basis, to produce the spectacular landmark. The flowers were so beautiful, each plant an individual, just like us.

070076pinkGuests who opt to exit during the wagon ride in the middle of the field, have access to walk through certain parts of the Flower Fields where carefully constructed bridges have been added. This is to avoid any damage to the plants themselves but allows a closer look and photo opportunities among the flowers. It’s the perfect setting for some family photos.

067As if I wasn’t already in total awe of what seemed to be an endless field brilliant flowers, I was in for another treat that was waiting for us on one of the hillsides. I guess that’s part of the fun about being a “first-timer” but I was WOW-ed when they took us to see the American Flag of Flowers! It was so beautiful and listening to how it’s produced was amazing. This flag is made up of 8998 Petunia plants, is just under 1 acre and is exactly to scale of our own American flag!

flagAfter the conclusion of our wagon ride, we spent some time walking the grounds with Mr. Ecke. He was very passionate about taking us to see the area he referred to as “Santa’s Playground”.

santas-village-sign

welcomeI had NO IDEA it was a play area on the grounds, almost entirely made up of authentic pieces from the original Santa’s Village, that had been in San Bernardino, years ago! Mr. Ecke told us the story about how he’d visited Santa’s Village as a child with his own family. Years later, when his own children were small, he attended an auction where he acquired several original pieces from that property.

at-santas-village

 

some-santas-village-originalsHe transported them to San Diego County and transformed an entire area at The Flower Fields to create “Santa’s Playground”, an area for children to run around and play. You can see how well he’s maintained the original colors of the pieces and he shared that his wife changed the designs of some of the mushrooms, but strived to maintain their authenticity by choosing designs that meshed well with that era.  As a child, I’d seen commercials for Santa’s Village, but never had the opportunity to visit before it closed down. Santa’s Playground is such a magical area to visit.

mushroomsIn addition to walking around The Flower Fields and taking a wagon ride, there are several other exhibits and attractions to see and do on your visit.

Some of those include:

  • Cymbidian Orchid Greenhouse
  • The Artist Gardens
  • Sweet Pea Maze
  • Carlsbad Mining Company
  • Organic Demonstration Garden
  • Historic Pointsettia Display
  • Water Wise Farming

 

The Flower Fields are adjacent to Armstrong Garden Center and have a partnership set up with them. Fresh cut flowers are available for purchase along with potted plants, bulbs and a variety of other items in the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop.

The Flower Fields also host a variety of events throughout the season, including Sunrise Easter Services, which start at 6:30 a.m. You can find the entire calendar of events here.

Admission for The Flower Fields is as follows:

  • Adults: $12.00
  • Seniors 60+: $11.00
  • Children 3-10: $6.00
  • Children 2 and under are free

To purchase your tickets online, click here.

the-flower-fields-signThe Flower Fields are located at 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008. You can also reach them at 760-431-0352. For more information about the Flower Fields, click here.

Have YOU visited The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®  yet? If not, it’s a must-see in my opinion!

Connect with The Flower Fields on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media day at The Flower Fields and was provided with admission in order to write my review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Knott’s is Teaming Up with Susan G. Komen Orange County and Going Pink For the Cure! #KnottsPink

I was invited to attend this wonderful media event at Knott’s and provided with a ticket for my admission. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

knotts-pink-logo

I was so honored to be invited to attend a press conference at Knott’s Berry Farm recently, to learn more about a very special partnership between Knott’s and Susan G. Komen Orange County. Susan G. Komen Orange County is a local breast health organization which helps to serve women and men who are in need of breast health care and services, but do not have access to them financially. This is the second year in a row they are teaming up in a wonderful collaborative effort to help raise money for a very important cause. In 2014, they raised nearly $100,000 for the cause. That’s an amazing number and they’re hoping to raise even more in 2015!

snoopy-and-woodstock-huggingFrom now through March 31, Knott’s Berry Farm is offering a special “Pink Ticket”, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen Orange County. Knott’s  limited edition, specially designed “pink merchandise” is also available for sale at select locations in the park. These proceeds help fund breast health services and research and also help promote breast health awareness.

knotts-pink-merchandise75% of the funds raised for Susan G. Komen are used to provide local services throughout Orange County:

  • Breast cancer detection and treatment education
  • Information and support for breast cancer survivors and families
  • Funding for free mammograms for uninsured and underserved women

25% of the funds raised for Susan G. Komen support national research to discover the cure for breast cancer.

FullSizeRender (19)I love this! It’s right at the entryway inside Knott’s. 

The press conference featured speakers that shared real statistics and real stories about breast cancer. 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer! That is a very scary statistic! (Men can also affected by breast cancer) What was even scarier hearing a related statistic about Latina women. The reality is that there are a great number of Latina women who don’t have access to breast health care and services, so, because of this, they are being diagnosed with breast cancer at much later stages than white women. This partnership is helping to provide a mobile mammography unit to the surrounding Latino community and get these women the services they need.

pink-collageA big highlight of the event for me was getting to hear my beautiful friend Jaime Jenkins, speak about her own story. Jaime is also a blogger, which is how I met her. She is a wife and a mother of 2 young children. After she attended the Knott’s For the Pink event in 2014, Jaime felt her own lumps in her breasts, went in to have them checked, and was diagnosed 2 weeks later. Jaime is living with stage 4 cancer and she has had the most positive attitude about her entire experience, even though it’s been a very tough one. She’s leaned on her wonderful husband, children and her family, her friends and I know her faith has played a big part in what has kept her so strong and positive. Jaime constantly expresses gratitude for everything and truly lives life to the fullest, appreciating every little thing. I admire her in a HUGE way!

jaime-speakingShe definitely greets each day with joy! I love her! 

After the breakfast and presentations came to a close, everyone followed Snoopy and Lucy over to Fiesta Village to watch all of the incredible breast cancer warriors ride Jaguar together. When they asked if I’d ride it with them, to help fill up the back of the car, I didn’t hesitate.

jaguar-by-westcoasternetAll of the breast cancer warriors riding Jaguar! (photo credit: Westcoaster)

breast-cancer-warriorsAll of these women have overcome so much and to see pictures of them all together, brought a smile to my face. If you look at the smile on Jaime’s face as she rides in the front, you should know that she’s like that ALL THE TIME!

FullSizeRender (23)Jaime’s smile is infectious! (photo credit: OC Latina Moms)

If you ever get the chance to meet Jaime, you’ll be able to feel her positive vibes, the minute you say “hi” to her and there won’t be a handshake, it’ll be a BIG hug! She’s the best hugger ever! She’s truly an inspiration to everyone around her and so much fun to hang out with!

knotts-pink(photo credit: Knott’s)

I hope you’ll consider making a trip down to Knott’s for a fun-filled day sometime between now and March 27th and purchase your own “pink ticket” to support this great partnership between Knott’s and Susan G. Komen Orange County!

Knott’s Berry Farm Serves Starbucks! Did I Mention the Boysenberry Lattes?

The other day when I was at Knott’s,  I overheard a woman asking her friend if she’d tried a Boysenberry Latte yet? I couldn’t help but stick my nose into the conversation at that point, because anything boysenberry is pretty much my kryptonite!

boysenberry-is-my-kryptonite

Yep, I have a few weak spots and one of them is definitely boysenberry. The woman pointed me in the direction of the Boardwalk area and told me to look for the Gourmet Coffee Hut!

I made my way over there in quite a hurry. It was drizzling on and off so this was the perfect day for something hot. When I looked up at the menu board I then realized they were serving Starbucks! It was like a dream! This wasn’t just brewed Starbucks, there were actual lattes and cappuccinos and mochas on the menu!

gourmet-coffee-hut-menuI was beaming from ear to ear when I ordered my “venti, non-fat Boysenberry latte WITH whipped cream“! I know the lady who took my order probably thought I nuts, too! (especially when I asked her to leave the top off so I could take a picture of it before it got smashed with the lid!)

y-el-olor-mmmmmOh and it smelled SOOOOO good! 

As I walked away from the window with my boysenberry latte in hand, I turned and just gazed back at the Gourmet Coffee Hut as I took my first sip!

gourmet-coffee-hutIt was heavenly! I walked along the Boardwalk, slowly sipping on my boysenberry latte. I can’t tell you how many other park guests stopped me to ask where I’d found Starbucks in the park! I felt like it was necessary to let each and every one of those guests know about it being a BOYSENBERRY latte and watched their eyes lit up as big as mine had, when I found out those even existed!

boysenberry-latte-on-the-boardwalkThe Starbucks Boysenberry Lattes are just another thing I love about Knott’s Berry Farm! I suggest you get over there to try one soon! (like ASAP)

 

 

Ring in The New Year With Family Friendly Fun at Knott’s! #KnottsNYE

Disclosure: I was invited by GigaSavvy to spend New Year’s Eve at Knott’s this year with my family. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

New-Years-Eve-at Knott's I cannot believe that it’s almost 2015! Where has the time gone this year? I love the holiday season and have been fortunate enough to fit in a ton of holiday activities this season. With it being the week before Christmas, I’m also already planning for New Year’s Eve! This year, our family is going to spend New Year’s Eve at Knott’s and I think you should too! Put on your party hats and get ready to ring in the New Year at Knott’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that offers something for everyone! Knott’s is a fun and safe options for families who want to ring in the New Year together.

Creating Family Memories at Knott'sExtended park hours (from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m.!), live entertainment, and a fireworks display are all included in the price of regular park admission!  And if you have a 2015 Season Pass the value is even better, because each 2015 Season Pass includes one FREE visit in 2014 that can be used on New Year’s Eve! There’s still time to purchase Knott’s 2015 Season Passes (have you seen how low they’re priced at?) which also include a visit in 2014, and you could also use that 2014 visit for New Year’s Eve at Knott’s!

Knotts 2015 season passSo what are YOUR plans for New Year’s Eve this year? Why not head over to Knott’s?

Camp Spooky is Taking Over Knott’s Camp Snoopy on Weekend Days in October!

One of the most adorable places to visit in Southern California as a family has got to be Knott’s Camp Snoopy! Located just inside of Knott’s Berry Farm, Camp Snoopy  features many of your favorite Peanuts characters and it’s just a fun place for kids to encounter kid-friendly attractions, including their 3 newest rides, Linus Launcher, Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer, and Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies and 2 new interactive experiences for kids, Beagle Scout Headquarters and Peanuts’ Play Lot .

snoopyStarting this weekend, Camp Spooky will be taking over Camp Snoopy during the weekend days in October, as well as on Halloween. Camp Spooky provides an opportunity for children to participate in non-scary Halloween activities, that focus on “cheer rather than fear”! The shows and activities are geared towards children between the ages of 3 and 11. Camp Spooky admission is included in the price of regular Knott’s Berry Farm admission.

This year will be our first time visiting Camp Spooky. Although I grew up in Southern California and Knott’s Berry Farm was a big part of my childhood, there was no Camp Spooky back then, so for me, it’s a big deal too. Emi is kind of a planner, just like me, so when I told her we were going, she already starting looking at the park map again and making out her “Camp Spooky To-Do List”!

photo-355Here’s what you can be excited to find at Camp Spooky this year:

  • The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown“, live theatre show in the Camp Spooky Theatre– Watch your favorite Peanuts characters in this adorable, live theatre production.
  • Peanuts Costume Parade-Kids are invited to wear a costume when they visit Camp Spooky and participate in a costume parade and contest, hosted by Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. The contest takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in the Camp Spooky Theatre, immediately following the 3:45 show. Kids have the opportunity to win prizes too!
  •  Mini Monster Maze-Have fun roaming through the obstacles in this mini maze, with sweet treats awaiting guests at the end!
  • Photo Forest-You’ll encounter a few different interactive photo opportunities in this section of Camp Spooky. Look for the Mummy’s Manor, the mysterious mirrors of Medusa’s Bug Boutique, and The Witch’s Tea Party! You’ll be sure to capture some photo memories to last you a lifetime!
  • Witch’s Potion Station-for an additional fee, you can mix and match different potions, inspired by the witch’s own potions, to create the perfect and delicious potion of your own to take home and enjoy.

snoopy and woodstockNow we need to come up with little costumes to dress our Snoopy and Woodstock in! Any suggestions? 

We’re really excited to see all of our favorite Peanuts characters and get into the Halloween spirit this weekend at Camp Spooky! We hope to see some of you there!

water barrelFor general Knott’s Berry Farm information, click here. For ticket info, including a place to purchase park tickets at a discount, click here. Knott’s also offers season passes at a very reasonable price!

Connect with Knott’s Berry Farm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!

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!

Our Adventures at the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Filming

I never take for granted how close we live to The Disneyland Resort! Since it’s just a hop, skip & a jump to the parks, we are often able to attend special events, on short notice, like the taping of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade filming. This year, we were able to attend the final day of filming, which included the parade portion and a performance by the cast of Teen Beach Movie!

Disneyland opened at 9 a.m. that day and we arrived at the Main Gate around 8:45 a.m. I didn’t realize that guests would be allowed to enter at 8 a.m., so we weren’t able to find a spot that was within the close filming area where the celebs were going to be dancing. We still found a seat on the curb down in front of Plaza Inn. This is where the parade floats, characters, dancers, and giant balloons all approached though, so we had the prime spot for taking pictures of it all. We were also filmed a couple of times in audience shots, so we still may end up on TV, right? I won’t post photos of the actual parade  until it actually airs because there were a few special parts added to this that aren’t normally included and I feel like it spoils some of the magic, but I will share a couple of fun pics that we took from the curb!

This is Pooh waiting patiently for the festivities to begin.
Here’s Emi trying to be patient as she sits on the curb, showing off her DisneySide!

Emi was taking her own pics and videos during the parade! 

After sitting there for about 3 hours, we were startving and went to get something to eat. After we returned, we saw that the woody from Teen Beach Movie was parked at the front of Main Street and we knew what this meant…..the cast would soon be entering the park!

I’m pretty sure I had to walk up and back Main Street about 6 times just to get this shot because the CMs were shooing everyone to keep on moving! 

We finally made our way through the insane crowd to the top of Main Street, and there we waited and waited and waited…..until they FINALLY came out!
I LOVE Maia! She is so adorable!
 

Well all of them came out except for Ross Lynch. Thank goodness I had Emi there to let me know that Ross’ mommy, Stormy, was walking right in front of where we were standing, and that it looked like she was going backstage, so we knew he was coming out soon.

This is his mom going to get him and escort him out.
Ross Lynch! 
 

I cannot describe my daughter’s expression when he walked out! Not only her expression but the fact that she was flushed too! This is the 2nd time within 2 months that she’s seen Ross & Maia this close up. (our other opportunity was when Ross & Maia were in Downtown Disney)
After the Teen Beach Movie portion of the show began filming, which we couldn’t sit or stand and watch, we decided to head towards the Matterhorn. That was when Emi realized Rydel Lynch was walking in front of us! Yep, she’s Ross’ sister and a member of R5! She was hanging out with Ellington Lee Ratliff ,who’s also in R5. So, of course, we had to pace behind them for a couple of minutes until I got my big “Mommy Courage” up enough to ask them if they’d take a pic with Emi! They were very nice. I definitely see an R5 concert in our near future!

 Emi with Rydel Lynch and Ellington Lee Ratliff
It was an amazing day at Disneyland. I also learned what I’ll be doing differently for next year’s taping.
Here are some of my tips if you’re planning on attending the taping for the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade:
1. Arrive at Disneyland 1-11/2 hours before the park opening.
2. Dress festively in Christmas attire and holiday Disney gear so you can attract the cameras’ attention, but also layer because it gets HOT! If you have babies or small children, the cuter they are dressed, they more likely they’ll get on camera.
3. Bring water and snacks because you might not be able to get up and get food.
4. Wear sunblock and bring extra! It is almost ALWAYS hot at Disneyland! 
5. For the most camera time, sit on the sunny side of Main Street! It’ll be hot, but it’s worth it! 
6. Be prepared to smile and have fun!

 

It was an exciting day for us at Disneyland.
 It’s always an adventure with Emi and I can’t wait for our next trip to the parks!