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posted Monday January 3rd, 2011

My feet will never be the same. But it was worth it. I survived four days at Disneyland — including two 12-hour-plus marathons — at a time when the Happiest Place on Earth was also the busiest, and felt like the coldest. Still, I can hardly complain; despite the forecast, it was sunny. We drove away from the park yesterday just as the rain began to fall in earnest. It felt like magic.

The whole trip did. That’s not to say we didn’t all do our fair share of whining — and that after countless turns on the carousel, my world’s not still spinning just a bit, as I sit still to type this — but it was certainly our best trip to Disneyland yet.

And that’s saying a lot. We’ve gone every year since Annabelle turned 3, and were in danger of missing a year when I hatched a plan to spend New Year’s in Anaheim — never guessing what a popular NYE destination Disneyland is. Never mind. We saw both 2010 and 2011 in the Magic Kingdom.

This morning I asked Sophie, “What was your favorite part of the trip?” She didn’t hesitate.

“When we split up!” she said with a twinkle in her eye, knowing she was being just a little bit naughty in her admission. But I had to agree.

That’s when Annabelle and Ray hit the scary rides like Space Mountain and the Matterhorn, and Sophie and I rode the carousel or stood in line to meet the characters. If you’ve never had the privilege of watching Sophie make it to the front of the line to see Snow White (or Tigger or Alice in Wonderland or Gepetto or Goofy or Minnie or — you get the picture), you just haven’t lived, my friend.

It really is magic.

My favorite moment was when she motioned to Cinderella and asked Sleeping Beauty, “Hey, who’s that girl with the bangs?” I even got her onto the teacup ride, this time, and she needed no coaxing to run up on “stage” and dance with Mary Poppins.

Both girls cried when we left the park, and we had to promise that this wouldn’t be our only trip to Disneyland in 2011. Except for my feet, I didn’t mind a bit.

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Tags: Filed under: culture, Down syndrome, Entertainment, family, travel, Vacation by Amysilverman

6 Responses to “Magic”

  1. aw, makes me want to go again! I’ve heard that the morning of Jan 1st is dead as a doorknob there, true??

    We went on Christmas Day a few years back…BIG MISTAKE!

  2. it was pretty empty on new year’s day. the best was the “magic morning” pass that got us in at 7 one day. and now i have a list of spots at D and california adventure that are good to hit on crowded days, in case anyone is interested.

  3. That’s awesome! We’re going in March and I can’t wait!

  4. We did NYE one year pre-kids at visiting friend’s insistence. NEVER would have expected it to be party central but we had a blast. Also, if you consider a repeat, next year go up to Pasadena first – the Rose Parade floats are lined up on the streets & you can wander around & up close. It’s like a five star block party – women wandering around in furs & thermosed-hot cocoa and people like me who show up on a whim in flip flops (in the cold -did I mention the furs?). I have no use for parades and rolled my eyes (at my same friend’s request) but the work and detail and crafty-ness was AMAZING and I long to return.

  5. Wow! What a memorable place to spend New Year’s! Looks like (and sounds like) an amazing trip. Hmm…that moment when Sophie gets to the front of the line? I think I *might* be familiar with that magic and I heartily agree. It’s something else and you really haven’t lived until you’ve been a part of it.

    Happy New Year, my friend!

  6. maya, i admit i imagined sophie and leo in line together quite a few times! someday….!

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