For the second year in a row, we loaded into the car and headed to Southern California for Thanksgiving. Our sights were set on Disneyland. The 2-year-old LOVES Minnie Mouse, so we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to take her to see the mouse. Her older brother and sister were also excited, and the baby was along for the ride. We managed the 10-hour drive with no problem. We stopped twice for gas and to use the bathroom. The kids filled their brains with movies on the iPads, and there was relatively little yelling and screaming. Road trip success!
Because it’s never a given that you’ll meet the characters in the park and because the 2-year-old is obsessed with Minnie Mouse and we really wanted her to have the chance to meet Minnie, we booked breakfast with the characters on Friday morning, so we’d be sure to get up close and personal with Mickey’s best gal pal. We spent Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) in California Adventure Park, riding rides and stuffing our faces with not-Thanksgiving food (the only downside to going to Disney on Thanksgiving). Friday morning we headed to Downtown Disney where the kids got to pick out their Disney T-shirts and souvenirs. Then it was time for breakfast with Mickey and the gang at the Paradise Pier Hotel.
While we were waiting for our table to be ready, the kids had a chance to talk to Santa who was in the lobby of the hotel. The 5-year-old took this opportunity to inform Santa that for Christmas he’s asking for a real grappling hook, so he “can climb trees and shoot pirates with his bb gun.” Santa was really impressed.
Once our table was ready, we were escorted into the restaurant and had the chance to get a picture with Mickey. The 2-year-old, while interested in seeing the characters, wasn’t inclined to go too close to them. She was happy to wave from a distance, but she wasn’t interested in having her picture taken or giving them hugs. The older two kids were all about it though, so they hugged Mickey while we snapped the obligatory photos.
Then we were seated at our table and waited for the other characters to come to our table to say hello. Stitch and Daisy Duck made their way around, but there was no sign of Minnie Mouse. Finally the 6-year-old asked Mickey where Minnie was. He motioned that she was at home, baking cookies. I started to panic that Minnie wasn’t coming and we had just spent the rough equivalent of a mortgage payment on a mediocre buffet breakfast and weren’t even going to get to see Minnie Mouse.
But then, just as I was starting to sweat about what I was going to tell the 2-year-old, Minnie appeared! And the 2-year-old shouted to Mickey, “Hey Mickey; you’re great! I found Minnie!” Then she gave Mickey the thumbs up.
Our reservation was toward the end of the available breakfast time slots at this particular restaurant, so the other tables started to empty as we waited for Minnie to make her way to our table. We were the very last table that Minnie visited, which meant that we were nearly the only people left in the restaurant by then. Mickey was standing alone at the front of the restaurant, very near where our table was. He noticed that the 9-month-old was looking at him, so he started waving at her and trying to make her smile.
And then—for the very first time in her life—she waved. The Mouse waved at her, and she responded by picking up her little arm and shaking it up and down. Her first wave was in response to a wave from Mickey Mouse!
I feel like that’s a story for the baby book. And since this blog is my baby book for her, I figured I’d better share!