Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ian's very first trip to Disneyland! - part 1

Today was a very big first for Baby Boy Flowers. Over 5 months after his birth, he's taking his very first of what is sure to be many trips to Disneyland! Theresa and I were so excited to be back at the park after being away for so long!

Ready to leave the house. So far he's been great for car trips, and today was no exception. He fell asleep shortly after we started moving.

Our very first "ride" of the day was the escalator from the 5th floor of the parking garage. He was very curious about it.

As was the tram ride. He wasn't sure what to make out of it.

Yes, we're now one of "those people" at Disneyland. This was our first real day trip out with the stroller for any amount of time. A quick check to get him situated and we're off!

It just wouldn't be a Disneyland trip without having a couple friends along. Our Disney buddies Ruston and Jacob both came along for Ian's first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. We're through the turnstiles and it's official! Disneyland's newest citizen is Ian Flowers!

Our very first stop had to be City Hall. We've got to get a record of this. 

And there it is! Ian's first time visitor button with his name on the front and the date on the back.

Everything is new here and the Hook and Ladder Company happens to be playing some music in front of the fire station. We listen for a few minutes then head on our way.

What on earth is that? We've shown him pictures of animals in his books, but wow that horse is huge!

Maybe one of the next things we need to teach him is how to look at the camera.

Main Street was bustling today with all the vehicles out and about. Ian did jump when the Omnibus honked its horn.

We haven't eaten lunch yet, so there was a quick stop for a chili-dog and jalapeno pretzel.

Off to Fantasy Faire to see if they have any of those Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt maps left. Unfortunately we were told the maps had all sold out by Wednesday and even the maps in DCA were gone. Guess we're too late to the game for that. Hopefully next year, Disney will print more to meet the demand.

What's this? Yes, it's springtime in Disneyland which means...

Ducklings! Ruston said he was astounded with what they can do with animatronics these days. They look so real!

It's too bad the Easter Egg hunt isn't available today, but the Festival Arena has some fantastic events going on. Those amazing pumpkin carvers from Halloween are back and again they're creating magic!

Those Darth Maul and Celia eggs look great!

And the Alice in Wonderland egg in a teacup base was very clever.

Artist Ray is working on the next set of eggs which will be the Lost Boys from Peter Pan.

Pete's Dragon Elliott is a very interesting idea on an egg decoration.

This cabinet had a few finished works.

Doesn't Jack Skellington just seem to be the perfect decoration for an egg?

I'm not sure which artist created this Little Mermaid egg, but the detail and the line work on such a small canvas was amazing. 

As was this Haunted Mansion egg. Just incredible.

Merida makes an appearance on this egg.

I had to spend some time watching the artists work.

This amazing artist is Ray Brown and he does some astounding work. I spent a few minutes talking with him and learned that he normally works with the audio-animatronics throughout the park, but on special occasions he's gets to show off in front of guests. He's helped design Murray the Dragon from Fantasmic! and created some floats in the Tokyo Disney Sea parade Legend of Mythica,

He's been carving pumpkins in the parks for the last 8 years and has been decorating eggs for the last 4 weeks! I asked where all the eggs end up once they're done with them. He said they're auctioned off to raise money for local charities! That's great! Much better than the pumpkins which he said just get mulched.

And you know, it's not the first time we've met Ray. All the way back in 2007, Theresa and I were wandering through Big Thunder Ranch and he was carving pumpkins. We had never seen such detail and quizzed him on how he created such beautiful pieces. He must have spent 10 minutes with us answering our questions for how he transferred the patterns, what tools he used to carve, how he preserved the pumpkins once they were finished and anything else we could think of.

That Halloween, we made our first attempt at carving a pumpkin with more than a kitchen knife and a smiley face pattern. Ray was really our inspiration for the all the pumpkins we've carved from that point forward. Seriously. Just a few links to our past carving parties. Michigan, Mississippi, Phineas and Ferb, Winnie the Pooh, Halloween 2012, Michigan 2012, and Halloween 2013.

Time to meet some bunnies! We could have gone to the mall to get Ian's first picture with the Easter Bunny, but why go pay $30 for a photo there when we can meet some of our favorite bunnies at Disneyland!
Ian met his first Disney character last week at the Disneyland Hotel and he didn't cry at all. T and I were both curious if that was a fluke, or if he really was fine with the characters. 

Guess this picture is proof enough. He wanted to put Thumper's nose in his mouth.

Thumper has some very furry hands, so Ian grabbed on and wouldn't let go.

Up next was Br'er Rabbit. Great to meet some rare characters!

Ian's got a thing with grabbing neck skin and Br'er Rabbit wasn't immune to that either.

Now for the Easter Bunny! Ian just wanted to squeeze his cheeks!

Our first family picture with the Easter Bunny.

While walking up to see him, Ruston exclaimed, "Easter Bunny! I've never met you before!" So the Easter Bunny reach out a hand in a very formal handshake as is to say, very nice to meet you!

We'll continue the rest of Ian's first trip in the next post!

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