Friday, June 22, 2018

Ben's 1st Disneyland Trip: Part II

Welcome to Part II of Ben's 1st Disneyland trip recap!

If you missed part one of the recap, you can read it HERE *Part I*

Day two begins with a magical *snap*
Ben's 1st Disney trip was so special for so many reasons. Not only was it his first trip to the parks, but it was us coming full circle as a family. We had begun our family journey two years prior, with finding out we were pregnant for the first time in May 2016, the losses that followed, and finally being able to come full circle with our rainbow, Ben. We knew how special this trip was for all of us, so we wanted to commemorate it with something magical: a family photoshoot with the most magical photographer on Earth, Jenna from White Rabbit Photo Boutique. 

Jenna is not only a beautiful friend, but a talented photographer who has captured so many of our happiest memories over the years. It was so amazing to be able to be back with her and capture this milestone for us as a family.

For more information on Jenna and her amazing photography company, check them out here: White Rabbit Photo Boutique

Baby Center Bliss
After our photoshoot fun, we finally headed to Disneyland's Baby Care Center. Okay fellow Disney mamas, mamas to be and future mamas.... this place is AMAZING! What's funny was that we knew about the baby care center beforehand, but didn't utilize the center our entire first day of the trip. We were so wrapped up in our first day back at the parks we completely forgot to use the facilities until day 2.

**PB&J family tip**
The baby care center is such a lifesaver for families at the parks. Not only is it a refuge from the heat on hot days, but it is so handy for families with little ones. There's an entire area for changing diapers. This isn't just a run of the mill bathroom stall changer, a literal room full of cushioned changing tables, table liners, tissues and sinks nearby! *Can you tell I'm a total mom by geeking out about changing table liners?! 😂* No really though, it's super awesome. There's also a seating area for parents to feed their children, a kitchen to heat bottles, prep food and wash necessities. There's also a private room for mother's to pump and breastfeed. Again, totally awesome! Disney dads are also welcome into the kitchen and diaper areas, so mama's out there, you can send those daddies in there to do the dirty work while you enjoy a churro nearby 😉

The baby care center is located at the end of Main Street, right across from the corn dog cart and Plaza Inn. This has to be our #1 tip for any family heading to the park, make use out of the Baby Care Center!!!

Royal moments
If you've been following along on the blog or our adventures on Instagram you may remember our celebration of *Hope & Hearts* the past October at Disneyland's 21 Royal. It was the most magical evening that we hosted for our closest loved ones, in celebration of our upcoming rainbow, Ben. 21 Royal is located in Disneyland's Dream Suite, a place that was forever on my Disney "bucket list" but became a reality with our special event in the Fall.
Magic was able to strike again because we were invited back up into 21 Royal to say hello to the 21 Royal family. Their kindness allowed us to not only introduce our miracle Ben to them, but also let us  recreate the magical "bump" moments we snapped in the Suite just a few months back while I was still pregnant with Ben.
Once again, our most heartfelt thanks to the amazing 21 Royal family for this kindness! Ben is officially a 21 Royal baby and we hope to be back in the future so that he may actually get to experience the "royal treatment" himself when he gets older!

Meeting the mouse
As if day 2 couldn't get any more magical, we capped off the day with a visit to the head cheese: Mickey! I had been prepping Ben for the moment for so long, we'd been playing with his plushie Mickey's at home to get him used to/excited for his first encounter with Mickey Mouse. Let's just say it paid off because Ben was so good during the meet and greet. I think he likes his pal, Mickey!
This was such a great moment for us as well since our photo with Mickey a year prior was one that was so full of *hope*. We were only a few weeks along pregnant with Ben, still in the healing process of our angel son's loss. It was a bittersweet Mickey meet and greet last May, so to come full circle in present day May was beautiful, to say the least!

First cruise around the world!
With three days at the parks, it's hard to believe that we only made it on one ride! My old Disney self would be shocked! But again, Disney with a baby is a whole new ballgame. We finally made it on an attraction and boy did we make it count. We hopped on my favorite ride, ever: It's a Small World! I can't describe how amazing it was to bring Ben on his first "cruise". Tears were welling up in my eyes upon entering the ride. My heart was beyond full, my rainbow and my favorite Disney ride!
Ben LOVED the ride. He was so in awe of the vibrant colors and happy music. Hopefully we can make it a record 2 rides on our next trip to the parks!

Waffles, Winnie the Pooh and friends 
Our last day at the parks was filled with love and yums. We got to bring ben to experience his very 1st character breakfast at the Plaza Inn. Ben was feeling a bit of the Disneyland hangover by day 3, so he was a little grumpy butt during breakfast, LOL. Thankfully, there were the most amazing cast members working and still made it the memorable breakfast for us.
We spent the rest of our morning getting to introduce Ben to so many amazing friends who came out to say hello. We also made a trek over to the Hundred Acre Wood to say hi to Ben's Pooh crew!
We ended our final day at Disneyland with one last good bye to the castle and a walk down memory lane for us with a visit to our former Disney Wedding venue, the Animation Building!

until next time Disneyland...
After a full three days of magic, fun, and memories it was time to say good bye to our happy place. Words can't begin to express how wonderful this trip was for us as a family. We're thankful for every beautiful moment and memory made on this trip. Thank you to everyone that stopped us to say hello and for every friend that came out to hang out with us during our short trip. This was only the beginning of many, MANY more magical Disney vacation memories to come. Until our next visit on the not so distant horizon... Disney... See ya real soon!
Thank you for reading along and until the next magical post, take care! 💜

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Maira Gall