It's the Holiday season and Ian still hasn't taken a picture with Santa yet. You know, we could go to the mall, wait in a ridiculous line, spend way too much money on pictures, and be done, or we could head to Disneyland with friends, still wait in a long line and take my own pictures. I choose Disneyland!
We're going to take a quick detour on the way though. I've written about visits to Company D many times here, but today is extra special. Normally prices are at least 50% off retail. During the Christmas sale though, employees get an additional 40% off their final total, making most things effectively 70% off!
They know there's going to be so much interest that instead of handing out shopping baskets at the entrance, people are given trash bags to haul their items around the store.
The place was a madhouse with so many people everywhere. We started in the back warehouse and found a few plushes and other things.
Yikes! So many people, they've removed their normal displays in this area and put tape lines on the ground.
Someone is going to be very happy on Christmas.
Check out our haul! It was a successful shopping day at Company D. Lots of Christmas presents for friends and family, plus a few things for ourselves.
After a quick lunch at El Torito, it was time to head to Disneyland. I love Disneyland all decorated for the Holidays.
Ian was dressed in his super cute elf outfit. Lots of people were pointing him out as they walked by and a couple people asked where the hat came from.
While we were waiting in line, Phiphi the photographer came over and fawned over Ian. "Aren't you just the cutest elf." She tried to get him to wave at her, but he just wasn't into it. "Perhaps they don't wave in elf culture."
He wasn't waving, but I whispered in his ear "how big is Ian?" and he raised his arms over his head at Phiphi. "Oh, yes, I bow to you in greeting." Theresa and I were grinning ear to ear the whole time. It was a great interaction with Phiphi.
The five of us hopped in what didn't look like too bad of a line, but it moved fairly slowly. Overall, it took us 35 minutes to make it to the front.
Once we arrived, we were met by Sprinkles the elf. She said "I don't recognize you" to Ian. Theresa and I told her that he was a new hire and still in training. Ian was fascinated with her outfit, especially her bright red gloves. Sprinkles told him that once he finishes training he'll get his own set of red gloves.
"Santa, this is Ian. He's a new hire."
"Ah yes, Ian. I remember him well. Working for the Prep and Landing division I believe."
Nice work recognizing the hat Santa.
Hello young Ian.
Ian was ready to go right back to mommy though.
Trying to slide on over to Mommy's lap.
Santa was a big fan of my hat and asked who my tailor was. I informed him Mickey Mouse made this one for me. He thought it was great because it looked just like his. "Is is lined with real polar bear fur like mine?" I had to tell him no, but he said he understood. They are so difficult to give haircuts to.
Merry Christmas from the Flowers!
And Merry Christmas from our entire crew!
"Ian, you are from Prep and Landing so you must see how I communicate with my elves." Santa grabbed the tassel of his hat and said "Sprinkles, this is Santa. Come in Sprinkles." We looked over at Sprinkles, and sure enough, she was grabbing the tassel of her hat and the two of them had a conversation.
Now I know why the line was slow in moving. This Santa was giving every kid an experience with him, instead of just a quick photo op and go.
We saw it ourselves with the boy who went before us too. He was nervous meeting Santa as well so Santa asked him who his favorite character was. Turns out it was Lightning McQueen, so Santa told him the story of how Lightning had challenged Santa and Comet to a race to see who was fastest. He told the tale how they started in Cars Land, raced all through the canyons, it was neck and neck but in the end who do you think won? "You did" the little boy said. "That's right" said Santa, "because reindeer power always beats horse power!"
The Disney guest relations department will definitely be getting a compliment from me for this whole experience. From Phiphi the photographer, Sprinkles the elf who warmed Ian up before meeting Santa, and Santa himself who provided a great interaction.
Ian was happy to collect a candy cane as we left.
Next, we wandered through the stores seeing if there were any Christmas items we needed. There wasn't but I did discover these odd Frozen items. Doesn't Anna look off to you? She has reddish hair with a white streak. She's definitely not a blond.
Our group wandered through DCA looking at all the holiday decorations. Posing in front of the giant ornaments in A Bug's Land.
And running into Santa flying by in his sleigh at the studios.
Ducking into the Animation Academy just to see what we see, we happened upon Prep and Landing elves Lanny and Wayne hiding behind an ornament.
Super cute. Now we need to re-watch all the Christmas specials.
Rizzo the Rat (from the Muppets) dressed as Mickey Mouse. Tourists will never notice.
After DCA, Theresa, Ian and I said our goodbyes to Jacob and Ruston and joined everyone else in the line for Disneyland.
Ian's preferred method of travel. Disneyland itself was pretty packed today. The three of us got stuck at a crossing for the parade and I felt bad for Theresa pushing the stroller behind me.
Eventually we found ourselves at the Jingle Jamboree back at the Festival Arena behind Big Thunder Ranch.
Here Ian met a few characters who were all dressed up for the holidays.
Pluto makes a great reindeer. Ian wanted to squeeze his nose.
Something about noses. Next we met up with Mickey Mouse in his super cute Santa suit.
Well I'm glad he doesn't mind these kinds of characters.
He was in a really great mood as we waited to see what was surely a Santa imposter.
He's excited anyway.
Once we got up there though, Ian was not deceived. When I tried to get him to sit on fake Santa's lap, he twisted and turned and actually cried to get away. The real Santa was definitely over in DCA and we met him this morning. The person sits on a throne of lies.
The whole experience almost traumatized him enough that he wouldn't accept a candy cane. Almost.
But a couple minutes later, all was forgotten and he was back to being happy Ian again. He grabbed a hold of two candy canes, held them the entire walk back through the park, and didn't let them go until we were back on the bus to the Toy Story parking lot.
In all, a great day at Disneyland meeting Santa and hanging out with friends.