The Magic Is Real

04/28/2011 By Shawn Burns

We took Erin to Disneyland for her fourth birthday. Is anyone surprised by this?There were so many special moments of special specialness that I’m afraid I will forget all of them.

It all began with a dress.


It was a dress Erin didn’t want to take off for the three days we spent at the park.

We took her to Ariel’s Grotto for a birthday lunch with a parade of Princesses, but it will only be remembered in pictures. After everything else that happened, and that didn’t cost extra, this almost feels like a low point to the trip. Although as low points go it’s pretty high.

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Here follows a selection of awesome moments, spectacular moments, sweet moments, and awesome moments. Did I say “awesome moments” already? They were awesome.

Erin hammed it up on Main Street for me.


And we took our usual picture in front of the window at Mickey’s House.


Erin’s Rapunzel was there again and really went above and beyond to make Erin’s birthday visit a special one. Adrian followed Rapunzel around and kept trying to show her things. “Wa-punzul! Wa-punzul! Wook!” He also braved it up enough to give Flynn Rider a high five.


For the first time we attended the Super-Princess Coronation Extravaganza! It was BYOP (Bring your own princess), so we brought ours, fake smile and all.


Erin decided to dance with the attendant as the princesses taught the audience some moves.


And then Cinderella came down from the stage for the maypole dance and made a beeline straight for Erin. She took Erin’s hand and they danced around together, and then Cinderella gave her a giant hug before she left.


(I spent a lot of time with kids on my shoulders. I consider the sparkles left on my neck by Erin’s dress a badge of Dadly Honour.)


During Turtle Talk with Crush, Erin got to ask Crush a question (which, for her, just meant telling the room the name of the town she lived in, because she had a microphone and wasn’t afraid to use it) then Crush led the whole room in singing Happy Birthday to her. In Turtle, the song goes “Dude, dude dude, dude, dude, dude. Dude, dude dude, dude, dude dude. Happy Hatch Day dear Erin. Dude, dude dude, dude, dude, dooooooood.”

We scored rare seats in the driver’s compartment on the monorail.



This was cool for the view, and also cool because I got to see that the monorail driver basically uses a joystick from the old Tron arcade game to drive.


Even the rain on Sunday conspired with us to make Erin’s birthday special.


Because after the rain stopped, Erin wanted to go on the Alice in Wonderland ride. But since the cars were still wet, the attending cast member had to tell a very sad little girl in purple that the ride was closed for a while. It reopened after a short time, and we waited in line and got to ride it. Then, a few hours later, as we were walking around Fantasyland, the same cast member who had told us the ride was closed saw us and remembered Erin. She asked if we’d made it on the ride, and we told her we had, but she took us all over to Alice in Wonderland anyway and brought us to the front of the line so Erin could ride it again. This girl has a power I cannot explain.

I wish I could take credit for this picture. But I took it while walking away from Erin, with the camera hanging down and facing behind me as I casually aimed and pressed the button. I had no idea that sign was there until I looked at the picture later.


In another random turn, four Disneyland security guards sang Happy Birthday to Erin as we played by the water ball in Tomorrowland. Grandma seemed to know one of them, so it was probably her doing.


After the exit attendant on the Snow White ride saw us in line for the 3rd time in a row in a ten minute period, she just started sending our car through again automatically as we reached the end of the ride instead of making us get off. I could only handle that ride five times in a row, but Erin could have ridden it all day and night.

When Adrian comes into his own, Disneyland is just going to have to be renamed “Erin and Adrian’s Personal and Private Amusement Park”.


He’s already working on “The Smolder”.


And he has his mom wrapped around his finger.


We are the proud parents of some amazing kids.


We stopped by for one last visit to Rapunzel and Flynn near the end of the last day.


And that visit was capped off by a final bit of awesome.

There is real magic at Disneyland. It’s in the people who visit, and the people who work there, and it’s in sweet little faces even after they are too tired to go on even one more ride.


It started with a dress, and it ended with a dress. But it was the girl, not the dress, that cast the spell.


Happy Birthday Erin. I don’t know how we’re going to top this one.