We had arranged for Eva to spend the night with my parents at their hotel room on the night that Kyle and I enjoyed World of Color because we had an early morning family photo session the next day and I had arranged for Tara of Fairytale Hair and Makeup to come to our room and do my hair. Since she was set to arrive a couple of hours before Eva needed to wake up, we thought it would be easier to let her sleep in while we caught up.
I’ve been working with Tara for more than two years now, but we had never managed to be in the same place at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo of us in all the excitement, so I’ll just have to tell you that we chatted like people who’ve known each other for decades while she managed to wrangle my not-so-cooperative hair into something manageable. She also did my makeup, sticking close to my usual style so I wouldn’t look “too done up” for our family pictures.
Photo by White Rabbit Photo Boutique
If you’re having family photos taken at Disneyland, I strongly suggest having someone come in to do your hair and makeup (unless you’re a pro at that sort of thing). It might seem silly to spend the extra money when it isn’t a big occasion like your wedding, but you’re going to enjoy those photos for years and the chances are high that you’ll have them on display in your office/home/Facebook albums. If it’s going to mean the difference between liking your family photos and loving your family photos, I suggest spending the extra bit of money. It’s also a good idea to go with someone who is willing to travel to your hotel room (like Fairytale Hair and Makeup) so you don’t have to worry about getting to and from the Disneyland resort area before your session.
As we gabbed on, we ran a little bit late so I had to dash out as soon as Tara left to pick up the baby and get her ready for the session. Unfortunately, it was raining and I wasn’t bright enough to pack an umbrella on this trip, so my hair kind of did its own thing between seeing Tara and meeting Jenna from White Rabbit Photo Boutique. (Word to the wise – weather is unpredictable so be sure to plan for it all!)
I picked up Eva, popped over to Disneyland, and was getting her dressed in her stroller outside the main gates when Jenna caught up with us. Jenna had invited us to do a character breakfast as a way to break the ice and get some for-sure character shots with the baby, so we were able to enter the park before the gates officially opened. In retrospect, we probably could have gotten some great shots on the way to the restaurant, but Kyle had run back to the resort to grab something we had forgotten and I was too caught up chatting with Jenna to notice that we were missing photo opps. Oops!
We had reservations at Plaza Inn, so we were able to (A) eat there for the very first time and (B) enjoy our first character dining experience as a family. In fact, it was my first character dining experience ever since I have a slight terror of the characters who wear heads, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it less intimidating than the meet-n-greets in the parks. I think the big difference is that you’re sitting at a table and you can see the characters coming, whereas in the parks you have to get right there next to them for photos and half the time they’re coming out of nowhere – popping right out of the walls like they’re trying to get you. (No? Really? Just me, then?)
The other thing that made the character dining easier was that the baby is a character magnet and the characters wanted nothing to do with Kyle, Jenna, or me. Eva was pleased as punch to be the center of attention and Jenna got a ton of amazing photos!
All Photos by White Rabbit Photo Boutique:
Breakfast was fun, delicious, and well-worth the price of character dining. It’s a safe bet that we’ll be going again in the future, although we’ll probably be hopping around to catch the different characters. Not everyone realizes this, but the character breakfasts offer a set “menu” of characters at each location, so if you’re really looking forward to a favorite character it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand to make sure that your Disney celebrity of choice will be there!