Happy Birthday Cailee!

Today was the big day. Disney had given Cailee a “birthday” pin that she had worn all week. I have to say, even though celebrating birthdays at Disney appears to be a very common thing, EVERYONE makes a very big deal about birthdays and Cailee milked it all week long. At most meals she got a cupcake with a candle and they often sang Happy Birthday. We have snuck a few gifts in our bags and had saved those for Thursday morning. I was relieved that they didn’t get unwrapped at security check.

We started off our day-long celebration at the Polynesian for an Hawaiian themed breakfast at Ohana. The kids met Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto. There was a fun little Moroccan parade around the restaurant with the characters which Cailee really liked.

After breakfast we went to Magic Kingdom. No doubt, among all the theme parks this was the kids favorite, although I don’t know that they truly distinguished one from another. Today we were trying to be a bit more tactical with our approach, map in hand, we got fast passes and headed for rides we hadn’t been to before. After riding a few more rides/shows and meeting Merida (from Brave), we went to the castle for our appointment at the Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique (PS. For other moms hoping to do the same thing, book early. I barely got this reservation four months out and there were a ton of people trying to get in the day of and just getting turned away at the door).

Here the “fairy godmothers” work to dress up little girls as a princess, complete with hair, makeup, costumes, nail polish, crown, wands and more. While there was little doubt Cailee wanted to be Ariel. She stressed a little bit over which costume she wanted to wear – the princess dress or the fins. She chose the fins (I’m glad she did because this potentially a little cooler given that her belly was exposed and it had short sleeves). I was also proud of her, you could tell the girls that had visited the boutique (they were covered in glitter), walking around the park, and they had all chosen the hair bun and a standard princess dress. The entire time we were at Disney, I didn’t see another kid in Cailee’s ensemble, it was a little different, but I’m glad she’s not afraid to chart her own course. We watched a little bit in horror as they did her hair – the evolution of the hair piece was a little nervewracking but it ended up looking better than it started (if you can believe that) and she loved it – so that’s all that mattered. It’s interesting and scary how much clothes can transform someone, being all dressed up, belly bared, she immediately started strutting as she walked. It was cute at this age, but maybe not as a teenager. She did love all the attention she received as Ariel. A group of Japanese teenagers even asked to pose with her for a picture at one point – little strange/funny.

For lunch we lucked out. The one restaurant we had wanted to try but never got a reservation – even 4 months out when I tried – was “Be our guest” – the new Beauty and the Beast restaurant. At lunch its just a quick service so anyone can come and we had expected to see it that way, however, all week long the line was really really long, so its unlikely that plan would have worked. But the day we arrived we got an email inviting us to use a fast pass for the restaurant – meaning we got to jump the line. You’d better believe I jumped on that. It was great!

We rode more rides in the afternoon before dinner and met Princess Jasmine and Aladdin. Dinner was at Cinderella’s Royal table (inside the castle) and finally Cailee got to meet Cinderella, Snow white, Princess Aurora and Ariel, of course was her again. I had ordered the “Her royal highness” package so Cailee received a balloon, tiara, Ariel cake and more for her birthday. We had a good window seat and the food was good (I don’t know what the trick was but nearly everywhere we want, where it mattered, we got a good seat. I had booked the reservations well in advance so maybe that helped).

We closed the very full day by watching the Electric street parade – again we were fortunate to sneak in at the last minute and get a good spot right near the front of the parade so we could sneak out as soon as it was over – by this time it was 10pm so everyone was pretty tired. No one can say we didn’t celebrate our little girl’s 5th birthday in style. (I’m afraid she will never again want just an average ol mom-inspired party).