Celebrating the PhD: A sister trip to Disneyland

“You just finished your PhD. What are you going to do?”


That’s an approximation of a conversation that took place just minutes after defending my dissertation a few weeks ago. And last weekend, to Disneyland I went with my two beautiful sisters.

During our mid-week trip, we enjoyed phenomenal weather, super short lines and lots of bonding time. Fan-tastic. The only sore spot? Missing our lovely mother who went with us last year. Sigh. Next year!

So, the standard doctoral tam (graduation cap) doesn’t fit my giant cranium. I was so tempted to pick up these Mickey ears to substitute.
One of my dissertation references? Star Tours intergalactic travel security robots. ha.
The creepy, creepy Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room. The best part? Dole Pineapple Whip.
Brenda (left) flew all the way from New York to celebrate. Disneyland season ticket holder Emily barely needed an excuse to pop down to Mickey town.
Tower of Terror is my new favorite ride. The blind drops. The screaming. The inappropriately grabbing people’s thighs to hang on for dear life. (Oh, is that just me?).
Best churro of my life.
A few minutes in Toon Town is quite enough.
A perennial fav- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!
I walked through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle for the first time and felt compelled to watch the cartoon when  I got home. Still one of my top three Disney flicks.
Love me some Haunted Mansion. I’ve never seen such short lines. So short we walked right on, twice!
It’s been a week and I still have “It’s a Small World” stuck in my head.
Be warned. It’s a Small World is 15 (freaking) minutes long.
If I could only wield a chainsaw like this.
So serious.
The last time we visited Disneyland, Cars Land was still under construction.
Cars Land is FAB!
Since the Mamarazzi wasn’t present taking photos of us every six seconds, we started asking all of the official Disney photographers to take snaps.
Someone’s excited.


If you need to rest your feet, check out the Bug’s Life show. It’s 15 minutes of adorable.
Butterfly garden at California Adventure.
Love California Adventure’s Boardwalk.
Rawr. The roarin’ grizzly water ride? Fan-tastic, despite the fact that I got soaked twice.
If you want to stay dry on a water ride, bring me along.
The new Cars ride–Radiator Springs Racing–is great fun. Word to the wise:  Use the single rider line. Even off season, mid-week, the line was 90 minutes long.
Hot tip- Download the MouseWait app. It lets you track and update waiting times in both parks including for popular eateries like Gibson Girl and Dole Whip.
The entirely park practically came to a stand still for this family of ducks. Mama duck walked her babies right through the middle of a ride.
Sailor Donald! The lines were so short, we didn’t feel guilty stopping to meet characters.
For the record, I would SO put flower swirls in my front lawn if Mr. T wouldn’t flip out.
Friday night dinner of champions at Gibson Girl.
On our last day at Disney, we had to catch up on Splash Mountain action. In the evening, we encountered the shortest line ever. So we rode. We got soaked.
And we went again. (Grump Cat says: Zippity freaking doo dah)
And AGAIN! Four times in one day!
Space Mountain. The best way to start the day at Disney.
Lots to explore at California Adventure.
So close to buying these adorable ears… Dear hat/headband makers of the world: Can we please stop having “One size fits all”?? Some of us have huge noggins, okay??
Could they be any more adorable?
We visited the princesses, of course. Aurora here grilled me about how many dragons Mr. T slew to win my hand and of course, how many rooms my castle would have.
Would that I could grow beauties like this!
Toad lovers, unite!


Other magical adventures:
– Ridiculous amounts of fun: A mother-daughter Disneyland adventure
– Flying solo at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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