CaliforniaFamilyFamily TravelMotherhoodSan Diego

Her Princess Birthday on Main Street


My one and only girl is turning seven in just a few weeks and she will only be carefree and young for only so long.  I really wanted to make it special for her as I remember seven being my favorite age.  We gave her a choice to have a birthday party or go to Disneyland and I am so happy she chose Disney for her birthday celebration.  My goal: to feed the magic and let her feel like the 7-year-old princess she should be.

We decided to do all of this over this past Spring Break because we could go for a few days without missing any sports or dance commitments.  We put our blinders on to the crowds and went unflinching to accomplishing our goal.  This time we stayed at Paradise Pier, which is one of the first hotels at Disneyland.  They hotel knew it was her birthday so they gave her and her brothers balloons and an autographed photo of Elsa & Anna.



We couldn’t get the kids out of the hotel pool and spent most of first afternoon going down the water slide.  It was a beautiful moment for me to watch the gang having so much fun.  It felt great for all of us to break away from the crazy schedules we all have.  We all need that from time to time.








After my children turned to prunes we decided to venture into Downtown Disney.  It was our first time seeing this part of Disneyland.  Bobby and I grew up on the East Coast and grew up going Disney World so it was interesting to see the differences between the two parks.

We ate at the House of Blues and let our princess make her own bear at Build-A-Bear.  I got the chance to experience this alone with her, while Bobby took the boys to Ride Makerz where they custom designed their own race cars; perfect for my little speed demons.

Having this experience with my Dylan reminded me so much of my grandmother Lucy and how she fussed over me and always put me first.  It feels great as a mom to do the same things with my little girl.  We had such a fun time creating her new bear, Jezebel.  She got to choose her bear, pick a strawberry scent, give her a bath, pick the cutest outfits and actually go into a dressing room to dress her.  And before leaving, she received a birth certificate as a keepsake.







We enjoyed waking up the next day with the sun rising over the park.  Our views were spectacular and set the mood for the day ahead.  We took in a few shows, and rode a plethora of rides.  Of course Bobby and my oldest Jackson loved the fast roller coasters, while Dylan, Roman & I pursued the ones that moved the slowest.





At night we decided to check out California Adventures light show.  Luckily for us, we had the option to view this at the ground level or from the comforts of our room.  We stayed long enough to try both ways and I loved it from our room.  All you had to do was set the TV to the channel that plays the music from the live performance.





On our last night we decided to let Dylan have a princess makeover at The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique located at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  From the moment we walked in the cast was pampering her as if she truly was a princess.  She loved everything about this pampering and for me I was whimpering because I wanted to hold onto this moment forever.  We chose together what princess she would be and she chose Belle.  Her Fairy Godmother was Nancy and she was pretty much the sweetest person you could ever meet.  It was like she stepped straight out of a fairytale.  I was so impressed with her and everyone at this boutique.  And with these three simple words, Bibbidi, Bobbity Boo, my sweet Dylan was transformed into the most beautiful princess.



What was so great about Dylan becoming a princess, was her brothers got the chance to become knights.  They too got to sit in the special chairs with Fairy Godmother’s fussing over them and making their hair look dapper.  In the end, they had to say a pledge to protect their princess sister Dylan and both received a sword and shield for the job.  That also was another moment that was beautiful and I held back tears taking it all in.







All three of them stayed in character all day and watching Dylan transform into Belle was quite magical.







We ended our experience at one of the big parades on Main Street.  I couldn’t ask for a better birthday for my little girl.  When the characters passed her by they all curtsied to her and blew her kisses.  They fussed when they saw her dressed like one of them.  It was fascinating for all of us to watch.  The best was when Belle came passing by and when she and Dylan locked eyes it surely was magical.  It was an experience my Dylan will treasure for years to come. (Me too!)

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Overall,  her 7th birthday was not going to be outdone!  It was the perfect fairytale any girl could dream of.  Watching her bring in her 7th year in such a magical way left all of us all in awe and so thankful to share this occasion with her.  These are some of my favorite moments as a mother and I count my blessings everyday.   Thank goodness I photograph it all so I could go back and remember every expression, every laugh and every smile.



I would love to hear from you.  Have you done the princess makeover at Disney? Let me know and comment below!




  1. Never did the princess experience but we did spend a lot of time at Disneyland when we were stationed there in the early 80’s. Your adventure sounds wonderful! That is one thing I miss about California is how much there is to do. I know you probably don’t need any more tour guide advice, but one of my favorite spots is the Wax museum in Buena Park.
    Thanks for posting I love hearing all about your family. Bobby has always been one of my favorite young people and to see him with such a beautiful and loving family is just awesome!


    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      Thank you so much for reading snippets of our life…. I am so happy you are enjoying it… I will absolutely check out the wax museum. Sounds like so much fun! I will show bobby this post…. xoxox

  2. Oh Danielle…this post brought tears to my eyes!!! How incredibly magical!!! Sweet Dylan deserved every single bit of that magic on her 7th birthday! I truly love Disney. The instant joy that embraces you when you arrive and the magic that surrounds every single moment is truly the greatest gift. Thank you for sharing the magic of Dylan’s 7th! Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl!!! Much love!

  3. I’ve never been, but would love to one day. The twins will be 5 in September and they absolutely adore Minnie, Mickey and all the princesses. I love reading your blogs. They are soooo beautifully written.


  4. Love all your posts but of course enjoyed this one for my love of Disney. We’ve been twice now to DL and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian but loved your views from Paradise Pier. Thinking about going this year for the Diamond Anniversary! So enjoying booking Disney trips for friends and family on both coasts. Oh and Ella did the BBB in Disney World when she was around Dylan’s age. Loved every minute of it although felt the bun was just a little too tight. Enjoy these precious moments-they go by so fast and congrats on #4!

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      This means a lot to me hearing from you and knowing you are enjoying my posts. I remember you loving disney from seeing pics posted… I really want to stay at the Grand California next for sure!!!! Looks amazing and reminded me of the wilderness lodge…. Great to hear from you and thank you!!!! xo

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