My daughter and I had the best vacation ever.
We have a long history with Disney. My son’s first trip was when he was only about 3 months old. We were in town for my friend’s wedding and she wanted to go to Disney in lieu of a bachelorette party. Needless to say he wasn’t too excited about Space Mountain at that time.
Cut to when he’s 3 ish. We went with my mom and brothers and truthfully, I only remember him melting down at the end of the day as we were walking towards Autopia. My oldest brother ended up trying to carry a kicking screaming child.
The next visit I was about 7 months pregnant. My 4 year old child had an EPIC meltdown because he could not ride in the front of the It’s A Small World boat.
He was ranting and rolling and screaming on the bench of the second row. Yes… that’s right.. this evil witch of a mom actually expected him to compromise and ride in row 2.
We haven’t been back to that ride since.
Next up, we went back when my daughter was nearly 3. She got croup, ended the first day with vomiting all over her stroller and favorite blanket and spiked a fever. The second day we ventured out late because the fever was gone, the coast seemed clear, and we went just to make the already reserved Princess Lunch at Ariell’s Grotto. Everything seemed fine until we sat down. After the first course, the Princesses began floating out, at the start of the second course my daughter ralphed all over the table and plates. We frightened and shocked Belle.
I spent the rest of that day in the hotel with a child who was obviously sick, but was showing no consistent signs of what was wrong.
The third day we took it easy and actually got to walk the board walk at CA Adventures and my son won a big Dumbo for his sister. After landing back at home, we headed straight to the Urgent Care where we found out she had croup. (and has had it every year since)
This visit was highlighted by the fact that we understood my son had sensory issues that would not at all tolerate long hot close-quarter lines and fast rides. We had a pass that got us on rides quickly, but by no means did he want to ride anything faster than a ferris wheel. We stuck to dark rides, Dumbo, and the only relatively adventurous ride was Star Tours. He actually loved that one. I bribed him to try out Indiana Jones, and he wasted no time disembarking while telling me how much he hated it. Too loud. Too jerky. Too fast.
Last year we were fortunate to make a trip to Orlando where we went to Disney World for the first time and also Universal for Harry Potter. My daughter puked the night we got there. She was ok each day at the park, however. It helped we were there multiple days so we were able to take it easy each day and not rush around. We used the pass for my son again, and had to stay with the calmer less-
fun exciting rides.
This year when I had an opportunity to take just my daughter to Disneyland I jumped at it. She’s 5 now, and she’s 46 inches. I talked to my son and asked if he’d like to go with us. His response, “No offense, mom, but I think i’m too old for Disneyland.”
I’m working on his DNA testing now.
I tried not to get too excited at the possibility of taking a child who actually loves and can tolerate fast rides. A child I didn’t have to manage the. entire. time. A child I didn’t have to worry about, check in with, shield, compromise with, urge, encourage, praise, help, assist, bribe. And let me tell you, I love my son to pieces, but as an avid Disneyland-a-holic, each trip before was painful and just frustrating. I just had to worry about her barfing her guts out. That I can handle, apparently.
My daughter was STOKED to go on real actual live roller coasters! She had been telling everyone all week, “I’m even big enough for SPACE MOUNTAIN!!” (having no clue what that actually was)
We did Big Thunder Mountain right when we got there. I couldn’t tell if she liked it because she just sat in her seat holding on and not making a peep. Meanwhile, I’m hootin & hollering and screaming. We get back to the station and she says, “I am NOT riding the Matterhorn.” despite assuring me she had a lot of fun … ??
We did all the rides before tackling Space Mountain. I wanted to #1 make sure i wasn’t going to need to catch barf, and #2 make sure she could handle it.
I saw the wait was “only” an hour, so we headed into line. In my 39 years on this planet going to Disneyland the line for Space Mountain is never less than 90 minutes. After 25 min in line, the ride broke down.
She assured me she wanted to stay in line and wait with all the other queue-ers who waited. 10 more minutes and she was crrrrrrrying her feet were hurting. I couldn’t help my 60lb, 46 inch 5 year old because my old ass was hurting from the day’s rides. Matterhorn jacked my back up something fierce. We must have waited a total of an hour before they reopened the ride. The joy that erupted from that line was palpable.
We walked straight down the gang plank and my daughter says, “This is a sit down ride, right?” No more questions asking how fast the ride was and if she’d be scared. She just wanted to sit. We could have ridden a venom-spitting tarantula at that point and she would have been ok with it.
“Yes, it’s a sit down ride.”
We sat, we lap barred, we took off, and for the first time that day she screamed and giggled and whooped and laughed and screamed and shouted. We ended that ride with the biggest grin, the highest excited jumps, and the best reaction ever. “LET’S GO AGAIN!!”
I would have bought the picture they take mid-ride, but all of my own screaming resulted in a cough right as the camera snapped the pic. It was less than flattering.
As we left the building and store, the fireworks show was in progress and we got to see the last half from behind the Matterhorn.
We managed to make it all the way until the last parade. We even had seats along the curb, but she was falling asleep and I couldn’t push my luck any further. We loaded onto the tram where my precious adventurous wonderful girl fell asleep so hard, she only had one eye closed while the other one rolled around and her head lolled down onto her own lap.
All signs of a day at Disneyland that will never be forgotten.