The most natural answer for me when people ask me “how was?” is that its much better with your own kid. Not that I’ve taken other’s kids, but that going with sal was the most fun I’ve had at disneyland – ever.
Now, it isn’t like I go every year and this was the best of 35 trips – I haven’t been there in over 20 years. But as a kid, I’m sure I had fun, though there aren’t any particularly wonderful memories around it. It was cool the night Apple rented it out and we got to go and it wasn’t so crowded, but the rides were rides – but it wasn’t magical to me (anymore?)…
Going with Sal and seeing it be magical for him was amazing. Castles! Cars! Spaceships! We weren’t just going around in circles while riding in little tubes – we were launching off into outer space to see the moon and space lions and aliens with 6 noses (references to a little skit in Blue’s Clues). Pure bliss..
“Daddy – have never been in a teacup!” and I knew we’d be going on a teacup. And I’m not sure I’ve been on it before. Probably, Perhaps. But no specific memory of riding in the teacups. Til now.
The bumper cars in the little kiddies area go pretty slow. Catherine took a movie, but it still looks like a 30 second picture with people moving their arms, but the cars staying still. They weren’t taking chances with safety. I don’t thing any energy was transfered during a collision. But Sal was driving. Estatic! When the power went off and we were getting out of the cars, he shouted over to the other car – We beat you! The mom in that car gave a little laugh. But inside, I think she cried a little. We did kick their butts.
And the fairyland faire? I don’t know how high that would have been on my list of places to go when I was a kid, but with this boy, it seemed like there wasn’t ever a question of whether or not we’d be going? He had his hopes set on meeting Cinderella. But they had 3 princesses you get to meet and they work on shifts. When we got in line, Cinderella was working…would she still be around when it was our turn? The line was maybe 20-25 people long. And hour and 15 minutes later, Cinderella was back on shift. I’m not sure if it was the same Cinderella, but here’s where the magic comes in. To Sal, it was THE Cinderella.
It reminded me of the finale of our dog training classes. We had little dog races, where I would hold Chapo and Catherine would be on the other side of the room. She’d be calling for him to come. There was another pair with their dog next to us. The dog that got to their owner first won. Now, Chapo’s undersized in these competitions, but we used it to our advantage. It made it that much easier to “rev” him up and when it was time to go, his legs were already moving, while the other dogs were starting from a dead stop. Chapo faired well…when he went to Catherine. Other people in the class generally had more interesting treats.
So Sal’s there waiting his turn to see Cinderella. He’s trying to be a good boy, but his engine is revving. He sees the girl in front of him change positions and it must be his turn. He takes off. But they’re just getting a different angle for the photos. You might not be able to unfire a gun, but you can reload it. And. Salvador was amazingly easy to get back to the waiting area. Either he was on his best behavior in front of Cinderella or he wasn’t interested in sharing her – either way, he stood back next to us and waited his turn.
When it was his turn, he was a rocket – running over to her. She called him a handsome prince and she was awestruck and all that chatter and talk about Cinderella was replaced with an oh-my-gosh-I’m-sitting-next-to-cinderella look on his face and he was just smiles and giggles and a little “do you want to talk about superheroes?”
Turns out all therefer to all the boys as handsome, so I got a little jaded after our next , , Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahauntas encounters. But Sal didn’t. We got suckered into spending 16 bucks on a kids meal (which was a large spoonful of mac and cheese with half a hot dog on top of it and some carrot and celery sticks) so that Sal could lunch with the princesses. Best overpriced lunch ever.
He offered this Snow White a carrot stick. After he took a bite out of it. She declined politely enough. But it was terrific just watching him interact. Shy, confused, excited, all jumbled.
And Ariel – who is now sometimes referred to as his favorite? He got all huggy with her, would walk away, blow kisses, then ran back to hug her again. Then walked away, blew kisses…you see how she’s sitting on the floor like that? With the dress cleverly covering her legs, so you can’t tell if she’s got mermaid flippers or legs underneath? Well, it is kind of an awkward position no? So when Sal goes running back for his third set of hugs and he leaps into her arms, he catches her off balance and they go down. No pictures were taken – we all thought the experience was over a few hugs earlier. But the staff did comment to me that he’s the most enthusiastic kid they’ve seen in a long while. Enthusiastic seems like a nice way of putting it.
He was too short for most of the rides, but only had one meltdown over the zip line ride that he was too short for. He took a good nap during day 1 at Disneyland. Day 2 was a little less running around at the California Adventures park so he lasted through the whole thing, which climaxed with a Pixar parade. That started with, yes, Lightning McQueen.
The parade is planned for the summer time, so they have random things squirting water out randomly off their floats. At least it seemed that way. Until the Buzz Lightyear float came around. Sal started screaming like there was another princess around. He’s never really seen Toy Story (brief bits here and there) and we don’t know why he’s into Buzz so much, but it was clear he was. The blonde mom in front of Sal in the photo there, she had to turn around to see if Sal was okay, the way he was screaming. But the screaming got Buzz’s attention and they exchanged a few finger guns and thumbs up signs, until a fish on the float shot Sal with a generous shot of water. This isn’t water gun type blasts of water. Imagine those fountains where you see the water streams being controlled – like about a dime sized column of water.
Sal takes it in the head. He’s laughing and squealing still and runs back to get out of the line of fire. Then another blast of water comes and I had assumed the timing was sporadic and that the squirters were fixed in direction. But the way this second shot tagged Sal again, I started to wonder. He’s still excited and runs over to Catherine and her parents. The float continues on its merry path. Sal is all grins, wiping his face trying to get the water off it when a 3rd blast from the float gets him again. I look back at the squirter and it does look fixed so maybe Sal’s defensive serpentine needs some help…still, he loved it.
Mater closed out the parade and the kid was pleased with the two day experience. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s into the Disney channel now, with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show – which I don’t quite get and doesn’t seem as pseudo educational as some other kids shows, but whatever. he’s into the characters now. Even though Mickey did give him a little noogie. And we probably should get some princess anthology so he knows what ails them all. And now, we’re often asked by the little dude – “Hey, do you want to goto Dis-a-knee-land again?” I think we will. And thanks to his grandparents for helping me realize that this trip wasn’t just for him, but for us too.