Thursday, May 28, 2009

Still Happy

We did it! We survived The Happiest Place on Earth and we're still The Happy Ones! We have seen so many not-so-happy visitors as a result of a visit to The Mouse that we wondered if it was possible to go and not come out completely miserable (les miserables, in French...the opposite of the name of this blog).

I have so much to share about our visit, but I know you just want to see the pictures. Before I forget, let me start by recording for posterity's sake that Lukas said our home is The Happiest Place on Earth, not Disneyland. All together now, AWWWW!

Kathrin's help made a huge difference in our great adult for every child in our group! We bought one-year passes for our family so we can return again and again, and we had briefly thought I might be able to take the kids by myself during the week while Tom's at know, just for 2-3 hours. Well, after the production of getting to the park from the parking lot (load children on stroller, unload for tram, reload at park), I realized that a solo adult and our three children would be quite difficult (what one person is going to hold two small children and the stroller on the tram?) It is possible for me to park in a place where I don't have to use the tram, but it would mean a lot of walking, and then I would have to hold Natalie and Konrad on every ride. Anyway, I'll explore it again in the fall, after our passes' summer black-out dates are over, and our children are older and hopefully more able to sit on a seat during a ride.

Konrad did not nap in the morning before we left (even though I tried to make it happen), so of course he was tired and fell asleep in the park. I think it was a little overstimulating for him, anyway, so he used sleep to tune out. But he ended sleeping very long, which meant he didn't want to nap when we came home in the afternoon for lunch and naps...and then he was too tired to eat dinner and fell asleep instead of eating dinner. Which meant he woke up in the middle of the night hungry and thirsty. And this morning he didn't nap because we went to therapy, but at least I got some lunch in him before he collapsed from fatigue for afternoon nap.

Natalie did great in the morning, walking a little at the park in between rides, and standing in line okay...not great, just okay. When we came back in the afternoon, we asked for the disabled card, which let us enter through the handicapped entrance (they counted our stroller as a wheelchair for her)...which cut our wait time significantly. We didn't ever get on a ride right away, but having to wait for the Nemo ride only 15 minutes instead of 75 minutes made a huge difference...we wouldn't have stood in line that long, because Natalie actually could barely handle the 15 minute wait in the afternoon, and she definitely wouldn't handle 75 minutes out of the stroller, if we went through the normal line.

Lukas had a fun time, but it's so hard to find rides for him that aren't too scary, but aren't for babies. We ended up doing the rides for very small children (Small World, Tea Cups, Circus Train), because most of the bigger rides (Dumbo, etc) are too much for him right now. I hope that I can come back sometime just with him, and give him the attention he needs to increase his confidence in going on "scarier" rides.

Kathrin and I came back after dinner to ride the roller coasters. I saw several kids riding them who were Lukas' age and younger and I just marveled that they didn't wet their pants! Several times I commented that there was no way Lukas would get on a ride like's amazing how kids are different.

We're exhausted. We learned some lessons on how to make our next trip better. Most of all, we're glad our children aren't so "commercialized" that they know every character at Disneyland and know what everything is. Lukas said his favorite ride is the tram (from the parking lot to the park). Hey, after our passes run out, I know how we can ride that ride for free!

You already saw the "before" are the "after" pictures:

Lukas is silly happy.

Natalie is signing either "banana" or "star" (as in Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Konrad is happy that he got his pacifier most of the day.


BusyBee said...

That's great that you got passes! The Johnsons have them and go all the time, you could meet up with them there. You can park at the Downtown Disney parking lot and walk to the front gates, it's a little bit of a walk, but so much easier than having to load and unload strollers. The first 3 hours are free too:) I did that last time we went with my mom in her wheelchair and it was so much better! Have fun!

Kelly said...

Looks like fun! I loved Lucas' comment on his Happiest Place! Kelly F

Kelly said...

Wow...what fun! I really think the third adult is the key to big outings like that.

Kelly W.