Friday, January 16, 2009

Childhood Magic

Right before we moved to Arkansas, we took 3-year-old Snapper to Disneyland. We had a great time riding the carousel and teacups and seeing the princesses. But Snapper, being a complete wimpy chicken, would not ride anything without a fuss. Her courage has not improved much since then. She still won't even ride her bike with training wheels on it. So when we planned a day at Disneyland into our trip, I didn't have much hope that we would do much more than ride the carousel and the teacups and stand in line for hours to get princess autographs.

We arrived at Disneyland at 11:30 yesterday morning (confounded So. Cal traffic!). Snapper was literally jumping up and down with excitement. Pepper was completely clueless. We walked into the park just in time to see Mickey Mouse walking down the street. We quickly purchased hats for the kids, and then went to see Mickey. Pepper was beside himself with excitement! He jabbered on a mile a minute to Mickey, hugged him, kissed his leg, it was so cute!

Then we headed for the rides. Snapper saw Star Tours, and insisted she wanted to go on the Star Wars ride. I knew how intense that ride is, but decided to take her on it anyway. I figured it would be a good predictor for the rest of our day. To my surprise, she loved it. Then she saw the Matterhorn and wanted to ride it, too. Again, I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. She surprised me again by squealing and laughing her way through it. We kept building up, and by the end of the day we were able to ride everything in the park. The capstone of the day was Space Mountain, which neither one of us loved. She decided that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was her very favorite ride. We went on it 3 times, and she would have ridden it all day if I had let her. When we get back to Santa Cruz, I'm going to take her to the Boardwalk for one ride on the Giant Dipper, a wonderful old wodden roller coaster. I think she will love it.

Pepper enjoyed a lot of the rides, too. He has a cold, so he wasn't feeling 100%. But even so, nothing bothered him in the least. He loved the new Buzz Lightyear ride, Dumbo, and driving his own car in Autopia. He even went on Pirates of the Caribbean! Poor little Pepper, though. He just ran out of steam at dinner time. We watched the Star Wars stage show, and he melted down when it was over. I think he would have watched it happily for the rest of the night. He cried and cried while we waited for our pizza to cook. He was too tired to feed himself, so Matt held the pizza for him. Pepper's eyes kept closing as he ate, and he could hardly sit up. After he finished his pizza, I wrapped him up in Matt's sweatshirt and he was gone. He slept in the stroller until we left the park at 7:30. He slept all the way home. He never woke up when we put him in his jammies. And he slept straight through the night until 8:00 this morning. Never in his life has Pepper slept more than 12 hours! Last night he slept for 14 hours!

The best part of the day for me was seeing Pepper delight in the characters, and watching Snapper make a huge step against her fears. Disneyland may not be full of magic for me anymore, but I get to relive the old magic through my kids. I think it is even more to go to Disneyland as a parent than it is to go as a child! The conclusion of the night was kissing my prince in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. After all, Disneyland is where our relationship began. But that's a whole 'nother story for another day.

Visit to make your own!


Lori said...

What a great day! I'm sure you'll be able to make a whole scrapbook out of the memories. :)

The Yorks said...

Whitney sounds a lot like me. I'm still a bit scared of the Giant Dipper.