Note: After a two-month hiatus (WHERE HAS MY SUMMER GONE?), I’m ready to keep going on the recap of our April Disneyland trip. Luckily, I’ve started a little trip tradition where I jot down notes at the end of the day so that I have journal prompts later. Whether you’re a blogger or someone who keeps a diary, I highly recommend taking a minute at the end of your vacation days to do a quick chronological recap of events! Even if it’s just a list of places you went or food you ate, you’d be surprised how much of it will slip out of your brain before you go home if you don’t write it down!!
On the morning of our first full day in Disneyland, Kyle and I experienced something we had never had to deal with before: waiting to go to the parks.
We’re morning park people. We get there when the gates are closed. We’re there for the countdown. We’re there with our passes out and our route planned for the countdown. We don’t wait.
Unfortunately, Eva wasn’t cooperating. After a late night of screaming at me in fury, she was sleeping in and we’ve learned that it’s schedule suicide to wake her up early. That will only result in complete meltdowns and a lack of cooperation down the road, so we crept around the hotel room and tidied/dressed/paced until she woke up. In the meantime, we watched the minutes tick by on the clock. Tick. Twenty minutes to opening. Tick. Ten minutes. Tick. Gates are open. Tick. All of our favorite rides have thirty minute waits.
She did wake up eventually after one of us may or may not have “accidentally” kicked her crib and Kyle popped over to the McDonald’s up the road while I dressed her for the park. I had a whole suitcase of park outfits planned out so that we could maximize her cuteness and on the first full day she was scheduled for a Minnie Mouse onesie and some ears on a headband that an Etsy seller had sent when she was born.
She looked adorable, but I have to admit that the ears didn’t really work. She’s old enough to immediately rip headbands off now, so the headband had to go and although the ears are hair clips that should attach by themselves, she doesn’t have much hair up top so there was nothing to anchor them. She did make it into the park looking cute, but ripped the ears off repeatedly until sad little clumps of baby hair started to come with them. She also overheated within hours because the Minnie Mouse outfit had long sleeves, so by the time we left the park she was naked and a bit balder. Just something to keep in mind if you have your toddler fashion plates planned like I did.
As I mentioned, we had missed the opening of Disneyland, but we were able to just catch the opening for California Adventure, so we decided to head over there and take it a bit easy without the crowds. All of the construction for Cars Land was still going on, so we were funneled through decidedly unattractive passages until we ended up over by Soarin’, which means that Eva wasn’t too interested in the park around her. She perked up just a bit by the time we made it back to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (which we rushed to because we thought there would be a huge line) and we were happy to park the stroller, snag the baby, and basically walk onto the ride.
I was psyched (PSYCHED) for this ride. I can’t remember which DVD had the simulation of it, but I thought it looked amazing and I was even more psyched for Eva to see it. The Little Mermaid was simply one of my favorite movies growing up and I figured this would be her most magical of Disney experiences on this trip.
I don’t know what the deal is, but Eva hates this ride. Hates it. She wasn’t interested in the characters, didn’t want to sit by herself (we were instructed not to let her sit on our laps), and by the middle of the ride she started to complain loudly. We exited the ride when it was over and decided that she just hadn’t warmed up to the park thing yet and maybe she needed a second look to suck up all the magic and pixie dust. So, we walked onto the ride again.
Rule #2 when traveling with a baby at Disneyland: If something just isn’t working, do not persist in that activity. It will only aggravate the situation.
The second ride was downright unpleasant. Eva, upon realizing that she was in the ride for a second time, began to complain with a mounting fury that might have been unmatched up to that point. She shoved at the lap bar, kicked her shoes off, tore the Mickey ears from her hair, and started an angry wail that only stopped when Kyle picked her up and put her on his lap. We aren’t much for intentionally ignoring cast member instructions, but there’s a parental panic that happens when you realize your child is single-handedly ruining the vacation experiences of every other child in the vicinity, so I was just relieved that they didn’t stop the ride or kick us off or anything when we moved her. We finished in a bubble of slightly quieted discontent and exploded out of the ride in a rush to find something (ANYTHING) that would please the baby before she completely fell apart.
Side note – it could have been the company I was keeping, but I didn’t like that ride much either. After the hype, I wanted to be wowed but I was underwhelmed. I’m not sure if that means that Disney is cutting corners or if it means that they’ve risen my expectations too high with other stunning attractions, but I’m hoping to see a ride update in the future. Until then, the Morgans are steering clear.