We planned to go to Disneyland in November of 2015. Things got delayed – long story. Then we planned for the third week of February. But Wyatt’s work put the kaibash on that. So then we thought the second week of February. The night before we were going to go Wyatt was released from Bishopric and put in the High Council. Ha ha ha. We had to stick around for that. FINALLY we went the last week of February. We booked our hotel three days before (it’s the way we roll. Keeps us flexible), and we were ready!
First we went to St. George and spent a day playing with cousins and running around. We went on a fun adventure/hike/excursion to Unicorn Mountain. It’s a place where hundreds of unicorn horns are all smashed up all over the rocks and hillside, and you can just pick them up and take them home. They’re so glittery and glowey and beautiful. The kids had a fun time and even though I told them they could only take ONE home, somehow Everett talked me into an entire bucket!
Sunday we drove from St. George to Anaheim. We continued down the freeway to Newport beach where we walked around the temple, and also along the beach and pier. After so many hours in the car it was great to stretch our legs. Monday morning we were ready to go! We thought the park opened at 8 am, so we showed up at 7:30. Guess what? It didn’t open until 10! Rather than walk back to the hotel (two blocks away) we just found a bench in downtown Disney (the shopping mall right outside the park) and let the kids wander and explore. Finally it was time to go into the park! First thing we did was make a bee-line to Splash Mountain, the kids favorite ride! It was Roo’s first time riding the amazing log flume adventure ride. He was scared to death! We spent the week riding all the rides. This was the first year Olivia and Calvin were big enough to ride ALL of the rides, so we were able to go on some that we’ve never been on before (as a family) including: Space Mountain, California Screamin’, Tower of Terror, and Indiana Jones. Everett and Roo weren’t quite big enough for all of those rides (though Ev did make it onto Tower of Terror and Space Mountain).
We went for 5 whole days instead of our usual three. It was nice because we didn’t feel pressured to be in the park the whole time. We went home several afternoons for naps, and we never stayed much past 8 pm. But because we were there five days we definitely had enough time to ride each ride a kajillion times. I think we rode Splash Mountain at least 30 times during the week. On the evening of the third day as we were walking around the park, I thought to myself, “Man, I’m glad we’re not done yet. I’m glad we’re here five days.” . . . But then by the afternoon of the fourth day, I was totally Disneylanded out. I think as the kids get older and need less naps and rest, and were able to be in the park longer during the day, three days will really be the right amount of time.
Roo was the real hero of the week though. When we first got to Disneyland he was terrified of the rides (this kid has had a deathly fear of heights since he was a wee little baby – he would never let me tip him back in my arms to feed him a bottle even. The sensation of going backwards freaked him out). The first few days he would just cry as we would ride the carousel. I would ask him if he wanted to ride some of the bigger rides (he didn’t get a choice on some rides like the carousel), and he would be sooooo torn. He really wanted to be a “big kid” and keep up with the others. But at the same time he was terrified. Each time he would bravely choose to go, but then cry and cling to me the entire time (I was super mamma being so patient . . . I’ll admit, it got a little old). But by the last day – Friday – the other kids were riding all of the rides “no hands.” Holding their hands over their heads the entire duration. And Roo decided to try it. The first ride he tried was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He had me hold him extra squeezy tight, and then he timidly let go (hand hovering just over the bar, so you wouldn’t even know he wasn’t holding on). He was so proud of himself. He tried it again on BTMR, this time hands truly in the air (again, me holding on extra squeezy tight). And then we went to Splash Mountain. And he did it! He rode it with hands in the air, even on the big drop!
And we sang “Hip hip hurray for the hero of the day! Our brave little no handed roo-boo!”
And I was sooooooo proud of him. But not nearly as proud as he was. He didn’t stop talking about his braveness for a week! Good, wonderful, brave Roo!