After my rather morose post from yesterday, let’s have a more cheery topic here shall we? We made a trip to Disneyland in early April and if there was one word or rather two words to describe the day for me they were “laid back”!
This is super different from how I was at our Disneyworld (DW) visit in 2014. With DW I wanted to ensure we got the most out of trip and that we did every single ride we could with Bandar at the height she was then. But this time at Disneyland (DL) , Bandar was actually taller and could go on a bunch of rides , but we went through the park as leisurely as we could and I did not stress, for the most part.
Firstly, can I just say its so nice not having to buy flight tickets to go to Disneyland? We can actually do the 1.5 hr drive back and forth on the same day. Yeah for that! We initially thought we would spend the night at a hotel near Disneyland the night before to make it to the park when the gates opened at the crack of dawn , but with work in the way, we dropped that idea and just decided to have an early morning start and late night return.
Bandar was up in a flash as soon as I said Disenyland at about 6:30 am in the morning and changed in the car on our way over. We ate some fruits and granola bars on our way over there. I also had a bag of sandwiches, nuts and candy packed for our lunch there. We got there closer to 9 am, I think and as usual getting from the parking lot to the gates was the most irritating ordeal. Once in, we did our walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle, with Bandar constantly saying she did not want to see the bad fairy. Then we were in Fantasyland and did almost all the rides there – Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Mr. Toad’s ride, Peter Pan, Dumbo and the carousal. As we were doing most of these the second time around after DW , I was less impressed. Some were plain silly like the Toad one. A lot of the fun for us was seeing Bandar really take in the rides this time. She wasn’t even two years old during DW so this time she really enjoyed herself. She even agreed to go on Dumbo, and later said that was one of her favorites. She had refused to go on this one 1.5 years ago, just goes to show that kids outgrow their fears eventually. We then took a break for lunch and ate our sandwiches and snacks.
We then headed to Toon Town, which were really the most pointless area in the park for us, in my opinion. Bandar isn’t a fan of getting too close to any of the characters and had no interest in seeing Mickey or Mnnie’s house. Instead we did the silly Roger Rabbit ride and then Bandar played to her little heart’s content in the play area. At one point, I was more than a little agitated that we were wasting our expensive tickets in a play area like one we would find at any mall or street corner. But the husband groudned me by simply pointing to content Bandar,who was at that point sitting atop a play pumpkin quite majestically , commanding her presence over tinier toddlers. She was definitely enjoying herself and that was all that mattered.We then saw a Mickey show, which Bandar enjoyed and got most of and it was done pretty well, like everything Disney usually is.
We then headed to “It’s a small world” ride, which remains a universal favorite in our house and we enjoyed pointing out the various countries to Bandar. Bandar then wanted to go on a submarine- the Finding Nemo ride This was the longest line we stood in that day – about 1 hr 15 mins and played a guessing game to keep ourselves going.(Side note: Another reason I love this age!They can actually play some games of intellect now.) Bandar enjoyed this ride too, though the husband felt a tad claustrophobic in the enclosed space.
Then we put Bandar in her stroller and she feel asleep , tired out. It was about 3:30 pm pm and we debated heading out to a desi thali, versus hanging out in downtown Disney. We decided to stick with downtown Disney as transferring a sleeping child from stroller to trolley to carpark was too complicated and a huge risk of waking her up grumpy. Instead we settled on Burgers at the Rainforest Café. .The service was a little slow, so Bandar was up and a little grumpy at first but soon settled down and let us eat. We then headed back to the park for the last sprint.
Inside the park, we saw Tarzan’s Tree House, which was fun for us all. (Guess the equivalent of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at DW). We then did the Pirates of the Carribbean ride. This ride,according to both the H and I, was the most well done one. The scenes and lighting and even the music and everything! Bandar was a little frightened as it was a little too realistic for her!
And that was all the rides we did that day and I was satisfied!
I couldn’t help taking in all the “Disneyness” around me. Little girls in their princess costumes and elaborate hairdos, everyone with their Mickey ears, the lines for Dole whip – somehow the more Disney exposure I get the less mesmerized I am and the less I want to succumb to the merchandize and everything else. (And of course my child is only 3.5 now and can still be convinced that a $15 Mickey shaped balloon will burst just like any other in a few days time. But I have no illusions that I will be able to hold her back when she is older.Then you realize that Disney is still a dream for most Americans, and some families save up for months or years to make the trip.And then the Make- A-Wish Foundation kids you invariably see at the park are heart wrenchingly sad scenes, but it makes me think that the magic of Disney might not be all that terrible and has really given millions of kids so much happiness.
We then squeezed ourselves into a reluctant group for the parade. The parade started 1.5 hrs later, the husband was a little tired and grumpy and we snarled at each other a few times as we waited, one reason being I unknowingly made Bandar sit on some dirty water or coffee spill or something, and if there is anything the H hates its unhygiene, especially as it relates to Bandar. Anyway she was changed and was semi dry and no major damage was done. The parade was strictly average in my opinion compared to what I remembered at DW . They didn’t even have all the princesses. We had seen the 7 dwarfs and Snow White etc, at DW and I was expecting them here too. Instead some of the Pixar characters who I do not even know or care about made an appearance. They made up for it during the fireworks though..Ohhh, so beautiful even for the adults. And the lighting and effects around you during the fireworks on Main street is of course amazing. .Bandar watched from the husband’s shoulders and then we finally left the park. We forced Bandar to make a potty stop prior to getting into the car and then we drove home.She slept about 10 minutes into the drive and we enjoyed the quite chit chat on our way home. There is nothing quite like getting into your own bed at the end of a tiring day.