Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Can you have fun at Disneyland with little kids in torrential rain? A Christmas story

First I should say, we actually were prepared for rain. It's just that it was The Downpour-of-the-Year that day. We had rain jackets and sneakers, not sandals (unlike some other poor/hopeful souls we saw), but we should have had a rowboat and oars. We were not prepared for rain that soaked us so hard our rain jackets were wet on the inside; rain that come so steadily that our fingers actually raisined; rain that was driven by wind and only seemed to get harder as the day wore on.

So we began our day at 8 AM with gray clouds and hope, and ended it at 2 PM fully soaked with two very wet girls. But my big takeaway from all this was, our girls can rock adverse weather. :) Yes, they were definitely crying and cold and upset at the end. But they really did their best, and I have to say their bounceback after leaving early was remarkable. Even most adults would have been upset about losing most of the day's fun to storms (especially after paying so much for tickets). On that front, the great thing is that we got the tickets through a benefit for a friend's nonprofit, California Coalition for Youth, so the money went to a good cause.

I'm happy to report we did get in a lot of fun in the hours we had, and I think it actually was probably just right for a four year old's and a two year old's first trip to Disneyland. And the fireworks were canceled anyway due to rain. Bless their beautiful souls, the girls didn't complain once about leaving early (and we are grateful that they don't have to know about ticket prices), so we are all good.

And for anyone else taking kids to their first trip to Disneyland, here's a list of what we did in 6 hours that might be helpful for you:

  • Admired the windows on Main Street
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Pixie Hollow (30 min in line to take pictures with fairies!)
  • Peter Pan
  • King Arthur's carousel
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Sleeping Beauty's castle walkthrough
  • quick lunch on Main Street
  • went to rent strollers
  • Winnie the Pooh ride
  • walk through New Orleans Square

But then the tiredness from the early morning set in, and the rain began to drive down even harder. Paloma napped in her stroller under a roof while Sabrina and I went on Winnie the Pooh (which, sadly, is all about Winnie and Friends making it through a Very Blustery Day in the Hundred Acre Wood).

The saddest moment was when I peeked at Sabrina in the rented stroller and she blinked back at me as water drip-dripped right through the stroller's roof and onto her poor little head, the hood of her raincoat completely soaked. She wasn't crying, but she looked so balefully sad I couldn't take the Happiest Place on Earth anymore.  So that's when I called the whole thing off.

The Christmas miracle here was watching the girls' resilience (I gotta say it again!). They started off the day excited and enchanted, and even when the rain soaked completely through their clothes, they were still thrilled to walk through Sleeping Beauty's castle. (Though there were lots of sad and loud tears by the time we called it quits.) And after the misery of being cold, tired and wet, they were happy to get back to the hotel for a midday warm bath and then visit a friend's house who happened to be nearby.

We loved learning more about our girls' strong good attitudes and their ability to have fun wherever! So I count this family trip as a win.  Also, next year, we're going to Disneyland for their birthdays in October. Sunny, sunny October. :)

And it really does feel like that when you walk through. They've got the horse drawn carriage right in front of you, piping in Disney-happy music all around.

Main Street pre-deluge. Mouse ears everywhere you look.

Ready to take on this place! Sabrina has her doubts though.

We waited in line for *photo ops*?! (but she was a very nice fairy)

Meeting The One!

We wondered how long Tinkerbell practiced her pouty smile. Maybe it's easier on the cheek muscles?

Fun capacity is diminishing...diminishing...

"Hang on, sister! We can make it!"

Brave face, even when wet and cold.

Churros make many things better. At least temporarily.
The warm dry hotel won for happiest place on Earth that day.