Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Yes, it's true - we did it. We took Stellan to Disneyland. We didn't really mean to, it was pretty spur-of-the-moment. My sister KK called and said she and Alex were going to be in LA, and would we all like to go to Disneyland in two days? I figured it was better not to think about it and just do it. So we said we were in.
But despite my best efforts to not think about it too much, we were naturally very apprehensive about just about every aspect of the trip: the drive there, the lines, the sun, the rides, naps, feeding, overstimulation, potentially explosive diapers, the stroller; the list could go on and on. Luckily, with all the other stuff going on in our lives, we couldn't really dwell on it too long.
Before you know it, Saturday came. We popped over to the moms' house to hitch a ride with them, and Stellan promptly fell asleep. It helps that we left right around naptime.
We arrived in the heat of the day and with tons of people waiting to get tickets. A word to the wise - Vons sells Disneyland tickets in their stores; if you're going, get them at Vons and save yourself 45 minutes in line before you're even in the park.
Once we got in the gates and found KK and Alex, the good times definitely got rolling. We went on Buzz Lightyear, where you get to shoot at targets and compete with your carmate. Stellan rode with the grandmas and did pretty well.
Some of the funny parts of the day included having to walk off of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when it stopped and apparently broke. KK and Alex seem to have cursed Disneyland, in fact. They managed to just be getting off Space Mountain as it broke down, and we got stuck in the Haunted Mansion too. Also, some of our favorites were closed - the Jungle Boat Cruise and It's a Small World. Well, actually, Kevin was probably pretty glad Small World was down.
The main challenges of the day were keeping Stellan hydrated and keeping his hat on. We tried. And that's about all I can say about that.
What about the other rides, you ask? Stellan loved the Tiki Room. And when I say love, I mean he was jumping up and down and squealing with delight. He's definitely my baby. (The rest of the Steward clan was singing along - in harmony - and swaying to the beat. It's tradition. Little wonder Stellan caught the fever.) He waited in line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride but ended up taking his afternoon nap with Granny instead. No one was too disappointed about that. He waited in line for the Haunted Mansion, but again had to evacuate for nutritional purposes before we went on the ride. By the way, it's tough to find a quiet and non-distracting semi-private place to nurse at Disneyland. In case you were wondering.
He did manage to make it on Pirates of the Carribbean. He didn't love it, but he didn't hate it either. He was very intrigued but was also a little sketched out, as you can see in this photo Momfa snapped mere moments after the magic voice reminded us that flash photography is prohibited...

We also all enjoyed the Winnie the Pooh ride. In this lovely photo, you can see Grandma and Granny with Stellan, as well as KK and Alex behind them.Also, while the "kids" went on Space Mountain, Stellan saw the parade with the grandmas. Apparently it was quite a hit - our little guy really likes a show.
In the end, I'd say the part I was worried about most was the part that ended up going the most smoothly. Waiting in line turns out to be pretty decent with an infant, especially if you have a group of devotees willing to help entertain the child. Below are some photos of Stellan being entertained (and course entertaining) while waiting.

Leave it to my child to find the only real plants at Disneyland...and to use the scientific method to investigate their nutritional value.
We also tried to get a family photo at a variety of locations throughout the day. Stellan was less than cooperative. However, he did really well with his Winnie the Pooh and Friends photo ops - if you think that larger-than-life stuffed animals must be tasted to be believed.

In the end, I'd say it was the best trip to Disneyland we'll ever take with Stellan. He was a champ! In fact, by the end of the day it was apparent that Disneyland is just about the right amount of stimulation for him. (A little disconcerting for Mommy.) My advice to anyone taking an infant includes the following:
1. Bring grandmas.
2. Bring your own stroller, especially with a younger/smaller child.
3. Bring grandmas.
4. Don't strategize your trip like you did when you were younger/hipper/less parent-y; you're not anymore! It's OK to plan around nap time, take a break to eat, step out of line and even (gasp) not stay until the park closes. Because, believe me, that 4 AM feeding will still be waiting for you at home.
5. Bring grandmas.


Stephie said...

Kris - I love the pic of Stellan on your shoulders. So cute!!!!!!!

D said...

LOL! Great pics! Sounds like a great trip. We took Kaden at 3 months (my bro and his wife came to town) and it worked out pretty well overall too. Too bad It's a Small World wasn't open because I think that ride is made for babies. Which is probably why it drives the rest of us crazy. We are excited to take Kaden again- though we will probably wait one more year before we bother. He can say Buzz Lightyear now though so he probably deserves a trip.

deannah said...

Wow! Very brave! Isn't it great when the odds are 6 adults (who LOVE your kid) to one baby?

Dana said...

Funny and entertaining, Krissie! :)