Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Winter has been cold and snowy here at home so it was time for a little sunshine and relaxation.  This past week Melanie and I took Whitney and Liam to Disneyland for three days.

We were a little worried about whether Whitney would enjoy the rides and the characters at the park but we didn't have to fear for long.  She loved all the rides in Fantasy Land and she loved to give hugs and blow kisses to all the Disney characters.

Because Whit doesn't walk and her stamina is limited, we spoke with the folks at City Hall.  
They gave us a special pass that allowed us to use Whitney's stroller like a wheel chair and get special access to a lot of the rides.  Instead of entering the usual way, we took Whitney and the pass up the exit ramp.  The nice people running the rides always let Whit right on.  She had so much fun.  Her favorite ride was Alice in Wonderland where she waved and blew kisses to the singing Wonderland flowers.  Whitney also showed that she was quite a thrill seeker.  She enjoyed flying Dumbo the elephant and spinning in the Mad Hatter's tea cups.  I was pleased to see how many Disneyland rides do not have a minimum height requirement and allow for parents to accompany their little ones.  We rode so many rides that we can't even remember them all now.  

One area to check out if Fantasy Land gets busy, is Flick's Fun Fair in California Adventure.  There were four or five more little rides without minimum heigh restrictions that had a fun Bug's Life theme and there were no lines at all.

The biggest trouble we had when characters like Pluto and Mickey and others came by was that Whitney didn't want to leave after her turn to pose with them.  We ran into Pluto in Toontown and when we explained that Whit can't stand on her own, he sat right down in the street and put Whitney on his knee.  She hugged him and laughed.  It touched my heart see him be so kind to my little girl.

Whitney has always been a huge fan of balloons and the best thing we picked up at the park was a Minnie Mouse balloon.  It wasn't cheap but she hung onto that thing tenaciously the whole rest of the trip.  

Melanie insisted that we make reservations for lunch with the Disney Princesses.  I have to admit that Liam and I weren't all that excited about the prospect of a lunch with all those princesses.  But I was very touched by how nice everyone was to Whit.  The Little Mermaid was first to pose with her for pictures.  She wanted to know about Whitney and later after we finished our lunch and headed out, that sweet mermaid remembered Whit's name and blew her a kiss.  Whitney giggled and blew her a kiss right back.  We also had fun taking pictures with Belle, Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella.  Each was very kind and gave Whitney hugs and blew kisses.

We spent three days at the park and had my parents help take turns with our kids.  It was a great time.  I mentioned the wheelchair pass that helped Whitney enjoy more of the rides with her limited mobility and stamina.  I also have to recommend February as a great time to visit the park.  Lines were short or non-existent and temperatures were in the mid sixties each day.

The kids were even really well behaved on the long car ride from here in Utah down to Southern California.  We took DVDs and toys and those patient little ones behaved so well.

Whether your child can speak and walk or not, a Disney vacation can be a huge hit.  And I'm grateful to all the folks at Disneyland for their kindness toward my little girl.  They helped us make some memories that will last a lifetime.


Mindy said...

I am so glad you guys had such a GREAT time! Disney really knows how to make things magical. You were smart to go that time of year, we'll have to remember that!

Kajsa Farnsworth said...

What a fun trip! It's nice to hear that Disney made accommodations for Whitney's stroller. And how cute is that Pluto sitting right on the ground to hug Whitney? Glad to hear that the kids were good in the car and that you got some sun too.

Angie said...

Wow, it sounded like a wonderful trip and as I was reading your entry my eyes swelled up with tears. Right now I'm speechless and I'm not sure what to type. Experiences like this make it all worthwhile and really touch our hearts.