Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Magic at Disneyland

As we continue our efforts to fight getting shut in as a family, we spent a wonderful week playing at Disneyland. Whitney's grandparents joined us to help make things a little easier managing our three young kids and we had an excellent experience.

Whitney is so good on her feet that we almost decided to have her walk everywhere over the three days we were actually in the park. But in the end we decided her stamina probably wouldn't allow for that. Instead we rented a wheelchair each day. Whit was content to ride along between rides and little brother Liam, even joined her in the seat when he was tired. This gave Whit an easy way to get around and with a special pass, it also allowed our group special access to many of the rides in the park.

It'd been three years since our last trip to Disneyland and we were pleased to see that Whitney was big enough to ride a lot of the same rides that Melanie and I enjoy.  In fact, Whit got a huge thrill out of riding everything from Splash Mountain to Thunder Mountain Railroad and even the Tower of Terror.  After each ride ended she would sign "more" and "again."  In fact, I think we ended up on the Tower of Terror together three times in one morning.  Each time Whitney would raise her arms and laugh so hard.  She's such a little thrill seeker.

Meeting the cast of Disney characters is also something Whitney has always loved.  She gave hugs to all of the Disney princesses, Mickey, Minnie and many others.  Our last evening in the park we had dinner at Goofy's Kitchen.  It's a buffet dinner where various characters stop by your table to take pictures and visit while you eat.  As we ate, Pluto stopped by and was having such a good time with Whit.  Then he dashed off and came back with one of his "handlers."  Disney characters aren't usually allowed to speak so Pluto brought a helper with him to the table because he wanted to ask about an ASL sign so he could tell Whitney that she is beautiful.  As Pluto signed, Whitney beamed and signed thank you back and gave him a big hug.

It was so nice to get away, and the Disney folks took such good care of us.  They really made the whole vacation a relaxing one in spite of our family's special needs.  I'm sure we'll be headed back there soon.  Whitney is already asking.


Heather Thorup said...

That sounds so fun! What age would you recommend is a good time to start? We'd love to take Carter, but aren't sure if he would be aware of much. Sounds like a wonderful vacation!

Candle Ends said...

It looks like she had loads of fun! One of these years, we will have to take Misha.

Nate said...

Thanks! We did have a great time. Heather, we took Whitney the first time when she was four. But baby Avery isn't even quite 1 yet and there were rides we took her on last week. She danced to the music and waved at the characters just like the older kids.

I'm sure Carter is old enough to have a blast. Just let them know at City Hall that you're using Carter's stroller as a wheelchair and they'll let you take it up the exit ramps of most rides to be able to make getting in and out easier.

Genevieve Ross said...

I love how when Whitney says "jump" everyone seems to respond "how high?" :)

What a great trip! We have thought of Disney but will probably hold off until Ailsa is a bit bigger. Zoe loves thrill rides but is a little short yet to go on many.

I am impressed you managed so well with all three children! And I am glad to hear how receptive everyone was to including all of you. That is great.

Nate said...

Thanks, Genevieve! We had a lot of fun. By the way, the magic height for a lot of the rides is 40 inches. Once Zoe hits that height she's good to go on Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Matterhorn, Tower of Terror and a lot more.

And as soon as little Ailsa gets a bit bigger, she can ride with you guys on anything in Fantasyland.

Have a great day!