The first time we took our kids to Disneyland, they were 3 and 5. At the time, Bear was deeply under the spell of the Disney Princesses. He loved them all, especially Snow White. In an incredible Disney coincidence, we were upgraded to the unique “Princess Fantasy Suite” at the Disneyland Hotel. This was a regular room connected to a room that was sprinkled, layered, and practically frosted with every kind of princess item imaginable:
Bear was in princess heaven. This was wonderful for about 10 minutes, until it was awful. It quickly became clear that he never wanted to actually leave the room. He was completely satisfied and fulfilled simply sitting on one of the beds, joyously stroking the border of princesses along the wall.
Despite our best efforts (pleading, cajoling, threatening), he refused to budge. When we finally managed to pry him out of the room, it was only with the promise that we would take him to the “Princess Fantasy Faire,” which is basically a Princess Meet N’ Greet. Josh ended up being our placeholder in a 2-hour long line in the blazing sun so that Bear could have his moment of glory.
My daughter Bird was completely disinterested and bored by the entire thing.
Our next trip to Disneyland was not without its share of drama. Bear was 5, Bird was 7. We somehow thought it would be great fun to spring the trip on the kids as a surprise. Ultimately, this turned out to be a horrible idea. The kids weren’t sure how to handle themselves in the face of such unexpected good fortune. They settled on bickering and pouting, punctuated by flashes of manic energy and outbursts of weeping.
Oh, and it rained.
So the bar has been set comfortably low for this
attempt trip. We’re hoping that our past Disney experiences will provide us with a helpful guide, much like Jiminy Cricket did for the wayward Pinnochio.
Wish us luck.