binary girl: the secret blog



we went to disneyland

June 16th, 2014 at 9:10

And all I did was forget to write about it.

Okay, that is not entirely correct. I’ve been thinking about our trip, and I did post an entry about the rides we went on (here), but I certainly failed to write anything in depth about it, so here are a few things I can recall.

First off, we decided to stay at the Grand Californian this time, and do a five-day park stay, partially because we were treating ourselves to a vacation between my jobs, and partially because the other resorts were all sold out of the reasonable rooms, so it was actually cheaper. We had a two bed setup for the first half and then moved to bunks, which was awesome, because they had told us they wouldn’t have bunks at all and then I went and begged (mama needed sleep) and they were able to move us. The hotel is really nice and has a lot of cool amenities, although we didn’t take care of the childcare because Max is too young and I didn’t really see the point in only leaving Katie — we were on vacation as a family, after all.

This trip I was smarter about dinner reservations, which was to our benefit. I also booked us the World of Color seating at the trattoria in California Adventure one night, which was THE BEST IDEA. We had dinner and a virtually front-row seat to the Pixar Play Parade, and then we had a little time to do a few rides before hitting up the show, where we were afforded front-row, get-yourself-drenched seats to the World of Color. (IT IS SO FAB.)

Speaking of that… a great story! Max was FINALLY 40″ this trip, so we went on a bunch of rides that we didn’t during our trip at the beginning of the year — Radiator Spring Racers (we went this an obscene amount of times because it was one of their favorites and that ties in nicely to the fact that when it’s a Magic Morning, we can get on it early), Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Soarin’ Over California, etc. Also, relatedly, Katie, and Max in particular, have always been obsessed with talking about “scary” rides — ad nauseum. So somehow the Tower of Terror came up (probably the fact that it’s this huge thing in the middle of the park) and Katie decided that she was ABSOLUTELY going to go on it after dinner at the trattoria. (Recall that this is the same girl who was so terrified of scary rides the first time that we went to Disneyland that she could barely handle the Ariel ride, or Peter Pan.) Having never been on it myself, I said… well, let’s go stand in line and see what it’s like. Max declared that if Katie was going, he was too, and while we stood in line, I queried the people around me about the amount of psychological content of the ride: was it scary because it fell fast, or because there was “scary” stuff surrounding the ride itself, like in the Haunted Mansion? Hands-down, to a person, they told me that there was no psychological element to the ride.


We were in the line for a long time because only one elevator bay was running and we were continually pre-empted by Fast-Passers (and we used Fast Passes a lot on this trip, just not in this case). Turns out there is a Rod Serling Twilight Zone introduction, and then the ride itself, which I was hoping would be fun but was instead vaguely nauseating. As I realized what was happening, with all the talking and whatnot, I started talking to the kids and trying to normalize it a bit, and then as the ride commenced, I was covering them and trying to make them feel safe. For their parts, both of them were stone silent the entire thing. Then, the ride ended and I told them it was over, and they both BURST out in hysterics. It was absolutely awful. Max was hyperfocused on the part of the ride where Serling impersonator said something to the effect of “Say goodbye to your family”, but I got him into a good mental state faster than I could with Katie, who needed a lot of close attention before she could calm down. I felt totally horrible (as I should have), and I can’t be thankful enough that we walked directly to World of Color after that, and erased most of their upset… but ugh. Really bad call on my part.

The next day we tried to go on the Haunted Mansion because the line was short but at the end of the elevator section, which we had to really really work to get the kids to go on to start, Katie said, “I can’t HANDLE THIS!” so we all exited before the moving walkway; I wanted them to understand that we weren’t going to force them to go on any ride, and that helped them believe us.

Other neat moments:
– on the pirate island, Max asked me to tell the pirate band that he wanted to be a pirate, so they surrounded him and danced and sang and then thought up ideas for how he could be on their crew
– Indiana Jones, Ariel, and a Small World were closed for most of our trip, but we randomly happened upon the first two when they were doing “test” openings, meaning that B and I both got to go on Indy (although it broke down during his ride so he got to go twice) and we all hit up Ariel
– relatedly, the Matterhorn did a weird switching thing when I was on it (where they pull out a car to try to speed up tracking) so I got to go on it twice.
– this is sad because that means I went on B’s fave ride twice, and vice versa
– we went on Star Tours 2x in a row and that was bad because I wanted to vomit
– the kids each got awesome costumes; Max got a pirate outfit that he wore every day for a month after we got home, and Katie got an Aurora costume. I also snagged two Olafs and two two-sided Elsa/Anna dolls (so that Riley and Tyler got a little something from DL, too)

I’ll add more as I recall it.

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