Things I Learned at Disneyland
Things I Learned at Disneyland
Four-year-old kids are easily impressed.
When we got to the hotel in Anaheim Robbie was happy. He thought being in a hotel was the surprise and he was pleased. “I love hotels!” he said and we hit the pool. It wasn’t until just before he went to bed that Mickey called him and we told him we were going to Disneyland. He was so amazed he…went right to sleep.
A four year old can only be an angel for 36 hours, no more.
Robbie was great on the ride down, an absolute poster child for procreation on day 1 at the park and a very good boy on day 2. On day three, the cracks started showing and by day four, Toby suggested Disney could make a fortune by offering vasectomies at the exit.
Waiting in line is the world’s worst torture for a four year old.
The longest we waited for any ride was 20 minutes. By Tuesday we didn’t even have to wait in line at all but Robbie would ask anyway “is there a line?” like it was the most awful possibility. This kid has no idea what “peak season” is like.
We finally found the perfect time to go to Disneyland.
Labor day was busy but the next day, Disneyland was a ghost town. They weren’t even offering Fast Passes because there weren’t any lines. The worst wait we had was 10 minutes for “Soarin’ Over California”. It was almost eerie to see rides going down the tracks empty. But I am not complaining.
There is such a thing as “too much fun”.
On the fourth day day of theme park fun, after doing everything he wanted, buying him an over-priced toy every day and in general treating Robbie like a Saudi prince, he had a fit on the shuttle and called us “The Worst Parents Ever.” After a nap at the hotel, he spontaneously offered that we were actually “The World’s Best Parents.”
The best things in life are free.
We took breaks from the parks to go to the beach. The most time we spent in any park was about 6 hours because, as as I mentioned, there is such a thing as “Too Much Fun.” If you asked Robbie today what his favorite part of the vacation was, I bet you a dollar he’d say “the beach”. Disney may have thrown millions at entertaining children but in the long run, they still can’t beat a bucket, a shovel, and acres of sand. And thank goodness for that.
Mickey Mouse is a Six Foot Rat.
Robin Williams once said “To a three year old, Mickey Mouse is a six foot rat” and he was right Robbie wanted nothing…NOTHING to do with any of the characters in costume. Later we saw Lightning McQueen and he was more than happy to pose with him. His reasoning for this partiality was just “I like him because he’s not real.” In ever picture with a costumed character, Robbie looks like he’s contemplating the best means of escape.
Sometimes I have bad judgment.
We took Robbie on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. If I had a photo of his facial expression it would break my heart every time I saw it. Eyes popping, mouth agape, hands clutching Toby and I for dear life. He was not impressed. It wasn’t the dropping that freaked him out, but the ghosts….something we had not even remembered were part of the ride. For hours and hours afterward he kept grilling us on why those people were dead and why the hotel is haunted and why there were ghosts on the ride.
But I don’t have the world’s worst judgment.
Because we had not quite spoiled Robbie to the absolute maximum we decided to stop at Circus Circus in Las Vegas to let him unwind a bit before making the last push for home. Near the casino they had a toy store selling realistic scaled down versions of several automatic weapons, including belt fed machine guns. I’m not squeamish about guns. Robbie has many, many toy guns, but none of them would get him on the six o’clock news because he was gunned down by police. The idea of any child in Las Vegas running around with one of those makes me shudder.
There is no hope for “diet and exercise” in some circles
I’m not judging here. I know how hard it is to eat right. But if I had any inclinations to overdo it at the Circus Circus buffet, they were cured immediately when I made a trip to the ladies room before getting a plate. I saw something there I have never seen in any restroom in the world: a sharps container. And let me tell you, it was full. I just looked and looked trying to figure out why a bathroom in a buffet would need a sharps container. Then realization dawned. The bathroom was a “diabetic loading zone” where people could put more insulin on board and hit the buffet again.
Sugar is crack cocaine to a four year old.
Since it was the last day and we’d eaten fairly carefully on the trip, we figured we would just let Robbie pick whatever he wanted to eat at the buffet. He went a little crazy. In light of the above revelation, I’m a little embarrassed to admit all I let my kid eat. Let’s just say that while carrot cake isn’t his favorite, he really loves to scrape off the frosting with his teeth.
When we left the buffet he was hooting, dancing, twirling, jumping and “shooting” with his fingers. He almost looked like he was having an acid trip. After he skipped, vibrated, hopped and bounced back to the car, he passed out.