Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids


I have to say right up front I went to Disneyland a complete skeptic (commercialization, crowds, etc.) My family is not a Disney family. Leah never went through a princess phase, and neither kid is interested in Disney characters. And I sort of expected the park to abound with dressed-up Mickey Mice pushing themselves on us for photo ops and such.

No way. They’re there but they’re busy with the kids who do want photos, not those who don’t, and it’s easy to appreciate them from a distance.

But mainly, and this is what I didn’t know until we got there, Disneyland not about Disney characters. Well it is, but it’s so much more. Disneyland is a sophisticated park with all kinds of attractions for all kinds of people, not just the Snow White and Cinderella types. That, and it’s a well-oiled, professional machine with a great staff who get people on and off the rides efficiently and safely (I was impressed with how easily everyone in wheel chairs was accommodated, and there were lots of wheel chairs).

Anyway, I loved it, and I am retiring forever my inner Doubting Disney. Watch out, I might try to talk you into a trip. It really is as fun as everyone says, and I now understand why people go back over and over. (In fact, I’m already sort of thinking about next time, but don’t tell my husband I said that until the Visa bill is paid.)

Disneyland brings out the kid in you, just as everyone told me it would, and when parents are having fun, kids are having more fun. And something happened to me, the number one ride wimp in the family. I went on rides I never thought I could stomach, and I loved it (and my kids loved that I loved it), and the fair-style rides that always freak me out didn’t freak me out at Disneyland for some reason, probably because they’re so much more polished and detailed and alive with special effects. It helps that they’re not all roller coasters, but the roller coasters were a blast, too. Okay, yes, some folks discover they really can’t stomach the rides, but me, I think I could have gone all day. My kids were ready to stop way before I was. And there’s so much more than rides, so many areas to wander at your own pace and be enchanted, impressed mezmorized, whatever. Tom Sawyer’s island comes to mind and Toontownstoontown2

Here’s another reason we had fun: we took the kids out school to avoid any kind of school breaks, and we arrived on a Wednesday. It was magic. For the first hour and half we walked onto any ride we wanted. After that, we might have waited five minutes. Once in a while. And we wandered easily without ever having to push against a crush of people. We toured all the areas—Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Toontowns—and went on all the rides, even Peter Pan and Snow White and Winnie the Pooh (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it).

What I appreciated most was our kids’ ages—9 and 11—because we were able to go on all the rides together and they had stamina and nothing freaked them out. It was a true family experience. I even liked the California Adventure roller coaster, California Screamin’, reputed to be the second longest in the U.S. But I only went on it after the family tried it out and reported back, and I did learn I don’t like being upside down. The Tower of Terror was, well, a bit much, but I did it just to experience the ambiance of the old hotel. I’m still glad I did even if my stomach isn’t. The parks’ attention to thematic detail is unparalled, and even waiting in line is sort of interesting, depending on what ride you’re going on.towerofterror3

I mention lines because on Friday we did hit them. Thursday wasn’t bad but not as good as Wednesday, and Friday got downright crowded. This was the day we devoted to California Adventure, across the plaza from Disneyland. I loved this park, too, maybe even a little more. It’s smaller with an all-things California theme.

So, if I were going again, I would recommend January and I would say go on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You really do need three days. And you will be saturated, but you’ll have a ball.

By the way, the weather was 80 degrees and stunning. Exactly what I was looking for. In fact, I’m wondering why we bothered to come back.

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