I hesitated to take La Jolla Girl to Walt Disney World Resort when the chances of her remembering it are slim. Would she appreciate it? Would she patiently wait in the lines? Would it be worth the money between tickets, flights, hotel and food?
At first, I thought a week in Orlando would be too much. I was wrong. A week in Orlando actually allowed us to move at a slower pace, which is what you need to do with a 2-year-old. She naps in the afternoons religiously, and never in her stroller. That meant we had to be back at the hotel for several hours every day.
She has been to Hong Kong Disneyland and is used to bouncing from character to character and ride to ride with no wait. Magic Kingdom lines took an unpleasant while for her to get used to. I had to physically restrain her from running to the front of the lines at first. It took only one day for her to adjust, but it felt like forever.
On the first day, we took her to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom and basically just had her lead us to wherever she wanted to go. We didn’t think there was a point trying to rush her from place to place when she was the entire reason we were there. There was never any line at the carousel, but Dumbo was 30 minutes, minimum. I overheard a resident say that’s always the case.
Healthy food does exist, thankfully, all over the park. Near the Jungle Cruise, there’s a stall that sells bananas, other cut-up fruit and vegetables. What a relief. And, in Tomorrowland, I was able to get her grapes, carrots and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a kids lunch. There’s nothing worse than a toddler full of junk food coming down from a sugar high at an amusement park. Don’t get me wrong, I let her eat some junk, but a week’s worth is a bit much.
Her main interest was meeting the characters. There is the Mickey’s Toontown Fair area for young kids. In there, you can wait in line to visit 3 princesses or fairies. We saw the princesses twice. Toddlers love this area and there were a bunch in line. I regret not buying her an autograph book, however. She was so star-struck by the characters that I thought she’d never be able to juggle the book, too. I also regret not making reservations well in advance to eat at Cinderella’s Table. We tried after arriving, but they were fully booked. Anyway, if we spent the entire week in line taking pictures with Goofy and the rest of the clan she would have been totally fine with that.
La Jolla Dad really wanted to go into the Haunted Mansion. I was a teeny bit nervous about that because it scared me as a kid. We did it and she was fine, but the ride stopped right when we were in front of the mirrors that show a fake ghost riding in your black pod. She went totally bug-eyed, but didn’t cry. I could tell she didn’t know what to make of the ride. I would not recommend this ride for a 2-year-old. We immediately went to It’s a Small World to try to erase the memory of the Haunted Mansion (just like we did three years later at Tokyo Disneyland)!
La Jolla Dad was surprised by how much she enjoyed Walt Disney World Resort which made the experience worth it to him. He is not an amusement park kind of guy but slogged through it all with minimal fuss. I personally had a great time. It was worth the hassle and the money, in the end, even though she was so little.
Photo credit: Flickr, kathika