Patrick’s not the best at sleeping without crib rails. More than once during the night, I had to get up to put him back on the mattress. Finally around 7 a.m. he woke up as he rolled out of the bed, looked up and saw the Disney skyline on our headboard and said: “Lights on!” And that was it. He was up. He was excited. It was time to go!
Of course, we had to get dressed, check in with family, put on sunscreen, etc. But we finally made it into the park by late morning.
We decided that since the crowds were at Disney California Adventure because of the new Cars Land, that it would be best to finish up there before the weekend rush hit.
We started out at Paradise Pier, an old-fashioned amusement park area. Actually, we started on the new Ariel ride and learned a lesson that would carry throughout the rest of the park. Patrick does not like the kiddie storybook rides. Riding in a circle looking at animated characters and with a too loud soundtrack in the background is both boring and overwhelming to his sensory system.
Patrick is a thrill ride kid. So of course, the zephyr ride went over with much greater success.
So that’s how we spent the morning, wandering around the pier, looking to see for all rides that were Patrick appropriate.
The ferris wheel didn’t hold his attention much. (He probably would have preferred the cars that slid on rails as the ferris wheel went around, but Brian and I aren’t quite comfortable with heights, so we didn’t even consider that option.)
It was also at Paradise Pier that we discovered the joy of single rider lines. They have an awesome roller coaster there that we wanted to try. So Brian went and got in the single rider line and I took Patrick to the carousel next door. Brian’s ride was over before ours. I took the next turn and they TRIED to watch for me, but my ride was done before they made it to the lookout.
Paradise Pier is also home to the interactive video game Toy Story ride. And, since California Adventure is handicapped accessible, that meant that we waited in the regular line. There was a family behind us who was very, very concerned by the fact that we hadn’t been allowed to skip the line. The mom in the group is a special needs teacher who has taken her class to Disneyland before. And they were just consumed with guilt by the idea that we were waiting in line with them, and worse yet that in the end, they boarded before us because we requested the no-stairs exit from the ride. We were just happy that Patrick was allowed to wait in his stroller and by the fact that in that line he figured out how to drink from my Camelback. And the ride? Well, Patrick didn’t like the 3D glasses and couldn’t figure out the video game gun, but it spun around a lot, so that made it fun enough.
By the time we were done at Paradise Pier, Patrick was pretty well spent. So much so that we waved to Donald Duck from a distance, but didn’t bother with the line. He was asleep by the time we made it out the gate. He slept through us stopping to buy lunch. (Yummy authentic-ish Italian stromboli). He didn’t even wake when I shifted him to the bed. A day riding thrill rides will wear you out!
I caught up on laundry while Brian and Patrick napped. (The laundry room at the hotel was a good quarter mile walk away!)
And then, once we were all rested and done with laundry, we headed back to the park.
We had to stop in California adventure one more time. Patrick still hadn’t had a chance to meet any of the characters in California Adventure. We were lucky enough to catch Mater. This is the only picture where Patrick wasn’t just mesmerized looking at him.
Then we wandered down and tried to catch Luigi’s flying tires, but alas, it was closed. So instead, we posed for a couple more pictures.
A parade got in the way of the other places we planned to go. (By the way, I think I forgot to mention last post how amazing the California Adventure parade is! The floats are awesome, but Patrick’s favorite feature is that there are bubble machines in all the lamp posts and that blow bubbles through the entire parade! Every time we ran into a parade, he got all excited and started signing “bubbles”. A happy little piece of magic that is.)
Anyway, we decided instead of visiting the last corner of that park to stop and get a treat and then head to Disneyland.
So, we bought a banana from a fruit stand. (Bananas are one of Patrick’s current favorite treats. One of the only fruits that is ok with Short Gut.)
We started out with some classic rides in Disneyland. The Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted House. Funny, when I rode those as a teenager, I thought they were nice and tame and family friendly. As mom to a toddler, they seemed quite scary. We worried that we were going to give Patrick nightmares.
Dinner won us points, though. We stopped at a “french” themed restaurant in New Orleans Square and the only safe food we found there for Patrick was chocolate syrup. Chocolate for dinner 2 nights in a row made Patrick a very happy kid.
We thought the Winnie the Pooh ride would offset the scariness and, well.. that was just about as scary, plus it was a loud storybook kid’s ride. Even the honeypots everywhere (Patrick loves the word “honey”) didn’t make him happy with us. So we decided we’d better postpone the other grown-up rides for the night and go to a sure winner. Autopia.
Patrick loved this ride! At first, I tried to let him steer. Then I realized that that ruined the fun for Patrick. So I gave him the steering wheel and floored it. Patrick drives a car a bit like bumper cars. He’d crank the wheel to one side and the car would bang into the rail and he’d laugh and laugh. You’ve never seen a happier kid!
Then, with the sun setting, we wandered over to It’s a Small World. I think that this was his very favorite ride. He loved the boats. He loved the song. He loved the dancing dolls and the bright colors. He talked and talked about the “la la boats.”
And we ended just on time to catch the evening show projected onto the face of the It’s a Small World ride. Then we discovered that the park shuts down right after that for fireworks and kind of followed/were pushed by the crowds right out of the park. It was bedtime anyway.
Patrick dozed off on the way to the room again and went to bed easily and happily at the end of the night. He was a very happy kid and his belly seemed to be feeling much better.