So we went to Disneyland with Logan yesterday. Maybe that's oversimplifying it. We went to Disneyland with Logan, his little brother, his mom, our mom, and Steve, with guest appearances from our sister Aurora and her husband. It was intense, and at the same time, somewhat slow-paced. But I guess that's just how things go with kids.
We met at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, because Mom wanted to have beignets for breakfast. Athena and I got there first, and just as we arrived, and elderly woman handed us two beignets that she and her husband had decided they didn't want to eat. So when the rest of the party arrived, we were able to give Logan a beignet right away, and he loved it. And got powdered sugar everywhere. But that's not a "little kids are messy eaters" thing, that's a beignet thing. There's bound to be powdered sugar everywhere. Also, while we were eating, some music from Dumbo came on over the Downtown Disney speaker, to which Logan reacted, "Dumbo!" He's so cute. That was the first time he spoke in our presence. (Since we don't see him as frequently, he gets really shy whenever we see him.)
Once everyone had eaten, it was finally time. Time to go to Disneyland! I don't know if Logan was tired or overwhelmed or both, but he seemed to be a little dazed for the first hour or so. Like he was struggling to take it all in. On Main Street, we saw Mickey Mouse and would have lined up for Logan to meet him, but Mickey's attendant said he was about to go on a break. That's only significant because it was almost Logan's first character encounter. The trolley was nowhere to be seen (the park was only just opening, so maybe that was why), so we headed straight for Fantasyland.
Upon questioning, Logan affirmed that yes, he would like to go in the castle, so we went through the drawbridge, and then took him through the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough. Sarah told us that he likes Sleeping Beauty enough to ask for it without prompting, so we thought he would like it. Turns out, it was a little too dark and scary and Maleficentric. Now we're even more annoyed than we have been that they don't focus more on Aurora and Philip. Or at least Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. They could have a diorama of the fairies making a dress and a cake in the forest cottage! Ugh. But the point is, Logan was a little scared, and was asking to leave before we got to the end. Poor kid.
So we weren't sure whether or not to go straight to a dark ride after that, and we were debating whether or not to line up for Peter Pan's Flight when who should come along but Peter Pan himself! We asked Logan if he would like to say hi to Peter, and he said, "Yeah." Turns out, Logan feels the same way about characters that we do: he really wants to meet them, but has no idea how to interact with them when it happens, and so ends up freaking out. His mom's the same way--as we got to the front of the line, Sarah shoved the toddler in my arms and took the camera, explaining, "You're better at character meet and greets!" To which my response was pretty much, "Nuh-uh!" So I had a mild panic attack myself, but Peter was gracious and tried to give Logan a high-five. Logan was too shy to comply, but I'm sure the picture Sarah got was cute.
Then we took him on Snow White's Scary Adventure, which he handled pretty well. Sarah said that he really likes Snow White, but it was a really scary ride, with the spooky trees and creepy dungeons and everything. He sat with me for that one, and anytime he started acting scared, I'd hug him and say it's okay, we'd make it. And when it was over, I said, "We did it!" and he seemed pretty happy with that. Michael, on the other hand, was not amused in the least. And yet we took them both on Pinocchio's Daring Journey later (after a couple of not dark rides). For that one, Logan was more confident. Like after Snow White, he was all, "I got this." And when we got to the end, he was the one that said, "We did it!" (only with fewer consonants).
We went on Casey Jr., and when Logan saw the train, he was so eager to get on that every time it came back to reload passengers, he'd say, "Our turn!" And we had to say, "Not yet!" Despite that, he was really good about waiting in lines most of the day. He amused himself by playing with fencing, ropes, chains, stanchions...anything he could climb or swing on. And if there was a switchback area that wasn't in use (chained off and devoid of people), he'd decide that was an excellent place to run around. Anyway, we think he liked Casey Jr., and that he was sincere when he answered "yeah" to the "was that fun?" question, but he was still acting pretty mellow.
Then! we went on the Dumbo ride. I had designated myself photographer (not just to get out of character interactions), and was determined to sit in front of Logan so we could capture this ride for posterity(?). My plan was thwarted when a cast member came over the PA and asked all guests to face forward at all times. Boo. Nevertheless, I tried to take a video over my shoulder...and I never checked to see how it turned out. Hm. But anyway, Logan rode with Steve, who also had never been on the Dumbo ride before, and was very nervous the whole time (Logan, not Steve). We're told that Steve couldn't get the kid to look up even once. But when we got off, he was reluctant to leave, and pet Dumbo affectionately on the ear. Awww.
Then he raced off toward the carousel, so we got in line for that...and Logan decided that he'd had enough excitement for the time being, so he sat with Grandma and Grandpa and Michael on the bench while the big kids rode horses. I got an adorable picture of Michael eating Steve's hat.
Then we went on Pinocchio (already mentioned), and then we went to the Royal Theatre to watch their rendition of Tangled. Unfortunately, we ended up in the very back, with tall people in front of us, and not-so-tall people standing behind us, and the not-so-tall people, despite being outside the rail and therefore not actually in the theatre as well as in a position to move around in an attempt to get a better view, felt like they had the right to see over the child's head and not have him hoisted up blocking their view. (They weren't rude about it or anything--just some shoulder tapping and a thank you when Athena put the child down--it was just an annoying situation.) That being the case, Logan was bored with not being able to see the show, so he gave up and made a break for it. Athena followed him, and together they watched a family of geese until the rest of us had finished watching the show.
After that, we headed for Critter Country to go on the Winnie the Pooh ride. Before we got there, Logan realized how far we'd gone from Fantasyland, and he started shouting something that I finally realized was, "I want to go back!" He was quite desperate until I told him we would go back, but first we were going to go this way (toward Critter Country) and see if there was anything fun. By this time, we were joined by Aurora and her husband, and we tried to fit our whole party in one beehive! It was a tight squeeze. This ride didn't seem to scare the children as much, but Aurora and her husband said it was more nightmarish than the Haunted Mansion (which they had just been to). I guess the ride succeeded, then, because the Heffalumps and Woozles segment was a nightmare for Pooh.
We had lunch at the Hungry Bear restaurant, from where you can see the Disneyland Railroad trains passing by. Logan was so fascinated by this that when Athena said, "When our food's ready, we have to go sit down," he replied, "No, I foo (I'm full). I ahn tay (I want train)." We did manage to get him to a lunch table by but he got up every few minutes and yelled, "Tay cuh-ing (train coming)!" and made Athena take him to see it...whether it was really coming or not. We think his certainty that the train was coming had something to do with the Mark Twain's whistle, since the Hungry Bear is right there along the Rivers of America.
Now everyone who had a fast pass for Splash Mountain was going to go ride it, while Mom took Michael shopping and we were supposed to take Logan on Winnie the Pooh again. He wasn't really interested, so we took him shopping for a while, and Mom bought him a Lightning McQueen toy that he carried with him all day thereafter, unless it got in the way of some adventure he was trying to have, in which case he handed it off to a grownup to hold it for him. Then we lost Mom, and while we were looking for her, we saw Winnie the Pooh himself. Logan was determined to meet him, though from the way he ran around in line you almost wouldn't guess it. Naturally, he got shy again when it was his turn to meet the character, but Pooh's attendant was really good about it, pointing out how soft Pooh was and telling Logan that he could touch his face. And Pooh kept kissing him, but not in a creepy way (in a "you're so cute!" way), so Logan was a little braver after that.
Next it was off to Adventureland, where Logan had adventures...in the queue area of the Jungle Cruise. Aurora had warned him that if he didn't stay on our side of the rope, he would get flipped upside-down, but when he saw an unused section of the queue area, that did not stop him from running off into it. So Aurora retrieved him, and carried him upside-down back to the rest of the party. He didn't much like her for that. As for the ride, we didn't have the best skipper, but that was okay, because Logan wouldn't have gotten the jokes anyway. He did seem interested in the animals, though.
Finally (for Adventureland, and for Logan's first act), we went to the Tiki Room. Sarah had pointed out that he was acting sleepy, and I could really tell as I carried him into the Tiki Room. He was fading fast, and going inside a dark, air-conditioned room was not helping him stay awake. We managed to get a seat with a great view of the lead parrot, Jose, and Logan perked up when Jose woke up and started talking. He seemed really interested in the talking birds thing. But he was too tired. I don't think they even started singing before he was out like a light. He slept through the entire show, which was a little disappointing, because I'm sure he would love it, but more than that, I was a little relieved, because if he was going to enjoy more Disneyland, he needed to not be exhausted. I'm sure he'll get to see the Tiki Room show again.
And thus ended part one of Logan's first day at Disneyland.
Today I'm thankful for getting to go to Disneyland with a bunch of really cool family members, cast members who know how to help kids feel less shy around Disney characters, finishing work early today, not having to wake up early this morning, and getting to watch Sailor Moon on Hulu on Monday (even better--for some reason the subtitles didn't come on, so we got to watch it in raw Japanese!).