Anyway, I was talking about Logan at Disneyland.
When we last left our hero, he had fallen asleep in the Tiki Room. It was just as well, because the kid definitely needed a nap, and he was going to do his darndest to not take one as long as we kept him in brightly lit areas. He was so far asleep that I managed to get him out of the Tiki Room without him stirring, and we all (except Aurora and her husband, who had no interest in the Tiki Room and were off on other pursuits) relocated to the little courtyard next to Aladdin's Oasis. This was a good chance for everyone to catch their breath and chat. Everyone except Sarah, who met up with Aurora and Josh and took the opportunity while the kids were sleeping to attempt the Matterhorn bobsleds. The attempt failed because the line was too long.
Eventually, Logan woke up, and fortunately did not spend a lot of time being groggy and cranky. In fact, he was pretty alert and just said, "I 'an foo. (I want food.)" So I went back to the Tiki Room to get him a Dole whip (pineapple soft serve ice cream), and pineapple juice for the thirsty grownups. Logan was pretty hilarious with the ice cream--they serve it in a bowl, but it was such a tall tower of ice cream that he insisted on treating it like a cone...and not sharing with his mother or brother. Punk. And when he ate through the outer wall of ice cream to reveal the hollow in the middle (the ice cream is like a cylindrical tower), he took a spoon and tried to fill it up. Eventually, he'd had enough that he didn't seem to mind as much if somebody tried to take a bite, and then we all had sticky hands (I was holding the ice cream for him, in an attempt to curb the messiness as much as possible; I managed to keep most of it off of his clothes, but it dripped all over my hands).
While we were enjoying our pineapple refreshment, a janitor came along. Steve thanked him for doing his job, and they had a conversation about...small talk stuff, I guess. The important thing is that the janitor recommended going on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, so that's what he and Sarah decided to do next. (Big Thunder has always been one of Sarah's favorites.) In the meantime, Athena, Mom, and I took the children to Big Thunder Ranch's petting zoo. It was mostly uneventful there, but it was really cute when we brought Logan to see the pen with Pocahontas the donkey in it, because he told us something that sounded like, "I'm gonna go say hi," and then he tried to find a way in the pen.
When we'd had enough of the animals, we suggested to Logan that we go to Tom Sawyer's Island, and he agreed. It's kind of weird how it works with this kid, because we'll just ask, "Do you want to go
As we went along, I noticed the distinctive costume of the VIP guest escorts. There was a celebrity in the vicinity. Usually when this happens, we look around, realize once again that we don't pay nearly enough attention to pop culture to know who anybody is, and then go along our merry way. I figured that was going to happen again when I didn't recognize the man standing next to the cast member, but then I looked at the woman standing beside him...and she looked a lot like Amy Adams. And I think that's amusing, because last time Gaston came over, we got into another argument about whether or not Enchanted is a horrible depiction of Disney Princess stereotypes...and we, as you all know, are of the opinion that it is. But I'm sure Amy Adams is a lovely person. She didn't write the thing, after all.
Our path to the ferry to Tom Sawyer's Island took us past the Mark Twain landing, and it happened to be just about to board when we got there. Logan had seen and been intrigued by the steamboat before, so we asked him if he wanted to go on it, and he said yeah, so we changed our plans. We all got on the boat, and just let Logan wander around. He went around in circles, upstairs, downstairs, taking it all in or just wandering aimlessly. When there was stuff to see on the riverbanks, we'd point it out and he'd stop to watch. He waved at the family of eagles. It was very cute.
By the time the Mark Twain had finished its voyage, Steve and Sarah were done at Big Thunder, so it was time to meet up with Aurora and husband in Toontown. ...And for some reason I can't remember, we didn't meet up with them exactly then, and instead went to Mickey's house to go say hi...after a stop at the Jolly Trolley, which Logan liked because of his love of trains, but then lost interest in because it wasn't moving. That's when the camera ran out of power. What! Right before we get to see Mickey Mouse!? Oh no! Fortunately, Steve had a smartphone. My phone takes pictures, too, but it doesn't have a flash or anything, so it's usually not that great. I did use it to take just one picture, because there's a lot of fun stuff in the queue at Mickey's house, and Logan was so cute playing with the big musical instrumenty thing. (Steve got a picture of him with it, too, but only of the "let's pose for a picture!" variety, because the thing is set up as a total photo op.)
We know that Logan was eager to meet Mickey, because after we suggested it, he got really persistent, asking where Mickey went and stuff. And when we finally got there! he was brave enough to give Mickey five! (It was a low five.) And we took a picture of Mickey with Sarah and the boys, and of Mickey with the whole group.
Aurora and husband were waiting outside, and the idea was to maybe go on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin before the two of them had to meet their ride home. This is where it gets complicated, but the short version is, Athena and I went with them to go on that and then the Matterhorn, while everyone else played around on the other side of Toontown. See, depending on how long the lines were, Aurora really wanted her husband to go on the Roger Rabbit ride, because she knew he'd love it (which he did), and then see if there was a single rider line for the Matterhorn. There was! So we got in it! And just when we were at the front of the line...the ride broke down. This was very depressing, because Aurora hadn't been to Disneyland in years, and that was her favorite ride. And it wasn't going to be up again for at least 45 minutes, and they had to leave. So now we're thinking about talking to the cast members in our ward about getting Aurora back to Disneyland to go on the Matterhorn. There may be some kind of a discount or something we can work out.
Meanwhile, Sarah reported to us later that she took Logan on Gadget's Go-Coaster. We were a little surprised about this, because Logan had been so timid about everything, and frankly, Gadget's Go-Coaster, despite being "the kiddie coaster," is one of the scariest rides in the park. Fortunately for Logan, it's only 17 seconds long. Sarah said that she showed it to Logan and asked, "Do you want to go on that? It looks kind of scary." And Logan replied, "That's not scary!" He changed his mind when he got on the ride and the car started going up the track. That's what you get for false bravado, I guess. But he waited in line and everything, and that line is somehow one of the more soul-crushing. I don't understand why, only that it is.
We had dinner in Toontown, and then there were three things that had to be done before we left. First, we needed to ride the train. Second, since Logan always liked sneaking into Mom's car and pretending to drive it, he needed to go on Autopia. And finally, since Logan had been asking for it for a little while, we needed to go on the Dumbo ride again. In fact, he started asking sometime during our Frontierland adventures I think, and when we passed by it on the way through Fantasyland to Toontown...well, he got just passed it before it finally registered what he'd just seen, and then he started crying about how he wanted to go up high. I told him we would later, and we were on our merry way again. (It was really cute, because that was when he decided that he wanted to push the stroller.)
The tricky thing was that, as we made our way to the train station, they announced the parade would be starting in five minutes. The parade seems like just the kind of thing a kid Logan's age would love--lots of favorite characters dancing around, in a context where he doesn't have to interact with them directly. So we were torn about it, but we asked him if he wanted to watch the parade, and he said no, he wanted to ride the train. Okay, that settles that. But the train was long in coming, and Logan was restless. I let him run around the train station exit a little...and then the parade started. We could see it in the distance from where we were, so I showed it to him...and of course now he's interested.
Fortunately, he didn't insist too strongly on going to see it, and we were able to board the train without incident. And! the train crossed the parade route just before the Princess and the Frog float was about to go on, so we got to wave to Tiana. Hopefully Logan saw that, but it was on the side of the train that the seats were facing away from. Sarah told us that he really likes The Princess and the Frog, and that statement was corroborated when they played a snippet of music from "Dreams Come True in New Orleans" on the Mark Twain and Logan started dancing.
Our plan was to get off the train at Tomorrowland, ride Autopia, and then finish the circle tour before going to see Dumbo one last time. So we got off at Tomorrowland and while the grownups took a potty break, Logan ran off...saying something about a parade. Darnit darnit darnit! Well, he might get to see the holiday parade--Sarah tells us she miraculously managed to convince her mother-in-law to plan a family trip around Christmas. He didn't seem too broken up about it, though, so when everyone was together again, we took him on Autopia.
This time, he rode with his mother, who of course let him take the steering wheel. She asked if he would drive for her, and he was like, "Yeah!" She was in charge of the gas pedal, because those things are hard enough for an adult to work with. And she tells us that after driving for a little while, Logan, who wasn't quite tall enough to see over the dashboard, declared, "Too hard!" and just gave up. So for the rest of the ride, Sarah had to lean over him to drive enough to prevent the car from constantly bumping into the rail. Meanwhile, Athena and I were left in the dust because our car wouldn't go fast enough. It was a nice, leisurely drive, but the person behind us (who was not in our party) rode our tail most of the time.
Logan seemed pretty happy with the experience, and we went back to meet up with Mom, who was waiting by the path to the bathroom with Michael. We lost Steve on the way there, and while we waited, Logan ran off to the bathroom...for the heck of it, I guess. Just pumped up on adrenaline and wanting to run around and play on the decorative pillar-y fence thing just outside the bathroom doors. It was just then that Goofy came out of the cast members only entrance! There were a bunch of kids around, and he held his hand out so they could give him five (low five, because he's taller than all of them). When it was Logan's turn, he psyched him out and took his hand away! And then he did it again! And then he held out his hand in the attitude of "for real this time," but by then Logan figured that meant they were just waving now, so he kind of waved at Goofy's hand. So Athena (whose turn it had been to chase him this time) said, "Give him five, Logan! He'll let you do it this time!" So Logan did, and Goofy gave him a thumbs-up. I seem to remember seeing him pat Logan on the head from my far-off vantage point, but Athena says that might not have worked logistically--they were on opposite sides of the decorative pillar-y fence thing.
Now Steve had found us, so we went back to the train station, where Logan was somewhat unruly until the train arrived. (He was never completely unruly, because he understood when we told him that if he didn't wait with us, he wouldn't get a turn. Although Sarah did have to start counting to three when he wouldn't stop ramming the gate with a stroller. There weren't that many people in line, so he had plenty of room to run around and only be a mild nuisance to other guests at worst.)
The train did eventually arrive, and off we went to see the dinosaurs. I couldn't tell you Logan's reaction to this one, because he was sitting with Sarah and we had to split up for seating purposes, but I can tell you Michael's reaction, because he was Not Happy. He did not like the dark tunnel. When we got to the Main Street stop, Sarah had to stand up and rock him for a little while before he would calm down. Poor kid.
Then we made it back to the Toontown depot, and we disembarked and made our way back to the Dumbo ride. I took Logan ahead because it was getting close to park closing, and we wanted to make sure they didn't close the line before we got there. On the way, apparently I dropped my phone, because after we got in line, a girl caught up to me and handed me all its pieces. I'm really glad she found me, wow.
This time, Logan decided he wanted to ride with Athena and me, so we all squeezed into an indigo Dumbo (that's Dumbo wearing an indigo hat and blanket; all Dumbos are elephant-colored). When the ride started, we asked Logan if he wanted to go up high. "No." The elephant was a little ways off the ground, because I think they all go to the setting the last rider left them at, so I asked, "Do you want to go down?" "Yeah." We'd ask him at intervals if he wanted to go up now, and the answer was always no, but it was really nice riding just above the water. At the end, all the Dumbos go up to the top, whether the rider wants them to or not, so I was glad that Logan didn't miss out entirely on going up high, even if he didn't like it that much yet. And he didn't seem to tense up or anything, so maybe it was just enough.
Just like last time, he patted Dumbo affectionately on the ear before we left. We took one last picture of Logan in the stationary photo-op Dumbo outside the ride, and then we headed back to Main Street, as the park was closing. When we passed the carousel, Logan started talking about riding the horseys, and when we walked along the path to the castle where he had his first character encounter, he started asking where Pee Pa was. This was extremely confusing, and it sounded like he was saying "pee pad," so I wondered if maybe he had to go potty. He could tell he wasn't getting anywhere by repeating himself, so he repeated himself again, only this time he said it in a kind of stereotypical superhero voice, and struck a pose with his arms akimbo. We asked his mom if she could figure it out, and finally after a couple more tries, we were all like, "Oooohhh, Peter Pan!" He remembered meeting Peter Pan there! Cuuuute♥♥♥!
We went through the castle one last time, and then headed for the photo shop on Main Street, because Steve was very unhappy to learn that he and I both failed to make it into the group picture taken on his phone at Mickey's house. So we were going to check if the Disneyland photographer got everyone. I wonder if that's how they get you. "Sure, I'll take a picture. But not a good one. You'll have to pay for that." Or maybe the character attendant is just a terrible photographer like me. The world may never know. But anyway, we did discover that the Disneyland photographer at Pooh Corner had gotten the most adorable picture of Athena, Logan, and Winnie the Pooh, so Mom and Steve bought a print of that, one with Sarah and Mickey and the boys, and one of the Mickey group photos, which of course turned out nearly perfectly.
Meanwhile, Logan was bored with shopping, so he took Athena out on an adventure. He ran to the Plaza Inn and looked inside, but it was closed, so he took the stroller and went back to the shops, where he looked at the Christmas tree ornaments--specifically the "Baby's First Christmas" photo frame ones that match the one he has on his tree at home. Then he decided it was fun to ram Athena with the stroller...and then they joined the group again.
As Mom finished up her shopping, Logan started chanting, "Ca...suh!" Eventually we figured out that meant "castle," so Athena took him out to the main street (ha ha ha) where they could attempt to get a better view through all the returning crowds. So he got one last look at the castle before we stopped at the restroom and parted ways. We each gave him (and Mom and Sarah) a hug and they went back to their car for a long drive home, while we walked back to our apartment.
And that concludes Logan's first trip to Disneyland. I think he really liked it, but the kid's a little reticent.
Today I'm thankful for everyone having a good time at Disneyland, that girl chasing me down and returning my phone, managing to finish that chapter of UQ Holder!, having chocolate at home (we somehow failed to get any at the park), and everyone making it home safely after the Disneyland trip.