But I disregarded all the advice and planned a trip. I can tell the naysayers two things; One, my two year old asks to go back to Disneyland every day and two, she talks about Tinker Bell flying overhead and the Dumbo ride pretty much all the time. So, she does remember.
I have written a lot about our meals but I thought I would take a post to write about things she loved and things that she didn't. I know a lot of people that wonder about taking a toddler and hopefully I can help, a little. I'm pretty much going to bullet point stuff, just for organizational purposes.
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel: What's not to love? She loved it and rode over and over. But she had done carrousel's before. And the first time I took her (at the Please Touch in Philly- you should ALL visit there) she wasn't that excited. So if you are planning on going and can get your child on a carousel ahead of time go for it.
- It's a Small World: Loved it. Sings along with the song when it is played. Loved the lights, the dolls and everything that glittered and sparkled. Made me appreciate the ride so much more.
- Dumbo- LOVED IT! Now, I have never gotten the appeal of Dumbo and I would never stand in line for it before. But with Addie I would. And she would. She's not patient but she waited patiently in line for Dumbo. (We went in December and the parks were crowded but we hit Dumbo in the morning and at night) Which leads me too...
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin: LOVED IT! When Dumbo was too crowded we went to Aladdin. We never waited. It's essentially the same ride. And one of my mom's favorite memories of Addie is her yelling to ride Dumbo as we came around the corner and saw the Aladdin ride. It was super sweet and I'm glad my mom has that imprinted on her heart.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Now, I can't remember exactly what the Unofficial Guide has to say about this one but there were some dark moments in the ride. My daughter loved the garden and played in it for quite awhile but she didn't love this ride. At all.
- Mad Tea Party: Does your child like to twirl? Mine does. She spins all the time, so this ride was great. She loved trying to make Grandpa Wes sick and she asks to go back on it all the time.
- Mickey's Philharmagic: Loved it. But she wouldn't wear the glasses, so she watched everything fuzzy. Really. (She did the same thing with Tangled at the movie theater)
- Peter Pan's Flight: We had read Peter Pan over and over before the trip so Addie really loved this ride. I think now that she's addicted to "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" she'll probably like it more but she loved this ride. I was apprehensive because it was dark but she was fine.
- Snow White's Scary Adventures: Seriously? We didn't even go.
- Goofy's Barnstormer: I thought she would love this, because she is so fearless. But this one ate her. She hated it and tells me all the time that the "Roller coaster scared her. I not like it. I not go on it again." Bad call mommy.
- Swiss Family Treehouse: I have always loved this attraction because my brother and I have seen this movie probably 1000 times. But it's not a must do for me. It's now a MUST-DO for Addie. The little trooper climbed the whole way through. She loved looking at everything and climbing. She loved the tree house idea and she asked all kinds of questions about it as we were trying to go through. She asked to go back every time she saw it. We went, if there was no line.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Now, we read pirate books at home (How I Became a Pirate is a favorite) and before going to the Magic Kingdom we had watched a video of this ride. I also sang the song to her all the time. But did this ride get darker? Because it scared her, in the beginning it was incredibly dark and she huddled up next to my mom and told her she was scared. She was fine at the end when they were singing. Had I remembered (or known) how dark it was I would have passed. Maybe the one at Disneyland isn't as dark? Or maybe I'm getting old. Bad mommy points for putting her on this ride.
- Tiki Room: Didn't attempt. I thought that the storm effects might be more than she could handle. I really didn't want anymore rides to eat her.
- Jungle Cruise: Addie loved this ride. I didn't realize how much until we were home and she was telling me all about the naughty elephants that splashed our boat. And every day when she watches her Disney Songs video, she loves the naughty elephants.
- Country Bear Jamboree: I don't know, she didn't hate it but I'm not sure she loved it either. Of course, she has to sit still in this one and that could be part of it. We'll try it again this fall.
Epcot Epcot has always been my favorite park. But I was really hesitant about it with Addie. Wrong. The Future World section of the park is great for toddlers.
- Spaceship Earth: So, I was hesitant to take her on this. But it was fine. She sat with Mimi and talked about everything she saw. Plus, since my husband works for Siemens, we kept telling her it was daddy's ride.
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends: She loves the movie and asks to watch all the time, but this ride scared her a little. There's a scene with sharks and it's dark and told me she was scared. It made me wonder what Disney was thinking. Why did Nemo have to be scary?
- Turtle Talk with Crush: I knew this was going to be okay. But I had no idea how much Addie would LOVE IT. I mean, it's definitely on par with Dumbo as her favorite. She asks to go see Crush all the time, she says "Chaw" and "Give me some fin" all the time. And I found a YouTube video of the attraction that we watch all the time. A personal note, I thought this attraction was amazing. Seriously. Not just because of the technology but also because of the kid friendly aspect. All of the kids are seated in front. And they get an up close view. No adults blocking their way. The adults, thankfully, get benches. It didn't matter. This attraction made my daughter laugh and smile and so it made me laugh and smile.
- The Land: Loved it. Wants to plant things at home. Is going to help me with my garden, like the ride.
- Ellen's Energy Adventure: I was hesitant about taking Addie on this ride. There are dinosaurs. But we talked about it ahead of time and she said she wanted to try. So we did. She was okay with it, it didn't scare her but it couldn't hold a candle to Crush.
- Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros: Dark but not scary. Not super dark like Pirates either. She loved the ride. It's got stuff to look at and they sing.
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment: It was fine. She didn't get it but she liked it. She was too little for most of the stuff in Imageworks but we'll go again on our next trip.
Disney Hollywood Studios I had studied the books and the Disney webpage before our trip. I kind of knew that Hollywood Studios would be limited but it was alright. With Addie, one morning was fine. Next year, we can be there longer. I know that some people will say that they can take the little ones into the shows but my two year old is very active. And she wouldn't sit through most of the shows so we didn't do very many of them. (Which means a huge part of Hollywood Studios was out for us)
- Playhouse Disney: Okay, so she gets to watch some Playhouse Disney TV. So she loved this attraction. What was not to love, singing, dancing and her favorite TV pals? They have changed this to Disney Junior but Addie loved the Playhouse version. Plus, the Little Einsteins signed autographs afterwards. Addie loved that.
- Muppet Vision 3-D: This was okay. Another one that she wouldn't wear the glasses for. She didn't hate it, I don't think she got it. And she was ready to be on the move again when it was over.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid: A favorite. Addie loves everything princess. And she has read Ariel stories. I haven't let her watch the movie because I think Ursula might kind of scare her. But she sat with my mom and loved this one.
- Beauty and the Beast: So, we have seen the movie and we have the songs on her princess song DVD. So Addie sat though this entire production spellbound. Not just a little, a lot. Of course, I had popcorn for her, so that might have helped but really she loved this. And so did all of the adults. It wasn't very crowded so we sat down right before the show began but the theater filled up quickly and we were glad we got there a few minutes early.
- Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This was a HUGE hit for everyone. Really, what's not to love? The lights, the music and it snows. Addie LOVED all the lights and music. The adults loved it too. It was one of our favorite things at Disney this Christmas. I had read about it but you really need to see it to understand and appreciate it. Favorite, favorite, favorite...
- Rafiki's Planet Watch: Addie has never seen Lion King so the appearance of Rafiki did nothing for her. But she loved "Affection Section." I loved watching her. The sheep and goats kept running for their "Safe houses." It was the cleanest petting zoo I have ever been in. Addie could have spent hours in here. I think I finally lured her out with the promise of ice cream, bad mommy points. But the rest of the attraction, umm, it was okay. I liked it and I would have liked to spend more time observing and looking but it's difficult with a two year old. Addie also loved the train. I loved the train because the seats were set up so everyone could look out.
- Discovery Island Trails: So, these were fine when we went to Animal Kingdom late one afternoon. Addie was able to be free of the stroller and wander the trails. She loved that. But two other days it was very crowded and you couldn't see anything and she had to be in the stroller. Not as much love.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: We had some serious pixie dust on this ride. We went to the park after it rained and it was empty (it was also later in the afternoon). We walked onto this ride. We saw a ton of animals, up close. The driver kept having to stop because the animals were in the road, the Ostriches were being particularly stubborn. Addie loved it, my mom loved , my dad loved it and I loved it. A huge hit and one my favorites at Disney. Addie talks about the jeep and the animals like we can go tomorrow and I think every time I take her to the zoo now she wants on but that should tell you how much she loved it.
- BONUS: When we came out of Kilimanjaro Safari the afternoon parade was starting to come back through Africa. We walked right up to open space in the rope and watched the entire parade. We loved the parade. Addie loved the bubbles and the characters.
- Maharajah Jungle Trek: So I thought the bats would scare her. Nope. She kept looking for them with my dad. She talks about the bats every once in awhile and I am always surprised that the bats are one of enduring memories. But she loved it, she got to wander on the trail without the stroller. It wasn't crowded and I appreciated that.
- Pangani Forest Exploration Trail: Loved it. Again, we were able to do this on a morning and an afternoon when crowds were light. Addie was able to be out of the stroller. On another afternoon it was wall to wall people and we avoided this because we could hardly move anyway.
- The Boneyard: I knew Addie would love this. And she did. A giant play area where kids can excavate bones. It was great. Everyone got a break. Grandma and Grandpa got drinks, we shared an enormous cupcake from Kusafiri Bakery and Addie played until she was ready to stop.
- Festival of the Lion King: I know all of the guidebooks tell you to get there early. But I disregarded all that advice and we went right before the show was going to start. LOVED it. All of us. Addie wiggled and danced through the whole thing. She loved the acrobats and the music. I loved watching her. Even my parents really enjoyed it. One of the few attractions that everyone loved.
- Finding Nemo- The Musical: I was really apprehensive about taking Addie into this because of her experience at Epcot but she loved it. No scary stuff. Maybe because you are seated in an amphitheater instead of a clam shell but Addie loved seeing Dorie and Nemo and Marlin. She still gets Nemo and his dad mixed up but she loved this.
- Camp Minnie Mickey Character Greeting Trails: Okay, so we hit these trails because I wanted Addie to have her picture taken with Santa Goofy. I am not sure how many of these lines I would wait in but Addie loved taking her picture with Santa Goofy and it was one of the better pictures from the whole trip. The lines weren't bad. We really didn't wait for Santa Goofy at all. I'm just now sure how many we could do before someone got cranky.