Of Mice and MadnessApril 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop | 12 Comments
Tags: Children, Disney, Disneyland Paris, Expats, Fast Pass, Fun, Kids, Perspectives, Tips, Travel
Three weeks ago, we were in Paris. Ah, Paris.
And you can’t take your kids to Paris without going to Disneyland. (It’s in the expat rule book, I swear.) So we went. And stayed for 10 hours.
I’ve just now recovered enough to write something semi-coherent about it. I said semi. (You’ve been warned.)
It was a blur of waitingridingwalking, waitingridingwalking, waitingridingwalking. Of searching for bathrooms and benches. Of debating whether the hour-long line at the Princess Pavilion was ever going to get any shorter. (It didn’t. She waited. And loved it. LOVED — all caps, italics, bold.)
At the end of the day, we had acquired sunburns, a Tinkerbell tiara, a Buzz Lightyear gun that makes the most annoying sound in the galaxy, and these … Observations? Tips? Anecdotes?
Whatever you want to call them, they’re part magic, part mania, and entirely, insanely ours. (And now yours. You’re welcome.)
Ride the carousel. It’s still enchanting, whether you’re 2, 34, or 68.
“It’s a Small World” might just be the best thing ever. Better than Nutella. (Did I just write that?)
If your daughter (or son) wants to meet the princesses, if she spent the entire train ride to the park drawing personalized pictures for each and every princess, if she doesn’t even blink her baby blues when you tell her it’s a really long wait (like, a really, really long wait), take her. Wait with her. Get her picture. And pretend you think it’s every bit as amazing and fabulous as she does.
Don’t dawdle at the gate. (Yes, it’s Disney. Disney! Yes, there’s the castle. Castle! Yes, there’s merchandise to massage everywhere. Merchandise!) But go. Go, go, go! Get to the rides with the longest wait times. Your feet will thank you. [Also: there’s an app for that.]
Use the Fast Pass. Whenever, wherever, however you can. Use. It.
The baby will not nap. He won’t. The sooner you accept it, the better the day will be.
Rent the stroller. For your kids. For your bags. For extra support when your head starts spinning. Trust me.
Somebody will cut in front of you when you’re watching the parade. Accidentally step on his foot and lift those kiddos up on your shoulders.
Bring food in. You don’t even have to sneak it. A picnic lunch under a just-blooming cherry tree soothes the soul as much as the soles.
Some rides are lame. These are the ones your kids will want to do again and again and again. (“Lame,” it turns out, is relative.)
The teacups are still as nauseatingly fantastic as they were when you were a kid.
Nonchalant Europeans will blow smoke in your child’s face. Try not to punch them.
Ask people to take your picture. Offer to take someone else’s. It’s good karma.
Try not to think of the sheer volume of people coughing, sneezing, spitting, peeing, and touching stuff in the same space as you. All day.
On a related note, don’t forget your Purell.
Someone will fall asleep on the way home. It might be Daddy.
The kids will get to bed late. Alas, they will not sleep late. (And Coke for breakfast? Is totally acceptable for post-Disney parents.)
Have you been to Disney (any of them, anywhere)? Was it magic or madness? Care to share your tips?