We woke up early and headed over to the Magic Kingdom park. It's crazy how big the Disney property is. We're staying just outside an entrance to the property, and we left our hotel at 8:00. A drive of a few miles, a tram ride, and a monorail ride later, we finally arrived at the park just as it opened at 9:00 on the dot. Crazy!
We had decided to have breakfast on the way, but somehow missed the McDonald's just down the street, so we arrived at the park and had to eat first. After that we got fast pass tickets for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While we were waiting, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and the Aladdin Flying carpet ride. Carter seemed to like both of those a lot.
We got lots of cuddle time while waiting in lines.
Here Carter is controlling the flying carpet.
We hardly ever use the stroller anymore, but in a place like this it's still really important. There are so many people and there's so much going on that it's easier on us all if Carter spends a lot of time riding. He's not very good at walking and holding hands, and we don't actually spend a lot of time downtown or in places where hand-holding is necessary, so it's not something he's used to like city kids would be. He's also in a "carry me" phase right now, so without the stroller I'd spend the entire day hauling him around. He's just too big for a backpack now -- at least, he's too heavy for me.
Happily, he likes the stroller. If he gets tired and whiny, he can pull the cover down and have a little private space. It's also nice to have a place to put all of our stuff.
We finally had our turn on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is a mine train roller coaster. I've only ridden the one in California, and it's been a decade since I've ridden that one, so I'd forgotten how fast it is. This was the first year Carter was tall enough to ride, and we were really excited.
There was a group of teenaged girls in front of us that shrieked the entire ride, and that kind of freaked Carter out. The coaster does go quite fast, which I think he was okay with, but he really didn't like the sharp turns where you get thrown around in the seat. By the end of the ride, he'd decided he didn't like it. He didn't get upset or anything; he just said, "I don't like this ride." He said he liked the kiddie coaster we rode last night better.
So that didn't go as well as we'd hoped, but honestly, that's a pretty crazy roller coaster for a 3yo! It's funny that Doug and I always used to go to LA amusement parks together, and though I enjoyed Disneyland, I always found the slow rides a little baffling. I preferred the thrill rides at Magic Mountain so much more. Now that I have a small child, I have a whole new appreciation for those slow rides! In fact, when we asked Carter what his favorite rides of the day were, he said the parking tram and the monorail. LOL.
We had a snack and then headed over to use our fast passes for Splash Mountain, but the ride was temporarily closed. So instead, we took a raft over to Tom Sawyer Island to let Carter run around and play for a while. He really needed some run-around time by that point anyway, so this was good.
We didn't get around to riding the steamboat today, but we'll definitely do that. Carter really likes it.
Carter and Doug spent some time exploring this fort.
After that it was nearly 2:00, so we decided to head back to the hotel to rest. We had planned to eat lunch at the park, but we decided to get something on the way back instead. We ended up eating our Thanksgiving lunch at McDonald's!
The hotel is really nice. The lobby has a huge gorgeous atrium. We haven't explored it much yet, though Carter really liked this gingerbread village display with a train.
Back at the hotel we all took a nap (Carter took some convincing, but he really needed one!) and when we woke up it was dark. We decided to go find a place for dinner at Downtown Disney. We went to a dinosaur-themed restaurant called T Rex Cafe. It was pretty crazy, and definitely not the kind of place you could go if your child had sensory processing issues. Carter enjoyed it and we had a decent, if not great, dinner.
When we got back to the hotel, Doug went right to bed -- he's finally got the cold Carter and I have just gotten over -- and Carter and I went down to find the hot tub. The pool complex at this hotel is pretty awesome! I can't wait to see it in the daytime. There's a little beach and everything.
Carter had fun walking across the suspension bridge over one of the pools. It was interesting that when we saw it he said, "Look Mommy! It has a bridge just like San Francisco!" And I said, "Yes, it does," and he said, "Well actually, San Francisco has TWO bridges like that, but the hotel only has one." And I thought, yeah, I guess that's true. There's the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, both of which (I think) are suspension bridges. I have NO IDEA how he knows that!
It's almost midnight, so I'd better hurry up and post this. More to come tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!