Today we went to Disneyland. Getting there required three different trains but other than that, it was relatively easy. The last train was Disney branded and had Mickey Mouse shaped windows.
Calvin didn’t know what Disneyland was and I had a couple moments of doubt where I wondered how much he’d get out of it since he hasn’t seen any of the movies (Cars, the original, is the only Pixar movie he’s seen and they don’t appear to feature it very heavily). However, Calvin did seem excited about a trip that was exclusively for his benefit.
We arrived at Disneyland and merged into the throng of people. There were a lot of people but I suspect it wasn’t as crowded as the US Disneyland. One of our first stops was going to be a stand that made Mickey Mouse shaped waffles to fortify us for the experience ahead. However, just as we entered, a parade started which stopped everything in its tracks and prevented us from going to the other side of the street where the food was. On the plus side, Calvin got a good view of the parade up on Jaeger’s shoulders. Disneyland is still in Christmas theme so all the Disney characters were dressed up for Christmas. Calvin grinned and seemed to enjoy it a great deal.
After we ate our Mickey Mouse waffles we headed to fantasyland which our guidebook recommended as a good place for small children. The first ride that caught Calvin’s attention was Winnie the Pooh. He hasn’t watched the Disney movie but we have read some of the original stories together. The line wasn’t too bad. We got in the little boat and Calvin seemed to enjoy most of the ride, especially Tigger’s appearance, but became less enthusiastic when we went through a stormy rain sequence.
I thought the Small World ride would be a little more pleasant for him so we headed that way but got distracted when we passed the twirling tea cups ride. Calvin decided he wanted to go on that and it was an unqualified success. We next went to the Small World ride and a girl in line ahead of us took the opportunity to get some photos of Calvin, making me once again feel like I was with a minor celebrity. The small world ride was interesting and I was amused by the rabid stereotypes embraced for every culture. The middle east had people flying on carpets and harem girls, Scotland was portrayed with bagpipes, and the US with cowboys and Indians (not fighting each other though).
While lines were short, it still took time to get through so by the end of the Small World ride we went looking for lunch. I had been concerned about vegetarian options in the park but learned online that the Tahitian Terrace restaurant had a Vegetarian Indian option so we headed over for that. The food was really salty but other than that it was decent and much better than I had expected to find in the park.
After lunch, we took a “raft” over to Tarzan’s Treehouse. The Treehouse was large and sprawling and consisted of many steps and platforms. Calvin seemed to enjoy it but was quite disappointed when he learned there was only one “treehouse” rather than several to explore. We got on a raft back to the mainland and then queued for the “Jungle River Cruise”. This was a boat trip around the “river” that showcased fake animals moving in relatively realistic ways. I was a little bemused by the excited picture taking of many of our fellow tourists. It made me wonder if there would come a point where animated fake animals are the best our children will ever get to see. The boat ride also had a bit of a scary moment which the program did mention but I had failed to notice. Calvin really didn’t like that part.
To do something calm and non-threatening we took the Disney train that circles around most of the park. Another tourist snapped a picture of Calvin which I keep finding amusing. As an aside, last night, as we were standing in line at Starbucks, a young women pointed to Calvin’s face and said something. I didn’t quite catch what she said but I figured she was telling me he had a snotty nose or something similar. However, I eventually figured out she was asking if I put makeup on his cheeks. I shook me head and she said in amazement, “oh, it’s natural!”. This reminded me of all the times when he was an infant and people commented on Calvin’s “rosy” cheeks that were really just rashy.
After the train, we decided it was time for dessert. Making sure enough calories are making it into the respective Logans sometimes feels like an activity by itself. However, before we made it to dessert Calvin got distracted by the Dumbo ride which involves elephants “flying” around a pole. Each elephant only took two passengers so I decided to duck out of line and bring back dessert.
I went over to Toy Story Land which is apparently a fairly new part of the park. It was also mobbed, more than the rest of the park. However, I found a stand selling frozen yogurt with toppings. One of the toppings I got was mango flavored little balls of juice that broke once they were bit open. Calvin really enjoyed the Dumbo ride he also seemed to enjoy the dozen yogurt. The weather ended up being much hotter than we expected so I found the dozen yogurt to be particularly nice.
We decided we had time for one more ride so headed over to Tomorrowland. However, once again we got stuck by a parade, this time at the tail end of it. After it was over, we bobbed over to the Obitron ride which was almost exactly like the dumbo ride except it had a spacecraft theme and there were four seats for each pod. Calvin also really liked this ride.
Jaeger had to go back to Kowloon and pick up his visa for tomorrow before 6:30. In addition, Calvin looked like he was loosing energy so it was time for us to leave. Calvin seemed very disappointed but I think that’s the best time to leave, when you’re still enjoying yourself.
Jaeger split off at one of the stops on our second train and Calvin and I headed home. We ate a small supper and then Calvin put himself to bed, though it did take a while for him to actually fall asleep.
Our Hong Kong/Taiwan Trip: