I have no Santa Pictures horror stories.
My daughter was not afraid of Santa (she later told me she was “a little nervous”, but enjoyed meeting him), nor was she all smiles. She sort of sat there with no expression on her face, and that’s the picture we got.
It is this same face that we see on all of the photos we have of her with the Characters.
We didn’t press her to meet characters, and we only met a few. We went, as we tried to with everything, at her pace. We were even in line, once, to meet Pooh, and she told us she didn’t want to meet him. So we left the line.
She hugged the characters, and had fun meeting them. But, come picture time – nothing. Except for the Fairy Godmother. We have one picture of her smiling at the Fairy Godmother. She is a big Cinderella fan…
The first morning, we did the Cinderella breakfast. Yeah, I know. But, dads can enjoy this breakfast, too. It features at least 4 or 5 princesses. In fact, I think there ought to be a dads’ princess breakfast, but, since Ms. Kaz reads these posts, I better just leave it at that.
Anyhow, my daughter was a little antsy at first because all the princesses were on the far side of the room, and it would be a while until they got to our table. She was a little too antsy to really eat. Then, once the princesses started coming around, she was too involved in all of that to really eat. It was a good amount of money for not a lot of food (for my daughter).
One thing I will note is that, because of our daughter’s peanut allergy, the chef came out and talked to us about what (a) contains peanuts, (b) is made on equipment which also cooks stuff with peanuts, and (c) what our options were (for our daughter, as well as us, since we are vegetarians).
My daughter was also a bit braver on the rides than we would have expected. The carousel is a ride which she has always been hit-or-miss with. The last couple of times, she thought it was too fast, and didn’t enjoy herself.
Here (must be the Disney magic…), she wanted to go on, and really enjoyed, the carousel. We went on several times. The kiddie rides where you can control the height (Dumbo, Aladdin’s Carpets, some Dino ride), she always wanted to go up high (“I’m a daredevil, dady!”).
The rides with dark parts, like the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Spaceship Earth (“Wanna go in giant ball, daddy!”), she admitted she was “a little nervous” on, but wanted to go on again. She like It’s a Small World (“The little people sing that, daddy!”).
But the best part of the parks is the random playgrounds they have around (Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Pooh’s Playful Spot, Ariel’s Grotto). These are a godsend all around. They allowed her to get out this pent-up energy which all little kids have, and allow parents to sit and regain some energy, which we have a lot less of.
We spent half a day at the Animal Kingdom, which was probably a bit of a waste, seeing as how it didn’t appear to be too different to our daughter than a trip to the zoo. We did see (notice I said “see” and not “rode”) the new roller coaster, which led to about an hour of my daughter saying, “Daddy’s ‘fraid of roller coasters. He’s little bit scared.”
We capped off day 3 with some Mommy & Daddy time (no, not like THAT) — we went to Disney’s only jacket-required restaurant – Victoria and Albert’s.
After failing to convince various relatives to come along on the trip, we used Disney’s recommended babysitting service. Our daughter goes to daycare, and has two regular babysitters, and usually does quite well, running the gamut from 2 or 3 minutes of, “Don’t want mommy and daddy to go!” to, “Bye bye, mommy! Bye bye, daddy!”
Of course, this was a strange place. And a strange person. And she had just woken up from her nap. So, the clinginess, and the “don’t go!” last a lot longer than usual. I was getting worried, and a little upset myself.
Finally, about 5 minutes before we had to catch a cab, with the promise of watching Cinderella and a lollipop (oh, and the promise of ice cream later), she settled down.
We had a great meal, tailored to our specific needs/likes — both meals were vegetarian, and mine without any trace of mushrooms. I did the wine pairings (supposedly a small glass to compliment the course, but it was a lot of wine).
The food was fantastic, the service was fantastic, and we didn’t call the room once! We are proud of ourselves.