Just got back from a nice vacation with Sarah and our 3-year-old daughter Gingy. We took her down to Disneyland. It was her third visit, but really the one that will stand out for her (for now anyway) since she was old and tall enough to go on most of the family rides.
Don't worry, we didn't leave the other 5 kids in the car or at the hotel. They spent the week with their other parents and it was nice to let Gingy go at it at her own pace and taste.
Some observations from our adventures in Disneyland and its sister park across the way, California Adventure:
All the employees are super nice and considerate and...happy. Wish the folks from the cell phone company or the department store were half as nice.
You don't stop to question that you just paid $3.50 for a churro or $7 for a kids meal your child didn't even eat (that's what daddy's are for, right?).
The same people who might be rude to you the second you leave the park are amazingly considerate and smiley faced within the borders of the Magic Kingdom. It's as as Tinker Bell spiked everyone's morning coffee or orange juice with "Let's all have a good time already" dust. Wish I could get some of that!
There's few things that will beat the look of wonder on your child's face when they brave the Jungle Cruise or fly a rocket ship or shake hands with characters from their favorite movies.
We had one of the best sit down meals we've ever had in the park (stands up to regular restaurants, too) and it was so good, we ate the same meal two days in a row there. The pot roast and fried chicken were ASTOUNDING.
There's something wickedly funny about your child being scared out of their wits by the "snow monster" on the Matterhorn.
And I think one of the things that stood out to me the most was just how awesome and heartwarming it was to see 90-year-olds with "1st Time Visitor" buttons.
Such a nice reminder that you are never too old to be a kid.