First of all, I have received a few emails
about the "new" stroller policy at the Disneyland resort. On
February 22, I reported that the stroller system had changed and
that guests were allowed to take rental strollers out of the parks.
Once again, the policy has changed! The
Disneyland Resort has returned to the previous policy and guests who
rent strollers may not take them out of the Parks. Although this is one
of the primary reasons why I recommend that guests bring their own
strollers from home, as I explained in my February 22 column, I thought
that the new policy was a mistake.
Since my original stroller articles, the
rental strollers are a bit different. The fabric is different and seems
sturdier (the previous fabric frayed.) The baskets are also different.
The three wheel strollers have all be adapted and now have 4 wheels.
At the bottom of the stroller is a basket
that resembles a "shelf." While this makes it easier to access
when the child is in the stroller, it also makes it harder to keep
articles "inside." There is a second basket, more like a
"bag" that hangs from the back of the stroller.
eMailbox for 4/4/01:
May I suggest you add Splash Mountain to your list of
potentially terrifying rides?
I visited Disneyland by myself for several days two autumns
ago. I discovered that an advantage of traveling alone was that it
was easy and fun to meet lots of other interesting guests. In line
for Splash, for example, I talked with two nice moms and their two
really polite, friendly, cute 4-5-year-old-daughters for the
entire wait. This was their first visit to the park, and they were
all having a wonderful time. In a sort of mushy, communal, corny
way that didn't seem silly at the time, I remember feeling truly
elated for them that their visit was so great. They were such
nice, likeable, friendly people.
None of us had ridden Splash previously. We loaded into the
log, them in front of me. Started floating, and all had an
extended Kodak moment of "Wow, this is even cooler than I
thought it would be!" Then, pretty early on in the ride,
darkness. Then a drop in the dark. That was it for one of the
girls. She transformed from being a nice, outgoing, normal girl to
an absolutely hysterical screaming kid. The adults did everything
they could, I think. They handled it as well as possible. But the
girl was totally inconsolable. It was one of the most unpleasant
experiences I've had -- watching this girl trapped on the ride,
with lots more of it to go, including the big fall that she was
now petrified of, and watching her mother having to witness it
all, helpless to make things better.
Needless to say, the "screaming kid" ruined the
experience for me. But, as you said, Adrienne, it wasn't anyone's
fault, and part of the sadness of the whole thing is that the mom
felt bad for her child's impinging on others' experiences.
(It didn't end as badly as it might've. I hung around the ride
exit to see how she was. After about 10 minutes, she was still
shaken but no longer crying, and the group had decided on
something tame that they were going off to.)
I don't know what could've prevented that, except possibly the
parents checking the ride out ahead of time. (But how realistic is
that on a first visit, given the wait time?) We all knew about the
big drop at the end, and were looking forward to it. None of us
were prepared for the total darkness, though -- or for the sudden
"thrill" that occured in the midst of a more pastoral
experience. But I'm glad DL didn't ruin that surprise for me with
spoilers at the ride entrance. And even if the kids knew it was
coming... well, knowing something and experiencing it are two
different things, eh? You just can't always predict these
Sorry this got so long. Just wanted to let you know that:
(a) The "laughing place" isn't always.
(b) I totally agree that adult guests need to understand that
the park is for kids, too, and that sometimes meltdowns happen.
(c) Even though I don't have kids, I enjoy reading your
column. Part of it is because much of the info you present
applies to adult visitors without kids, too. And part of it is
because you and Kevin (and Matthew!) seem like really nice
people. It's fun to read about your family. Best wishes to you
thanks, Mark! And thank you for this story! It's been such a long
time since I've been on Splash myself (I don't like getting wet
and it's on the list of "attractions pregnant woman should
not ride,") that I had forgotten about that dark drop! I
would not have even thought of saying anything about it to a
family with young children!
Brian Bennett sent me this
image to help remind us what it's like for young children at a
theme park. How often do we adults forget their perspectives!
Just finished reading your mailbag about parenting in the
parks, and wanted to add a couple of attractions that may be scary
for little ones:
Universe of Energy at Epcot (or, Ellen's Energy Adventure).
Dark in several spots, and Dinosaurs! Some kids'll probably dig
'em, others may be scary. Especially the one that squirts water
on you :)
Spaceship Earth at Epcot. Not at all scary in content (unless
you can't hear Jeremy Irons' voice without thinking about Claus
from Reversal of Fortune), but still very dark.
Journey into YOUR Imagination at Epcot. VERY dark in some
points, with a loud explosion at the end.
The Great Movie Ride at Disney-MGM Studios. Has a live
shootout at one point, also a scene from "Alien".
you for those comments! Brian Bennett has an extensive
table of the attractions at WDW with "Potential Fear
Factors" as well as his personal comments about the
attractions. Parents planning trips to WDW may want to consult
Brian's list for further information!
Matthew enjoyed riding with
his grandparents in an open car pulled by a diesel locomotive on
the Orange Empire Railway Museum's main line.
|After reading last week's
article about the Orange Empire Railway Museum, Autumn
Great story as usual! I am not really a train nut, but I have
been to the museum before and really enjoyed myself. It was very
long ago so I don't remember much detail, especially the Ward
Kimball stuff, time to make another trip!
Thanks for contributing this, Autumn.
Obviously, my family had a heavy emotional investment in trains,
so I'm very glad to hear from someone who isn't a train nut but
still enjoyed the Orange Empire Railway Museum.
Wanted: Your questions and feedback! They will
help me plan future columns! Write me at: AdrienneK@mouseplanet.com
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experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp
counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she
started her favorite job, being Matthew's Mom.
Adrienne and Matthew
visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.
Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The
Happiest Potties on Earth website.