Everyone was pretty exhausted by our last evening at Disney. There were few ambitions left to fulfill. Suzie still wanted to ride Thunder Mountain; Alan had been asking for the Winnie the Pooh ride for three days. Steve and I agreed that one child was easy whereas coordinating two children on divergent developmental levels was, well, disastrous, so after clearing it with their Mom and Dad (you can guess how much arm-twisting that took since it meant they got the night to themselves), off Steve and Suzie went for an evening of stomach-turning fun. I spent half an hour waking Alan up from his nap, and then we outlined our big evening.
A still groggy little boy waited pretty patiently with me for a bus that took 15 minutes to come, and we were off to the Magic Kingdom. He walked into the park, asking to be carried but not fussing when I said no. Once there, he climbed in the Disney stroller, and it was comfortable fun to be able to stop without losing an entire party so I could hear what he had to say or to look at Cinderella's castle, lavender lit with silver tinsel lights adorning the spires, whatever he wanted to do.
I nabbed fast passes for the Pooh ride, and we shared some ice cream – his preference, chocolate swirl. The Dumbo ride had a long wait, but all Alan really wanted to do was play with the matching three-part clowns that cornered the line. We simply let people pass us by as we made funny combinations and then climbed out over the chain and rode on the carousel. Some people (okay, one little girl next to us) are disappointed when they have to ride the small, center horse, but guess what? When you ride inside of the ring, you can see yourself in the central mirror! We watched ourselves laugh as we circled.
Next we headed over to Pooh, but the attendant said we had to wait out the five minutes until our fast pass was good. She was nice enough, however, point out that in the regular line there were several play items, and we spent our time happily making Pooh's vegetables squeak, drumming on watermelons and turning a wheel that made red balls go poppity-pop.
Unfortunately, the ride itself wasn't as much fun as the pre-ride play. We climbed into our honey pots with happy anticipation, but the focus was Pooh's nightmare about heffalumps. It involved sharp turns and jiggly bumpswhich would have been okay by themselves, but which were accompanied by large, close bright graphics that burst up in front of you and swirled and turned. On the whole, it scared Alan and assaulted my eyes.
Back into the night, the park was jammed, and lots of lights and music jabbed through the dark. I felt both of us had had about as much as we could stand. There were two important elements of our evening left, though. We stopped at the Disney Emporium to pick out a present. Nothing matches seeing a little boy's eyes light up as he tightly clasps his first light saber! From there, we hiked to the bus for which, luckily, we had to wait only five minutes.
For the final item on the agenda, we returned to the resort, stopping at the restaurant for take-out. We walked back to the room where we had a picnic (hot dog and fries in a sand bucket for him; roast beef/blue cheese chiabatta for me) ON THE BED (oooh!) while we watched Toy Story on TV.
I had a grand time. It was exactly my idea of a wonderful evening (well, except for that damned Winnie the Pooh ride). However, it is a bit disquieting that, on reflection, I find that my perfect date is a three-year-old.