It bothers me when people say that they want to wait until their kids are older before they take them to Disneyland. I usually bite my tongue and let it pass.
If you know me, you know I do a fairly good Jimmy Stewart impersonation. I have a favorite scene, from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” where George gets upset and hollers back at Mr. Potter, in front of the rest of the Building and Loan board…
“Just a minute — just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was . . . Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why . . . Here, you’re all businessmen here. Doesn’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You . . . you said . . . What’d you say just a minute ago? . . . They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that they . . . Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about . . . they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!”
So, when people say they will wait to take their kids to Disneyland, they usually offer reasons like “I’ll take them when they are older and they can enjoy it more,” “They are too young to remember it,” “They can’t enjoy the rides yet,” or other similar themes.
To that, I want to launch into my Jimmy Stewart impersonation, and ask, Wait! Wait for what?! Until your children grow up and leave you? Until your children are so old and broken-down that they – that they are too old to believe in magic of the fairytale? Until they get to an age when they don’t want to hang around with you in the park anymore? DON’T WAIT to go and create memories!!! The sights, sounds, colors, motion, activity, and experience are just as great for a six-month-old as a 106-year-old. If you wait, then you leave that much less time to enjoy the memories later in life! Granted, your toddler may not ride the Indiana Jones jeeps or California Screamin roller coaster, but there is a small world of rides that parents and children can enjoy together. And that is the best part of Disneyland – you can experience it together.
Here is what Walt Disney himself said about the park he created…
“It came about when my daughters were very young and Saturday was always daddy’s day with the two daughters. So we’d start out and try to go someplace, you know, different things, and I’d take them to the merry-go-round and did all these things – sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts – I felt that there should be something built where parents and the children could have fun together. So that’s how Disneyland started. Well, it took many year – it was a period of maybe 15 years developing. I started with many ideas, threw them away, started all over again. And eventually it evolved into what you see today at Disneyland. But it all started out from a daddy with two daughters wondering where he could take them where he could have a little fun with them, too.”
Still not sure? Here are a few specific items that you CAN do together with your young children…
Main Street Cinema
Main Street Vehicles (Fire Engine, Horse-Drawn Steetcars, Horseless Carriage, Omnibus)
Mark Twain Riverboat
Sailing Ship Columbia
Big Thunder Ranch (Petting zoo)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tarzan’s Treehouse (if they can walk up stairs – lots of stairs)
Alice in Wonderland
Casey Jr. Circus Train
it’s a small world
King Arthur Carousel
Mad Tea party
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Snow Whites Scary Adventures
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (Opera House)
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
Enchanted Tiki Room
Characters meet and greets
You’ll fill up your time easily enough!