Thursday, June 02, 2011

Danny's Disney

Danny LOVED Disney World. His favorite ride was Peter Pan's Flight. His least favorite ride was Splash Mountain. He rode on his first big roller coaster - Thunder Mountain - and loved it so much that his dad took him again. The two rides he wanted to do over and over were Buzz Light Year's Space Ranger Spin & Toy Story Mania. Other highlights for Danny included:
  • Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial, where Cap'n Jack Sparrow called his pirate hat (which we'd brought from home) "old school." Danny became a pirate apprentice.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris where Danny was fascinated not by the lions, but by the giant termite hills.
  • Riding Kali River Rapids and getting SOAKED 4 times!
  • Yummy frozen treats at least once a day - smoothies, chocolate covered frozen bananas, Mickey Mouse bars, sundaes with Mickey sprinkles, & ice cream sandwiches.
  • Cruising through Fort Wilderness on Grandpa's golf cart.
  • Watching the parades, especially the Electric Parade at night.
  • Non-stop attention from Mom, Dad, Grandma, & Grandpa.
  • Watching the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, where he quickly became on expert on how stunts work. "Don't worry mom, he didn't really die. He was just pretending." " They won't really let the fire keep burning. They don't want the whole park to burn down." "It's not a real giant boulder. It's made of rubber." He was fascinated & continued to verbalize what was real and not real throughout the trip on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean ("Not real fire, just beautiful lights") and Finding Nemo the Musical ("They're just pretending to be turtles. In their costumes.") Evidently there were some wheels turning in his little head, trying to distinguish between real and imaginary in this land of make believe.
  • Riding on the soft opening of Star Tours with his dad - 4 times! The ride didn't officially open until the following weekend, but we were lucky enough to be at Hollywood Studios the day they previewed the ride. AWESOME!
Prior to the trip, I knew Danny would not be excited about meeting characters at the park. For some kids, this is the highlight of their visit, but past experience with mascots led me to believe Danny would not be interested in meeting larger than life characters. Sure enough, he had no desire to wait in line (oh, darn) and meet princesses or even Woody & Buzz. At our lunch in the castle at Cinderella's Royal Table, however, the princesses came to us. "Boys don't take pictures with princesses," he quickly grumbled to Grandma. I was worried the castle lunch might be a let down for him. And then, they brought him a sword, "Here is a sword for our little prince." After disappointment at not being able to pull the sword out of the stone, he was thrilled to get his own prince sword. He battled Dad, protected Princess Aurora, & even had a friendly skirmish with a cast member. As a little princess, Kaylee got a magic wand instead of a sword, but after watching Danny, she wanted in on the action too. Fortunately, the wand doubled nicely as a sword.
The most anticipated event of Danny's Disney World trip was his participation in Jedi Training. Months ago, he watched a video of his cousin Isabelle doing the Jedi Training at Disneyland. He was mesmerized. I think we watched the video 20 times in a row the first time he saw it. And then dozens more after that. During our trip planning, Jedi Training was the one thing Danny kept bringing up again and again. So, on our morning at Hollywood Studios, Danny & I made a mad dash to register him as soon as the park opened.

"What's your name, and how old are you?" "Danny. Four."
"Will you obey the Jedi Master?" "Yes."
"Will you be careful not to fall of the stage?" "Yes."
"Will you do your best to defeat Darth Vader?" "Yes.

And we were in. Though we had several hours before the 1:30 show, he kept asking, "Isn't it time for Jedi Training?" Finally, the time arrived. He obeyed the Jedi Master. He stayed on the stage. And he defeated Darth Vader. We were so proud of our little Padawan!