As I stepped into the log that would transport us up Splash Mountain, a cast member (that’s what Disneyland calls their employees) told me to sit at the back of the log so I could watch my three oldest kids sitting in front of me. We were the only four people in log as we made our way though the twisty path and higher up the mountain. Each child flipped their head around to see if I was still there as we inched closer to that final descent.
Yet that final plunge can’t take more than 5 seconds. Floating around for a few minutes before that plunge was the best part of the ride for me. My kids asked me questions such like, “Is the water cold?” and we laughed and giggled and did stuff we do when mom isn’t around. I felt like I was seeing the ride through their eyes although I was the only one not hugging the life out of the seat ahead of me.
The Splash Mountain ride was a microcosm of our time at Disneyland this past week. We spent a lot of time waiting in lines. We certainly didn’t set any records for going on the most rides. Moving three young kids and a baby around the park takes patience and aggressive driving skills . I stopped counting the number of feet belonging to strangers I ran over with the stroller. But the time we spent together as a family between rides ended up providing a lot of fun memories.
Nobody threw up. No tantrums were thrown. Not even by the kids. Nobody fell off a ride, nor did any rides have to make an emergency stop due to the actions of our children. We managed to return home with all 4 kids too. By those standards our trip was a success.
And the only person who lost anything was me. On that last trip up Splash Mountain, my Seattle Seahawks hat flew off as we picked up speed going down the final hill.
“Dad, your hair looks all squishy”