Aaron and I have always loved Disneyland. That love was easy to pass along to Moira. Soren always comes along, but we're not always sure how much he enjoys it. It's bright, it's noisy, it's overwhelming! But yesterday, he really seemed to like it all, staying awake for the majority of our visit.
He's a big fan of the dark rides: Peter Pan, Pirates, Alice, and the Tiki Room. He LOVES the Tiki Room. Always has. Yesterday, he was actually taking his one nap right before we went in. But once the lights dimmed and the birds started talking, Soren peeked his eyes open. And when the music began, his eyes were wide open and he was kicking, talking, and watching. Watching him enjoy it makes it my favorite.
We also did Buzz Lightyear, which we've done before. Usually we go to the special wheelchair transfer area and unload Soren, sitting him on our lap for the ride. But this time, the Cast Member asked if I wanted Soren to stay in his chair. The Buzz ride has ONE car that has a ramp to roll a chair into and a little seat next to it for the other person. And as luck would have it, it came by right when we arrived.
Always eager NOT to lift Soren, I wheeled his chair in and sat beside him. It was SO awesome! Soren was much more comfortable and got a way better view of the ride. This time he was really looking around at all the amazing colors. He was a little annoyed with me helping him fire the blaster, but oh well.
But the BEST thing that happened was on the Haunted Mansion. This has always been one of my favorite rides. I remember riding it over and over again as a teen one time when there were no lines at Disneyland. But I always wanted to see where the "Doom Buggies" went after you hop out onto that conveyor belt/people walk thing. I used to imagine jumping back into it, hoping the Disney folks wouldn't notice (which of course they would and then I would have gotten in big trouble).
Well, because of the kids, I hadn't been on the Haunted Mansion for about 10 years. Moira wasn't ready for it until this year. So we decided to brave it. But we had no idea how it all worked with the wheelchair. I mean, you leave out a different area than were you start in the Doom Buggies.
The first part was completely the same, going down in the room with "no windows and no doors." Then when it was time to load into our Doom Buggy, they slowed the conveyor down a bit so we could get Soren out of his chair. (NOTE: I now know that one of the reasons the Doom Buggies stop during the ride is because of this!) So we rode to the end, where we usually get out. But this time they stopped the ride and told us to stay in our Buggies.
Then my childhood dream came true. They started the ride again and we got to go "behind the scenes" in our Buggies! It was such a simple, silly thing, but it made me so happy! And just so you know, the Buggies just loop around and come back out to pick up people.
And as if that wasn't enough to give me my dork-fix, we got a bonus! To get to ground level and out of the ride, we rode the elevator back up! So we got to see the paintings go from stretched back to normal. It was so cool!
I've gotten quite an education since Soren came into my life. And yesterday it was a fun education, Disneyland-style.