Friday, June 27, 2008

Two Practically Perfect Days at Sesame Place

My parents came up Wed night so we could take the kids to Sesame Place on Thurs and (maybe) Fri (we didn't promise Friday till we saw how Thurs went, both from a behavior standpoint and mom's still not feeling 100% (had shingles & broke her toe all at the same time) so we wanted to make sure she was up to 2 days). Anyway . . . Thursday was AWESOME from a weather/crowd standpoint. It rained a few drops, just enough to feel good on a summer day early in the day & was overcast most of the morning, which, combined w/ being a "week day" and therefore lower crowds in general, meant the park was wonderfully not crowded. Short lines on everything! It was great! Warm enough for the water stuff to feel good in the afternoon but not so hot that just being outside was exhausting. Seriously, made to order weather for a day at Sesame Place. AND the girls did phenomenal! When we went out to Taco Bell for a late lunch mom commented that they had not whined/fussed ONCE! When we got in line for the "Flying Fish" (which is like Dumbo at Disney World (and land))they were both saying they wanted to ride w/ Mama. I told them that one of them was going to have to ride w/ me (that ride is one of the few that requires an adult past 42" (the minimum to ride alone is 48") so them riding w/ each other or something wasn't an option & Dad had gone to the car to rest at that point) and they needed to talk it over together & decide who was riding w/ who w/o fighting or fussing and they DID! And later we had another "conflict" that I told them to figure out between themselves & again, they did. Anyway, mom commented on it at lunch & the girls decided they weren't going to fuss ALL DAY!! I think ONE time L started to whine & Mom said "I thought this was a no fuss day" and L stopped, just like that! If I could be assured of behavior like that from the girls consistently we could do SO MUCH more stuff. I'm now seriously contemplating taking them by myself some week day when we're bored & weather seems like it would keep crowds away but still be a good day to go. We'd have to talk in advance about the rides that we could NOT go on because of the 1 adult/2 kids factor (their favorite water slides I don't think they're ready to go down alone so we couldn't go on them (there are double tubes so a kid rides in front & an adult rides in back but I'd have nowhere safe to leave the 2nd kid to take turns on it) the roller coaster requires an adult until age 7 (& 44" which they're an inch shy of, but the age is the bigger issue on that one) and again, nowhere to leave a kid so we could take turns. But most of the other stuff they could either go on alone (w/ each other) or we could all do together. A had a minor meltdown on the way home last night that was so obviously a result of being exhausted that it doesn't count LOL (and she pulled herself together (& then fell asleep) pretty quickly. Today there were a few minor meltdown but they always pulled themselves back together quickly enough that I'd call it another practically perfect day behavior-wise. Especially considering A's getting sick (getting a cold) and they're both exhausted.

Today was much more crowded & hotter, but we hit the rides etc they most wanted to do and then left early so my parents could drive home yet tonight.

Dad had his camera so I didn't take mine, so I'll have to get pictures later but here are some highlights (good & bad) in random order:

  • A & Papa went on the "Snuffy's Chutes" waterslide probably 10 times in a row while L played in the wave pool (and mom & I sat in beach chairs beside the wave pool & talked while keeping an eye on L)
  • We sat in the front row for both Big Bird's Beach Party & the AbbyCadabby show and the girls got tons of hugs & high 5's from the various characters.
  • A decided to ride in her own tube on the Rambling River but I didn't think to warn her about not leaning too far forward (or sideways) in an innertube and we'd barely gotten started & she flipped out, went under (water was 3 ft deep, she's 42" tall so she COULD have stood but didn't get her feed under her) I grabbed her (had been holding her tube to keep us together) and just pulled her up on my tube. The lifeguard was there immediately w/ her tube but there was no way she was getting back on her own tube so she rode on my lap, crying, or close to crying most of the time. BUT when I asked her to move her head so she wasn't screaming in my ear she did and when I pulled her up out of the water she didn't cough or sputter at ALL so she'd apparently held her breath under water. She's currently saying she's not going back on the rambling river (though at one point yesterday evening she did say she might go again if she could ride on Papa's lap but w/ the long lines today we didn't really want to take the time to do Rambling River anyway) but once we got off we went straight from that to a BIG waterslide & she didn't even hesitate about going on that so it only "ruined" her for the one ride, not all water, or even all innertube, stuff.
  • We'd decided to skip the parade yesterday and the girls had agreed that we could wait & go to the parade today instead but then as we were walking past the parade route about 3 minutes before it was going to start we saw a front row spot available, not crowded at all, so we stayed for the parade after all.
  • The girls (especially L) have figured out the trick to getting lots of hugs at the parade. They stand there and when the character comes by as s/he pauses to shake hands L gets right up under their feet where they pretty much have to hug her (& then A slips in and they get a hug together) to keep walking w/o squishing her LOL. Technically she was across the "line" but the people never told her to stay back so I didn't worry about it. And she was good about just stepping out to get her hug & then coming back to right ON the line.
  • The girls' swimsuits this year are identical (the long sleeve/long pants kind that makes sunscreen unnecessary (Yay for my friend, Angie for finding them on clearance at Disney Online last fall!!) I think the girls looking like twins got them a few extra hugs & attention from the characters in the shows, at least it seemed like they got more then their fair share of attention LOL.
  • Interestingly in two days, dressed the same, ONE person asked/commented on them being twins & that was in a "you must be twins" way, not the "oh, are they twins?" question that somehow gets SO old.
  • I had SEVERAL moms ask me where I'd found their swimsuits.
  • The long sleeves & pants in a sea of "skin" made them very easy to spot/keep track of in the wave pool.
  • Today the girls went to get on the teacups ride alone (the 2 of them, but no adult) and were so proud of themselves to be able to do it (they'd done it fine yesterday and the sign (& restrictions written on the back of the map) clearly stated that riders under 42" must be accompanied by an adult and said NOTHING about age. They got to the front of the line (line was short enough I'd sent them up w/o an adult w/ them in line either, since I could keep a clear view of them) and the guy running the ride told them they had to have an adult because they weren't 7. I went back w/ them and said "the sign & map don't say anything about age 7" but he pulled the whole "well, I just enforce the rules thing" I went on the ride w/ them, but they sat there just looking sad the whole ride. Mom talked to him more while we were on it and when she kept pushing he said "well, I just want them to be safe" which made mom figure it was HIS rule, not the park's, and "they got to ride anyway" which see how they're not ENJOYING the ride because the special thing about this ride was they were big enough to go ALONE. The girls were still upset when we got off and we talked a little bit about it. I took the angle that I thought he was confused, that maybe he'd been working at the roller coaster (which DOES require age 7 to ride alone) last and got the rules mixed up and I told the girls I'd go talk to the Sesame Place people when we were ready to leave (call me lazy but walking the whole length of the park (almost) on a hot, crowded day, to complain, and then come back to finish our rides seemed like too much effort. So we finished our rides in that section then while my parents took the girls on the roller coaster (again) I went to Guest Services (or whatever it's called). The woman there was GREAT! I told her what had happened, she double checked the rules on the map and agreed that they should have been able to ride. She checked w/ someone else who also agreed but went to double check AGAIN w/ a 3rd person (person in charge of that section of the park, I think he said). Came back & was willing to go w/ us back to the ride to make sure the girls got to ride it alone but we needed to leave and the girls were still on the roller coaster so I told him we didn't have time to do that today that I just had wanted to know the rules for future reference and if there WAS an age requirement to suggest that they post it so other kids didn't have the same disappointment. So, it was handled well. And I was able to tell the girls that it shouldn't happen again (if it DOES I WILL go straight back to Guest Relations and have them come "pull rank" for me) and that the "Sesame Place people" had said to tell them sorry.
  • Girls were very hesitant to go on the roller coaster which was absurd to me considering that they rode the Shamu roller coaster (pretty much identical to this one, both are Busch parks) at Sea World until I refused to ride it again. And they'd loved the Mine Train at Disney (bigger/faster/longer then this one). But once we finally got them on it they rode it 3 or 4 times yesterday and I think 5 times today LOL.
I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but those are the highlights. A good time was had by all. And now we're all exhausted and ready to go to bed LOL.

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