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Alex at Disneyland - Through the Years

Alex in 2010 is not yet 9 years old but has visited Disneyland and Walt Disney World countless times. Each time it was a different experience for him as his likes and dislikes changed. This article will track his changing experiences as he visits Disneyland through the years.

October 2010 - Alex is now old enough to write about his own experiences.  See his articles here: http://www.disneymouselinks.com/Alex-In-His-Own-Words.aspx

First Trip November 2003
Age 14 months
The Disneyland Hotel 4 nights


What he liked

Alex loved seeing Mickey and Minnie, and each time he did, he squealed with delight, the same applied for all of the characters. He also really enjoyed the Princesses. This trip when he saw the characters, he was always in our arms, never on the ground. Yes, he was walking at 14 months, but it was easier due to his size to simply hold him for the character introductions.

He also enjoyed walking the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. It was a rather quiet area, unlike the Parks or Downtown Disney, where he could run around and play.

Two of the rides, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were great for getting Alex to take a nap. Neither scared him, but both lulled him to sleep.

The colors and music of It's a Small World are great for entertainment. Alex really enjoyed this attraction, and even the outside of It's a Small World.

Playhouse Disney Live on Stage. Alex really liked this, especially the bubbles at the end.

Character Meals. He really enjoyed the characters from his high chair.

Alex really enjoyed the quiet time playing in the hotel room during the busy afternoons.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

Alex showed no interest and no fear for the Fantasyland Dark Rides. We did Snow White's Scary Adventures and Peter Pan's Daring Journey with no changes in Alexander's expression. While he did seem to like Casey Junior Circus Train, he didn't show enough enthusiasm that we felt the need to ride it again. The same thing applies for the Storybook Land Canal Boats.

Fireworks. Since he slept through them, we never got a chance to see if he liked or disliked them.

What he did not like

Riding the Carousel, either at Disneyland or at Disney's California Adventure.

Playing in Mickey and Minnie's houses. The décor of the houses actually seemed to scare him.

Alex didn't like sleeping this trip. Neither at night, nor in the afternoons, so our solution was to let him sleep in the stroller. At least then he got a good nap.

Second Trip June 2004
Age 21 months
Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort Hotel 3 Nights


What he liked

Alex was all about Mickey and Minnie this trip. He got very upset when he had to wait in lines to see them, and we began teaching him about patience, and waiting your turn.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney's California Adventure was a place where Alex was set free of the stroller, and he loved taking advantage of that. He was able to run around and play, go down slides, and even play in the water here, and it became a favorite hang out.

The Disney Electric Parade was easily a favorite of Alex's. One night he was sleeping in the stroller when the music started. He woke up instantly to the familiar sounds, and watched the whole parade.

Again, Alex liked It's A Small World, and he seemed to enjoy the Winnie the Pooh ride in Critter Country.

Pushing his stroller as we walked. We were not allowed to help, and of course he could not see over the top of the stroller.

Tom Sawyer Island, where he was allowed to run around. He spent most of the time trying to get to the water (Rivers of America).

Alex enjoyed the fireworks this trip, seen both from the Plaza between the parks, and from Rivers of America after Fantasmic!

Winnie the Pooh and his friends in 100-Acre Wood, he just loved all of them.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

Once again, we were able to ride Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. This year he didn't fall asleep on the rides.

The Princesses. We were actually quite shocked by this, as only 7 months earlier he had loved them. This time, he simply didn't care about them, and really had no interest.

What he did not like

Sitting in a high chair for character meals, or eating period, whether at a character meal or not.

Having to wait in line to see Mickey or Minnie. To him, this was just wrong.

The character houses, again he was kind of afraid of them, and wanted to be quickly carried through the house.

Third trip June 2005
Age 33 months (2 ¾ years old)
Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort Hotel 1 Night / Grand Californian Hotel 4 Nights


What he liked

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, where he enjoyed climbing, sliding and running around.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, his favorite ride.

Mickey's House and Minnie's House, so many things to play with here, it was actually hard to get him to leave the house once he got to playing and exploring.

Pretending to be a baby. When he saw another child in a high chair, he had to have one also.

Dancing. And he even learned to say the word. The character meals at Ariel's Grotto get you up and dancing, and Alex simply loved that.

Showing the characters his hat at Ariel's Grotto, and trying to 'feed' them. He loved to share his food and drink with the characters.

The Disney Electric Parade, 'E' to Alex, which he got to see 3 nights this trip. All we had to do was tell him we were waiting for 'E' and he was good as gold.

Chip and Dale seemed to be his overwhelming favorite characters this trip.

Playing with disneydreamer's 4-year-old son in the Art Gallery between the first and second showing of Fantasmic!

Winnie the Pooh and his friends were a big hit for Alex this year. He seemed to reserve huge hugs for all of them.

Trains. The Disneyland Train, and the Disneyland Monorail. He loved seeing 'Toot Toot'.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

The characters, aside from Chip and Dale whom he did like to play with. He would rather say hi to Mickey and Minnie and then play in their houses.

Any ride other than Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, with some exceptions listed under the 'didn't like' category.

Fantasmic! which he knew word for word, he didn't really seem to enjoy it, but didn't cry through it either.

Character meals were much different this trip. He didn't seem to care about the characters, and was not interested in eating at all.

What he did not like

Fireworks, in any situation, the noise really scared him.

Gadget's Go Coaster in ToonTown, which we rode two times in a row, thinking he liked it, and boy were we wrong.

Waiting in lines, for anything.

Any parade that wasn't 'E'.

Eating, except for chicken from Strips and Chips on Paradise Pier, and McDonalds on Paradise Pier. Of course, we were too dumb to figure this out, so he only ate 2 meals during our 5 days at the Disneyland Resort.

Most attractions. He liked the Tiki Room beginning, but we had to leave after the main song because he started crying. He really fussed when I tried to get him on a few Dark Rides, and when Andy tried to get him on King Triton's Carousel.

4th Trip June 2006
3 ¾ years old
4 Nights Paradise Pier Hotel


What he liked

This year Alex was all about It's A Small World. He wanted to ride it when he first woke each day, before going to bed each night, and several times in between. He was fascinated when he saw the façade open every 15 minutes.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters was a toss up for his favorite ride. This is another one he had to ride several times a day.

Soarin' Over California became a favorite after we finally got him to stand up straight and tall so we could get him to ride (he is 41 ¾ inches but they couldn't see that without measuring him). Once he rode the first time and saw It's A Small World all decked out for Christmas (or Red as he calls it) it was no problem getting him to ride again.

Any ride that he could 'drive': Autopia, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Mad Tea Party. Put a spinning wheel or a driver's wheel on the ride and he was happy.

He became excited by Windmill's every time he saw them. On the Small World exterior, in the ride and anywhere else they exist… Alex became absolutely fascinated by 'Windamill's' (yes, that is how he says it).

Chip and Dale are definite favorites of Alex. He loves to play and cuddle with them.

Stitch turned out to be a character Alex loved seeing. Of course, Stitch grabbed him and wouldn't let him go for several minutes much to Alex's love.

Pluto is always fun and Alex of course still loves Pluto.

Goofy is a character. Alex loves him.

Mickey and Minnie were back in his good graces (not just the houses this trip). Alex loved seeing them both.

The Electric Parade at California Adventure was seen all 4 nights much to Alex's delight. This is by far his favorite parade.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

The Princesses were characters he really had no interest in this trip. The one exception was Snow White, who he did hold a lengthy conversation with on our final day at the Disneyland Resort.

Gadget's Go Coaster he wanted to do a few times. He did enjoy this slow roller coaster.

Many other rides that were not Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters or It's A Small World (the ones he hated are below).

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail didn't thrill him this year. He climbed the rope ramps and went down a few slides, but didn't run around as expected.

Fantasmic! was a bit too loud for him this year. We had ear plugs and forgot to use them.

The Fireworks didn't scare him this year and he enjoyed them, but it was something he didn't ask to see again.

Splash Mountain he did once and didn't really like, but did ask to do it later in the trip so it is hard to say. We didn't have Fastpasses when he asked again so we only went the one time.

What he did not like

Food - unless it was McDonalds chicken nuggets or Apples from the fruit stands in Disneyland and California Adventure.

Roller Coasters (except Gadgets) scared him. While riding the Matterhorn Alex got very scared so we didn't try him on the other roller coasters he was tall enough to ride.

Waiting in line was something he hated to do. Alex wanted to move forward not stay in one spot.
 
 

5th Trip  Trip December 2006
4 1/4 years old
4 Nights Paradise Pier Hotel

 

What he liked

 

Alex had four overwhelming favorite rides this trip:

 

Alex loved ‘it’s a small world’ holiday.  The attraction at night especially thrilled him when every 15 minutes the lights would go dark and there were lighted projections onto ‘it’s a small world’ with Babes in Toyland music.  He called this ‘colors’ and thoroughly loved it.  He also tried each time to get other people to watch ‘colors’.


Dumbo the Flying Elephant was an overwhelming favorite this trip.  We were finally able to talk him into this ride for the first time this trip and he loved it.  Definitely one of his favorite rides, but the silly boy would never go on it two times in a row.

Haunted Mansion Holiday was another of his favorites.  Alex loved Jack Skellington and sat with rapt attention each time we rode this attraction.  When we were not riding it enough, he asked to ride the HauntedMansion.

Alice in Wonderland is the fourth of his favorites.  It became a ‘tradition’ to ride Dumbo, then Alice or Tea Cups.  He could not get enough of any of these rides.  Particularly thrilling on Alice in Wonderland is that he got to sit in the front seat all by himself when riding with Mommy and Daddy.  He loved doing that.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters was not so important to him this time.  It was a must on our first night, he was scared of it the second day, and after that we never did it more than 2 times a day.  He preferred other rides.


Soarin' Over California was still a favorite ride for him, and after each ride he would utter one word:  wow.  He really enjoys this attraction.


Any ride that he could 'drive': Autopia, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Mad Tea Party. Put a spinning wheel or a driver's wheel on the ride and he was happy.

He still became excited by Windmill's every time he saw them. On the Small World exterior, in the ride and anywhere else they exist… Alex became absolutely fascinated by 'Windamill's' (yes, that is how he says it).  At one point, he noticed one of the Windmills on the Small World exterior not working.  He told a Cast Member.  The next day he was pleased to see it working.

Chip and Dale are definite favorites of Alex. He loves to play and cuddle with them and they seem to love him as well.

Stitch turned out to be a character Alex loved seeing. Of course, Stitch grabbed him and wouldn't let him go for several minutes much to Alex's love.

Pluto is always fun and Alex of course still loves Pluto.  Strangely though, this trip we rarely saw Pluto.

Goofy is a character. Alex loves him.

We only saw Mickey once, and Alex walked quickly through the house.  Minnie was never in her house, and we never entered the house itself.  The few times we saw Minnie, he was fine, but not overly excited.

Francis Ladybug Boogie was a ride he really enjoyed.  Similar to tea cups he found it fun and did recognize it when he saw a picture.

The Electric Parade at California Adventure was seen 3 of the 4 nights much to Alex's delight. This is by far his favorite parade.

Carrot’s dipped in Ranch dressing.  His overwhelming favorite food was fortunately available in many places.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

 

The only Princess we saw this time was Wendy, and Alex didn’t much care.  He also never asked to see a Princess.  While watching the Christmas Fantasy parade he did know who each Princess was, but again, they didn’t thrill him.

Gadget's Go Coaster he only wanted to do once. He did enjoy this slow roller coaster.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail was a place we didn’t spend much time.  The time we did spend though, he enjoyed climbing the rope bridge and then was ready to go to Bug’s Land.

The Fireworks didn't scare him this trip and he did seem to enjoy them when we saw them from Town Square.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters was not so important to him this time.  It was a must on our first night, he was scared of it the second day, and after that we never did it more than 2 times a day.  He preferred other rides.

 

What he did not like

Food - unless it was carrots with ranch dressing to dip them into.

         Roller Coasters (except Gadgets) scared him. One ride on Gadgets was all for him    this trip.


         Pirates of the Caribbean has never scared him before, but this time after his second ride he did refuse to ride it again because he said he was scared.  This most likely was because on the 2nd ride we sat in the front and he got a little wet.

 

 

6th Trip May 2007
4 ¾ years old
4 Nights Paradise Pier Hotel

 

What he liked

Alex loved Small World as usual.  He especially liked taking our friend Kevin on this ride.

Dumbo – he rode this over and over and over.

Haunted Mansion is an easy favorite.  Alex loves this ride.


Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters was a toss up for his favorite ride. This is another one he had to ride several times a day.

Soarin' Over California is still a favorite.  He loves the windmills and Disneyland Christmas.


Any ride that he could 'drive': Autopia, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Mad Tea Party. Put a spinning wheel or a driver's wheel on the ride and he was happy.


Chip and Dale are definite favorites of Alex. He loves to play and cuddle with them.

Pluto is always fun and Alex of course still loves Pluto.

Goofy is a character. Alex loves him.

Mickey and Minnie of course are good friends of his, and he enjoyed seeing them.


The Electric Parade at California Adventure was seen 3 nights much to Alex's delight. This is by far his favorite parade.  The last night, there was no Electric Parade, and he did handle that well.

 

Mullholland Madness – 17 times in a row one day this trip.  He loved it!

Star Tours – can you say R2D2, C3PO and Pilot Rex?  He loved all the robots.

 

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike




Redwood Creek Challenge Trail was fun for him again, he enjoyed putting his hand on the imprint and seeing what animal he was.  He also loved to go down the big boy slides and climb the rope ladders to higher levels.



What he did not like

Food - unless it was McDonalds chicken nuggets or Apples from the fruit stands in Disneyland and California Adventure.

 

Fireworks – much too loud.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad he absolutely refused to ride a second time.



7th Trip September 2007
5 years old (turned 5 on our last day)
3 Nights Paradise Pier Hotel

 

What he liked

 

Small World as usual is one of his absolute favorites.

Autopia – wanted to ride this at least once a day.

Nemo – except for the long line, his face was all smiles during the ride.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters was a daily ride at least once.

Star Tours has to be considered an absolute favorite.  He rode this one several times a day.


Soarin' Over California is still a favorite and we rode it at least once a day.

The Matterhorn – we only did it once and he really enjoyed it.


Chip and Dale are definite favorites of Alex. He had a great time with them at Goofy’s Kitchen.


Goofy is a character. Alex loves him.

Mickey was in his house late at night much to our surprise.  Alex loved seeing him, but was upset we didn’t have his autograph book with us for Mickey to sign.

Mulholland Madness, Jumpin Jellyfish, the Sun Wheel he enjoyed all of these attractions.

Gadgets Go Coaster – we got to ride twice in a row late one night after everyone on the coaster starting yelling ‘again, again’.  The next day Alex said that when there was a line – it was adorable but it didn’t work.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail was fun for him again as he ran around playing.

Pirates of the Caribbean was a favorite after we made him go on against his wishes – we played Let’s Make a Deal Disneyland style to get him on the ride and he loved it.  We went on several times after that.

Rockets – Astro Orbitor, the Zephyr he loved them both.

What he accepted, but didn't like or dislike

 

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