The park was originally a destination amusement park of sorts when it was built back in the early 20th century, and then became a national park and oriented towards preservation right about 1970.
The carousel there is original, and just beautiful with intricate wood carving and painted details and wonderful music box selection. We had tried to go for a ride on a previous visit, only to find that it is open sparse hours these days.
But this time, we checked online ahead of a time! And it was going to be open! Hurray!
When we arrived a few minutes before opening, the ticket lady mentioned that a puppet show was about to start if we wanted to attend. And in addition to being a very child oriented puppet show, it was also a rendition of Snow White.
Kristina LOVES the Disney version of Snow White.
So we went and saw a very cute little puppet show. There was a brief moment when the lights went dark where Kristina started to panic, but a quick trip to the bathroom and a pep talk from the always doting Aunt Leslie restored her spirits and she enjoyed the rest of the show.
Then afterwards, we had a monumental moment.
Upon exiting the little theater the children had the opportunity to meet Snow White and a dwarf puppet.
AND KRISTINA SAID HI TO A COSTUMED CHARACTER!!
Do you remember Disneyland? And Halloween? And Santa Clause? And the Easter Bunny??
This is HUGE for us!
Granted she didn't stick around long enough for a proper photo shoot, but she actually went over and greeted the princess all on her own accord and didn't freak out and start screaming and make me the focus of all those other parents looking at me with expressions ranging from pity to horror as I attempt to console my unbelievably loud child!
There may be hope on the horizon! And perhaps even a real glimmer of a chance for a happy Disneyland visit sometime before she's an adult.
It was Adrianna's first carousel ride, and it went splendidly! Kristina and Aunt Leslie greatly enjoyed it as well, but their glee just couldn't quite match the precious excitement radiating out of a toddler.
Or perhaps I just didn't notice, as I had "make sure the toddler doesn't leap off of her horse" duty and wasn't quite as attentive to the other members in our little party.
In fact, Adrianna liked it so much she really didn't want to get off when the ride was done.
And we may have had to leave the park because she kept running off from the playground to try and get back to the carousel again.
And then screamed bloody murder when we had to walk by it to leave and didn't take her on for another ride.
But hey, Kristina didn't scream the whole morning! And she even rode a horse that went up and down, which was another big step in getting over her irrational fear of heights.
After prying Adrianna off of her beloved wooden horse, we went over to the nearby playground for some low key playtime.
Well, what would have been low key playtime had there not been several school groups also visiting the park at the same time.
I was impressed by Kristina's swinging abilities, as she could pump herself higher than most of the school age kiddos were doing.
(Although really, have you seen her leg muscles? That girl has some serious athleticism going on.)
And Adrianna did her best to not be run over while continuing her attempted escape back to her beloved carousel.
It was a fun morning out, especially when nothing of great excitement had been planned.