Since she was small, Maya has impressed us with her ridiculous memory and attention to detail. But this week, she flat-out blew us away.
We were in California for spring break — visiting my brother and sister-in-law with my parents and sis — and we spent our last day at Disneyland, just us four.
The last time we’d been to Disneyland (pic below) was after my brother’s wedding in 2014, when she was 3.5 and Ben was a mere 8 months old. She had loved it and talked often of the “big castle,” the parade, the tea cup ride, and It’s a Small World — but a lot of that, in my mind, was because she would ask to see photos/videos of our trip.
We didn’t know what she’d legit remember, two years later.
As soon as we made our way through the entrance, it became abundantly clear that she remembered a lot.
Ooooh, I want to go on Dumbo! Let’s do the tea cups ride! We went on a pink one, remember, Mommy? Oh, we have to get through the castle first–I see it! I see it! Look Mommy, the castle! That’s where all the princesses sleep! Can we go in? Let’s go!
For any Disney haters out there — trust me, the moment you see it through your kids’ eyes … all that loathing turns to love. I swear they must pump endorphins in the air or something. Yes, it’s a crazy place, a chaotic and stressful and expensive place, full of lines and crowds … but it is also magical in so many ways and somehow that
erases eases the chaos that is Disney. 😉
By the grace of G-d, we met Minnie on Main Street before we’d even made it through Sleeping Beauty’s castle (meaning we wouldn’t have to wait the 90 minutes again to see her in Toon Town). And whereas last time she was shy and afraid of the characters, this time it was a totally different story: she was ecstatic to meet them. High off meeting Minnie, she asked if we could go to her house, too, like we did last time, to see her again. I was dumb-struck; unable to believe she remembered that we’d met Minnie (and Mickey) at their houses [in Toon Town]. She had only been 3!
A bit later we ventured over to It’s a Small World (one of my faves). They were obsessed with the toys that came out on parade.
As our boat pulled into the tunnel of the ride, she tipped her head and asked, “Will we see Pinocchio here again?” Luis and I looked at each other, confused, and shrugged. “I’m not sure, honey,” I told her. Neither of us remembered seeing Pinocchio on this ride and both of us had been on it many times — as kids, teens, and as recently as 2 years ago. And we’d gone on the Pinocchio ride last time, but she was insistent Pinocchio was also on this, It’s a Small World.
Well, lo and behold, two minutes into the ride she yells, “There he is! There’s Pinocchio!” And indeed she was right. Pinocchio was most certainly part of the ride — and we’d not only forgotten, but not even noticed. That’s why kids are so amazing; they are so freaking observant!
Of course, I had to snap a pic for posterity – for Maya as much as myself!
Moral of the story: I know all kids are different, but if you’re like me and had been debating if 3 is too young for a kid to truly remember Disney like I was the first time we went … rest assured that I was proven wrong several times on our trip.
This kid has one helluva memory … plus she’s a queen negotiator. I can’t wait to see what kind of young woman she turns into someday!
(History repeated itself–she remembered the giant lollipops but I do believe that’s from photos ;))
For now, I just loved seeing Disney through her eyes. This time she really got into it, and it was just awesome to see. (I’ll save Ben’s reactions for another post ;))
This was definitely a vacation we will all remember. Thanks for the memories, Disney!