We were all set to plan a trip to Disneyland with IJ - age 5 - who loves all things Disney, right up until Mrs. JJD had a talk with one of her friends who has a son the same age. They went to Disney World and said that he wasn't big enough to go on a lot of the rides, so it wasn't as fun as it should have been because they went all that way, etc... So, we're trying to think of a place we could take IJ that would have less letdown-potential for a vacation - who wants to go through the trouble of getting there and not being able to do everything, right? - and we're now thinking San Diego (for the zoo and the beach and all that) but I'm DEFINITELY open to suggestions.
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Originally posted by JayJayDeanWe were all set to plan a trip to Disneyland with IJ - age 5 - who loves all things Disney, right up until Mrs. JJD had a talk with one of her friends who has a son the same age. They went to Disney World and said that he wasn't big enough to go on a lot of the rides, so it wasn't as fun as it should have been because they went all that way, etc...
But, I've never heard this complaint, especially for a girl. In general, I've heard stories of the 4-6 year old girls all wearing their princess dresses and just having the time of their life. If IJ is into princesses, then I don't see this as an issue (especially if she likes dressing up in princess dresses and such).
But, you can't go wrong with San Diego either--the zoo, the park, the beach, Sea World, etc. etc. etc.
I can't vouch for Disney Land, but Disney World was alot of fun for my 5 year old. She enjoyed the shows and parades as much as the rides. Also, Mrs. JJD's Friends' son probably wanted to ride some of the roller-coaster style rides. It might be worthwhile to find out which specific rides he wanted to ride and couldn't and then consider whether IJ would care about those rides or not.
Toronto's a great holiday destination. Unless your kids have a fear of heights, they're probably love the CN Tower. Plus, Toronto's close to Niagara Falls, which is a wonderful place to visit.
If you're interested in theme parks, I found that Six Flags Darien Lake is incredible. SFDL is not far from Buffalo.
Finally, I'd like to put a plug in for my town: Edmonton. We have the world's largest mall - the West Edmonton Mall...it has an indoor waterpark, and indoor amusement park, and a really fun sea lion show, too. Depending on when you make the trip, there's a lot of great sights and things to do around here.
JJD - we went to DisneyWorld a couple years back when the kids were 10, 8 and 6. My daughter (the six-year old) had an awesome time. There are so many rides that even if you don't go on Space Mountain, there's a ton of stuff geared to the princess-loving kindergartner.
JayJay, five is a bit young to get the most out of Disneyworld. 8-10 is much better. We took our daughetr in 4th grade and she had a blast. Could really enjoy everything. As muchas it costs, wait a year or two.
It's not a theme park, but the Colorado is great, especially around Mesa Verde, Silverton, etc. But very pricey and maybe 5 is s bit young.
San Diego isn't a bad idea, and if you decide that you want to spend one day to drive the hour and a half north to partake in things Disney without making it a Disney Vacation, it is possible.
As for things San Diego:
Beach - kinda touristy vs. Northwest beaches, parking is a pain, and it will be crowded.
Zoo - Fabulous, lots of walking though, her feet will get tired, you might want to opt for the package that includes the bus tour and the bus you can pick up randomly. The tram ride is waaaay worth the couple extra bucks to fly all the way over the zoo. I suggest you pick it up in the children's zoo area and zoom upwards to the polar bears rather than try to get your wee tyke to hike up the hill.
Sea World - It is pretty neat for the Shark exhibit, the animal shows, petting mantas, and of course the whales. I have not tried the Atlantis thingy so I can't say if that's worth it or not. The rest of Sea World is pretty...eh.
The whale watching cruises are about what you would expect (I think it might be a bit late for whales though...) and the tour cruises are pretty much like the Argosy cruises in Seattle only around San Diego instead. The major reason to take one of these is that you do not have to walk around while you're doing it so you can rest your feet and enjoy an overpriced drink. You will have some fabulous pictures of the city though.
Legoland is also near San Diego (pretty close to the Wild Animal Park) and the rides are geared towards smaller children than Disneyland. We were pretty disappointed when we took my brother many years ago because most of the rides seemed to be geared towards one parent and one child riding. We had 3 adults and 1 child, so two adults were almost always sitting out. They did have these really tasty apple fries... I'd look at recent reviews of the park to make your decision, but I can't really recommend it.
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