Having children who are not always the bravest when it comes to Disney attractions has forced me to find ways to keep them entertained while others enjoy an attraction. This past trip, Joey decided that he could not go on Pirates of the Caribbean because it was too scary. Basically what this means is that because he could not see what the ride was like, he was not going to go in. His biggest fan, Hayley, decided that if it was too scary for Joey, well it was too scary for her. Our littlest one, Emily, was not bothered by them at all. She hopped right into the line with my parents and Pierre and enjoyed the attraction.
While Joey, Hayley and I waited, we decided to check out the Plaza Del Sol Caribe Bazaar – a haven for pirate loving Disney fans who want to stock up any pirate paraphernalia you can imagine. At first, I realized this was a mistake because I must have said, “No we are not buying that” at least 20 times before we found a bin of pirate hooks, ball and chains and the like. The kids began using them and posing for the camera. We had such a great time, and it was quite the photo opportunity. Even better, as we left the shop and started walking around, we came across Goofy in his pirate garb and were able to grab a quick photo with him. (For more information on this, Deb at Focused on the Magic shared some great pirate inspired photo tips and Mary of Capturing Magical Memories created some wonderful pirate inspired scrapbook layouts for our In Pursuit of Pirates series.)
This is just one example of the ways I have found to keep the fun going for my kids who refuse to experience a ride and get some great photos. In the Emporium to cool off on a hot day, Hayley has used the several hats for some quick dress up fun. Last trip in Frontierland, as we waited for the parade to make its way toward us, Hayley and Emily tried on several of the hats at the little stand on the corner (this is also a good spot while waiting for people to experience Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain). Over in Hollywood Studios, while waiting for people to come off Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, there are cars along Sunset Boulevard that Joey loves to check out and have his photo taken with. Even better, Starring Rolls Cafe is just around that corner so we can even have a delicious sweet treat while we are waiting. Some of these treats are so large we can actually purchase just one and split it between all of us non-riders. In Epcot, just outside of Test Track is Cool Wash, a great place for kids to cool off. I guess you can call it a car wash for kids (though adults can, of course, enjoy this cool off spot too!).
Having children who do not want to experience the attractions of Walt Disney World does not dampen our fun. There are so many great treasures waiting around each corner to keep your child busy and having fun while waiting for others to return from a thrill ride. The best part everyone is able to enjoy what they want – thrill seekers can seek thrills and those of us a little more timid can find a relaxing and fun activity to enjoy without feeling like we are just waiting around.
What are some of the fun things you have found to enjoy the parks while waiting for your family's thrill seekers?