My two year old daughter and I battled 4 1/2 hours of Bay Area traffic the other day. To be perfectly honest, she slept for 3 hours of that time, so really it was just me and my lonesome enduring the gridlock.
Why did I sit in traffic for this long?
I actually had no way to know traffic would be that bad on a weekday, during non-rush hour, or I might have re-scheduled the trip. But you BET that we had a great time when the experience of spending 2 hours driving to the park, and 2 1/2 hours home, did not even phase me.
Granted, we only spent 3-4 hours at the park so it hardly was a stressful day like I imagine all day at Disneyland might be. But I’m gearing us up for what I hope will be a big family trip to Disneyland soon, so these little Great American trips are getting us used to the process.
Sofia’s first trip to Great America was a few months ago. When she saw the characters, it was love at first sight. She ran right up to Snoopy and Woodstock and gave them hugs like they were long lost friends and had to be tugged away from them so the other kids could take their turns meeting them. One ride was all that she could really enjoy, though. We initially went on the XXXX ride, which she loved. The next attempt at a ride ended with us having to get off because she was crying and they would not start the ride with her in that state of affairs! I did manage to cajole her into ride the skyway but she really did not enjoy it and I struggled to keep her seated during that ride.
This recent trip was much better than the first time. We enjoyed so many things, albeit just a small taste of what they have to offer. Here’s the top 5 suggestions I have for toddlers, based on this most recent trip.
1) Meet the characters! This will depend very much on the temperament of your child. Sofia was enamored with the characters, just like last time. The characters might vary somewhat; she saw Woodstock on her first trip but not this recent visit.
2) Snoopy’s Space Buggies. Sofia was so interested in rides this time! We went on a few new rides, and was interested in a few that I had to hold her back from just because I was a bit worried they were too much for her. But this ride has a special place in my heart as the first ride she ever went on, and she remembered it from last time! When she saw it, she RAN towards it at full speed, squealing. It’s a fairly tame ride and she loved it just like on our first visit.
3) Sally’s Love Buggies. This was a new ride for us, and a fairly tame one as well. You can control how high you go, and it really doesn’t go very far up.
4) Carousel- this is the Camp Snoopy version, not the huge carousel that you see when you enter the park. Even being a small kid carousel, Sofia did NOT want to sit on a horse, but she happily settled for one of the benches behind the horses and enjoyed going around and around.
5) Planet Snoopy Construction Zone – this is really just a large playground, but Sofia loved playing here and many other kids seemed to be be having a great time as well. Definitely a great area to let your kids run around and burn off some energy.
Bonus: At Halloween time, Great America has what seems like a super fun non-scary Halloween event for kids. We will definitely be checking this out in the next few weeks!
One of my friends and I purchased season passes last fall, which was a great deal because it allowed us access to Halloween Haunt for 2014, as well as all season access for 2015. She lives 10 minutes away from the park, so it’s a great way to spend part of a day whenever she and I have a day free. We will be returning here time and time again!