As we put our girls to bed Saturday night, Ashley looked up at us and said, “I had such a good time at Wonderland!” Our day could not have been summed up any better than Ashley’s own words. What made it better was that she felt the same way.
Throughout the entire day, all of our girls had an extra bounce in their step as they walked through Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park designed just for kids; there are a few adult rides, but the entire park is filled with rides for kids of all ages. It was fun to see their excitement as we got near to it and entered. Emily had been looking forward to going back since we first took all of them last year. After all, DW is her second favorite place after the beach. What made it even more exciting was that their cousin Keegan and Uncle Brett from Baton Rouge, LA were going, too! While Ashley and Sydney did not remember it from last year, Emily had been excited to show Keegan all of the fun rides.
One of the first rides Emily wanted to go on, and take her cousin on, was the Wonder House. It was one she like last year and one of my favorites from when I was a kid. It is real simple. You sit on a bench and the house spins around you, making you feel as though your the one spinning. As soon as it started, my brother-in-law immediately grabs my nephew to keep him from falling (out of a bench that isn’t moving). That gave me good laugh to start. I could tell my nephew was confused as he stared at the walls and then grabbed his daddy’s leg. My brother-in-law, meanwhile, isn’t liking the experience and is simply staring at the top of his son’s head. Emily is in between us saying, “This is fun!” as she comfortably looks all around the moving walls. As no one got sick on the ride, it provided a good, funny start to the day!
All day, the kids bounced from ride to ride, stopping only to eat or use bathroom. It was 8 fun-filled hours in which all the little ones skipped naps and no one had a melt down! I got to take my nephew to drive a car, although, surprisingly, he wanted me to do all the driving. Emily was able to go on her first “big-person” roller coaster, the Kingdom Coaster, which quickly became her favorite ride. It was so exciting to take her on her first big ride and see the fear and exhilaration on her face as the wooden roller coaster entered its first drop and picked up speed. That fear turned into pure enjoyment for her next 4 times on the coaster! I must admit, however, that my arm was probably wrapped just as tight or tighter around her than any of the safety harnesses!
Speaking of harnesses, my wife was her own harness when she took Sydney on the Skyride. I was later told that whenever Sydney moved, Colleen grabbed Sydney tight. Apparently, my wife said, she seems to be more scared of heights now. Ashley was with me for that ride and had a great time telling me how we could see over everything because “we’re so tall, right Daddy?” I may not have been a harness like my wife, but my arm was wrapped snug around her the whole way across the park.
Through all the rides, driving the cars, taking a boat ride, and having slushies, it was a great day with the family, my nephew, brother-in-law, and the grandparents. We topped off the evening by picking my mom up on the way back to have ice cream since she could not make the trip to DW with us. After waking up from their catnap in the car, and coming out of that groggy fog, they were excited to see MomMom and tell her about their day. Of course, Emily was hungry after the ice cream, so we did dinner in reverse and had hot dogs for dessert at Schell’s.
Well, today is Monday and Ashley still says, “I loved the froggies at Wonderand, Daddy! And, the panda bears, too!” As I spent the day home with her today, she said to me, “I hope we go back to Wonderland. I had such fun there, Daddy!”
Of course, I promised her we would go again next year. The Dutch Wonderland 2013 countdown has already started!