The passes to Storyland were such a great Christmas gift! I remember going there when I was little and having so much fun, and my kids also had a blast. Mairead, especially, was in heaven. She loves rides and ran from one to another. She was still wary of the roller coaster, and we the Turtle Twist was a bit too much for us, but otherwise, she did great! The boys are still not into rides. I think it's a mob mentality of sorts. One boy decides he isn't going on a ride, then the other boy echoes that, and then they decide they aren't going on anything. They still found a ton of fun stuff to do, though.
The Loopy Lab was a huge hit with all of the kids. We almost did not go in because it was more of an indoor attraction and we were not even sure what was in there. But once they were in, they didn't want to come out! I was impressed with them since it's loud and chaotic in there, but it's pretty awesome. There are about a billion foam balls in the place and you can put them into vacuum tubes to watch them get sucked up and then launched into the air, you can shoot them out of cannons, you can fill a basket high in the air and when it is full, the balls rain down on unsuspecting parties below. It's nuts, but fun!
Another thing we almost didn't do was the circus. We were near the circus tent and realized that the next show started in ten minutes, which was at noon. It was really hot at that point but we figured we would give it a shot. The kids loved it, so I'm glad we went! It was called the 'Hanneford Circus' so we sort of had to go because of Dave's relationship with Hannaford grocery stores, of course. There was one lady who was seriously the most amazing hula-hooper ever. It was unbelievable what she could do.
They have a pretty cool spray park at Storyland now. It is very new, so there is really no shade nearby, which is a drawback for parents who are supervising. But, there was obvious construction still going on, and it looked like they were building large wooden canopies to provide shade in that area. The spray park sprays just enough water to cool kids off, but nothing that can soak a kid all at once or spray in anyone's face, etc. From inside the submarine, you can look at a monitor and see people run by outside, and then use the joystick to control a water gun that sprays the people running by. The kids loved doing that. Dave and the boys even took shelter in the submarine when an intense downpour occurred. It was crazy- loud thunder and lightning, very strong winds, and a VERY dark sky. Mairead and I were on the Turtle Twist when it happened and we had to ask the girl to let us off the ride. It was just as well because that thing was a little too twist-y for us.
What happens if you come to Storyland with no responsible guests? ;)
We loved that they offered stroller rentals. We never use our stroller anymore and did not want to take up the space in the car to bring it. But, it was definitely hot when we were there, and the boys needed a place to rest and retreat. So, we rented this double for $8. Totally worth it!
If you haven't been to Storyland, you might not know that for the price of one admission, you can get in three hours before the park closes on one day, and then come back another entire day. So, we got three hours in on the first afternoon, and then arrived right when the park opened the next day. This allowed us to do more since we were not lugging around tired children after eight hours at the park. Breaking it into two visits was perfect. Also, in case you haven't been there, the line for the antique cars can get long. We did that first thing in the morning on the second day and Dave and Mairead waited only about five minutes. We really didn't have to wait in any lines at all, which was awesome. I guess we picked a good time to go-- it was only June, so summer vacation was not quite in full swing. We went on Sunday afternoon, and then again Monday morning. Nothing was crowded and it was great. Hot, but great.
This picture is of the horrifying moment in which Cinderella stepped out of her pumpkin coach. Everyone was waiting to see her, she stepped out of the coach and most of the kids oohed and aahed and even squealed with delight. My boys, on the other hand, screamed in terror. Terror. Covering their faces, hiding behind me, crying and screaming. They took a lot of the attention away from poor Cinderella.
After the scare at Cinderella's castle, we moved on to the pirate playground where you could shoot water from real cannons. They LOVED this area. Mairead was riding on the swan boat to Butterfly Island while the boys played here.
We all rode the antique carousel which is really beautiful. Mairead chose a horse and my non-adventurous sons chose to ride... a bench.
Of course, we had to get ice cream. What vacation is not complete without ice cream? Storyland does allow you to bring in your own food and drink so we were able to have lunch, juiceboxes, water, and snacks for the kids. The whole place is very clean, very laid back, and entirely family friendly.
We really had a great time and would love to go back. I had thought of Storyland as being only for very young kids, but there were children there who were probably as old as 10 who were having a great time. This is probably in part because there are several new water based attractions. There is a log flume ride, some kind of ride where you get in a boat that goes around a track, but water canons soak you as you pass, a raft ride, and maybe 1-2 others. So, I think we have a few more trips before they are too old. Of course, we'll have to try Santa's Village, too! There are so many fun things to do up in that area. Every time I visit, I can't wait to go back!