I have never been to a themed amusement park filled with characters. My parents waited until they retired and the four of us moved on before heading to Florida to check one of them out. They have told me on several occasions how thrilling it was to see the parades filled with characters. I now know what they mean.
I had a special date with my 4 year old last Sunday. I simply told him that we were going to a “special event” and that it would be a surprise. Then we ended up at Centennial Park in Westsyde for A Day In Wonderland and the magic began. We exchanged our tickets for bracelets, received our autograph book and waited for the parade to begin. Some of the characters even came out for a short visit and my son began his first duel of the day with Hercules.
We found our spots along the parade route and waited in anticipation for it to begin. Surprisingly, I was just as excited as he was and had to calm my voice as I counted down the minutes until it finally began! There were so many characters, and so much to see! Some even stopped to shake hands or give my son a high five. They would stop, put on a little show…and dance!
We spent the day catching duels between Captain Hook and Peter Pan, crafting with fairies in Pixie Dust Hollow, as well as meeting every character and getting some autographs, too! We enjoyed a rather MaD TeA PaRtY and also danced a few songs.
After all the excitement, I couldn’t believe that there was still energy left in him for a couple of turns on each bouncy castle, let alone spending a good half hour on the gymnastics equipment towards the end of the day! As he navigated through the climbing, bouncing and stepping required, I marvelled at the fact that he was using imaginative play and pretending that he was Captain Hook.
We both made it until the end of the day, but not without showing Spiderman the craft that he had made (who genuinely showed interest in it) and scrambling after the Scottish Princess, Brave for an autograph as she was heading to the final performance (who graciously honored his request). We finally left the park holding hands for the walk home. He listed all of the favorite parts of his day (there were many) while I happily listened, extremely grateful to have personally witnessed the magical awe that my child experienced that day.
Jodi is originally from Montréal, Quebec but spent a few years in Northern New Brunswick after graduating from University. She moved to Kamloops in the Spring of 2010 with her family and works as an educational assistant. Her 7 and 8 year old keep her really busy as they love exploring the area and enjoying what Kamloops has to offer!