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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

our Story Land adventure!

I've wanted to go to Story Land with my kids practically since they were born. I just remember it being SO fun as a kid, and who doesn't want to re-live our childhood?!

We went a little more than a week ago, around the second week in August. I read on the Web site that Sundays were less busy than Saturdays, and since my husband works during the week we had to go on a weekend so we went on a Sunday. It was busy, but not too busy. Most lines we waited about 10-20 minutes to get on a ride.

I was very lucky early on in May to get tickets 50% off from Maine's Half Price I just happened to get lucky seeing a sign on their site on Facebook that they'd be selling tickets soon on there, and then I happened to see it when it was posted. They sold out in 8 minutes, I was lucky I tell ya! It's a great deal if you can score one.

Our daughter is 2 so she was free, LOVE that. I feel like everything is 1 and under is free so it was nice to se her free.

We also took our daughter for her "You're a big girl using the potty" celebration at Story Land. She was so excited!

We drove there that morning because it was about 2 hours from our house, instead of spending money on a hotel the night before. If we'd had more money it would definitely be fun to stay in a hotel the day before, go to the park after 3 p.m. that day in order to get free admission the following day. The park is definitely THAT big that you can go twice and go on different things, have a blast.

We got there early when they opened, I think they opened at 9:30 and we were there by 10. We put sunblock on in the parking lot, loaded up the stroller with our backpack of extra clothes, swim clothes and towels, flip flops, snacks, sun hats, sunglasses, water bottles, pull-ups, sunblock, etc.

You will want to pack several extra water bottles, as I didn't see very many water fountains to re-fill at. I just find it's easier to have lots of water bottles instead of standing in line to spend money on overpriced water bottles. I got dehydrated not drinking enough because I hadn't packed enough water bottles. Just a small thing that will make your day got easier if you plan ahead!

I wore sneakers to this park, and really glad I did! It was a lot of walking! I packed my flip flops though and also glad that I thought to do that, as there were several cool water rides that we went on and got soaked.

Right inside the park we weren't sure where to start. That's one thing I'd suggest, look at the map ahead of time and make a game plan. We wasted a few minutes wondering where to go.

We ended up going to the Antique Cars, which was a childhood favorite of mine and my husband's and the kids couldn't wait to drive. Bad idea to *start* with the Cars.... everyone was in line for them. We waited at least 30 minutes in line... not a good idea with a 2 and 4 year old, who just sat in the car for 2 hours...

Next time we go we'll do all the fairy tales first. It's to the right when you walk into the park, it's all things the kids can do at their own pace and run in and out of. Much better start to getting there than standing in line for rides. I'd highly suggest starting on this side of the park, where the shoe is and the other fairy tale adventures.

This picture with Humpty Dumpty is a MUST.

With so many great things to do, my kids loved this big sand box with trucks. Go figure.

This big yellow shoe was JUST how I remembered it as a kid! It brought back so many memories.

We spent the longest time at this big tree fort. Both of our kids had a blast right here for at least 15 minutes! They went up and down this tree trunk to go down the slide.

At this moment was when I remembered what some of you moms had said in earlier posts in the Mommy Stories Facebook group, about just enjoying the time, not rushing to the next ride or event, just letting them enjoy what they wanted to enjoy. I am a planner, totally organized and control freak, so just being patient and waiting it out at a big old slide is not my forte. But I listened to you, Moms, and it was the BEST thing ever. My kids' smiles on this slide were priceless.

So that is my advice to you going to Story Land: Yes, you want to see more rides and get to the castle and other things, but let them be little. Let them think this slide or that wooden truck in a sand box (just like what they have at home) is THE coolest part. Let them be in charge. It's more fun that way seeing it all through their eyes.

Gotta admit, this huge piano was SO cool!

I loved all of these photo ops stations around the park, with the year on the sign. Of course my kids wouldn't look at me when I tried to take these great pictures, but they are still cute!

The pumpkin coach ride to the Castle is a MUST. Even if it's a long line, even if Cinderella is not in her castle at that time (she comes and goes) you HAVE to do this, especially with a little girl. We loved it!

Make sure you take some Mom in the Pictures!

The carousel is only one of two like it in the world and the horses move forward and backward instead of up and down. It was neat!

Milking cows - water sprays out, they get wet, it's adorable!

The above water spraying park was THE highlight of my kids' afternoon. Seriously. This was another one of those moments when we wanted to get on another ride, and the kids just wanted to run through these sprayers. They laughed SO hard. So fun to watch!

The train is a good ride in the late afternoon while eating ice cream when the kids are tired, or a good first thing to do when you arrive, because it goes around the whole park so you can see what fun there is to have.

My 4.5 year old went on his first roller coaster! 

You MUST drive the tractors at the far end of the park, near the water area. It's SO much fun! They even take your picture as you drive through that barn. Make sure you look... I was checking the time and look ridiculous in our picture!

This splash pad with a submarine was SO cool. It's dry inside the submarine, and water sprays out of the other areas outside the submarine. LOVED this. The kids didn't want to leave this part.

Overall, the food was regular park food, nothing special but not terrible either. Everyone loved the pizza! I packed sandwiches for the kids since we had gotten up early, they wanted to eat lunch at like 10 before anyone else wanted to, so it's good to be prepared with food and snacks, especially drinks. The facilities were clean. The lines were not terribly long.

Our kids had a great time. We're definitely going back!

We stayed until about 4 p.m. and headed to the first "family friendly" restaurant we could find. We ended up at Delaney's in North Conway, NH.

It was literally the first one we came to, we were in there at 4:30, it was pretty empty, then by 5 it was PACKED. It was DELICIOUS. The kids could draw right on the table. Food portions were huge. Our kids shared one kids' meal. Really good food.

We had a blast. I can't wait to go back next year!

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