We followed our history field trip in Trieste with an action-packed, hands-on, adventure-filled day at Gardaland, the largest amusement park in Italy.
When the kids caught wind that we were going to Gardaland they were GIDDY with excitement. It was like Christmas Eve at our house. I'm not even kidding. They were up late the night before we left and early the morning of...
Two hours is a long drive--but no one was complaining from the back seat.
Ted and I knew we weren't at Disney when the exit from the highway was not a 6 lane mega freeway straight into the parking lot. It was much more Italian--two lanes coming out of a 6 booth toll, heading for a one lane round-about, jammed bumper to bumper, semis thrown in for fun. JOY. But we made it in and headed straight for fun...no time for me to even take a picture at the entrance.
We started in Fantasyland which had several rides perfect for the little kids.
Fantasyland was dominated by this tree in the center--a good landmark, nice background, and even a cool fun-house "ride" on the inside.
In our hurry to arrive we failed (epic fail) to bring the map that the cashier at the parking gate gave me (if Ted had received this map it would NOT have been left in the car). To top it off, the first ride we rode had a map in the seat I sat in, but once again I left it there--map-schmap. After two or three rides, Ted went on a search for a map.
Ahhhhhhh.....now the twitching can stop.
We followed the map to another section of the park that showed roller coasters for the younger set. In this area was your not-so-typical teacups ride...
I mean, really, this is like fine China!
Lucy was too small for this ride. :( She's almost 5, but still the size of a 3 year old--she was too short for several rides, but good news, her ticket was FREE! and there were many rides she could go on with an adult, so she was happy
She was allowed on this caterpillar-esque roller coaster!
What's an amusement park without a log ride
A train ride through the park
some over-priced souvenir cups that parents give in to buying
|One in red, and one in blue...lucky us|
And impossible odds fair games that the parents DO NOT GIVE IN TO NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY BEG!
|We thought the title was funny (not very Italian - nor are they using real lobster pots)--along with the prizes being very licensed--Simpson characters, Mario characters and none other than Mickey and Minnie!|
|That's the disc in the background being raised up. When it's down, you can see it directly behind the little Flying Island display|
and views of Lake Garda, which is nearby, gorgeous and on our list of must visits--wanna come with us?
While Ted and the big three were off conquering big rides like The Mammut (which we enjoyed calling Marmot)
|Favorite ride of the day for 3 Titanfans.|
|It took all the willpower Cory had not to turn around and watch the screaming fun happening as Dad screams - look at me and smile for the photo.|
Lucy and I were off riding carousels and finding this fun ride called Icarus. After we rode it she couldn't wait to take her Daddy on it.
|This ride was actually scarier than any of the roller coasters, but Lucy loved circling around at such a breathtaking height.|
They all commented that perhaps it should be called Angry Birds instead--I think they're right.
The kids were very shocked when I insisted late in the afternoon that we buy some of this...
Some words need no translation. None of them realized that all the other times I bought it for them it was really for my own personal happiness. Love. Cotton. Candy. (but only the pink)
Around the park were a few of these faceless cutouts that we enjoyed pretending in.
Ted never had so much hair.
Before we knew it, the skies turned dark and it was time to say good-bye...
|Lucy was too grumpy to sit for the picture.|
After finally pulling into our driveway after eleven, we told the kids that we were sleeping in the next day (we'll just mark it as a delayed start on the school calendar)!