I have been going to visit Edaville Railroad to see the Christmas lights since waayyyyy back when I was a very little girl. I have fond memories of watching to see the lights as the train wound it's way through the woods and bogs.
I cannot express how happy it makes me, or even why it makes me so happy, to pass this tradition down to my children. My kids love, no...adore, Edaville. They have no need of a park map because they've been so often they know where every last ride, popcorn stand and train engine is. We decided to head to Edaville on Christmas Eve to take part in this years Festivel of Lights. I still have no idea how to take photos of lights in the dark but I think it looks kind of cool anyways.
There must be millions of lights strung on trees, buildings along walkways. The archways above line the walkway when you first enter the park. There are dozens and dozens of illuminated figures too. Many having nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Like dinosaurs, pirate ships, and much to Sam's delight...bison.
There are several of these little rooms along the walkway too. They date back to the early days of the park because I remember them from my childhood. In each one is a different Christmas scene...Santa's reindeer, Mrs. Claus baking cookies, elves crafting toys.
On the train waiting for it to pull out of the station. There was no pulling them away from the windows because they didn't want to miss a single figure.
I know it's blurry but it's the only picture of me from the night so I'm including it. This is a tame enough ride, not sure why Kate's clinging to me for all she's worth. It was quite the opposite story on the ferris wheel. She gleefully threw her arms into the air each time we came over the top and shouted "MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A BRIGHT NIGHT!"
Katie and Daddy on the Drummer boy ride too.
Sam and Teresa went on it as well. Rest assured we went on just about every other ride in the park. I, however, was lazy and cold and didn't continue to pull out the camera.
There was a time period when Edaville was closed down and I was delighted when the year we moved back to the area it reopened. My In-Laws came down for a visit around the holidays and I thought Edaville would be the perfect place to take them. My Mother in Law couldn't walk long in the cold without her asthma bothering her so she used a wheelchair. Little did we know that wheelchair came with an express ticket. As we stood in the very long line for the train a conductor came over and escorted us past all the cold people standing there in line, all the way to the special car ecquiped with a wheelchair lift. Unfortunately the wheelchair lift was not working that night and they fiddled with it and tried coming up with alternative ways to get the wheelchair, with Mother in Law in it, onto the train. After several minutes my exasperated Mother in Law shouted "To HELL with it!" and she stood up and walked up the steps. At my Brother in Law's "IT'S A MIRACLE!!!" we all collapsed in laughter. I'm not so sure the other passengers watching the whole thing were laughing with us though.
The millions of lights, a broken wheelchair lift, family stories that have become legend, kitschy decorations, hot chocotate warming my hands, laughing at the delight in a four year old's face as she surveys "the whole world" from the top of the ferris wheel, childhood memories of riding the same train to see the same lights, racing to keep up with the kids as they run from one ride to the next and back again, for all these reasons and more I agreed with a sleepy Sam later that night, that Edaville is the best most favoritest place!