Day 1: Operation Disneyland
Outcome: it really is the happiest place on earth
We got to the park by 8:30, and were thrilled — thrilled, I tell you — when they told us they were going to open the gates to California Adventure a half hour early. Our plan was to make a beeline to the Radiator Springs Road Rally fast pass line to get an early fast pass for the most popular ride in the park.
But the Disney folks played a big fat trick on us. I will, however, forgive Mickey because how can you remain mad at such a lovable fellow? While we did get inside the gates, they stopped us before we could actually get into the park. We had to wait until 9 for that. What they did is give us an extra half hour to shop. That mouse thinks of all of the marketing angles.
Anyhow, no harm, no foul, because 35 minutes later we held our fast passes in our hot little hands. And we had some time to kill.
Now, what I’m about to tell you will shock many who know me and know how
terrified I am of roller coasters. Looming ahead of us, you see, was a ride called California Screamin’, and Bill wanted to go.
“Please?” he asked me. “It won’t be bad at all.”
He didn’t fool me. I have eyes and I could see it was going to be bad. But I VERY reluctantly agreed for two reasons. One, I knew I was going to ask my husband that very day to go on
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and furthermore, I knew he would ride them because I asked. That’s how he rolls. The least I could do….
And two, I could hear my sister Bec’s final words to me before we left AZ: “I double dawg dare you to ride California Screamin’.” Double Dawg Dare.
As we stood in line, I was literally shaking with fright. We had gotten past the point of no return when I saw that the ride included one of those circles in which riders go upside down.
Well, as you can see, I lived, but I assure you it was not even close to being fun. My eyes were closed the ENTIRE time, and I said seven or eight Hail Marys throughout the ride. I texted Bec as soon as I stopped shaking, and she responded, “It was fun, right?” Nope, I said.
We had a wonderful Day One, and I noticed a couple of things. One, there were
many little girls in princess dresses, and easily 7/8th of them were either Elsa or Anna. Have any other princesses ever been so popular?
Two, something happens to people when they go to Disneyland. They spend money on and wear things they will never wear again. I saw a man who absolutely HAD to be an NFL player wearing Mickey ears, and he was only one of very many. I don’t see them wearing them into work next week. But perhaps the oddest thing I saw was a woman of about my age wearing a princess gown. And yes, it was Elsa.
Speaking of funny things, I noticed an unusually large number of people wearing Star Wars paraphernalia, dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Han Solo. I wondered about this, because while there is a Star Wars ride at Disneyland (Star Tours), it’s certainly not the focus of the park. I learned there is a Star Wars convention in town. Seriously. Do these people have jobs?
Finally, before I return for Day 2 to the happiest place on earth (which today will NOT include any roller coasters) I will leave you with my nicest-person-in-the-park story. We were waiting in line for Splash Mountain (which, while I don’t love it, only has one drop, and Bill sat through Small World) and the wait was a long one. Suddenly a stranger came up to us in line, asked if it was just the two of us, and when we said yes, proceeded to give us his two fast pass tickets. It was awesome (except for the near riot it caused by those standing near us. Hey! Sometimes it’s good to be a cute old couple.)
It’s a small world after all.
And we walked 28,000 steps yesterday!