Exactly one week ago, we came, we saw and we conquered Disneyland. Though I’d been to Disney World three times in the past, I’d only been to Disneyland once previously (last February) and since it was during Spring Break and overly crowded, I didn’t feel like I’d gotten the full experience. This year, I was on a mission to cover as much ground as possible.
Gala and I were joined by Amy, Kevin, Zoetica, Danielle and Joel. On the way to Disneyland, we killed time in the car telling crazy mom stories (I think Gala and I were mostly speechless), listened to Zo’s account of a burn victim who befriended Michael Jackson and oh so much more…needless to say, the time passed really fast.
When you finally make it to Disneyland and find parking, the Disney experience doesn’t start QUITE yet. Once you’ve trudged across the parking lot, It’s necessary to stand in little single-file lines and wait for the tram to pick you up and shuttle you to the front entrance.
Then, when you finally make it to the front entrance, you’re greeted by monstrous, brightly colored letters spelling out C A L I F O R N I A. Of course you have to stop and pose with all of your besties.
We’d barely entered the park when we decided that it was time for ice cream. I love Disney because it’s an excuse to act like a kid again for a day, eat piles of junk, buy ridiculous trinkets and then go on a bunch of rides.
After ice cream, we came upon Esmeralda. Zo, Gala and I all decided to get fortunes. Needless to say, she wasn’t very friendly. My fortune read:
You were born under a star that should have made your life a pathway of roses, but it has not been so because you trusted in others who are not real friends, but seek only to use you for selfish ends. You must get wise if you want to be happy. The time is soon coming for you to make your mark in life; improve the chance. Beware of a man who has dark hair and wears a good deal of jewelry. He is a false friend. Later in life you will be more fortunate and acquire a great deal of property. You may have a little hardship in managing your property. Relatives will prove rather harmful.
I thought that this was Disney! Why all the doom and gloom, Esmeralda??! I think Zo’s fortune was the only one that wasn’t so bad. Gala and I were bemused (and slightly shocked) by ours. There goes the happiest place on earth!
We started our Disney adventure by visiting the Haunted Mansion. Then, Gala bought a bubble gun and the rest is history. She was a total gun totin’ maniac, shooting at everything and everyone.
After a few rides, we paid a visit to Captain EO. I hadn’t seen the full film since I was in Disney World back in 1992 so I was super excited when I found out that it had been reinstalled. Zo and I are both mega MJ fans and were totally swooning the entire time. That costume! Those moves! The cute little critters (we collectively cracked up every time he called for Hooter). So campy, so 80s, so good.
Of course, after every Disney attraction you visit, you’re conveniently thrust into a gift shop with related merchandise. No experience is quite complete in America without a little capitalism thrown in for good measure!
If you’re visiting Disneyland, the teacups are an ABSOLUTE MUST. Though they look relatively harmless, there is a steering wheel in the inside of each cup that you can use to make it spin really fast….to the point of complete dizziness. Zo, Gala and I shared a teacup while Amy, Kevin, Danielle and Joel piled into another.
We walked and walked and walked for what felt like hours and gorged ourselves on jumbo pickles, massive corn dogs and pizza along the way.
As it started to get dark, we decided to make our way over to the other side of the Disney theme park, California Adventure.
I was completely caught off-guard when we ended up in the middle of a parade resembling a full-on rave. Dancers in bright, baggy clothes had faux hawks, drinks lit up, a live deejay made his way through the crowd and there were glow sticks everywhere. Pretty awesome.
As we made our way over to the Tower of Terror, I kept thinking to myself, “Isn’t this the ride that malfunctioned like 10 years ago when my mom was on it and everyone got hurt? Nah, couldn’t be.” Haha. It SO was. I had no idea what to expect and didn’t secure my belongings very well when suddenly, the ride took off, thrusting us upwards at least 10 stories in a matter of seconds, only to drop us again. I’m fine with getting knocked around on roller coasters but the feeling of completely having the bottom dropped out from under me was pretty shocking.
After the Tower of Terror, we tiredly made our way back through the still ravin’ crowd and paid a visit to Indiana Jones. This was by far my favorite ride of the day. Flying through caves in the equivalent of a dune buggy on tracks, it was a pure jolt of fun and a great way to finish off the night. We were soooo tired. So so tired.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you’re falling asleep and just want to go home…you still have have to make your way back to the tram, which takes you back to the parking lot…and then find your car.
Disneyland was so much fun and I really feel like I got the full-on experience this time around. It makes for a long day so make sure to eat a good breakfast and wear practical shoes! If you want to play dress-up, pack a pair of more comfortable shoes along in your bag because I guarantee that you’ll need them.
Disneyland is way more magical if you surround yourself with magical friends. Everyone I came with was upbeat and ready for the challenge and that helped contribute to an awesome day I’ll never forget.
Until next year,
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