In my time on this planet I’ve learned a few important survival skills: look both ways before you cross the street, don’t run with scissors, always have a zombie apocalypse plan, and never, EVER, say something as cavalier and dangerous as “I don’t care for Disneyland.”
Mob behavior will ensue.
And whatever you do, don’t say that as a 26 year old adult you’ve never been to Disneyland.* The other participant of your conversation will look at you as though you are one half of a Nicholas Sparks couple that just found out you can never be with your true love for some cruel, destiny related reason. This look is slowly wiped away and replaced with a fire of determination within their soul to help get you there.
I’ve decided it’s time to collect and document these Disney stories. That way when I do finally go I’ll be able to compare legend with fact. So, without further ado, here is what I believe Disneyland consists of:
There are four rides you will ride at Disney Land:
- Space Mountain. This is the best ride ever. If you don’t ride this ride you’re living life wrong and will probably be banned for life if you ever try to enter the park again.
- Indiana Jones. This is also the best ride ever and totally represents everything good about your childhood.
- The Teacups. Honestly I’m not sure when anyone actually gets to go on this ride as I imagine it is constantly being ridden exclusively by overjoyed children who are being filmed for DisneyLand commercials.
- It’s A Small World. This is where you are required to sacrifice part of your soul in order to set balance to the Disney scales. Thought Disney collects American money at the gate, this is the true cost of entry; no one can pass through the gates and not enter enter this ride. But I hear having that song stuck in your head for the rest of your life is a small price to pay for all the other greatness given.
This is your one chance to snap a picture with your childhood idol, be it Ariel or Aladdin. Don’t screw it up. Also, do not ask them for directions. I have a vivid memory of a Full House episode where costumed characters kept trying to reunite DJ and Steve and failing due to their terrible gesture skills. This may sound trivial, but it was actually a big deal [The screen time given was equal to the time given when Michelle got amnesia from falling off that horse and was forced to re-live the fact that her mother was dead. Yikes.].
Ah the Dole Whip, delicacy of the Royal? Nectar of the Gods? None of these descriptors can prepare you for the reaction of a room at the mention of this treat. It is an awed hush of reverence followed by loud, joyful squeals of excitement and yearning. After seeing the outrage and pain of America at the near extinction of the Twinkie, a mere road trip snack food, I would shudder to see the devastating consequences if someone threatened the existence of the Dole Whip. From what I can tell the Dole Whip is made of pineapple, sugar, and just a pinch of cocaine. It is chilled and formed on the top of Mount Olympus before it is brought to the common people, a gift no one can properly explain. Upon eating it you are transformed from a normal, run of the mill, average joe to a person with shiny, long flowing hair and a glimmer of greatness.
I first thought Disneyland was designed purely for children, but now I know it is the opposite. Children cry, have temper tantrums, need you to supply constant nourishment, are sensitive to the elements, and hog all the face time with characters [Except for when you went of course, you were an angel princess among a sea of toddler peasants]. Disneyland is for grown ups who know how to enjoy it properly. Come back when you can be grateful children.
Unless you want to wait in a desert of joyless, rideless-ness you should get a fast pass. I think these are different for each ride, so really you should get all the fast passes. My only confusion is if everyone gets a fast pass how are they faster??? Someone explain this to me later.
All day, every day. With fireworks.
Disney Stars and Star-lets
Remember back in the day when all our favorite sitcom darlings went to Disney Land for a To Be Continued series of episodes that delighted and amazed (If not see my recap of the Full House dilemma given under Characters)? I can only hope this still happens. Although I’m worried I may not recognize it when I see it. What if I accidentally bump into some random kid and she says, “Oh, no need to be coy, here’s my autograph.” Only for me not to have recognized the new star of The Suite Life of Hannah Montana goes to High School Musical as directed by Tim Burton????
Side note: If there was not a crossover episode where Hannah Montana accidentally dated both of the Suite Life twins with them thinking she was two different people and her thinking they were one person who knew her secret, that was a lost opportunity Disney.
I’m pretty sure there is always at least one high school/middle school choir or drill team performing at or near Disneyland at all times. Most of my friends have done this at some time and it seems to be a great experience. They do not offer this option to members of the AP art class or Spanish National Honor Society [However, to be fair, most guests probably do not want to watch some punk kids paint a mural or conjugate verbs.].
Propaganda, er, I mean, Merch.
Everyone I know comes back with some sort of token from their stay, be it Mickey Mouse Ears or a t-shirt. They will use this to try and subtly brainwash you into going one day. I’m completely on board with this. I know when I’m old and alzheimer-y I can’t count on some old, wrinkled version of Ryan Gosling to jog my memory [Dang Nicholas Sparks, how did you get in this post again?]. Instead I will look at my hot pink sweatshirt with Cozumel emblazoned on the chest to remember I went places and influenced society. Men = unpredictable. Sweatshirts are forever!
Feel free to correct what I’m sure are loads of factual misrepresentations. If I do manage to make it to the Magic Kingdom anytime soon I will be sure to give you a comparison post.
Currently: So happy I got to spend last weekend with my family celebrating Camie’s wedding!
*Disclaimer: I did go to Disneyland Paris while on study abroad in 2009, which according to everyone doesn’t count.