Friday, 27 June 2003: In the Haus of Maus
Ah, Disneyland. The stuff that dreams are made of. Or, at least, that’s what the numerous flyers, commercials, and billboards tell us. What joys await us within?
K and I awoke at about a quarter to seven in the morning, since my family wanted to make the eight AM opening at the park. Exhausted and sore, I endured my pains for the good of the rest of the group. But frustratingly, no one else was even awake by the time we were enjoying our semi-continental breakfast from the hotel. Why do they call it “continental”, anways?
I think we made it to the park Resort at 0930 or 1000. Keep in mind that I have not seen this place for many years, even before California Adventure was merely a dirt lot. It’s completely different, and more reminiscent of Disney World… there is no longer the endless parking lot, there is now a larger-than-Paul-Bunyan parking lot to handle the masses. Patrons ride in a stinky gas-powered tram through the Resort area, past hotels and shopping areas… all reeking of sickly Disney commercialism.
It’s so freakin’ American.
After I got past the initial shock of the park’s metamorphosis, we were headed in a beeline to the park, tickets already in hand. I ran with my 2 year old niece, Maddie, to visit Mickey Mouse. She had never been to Disneyland, and I don’t think she’s ever met a character. She was more patient than all the other (and older!) kids, and even their parents! I was sickened by how everyone pushed and shoved to get a glimpse of Mickey Mouse… how no one seemed to have any regard for the next person. All they wanted was to touch the round-eared one, to get his scribbled autograph, to hug his polyester suit. It was incredibly adorable to see Maddie’s bewildered face as she watched the huge cartoon character in awe. It made me forget all the chaos happening around us… for a few seconds at least, when we were shoved aside after getting a single photo.
Of course, there were many more opportunities throughout the day to get character photos… way more than I ever remember. We saw Alice, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Captain Hook, Pocahontas, Woody, Jessie, Chip n’ Dale and probably a lot more that I can’t remember. Oh, and of course, Lilo and Stitch, who was the only one I was really interested in goofing around with.
Lemme just say that I am seriously diggin’ on this whole FastPass thing. It really helps you maximize your time at the park. I absolutely cannot stand waiting in the queue for hours at a time, so the FastPasses were true blessings. We rode Indiana Jones 3 times (the third time because the ride actually broke down halfway through on our second ride… whoo hoo). I think I rode every ride that I wanted to go on, except Space Mountain, which is closed until 2005. Gah!
We were lucky that we went to Disneyland on Friday instead of Saturday (a last minute decision), because they were preparing the New Orleans Square area for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie premiere on Saturday. This results in a 6PM closing on that Saturday! I woulda been pretty ticked off if we were kicked outta there at 6.
Instead, we enjoyed a full day (till 12:30, save an hour or two to go back to our hotel to refresh), and had a lot of fun. It was really cool for K and I to go to Disneyland together, but at the same time, incredibly tiring to go with seven other people. I think we all had a fun time, regardless.
For the curious, here are photos from the premiere, even though we weren’t there on that day. Don’t get me started on how I feel about big movie premieres. I’ll save that rant for another day…
Day 3 is coming up: Movies are the Universal Language
In the meantime, you can view more photos from our trip at my photo gallery.